Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering News

ChemE Jeopardy Team Wins National Competition

ChemE Jeopardy Team Wins National Competition

The University of Maryland ChemE Jeopardy team won first place in the 2015 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Student Conference Jeopardy Competition.

Under the leadership of their faculty advisor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) Associate Professor Chunsheng Wang, ChBE students Ben Gastfriend, Lidiya Gavrilenko, Amanda Merlock and Carla Repko battled it out against eight teams from across the country to take the top prize at the AIChE meeting in Salt Lake City earlier this month.

The UMD ChemE Jeopardy team members secured their spot in the national tournament by winning the Mid-Atlantic competition back in April.

In order to advance to clinch the national championship, UMD first topped Oregon State University and San Jose State University in a semifinal round before facing University of Iowa and Georgia Tech in the finals.

“We were excited to take the top prize because this was the first year we competed in the Jeopardy competition at nationals, and we came from behind in the final round to win it,” Gavrilenko said, noting that the team held several targeted practice sessions to prepare for the big event. “We felt that the toughest questions were the potpourri categories because our Chem E curriculum is so solid.”

Example clues and responses from this year’s national competition included:

Clue: The word for this disease comes from the same Latin root as “rage.”
Answer: What is rabies

Clue: This dimensionless number is the ratio between inertial and gravitational forces, and is used to determine the resistance of an object moving through a fluid
Answer: What is the Fround (Fr) number?

Clue: This is the most commonly used mammalian cell line in the commercial production of recombinant proteins.
Answer: What are Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells?

UMD participation in student competitions are made possible in part by gifts made to the A. James Clark School of Engineering Student Projects and Activities Fund.

Clark School Dean and Farvardin Professor of Engineering Darryll Pines said of student competitions: “Many ideas have emerged from government, industry, and academia regarding how best to inspire and support innovation. But, nothing spurs creativity and innovation more than a combination of incentive and challenge: a reward for achievement, combined with the urgency of a dare to succeed and the reality that we must race against others. We are at our best when we compete.”

Producing engineering innovations, and innovators, is where the Clark School's potential for greatness lies. Through creativity and hard work we've already achieved successes well beyond the level our resources would predict, and begun to receive the recognition of our peers. We call on those who value our work—alumni, students, faculty, partners and friends—to come forward, contribute their knowledge, energy and financial resources, and help us produce innovations and innovators that will change the world. Get involved here



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November 17, 2015

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