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Chem-E-Car is a multi-disciplinary engineering design team that competes in the annual AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) Regional and National Chem-E-Car Competitions.


The goal of the competition is to build a shoebox sized car that travels a specified distance. Chem-E-Car provides the opportunity for UBC Engineering students to work on Mechanical, Propulsion, Circuitry, Laboratory teams - learning valuable technical, interpersonal, and project management skills!




Designs and develops the body and other mechanical components of the car. The car is custom built, made of 3D printed components and various other purchased materials; the car and all its parts must fit inside a 40cm x 30cm x 20cm box and be able to carry an extra load of water ranging from 0-500 mL. The design team must incorporate and organize the reactor, power source, microcontrollers and wiring onto the car, as well as ensure its stability and ability to travel in a straight line.



Builds an energy source (battery, fuel cell, combustion engine) to power the motor, and hence the propulsion of the car. The energy sources must provide a consistent output of energy and be able to be constructed at the day of the competition. It must also be heavily tested in varying conditions to ensure successful operation for competition day.

Circuitry Photo.jpg



Codes the car to respond to the stopping mechanism and programmes the motor to run the car. Design the sensor system which is responsible for reacting to the changes in the chemical reaction which would eventually stop the car. The sensitivity and exactness of the sensor system impacts how accurately the calibration curve is applied to stop the car as it covers a specified distance.



Designs a chemical-based stopping mechanism for the car. The chemical reaction’s rate of completion is used to stop the car motor. The lab teams must design a precise and accurate reaction, calibration curve and equation that will calculate the concentrations or quantity of reagents that will result in the completion of the reaction at the required time