ASME student chapter wins awards at regional conference

The Penn State chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) returned to campus recently with a number of awards from the ASME regional conference hosted April 3-4 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The Penn State ASME team won first place in the "Mars Rocks" student design competition.

According to Brianne Wilburne, a mechanical engineering senior and ASME president, the contest challenged students to design a Mars lander vehicle that's capable of collecting rocks of different sizes, climb over obstacles and place objects in precise locations.

The team's entry was created for the students' ME 440W course taught by Leland Engel, coordinator of mechanical engineering capstone design courses and instructor in mechanical engineering, and advised by Eric Marsh, professor of mechanical engineering. The team includes Clayton Hose, Brian McVay, Markus Atmanto, Andrew Diehl and Wilburne.

The ASME team will compete at nationals this fall in Florida.

Even though many of the team members are graduating seniors, Wilburne said the team plans to compete and has already started working on upgrades to their robot.

The Penn State engineers also won second and third place at the conference's "Battle Blasters" contest. Students were given a bag of random items and toys, such as rubber bands and balls, divided into teams of four and attempted to build machines to fire bouncy balls at water bottles.

Individual award winners included Marta Hatzell, who won fourth place in the Old Guard Technical Presentation category, and Wilburne, who won first in Old Guard Technical Poster.

The team also won the award for largest contingent at the conference with 20 Penn State members attending.

The Penn State ASME chapter was also complimented for its Web site, according to Wilburne. She said the ASME regional adviser "dubbed Penn State as an example."

"He said he really liked our site and it was really up to date," Wilburne recalled.

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Last Updated April 14, 2009