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Chemical engineering students participants in Chem-E Car Award competition

Nov. 1, 2012
by Rachel Griess

Students from CSU took third place for their poster in a competition among 32 schools in the Oct. 28 American Institute of Chemical Engineers International Student (AICHE) Chem-E-Car Competition in Pittsburgh, Penn.

This year's Chem-E car teamStudents were challenged to create a small autonomous car fueled by a chemical reaction.

Chevron-sponsored competition

The competition, sponsored by Chevron, allowed chemical engineering students across the country to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of safety and control of chemical reactions in a team-oriented, hands-on design and manufacturing of a small chemical powered model car.

The 2012 CSU AICHE National Competition Chem-E-Car team is composed of 16 students. Six attended the national competition in Pittsburgh - five ran the car on the competition floor, and one served as logistical coordinator. CSU placed third in the poster show segment of the competition.

Still, "this is one of the best teams that I have seen in this program,” said co-captain Andrew Pye.

The team’s current Chem-E-Car has been a progressive project for the past four years. The basic drive platform was developed two and a half years ago, though significant modifications have been required each year.

Chemically powered, self-propelled

“Our team has taken normal objects and turned them into a competitive chemically powered, self-propelled racing machine,” Pye said. “Its special features lie in the ingenuity of its design team, and the rigorous testing procedures that were carried out to ensure that we will come home with National recognition.”

The competition was broken up into two segments. The poster competition presentation gave teams the opportunity to describe the unique features of the car including the chemical reaction powering the car and environmental and safety features in the design. The performance competition allowed teams to demonstrate the car’s capabilities.

For the performance competition, teams were given two minutes for their car to carry as much as 500 milliliters of water as far as 30 meters. The required load and distance were revealed to teams one hour before the performance competition.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336