UC s Aerocats Team Soars at International Design Competition
Each year, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International) holds a design-build-fly competition for undergraduate and graduate college students. The students must create a radio-controlled aircraft that can take off and land while carrying cargo of a certain weight. The competition demonstrates technical skills as well as good teamwork and communication.
According to SAE International, First and foremost a design competition, students will find themselves performing trade studies and making compromises to arrive at a design solution that will optimally meet the mission requirements while still conforming to the configuration limitations. The importance of interpersonal communication skills is often overlooked by engineers, yet both written and oral communication skills are vital in the engineering workplace. To help teams develop these skills, a high percentage of a teams score is devoted to the design report and the oral presentation required in the competition.
In the flight portion, UCs Aerocats placed sixth overall and third nationally. The teams report won first place for Best Report Overall. Their design won fourth place overall. The competition was steep, with teams representing many countries.
Aerocats is a student organization dedicated to aerospace and aircraft. Team members were as follows:
This years team was advised by John Livingston of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). Santiago Panzardi, also of WPAFB, piloted the remote-controlled aircraft.
After the event, Panzardi wrote to Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department Chair Awatef Hamed to compliment her on the calibre of the UC Aerocats team. Panzardi noted that the entire team performed as a unit, showing great enthusiasm at all times. He specifically cited their teamwork in assembling, cutting, gluing, repairing, modifying, measuring, holding or carrying the airplane at any given time over the weekend. They made my job as pilot and advisor in hand very easy.
Panzardi also remarked at how others noticed the excellent teamwork of the UC Aerocats: I even heard bystanders talk about how well and how hard the team worked at all times. Needless to say, I am extremely proud of every member of the team, and so should be the entire aero engineering faculty.
He concluded his letter, saying, It was my pleasure to lead such a great fine group of young engineers.
More about Aerocats
About SAE's Design East
List of registered teams
L to R: Santiago Panzardi (RC pilot), Matt Goettke, Alex Sullivan, Dave Chalk, SAE steward, Steve Coppess, John Louis, Kevin Harsley, John Vandenbemden, Todd Barhorst and Matt Crummey
(All are AsE Class of 2005 except for Matt Crummey, who is a computer engineering major, class of 2005. Crummey's primary role was to implement a sensor package on the aircraft, specifically the angle-of-attack sensor.)
Not pictured (all AsE 2005):
Advisor John Livingston, WPAFB