2015-16 Meeting Minutes: Spring 2016

This is a summary of faculty and student body meetings as witnessed by a GSA representative. Comments here do not denote offical policy changes. Followup questions can be directed to a GSA representative or appropriate faculty

Week of June 14th, 2016

  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : Environmental engineering PhD students will now be required by the program to take a qualifying exam within the first two years of study to assess skills for phD level work. Pass/retake/fail of the exam will be determined by committee consensus. 


Week of May 9. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Social Meeting - Happy Hour at McMenamins
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Chemical engineering PhD students who entered the program starting in the 2015-2016 academic year and from now on will be on the new schedule of taking the qualifier over spring break of the first year and the prelim at the end of the second year with a 10 page written component added on to the graduate school requirements. Students who started prior to the 2015-2016 academic year will be on the older format with no formal written component to the prelim. In this case the requirements for the prelim will be up to the student’s advisor.


Week of May 2. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Nuclear reactor tour on May 2; Climate and Inclusion discussion on May 5.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : No meeting
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : Tour of Johnson Hall.


Week of April 25. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Salary Negotiation Workshop
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : No meeting
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : No meeting


Week of April 18. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Creating Happniess Seminar.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : The graduate committee will soon be splitting up into two committees. There will be a Curriculum and Assessment Committee (which the GSA student representative will be invited to) and a Recruiting and Admissions Committee. The goal of this is to create a space where the graduate curriculum can be discussed, as there is currently no place for this. Students who are in the MEng program who want to apply for the MS program must first find a faculty advisor who will take them on and they must have that faculty member write a reference for them stating as such. The timeline for the qualifier and prelim exam for PhD students was also discussed. These students will be encouraged to take the prelim in the spring of their second year. The prelim will consist of a 10 page written component and a 30 minute oral presentation. Whether the prelim should be a means to assess the student’s individual ability or a way to outline the future goals was debated but not decided.


Week of April 11. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : New GSA officers election.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : CHE had a high acceptance rate for the incoming PhD students, with so far 12 students coming next year. The graduate faculty members gave feedback and talked about the recent qualifying exam for first year PhD students. The format this year will be very similar to the format next year. Also discussed were the new updates for when the preliminary exam should be taken for CHE PhD students. The recommendation for taking the prelim is by the end of fall of the third year. The graduate school requires that the prelim be an oral presentation and CBEE will start to require a written document as well.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : Jim Sweeney gave an update on the Johnson Hall move. Johnson will likely be ready for occupancy in early August (moving to start in July). Tours for lab groups may be arranged in the near future so they can know what to expect. It has not yet been determined how much of Merryfield ENVE will retain. There was a high percentage of acceptances of the initial offers given to incoming students for the fall. No update on the qualifier exam, but if current grad students have comments about the content, structure, etc of the exam, please send them to Devlin.


Week of April 4. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : No meeting.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : No meeting.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : No meeting.


2015-16 Meeting Minutes: Winter 2016

Week of March 7. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : No meeting
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : The prospective student visit was again discussed as well as the graduate student expo in terms of evaluating how they went and ways of improving them both for next year. Having a poster at the grad student expo will likely be mandatory for 3rd year students next year as a stepping stone to evaluate the student’s progress towards their PhD. The Oregon Stater awards that were held in Portland after the Expo this year were recommended to return to Corvallis in future years so that alumni could see the campus again. Also discussed was a graduate curriculum committee that will be split off from the regular graduate faculty meeting.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : No meeting


Week of February 29. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : No meeting
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : The prospective student visit was discussed. The location, Mazama Brewery, was discussed and most agreed that it was better than the previous location of Woodstocks. Some noted that it was pretty crowded in the tap room and the brewery space was not utilized. Ideas for a location next year were also thrown around including the MU Basement and the Forestry Cabin in Peavy Arboretum. The creation of a subcommittee for next year’s visit was discussed to better streamline planning. It would potentially include representatives from CHE, ENVE, the GSA, and the new BIOE program. The new BIOE program was also discussed a little bit with focus on logistics as the program will be interdisciplinary with Material Science.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : ENVE faculty discussed the recruitment day. The general consensus was that it was a success but starting the planning earlier next year will allow the department to be more prepared for the event and to secure a more convenient location for the dinner. Devlin has not received any feedback from current grad students about the development of the qualifier exam for the ENVE program. If you have any comments about the purpose, structure, etc of the future test, please email them to Devlin at [email protected]. Be on the lookout for a survey about grad level elective courses in the near future.


