Seeing successes: Mizzou AIChE members honored at regional awards ceremonies

April 29, 2024

Mizzou AIChE members

Mizzou’s chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) has been busy this spring, with members attending conferences and awards ceremonies. The chapter and its members earned five awards this April.

“Our chapter is ecstatic to have such a successful year in AIChE,” Ashley Kemm, former vice president of Mizzou AIChE, said. “Each and every one of our members work very hard to put forth their best work, and this really showed through our recent successes at both the conference and the St. Louis AIChE awards banquet. After hosting the conference last year, we all learned and grew so much and are better engineers for it. We were able to take a step back and focus on being outstanding participants in the conference rather than the hosts this year, and this really allowed us to shine.”

AIChE Mid-America Regional Conference

From left, Ethan Simpkins, Marissa Moore, Elizabeth Proctor and Emma McDougal
From left, Ethan Simpkins, Marissa Moore, Elizabeth Proctor and Emma McDougal.

Students took home three awards from the AIChE Mid-America Regional Conference hosted at the University of Arkansas. Junior Marissa Moore earned first place in the conference poster competition and the Chem-E-Car team won most innovative car design for their vehicle, Mizzoom. In addition, a group of organization members, which included students Marissa Moore, Elizabeth Proctor, Emma McDougal and Ethan Simpkins, placed third in the ChemE Jeopardy competition.

At the poster competition, Moore presented her research with Associate Professor Bret Ulery into using polymerization to incorporate antioxidants into biomaterials to prevent spinal cord injuries during surgeries. s

“This year’s student regional conference had the highest number of posters presented, so it was a tough competition,” Moore said. “Receiving the award was extremely rewarding because I’ve been working in this area with Bret Ulery for the last three years.”

Moore also said her favorite part of the conference was the chem-e-car competition, where she cheered on the team. At Mizzou, Chem-E-Car is a suborganization within Mizzou AIChE that designs a car powered by a chemical energy source.

Mizzou Chem-E-Car Team
The Mizzou Chem-E-Car Team

This year, Mizzoom wasn’t expecting to win any awards at the conference after having issues with the concentration of oxygen in their vehicle and 3-D printed parts. They were one of three vehicles out of six to not move during the competition.

So, when the team heard they earned Most Innovative Design, Arren Mallott, Chem-E-Car Team co-president, says it was a surprise.

“Because the award was unexpected, we were all very excited at the awards ceremony, Mallott said. “It’s disappointing when you spend a year developing a car and then it doesn’t move at competition; you have nothing really to show for all your effort besides a nice poster and a nice-looking car. It was great to learn we had a good design that we can innovate upon to make sure we don’t have the same issues next year.”

St. Louis AIChE Chapter Awards Ceremony

Ashley Kemm received the Emerson Virtus Dynamica Award as an outstanding senior in chemical engineering at Mizzou. Last year as vice president of Mizzou AIChE, Kemm led the group’s efforts to host the Mid-America Regional Conference.

Ashley Kemm, left, and Arren Mallott, right
Ashley Kemm, left, and Arren Mallott, right

“I am honored to receive the Emerson Virtus Dynamica Award,” Kemm said. “Being a first-generation student from a small town in Southwest Missouri, I never would have thought I would be receiving an award for being the top ChemE senior at Mizzou, and I am incredibly grateful for all of the resources I have been given to get to this point. None of this would have been possible without our amazing faculty in the ChemE department and my peers who have supported me throughout this degree.”

Arren Mallott also received the Rising Star Award, which is awarded to outstanding juniors in chemical engineering at Mizzou.

“It felt great to be recognized at the awards ceremony,” Mallott said. “It was also awesome to know that Dr. Hammond respected me so much to nominate me for this award in the first place.”

Kemm and Mallott attended the St. Louis AIChE Chapter Awards Ceremony with Associate Professor Karl Hammond, Mizzou AIChE’s advisor, the week following the AIChE Mid-America Regional Conference.

“I’d like to give a shout out to Dr. Karl Hammond,” Kemm said. “He is the backbone behind our organization and has really been the key to our success over the past few years. He has always been very passionate and interested in what we are doing as an org and goes above and beyond what’s expected of a faculty advisor.”

Study engineering at a university with opportunities for students to get involved in organizations related to their interests. Choose Mizzou Engineering!