Momentum - September 2020 - 7

STUDENT
GENERATION

AVOIDING BURNS IN THE SAE
SUPERMILEAGE 'TRIAL BY FIRE'
IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE, some people (and groups of people) respond
better than others to sudden changes in circumstances. Turns out a team
from Cedarville University was particularly adept in this way, capturing
first place overall at the SAE Supermileage 2020 competition. Really
good communication skills didn't hurt the team, either.
In reviewing the competition, organizer Jim Gluys of Eaton noted
that more teams than usual had leadership changes from last year to
this year. "People in charge may have had less experience than previous
teams had," he told MOMENTUM. "The pandemic became a trial by fire
for these teams. Interestingly, several teams emphasized procedures
they implemented to deal with the continuity of the team and program
at their schools. Impressive thinkers!"
"The challenge is therefore," Gluys continued, "moving from 'the
theoretically perfect into the functional hardware phase.' That is a
phrase I have come to use of late. Some engineers are great at analysis,
conceptualizing, and communication while others excel at the physical
creation phase that relies a lot on experience and instinct as they
build. My career has shown me it takes the joining of the skill sets of
the whole village to develop success. Occasionally, there is a beautiful
blend of skill sets in a single person or small group of individuals that
brings it all together."
No team brought it all together better than Cedarville University's.
"The winning team of Cedarville University won for a reason," Gluys said.
"They were very good in communicating. Team leader Zachary Bretz was a
standout per the Virtual Presentation judges' notes. Dr. Larry Zavodney is
a passionate advisor with an exceptional commitment to teaching, as well
as to the learning of his students. Cedarville shut down, just like all other
schools, and the team was scattered. Between Larry's encouragement and
Zach's initiative, the team pulled away from the others."
Leading his team to victory "was a wonderful way to close out my
undergraduate competition team career," Bretz told MOMENTUM.
"Though it was very different from how I imagined winning to be, it was
amazing to see my last four years' experience on the Supermileage team
come together to result in a final product that ended up winning."
Bretz said persistence was the key to victory. "We knew we had some
really innovative designs, so whittling and shaping our presentations to
showcase them clearly and concisely took time and patience. We wanted
to craft something that reflected our work well," he said.
A part of the Cedarville team's car that Bretz is particularly proud
of is the canopy system, "which includes the two doors for driver and
engine access, their linkages to get the opening motion, and how they're
latched," he said. "I designed the front canopy to ensure the driver can
easily open and have plenty of room to get out. I designed the rear
canopy's linkage to open and rest upright, allowing for efficient access
to the engine for refueling or adjustments. It was a thorough engineering
process that involved many considerations from start to finish to
satisfy our goals, such as keeping the seams hidden and minimized
while allowing full motion. It was a bummer we weren't able to finish it
because of the pandemic."

MOMENTUM

2009_SG_4-13.indd 4

Cedarville University Supermileage team leader Zachary Bretz (left)
poses with faculty advisor Dr. Larry Zavodney behind a prototype of
the former's canopy design.

"We recognized that the most impactful project we could develop,
fabricate, and test in a year was a complete overhaul of the engine,"
said Matt McCoy, president of Northern Illinois University's team. "This
led us to design and build a custom dual overhead cam engine head."
One of the factors in the third-place finish of Northern
Illinois University's team was a 2019 fall semester focus
on recruiting students for the team.
"We went from a team of 5 members to 25," said team
president Matt McCoy. "This was critical to our team's
success, as we are always focused on ensuring that the
legacy of the team continues through the next generation
of students."

By Patrick Ponticel, MOMENTUM editor

September 2020 7

8/19/20 9:23 AM



Momentum - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - September 2020

Momentum - September 2020
Don’t worry students, you got this!
Benefits U
Formula SAE pivot puts focus on adaptability
U Calgary is MVP of UAVs at SAE AeroConnect Challenge
Avoiding burns in the SAE Supermileage ‘trial by fire’
Air domination
Teams from India on rise at Formula Hybrid
After 21 tries, Michigan Tech snowmobile team finally sleds to victory in 2020
Team from U Michigan takes all 3 titles in re-imagined Baja SAE competitions
Briefs
COMVEC 2020 preview
The IC future points to more downsizing, lean mixtures
SAE 101: Scholarships
Dossier: María Fernanda Castillo of VIKUA
Networking helps keep your options open
Momentum - September 2020 - Momentum - September 2020
Momentum - September 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - September 2020 - 1
Momentum - September 2020 - Don’t worry students, you got this!
Momentum - September 2020 - Benefits U
Momentum - September 2020 - Formula SAE pivot puts focus on adaptability
Momentum - September 2020 - 5
Momentum - September 2020 - U Calgary is MVP of UAVs at SAE AeroConnect Challenge
Momentum - September 2020 - Avoiding burns in the SAE Supermileage ‘trial by fire’
Momentum - September 2020 - Air domination
Momentum - September 2020 - 9
Momentum - September 2020 - Teams from India on rise at Formula Hybrid
Momentum - September 2020 - After 21 tries, Michigan Tech snowmobile team finally sleds to victory in 2020
Momentum - September 2020 - Team from U Michigan takes all 3 titles in re-imagined Baja SAE competitions
Momentum - September 2020 - 13
Momentum - September 2020 - Briefs
Momentum - September 2020 - COMVEC 2020 preview
Momentum - September 2020 - The IC future points to more downsizing, lean mixtures
Momentum - September 2020 - SAE 101: Scholarships
Momentum - September 2020 - Dossier: María Fernanda Castillo of VIKUA
Momentum - September 2020 - 19
Momentum - September 2020 - Networking helps keep your options open
Momentum - September 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - September 2020 - Cover4
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