Clarkson University earns spot in National Chem-E Car Competition
Friday, May 2, 2014 - 6:05 am

The Clarkson University Chem-E Car team recently placed fourth at the AIChE Northeast Student Regional Conference, earning them a spot in the national competition. Above, five members of the team prepare chemical solutions and assemble fuel cells during their hour of car preparation time. From left: Alison Snyder, Tim Morris, Josh Bisson, Nick Misiaszek and Maureen Hoen.

POTSDAM -- Clarkson University’s Chem-E Car team placed fourth at a recent competition held in Connecticut.

The team competed at the 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Northeast Student Regional Conference.

Clarkson was one of 13 teams that competed in the car competition.

Chem-E Cars are shoebox-sized cars that are powered and stopped using chemical reactions. This year, Clarkson's car was powered using aluminum-air fuel cells and stopped using an iodine clock reaction.

Prior to competition, the team presented a poster describing the different aspects of the car and demonstrated that they were aware of the safety hazards associated with the car. Passing this safety inspection allowed the team to proceed to the car competition.

An hour before competition, the team was given a specific distance the car had to travel as well as a weight that had to be carried. This year, those specifications were to travel 25 meters while carrying a load of 250 grams.

Each team was allowed two runs, each with a time limit of two minutes, to calibrate their car and attempt to stop at the designated line.

Clarkson landed 2.15 meters from the designated line on their second run, placing them fourth and earning them a spot at the national competition on Nov. 16 in Atlanta, Ga. In addition to qualifying for the national, Clarkson placed third in the Chem-E Jeopardy contest.

Attending the competition were sophomores Joshua Bisson, Benjamin Crewdson, Peter Faulkner, Maureen Hoen, Julio Inga, Daniel Marino, Nicholas Misiaszek, and Timothy Morris; and juniors Michael Donovan, John Geurds, Gabrielle Pawlowski, and Alison Snyder.