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Students Find Success at AIChE Student Conference

Group of CBE students in front of a large AIChE sign.

From left to right: Jacob Johnson, Jessie Li, Jason Chung, Zachary Medley, Kelsey Uselton, Lily Hawk, Joseph Kingsley, Jason Cornelio, Katie Davis, and faculty advisor Gabriel Goenaga-Jiménez.

CBE undergraduate students attended the 2021 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Student Conference held in Boston, Massachusetts, November 5–8. Juniors Jacob Johnson and Katie Davis and seniors Lily Hawk, Kelsey Uselton, and Joseph Kingsley presented their research during the undergraduate student poster session. Each of them work in Thomas Zawodzinski’s lab under the guidance of Senior Research Associate Gabriel Goenaga and Post-Doctoral Researcher Ernesto Zuleta.

Uselton won first place in the Fuel, Petrochemicals and Energy 1 session with her poster titled “Parameter optimization for the performance of a reversible fuel cell,” while Kingsley won second place in the Materials Engineering and Sciences VI session with his poster titled “Investigation of the impact of equivalent weight on 3M proton exchange membrane functionality.”

The Chem-E-Car team also attended the conference. In addition to Uselton, Hawk, Kingsley, Johnson, and Davis, team members included Jessie Li, Zachary Medley, and Jason Cornelio. The UT team won first place in the Chem-E-Car poster competition and placed eighth among 25 teams in the car competition.

The Chem-E-Car was propelled by an aluminum-air battery that used an air electrode based on biomass extracted from kudzu leaves. The catalyst and battery were developed under the guidance of Goenaga, the team’s faculty advisor.