Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

A career in chemical engineering provides:

  • Endless opportunities
  • Considerable personal satisfaction
  • Environmental impact

UC Chem-E-Car Team Takes First Place at Regional Competition for Second Year

A team of UC Chemical Engineering students took first place for the second year in a row in the Chem-E-Car competition at the regional conference for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChEl). The challenge was to design a shoe box sized car both powered by and stopped by chemical reactions. The shoebox car must stop on its own, requiring precise measurement and estimation of fuels. “Many of the other competitors opted to use hydrogen fuel cells or zinc batteries as their starting mechanisms and iodine clocks as their stopping mechanisms. These methods are typically easy to do safely and operate reliably,” explains Jon Glandorf, president of the UC ChemE Car .
“UC's car did not use these. Instead, we used something not commonly seen in this competition due to the stringent safety regulations. Our team was therefore set apart by our attention to process safety and our detailed calibration testing of the car.” UC’s unique innovation once again has placed them at the top, but this isn’t the team’s first—or even second—success. Earlier this school year, the group competed at the National Competition in Atlanta, Georgia where they were awarded the SAChE Safety Award, placed 10th out of 36 teams. The students won over highly competitive schools in the region including Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Notre Dame and the University of Toledo.

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► Chemical Engineering Faculty News

Congratulations to Dr. Vesselin Shanov and Dr. Anastasios Angelopoulos as they were honored for their 2014 patents at the UC Men’s Basketball game on January 21, 2015! Dr. Shanov was announced along with Dr. Mark Schultz, a professor of mechanical engineering, for their work entitled "Composite catalysts and method for manufacturing carbon nanostructured materials.” Dr. Angelopoulos received his patent in the area of "Multifunctional nanocoatings with mixed nanoparticles and process for fabricating same.”

Dr. Vesselin Shanov and Dr. Mark Schultz received the 2014-2015 Established Entrepreneurial Achievement Award for their excellent work founding and sustaining their start-up, General Nano LLC, alongside CEO Joe Sprengard. General Nano is a six year-old company that started by exclusively licensing a breakthrough chemistry developed at the University of Cincinnati by Shanov of the Chemical Engineering program and Schulz of the Materials Engineering program. General Nano manufactures continuous forms of lightweight, conductive materials for high-performance applications in the aerospace, defense, energy and specialty markets. Because its customized material solutions currently are unavailable in the market, General Nano retains a steady flow of customers. General Nano’s carbon nanotube (CNTs) materials empower customers to achieve new levels of performance, efficiency, and sustainability. Shanov and Schultz’s discovery in 2007 was first honored by the National Science Foundation, which led to $100,000 in seed funding from the United States Air Force in early 2009. Since then, the company has secured sufficient funding to sustain its operations. General Nano’s funding comes primarily from the Ohio Third Frontier, the Department of Defense (Navy and Air Force), NASA, the National Science Foundation, private investors, customers and strategic supply-chain partners. The 2015 awards celebration is co-sponsored by the President's Office, the Faculty Senate and the Provost Office.

Dr. Vikram Kuppa, Dr. Gregory Beaucage, and Dr. Dale Schaefer won a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program. The grant will aid them in acquiring an Ultra-Small-Angle X-ray Scattering system (USAXS), an instrument they will use to examine engineered materials on a much smaller scale. Being able to study on multiple lengths of scales has emerged as a key strategy for addressing the prominent technological problems confronting mankind today. This USAXS instrumentation is the only such system in a university in the US with such unique capabilities. UC will use the USAXS system to investigate materials relevant to a range of multidisciplinary applications, including organic solar cells, passivating metallic films, nanostructured membranes, carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles and catalysts. The system will transform the materials-related research conducted at the University of Cincinnati and various others in the southwest Ohio region, such as Miami University, Procter & Gamble, and the Environmental Protection Agency. UC’s photovoltaics work has received a great deal of attention this year and Dr. Kuppa, and his graduate student Fei Yu, have been featured on WVXU and PBS.