Adrian Robillard

Officer Elections

Posted by Adrian Robillard Jul 2, 2014

First off, we'd like to say a big thank you to last year's officers: Charlie Scanlon, Michael Fricke, Karl Hundt, Greg Kucab, Matt Drea, Arnie Dojan,  Nathan Blank, and Adrian Robillard.


And also welcome in our new officers! They are as follows:


Chairman: Karl Hundt

Vice Chairman: Adrian Robillard

Secretary: Lauren Goulet

Program Coordinator: Brandon Vanderheyden

Sponsorship Coordinator: Ben Mueller

Treasurer: Simon Gall

Webmaster: David Doyle

Senior Design Liaison: Greg Kucab


Congratulations to all of the new officers and we are all looking forward to an exciting year!

Nathan Blank

Week 7 Update

Posted by Nathan Blank Apr 22, 2014

The last several weeks have been eventful for our chapter of SAE International.  Week four, we welcomed Power Solutions International (PSI) to


speak with our student members.  Representing PSI was Patrick Stockwell, an alum of MSOE, and Dan Kasper.  PSI is a supplier of custom power applications.  They purchase engines from manufacturers such as CAT, Perkins, Mitsubishi, and GM and provide the accessory equipment necessary to drop these engines directly into a manufacturer's power equipment.  This includes forklifts, generators, wood chippers, and many others.  They allow these pieces of equipment to be powered by nearly any fuel, and in some cases, multiple fuels.  Both Patrick and Dan spoke about "a day in the life" of an engineer at PSI and shared examples of some of their design projects.  They are a rapidly growing company with a strong connection to MSOE - with many of their engineers being previous students.

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Students and faculty (Dr. Damm) spoke with the representatives from PSI.

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Week five was our chapter's opportunity to showcase not only the work our student members have done over the past few years, but also MSOE as a whole.  Three of our officers (Nathan Blank, Michael Fricke, and Charlie Scanlon) traveled to the SAE World Congress in Detroit to represent our chapter and the university.  This three day event, hosted in Detroit's COBO Center is an exhibition of not only leading automotive manufacturers, but also the companies that supply the materials, consulting, and manufacturing processes essential to the automotive industry.  Representatives from many of these companies were able to come to our booth and learn about the work that our students perform relating to automotive applications.  Professionals from Ford, GM, and Chrysler were eager to speak with us not only about the projects we've worked on, but also about future career opportunities.  We were able to display the many awards our chapter has earned over the past four years - a sight which impressed most passers by.

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Each year, the booth is suggested to have a theme.  This year, we focused on the Team Carbonair Supermileage Vehicle.  We gave a technical presentation about the construction of the body for this vehicle during a judge competition for chapter award money.  Unfortunately, our presentation was somewhat lacking because we were not able to bring the actual Supermileage vehicle due to transportation constraints.  Each of the officer representatives from our chapter have spent time serving on the design teams at MSOE.  Michael and Charlie spent three years on the Supermileage team and Nathan spent a year on the Formula Hybrid team.  This gave us plenty of firsthand knowledge of the engineering design work that our chapter performs for the various design competitions we attend.  Below, you can see Nathan discussing the analysis that went into a novel gear design for the Forumla Hybrid vehicle.

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Along with representing our university and SAE student chapter, we were able to travel the expo to speak with hundreds of industry professionals.  We learned about new components, manufacturing processes, analysis tools, and consulting work that make the automotive industry successful today.  We were able to network with our neighboring universities in the SAE Milwaukee section as well as the SAE Detroit section.  Another opportunity at the World Congress is the endless technical presentations taking place throughout the day.  Researchers and industry professionals presented their research and technical papers involving the new automotive technology including topics relating to safety, performance, emissions, materials, and many others.  We were able to attend these informative presentations free of charge.  However the event was also an opportunity to have fun new experiences.  We were able to spend a few hours test driving brand new vehicles on the road, a first time experiences for some of us.  This was also an opportunity to explore Detroit and learn more about the city built around the automotive industry.  To any underclassmen in our chapter, it is strongly recommended that you take advantage of this unique opportunity to represent our university, showcase the work our design teams have done, network with industry professionals eager to hire you, and have a lot of fun doing so!