Week of February 22. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : No meeting
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Finalizing details about the prospective student visit this Friday were addressed. The qualifying exam for this year is laid out in the CBEE student handbook, however next year’s qualifying exam was discussed and it was decided that for next year it will include an additional one page written executive summary in addition to the presentation. Also discussed was the development of a graduate curriculum committee. One proposed idea for changing the current graduate curriculum is to divide the core classes into an upper division and a lower division so that students can be appropriately challenged.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : No meeting


Week of February 15. 2016

  •  GSA General Body Meeting : The CBEE graduate student body went on a retreat to Newport, OR. Lynza presented a presentation from OSU’s Career Development Center about Resumes and CVs. Click here to download "Resume for Engineers" presentation. After the presentation, the CBEE School Head, Dr. Jim Sweeney, talked about his background and gave his advice about successful resumes and CVs. Everyone broke out into groups for a resume workshop where students edited each other’s resumes and Dr. Sweeney was the featured reviewer. Then James and Drake from Georgia Pacific in Toledo, OR presented on their professional experience. The remainder of the day was dedicated to socializing and bonding within CBEE.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : The prospective graduate student visit on Friday, February 26 was the focus of the meeting. There are currently 22 prospective students that will be visiting (12 ChemE, 10 EnvE), although that number may rise to 26. On Friday from 12-1:30pm older graduate students will be talking about their research with the prospective students and then from 1:30-3pm there will be lab tours of ChemE, EnvE, and BioE lab spaces. Please keep these times in mind if you are an older, more experienced grad student. There will be dinner and drinks that evening (location TBD) and the GSA will be providing rides for the prospective students and graduate students who also need a ride. We are providing this service to graduate students so that people will not drink and drive.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : No meeting


Week of February 8. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Post-doc panel. Speakers: Richard Oleksak (NETL), Dorthe Wildenschild
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Discussed the PhD qualifying exam that will be happening over spring break for the current first year PhD students. Discussed a small change to the INTO program curriculum, with an english presentation class being removed and an english conversation class being added. Talked about specific details for the prospective student visit (February 25-26), including the faculty-prospective student dinner on Thursday and the dinner for faculty-grad students-prospective students on Friday. Faculty also discussed more about accepting students into the program for next year.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : ENVE faculty are still discussing the addition of a qualifier exam for PhD students. If you have comments about the structure, purpose, etc of the exam, send them to Devlin at [email protected]. Prospective students will be visiting Friday, Feb 26. Current students will have the opportunity to meet prospective students throughout the day as well as at a dinner that evening. Location TBD.


Week of February 1. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Academia panel. Speakers: Liney Arnadottir and Nick AuYeung
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Briefly discussed events for the prospective student visit. Faculty mainly discussed which prospective students will be accepted into the program next year and which students will be invited to attend the prospective student visit.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : Grad representative was not invited to attend as all items on the agenda pertained to confidential decisions regarding incoming students.


Week of January 25. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting :Working in National Labs Seminar with Kara Cafferty, Dr. May Nyman, and Dr. Gregory S. Herman.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Discussed the qualifying exam that current first year PhD students will be taking over spring break. The idea of the new format is to evaluate where the student is in the their thinking and to help guide them, not necessarily to pass/fail the student. The hope is that taking the qualifying exam earlier will speed up the progression of the program of study and prelims for PhD students. Also briefly discussed the urgency of reviewing graduate applications so that we can know who to invite out for a prospective student visit.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : ENVE faculty are in the process of determining the structure of the program’s qualifier exam. Student feedback on the exam is welcome. Please direct your comments to Devlin Montfort: [email protected]. Additional update: Tyler Radniecki received a solar simulator that will be set up in Merryfield in the coming weeks.


Week of January 18. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Start ups panel. ~15 people in attendance. Speakers: Cindy Dahl (ONAMI, Inc), David Hackleman (OilExTech), and Bill Dean (OilExTech). 
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Discussed the qualifying exam that second year PhD students are currently taking and how to evenly assess all students. Briefly mentioned that the graduate program is being reviewed February 11 and that prospective graduate students will be visiting February 26.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : ENVE faculty are working on a draft of the future qualifier exam. They are considering making it similar to the MEng exam. The purpose of the qualifier will be to evaluate a student’s ability to apply core, fundamental environmental engineering knowledge to different topics within our field, to think on one’s feet, and prepare for the preliminary exam. The opportunity/incentive to reflect on environmental engineering fundamentals and assumptions within his/her research would be valuable to the student.


Week of January 11. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Working in industry panel. 15+ people in attendance. Speakers: Dusty Berggren (CH2M), Joani Curtis (HP), and Daniel Peterson (Shoei Electronic Materials).
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : No Meeting
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : ENVE faculty discussed the qualifier exam for PhD students in ENVE. They think taking a qualifying exam would make students more prepared for later situations in which they are asked to explain and defend their research (prelims, defense). The qualifier requirements for students already in the program will be discussed further. In addition, the faculty will likely be asking for grad student input to determine the format of the future qualifier for the program. Finally, the results of the student satisfaction surveys are in and will be presented at either an ASEE or GSA meeting in the future.


