College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

For Jedidiah Chukwusom connections and community are chemical engineering catalysts

Jedidiah Chukwusom

Clubs and activities: President of National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCCHE), Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF), Chemical Engineering Learning Community Peer Mentor, student representative for the Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, undergraduate research assistant, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, ALD-PES Honor Society

Valuable hands-on learning opportunities: My two internships and research experience. I was an operations and engineering intern at Ascertain LLC, in Boone, Iowa, a process development intern at Renewable Energy Group in Ames, and an undergraduate research assistant with Brent Shanks, Distinguished Professor of chemical and biological engineering and director of the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals.

These experiences really helped me define where I wanted to start my career. I learned from a large number of academics and professionals and formed connections that will be extremely beneficial for my career.

Leaving my mark on the world: I want to really strive to increase interest in STEM in underrepresented communities by developing a connection between companies, communities and schools.

I feel there is an opportunity to have a network for the youth to learn about engineering and use that to guide their K-12 education and then to foster that development in college by having strong company involvement in mentorship and character building.

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer: Cyclone Engineering is a community feeling and ease of networking. I have been able to take part in so many opportunities because of how willing everyone is to work together and communicate. Often a simple email opens a door that I could never imagine it could open.

My words of wisdom for fellow Cyclone Engineering students would be to work on learning how to communicate with new people. One of the most beneficial aspects of my college career was my willingness to network with anyone.

Making connections opened up many doors for me, and I would never have been able to reach the level of success that I have without pushing myself to find the people who could help me. I would recommend finding an upperclassman that you admire and seek out their mentorship, and you can learn so much about their successes and failures and use that to your benefit.