Feb 24

Welcome to the automotive dream world

Chaz Mancino

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering freshman Charles ‘Chaz’ Mancino. Chaz, who is from Fredonia, NY, and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering, will occasionally post his thoughts about his Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering.If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Chaz’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 |Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7 | Post 8 | Post 9 | Post 10 | Post 11 | Post 12 | Post 13 Post 14 Post 15 | Post 16 Post 17 | Post 18 | Post 19

The premier college for automotive engineering continues its tradition.

What do the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the Kettering University Formula SAE team, and Bob Lutz have in common? They all contributed to continuing the Kettering University tradition of being the premier college for automotive engineering. Ever since I started this current academic term, it is clear that the shadows of GMI have come out to play with current Kettering University students. From the SAE garage to the Cobo Center in Detroit, Kettering University has made an impression on all automotive lovers.

At the 2014 North American International Auto Show, Kettering University had a display downstairs in the Cobo Center. On display from the university were two Formula SAE cars and a SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge snowmobile. The Formula SAE cars were from the 2012 and 2013 seasons while the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge snowmobile was from the 2013 season. In addition to displaying SAE vehicles, several Kettering University students had the opportunity to talk with visitors to the show about their Kettering experiences along with their experiences on the SAE teams. In other words, while visitors to the North American International Auto Show had the chance to see vehicles currently for sale and concept cars of what is to come, they also got to see perhaps a little bit further into the future since members of the SAE teams are going to be engineers and leaders in the future, whether it be the automotive industry or another industry.

Another major automotive experience that Kettering University has offered since I have been on campus was on Thursday, February 13, 2014, when Bob Lutz came to campus to talk about leadership. Lutz, one of the most outspoken leaders in the automotive world, worked for General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation, and BMW, among others, came to talk about his experiences of leadership within his career. Some of his stories included his time at Ford when he worked with Red Poling and both of his times at General Motors including when he first started working there and when he came back in 2001. His presentation was hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

To conclude a few months full of an automotive dream world, the 2014 Kettering University Formula SAE car is being put together. As one of the designers of the chassis and other components of the car, I am ecstatic to see the car being built. Of course, as a member of the team, I cannot sit on the laurels of last year or the design portion of the car. Just like the rest of the members, I now have my sleeves rolled up fabricating parts of the car. In addition to designing and fabricating the various vehicles for the different SAE competitions, the SAE teams were invited to Frankenmuth on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, for the annual SAE Mid-Michigan Section Banquet. There, Kettering University students on the SAE teams had an opportunity to talk about the hard work that they had given to build the various SAE vehicles, enjoy a free dinner, and hear about the contributions of other engineers throughout history. While being a part of an SAE team may be hard work, there are times when one can look back, relax, and be proud of his or her accomplishments of being part of an SAE team.

What may seem like a dream world to any other college student in love with the automotive sector is a reality at Kettering University. Whether it is meeting a famous leader in the automotive world or designing and building an actual vehicle, Kettering University offers plenty of opportunities for students to fuel their passion for the automotive world. Perhaps the shadows of GMI have come back to play with the students of Kettering University. One thing is for certain, though: Charles Kettering is smiling because the school that is named after him is still deep in the industry that he loved.