Panelita, a small scale car will compete in the U.S.
A prototype car moved by controlled chemical reactions will participate in the Annual Student Conference, an event organized by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), which will take place in November in San Francisco.Bogotá D. C., 08 de agosto de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
Panelita beat Senecar of the Universidad de los Andes and Hydro-Car of UNal-Medellín. Photos: Courtesy of Gorka De Tomás
The UNal-Bogotá Faculty of Engineering will compete in the Chem-E-Car Competition® finale in the U.S.
A group of Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Faculty of Engineering Chemical Engineering students in Bogotá is preparing a trip to attend this competition after earning first prize in the regional competition for these types of vehicles.
The International Chem-E-Car Competition® main’s purpose is for Chemical Engineering students from across the globe to interact and test their knowledge by designing a small-scale vehicle prototype that besides moving using chemical reactions, carry a specific load and have all the required safety conditions.
The regional competition was held this past July 15 during the 2016 Latin American Congress for Chemical Engineering Students in Medellín. Other entries were the Universidad de los Andes with its vehicle named Senecar and UNal-Medellín with Hydro-Car. They were defeated by a UNal-Bogotá vehicle named Panelita. This has been the first regional competition of a foreign chapter endorsed and directly supported by AIChE.
“Now the team will continue developing the vehicle making adjustments and improving reliability as well as searching for sponsorship to participate in the upcoming San Francisco finale. This competition will enable UNal to compete with the best chemical engineering programs around the world and why not win the competition,” said Camilo José Villalba Bohórquez, on behalf of the team.
How they won
During the regional competition the team had one hour to make final adjustments after being informed of the distance and load they had to travel (17 meters [55.7 ft.] and 200 ml of water).
After months of efforts it all came down to a race which should not take more than 2 minutes to run. Each team had two opportunities to run the course and after an exciting competition, the team that was closest to the finish line was UNal-Bogotá with Panelita.
In search of sponsorship
Currently the team is searching for sponsorship to travel to the finale. The total budget, including airfare, hotels and registration is US $12,500.
As in Formula 1, IndyCar or MotoGP, the Chem-E-Car Competition® allows sponsor logos on the vehicle, therefore the members of the team are looking for companies which will support the Colombian vehicle and therefor provide visibility to their trademark during the event. The will we more than 5,000 people from the chemical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries.
“We hope to obtain the necessary support so we can have a great presentation and be the first Colombian team to win this international completion,” said the students.
In past editions the winning teams have been from recognized international universities such as Cornell, Utah and Tulsa, McGill University (Canada) and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.
The student chapter of AIChE at UNal-Bogotá was opened in 2014 and with this the Chem-E-Car team, which began to work on the prototype. Through these years they have had more than 20 participating chemical engineering students who have contributed to the growth of the project and to the current team comprised by six Chemical Engineering and one Mechatronics Engineering students.(Por: Fin/GDT/MLA/APBL