Penn State hosts AIChE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference


More than 350 chemical engineering faculty and students from various universities gathered at University Park on April 5-6 for the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference.

The Regional Conference was highlighted by first-place finishes by Penn State students in two event competitions. Andrew Pei, a sophomore chemical engineering major, won the student paper competition with “Enhanced Virus Removal in a Practical Sand Filter” and Michele Fromel, graduate student in chemical engineering, won the student poster competition with “SI-PET-RAFT: Surface-Initiated Photo-Induced Electron Transfer-Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerization.”

Other event competition winners included Virginia Tech’s “Team Ride or Iodide,” who took first place in the Chem E Car Competition and will advance to the National Chem E Car Competition to be held at the AIChE National Conference in October. The competition is based on how far a model car, designed completely around chemical reactions, could carry a weighted load. Points were also awarded for creativity, environmental and safety features.

“The Chem E Car Competition is an event that really tests the student's creativity and understanding of chemistry, physics, design and chemical engineering,” Anni Ko, Penn State sophomore-chemical engineering and AIChE Mid-Atlantic Regionals chair, said. “The dedication and hard work that each student puts into their car is amazing.”

The winners of the Chemical Engineering Jeopardy competition were a team from Johns Hopkins University, while the winner of the Chem E Car Poster competition was the team from Rutgers University. 

Other activities at the regional conference included seminars, workshops, a student dinner, a career fair, a tour of the new Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building and a banquet.

Ko said planning the conference was a good experience for her, noting that she worked with the Penn State AIChE student board members and chemical engineering faculty and staff to coordinate the event.

“Overall, I had such an amazing time planning this conference,” she said. “It was a great opportunity to develop my leadership, teamwork and event coordination skills. I would definitely do it again if I had the chance.”

Based on feedback from attendees, Ko said, the event was a success.

“The feedback we have received has shown how much the students enjoyed each event,” Ko said. “I really want to express how thankful I am for all the support and volunteers we had. This event could not have had the amount of success without them.”


Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email


Jamie Oberdick



The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2574