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Cornell's ChemE Car Wins First Place at National Competition

Friday, January 1, 2016

Competing in Salt Lake City, UT on November 8 at the Annual American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Conference against 34 student teams from around the world, Cornell's ChemE Car took first place. This makes the fourth time the team has been National Champion since 2008. This year, they shared top honors with the team from McGill University of Montreal. 

All of the 34 teams competing in Salt Lake City had earned the right to be there by doing well in regional competitions held earlier in the year. Cornell’s ChemE Car Team did remarkably well at the Northeast Regional competition in Boston in March, finishing in first place and in third place in the car competition and also coming in first in the technical poster competition. Their performance in Boston earned them their trip to Utah.

The ChemE Car competition is not a race. Rather, one hour before the competition teams are given a specific distance their car needs to travel as well as a specific weight that needs to be carried. Teams then break out their computers and crunch the numbers to figure out the technical settings for their two allowed runs. On Cornell's second run, their car came to a stop just 5.3 centimeters from the target.

Cornell’s ChemE Car team has more than 50 members, representing 6 different majors. The  team leader is chemical engineering senior Dan Recalde and the team’s Faculty Advisor is Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Roseanna Zia. 

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