A team of Engineering Technology students representing the University of North Alabama successfully competed at the AICHE car competition held at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, April 1.
The Autonomous Vehicle Team, competing in their first competition, finished fourth in a field of 16 vehicles representing universities from across the southern U.S., and was the highest-ranking team from Alabama.
The team consisted of team leader Caleb Beck from Muscle Shoals, Alexia Sales from Huntsville, Anna Leibecki from Rogersville, Heath Bell from Somerville, and Jason Hayes from Killen. Co-Advisors are Dr. Peter Rim and Dr. Dony Pan.
The competition, which combines the disciplines of Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical and Computer Engineering, tests the ability of the student to design autonomous features into a vehicle that precisely control its motion without the aid of a remote control system.
The vehicle must be powered and stopped by a chemical reaction and travel a prescribed distance, with the distance being provided only a few minutes prior to the competition.
“To be able to successfully compete with prestigious universities such as Georgia Tech and University of Alabama at Huntsville makes us especially proud of our student’s achievement,“ said Dr. Peter Rim.
Over the next few months, the students will be making improvements to their vehicle and seeking corporate sponsorship to fund competing at the national competition in Minneapolis at the end of October.
The University of North Alabama College of Arts and Sciences provided start-up funding for the vehicle.