IPFW engineering students take top prize at naval design competition

Tusky, IPFW logo.

News release from IPFW:

IPFW Engineering Students Take Top Prize at Naval Design Competition

(May 17, 2011) – Three Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) mechanical engineering students have the distinction of
walking away with top honors at the inaugural undergraduate design competition presented by the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division, located in southern Indiana.

Thomas Butts, a junior from New Haven, Michael Kretschmer, the team captain and a senior from Fort Wayne, and David McVay, a sophomore from Fort Wayne, with the assistance of faculty advisors Bongsu Kang, associate professor of engineering, and Zhuming Bi, assistant professor of engineering, solved the problem of a camera mounted to a widely used Naval weapon system blanking-out during firing. According to the NWSC Crane website, the students had to engineer a solution “that isolates the camera and minimizes vibrations, while allowing it to be continuously monitored during firing.” The IPFW team was pitted against teams from the University of Louisville, the University of Southern Indiana, and a combined team from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Butler University.

“I was told our design and analysis really blew the competition away,” said Professor of Engineering Don Mueller, chair of the Department of Engineering. “This is remarkable because one team did the work as a senior design project. Our team did this completely voluntary in addition to their semester course work.” The NWSC website quoted Jim Ernest, Crane Weapon System lead engineer and a judge at the competition, as saying he was very intrigued by all the solutions presented and pleased with the overall results at the competition. “Overall, IPFW presented the best in each category. They did a very thorough engineering analysis, dampened the key vibration issues in the camera and performed well during the live-fire testing,” said Ernest.

The team received a $1,000 cash prize from contest sponsors American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) and Access Technology Across Indiana (ATAIN.) Pictures from the competition are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ipfw/sets/72157626617849869/.

For more information, contact Bongsu Kang at 260-481-5712 or kang@ipfw.edu, or Zhuming Bi at 260-481-5711, biz@ipfw.edu.

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