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Week six, our chapter hosted elections for next year's officers.  These candidates were nominated by their peers for leadership roles and will be responsible for ensuring the continued success of our top ranked chapter.  Your officers for the 2014/2015 academic year were elected as follows:

     Chairman - Karl Hundt (returning officer)

     Vice Chairman - Adrian Robillard

     Secretary - Lauren Goulet (returning officer)

     Treasurer - Simon Gall

     Program Coordinator - Brandon Vanderheyden

     Sponsorship Coordinator - Ben Mueller

     Webmaster - David Doyle (returning officer)

     Senior Design Liaison - Greg Kucab (returning officer)

We have great confidence that these students will work hard to further grow our chapter and continue encouraging members to become involved.  Speaking of growing our chapter and getting involved, keep in mind that the 1st Annual May Day Car Show will be hosted by our chapter on Saturday May 3rd at Discovery World (Sunday May 4th rain date).  This is a free event showcasing historical vehicles as well as student project vehicles from neighboring universities.  We are looking for members that are willing to help out with setup, directing visitors, and registration.  Food and beverage will be provided for those who are willing to volunteer and support our chapter.  Anyone interested in doing so should email Michael Fricke at  We look forward to seeing as many of you, your friends, and your family as possible that day!


Nathan Blank

Spring Week 2 Update

Posted by Nathan Blank Mar 19, 2014

For those who were unable to attend, the SAE Student Networking Night was a great success.  Members from our local Marquette and Milwaukee chapters came to socialize and learn what activities each other has been involved in.  We also welcomed speaker Peter Cunningham for the event.  We hope to make this a regular event to strengthen our partnership with fellow SAE peers at local schools.


This week, our chapter welcomed Mercury Marine to come speak about the challenges involved in designing engines for marine applications.  Chris Taylor, Manager of Mechanical Development at Mercury, shed light on the many differences marine engines present compared to their  typical on road cousins.  Chris was also joined by Nerissa Hanson, a recent MSOE graduate working in their diesel cooling division.


One of the challenges presented by designing for marine applications include water cooling of the engine block.  Not only is the incoming water commonly filled with sand and other particles, it can be result in mineral deposits which block the path of water flow.  Air intake and external component cooling are directly linked - the intake air is drawn through the engine shroud, cooling components as it does so.  However, this can significantly increase the temperature of the air charge to the engine, reducing volumetric efficiency.  Perhaps the most significant differences is the duty cycle of marine engines.  Because the power required to maintain speed in water is significantly higher than that of a rolling on-road vehicle, the engine will spend a large portion of its operating life at high load, high speed - whereas most automotive engines are designed to spend most of their life at low load, low speed.  This creates durability challenges for Mercury - they test their engines for 300 hours at full speed, wide open throttle to validate the reliability of their engines.  A final challenge is emissions.  As emission restrictions tighten, marine engine exhaust will undoubtedly have to be catalyzed in order to comply.  This is a challenge to not only fit the extra size and weight of a catalytic converter, but maintain the necessary temperature to make the catalyst effective and then subsequently cool the exhaust by injecting massive volumes of water just inches away to route gases through rubber and plastic hoses to be expelled.


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Join us on Monday of Week 4 as we welcome Power Solutions International, Inc, an Illinois company that sources engines for custom power applications ranging from electrical power generation to off and on highway vehicles.  They are a fast growing company that frequently employs MSOE students.  We look forward to seeing everyone there!


Our chapter has several upcoming events as well.  The professional section, SAE Milwaukee, will be holding their monthly meeting at Mercury Marine on March 27th.  Our student chapter is in charge of event registration and sign-in.  Registration for this event is full, but if you're already signed up, make sure to contact your officers to arrange transportation to the event.  The SAE World Congress is being held in Detroit, ! April 8-10.  Our chapter is sending three officers to represent MSOE, potentially bringing past project vehicles for presentation.


We are very excited to announce the 1st Annual May Day Car Show!  This event is the first of its kind for MSOE SAE.  This car show will be hosted by Discovery World on May 3rd (May 4th as a rain date) from 10am to 3pm.  The event will showcase a variety of vehicles that display technological milestones throughout history.  We will also be exhibiting vehicles from student design projects from our local SAE chapters.  Keep an eye out for more information as this event approaches.

