Armour College of Engineering Students Expand Engineering Knowledge and Network at Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy


(Left to Right), Svetlana Taylor, (ChE 5th year), Cong Zhang (MAE Graduate Student), and Yusra Saad Sarhan (BME/ChE 4th year)

Three students from Armour College of Engineering were accepted into the intensive Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) 2016: Nexus. The class included 40 students from 22 institutions across the United States. The program was hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago and co-sponsored by the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER) at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Armour students Yusra Saad Sarhan (BME/ChE 4th year), Svetlana Taylor, (ChE 5th year), and Cong Zhang (MAE Graduate Student), were among a cohort who spent two weeks exploring the relationship between energy and water, focusing on environmental and agricultural impacts. The group took part in site visits to Argonne National Laboratory and UI Lab as well as learned about cutting edge sustainable energy technologies.

“The SISE curriculum focused on connecting the different areas of engineering and looking at everything as a system, learning how all the different pieces connect to each other was extremely valuable,” shares Taylor. The course also made apparent how broad and rapidly changing the area of sustainability is, “This definitely forced me to think about sustainability from a different angle. It’s not about what I know; it’s about what you are willing to learn,” says Sarhan.

Bringing together professionals and academics, the course also provided an excellent environment for networking. “I got to know all of the participants of the program. Among them were working professionals. One of my team members works at Argonne National Lab,” states Taylor. “I handed my business card to many people in the energy and sustainability sector and I also received a lot of business cards which I will use to contact potential employers. Now, I have a wider perspective as to where my engineering skills will be useful,” adds Sarhan.

View photos of the students’ experience at SISE 2016.