Chemical engineering teams bring home awards

September 27, 2013

ANGOLA, Ind. – For the second straight year, Trine University students in the McKetta Department of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering have won a national design award. Chemical engineering students have been national design award winners for six out of the past seven years.

Greg Diefenthaler and Aury Keller won first place for their design. The topic for the 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) design competition was "Comparison of Bio-Mass to Bio-Oils Reactor Systems – Direct Conversion vs. Companion Coal Gasification" and focused on using alternative sources to make a diesel fuel substitute. Diefenthaler and Keller worked on this project for 30 days during the 2013 spring semester. The duo also won the Safety and Health Divisions Inherent Safer Design award.

"I am proud that a team from Trine again claimed the top prize in the competition," said VK Sharma, dean of the Allen School of Engineering & Technology. "Trine's strong showing at the competition demonstrates our students' ability to apply their knowledge and skills. We expect great accomplishments by our students and they have not let us down."

The reports were submitted to AIChE late in the 2013 spring semester and judging for the competition was completed Sept. 20. The students will receive their award and present their solution at the Annual Conference of AIChE in San Francisco on Nov. 3 and 4.

Diefenthaler and Keller graduated in May. Diefenthaler, of Graytown, Ohio, is employed at Iron Dynamics in Butler. Keller, of Woodburn, is employed at Shambaugh & Sons in Fort Wayne.

In addition, the team of Tyler Boscoe, of Gouverneur, N.Y.; Robert Mauck, of Elkhart; and Mitch Wyss, of New Haven, recently won the Safety and Chemical Engineering Education award for Inherently Safer Design.

Boscoe and Wyss graduated in May. Boscoe is employed by Chrysler Corp. and Wyss is working in the McKetta Department of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering. Mauck is a senior at Trine and plans to attend medical school next year.

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