Chemical engineers again qualify for the national Chem-E-Car competition
June 24, 2015
For the third consecutive year, Virginia Tech's Chem-E-Car team has qualified for the finals of the Chem-E-Car competition.
The team will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, in November for the national competition.
This year's team finished third out of 15 teams in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition held at the University of Maryland during the spring semester.
The competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, tested the ability of the undergraduate team to design, build, and control a vehicle that is both powered and stopped by a chemical reaction.
The vehicles are required to be autonomous, travel a prescribed distance, and carry a given weight. The Virginia Tech team developed an environmentally friendly zinc-based battery that powered the vehicle and implemented an on-board computer control system to manage the vehicle systems.
Virginia Tech's strong showing followed a first place finish in the Mid-Atlantic regional competition in April of last year.
Virginia Tech's team consisted of two seniors: team leader Jessica Kersey, of Gloucester, Virginia, and technology leader Coogan Thompson of Grundy, Virginia; three juniors: Yining Hao, of Chengdu, China, Tyler Reif, of Reston, Virginia, and Rachel Crews of Chester, Virginia; and one sophomore: Bobby Hollingsworth, of Springfield, Virginia.
The team's faculty advisor is Peter B. Rim, the Joseph H. Collie Endowed Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech. Collie, a 1950 chemical engineering alumnus of Raleigh, North Carolina, provided the funding for Rim's professorship.
Chemical engineering alumnus Steve Cope of Exxon-Mobil provided financial support for the Chem-E-Car project.