Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Official blog of the Lehigh University Chemical Engineers

Spring Break

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This past week marked the midpoint in the spring semester, and also happened to be spring break at Lehigh. Even though campus was barren, I still had a lot on my mind in regards to classes and this summer. The week off, however, provided relief and gave me a chance to put my feet up. I was able to spend time with my family and friends from high school, relax, and thankfully caught up on some sleep. Although it didn’t feel like spring break (the thermometer didn’t reach the 50’s), I’m glad the break came when it did but I’m looking forward to returning to South Mountain on Sunday.

Due to the snow days and several missed classes earlier in the semester, classes are going to move at a slightly accelerated pace. With a finite amount of time left, professors need to cover a certain amount of material and ensure students understand everything required for the class. I had several exams the week before Spring break and have at least one exam next week when we get back to school. I’ve had to study a little over break and start some homework to make sure the work doesn’t stack up when I get back to campus.

I had a BIOS and ECE exam the week before break, so I haven’t had lecture in those classes for awhile. In ECE, we just started talking about capacitors and inductors. The introduction of these elements to circuits forces you to consider time when examining a circuit problem, thus we will be using time derivatives. Several BIOS classes were canceled due to the snow, so lectures have been fast-paced and full of information. The last topic we covered was cell membranes/bilayers. I had my first thermo exam two weeks ago and it went pretty well; we have just started talking about the thermodynamics of fluids. Organic chem 2 has also really picked up. We are in the midst of covering the two most difficult chapters of the semester. There are a ton of reactions and mechanisms to learn and understand. The next couple weeks of classes aren’t going to be as tranquil as spring break has been.

Apart from schoolwork, I am anxiously awaiting to find out the decision on all of my REU applications. As you might have read in my earlier posts, I applied to several REU programs for this summer. REU stands for research experience for undergraduates, and basically I will hopefully live at another college and work on a research project with a professor and graduate students. I’ve already heard from two programs this week, and will hopefully hear from all of them by the end of next week. I was not accepted into the Vanderbilt program but was accepted in the University of Kentucky program. However, I was only given a week to confirm or deny acceptance into the program. Without hearing from all the schools about their decision, I was hesitant to commit to Kentucky. It also is very far away from where I live and I would have to purchase plane tickets and other travel expenses. I ultimately decided to decline the program and I desperately hope I am accepted into one of the other programs I applied to. Hopefully the decision doesn’t come back to haunt me. All in all, I’m ready to get back in the swing of school. I can’t believe in seven weeks I’ll be halfway down with college. It really is crazy to think about.


Author: Ben Dunmire

I am a sophomore Chemical Engineering major at Lehigh. On campus, I am the president of Club Baseball and a member of AIChE and NSCS. Outside of school, I enjoy the outdoors, fishing, and any type of athletic activity. You can reach me at

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