Brain Power on Miami's Campus Increased Exponentially!

Student at work table

Over 300 students from 24 universities traveled to Oxford to meet other chemical engineering students on April 15 and 16.  What brought this talented group in white lab coats to Miami? Our very own American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AlChE) chapter was hosting the AiChE Regional Student Conference for North Central region. This annual conference allows the best of the best to compete for the right to go to the national convention. The first place finishers in Team ChemE Jeopardy competition, a research poster presentation, a research paper competition, and the the top five in ChemE Car competition will all go forward to represent the region at nationals this fall.

Research Poster Competition

The competition in the research contest category was fierce. Henry Pan of Michigan State University won the poster contest. Miami University student Sebastian Diaz-Rodriguez, placed third in this contest.

Research Paper Competition

Ryan Ley of Miami won the top paper presentation and Jeremy Phifer, also a Miami student, placed third in this contest. The breadth and depth of the research was amazing. Many ideas could be heard echoing up and down the hallways during the event.

ChemE Jeopardy

15 different schools competed in ChemE Jeopardy on Saturday morning. Similar to traditional Jeopardy, each school competes with a team of four students and the questions focus on chemical engineering topics. Each team had a cheering section and all the competitor's fingers were poised on the buzzer.  Teams battled through two preliminary rounds which ultimately yielded three victorious teams: Trine University, University of Toledo, and Notre Dame University.   Facing off against each other in the final round, Trine University came out on top and will advance to the national contest.

ChemE Car Competition

Design and build a car powered by chemical reaction!  This was the objective of this portion of the competition. 19 schools competed in ChemE Car competition for regional bragging rights. Saturday morning was spent going through safety checks and students presented posters on their cars. Each team explained to judges how their cars would work. Youngstown State won the ChemE Car poster contest. The crown jewel of the afternoon was held in Miami's Rec Center.  Plastic covered the basketball court, white coats, safety goggles, and protective gloves were worn by all.  Each team was busy making final adjustments to the cars designed, built, and calibrated to run off of chemical reactions.  The catch was each school only had one hour to tune their cars after the distance and load parameter was announced. 

This year, the cars had to carry 195 grams and stop after traveling 19.5 meters. Michigan State University won the contest, stopping just 11 cm. short of the target distance!

The Competitions Were Intense!

The visiting students all had a great time. Many new friends were made and a lot of knowledge and laughter was shared. Once again, Miami University's hospitality and the hard work of our students clearly demonstrated why Miami is such a special place.