Student Organizations and Project Teams

Participating in student organizations and project teams is a great way to develop leadership skills, gain hands-on experience, and have fun with classmates, faculty, and staff.

Undergraduates in the Smith School are involved in a number of student organizations and teams across the College of Engineering and Cornell University.

The groups that CBE students often get involved with are the Cornell University ChemE Car project team and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Cornell Chapter.

Cornell University ChemE Car

Cornell ChemE Car logoCornell University ChemE Car is a student-run project team of around 50 members who compete to build model cars that are entirely operated by chemical reactions. The team was first formed in 2004 and has since won several first-place titles at regional and national conferences for the AIChE. ChemE Car holds a record number of national championships and took home gold in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2015.

The project team is open to all majors. In preparation for competitions, members work in smaller sub-teams to design and execute a specific car component. The goal of each car is to carry a certain load over a given distance—both parameters are undetermined until declared at the competition, so the cars must be extremely adaptable.

Learn more about Cornell University ChemE Car

Photo of the ChemE Car team with their car
The 2017 Cornell ChemE Car team at the AlChE Northeast Regional Conference

AIChE Cornell Chapter

AICHE LogoThe American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals with more than 60,000 members. AIChE aims to connect the world’s chemical engineers for personal and professional growth and act as a hub for tackling societal challenges with chemical engineering solutions. 

The AIChE Cornell Chapter supports social, professional, and philanthropic programming to strengthen Cornell’s chemical engineering community. The chapter meets quarterly and hosts group lunches and discussions throughout the year. Members also attend annual student conferences, participate in professional development and recruitment activities, and are eligible for

Learn more about AIChE resources for students

For information about membership in the Cornell Chapter, visit the AIChE student organization page and contact an officer.

Opportunities at Cornell and the College of Engineering

One of the greatest benefits of attending Cornell University as an undergraduate is taking advantage of its overlapping resources and extracurricular activities. Many chemical engineering students participate in college- or university-wide project teams and student organizations. 

College of Engineering project teams

The College of Engineering boasts nearly 30 project teams with more than 1,000 student participants. Project teams mimic real-world engineering scenarios and bring students, faculty, and staff together for the sake of team building and innovation. Many teams compete across the region, nation, and globe in engineering competitions and others work on service learning projects and programs.

ChemE Car is one such project team. Others teams are dedicated to sustainability, programming, robotics, design, healthcare, watersports, public service, and more. 

Learn more about Engineering Project Teams

Cornell University student organizations

The College of Engineering advises several student-run groups on topics ranging from video gaming and sustainable design to diversity and inclusion. Popular organizations for chemical and biomolecular engineering students include:

Outside of the College of Engineering, Cornell recognizes more than 1,000 student organizations. There’s something for everyone!

Explore Cornell’s student organizations