UConn Places First in AIChE “ChemE Car” Poster Competition

On April 13th and 14th, thirteen UConn Chemical Engineering students took part in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Regional Conference at UMass-Amherst.

While at the conference, the students participated in AIChE’s ChemE Car competition. This competition challenges students to build a car that can travel between 15 and 30 meters, carrying anywhere between 0 and 500 grams. Students are not told the exact numbers until the day of the competition, at which time they are allowed to make minor adjustments to suit the requirements. The competition’s rules stipulate that the car must be autonomous, powered by chemical reaction, and without mechanical or electrical brakes. In addition to the car, each group creates a poster explaining their car—the chemical reaction that powers it, stopping mechanism, safety features, design, circuitry, and special features. The UConn team, advised by Dr. William Mustain, placed first of nine teams in this poster competition.

This was the first time UConn has sent a car to compete at the conference. Though the UConn group’s car, named “Harold Chegger,” did not place in the competition, the team is all very pleased with its performance. The group is looking forward to refining the car for competition next year.

In addition to participating in the competition, the group was invited by Governor Malloy to present their car at the Next Gen CT news conference, held on April 11th. The event highlighted the growing support among industry, legislature, faculty, and students for the Next Generation Connecticut initiative. This proposal would support UConn’s expansion in the STEM (science, technology, math, and engineering) disciplines.