Fuel Cell Car Design Project for Freshman Engineering Courses

Steve Duke, Virginia Davis


In the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University, we have integrated a semester long design project based on a toy fuel cell car into our freshman “Introduction to Chemical Engineering Class.” The project provides the students a basic foundation in chemical reactions, energy, and dimensional analysis that facilitates success in later courses. More importantly, it provides them immediate exposure to how “engineers think” by engaging them in a creative design process that involves teamwork, project planning and communication. In addition, it facilitates interest in the AIChE Chem-E-Car. The fundamental project framework has been implemented in classes ranging in size from 30 to 180 students. Informal and formal assessments have consistently shown that the project enhances student learning and enjoyment of the course. 

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