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 frickem@msoe.edu.  We look forward to seeing as many of you, your friends, and your family as possible that day!