UC Team Wins 1st at ChemE Car Regional Competition

Students from the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science celebrate first place win at the ChemE Car Regional Competition for the second year in a row.

UC ChemE Team

The Challenge: 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. 

Another catch- teams are given a distance between 15m and 30 m only an hour before the competition.  They’re also given a water load between 0ml and 500ml the car must carry. The winner of the competition is determined by the team that nets the closest distance to the given competition distance.

Students from the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science Chemical Engineering Department competed against other 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—all tough competitors.

President of the UC ChemE Car, Jon Glandorf explains, “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.”  He goes on to say, “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. 

This isn’t the team’s first success. “Earlier this school year we competed at the National Competition in Atlanta, Georgia where we were awarded the SAChE Safety Award and placed 10th out of 36 teams,” says Glandorf.

The University of Cincinnati team looks forward to competition in the national conference later this year.  As Glandorf says, “Our regional win this year has qualified us for the 2015 National Conference in Salt Lake City and we will be looking to improve upon last year’s placing.​”

The College of Engineering and Applied Science continues to be well represented by its group of hard working students who will surely return from Salt Lake City with another outstanding achievement.