UCI Engineering Conference 2020

The University of California, Irvine Undergraduate Engineering has an annual program called The Engineering Conference, that spans 3 days providing students with a hands-on experience to solve contemporary problems through collaboration and debate. For the 2020 program, I was tasked with the following:

During the first day of the program, all students were divided into groups based on their majors that focus on certain components of this theoretical Carbon Catcher as described above. For myself, as a Materials Science and Engineering major, I was a part of the MEMBRANE community that centered on the design of the membrane component. This community also included Chemical and Biomedical Engineering students. From within this MEMBRANE group, we were further split up into smaller groups of students that each designed and presented their own membrane design to compete for the opportunity to be in the final debate. The following day was dedicated for each group to research and create a presentation on their design.

I was partnered with two Chemical Engineering students and one Biomedical Engineering student. With the goal of filtering carbon dioxide from the air for carbon storage, my group and I made sure our membrane design had high selectivity estimating the cost based on real-world parts to make it cost-efficient compared to our competitors. Based on these requirements, I suggested to my group that our membrane structures should be based on composite structures following a mixed matrix membrane (MMM's). This means we could tailor the membrane to be very selective towards the carbon where that is the only element running through it while anything else is left behind. Below is a general schematic of how the Carbon Catcher would proceed into the membrane making it the most efficient. The following slides illustrate the detailed process of how this MMM is implemented into the machine and relating it to industry standards.

Team JACK Presentation

Unfortunately, my group placed third based on our peers voting in the MEMBRANE community after all teams presented. Only the first and second places present on the third day with the other community teams, therefore my group did not contribute to the combined debate. However, I had gained experience in presenting in front of peers in a formal debate format as well as increased my abilities for quickly researching and brainstorming under this two-day period. Moreover, no matter where you placed within the smaller communities, we were required to present our findings and compile them in a research paper written by all members. So, I had also successfully adapted to write in a collective tone for reports with numerous authors under a limited time.

Team JACK Report

During the conference, I was also introduced to Siemens NX & Star CCM+ programs. I went through an introductory segment for these programs for basic training and had even expanded my knowledge later on in my courses offered at UCI.