Answer: two years in a row
Question: How many times has the University of Iowa AIChE student chapter won ChemE Jeopardy?
In a decisive victory, the University of Iowa student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, or AIChE, took home the National AIChE ChemE Jeopardy championship at the 2021 AIChE student conference. This year, the team competed in person in Boston, MA. In 2020, the team took home the championship after competing virtually over Zoom. Questions for the game come from chemical engineering undergraduate coursework, and teams from across the country compete in regional events leading up to the fall national conference.
“Our team complemented each other very well, and only got better as time and training went on,” said spring 2021 chemical engineering graduate Colin Sindt. “Between the four of us, we not only covered most of the usual chemical engineering categories, but also a variety of the novel categories like geography, pop culture, general trivia, and other categories.” In 2020, Sindt was joined on the team by Dimitri Gatzios, Mason Lyons, and Jonah Marks. Gatzios and Lyons graduated in spring 2021. In 2021, Sindt was joined by team members Dimitri Gatzios, Mason Lyons, and Darrell Smith, a chemical engineering junior.
The 2020 competition came down to Iowa, the University of Southern California and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). In 2021, the UI team went up against UMBC and Iowa State University in the finals. In total 65 teams from across the country competed including teams from Notre Dame, Louisiana State University, and the University of Delaware.
“That our students performed so strongly against many top schools speaks to their commitment to their studies and the caliber of the education we provide,” said David Murhammer, UI professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and the team’s advisor. “It was inspiring to watch them compete, and I am proud of their accomplishments in 2020 and 2021.”
With all team members graduating or set to graduate, the UI student chapter will be looking for the next generation of ChemE Jeopardy champions. Successful teams are built through practice and dedication, as the current team members know all-too-well.
“One of my favorite parts of being involved on the jeopardy team were the weekly practices,” said Mason Lyons. “These were always light-hearted and fun while being productive and competitive.”
For now, the team is still basking in the glow of their 2021 victory in which they took home 14,200 points, nearly 12,000 points more than their closest competitor.
AIChE is the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 60,000 members from more than 110 countries. AIChE has the breadth of resources and expertise you need whether you are in core process industries or emerging areas, such as translational medicine. For more information, visit: aiche.org.