Faculty Mentoring

The chemical engineering department at Penn State provides a supportive environment for new junior faculty members. We make it a priority to provide sufficient start-up funds, lab space, student support, and mentoring so that new faculty members can be successful. Regarding mentoring, new junior faculty members will be matched with a more senior colleague, who will serve as a formal mentor. In addition, the department head is also engaged in mentoring new assistant professors, as are other faculty members, through a process that is more organic than prescribed.

Formal Faculty Mentor

  • General resource for the new faculty member.
  • Meets regularly with protégé to ask and answer questions about getting started, recruiting students, building a lab, interacting with students in the classroom, integrating teaching and research, navigating Penn State systems, etc.
  • Advocates for new faculty member with administration as needed.
  • Helps new faculty member make connections within Penn State and the profession.
  • Provides feedback on proposals, manuscript drafts, etc., as desired.

Mentoring by Department Head

  • Meets monthly with the assistant professors as a group, typically over lunch. Discusses teaching, networking, research funding, working with students, etc.
  • Provides funds for new faculty members to attend teaching workshops and other professional development opportunities.
  • Pairs the new faculty member with an experienced teacher for team teaching during their first year.
  • Regular individual meetings can be are arranged as desired to discuss research ideas, where to publish, potential research sponsors, etc.
  • Reviews drafts of proposals and provides feedback.
  • Annual performance reviews.
  • Biannual reviews as part of the P&T process.

Mentoring by Other Faculty

  • Direct mentoring from good teachers via team teaching assignments.
  • Discussions with previous instructors of their assigned courses provides mentoring on teaching approaches and course structure.
  • Peer evaluation of teaching each semester as part of P&T process.
  • Proposal and manuscript review by faculty members in their research area as requested.
  • Discussions about research, networking, and potential collaborations with faculty members in their research area.


The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2574