Undergraduate Student Life

Course 1 students are very engaged beyond the classroom as well, and the department sponsors student groups, activities, and competitions to promote community, foster relationships, and provide opportunities to apply the skills learned to real world problems in a very hands-on way.

CEESA

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter at MIT, known as CEESA (Civil and Environmental Engineering Student Association), strives to uphold the values of excellence in academic and professional environments. Through service projects, educational programs, and social functions, CEESA aims to foster a vibrant and supportive community that enables every student to reach his or her highest potential. Contact CEESA at: ceesa-exec@mit.edu

The CEESA Leadership Team is:

Chelsea Watanabe | President
Chelsea is a junior in the materials and mechanics track with a minor in finance (15-3), interested in urban development and real estate investment. She was born in Japan but grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas to a multicultural, trilingual household. Her passion for sustainable urban design stems from visiting family in both Taiwan and in Japan, especially after the 2010 earthquake-tsunami disaster that affected her grandfather’s hometown in Tohoku. At MIT, Chelsea participated in CEESA exec last year as Professional Networking Chair and is looking forward to expanding her role within the Course 1 community. Beyond CEE, she is a member of Women Business Leaders (WBL), DJ’s her own radio show called “Founders Couch” on the local WMBR 88.1FM station, and is active in the Christian community on campus. She has also UROP’ed for the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub and is currently working with the Real Estate Innovation Lab within the MIT Center for Real Estate. In her free time, you can find her making ceramics in the student center, playing tennis, taking photos for her personal photography website, or baking gluten-free banana bread in McCormick.

Zach Roberts | Treasurer
Zach is a junior in the Materials and Mechanics track with a minor in Statistics & Data Science. On campus, he is an outfielder on the Baseball team and a member of the Club Golf team. He is also involved in the Course 1 FPOP, Camp Kesem, the Little Beavers Running Program, and MIT Intramurals as a league manager and referee. When not in school, he loves staying active, cheering on Philadelphia sports, and flying drones as a commercial pilot. In the future, Zach would like to pursue Structural Engineering.

Claire Holley | Professional Network Chair
Claire is a junior in the Mechanics and Materials track with a minor in Architecture, interested in the intersection of structural engineering and creative design. She grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and has become enamored with all kinds of buildings by traveling to various places throughout the world. Outside of class, she is co-captain of the MIT Club Tennis Team and a member of the UA Public Affairs Committee. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, IMDb, and random Wikipedia pages, as well as playing tennis and exploring the food of Boston. Claire would like to be a structural engineer and also an architect and figure out how to combine both disciplines.

Aron Brenner | Faculty Liaison
Aron is a junior in the systems engineering track interested in transportation, resilient infrastructure, smart cities, and international development. He has lived in San Antonio, Texas for most of his life, but he cultivated an interest in development and infrastructure from visiting family in China and exploring Shanghai. Outside of CEE, Aron is studying mathematics with applications to systems engineering. He enjoys cooking, studying history, wearing CEE accessories, and playing guitar, bass and piano.

Marcin Hajduczek | Social Chair
Marcin is a sophomore in the materials and mechanics tracks with a minor in business management (15-1). Before coming to MIT, he lived in New York City his whole life in the city’s ethnically Polish enclave. His interest in project management, design and infrastructure stems from seeing those projects come to life all over New York, especially when put in contrast to the engineering backwardness that his parents grew up surrounded by in Communist Poland. At MIT, Marcin has played intramural tennis and organized CPW and REX events for his living group New House 3. Some of his most memorable experiences at MIT have come through Course 1, including the ONE-MA3 and TREX trips to Italy and Hawaii, respectively. In his free time, Marcin enjoys both playing and watching tennis, playing the piano, and taking walks around Boston with friends. He’s looking forward to getting to know the Course 1 community even better through the upcoming social events this year.

Stephanie Baez | Community Engagement Chair
Stephanie is a sophomore in the Mechanics & Materials track, with a potential minor in Materials Science & Engineering. Born in the Dominican Republic, Stephanie’s family immigrated to New York City when she was four years old. Having witnessed diverse forms of infrastructures throughout the D.R. and NYC, she entered MIT with an interest in structural engineering and its intersections with social dynamics, equity, and culture. Stephanie has been heavily involved in her residential community Spanish House, as well as LUCHA within the Latino Cultural Center, and has participated in the ONE-MA3 program. She enjoys music, dancing, traveling, watching movies, and spending time with friends.

Professor Jesse Kroll | CEESA Faculty Advisor
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering/Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

Chi Epsilon

The Chi Epsilon Student Chapter is another active student group within the department. The students participating in this chapter are involved in:
  • Providing additional academic help to students who request individual tutoring.
  • Attending the bi-annual Chi Epsilon National Conclave.
  • Inviting speakers on topics related to civil and environmental engineering.
  • Holding an initiation banquet for new members.

Chi Epsilon is also represented at the CEE Open Houses where they provide information to students about CEE student life, the academic program, and Chi Epsilon activities.

Competitions

The department supports several Institute club competitions that engage and connect with Course 1 students.

Water Prize

MIT’s Water Club hosts several water related events annually. As the department has several students active in this club – both in leadership roles and as members – we are proud to be one of the sponsors for the Water Innovation Prize.

MIT Energy Hackathon

In Spring 2015, three CEE graduate students came up with the concept of the Clean Earth Hack competition to take on environmental challenges from industry and academic partners. The second year of the competition brought a new host, MIT’s Energy Club, and a new name, MIT Energy Hackathon.

Video Competition

Based on the premise that students and postdocs must be able to clearly articulate their work, and the importance of their research in a short time frame the department runs an annual competition for videos that are two minutes or less. The competition always cumulates in a viewing party and all entries are viewable on Youtube.