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Stony Brook Chemical Engineers Compete in California


AIChEThe Stony Brook chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) recently attended the AIChE National Conference in San Francisco, California. Led by Faculty Advisor Professor Tae Jin Kim, 19 junior and senior members networked with students and professionals from 27 different countries, and attended and led workshops on topics including innovation in the chemical industry, effective management strategies, and nuclear research.

The AIChE National Conference also hosted the ChemE-Car Competition, which requires that each team build its own chemical battery-powered vehicle that starts and stops automatically on a given racetrack. The challenge requires extensive research into the reactions used, as well as the stopping mechanism, and precision is not easy. Stony Brook competed at the regional level in Spring 2016, winning a spot among the top five teams at the University of Delaware. This secured Stony Brook’s position to compete at the national level in San Francisco, where the team’s homemade battery and chassis, Miguel, again solidified the University’s engineering prestige.

Despite some significant challenges, the Stony Brook ChemE-Car team competed fiercely within an international arena. In the true spirit of engineering, Head Nationals ChemE-Car Captain Gurkirat Singh worked alongside Co-captains Jian Huang, Allen Tran and Helen Liu to help Stony Brook finish respectably within the competition.

In addition to the ChemE-Car Competition, several members presented their work through various other outlets.

Yunxiao Jiang held a presentation on his research with the Stony Brook Wood Stove team and many members competed in the poster competition. Patrick Yang, Veronica Burnett and Sandhiya Kannan presented their research to multiple professionals from universities and national laboratories, expertly fielding questions from the experts themselves.

Veronica Burnett, a senior in the CME major, presented her poster, “Structural and Functional Analysis of Spinels in Energy Storage Devices.” She won numerous awards, achieving third place in Fuels, Petrochemicals, and Energy 1 as well as second place in the AIChE Fuels and Petrochemicals Division. She will be recognized with a feature in the upcoming AIChE newsletter “Flashpoint” and a $300 check for her work.

Sandhiya Kannan, also a senior in the CME program with dual minors in nanotechnology and astronomy, placed first in the Separations category for her poster, “Removal of 210Po from Groundwater for Nuclear Astrophysics Applications.” She presented her work to a very global audience, including students and professors from Belgium, Korea and Australia.

The students’ success is very largely due to support from Professor Kim, who introduced the club to many new members of the CME program, strengthening attendance and family-like bonds between under- and upperclassmen. This, combined with his support at AIChE Metro meetings in New York City and AIChE regional and national meetings, has enabled the club to find an expanding network, professional opportunities and academic success.

“We have enjoyed a very successful semester and look forward to the opportunities and events that next semester brings,” said Club President Shweta Iyer. “On behalf of the Stony Brook chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, I am proud that our club has proven its dedication to the advancement of knowledge and a recognized presence in the modern industrial and academic sphere.”

In addition to Iyer, the AIChE 2016-2017 Executive Board includes Vice President Helen Liu, Secretary Nicole Passariello and Treasurer Asim Rattu.

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