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.