CCNY’s “Manganese Prime” in prime form at international Chem-E-Car finals

“Manganese Prime,” the latest chemically-powered shoebox sized-vehicle designed by City College of New York engineering students, placed fourth at AIChE's annual Chem-E-Car Competition® in Orlando, Florida, from a field of 42 foreign and domestic entries.

The result maintains the City College Grove School of Engineering’s reputation as a top performer in the international event. Student teams  qualify for the finals by excelling in regional competitions.
Manganese Prime secured CCNY’s seventh consecutive trip to the finals –- held at the Hyatt Regency Orlando this year -- with a top four finish at the AIChE Mid-Atlantic regionals at Penn State University in April.  

The objective of the Chem-E-Car competition is for students to build a car, the size of a shoebox, which runs and stops at a precise distance via one or more chemical reactions.
Manganese Prime was tasked to carry 450ml of water over a distance of 25 meters. The vehicle stopped 33centimeters from the target distance on its first run. The winning team was Virginia Tech, whose entry came to a halt 9  cm short, with Missouri University of Science and Technology (19 cm) second and University of North Alabama (23 cm) third.
Kelvin Leo and Ann Tangsamphan, both juniors majoring in chemical engineering, captained the CCNY team.

Other CCNY team members (all chemical engineering majors unless indicated) were:

•    Nurjahan Nazu;
•    Jeffrey Wu;
•    Giancarlo Zirpolo;
•    Wajih Tayyab (mechanical engineering);
•    Seemal Shehzadi;
•    Jarin Tasmin;
•    Comlan Alawoe;
•    Kohitur Poheli;
•    Dominik Galazka; and
•    Kyukyoung Kim.

In CCNY's six previous trips to the Chem-E-Car Competition®, “Zincotron” placed third last year and won the Spirit of Competition Award in Pittsburgh. There was also a second place finish in 2013 with “REAKTER,” and Spirit of Competition awards in 2014 with “Grover,” 2015 with “RuSTi,” in 2016 with “Iodonator” and in 2017 with “Sulfurious.”

Ilona Kretzschmar, chair of the chemical engineering department in the Grove School and Chem-E-Car team faculty advisor, thanked the CCNY-based CUNY Energy Institute for its support of the team.  Manganese Prime is powered by a Zn/MnO2 battery developed by Michael Nyce in the Institute. Nyce also provided training and technical support to the team.

Grove School alumni, including Peter Compo and Carl Liggio, sponsored the trip.
According to AIChE, the competition increases awareness of the chemical engineering discipline among the public, industry leaders, educators, and other students.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its role at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.


Jay Mwamba p: 212.650.7580 View CCNY Media Kit.