Momentum - February 2020 - 7
ONE-ON-ONE GRANT PRINS
THE SUBJECT OF THIS MOMENTUM One-on-One is Grant Prins, a senior
at Oregon State University double-majoring in mechanical engineering
and manufacturing engineering. This year marks his 5th year on the
Oregon State Baja SAE team, for which he is serving, again this year,
as team captain. His senior project is suspension kinematics and overall
packaging for the team's Baja SAE car. He expects to graduate this
How satisfying was it for the team to have placed in the Top 3 in the
two Baja SAE competitions Oregon State competed in last year?
The whole team was extremely happy with the performance of the
2019 season and how we placed at our two competitions. We worked
hard throughout the year in design and testing to make sure the 2019
car was everything it needed to be for a top-10 finish. We were pleased
with the outcome.
Was the team's performance better than expected?
The team's performance was as expected. We knew we had a great car
that would make a presence in the 2019 competitions we attended. Team
members were better than expected, especially first-year members; they
really stepped up to help and put in a bunch of extra hours to make the
2019 car a top-3 competitor.
What was the most important factor in the team's success in 2019?
A large factor to our success, especially with the Tennessee Competition,
was our aggressive scheduling. We aimed to have 40 hours of testing
on the car before our first competition. The team pushed hard to
meet every major deadline and got the car done six weeks before the
Tennessee competition. This is what really helped us get our testing
hours in and tune the car to be a first-place car there.
The biggest factor to our success was teamwork and team dedication.
Everyone on the team, new or old, worked hard to not only build a
top-10 car, but a first-place car. It has been quite a few years since Oregon
State has brought home a first-place trophy, and we are proud of that.
What is the most interesting feature of the car in terms of engineering?
Our car's most interesting features are the gearbox and driving layout. Our
car has forward and reverse, along with a limited-slip differential. We also
run a turning brake to help with maneuverability. This is very uncommon
among cars that you would see in the sub-330-lb weight range.
What was the toughest engineering decision the team had to make,
and to what extent did that decision pay off?
The toughest engineering decision that the team had to make was
the decision to not make radical changes. The team decided that it
was best to fully understand the design decisions that were made in
previous years before making a justified change to the new car. This
meant that we needed to really evaluate the work and progress that we
had made in the past and understand the decisions that were made.
This drove the goal for having 40 hours of testing on the 2019 vehicle
before the first competition.
Grant Prins oversees work in the team's pit at Baja SAE California 2019.
The Oregon State University car airborne on the Suspension and
Traction Event at Baja SAE Tennessee 2019.
What was the most important lesson you've learned as
a Baja SAE participant?
I have been doing Baja SAE since I was a freshman.
I attended my first competition in 2016. The most
important lessons I have learned have been project
management and professional communication skills.
Managing a team and working with four different
subteams requires a lot of communication and time
management. Constant emails and meetings are a daily
occurrence to make sure the entire car is meeting the
goals and performance we have specified.
Communication skills are also critical when talking to
sponsors and vendors, whether it is gathering material or
asking for donations. Being able to talk with people on
a professional level is something most engineers will be
doing their entire career.
February 2020 7
Momentum - February 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2020
Momentum - February 2020
Getting schooled on benefits
One-on-One – Grant Prins
Engine switch propels UW – Platteville snowmobile team to new heights
Another year, another successful Cornell Baja SAE team.
Chevy tweaks 2020 Bolt’s battery chemistry to add range
Proving ground heroes
Introducing the 2020 SAE President: Todd Zarfos
SAE 101: volunteer recognition
Beyond the textbook
SAE and GM make smart choice for AutoDrive Challenge Year 3 venue
Introducing SAE AWIM Programming Each Other
Dossier: Martin Wissink of Oak Ridge National Lab
Managing expectations for better decision-making and performance
Momentum - February 2020 - Momentum - February 2020
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2020 - Contents
Momentum - February 2020 - Getting schooled on benefits
Momentum - February 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - February 2020 - STUDENT GENERATION
Momentum - February 2020 - 5
Momentum - February 2020 - 6
Momentum - February 2020 - One-on-One – Grant Prins
Momentum - February 2020 - Engine switch propels UW – Platteville snowmobile team to new heights
Momentum - February 2020 - 9
Momentum - February 2020 - Another year, another successful Cornell Baja SAE team.
Momentum - February 2020 - 11
Momentum - February 2020 - 12
Momentum - February 2020 - 13
Momentum - February 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - February 2020 - Chevy tweaks 2020 Bolt’s battery chemistry to add range
Momentum - February 2020 - Proving ground heroes
Momentum - February 2020 - Introducing the 2020 SAE President: Todd Zarfos
Momentum - February 2020 - SAE 101: volunteer recognition
Momentum - February 2020 - Beyond the textbook
Momentum - February 2020 - SAE and GM make smart choice for AutoDrive Challenge Year 3 venue
Momentum - February 2020 - Introducing SAE AWIM Programming Each Other
Momentum - February 2020 - Dossier: Martin Wissink of Oak Ridge National Lab
Momentum - February 2020 - 23
Momentum - February 2020 - Managing expectations for better decision-making and performance
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover4