December 4, 2009

LSU American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Chem-E Car Team earned third place overall in the 2009 national competition. The event took place November 7-8 in Nashville, TN, in conjunction with the 2009 AIChE Annual Meeting. The LSU Chem-E car, Swamp Thing, also took home the prize for Most Consistent Performance as well as the Golden Tire Award for the most creative vehicle design. Northeastern University placed first and the University of Puerto Rico came in second.

ChE students making up team Swamp Thing for the national competition were: Matt Daniel, Kirk Rollins, Angela Juncker, and Ryan Pazdera. Assistant professor in the Gordon A. & Mary Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, Francisco Hung, served as the team's faculty advisor.

Chevron sponsored the national Chem-E Car competition this year. Student teams designed and built a chemically powered vehicle while adhering to specific size and constraint specifications. Team members also had to keep in mind a specified cargo for the car. Competition officials tell the teams the exact distance the car must travel. The winner is established based on the correct distance travelled and the creativity used in the design.

Team member Matt Daniel said: "There's a lot of learning and growth that comes with designing and fabricating a model car that runs off of a non-conventional fuel source. Making sure everything falls into place takes countless hours of working with others to get the job done. The success of the team is no easy task, as there are many obstacles in preparing for each competition; however, we've developed a strong foundation as a team and hope to continue to make LSU proud in the future."

Team member Kirk Rollins added: "I feel that my involvement in the chemical engineering car team has added a tremendous amount of value to my education at LSU. I feel that through this competition I have become better equipped with team-working, problem solving, and management skills - all traits that I would have had less exposure to if it weren't for this competition."

The LSU AIChE has placed at the regional competition the past three years (2007, 2008, 2009) and at the national event the past two years (2008, 2009), in addition to placing at the only international competition they've attended (2009).

Once again, the College of Engineering commends its students for putting so much time and hard work into engineering extracurricular activities and congratulates them for placing well in regional as well as national competitions.


Article by Colette Burke, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • Reddit