Picturing Our Past

Bob Arnzen (second from left), a graduate student in mechanical engineering, shows off his hovercraft to students and administrators as part of the Mechanical Engineering Student Design project in 1968. Today, students in the University’s mechanical and aerospace engineering program in the School of Engineering & Applied Science are working on a car for the Society of Automotive Engineer’s Formula Challenge, an engineering design competition for college students in which they design, build, test and race small formula-style cars. The competition takes place in Michigan every May, where the cars are tested statically and dynamically. The static testing includes a presentation given by the students on the car’s design, and the design itself. The dynamic testing includes acceleration, skid-pad and endurance tests. The cars typically weigh about 500 pounds and are powered by 600cc motorcycle engines. This can result in a vehicle capable of reaching 60 mph in four seconds.

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