The Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute — an entity of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) — has signed ExxonMobil as the exclusive Title Sponsor of RAPID’s ChemE Cube Competition. In the competition, teams of undergraduate students design and build a functioning modular process in the space of one cubic foot and pitch their product to a panel of mock investors — a challenge that encourages students to envision and design commercializable solutions to the types of engineering problems that they will encounter in their future work in the process industries. In 2023, the competition’s theme is Direct Air Capture. Student teams will design, build and operate their ChemE Cubes to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere during the AIChE Annual Meeting and Annual Student Conference, to be held November 5–10 in Orlando, FL.
One of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Manufacturing USA Institutes, RAPID is a public-private consortium that fosters breakthrough technologies in process intensification and modular manufacturing to bolster energy- and resource-efficient manufacturing processes for industries such as advanced materials, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and various chemical manufacturers in the U.S.. The RAPID Manufacturing Institute launched the ChemE Cube Competition in 2021 as a means of introducing students to concepts and techniques associated with these more-efficient and sustainable approaches to engineering. In addition to creating their ChemE Cubes, students showcase and pitch their products to a panel of judges.