Undergraduates Win Accolades
Chemical Engineering junior, Hattie Schunk, was honored to receive a Barry Goldwater scholarship, a national award given to 252 students across the country to encourage research careers in engineering, science, and math. She is an exceptional student and had been previously been awarded the 2015 Award for Academic Excellence in Chemical Engineering. Hattie performed undergraduate research with Prof. Casadonte in biofuels, and she also worked as a research intern at Sandia National Laboratories on energetic nanomaterials. Her goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in bioengineering with a focus on therapies that will help improve quality of life, a goal arising in part from her time in the research laboratory: "My undergraduate research experiences along with my desire to tackle the complex engineering challenges faced by society are what reinforced my decision to pursue a career where I can make a long-term impact, and the Goldwater Scholarship has been the perfect stepping stone." In addition to academics, Hattie is a member of the Texas Tech Women's Cross Country and Track team, specializing in distance events.
The AIChE Student Chapter sent twenty-eight students to the annual regional meeting, held this year April 8-10 at the University of Houston. The Car Team won first place in the poster competition and second place in the car competition, qualifying to compete at Nationals next fall. The Car Team won first place in the safety poster competition and second place in the car competition, qualifying to compete at Nationals next fall. The team powered their car with a gas turbine running on CO2 produced from the reaction of acetic acid and sodium carbonate. Their stopping reaction was the bleaching of dye connected to a solenoid valve. The light intensity decreases over time and when a set intensity is reached the three way solenoid valve cuts off the gas supply to the turbine, stopping the car. The team was led by senior and Car Team President Taylor Farley, along with team members Sergio Vega, Pablo Chavez, Cassandra Alvarez, Asmaul (Nain) Indah, and Dallas Drane. Also with a strong showing was the Jeopardy Team, consisting of Kosi Anazia, Joe Carrera, Sarah Crawford, Heather Dorrance, and Nestor Rodriguez. The Jeopardy Team was in first place after the preliminary round and came in second in a closely contested final round. The ChemE Car Team is advised by Dr. Jeremy Marston and the Student Chapter is advised by Dr. Carla Lacerda with Dr. Ronald Hedden serving as co-advisor.
In recognition of their hard work over the past year, the officers of the AIChE student chapter and the Car Team were awarded Outstanding Service Awards from the department. Over the past year, the AIChE chapter organized numerous events, including tailgates at the home football games, information sessions on careers, fundraising for Aphasia, and the annual banquet. New initiatives undertaken this year included faculty presentations to promote undergraduate research and a state of the department presentation each semester by the department chair with Q&A to enhance communication between the students and the administration. The AIChE and Car Team officers also worked hard to prepare multiple teams for the regional competition and to ensure that students well represented the university. Students selected for the Outstanding Service Awards were the 2015/16 Officers of the AIChE Student Chapter, Josh Castilaw (President), Brian Wang (Vice-President), John Svab (Treasurer), Heather Dorrance (Secretary), and Cameron Riley (SORC Representative), as well as 2015/16 ChemE Car Team President Taylor Farley, Treasurer Dallas Drane, and Team Captain of the winning Car Team, Sergio Vega.
AIChE Officers with Outstanding Service Awards
Students representing Texas Tech at Regionals: From Left To Right, Bottom Row: Cameron Riley, Nestor Rodriguez, Brian Wang, Randy Li, Christopher Klaassen; Middle Row: Asmaul Indah, Casandra Alvarez, Valeria Lujan, Kosi Anazia, Mackenzie Steckbeck, Heather Dorrance, Sarah Crawford, Taylor Farley, Tiffany Ngyuen, Emma Foster; Top Row: Matthew Jordan, Josh Castilaw, Ricky Huitema, Dallas Drane , Derek Ward, Joe Carrera, Blake Hanford, John Svab, Pablo Chavez, Sergio Vega, Joshua Holtz, Hilario Garza, Aaron Lambert