Nathan Blank

Week 8 Update

Posted by Nathan Blank Feb 6, 2014

     This week, our chapter welcomed Mike Peterson from Joy Global.  Joy Global is a leading manufacturer of heavy duty surface and underground mining equipment.  Mike is an alumni of MSOE and previous member of our SAE chapter.  He was even involved with SAE Supermileage during his studies.  Mike is involved with manufacturing process improvement at Joy Global.  He focused on their methods for heat treating gears to ensure proper strength and long life in operation – a process that sets their products apart from their competitors.  Below, you can see Mike explaining to some students the methods used to measure case depth from the cross section of a gear tooth.



     This process is crucial to the survival of a gear in such extreme applications.  Mike explained their methods of induction hardening and the challenges it can present with the complex geometry associated with gear teeth.  We were excited to have an alum of not only MSOE, but our chapter of SAE, back to share his professional experiences with our members and future engineers.  This is a connection our chapter hopes to maintain with all of its members.  Thanks again to everyone who made it to the meeting to show your interest ands support!



  • This Saturday (February 8th), the chapter is driving down to the Chicago Auto Show.
  • Keep an eye and ear out for announcements for a student networking night.  We’ll be inviting SAE chapters from local colleges to have a chance to socialize and see what the other schools are up to.  We may also be hosting a guest speaker for this event.
  • The officer board will also be reviewing proposals from the SAE design teams to appropriately distribute funds awarded at Student Night.  This will be decided early next week and advisors for each team will receive a check for the awarded amount shortly thereafter.
  • Week 10 meeting will be presentations from the design teams.  Come check out what your classmates have been up.  This is a great opportunity to see what the projects are all about if you’re interested or to or show support for your design team if you’re already involved.
Nathan Blank

SAE Week 6 Update

Posted by Nathan Blank Jan 20, 2014

     The first three weeks back from winter break have been eventful for our SAE chapter!  Week four, we welcomed HUSCO International to MSOE (thank you to the brave souls for coming to support our chapter despite the frigid cold).  HUSCO shared the various components they supply to the automotive industry including cam phasing technologies, cylinder deactivation, hydraulics, and fuel injectors.  HUSCO shared with us the design process they employ when designing a typical valve component.  They spoke about the various simulation techniques used to cut down time to develop a product to reduce manufacturing costs while maintaining desired performance.



     Today, we welcomed representatives from Denso to speak to our chapter.  They first shared some background on the many varieties of products they manufacture as a Tier 1 Automotive Supplier.  They also shared their experiences working for Denso.  With offices on six continents, they are a rapidly growing corporation with a focus on their customers and employees. After this presentation, plenty of time was left over for our members to get their hands on an example of the heads-up-display Denso designed for the 2014/15 Chevy Camaro.  Members also had an opportunity to network with the recruiters looking for new talent in the engineering field.  Design teams had an opportunity to speak about possibilities of sponsorship.  It was great to see such enthusiasm and involvement from the chapter as a whole!



     Join us week 8 (February 3rd) as welcome Joy Global.  They will be presenting about the engineering challenges faced in the design of large scale excavation machinery.  Design teams please keep an eye out for requests for proposals.  The chapter has requested a description of your current budget plans and progress on your projects so that the board may distribute the award money won at SAE Student Night.  Also, members please take advantage of your opportunity to come to the Chicago Auto Show on Saturday, February 8th!  Transportation will be provided by SAE.  Members receive a discounted ticket price of $7, non-members are also welcome to join for the standard ticket price of $12.  Please sign up by January 31st.


Keep an eye out for information about our trip to the Chicago Auto Show on Saturday, February 8th.  Our chapter will be providing transportation the show and SAE members receive a $5 discount for early registration with the chapter.


Join us on Monday, January 6th (first day back to class after break) for our Week 4 meeting at noon in S341.  We look forward to seeing everyone there.  Enjoy your break and have a merry Christmas!!

