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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

PSU racing team rolls out 2008 entry

The Pittsburg State University racing team’s Formula SAE car passed its first test on Friday as it motored around the Kansas Technology Center parking lot to the approval of sponsors and university officials. The bigger test comes April 23-26 at the Virginia International Raceway where the car will compete with cars from 49 other universities.

The Formula SAE competition was created to allow SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) student members to conceive, design, fabricate, and compete with small formula-style racing cars. Last year was the first year that PSU entered a Formula SAE competition, finishing 47th in the Formula SAE West.Formula SAE

Larry Williamson, an adviser to the group, said the PSU entry easily fulfills the SAE goal of providing a “meaningful project as well as the opportunity of working in a dedicated team effort.” The team is made up not only of manufacturing engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology majors, but also includes a marketing major from the College of Business.

Williamson said the racing team benefited by tapping in resources throughout the College of Technology. Students in plastics engineering technology helped in the design and construction of the nose cone and other plastic parts. Students in wood technology created a frame on which the plastic pieces were manufactured. Students from automotive technology provided obvious expertise.

The teamwork extended well beyond the campus, Williamson said. “Without the support of our partners in business and industry, this just wouldn’t be possible.”

Companies provided both materials and parts, but also cash gifts to make the trip possible.

The students provided the time, working countless hours, sometimes into the early morning, to complete the project on time.

Although the racing team has high hopes for the competition in Virginia and a second in California in May, Williamson said the most important thing about the project is not winning.

“The experience is the most important thing,” Williamson said. “Learning to work as a team, using each person’s skills and expertise, planning and executing a design, solving problems – these are the things that have the greatest value.”

Members of the team include Travis Budenbender, Eric Herbers, Eric Richardson, Jared Jeffries, Kim Welch (Marketing), and Yao-Chun “Chris” Yang.

For more information about the Gorilla Formula Racing Team, visit their Web site.
For more information about Formula SAE, visit their Web site.
For more information about the PSU College of Technology, call 620-235-4365, e-mail tech@pittstate.edu or visit their Web site.
---Pitt State---