Week of January 4. 2016

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Socail Night at McMenamins.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : No Meeting
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : No Meeting


2015-16 Meeting Minutes: Fall 2015 

Week of November 23. 2015

  • GSA General Body Meeting : International Potluck - CBEE graduate students came together on 11/22/15 to celebrate the international diversity of our community through the sharing of food. 
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : Some of the ENVE faculty will meet with faculty in the Civil Engineering department on Dec 1st to discuss ways to better tie the two programs together (per the request of the Dean). The faculty discussed the possibility of having a civil track degree program within the Environmental Engineering program for students more interested in a more traditional water resources type education.


Week of November 16. 2015

  • GSA General Body Meeting : A graduate student panel consisting of Grace Panther, Fan Wu, Dennis Petersen, and Gustavo Albuquerque gave advice and shared their knowledge with other grad students. 
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting Not much was discussed. The organization and leadership of the graduate faculty meetings are being changed around a bit.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting No meeting


Week of November 9. 2015

  • GSA General Body Meeting : No meeting.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Discussed specific questions and answers that will go on a FAQ list for people applying to the Chemical Engineering graduate program.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting No meeting


Week of November 2. 2015

  • GSA General Body Meeting : A research presentation "Structure, energy, and dynamics in ultrastable glasses formed by physical vapor deposition" by Daniel Reid, a 2013 graduate of OSU's Chemical Engineering program and now a graduate student at the University of Chicago.  
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Discussed the awarding of the Grad Student Travel Award and the possibility of the GSA taking control of this in the future. Also talked about having graduate student applications reviewed by faculty in the student’s prospective research area so that there would be a better fit in the research interests of incoming graduate students with openings in research groups. Also discussed being more proactive in recruiting graduate students at conference recruitment fairs such as AIChE, ACS, and BMES. Lastly, the topic of the INTO program was brought up along with the need to alter it because many students are still struggling with the English required for the core graduate classes.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting Professors of the CBEE department would like the students opinions on how the workload for their GTA has been. Tell the GSA if you think you work more or less than your contracted hours. Do you feel having a TAship was a growing experience worth having? Did you find it prevented you from pursuing your research too much? Do you have any other comments or concerns?


Week of October 26. 2015

  • GSA General Body Meeting : Dr. Tyler Radniecki presented about job outlook in CBEE related fields. There are the most jobs for environmental engineers, but biological engineering is seeing the most growth. There are enough jobs available in all CBEE field that graduates can be employed relatively quickly if they are flexible with regard to location. Dr. Jair Lizarazo Adarme, research associate at the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute, recommends that international students start looking for jobs in the US one year before graduation due to the additional paperwork requirements and visa constraints. Job Outlook PPT Download
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Current second year Ph.D. students in chemical engineering will have the same format for the Qualifier Examination as last year, in agreement with the 2014-15 Graduate Student handbook. The written exam will take place over winter break and the oral presentation will take place during winter quarter. 


Week of October 19. 2015

  • GSA Meeting : Social Night at Mcmenamin's.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : No meeting
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : The faculty talked with Jim Sweeney about what was to be expected with the move to Johnson Hall. The history of the partnership between the Civil and Environmental Engineering departments at OSU was discussed along with how to re-develop some ties to the Civil program. This would allow a path for students looking for a more “Civil Engineering” focus in their degree as well as possibly establishing more collaboration in research in areas such as stormwater.


Week of October 12. 2015

  • GSA Meeting : Christina Smith (President of OSU’s American Society for Engineering Education) and Kristin Marshall (Winner of the College of Engineering Graduate Teaching Assistant Award) talked about skills of a good TA. We learned that to be a good TA, you should know the expectations of the professor and communicate with the professor, make sure you know the material, don’t give away the solutions, grade in a timely manner, and respect your students.
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : Discussed dividing up MEng students evenly over all faculty in terms of advising. Also talked about re-evaluating the way graduate student applications are reviewed and making a FAQ section on the CBEE website for people submitting graduate applications.
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : Discussed the situation of moving the Merryfield laboratory to Johnson and Gleeson once the new building is opened. Also discussed making the deadlines for Program of Study more consistent within the program.


Week of October 5. 2015

  • GSA Meeting : Discussed plans for the upcoming year and learned about the Graduate Student Association (GSA), Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE), and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
  • CHE Graduate Faculty Meeting : No meeting
  • ENVE Faculty Meeting : Discussed the dividing of advising for MEng students and the possibility of MEng students taking CBEE 507 in Winter/Spring for career development. Also talked about the need for drawing diversity to the program.