Trine chemical engineering students participate in regional competition

APRIL 20 -- Last weekend 14 Trine University chemical engineering students travelled to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for the 2016 AIChE Student North-Central Regional Conference. 

In addition to attending various seminars and talks, students competed in the research poster, Jeopardy and chemical engineering car competitions. Trine students were awarded several high honors.

Senior Jennifer Jackemeyer was awarded second place in the poster competition for her honors research project titled “Lactic Acid Production: Using Lactobacillus to Redesign a Lab Experiment.”

The Trine Jeopardy team earned top honors, finishing first out of 15 schools in a bracket-style competition. The team consisted of seniors Jackemeyer and Lucas Krupp, juniors Joshua Marty and Nicole Walters, and sophomore alternate Madison Fain. Questions were primarily related to chemical engineering courses but also included grab-bag categories such as pop culture and geography.

After three rounds of competition, the Trine team ended with $5,200 compared to Notre Dame’s $1,600 and the University of Toledo’s negative $2,700. The team’s first place finish qualifies them to compete in the National Finals in San Francisco this fall.

For the chemical engineering car contest, students were required to design a remote control-sized car that runs and stops using a chemical reaction. The team designed a magnesium-air battery as the power source with an iodine clock reaction for the stopping mechanism. One hour prior to the competition, the car was given a distance requirement of 19.5 meters and a load requirement of 195 grams. The Trine vehicle stopped one meter away from the target, landing the team in fifth place out of 18 teams after two rounds of competition. The top five teams qualified to compete in nationals.

“There were some exciting events to watch and I am extremely proud of our students,” said Amanda Malefyt, Ph.D., chair and assistant professor of the McKetta Department of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering.