Chem-E-Car Keeps on Chugging

April 25, 2018

Members of the 2018 Cooper Union Chem-E-Car Team

The Chem-E-Car team of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering are going to national Chem-E-Car Competition again this year after placing second in the regionals on April 8th.

Their car, dubbed "Vitawin C," continues to improve on the citric-acid-based formula that pushed last year's car, Lemon Aid, to the nationals.

The competition, which is sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) requires participants to devise a chemical reaction that not only moves a car forward, but also stops after a predetermined distance. While students are given a range of the required final distance—between 15 to 30 meters—specifics are not revealed until the day of the competition. When the distance is revealed, the team must adjust its calculations to ensure that the car would get as close to the specified point as possible.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.