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Record number of WSU Everett student teams competing in engineering contests

EVERETT, Wash. – Feb. 26, 2020 – Teams of Washington State University Everett engineering students are flying, roving driving and blowing into major national and international competitions this spring. The WSU Everett Engineering Club, supported by the student government and industry donors to help students from all disciplines to participate in extracurricular engineering projects, has sponsored four teams this year. This is the first year in club history that all four have been selected for their target competitions.

“When I look at how many students show up and put in work, I am not even close to shocked that each team is on track to compete this year,” said Michael Erke, the club’s president. “I am constantly impressed with the determination of our team leaders. It is going to be exciting to see our teams facing students at other universities, but also the growth and development of our diversely skilled team members continually learning to work better together.”

The Design Build Fly team, will compete in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Design Build Fly contest this April in Wichita, Kan. Students must design, manufacture and demonstrate flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric-powered, radio-controlled aircraft. Led by Kaizer Conteras, the nine-member team is currently optimizing designs for the model airplane they will fly.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) asks students to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain in the Baja SEA competition. WSU Everett students will travel to Peoria, Ill., in June for a multi-day competition that includes challenging events ranging from hill climbs to rock crawling and endurance. The team’s efforts are led by Michael Korody and Matt Chapman, as well as club Head of Communications Katja Wahl. The team has finalized and submitted their design for the vehicle’s roll cage, which will begin production in the upcoming weeks along with the suspension system.

The world-famous WSU Everett Mars Rover team has passed multiple checkpoints in the University Rover Challenge (URC) that is hosted by The Mars Society. The team most recently successfully passed preliminary design review, which allows them to continue their path to competing in May in Hanksville, Utah in 2021. In the coming weeks team leaders Daniel Richards and Brandon Kovach will guide the team through preparation and submission of the system acceptance review, which they must pass to travel to Utah for the URC.

Wind energy is one of the most well-known and widely used alternative energy sources across the United States. The Wind Energy team is exploring this by designing and building a wind turbine, as well as developing a business plan for the yearly Collegiate Wind Energy competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. The team will travel to Denver, Colo., in June to test and analyze their creations.

“We are witnessing an incredible breadth and depth of knowledge and skill from students participating in our engineering clubs,” WSU Everett Chancellor Paul Pitre said. “The collaboration among multiple STEM and liberal arts disciplines is astonishing. I look forward to seeing our students bringing home trophies, but even more to watch them use these experiences to reach their career aspirations here in our Puget Sound community.”

By Katja Wahl
WSU Everett Engineering Club Head of Communications