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Take It to the LimitThe LSU AIChE chapter entered Take It to the Limit in the 2008 Chem-E-Car competition.

LSU Students Place Second in Alternative Fuel Powered Car Race

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Student Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, or AIChE, placed second overall in this year’s Chem-E-Car competition at the 2008 Southern Regional Conference of AIChE.

The car, named “Take it to the Limit,” has performed exceedingly well in all competitions it has been entered into. Chuck Combs, undergraduate student, served as LSU team leader. Other members included students Kirk Rollins, Blake Kleibert, Brendan Flynn, Long Hyunh and Matt Daniel. The LSU team used citric acid and sodium carbonate as an alternative fuel form and received a prize of $1,000 for their efforts.

“Take it to the Limit” has also won second place overall at the 2007 Southern Regional Conference in South Carolina, as well as Most Creative Car Design and Most Spirited. It went on to earn LSU more awards than any other university at the 2007 Annual Meeting of AIChE in Salt Lake City, Utah. It won the Golden Tire Award, the Most Creative Drive System, the Most Consistent Performance, the Inherent Safety in Design and Fourth Overall One Run Accuracy. The 2007 team was led by Matthew Stephens. Other members were Chuck Combs, Tracie Ferguson, Timmy Leblanc, Zachary Scheibel, Stephanie Peterson, Whitney Amato and Omkar Namjoshi. A video of their performance at the 2007 national conference can be viewed on YouTube.com at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4HVI0KbZhE.

The Chem-E-Car competition, first raced in 1999, is a fun and practical way for students to apply their knowledge of chemical engineering principles while helping build interest and expertise in alternative fuels. Historically, chemical engineers have been involved in developing new fuel technology, and given the price of gasoline and concerns about climate change, it’s more important than ever for college students to learn about chemical reactions that can move vehicles.

In this year’s event, students were challenged to transport 250 milliliters of water 60 feet.  Each team received two chances to run their cars, with their final score being their best attempt at meeting the established distance. Cornell University came the closest and took the top prize of $2,000.

Ashley Berthelot | Editor | Office of Public Affairs
Fall 2008

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