Program Chair Duties

These are the duties of the Program Chair of the Chemical Engineering Division of ASEE.  This document should be updated by the incoming Division Chair and shared with the newly appointed Program Chair.  It provides information and timelines on activities that the Program Chair should follow. Further information on ASEE and general society or conference programmatic issues should be obtained from ASEE Headquarters Staff.

The Program Chair is typically appointed at least one year, and preferably two years prior to the ASEE Annual Meeting that they will be responsible for programming. This document shows how the program chair is active 1 ½ years before the conference at which they will be in charge of programming.


November (1 ½ years before Program)

Program Chair attends the Executive Committee Meeting held at the AIChE Annual Conference.  Typically this meeting is a “brown bag” lunch meeting held in the Monday lunch time slot.

March (15 months before Program)

Program Chair prepares call for papers for May/June PRISM, and emails it to the ASEE contact in charge of conference programming. Currently, this is Wayne Davis (

June (1 year before Program)

The Program Chair should:

  • Attend ASEE meeting (including Executive Comm Mtg & Business Mtg)
  • Ask for reviewers, moderators, and workshop proposals at meeting
  • Have social chair (for dinner arrangement) committed for following year
  • At the business meeting, solicit reviewers for the abstracts (14 minimum when assigning 2 reviewers to each abstract) and session chairs for next year.

July (11 months before Program)

  • Call for papers for September PRISM

August (10 months before Program)

Send out reminder (via the Division Chair) to members, reminding them to submit abstracts and workshop proposals.  Workshop proposals will go through SmoothPaper and are usually available by mid-August.  The chair submits the workshop proposals and forwards the proposals to ASEE, the PIC Chair, and the Vice President of PICs.

September (9 months before Program)

The Program Chair should:

  • Send out 2nd reminder (via the Division Chair) to members, reminding them to submit abstracts and workshop proposals.
  • Social chair should have some final plan for the banquet

October (8 months before Program)

This is a busy month. Please verify all Program Chair responsibilities in the “Program Chair Kit” available on the ASEE web site. This kit explains how to do everything a program chair and author would need for the upcoming ASEE meeting.

The items to be performed during this month include:

  • Abstracts due
    • Assign papers to reviewers (next day)
    • Reviews must be finished to meet session requests
  • Session requests due – Titles and Descriptions needed along with estimated attendance. Need to request business meetings sessions, posters sessions, etc.  Titles and descriptions can be changed later.
  • Request social functions (Executive Committee Meeting, Division Awards Dinner, Department Chairs Meeting, and Business Meeting)
  • Workshop proposals submitted through SmoothPaper

November (7 months before Program)

This is also a busy month for the Program Chair.

  • Remind abstract reviewers to submit their reviews as soon as possible
  • Attend ASEE ChE Division Executive Committee Mtg @ AIChE Mtg to give update to everyone & recruit session moderators and judges
  • Determine judging assignments for ASEE Annual Meeting
    • Current and future program chair are in charge of the poster session
    • Awards chair in charge of Lectureship session
    • Martin Award – (best paper and presentation at Annual Meeting) – need 3 judges, including Program Chair
    • Best poster award – need 3 judges
  • Finalize ticket prices
    • dinner historically $65
    • workshops ($35 – $60) need to cover $25/person + AV costs
  • Finalize session titles and descriptions (helpful to have arrangement of papers into preliminary categories even though they cannot be officially assigned to sessions yet)
  • Workshop descriptions must be reduced to 150 words or less.

December (6 months before Program)

  • Obtain sessions from ASEE. Adjust your vision of the program accordingly.
  • Can reassign abstracts to other divisions (this is rarely done).
  • Deadline to accept/reject abstracts. (It may be helpful to categorize into presentation/poster categories, especially since session titles & descriptions need to be finalized 1 week later.)

January (5 months before Program)

In this month you spend a lot of time hoping that external reviews will be completed.

  • Draft of papers due. Assign reviewers to papers (give them 3 weeks to complete reviews).  Usually get two reviewers per paper. Have someone available to perform additional review if some reviewers do not perform their reviews.

February (4 months before Program)

  • This will be the deadline to have final session titles and descriptions, social event details, workshop details, and AV details.
  • The Program Chair is the Chair the Martin Awards Committee for best paper, unless there is a conflict of interest.  Send papers to other committee members.
  • Deadline to notify authors of paper status (accepted/revise/reject).
  • Remind authors of deadlines to have final paper submitted.
  • Finalize moderators for sessions

March (3 months before Program)

  • Deadline for decision on papers “accepted pending changes”.  This is the last opportunity to change title names.
  • Copyright transfer forms/paper fee due.
  • Proceedings charge deadline.
  • Author registration deadline.
  • Failing to pay proceedings or register for the conference may result in the author’s paper being dropped from the program. Folks will wait until the last minute, so remind them of the deadlines early and often!
  • New Program Chair prepares call for papers for May/June PRISM, and emails it to the ASEE contact in charge of conference programming. Currently, this is Wayne Davis (

April (2 months before Program)

  • Obtain count for banquet (this is often done by local arrangments chair)
  • Prepare overview of ChE sessions and send to ChE members
  • Have moderators obtain bios for presenters.

May (1 months before Program)

  • Housing deadline

June (0 months before Program)

  • Finally relax and enjoy the program.
  • Attend ChE Executive Committee and ChE Business Meeting.
  • Attend Martin Award nominee’s presentations
  • Select Martin Award winner in conjunction with other judges

July (1 months after Program)

  • Call for papers for September PRISM