CURIE: Catalyzing UR Interest in Engineering (ChemE)

For rising 10th-12th graders
July 25th – 29th, 2021

Summer 2021 Applications are closed.

2021 CURIE: Catalyzing UR Interest in Engineering schedule (Draft)

Chemical engineering is a discipline that is organized around producing useful materials by combining ideas from science and mathematics. In most cases, a chemical engineer takes a scientific process or discovery, and engineers it so that it can be made on a large scale. This makes the products produced by these processes more affordable. Because chemical engineers make food, clothes, power, medicines, and plastic on a large scale, they are cheaper for all of us! Camps have explored many exciting topics within chemical engineering, such as:

  • Working with big engineering equipment such adistillation towers in a chemical plant in a virtual interactive session with chemical engineers. 
  • Making plastics from scratch using an extruder machine. 
  • Video tours of chemical plants in Champaign-Urbana area.

These topics will be covered through online lectures, at-home activities, and interactive sessions with professors and students at the University of Illinois

2018 ChemE Campers
2018 ChemE Campers

Virtual camp activities will occur through these 3 processes:

  • LIVE sessions using video conferencing or webinar tools (e.g. Zoom).
  • AYC sessions or “at your convenience” will include videos, articles, and labs that will be accessed through a password-protected website.
  • Community Chat (e.g. GroupMe, Discord, Slack) will be accessible for any-time communication between campers, counselors, and course instructors.

Camp activities include:

  • Playing with Silly Putty to understand the physics of fluids. 
  • Playing computer games to understand protein function in our body. 
  • Understanding how engineers make large amounts of chemicals used in everyday products. 
  • Meeting with faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to learn about the chemical engineering discipline and research. 

Campers used to go on field trips to further understand concepts within chemical engineering and to witness how these topics apply to the real world. In the 2021 virtual camp, we plan to organize a virtual visit to local chemical plants such as Lyondellbasell Plant in Tuscola, IL, and Abbott Power Plant in Champaign, IL. We will learn first-hand experience about life in a chemical plant from engineers working on-site!

This year’s camp will include most of these topics and projects but is subject to change.

2018 ChemE Campers
2018 ChemE Campers

Camp Coordinator(s):

Dr. Diwakar Shukla is an assistant professor in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering. His research interests are in using computational methods to address chemical and biomolecular engineering problems. For extra information about Dr. Shukla from CHBE, go here.

From previous years

ChBE 2018 I-STEM Article

“This week we experienced many different lab activities, which were very hands-on and two of my favorite were the water filtration activity, where we filtered dirty water into clean water, and the crystal activity, where we learned about crystals and their properties. I liked experiencing this because I felt that I was able to understand the information and also apply it well, as an engineer would.” ~2019 ChemE camper