University of Tennessee
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

UTK Chemical Engineering Students at the Southern Regional AIChE Meeting
Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama April 4-6, 2008

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville was represented by 12 students at the 2008 Southern Regional AIChE Meeting hosted by Auburn. From left to right: Bryan Smith, Peter Haddix, Brad Harris, Kristen Dobrodziej, Jared Johnson (chapter president), Nickyla Alliowe, Rebecca Empting, Lauren Johnson, Paul Frymier (Chem-E Car advisor), Molly Kersey, Heath Johnson, David Keffer (chapter advisor), Ian Morris, and Kyle Mack.

On Friday night, we signed up for the scavenger hunt.

Most teams looked at the ominous clouds and bailed on the scavenger hunt early.

Not so with Dr. Keffer's team. We waited until we were trapped under an out-cropping of the Auburn football stadium, penned in by a torrential thunderstorm, replete with thunder, lightning and tornado sirens, before we decided to concede defeat.

On Saturday, after our paper and poster presentations, we waited for the Chem-E car competition to begin.

The Chem-E car consisted of Nickyla, Jared, Brad, Kristen and Lauren. Their team advisor was Dr. Frymier.

The Chem-E Car poster.

An under the hood look at the Chem-E Car.

The stylish body.

Our chapter president and vice president put on a calm exterior for the crowd but we knew that they were bursting inside to pit their Chem E Car, affectionately known as "Spellbound", against the best that the competition could bring from the Southern Region of these United States of America.

Heath was nervous too.

Molly spared no effort in preparing a terrific poster to cheer on the UT team.

Contraptions defying all cherished conventions of aerodynamics streaked across the hardwood floor.

No design was too daring for these intrepid chemical engineers.

One after another the vehicles paraded by in all their chemical majesty.

Bryan, Ian and Kyle could barely control their enthusiasm.

The Florida Gators, always passionate about their athletics, placed an effigy of their Heisman trophy-winning quarterback, Mr. Tim Tebow, atop their vehicle. Despite their efforts, his speed and agility did not translate to their vehicle.

At least one of us was reminded of that classic "Purchase of the Droids" scene from "Star Wars" where the Jawas usher out a line of robots to sell to the moisture farming family of Luke Skywalker. Such was the drama of this event!

This car was particularly squeaky as the two screws in front ground against the front axle.

Heath was truly spellbound by the spectacle unfolding before us.

LSU put up a valiant effort but, on this fateful day, they were to be no match for UT chemical engineers.

At last it was time for UT to unleash "Spellbound".

This gives new meaning to "fuel injection".

The team, exuding confidence and composure like a fine perfume, strode purposefully alongside their vehicle to the finish line.

Success. 59 feet and 9 inches. Only three inches short of the mark. It was a level of excellence not to be challenged the rest of the day. Congratulations to the Chem-E Car team: Nickyla, Kristen, Lauren, Jared, and Brad. Congratulations are also due to their out-of-sight, lead-by-example, tell-it-like-it-is, no-holds-barred Chem-E-Car team advisor, the inimitable Dr. Paul Frymier.

Saturday night was the banquet. These three handsome gentlemen looked forward to a satisfying meal and an inspiring speech.

As for the final group picture, the lighting is a little better in this photo than the one at the top of this page, but, for all the hectic events of the day, Jared and Molly couldn't keep their eyes open another minute.

Hope to see old and new friends at the 2009 Southern Regional AIChE meeting in Tuscaloosa next year!

Contact:  Keffer
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