Engineering students win national design competition

Apr 15, 2014 | Engineering and Science

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Louisiana Tech University’s student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) won first place in the 2014 Best Senior Design Competition at the AIChE Spring Meeting and 10th Global Congress on Process Safety held in New Orleans, La.

The Louisiana Tech team, comprised of Jessica Davis, Jayme Ferro and James J. Horton, presented their “Economic Optimization and Hazard Analysis of a Hydrofluoric Acid Catalyzed Alkylation Process” design to a panel of judges composed of professors and industry representatives.

Davis, a senior chemical engineering major, is thankful for the opportunity to implement facets of her Louisiana Tech education in a real-world setting offered at the competition. 

“The design project assigned by the chemical engineering program was similar to a large-scale project that we would encounter in the workforce,” said Davis.

Dr. James Palmer, Louisiana Tech’s AIChE faculty sponsor and associate dean of graduate studies for the College of Engineering and Science, said that this event highlights the success of the chemical engineering program at Louisiana Tech and the opportunities for Tech chemical engineering students.

“Our team of three students beat larger teams of four and five students,” said Palmer.  “It really shows the quality of work our team accomplished and their professionalism.  I’m very proud of them and they did an excellent job representing Louisiana Tech.”

This event was AIChE’s first national design competition and was chaired by Jonathan H. Worstell of Worstell and Worstell Consultants, and Kenneth R. Cox of Rice University.

The AIChE is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with over 45,000 members from over 100 countries.  AIChE seeks to provide value to its members as a global leader for the chemical engineering profession, a lifetime center for professionals and professional growth, and the foremost catalyst in applying chemical engineering expertise in meeting societal needs.

“We are so proud of these students and what they have accomplished,” said Dr. Jenna Carpenter, associate dean of undergraduate studies at the College of Engineering and Science. “We are fortunate to have faculty who take the time to get students involved in these types of projects.  The hands-on, team-based approach provides students with an outstanding education and prepares them to be equally successful in the workplace.” Written by Brandy McKnight –