May 10, 2006

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University's student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) brought back first- and second-place awards from the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Regional Student Conference.

Bucknell senior David Van Wagener took first place in the student paper competition. Finishing second in the ChemE Car Competition was the team of juniors Gavin MacInnes, Ben Rimai, and Christian Hubicki, sophomore Adam Catherman, and first-year student Brian Smith.

"We were pleased with the great success the students had in this competition," said Tim Raymond, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Bucknell and chapter adviser. "We hope to continue the momentum forward to next year, when Bucknell will host the AIChE Mid-Atlantic Regional Student Conference."

In the paper competition, Van Wagener took the top honors for his research talk on "Verifying Steady State Assumptions in Laboratory Microdialysis." Margot Vigeant, assistant professor of chemical engineering, was his research adviser. He will present the paper, along with eight other regional winners, during the AIChE annual meeting in San Francisco in November.

The ChemE car competition team had to design and construct a chemically powered vehicle within certain size constraints, and was told at the time of the competition the distance that the car was to travel and the specified cargo the vehicle had to carry. The team received a combined score based on distance traveled and creativity. The Bucknell team's car came within a little more than one foot from the target finish line on a 50-foot course.

"Multidisciplinary and multi-class-year teams are encouraged but are rare at this event," said Raymond. "Our team had students from three class years and three different disciplines."

The Bucknell ChemE car team also earned the right to compete at the national competition in November.

The chapter sent 14 students to participate and compete in the event, held at Penn State University. They were accompanied by Raymond, Vigeant, and Jeffrey Csernica, professor of chemical engineering. The Mid-Atlantic region is one of nine student regions in the nation.

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Story posted May 10, 2006

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