The premise of the competition requires students to design and develop a miniature-sized car run solely on a chemical energy source that will carry a given water load over a specified distance and stop within range of the finish line. The competition reaches out to the public and industry leaders in an effort to increase the awareness of the importance of the Chemical Engineering discipline. Each team is judged based on three aspects: presentation, performance, and creativity.

Payment can be made through the corresponding tab specifically for Chem-E-Car.


When is the deadline to register our car and pay for the competition?

  • April 1st is the deadline for PAYMENT; the registration deadline has already passed. Please pay here.

What documents do we need to submit to AIChE?

  • The EDP deadline was March 3rd and the Intent to Compete deadline was February 16th. All of the teams were responsible for submitting required documents on time. Please follow the guidance on Chem-E-Car Competition Rules.
  • UCSD AIChE requires each team to send their chemical information to the competition chairs for us to work with EH&S.

How should we transport the chemicals?

  • All hazardous chemicals should be shipped by certified carriers or manufacturers directly. Common household chemicals can be brought with each team. Please follow the Safety Rules 2017 for guidance.
  • The latest time that our department is able to receive chemicals is between April 3rd – 7th. Each team should expect more than a few days for carriers to ship their chemicals, and UCSD will not hold responsibility for missing chemicals during the competition due to late shipping or lost packages caused by the carrier.
  • Due to the limited storage space, please do not send chemicals with volumes more than 1 L. For example, if you need to ship sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid solutions, you can send up to 1 L of EACH chemical for a total of 2 L.
  • We highly recommend that you email the competition chair with information about shipped chemicals; it’ll be easier for both you and us to track shipping. Here is the link to the chemical shipping checklist.
  • Chemical Shipping Address:  

Nicholas Adame, (858) 822-3023
University of California, San Diego
Engineering Building Unit II, Room 135
9500 Gilman Dr. Mail Code: 0448
La Jolla, CA, 92093

What will we provide during the competition?

  • 5 weight balances 
  • 2 hot/stir plates
  • gloves and paper towels

What do we need to bring on my own for the competition?

  • Glassware such as beakers and graduated cylinders. It’s also highly recommended to bring your own hot/stir plate if possible. Personal protective equipment(PPE) is required to handle chemicals during the competition.

Where is the competition held?

  • Geisel Library’s 3rd floor. The floor is flat cement.

If you still have questions after reading the FAQ, please contact the Chem-E-Car Competition Chairs for the following concerns:

Aaron Chen: lab space, chemical/waste related concerns

Colin Feeney: competition site, other logistics