Clemson University’s AIChE Student Chapter recently attended the 2018 Southern Regional AIChE Conference held at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Conference highlights included regional ChemE car competition, jeopardy, and a student paper and poster competition.
Upcoming President Andrew Ney represented our chapter at a Presidents Breakfast, where presidents from other AIChE student chapters were invited to attend. Ney learned valuable information about increasing attendance and the organization’s usefulness, as well as learning about a “sister school” program that other chapters are involved in. With this, our AIChE chapter can be paired with an international AIChE chapter.
“I think this is a very good opportunity, and will be something I plan to work on over the summer to have ready for next school year,” says Ney. He believed this event was the most beneficial to him, and the knowledge he gained will positively impact our organization.
One day of the conference was comprised of plant tours. Ney spoke on behalf of the BASF and brewery tours, “The BASF site was absolutely massive, and also quite modern in comparison to the plant I work at in Seneca. We had to be split up into groups of five, and scattered around the plant because it was so big. The brewery was a much smaller operation, but it was very interesting to see the start to end process of making beer.”
Our student chapter also took part in a Jeopardy competition. Of the two teams representing Clemson, one of them won the first round, beating two schools from Kentucky. Though eliminated during the next round, the team represented Clemson well. Following the Jeopardy competition was a ChBE career fair and social.
Additionally, research presentations and a ChemE Car competition took place. The Chem-E-Car team was able to compete in the competition, even after running into some technical difficulties. “Though we didn’t win, we did beat USC.” Says Hansen Mou. The car was made of aluminum and corrugated plastic, and powered by a magnesium-copper battery.
In all, Ney feels as if the trip turned out to be incredibly valuable to everyone. “I can only speak to my experiences, but one of my favorite parts of the conference was the ability to talk to other Chemical Engineers that I would not normally be able to talk to. For example, some other Clemson students and I had the privilege of sitting at a table with a group from Puerto Rico. It was great to be able to ask questions about how other chapters operate as well as networking with industry professionals.” Our ChBE undergraduates were inspired by the Louisiana State AIChE members who sacrificed their time to put together a great conference for all of the attending chapters.
Our AIChE student chapter looks forward to being able to bring another large group to Mississippi State next year.