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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Students Honored at BP Design Presentation Competition

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students were honored as winners of the second annual Design Presentation Competition, sponsored by BP.

Students from ChBE 221: Principles of Chemical Engineering and ChBE 421: Momentum and Heat Transfer made presentations throughout the day. For their design project presentations, students in ChBE 221 planned the operation of an ethanol production unit while minimizing operating costs and maximizing profit. Students in ChBE 421 designed a minimum cost pumping system for once through cooling water to a condenser located at the top of a distillation column within safety and environmental considerations.

Chemical Engineering alums, who also are BP employees, helped to judge the presentations. They were Austin Collingbourne, ’12, Process Engineer, Separations; Mike Hoyne, ’06, Refinery Distillate Scheduler; Natalie Palmer, ’11, Technical Service Engineer, Global Fuels Technology; and Jenny Thakkar, ’07, Process Engineer, Crude and Coking/Simulator Development.

Each winning team member in the competition received the following awards:

ChBE 221: Principles of Chemical Engineering

First Place:  Nick Connolly, Claire Gibbons, Patrick Sayles, Michael Richards

Second Place: Kevin Parker, Keerthan Vantakala, Jasper Lam, Laura Sedlacek, Ben Burdick

Third Place: Alexander Zelasko, Edward Wu, Shu Ting (Jonathan) Chen, Rachel Beck

Participants: Rachel Wrzek, Ryan Considine, Chris Shelton, Polly Schumm

Participants: Sarah Kuhl, Lindsey Watts, Kelly Hentges, Lisette Rivera

ChBE 421: Momentum and Heat Transfer 

First Place: Yuliana Mendez, Ayesha Mumtaz, James Stevens

Second Place: Mary Gallagher, Joseph Maigler, Pedro Ribeiro, Kevin Wheelock

Third Place: Jaclyn Burke, Zachary Kromphardt, Renato Yutuc, Jakub Zajac

Participants: Patrick Bonaguro, Aristotle Economou, Nicholas Grapsas, Matthew Jones

Participants: Scott McCormack, Subramaniasamy Namasivayam, Valentina Ricupati, Brett Wallace

Lecturers Drs. Jerrod Henderson and Troy Vogel coordinated the design projects for the courses, which are taught by Professor Bill Hammack and Assistant Professor Brendan Harley.

The projects are part of a curricular innovation that the department started in spring 2011 to integrate design projects into core classes throughout the undergraduate curriculum. The overall approach was inspired by project oriented engineering curricula at small, private technical universities.

Henderson said the design projects give students a chance to develop skills such as working in teams and managing an open-ended project prior to senior year. “These projects give students “real-life” examples to use in their interviews and helps give them a better understanding of “practical/real world” engineering,” he said.

Vogel said students enjoy presenting their work to engineers who are working in the industry.

“This gives the students the ability to communicate their designs in a presentation style to current industry engineers,” he said. He said this year’s BP judges were so impressed with all of the presentations that they decided to award fourth and fifth place teams with prizes as well.