The engineering student team at U of T won first place in the regional Chem-E-Car competition

The University of Toronto Chemical Vehicles (UTCV) student group recently won first place in the 2022 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Northeast Regional Competition for Chemical Vehicles.

A team from the University of California’s College of Applied Sciences and Engineering beat champion teams from Clarkson University and Cornell University in the April 30 race, which draws multidisciplinary design teams from across North America to showcase chemical-powered cars.

They will now advance to the National Championship in November.

“The competition distance was 20 meters and our car traveled 20.04 meters with our team’s standard error of only four centimeters,” Jinmyung Jang, who is a U of T Engineering graduate and co-chair of UTCV. “This is a very competitive result, given that the average error of the winning teams in the national competition since 2015 has been about five centimeters.”

The UTCV team will take their Chem-E design to Phoenix in November (Image via UTCV)

Team UTCV competed for the first time in the regional competition in 2018 and finished 9th out of 21 teams. The following year, they reached sixth place out of 12 teams.

After a two-year absence due to COVID-19 restrictions, Team U of T are back in the competition with key innovations in their design, including: a safe and repeatable 21-volt aluminum air battery with improved corrosion control; Methylene blue chemical timer with upgraded sensor algorithm to improve accuracy; Portable magnetic drive installed on the car; Improving the quality of construction and electronic connections.

Jang says the victory was an extraordinary achievement for the UTCV team and would not have been possible without the resources and support from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry.

“We were able to attend the competition only three months after hitting the labs compared to five months in the regular season,” he says.

“Being a part of this design challenge allows our students to develop their problem-solving and leadership skills, while gaining technical expertise for wet chemistry labs, building batteries, and integrating design components,” says the professor. Ramen FarnaudHead of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. “This is an excellent example of experiential learning opportunities that we would like to share with our students.”

The 2022 annual Chem-E-Car competition, the National Championship, will take place November 11-14 in Phoenix, Arizona.

%d bloggers like this: