Missouri S&T Chem-E-Car wins regional competition

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On April 21, 2014

The 2014 Chem-E-Car.

The 2014 ChemE Car design.

The 2014 ChemE Car design.

Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Chem-E-Car Design Team earned first place at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ 2014 Mid-America Regional Conference, held April 11-12 at the University of Iowa.

Missouri S&T competed against 13 other collegiate teams from eight universities at the conference. The team earned a spot at the national competition on Nov. 16, in Atlanta.

The Chem-E-Car competition challenged teams to design a build a chemically powered shoebox-sized car that uses a chemical reaction to travel a target distance while carrying a pre-established load. This year’s competition required the cars to travel 62.99 feet while carrying 6.7 ounces of water.

The Missouri S&T car, named “The Hour Strikes XII,” finished 1.5 feet from the target. It is powered by a homemade six-cell lead-acid battery. The braking system is controlled using photons from a chemiluminescent reaction, a mixture of luminol and bleach which acts as a stop and start mechanism, which triggers a relay that connects the battery and the motor. Team members had to calculate the average velocity of the car and then determine the volume of the chemical solution required to activate the braking system.

Kenneth Mucalo, a senior in chemical engineering from St. Louis, is the Chem-E-Car team leader. Dr. Daniel Forciniti, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at S&T, is the Chem-E-Car team advisor.

The following students participated at the competition:

Kristian Branscum, a senior in chemical engineering from La Monte, Mo., as AlChE historian

Kenneth Mucalo, a senior in chemical engineering from St. Louis, as Chem-E-Car president

Folabomi Opakunle, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Blue Springs, Mo.

Chris Palmer, a senior in chemical engineering from St. Peters, Mo., as Chem-E-Car build officer

Shayan Sazdar, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Chesterfield, Mo., Chem-E-Car solution officer

Amy Snyder, a senior in chemical engineering from Rolla, Mo., Chem-E-Car safety officer.

The other members of the Chem-E-Car team include:

Nathan Breshears, a junior in chemical engineering from St. Peters, Mo.

Thomas     Burke, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Kearney, Mo.

Brady Campbell, a junior in chemical engineering from Carl Junction, Mo.

Michael Clemons, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Ballwin, Mo.

Jonathan Colaric, a senior in chemical engineering from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Robert Evans, a senior in electrical engineering from Neosho, Mo.

Micah Horsch, a freshman in chemical engineering from Springfield, Mo.

Aaron Latal, a sophomore in chemical engineering from St. Louis.

Michael McMahon, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Collinsville, Ill.

Carl Nelson, a senior in mechanical engineering from St. Louis.

Julie Nguyen, a senior in chemical engineering from St. Louis.

Colin Schulz, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Grafton, Wis.

Melissa Vidal, a senior in chemical engineering from Pozuelo de Alarcón, Spain

Lauren Weil, a senior in chemical engineering from Hecker, Ill.

Mathias Whitworth, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Mexico, Mo.

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