In late October, students from CECS traveled to Minneapolis to represent the College at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Mentored by Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Dr. Bradley Harris, the students participated in conference presentations and meetings,  and “scored” in the Chem E Car and poster competitions.

The seven member UTC Chem E Car team finished 14th overall in a competitive field of 42 teams, and despite a problem related to the stopping reaction of the car, came away with new ideas for next year’s car and well-deserved pride in their efforts.  Teams from CECS have gone to the national competition five out of the last seven years, and have proven their ability to meet the challenge of designing and fabricating a car powered and stopped by chemical reactions, that must “fit” into a shoe box.

Hiroshi “Chantz” Yanagida

At the national meeting, Mechanical Engineering Honors Student Hiroshi “Chantz” Yanagida placed third in the Materials Science Division of the AIChE poster contest with the presentation of his research conducted in the summer of 2017 as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in partnership with Tennessee Tech University.  “Chantz’s” research project was “3D Printing an Optically Transparent Part for use in Sensors.” Also presenting a poster in Minneapolis was UTC Chemical Engineering student Olivia George, whose project focused on her research project entitled, “Targeting and Killing Melanoma Cancer Using Photoactivated Nanoparticles.”

In commenting on the experience of participating in the four days of career networking, social events, and competitions afforded by attending this year’s AIChE national meeting, Cooper Thome, UTC chapter president and senior Honors Chemical Engineering student said, “I think this was a really great experience for everyone. There are so many different opportunities at these conferences, and I think every student that went benefited in some fashion. Also, it’s just really fun to explore new places with friends from UTC.”

The UTC Chem-E-Car Team meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 P.M. You can get involved or follow along with their activities at their Facebook page.

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