SEM welcomes all engineers


Lexi Larson

"SEM is a place where I feel welcomed and find the atmosphere always accepting for all different people of different majors." - Izak Sosa

After nearly two years of living in a pandemic, registered student organizations (RSOs) have had to change, in many ways, how they operate. Despite these challenges, SEM is still doing the great work that they always have been.

One project the team finished up during summer 2021 was the parallel bar set they built to help an alumnus by aiding his mobility. (Read more about this work here.)

Another project that SEM took on during the past year was completing peer reviews of the schedules of incoming freshman. This project helped, in a fun and personable way, many incoming students figure out what classes to take. An added benefit to this project was that the team worked with various high schools, discussing engineering at the University of Illinois, helping inform potential incoming students about what Grainger Engineering has to offer.

To the enjoyment of SEM members, the team was also able to host social events for the first time in a long time this year. These events included a fundraising dinner party with professors of the MechSE Department for Habitat for Humanity. The team also hosted other events for people within and outside the engineering mechanics major to network, including a formal black-tie event, among other events.

SEM was also able to continue their connections with companies this year. The team was also able to host various company events this past year, such as one with Milwaukee Tool and another one with Alpha Controls.

Coming back to an in-person semester, SEM was able to use their new skills learned during the pandemic and implement them in-person, making the team more effective. When everything was virtual SEM created a discord server for its members to use for project organization. As the team transitioned to a post-COVID era, SEM transformed the discord server from project-based, to a community portal for members to get in contact with alumni, other peers, and get updated information on what is going on.

Students in SEM work on a variety of things. Some work on projects that were pre-made by the project leads or developed on their own. Others help develop and attend social events to promote networking opportunities. And other students work with the outreach group to help promote UIUC engineering and the MechSE. department around campus and the world.

SEM has traditionally been a small RSO within the Grainger College of Engineering but has potential to create large change. SEM has many students under the engineering mechanics major, but also has students who are other majors. A membership that cuts across college lines has a place for anyone in their club.

This year, SEM has three current projects they’re working on: a fire-fighting quadcopter, an RC car, and a free-value project. Interested in learning more about these projects and getting involved with SEM? Fill out this google form or email Anthony R. Valiaveedu, the president of SEM.