Nathan Blank

SAE Week 2 Meeting

Posted by Nathan Blank Dec 16, 2013

This week, our chapter welcomed Eddie Smith, the lead design engineer from Erik Buell Racing.  This was a unique opportunity to look into the design considerations that go into making a superbike like the 1190RS.  Eddie gave some insight into how the Buell brand came about through Erik’s passion for motorcycles and his desire to build the best bike possible.  After separating from Harley Davidson, an independent company, Erik Buell Racing (EBR) was founded to continue Erik’s dream of building the ideal superbike.  We learned about how EBR developed the 1190RS for the elite superbike enthusiasts and the more affordable 1190RX sport bike.  These bikes were designed with a great deal of cooperation with their AMA Superbike racing team.  Eddie spoke about design optimizations from aerodynamics, engine cooling, air intake, exhaust tuning, emissions, and frame rigidity.  He also talked about the testing methods they use to refine their designs, including camouflage bikes driven on the road, track testing, as well as dynamometers and static loading rigs in house.


Adrian Robillard

Fall Quarter Updates

Posted by Adrian Robillard Nov 17, 2013

Well it’s been a great start to the 2013-2014 school year. 2013-09-16 12.15.27We had great attendance from board members as well as those involved in design projects at our annual Student Org Fair.  This helped to continue the strong presence our SAE chapter has at MSOE, as many new faces have joined the ranks at our meetings.  We have big plans to get the chapter involved not only in community events but also with our neighboring student chapters at UW Milwaukee and Marquette.

Already this quarter, we have had an impressive collection ofimageindustry professionals come to share their experiences and knowledge about working in the automotive field.

Week four, our chapter has had the pleasure of hearing from Paul Gessler, a recent graduate of MSOE working on graduate studies at Marquette University.  He shared his experiences working at Johnson Controls and their implementation of model based design.  He outlined methods of applying this process to the automotive industry.




MSOE SAE welcomed Jim Colegrove for our third meeting.  Jim is the senior composites manufacturing engineer at Trek Bicycle.  He spoke about the advantages of composites and factors driving the development of composites technology.  He also explained the challenges involved with manufacturing quality parts from carbon fiber.  Finally, each member also received their own sample of prepregnated carbon fiber cloth.



For week eight, our chapter heard from some representatives from Modine Manufacturing, a frequent employer of MSOE graduates.  They spoke about developing technologies in exhaust gas recirculation, and particularly, their EGR coolers for commercial vehicles.  They spoke about the rigorous testing testing involved in developing a product that can last the life of a commercial vehicle.


As usual, our final meeting was updates from the design teams.  MSOE SAE has many opportunities to get involved in design work that employers desire.  Among the list are Supermileage, Formula Hybrid, Baja, and Aero.  Supermileage is building a gas vehicle to achieve maximum fuel economy and new this year is an all electric car to compete in a second class.  Formula Hybrid is completing a gas/electric hybrid racecar.  The previous year’s team built a new frame and suspension, leaving the powertrain to be designed for this year’s team.  Baja is working to complete their hydraulic powered all terrain vehicle to compete in hill climbs and towing events.  Aero is working to improve from a very successful remote controlled airplane design of the previous year to accurately drop a payload on target.  Want to get involved in any of these exciting projects?  Help is welcomed from any experience, class level, and major!  You can check out any of their Facebook pages or let one of our officers know and we’ll get you connected.


Our chapter has also been involved with the professionals in SAE Milwaukee.  Our student section has always had a strong presence in the Milwaukee professional chapter.  Earlier this fall, we were welcomed to their presentation on the 2014 Stingray Corvette.  MSOE was also the only student section to attend the Milwaukee chapter meeting at MIAD to learn about the Brooks Stevens engineering design firm and their development of the Excalibur ultra luxury vehicle.  Fun fact: Brooks Stevens designed the current MSOE logo in 1978.

Finally, MSOE had a successful evening at the Milwaukee chapter SAE Student Night.  This was a great opportunity to demonstrate the chapter’s strength and show off our design team’s vehicles.  We also got to see what the other schools in our regional chapter were up to: their chapter events and design team progress.  MSOE’s presentation won second place and $1400 for the chapter to continue improving the experience that each of our members receives as part of their membership and involvement.

We’ve got big things planned for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year so stay tuned and keep enjoying your free pizza at each meeting!