Eric Snider, senior chemical engineering student, placed first overall at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Southern Regional Conference in the research paper competition. As a result, he will be one of nine students nationwide to compete in the AIChE national competition in October in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
There were 20 other entries in the research competition from universities including Georgia Tech, Tennessee Tech, Clemson University, and Auburn University. Competitors are asked to give a 20-minute presentation on original research in chemical engineering. Snider’s presentation, Catalyst Studies with Implications on the Design and Fabrication of Microreactors, was performed with Dr. Frank Jones’ microreactor research group. This research, completed for Snider’s departmental honors thesis, is focused on producing biodiesel using novel solid metal oxide catalysts and microreaction technology. Microreactors have many advantages over conventional industrial methods, including faster processing times and higher product purity. In October 2011, Snider presented this work in a poster competition in Minneapolis for the AIChE National Conference. He earned a second place award in the catalysis and reactor design section. “The opportunity to present at a second national conference and having my research be viewed as award-winning is a great honor and will help me immensely as I continue my studies this fall in graduate school,” Snider said. Snider will begin pursuing his doctorate in biomedical engineering next fall at Georgia Tech and Emory University.