ULL students place in engineering contest

Chemical engineering students from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette placed sixth in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Chem-E-Car competition held in Pittsburgh, university officials announced.

A Chem-E-Car is a custom-made, shoe-box sized chemically powered model car. As part of the competition, cars had to travel a set distance while hauling a payload of water and had about two minutes to calculate the power needed for the vehicle to cross the finish line autonomously, according to a university news release.

The event isn’t a race, but a “competition as to which team is the best at modeling chemical reactions and their vehicle’s performance,” UL Lafayette assistant professor of chemical engineering William Chirdon said in the news release.

Chirdon is also the team’s adviser.

The team was the first to represent the university in the national competition, which included 35 collegiate teams.

According to the news release, Cornell University placed first, followed by University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Oklahoma State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Houston and UL Lafayette.

The UL Lafayette Chem-E-Car team includes team Captain Forest Kidder, Gabby Anderson, Timothy Boudreaux, Cassie Drexel, Brandon Plaisance and Eric Regel. Aaron Brocksmith and Marshall McDaniel were unable to attend the conference.

In the spring semester, several seniors worked on the team: Caleb Breaux, Trey Romero, Jordy Mitchell and Dru Vitale, an electrical engineering student.