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UNH Chem-E-Car Competition Team Advances to Nationals

Release Date:
4/29/2013 9:00 PM

Buckman Hall, engineering, features Tagliatela College of Engineering at UNH

WEST HAVEN, CONN. -- A team of University of New Haven engineering students recently captured second place at the Northeast regional of the Chem-E-Car competition.

The event was part of the Northeast Regional Student Conference hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.  

The UNH team, which includes Kayla FitzGerald ’14, of Lunenburg, Mass., Mina Elias ’13, of Abu Dhabi, Jeffrey Parsons ’16 of Southington, Conn., and David Dupont ’15, of Wynantskill, N.Y., now advances to the national competition to be held in San Francisco Nov. 3-8 during the 2013 annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

“We support the many extracurricular activities of students so that they can apply their skills outside the classroom and further develop their leadership, teamwork, project management and technical skills,” said Ron Harichandran, dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering. “We salute the success of the Chem-E-Car team; it will provide inspiration to other student teams to also strive for excellence.”

The Chem-E-Car competition requires teams to construct a self-propelled, chemically powered vehicle that travels a preset distance while carrying a predetermined cargo. Teams are not told the distance that the car must travel and the specified cargo that the vehicle will carry until the competition begins. 

“Each school gets two runs to reach the decided distance,” said FitzGerald, a double major in chemistry and chemical engineering. “After our first run, we were in fifth place. We knew the minor details that needed to be adjusted so that we could place. After those adjustments, our car stopped close enough to the distance that we placed.

“Advancing to nationals, knowing all of the hard work our four-member team put into the competition, is an extremely satisfying feeling,” FitzGerald said. “We are ecstatic that all of our hard work paid off.”

Arthur Gow, an associate professor in UNH’s Tagliatela College of Engineering, serves as the team’s faculty advisor.

The team from UNH also placed third in the poster competition associated with the Chem-E-Car event.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico and California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.