April 15, 2011

The LSU ChemE Car Team delivered a star-studded appearance at the AIChE Southern Regional Conference held April 1-3 in Atlanta. The team placed first in the poster competition and received a Golden Tire plaque for the most creative vehicle design. 

The students placed second in the car competition and clinched a spot in the 2011 AIChE Annual Student Conference, the national championship for the ChemE car performance competition. The conference is a four-day event, filled with career networking opportunities and student competitions, hosted by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The conference will be held in Minneapolis in October.   

The LSU car, “Heartburn,” used common chemicals as fuels, namely Alka-Seltzer tablets, vinegar and water. The CO2 generated by the reaction creates pressure, which drives the car engine. The team varied the number of Alka-Seltzer tablets used to control the distance that the car traveled. “Heartburn” stopped fix 6 feet from the target distance, just behind the Puerto Rico team, whose car finished about 1 foot from the target. 

The objective of the car performance competition is to provide chemical engineering students with the opportunity to participate in a team-oriented, hands-on design and construction of a small, chemical-powered model car. Team members must design and construct a car that is powered with a chemical energy source that will carry a specified load over a given distance and then stop.

The poster competition requires students to display a poster that describes how the car is powered using a chemical reaction, the unique features of the car, and environmental and safety features in the design.

 “I had a fun time working with my team mates,” said Khiet Mai, junior, chemical engineering and team captain. “Everyone was very dedicated and put a lot of effort into the car. We were very happy that "Heartburn" clinched second place. Our efforts and hard work paid off.” 

Team members included: Khiet Mai, captain, Baton Rouge, La.; Adesua Eigbe, Nigeria; Taylor James-Lightner, Little Rock, Ark.; Aaron Senegal, Lafayette, La.; Lindsey Compton, Centennial, Colo.; Amit Mishra, Lake Charles, La.; Roshan Pandey – Nepal; Jeffrey Stansbury, Hammond, La.; Nicholas Virgets, Denham Springs, La.; Allison Belgard, Baton Rouge, La.; and Daniel Osorio, Colombia.  Assistant professor in the Gordon A. & Mary Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, Francisco Hung, served as the team’s faculty advisor.

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For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092.



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