– An undergraduate team at Florida Tech earned first place in the Chem-E-Car event in the 2006 AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineering) Southern
Regional Conference. The conference took place on March 11 at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss.
One of 15 colleges and universities competing in the event, Florida Tech sent an interdisciplinary team of five-two sophomores and three first-year
students. They were Matthew Herdiech, captain; Charmaine and Christine Flemming; and Jimit Shah, chemical engineering majors; and Britney Pennington, from
the Department of Biological Sciences. Faculty advisor, Dr. Maria Pozo de Fernandez, is an assistant professor of chemical engineering.
In the competition, teams design and build a shoe box-sized vehicle that is self-powered by a chemical energy source. The vehicle’s task is to complete a
given distance carrying a water bottle of specified weight. This year the competition distance was set at 68 feet and the amount of water was set at 250
milliliters. Teams are judged in the categories of presentation and performance.
The Florida Tech team earned the right to compete against 36 teams from all AIChE regions in the 2006 AIChE Student National Conference. It will take place
in November in San Francisco, Calif. Florida Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering.