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K-State Today

April 8, 2016



Student chapter hosts successful regional event; qualifies for nationals in team competition

By Mary Rankin

Kansas State University's American Institute of Chemical Engineers student chapter hosted nearly 300 students and faculty from 12 surrounding universities, and alumni and industry members at the 2016 Mid-America Student Regional Conference, April 1-3, on the K-State campus.

The conference is intended for chemical engineering students to network and share ideas through research papers and poster presentations, and team events. A highlight of the meeting was the ChemE Car Design Team competition — a contest where students design and develop model cars propelled by chemical reactions.

The K-State team's Bill Snyder Family ChemE Car, a pressure car, took first place in performance,and third in poster presentation, qualifying them to compete at the national level in San Francisco, California, next November. Team members, all chemical engineering students, are Evan Balthazor, Adam Claassen, Brian Everhart, Katharine Kellogg and Yichao Zhang.

K-State's Model S, battery car, team took third place in performance and first in poster presentation. Team members, also all chemical engineering majors, are Brett Bandy, Matthew Brooks, Aubrey Busenitz, Alexander Coon, Joseph Hewitt, Eli Janzen, Bailey Martin, Jack McCraney, Katie McWilliams and Angelica White

Other highlights of the conference included the ChemE Jeopardy competition, where students test their knowledge of questions from the chemical engineering curriculum, as well as awards given for best oral and poster presentations of undergraduate research projects. K-State chemical engineering student, Diane Collard, won second place in the research poster competition.

Representatives from industrial sponsors Phillips 66, Cargill and Burns and McDonnell hosted a panel about the transition from college to industry. Tim Taylor, president of Phillips 66 and a K-State chemical engineering alumnus, was keynote speaker at the closing banquet.

"Our chemical engineering undergraduate students did a phenomenal job organizing and facilitating a well-run event," said Jennifer Anthony, associate professor of chemical engineering and adviser for the student chapter.

Officers and committee chairs, all chemical engineering students include David Madden, president; Jonah Klug, treasurer; Ben Williams, conference fundraising chair; Aaron Spicer, ChemE Car team captain and conference ChemE Car competition chair; Yichao Zhang, vice president and conference research competition chair; and Jason Grossardt, ChemE Jeopardy competition chair.

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