They took 1st place with their Chem-E-Car that was built and designed by Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) engineer students with approximately $40. Competing against seven other schools such as Rice University, Texas Tech University, UT- Austin and more.
“This put Texas A&M University-Kingsville back on the map,” said Josh Sanchez, chemical engineering major.
The winning team wanted to be different and use resources that were both reliable and unique than the competition. Recycling last year’s 1st place winning, the process to build a Chem-E-Car deals with two components the starting mechanism and stopping mechanism using chemicals to run it and to stop by breaking an electrical circuit with the temperature.
“We started brainstorming and we decided on temperature something that everyone else was not doing,” said Sanchez.
TAMUK engineers started with fuel cells and stopped with hydrochloric acid and magnesium that created a reaction, where it increased to a certain temperature, which tells a CPU unit to cut the circuit.
With trials and errors the team knew the certain amount of all chemicals to input. The team had a lot of setbacks with knowing since February and not starting until the week before Spring Break. Having little time to perfect their Chem-E-Car for competition at Trinity University.
“Even though we were at a competition we were still learning and talking through it and that’s the best part about it. We figure out the problems during the distance and with the competition like what’s going on with your chemicals which is why you need to work with your team,” said Liliana Vela, chemical engineering major.
“We were the only Division 2 school there and it goes to show that A&M Kingsville is a school that shoots above the weight class like our engineering school is able to compete against the big school who have 10 times as more funding that we do, including