Mar 24

What is the speed of three months? Fast.

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 | Post 20

No one blink: it could be the end of the term by the time eyes are opened again.

Three months. What use to seem like a long time now goes by in a blink of an eye. Either I am growing old or have gotten use to the Kettering schedule. Whichever, three months now go by like 1, 2…poof! Done. Just like that. Amazing.

With another batch of finals right around the corner, it is obvious that stress levels are at peak levels for the term and activities and tests have started to level off. There is also hope in the air, sort of like the hope that a little kid gets on Christmas Eve in anticipation of Santa Claus’ visit, since work term is also right around the corner. Time to relax, give one’s brain a break, and get hands dirty with the latest technologies, machinery, and prototypes. However, just like the kid on Christmas Eve, there is a wait before work term. While not as magical as going to bed with a stocking over a fireplace, the wait for Kettering University students on school term includes finals. Finals. The very word makes college students all around the world squirm. Just breath, relax, and study hard. Everything will (hopefully) work out.

In the meantime, as finals and work term approach, I am as busy as ever. Finishing term projects, completing the remaining tests of the term, and closing the book on another school term, there seems to be no time to relax. However, there are many times even during the daytime to have fun. At Kettering University, there are many clubs and organizations to join. Despite having been in many clubs and organizations before, I have joined new ones this term including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). That may be one of the great things about Kettering University: despite having a hard and busy academic schedule, there is always a club or organization that one can become a part of if it sparks interest. There, a student can relax with friends and attend various activities that occur throughout the week. For example, being a member of Firebirds Club, I have been able to attend karting events throughout the term. For a car lover, nothing relieves stress like tossing a vehicle around corners. However, not only can I race a go-kart against friends and relieve some stress at these karting events, I can also become a faster driver, hangout with friends, and forget about classes for a while.

Photo by Adam Watson, chief engineer for the Formula SAE team

Photo by Adam Watson, chief engineer for the Formula SAE team

Talking about vehicles, what about the Formula SAE car? Well, like all ongoing projects at Kettering University, it is being built as you read this. Being a designer and fabricator of the car, I can see a project through the design process to the fabrication process. Even though they both have to do with completing a car, both have many different aspects. For example, when designing a part, one must consider where it can go, if there are any minimum or maximum dimensions as per the rules, what materials can it be made out of, can it withstand any forces that might go through it, and the list goes on. When fabricating a part, one must consider what the best way is to make the part, what materials are needed and are they available, what machines need to be used, what is the tolerance of the part as per the design, and the list goes on. Even after a part a fabricated, one must make sure that it can actually fit on the car. If it the part does not fit, then it means that it needs to be remade. Like all SAE vehicles, Formula SAE cars are also prototypes, meaning that something might go wrong with them during practice runs or at a competition. This means that students must also must think fast of how to fix the car, especially during a competition. A lot of work, but after going through the stress of creating something from scratch, saying that you have designed, fabricated, and tested it is a great feeling.

So there goes another three months. Three months of classes, activities, and building a racecar. Busy, but it is all worth it. Now to throw myself at some finals before getting tossed out into the real world again. No one blink: it might be the beginning of the next school term when eyes are opened again.

Mar 19

Engineering, a perfect fit

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu.

People are sometimes shocked to find out I’m an engineer but, in all honesty, I doubt there could have been a more perfect fit. The applications for an engineering degree are endlessly unique, ever-expanding, and continually challenging. I could be a rocket scientist, a business woman, a politician, a writer, a set designer for Broadway, or some perplexing combination of all of those! The future for STEM students is a bright one.

Lisa Mitchell

Mar 06

A Future In 3D

David Richelson

David Richelson

By Kettering student David Richelson

There is no limit to what you can print these days. If you can dream it, you can print it. I’m currently a student in MECH-572 CAD/CAM Rapid Prototyping and had the opportunity to interview Professor Zang. He started off by showing me a 3” model of the bulldog on the beach. One of the previous Capstone classes took pictures with a plain digital camera, uploaded it, used software to convert it to a 3D model, and then printed it.

He showed me his cabinet on the ground floor of the Mott of previous Capstone projects which included hips, artificial knee prototypes, wheel rims, a working crescent wrench, and backpack male and female parts of the clip. Any ME remembers the sleepless nights of trying to finish their MECH-100 final project trying to get this curve to match with this curve, but many of these curved parts were made using a feature called Non Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS for short). One uses NURBS by pushing and pulling on points on a line, in the same way as one would change their route on Google Maps. The line is then revolved and made into a solid. This is the same technique they use in the auto industry when they are designing exteriors.

3D printing is sneaking its way into every industry. In dentistry, a knocked out tooth can be scanned, and a replacement can be printed. If the tooth is missing, the dentist can scan the surrounding teeth, and make a custom tooth using NURBS. One of the biggest strengths of 3D printing is the ability to make custom parts, which is why it is finding its way into the medical field. Doctors are able to print custom hips, elbows, and shoulders for replacements now that some 3D printers can use titanium and chromium.

If you’re involved with Kettering Entrepreneur Society, and you have a great idea, talk to Professor Zang to have it printed on one of our three printers. The industry is shifting to make room for this new technology, and so is Kettering. Professor Zang is currently filing for a capital request to purchase 10 printers for MECH-100 and 10 printers for IME-100. The ME department is excited to see what these fresh minds can come up with and I am too.

Feb 24

What you really learn at co-op

Ashley Gaabo

Ashley Gaabo

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering junior Ashley Gaabo, from Rochester Mi and majoring in Industrial Engineering with a Business minor and concentration in International Studies , who will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Ashley’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2

The opportunity to have a co-op is one of the best things I have been given. I have learned so much during my co-op terms at Beaumont Health Systems. It is nice to get real world work experience in the Industrial Engineering field before I graduate and am going to spend over 40 years of my life working.

My co-op has taught me so much. Not only has it taught me simple work tasks such as how to use Microsoft Visio, how to plan meetings in Outlook, how to observe workflows, how to create testing scenarios and overall how to utilize EPIC, it has also taught me several other useful lessons.

1. If you don’t have enough work, go ask for it even if you have to every hour. Your manager is not going to know how quickly you can complete each task. You need to be in charge and seek your own work.

2. A smile goes a long way. Everyone at my workplace always tells me I just look so happy. No matter what, always smile at the people you work with. It shows them that you are friendly and approachable and 9 times out of 10 they will say something to you.

3. You are not being watched as much as you think you are. There were several times I thought I could feel fellow employees looking into my cube/at me when I first started working. Turns out that it is just natural for everyone to look into cubes as they walk down the aisle….I’m sure you either do it now too, or will notice you do once you start your co-op.

4. The Kettering program and how it works is hard for fellow employees to grasp….no matter how many times you talk about it. I am asked by at least 3 employees every term how Kettering works and when I am at school and when I come back. Every time you tell them about Kettering they are amazed and think it is such a great program.

5. Even at the age of 50 some people do not know how to dress professionally. When you get your co-op job dress yourself well. The first week be sure to dress up very nice and as you get comfortable and see what others are wearing then you can change into more business casual clothes to fit in. However, make sure you still look professional and not like you’re going to the club or to bed…some people never understand the difference.

6. It helps to have pictures or posters at your desk to make conversations with someone who stop by.

7. Basically any manager has candy in their cube — if you ever want some that is the place to go.

8. Read over your emails more than once before you send them. You never know what spelling errors you can make…and sometimes you are lucky and can retract the email before someone reads it.

You will not realize how many little things your co-op has taught you until you take a second to look back on your experience.

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.

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