From October 14 through October 17, Bucknell Chemical Engineers (20 students in total) traveled to Minneapolis Minnesota to participate in the 2011 Annual Student Conference. Students participated in student chapter and career planning workshops, a graduate school fair, networking brunch, awards ceremony, a research poster competition, and the Chem-E-Car Competition. Thirteen students were there to present 12 different research posters in several categories of competition. Four students won awards including:
Material Enginering and Sciences
2nd Place - Steven Brouse
Food, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotechnology
2nd Place - Damon Vinciguerra
Honorable Mention - Katie Coney
2nd Place - Masha Zhdanova
As usual, one of the highlights of the conference was the National Chem-E-Car Competition. Last year, Bucknell's Chem-E-Car Team, sponsored by Air Products, earned Second Place in the National Competition in Salt Lake City. This year, the team modified their vehicle with a separate stopping mechanism from the reaction powering the car. Raw beef liver is liquified by a food processor and then the liver is used as a catalyst to the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. The oxygen gas expands a cylinder until a switch is triggered to cut power to the motor. The car is powered by a 10-stack hydrogen fuel cell. While the team performed well as usual, they did not place in the main distance competition where teams attempted to have their vehicles stop as close as possible to the target distance of 68 feet. The winning team from the University of Puerto Rico stopped their vehicle only 2 inches from the target distance. Bucknell was awarded the prize (trophy and $1,000) for "Best Use of Biological Reaction" for their novel stopping mechanism. The team plans to continue to modify their car in preparation for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference this April in New York City.
At the awards ceremony, Bucknell students Jayne Beckmann and Christopher Porter were recognized for winning the Freshman Recognition Award and the Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award respectively. Finally, for the third year, Bucknell's Student Chapter was honored with one of the 15 Outstanding Student Chapter Awards (out of over 150 student chapters nation-wide) presented annually to those student chapters that show an exceptional level of participation, enthusiasm, program quality, professionalism, and involvement in the university and community. The plaque was presented to Prof. Tim Raymond (AIChE Student Chapter Advisor) and Amanda Britton '12 (past student chapter President for year of the award).
Overlapping with the Annual Student Conference was the professional AIChE National Meeting which was attended by 8 Bucknell Chemical Engineering faculty who participated presenting papers, chairing sessions, and supporting the student chapter participants.
Additional information available at: http://chenected.aiche.org/students/2011-chem-e-car-results-are-in-slideshow/