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Accolades: Chem-E Car team places high; EECS presents security; iGEM gets silver

ChemE Car Team Places High in Competition

ChemE Car Team

The ChemE car team from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering competed in the 2018 Annual AIChE international conference that took place in Pittsburgh PA from October 26–29.  Teams compete with small cars that fit in shoe box and that are powered and stopped by means of chemical reactions.  Before the competition starts the distance that the cars has to travel is announced, the winner of the competition is the car that stops closer to that distance. The UT team placed 6th amount 38 teams from all over the world. I am the faculty advisor for the the team.

ChemE Car team members pictured above are, from left, Matt Adams, Hana Gouto, Shannon Mulhall, Lacey Roberts, Maria Bruce, Jason Chung, and Jason Pan.

CS Student Presents at Toronto Security Conference

Berat Arik and Team in Canada

Berat Arik, computer science senior and HackUTK leader, traveled to Toronto, Canada, in mid-October to present a poster and short paper at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS). Berat, in collaboration with Rachel Petrik, a math PhD student from the University of Kentucky, completed this research during his summer internship at Oak Ridge National Lab in 2018, where both students were mentored by ORNL staff member Jared Smith. Smith is a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow with VolSec, the UT computer security lab advised by Assistant Professor Max Schuchard.

Read more about Arik’s presentation.

iGEM Brings Home the Silver

UT’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team returned from the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston with the Silver Medal last week.

2018 iGEM Team Presents their Poster

Six undergraduate Engineering Vols attended and competed in the international competition this year, including J. Scott Dixon, Brandon D. Kristy, Molly E. Landon, Ralph B. Laurel, Karl D. Leitner, and Morgan T. Street.

This year’s team focused processes breaking down environmental toxins such as dichloroacetate (DCA) and dichloromethane (DCM). The team identified, cloned, and expressed multiple pieces of DNA to confirm that these DNA fragments indeed produce enzymes that convert toxic DCA into nontoxic compounds.

The team competed—after eight months of lab work on top of their already busy class schedules—with 342 other teams on an international arena. They presented their research in a 20-minute oral presentation to a panel of six judges, followed by a poster presentation. This year marks the third time the UT team has competed at the Jamboree.

The team is led by faculty advisers Frank E. Löffler and Steven A. Ripp, and mentored by two graduate student advisers in the Bredesen Center, David C. Garcia and Nannan Jiang.

UT iGEM team members currently span six departments, including Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB), the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE), Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Department of Microbiology, and Entomology and Plant Pathology (EPP). iGEM is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to gain first-hand experience in synthetic biology.