Engineers, nonengineers sought for design competition

Future engineers and interested students: St. Thomas students are invited to compete in the Student Design Competition at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Student Professional Development Conference in spring 2009.

Each spring, the conference is hosted by one of the universities in the 12-state region. The competition information for 2009 is listed on the ASME Web site. In short, the Web site says that a successful design will seek two "animals" and prove that a "camera" is properly aimed by firing a projectile at the target. Participants will hit the target as many times as possible in a one-minute period, representing the time that the animal(s) are in the viewing area. Bonuses will be awarded for striking both targets as well as for autonomous operation.

Participants will have the option to receive two or four credits as an independent study during the fall semester. ASME member or not, those who want to participate without the independent study should voice their interest as well.

Ideally, there will be three strong groups (teams of four) entering the contest next spring. All teams with a design will travel, expense free, to the SPDC (location to be announced) to compete and enjoy a weekend with fellow ASME members.

Some members already have shown interest in beginning the process this summer and will be getting a three-month head start. If you will be around this summer or close enough to the cities, consider this opportunity. Remember, even if you are not a member of ASME, your valuable participation may be accepted as volunteer hours for another club. A diverse group of individuals who are motivated to win and want to expand their product development skills is needed.

If you are interested and want to learn more, briefly respond to aeboerum@stthomas.edu with your estimated level of participation, whether you may want to receive credit for your participation, and your availability in the near future for meetings. Students who signed up at the ASME meeting need not reply.

Check out the ASME-UST Chapter Web site.