SAE Student Teams Celebrate National Engineers Week

MidMichigan SAE student chapters presented their collegiate design series teams and vehicles on February 22 to celebrate National Engineers Week.

Students from three Michigan universities gave presentations this past Thursday to celebrate National Engineers Week. The MidMichigan Section of SAE International hosted the banquet to celebrate local student teams who competed in various SAE Collegiate Design Series competitions.

General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales Global Vice President Tim Turvey spoke at the head of the meeting, outlining the technology that GM is currently using and where it expects to go in the coming decade. CMU Baja from Central Michigan University and Kettering University Baja SAE teams presented their past season accomplishments from the Baja SAE competition. Baja’s focus is an offroad vehicle that can survive rough terrain and the occasional water hazard.

Kettering also fielded a team in the Clean Snowmobile challenge, a design competition to reengineer existing snowmobiles to reduce emissions and noise. The Aero Design competition challenges teams to design, build and test a radio controlled aircraft to take off, land and optimize mission requirements. Kettering Aviation discussed their season and plans for the upcoming year.

Formula SAE is a competition focused on racing and allowing students teams to design, build and test their vehicles before static and dynamic competition events. All three universities present competed in Formula SAE, with strong season presentations from Saginaw Valley State University’s Cardinal Racing team, CMU’s Chippewa Racing and Kettering’s Formula SAE team. The final student speakers of the night were the Kettering AutoDrive team. AutoDrive is a three year long autonomous vehicle competition where eight student teams work to navigate an urban driving course with SAE Standard J3016 level 4 definition cars.

At the end of the evening the hotly contested Collegiate Cup was awarded to the team that gives the best presentation. Five judges from the MidMichigan section leadership team judged the presentations on five categories: Technical Content, Discussion of Season Performance, Challenges for Next Season, Ability to Answer Questions, and Presentation Skills. This year the Kettering Baja team won the cup after an excellent presentation from Senior Eric Stuckey.

It’s always inspiring to see these students so completely compassionate about their vehicles, and even better to see students on two or three different competition teams. The audience of SAE members ask deep questions and the students always show that they’ve analyzed and simulated many different scenarios before heading to the build phase. A full calendar of all of the Collegiate Design Series events can be found at the SAE website and some pictures from the evening can be found on the MidMichigan SAE website.