The 2014 CHBE Chem E Car team travelled to Pullman, WA this April to compete in the Pacific Northwest Regional Chem-E-Car competition. The competition was hosted by Washington State University.
This year’s team was composed of CHBE and APSC students Joel Kumlin (CHBE 3rd; Captain chem + mech), Norvin Ng (CHBE 4th; Captain: elec + finance), Adam Johnson (CHBE 4th), Colleen Chau (CHBE 3rd), Ruben Govindarajan (CHBE 3rd), Abhi Kamble (APSC 1st), Anant Sumaria (APSC 1st), Johnson Liu (APSC 1st), Kirsten Meng (APSC 1st), Timothy Tan (SCIE 1st). The graduate student supervisor was Andrew Wang and the sponsoring faculty member was CHBE’s Dr. Elod Gyenge.
The team placed first out of five teams and qualified for the National Chem-E-Car competition to be held in November, 2014 in Atlanta, GA where they will compete with the 32 other top teams in North America.
The Chem E Car challenge is aimed at providing chemical engineering students with the opportunity to participate in a team- oriented hands-on design project to construct a small model car. The car must be powered with a chemical energy source and be capable of carrying a specified load over a given distance before coming to a stop. The idea behind this is for the teams to demonstrate their ability to safely control a chemical reaction by changing the chemical reactant(s).
The CHBE car was powered by zinc-air batteries using air MnOx cathodes by Gaskatel housed in student designed casings. The team improved on last years’ iodine clock reactor to allow for continuous stirring to improve chemical timing. Printed circuit boards were manufactured to ensure that the electronic connections were more robust. Our winning car design stopped 39.5 cm away from the finish line on its first run. The team collaborated with UBC Rapid (another student team) to 3D print many of the cars components designed by Chem-E-Car members.
Such activities enrich our students experience and cultivate team building and leadership skills which are valued by industry. We wish the team continued success in their upcoming competition.