Engineering and Science Students and Professor Win First Place in Shell #MakeTheFuture Initiative

posted February 20, 2017

Four students and one faculty advisor from the Louisiana Tech University Eco-Car team won best overall team for a superhero-themed food truck at a new event called “Hack-a-Truck,” sponsored by Shell Oil Company last weekend at Google’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

Eight universities from across the country were invited to the event and paired off into four teams tasked with designing the “food truck of the future.” Louisiana Tech students Matthew McHenry, electrical engineering major, Matthew LaCroix, computer science major, Kyle Dupree, mechanical engineering major, and Tommy Naquin, mechanical engineering major, along with faculty advisor Dr. Michael Swanbom, senior lecturer of mechanical engineering and program chair of electrical engineering technology, worked with students and advisors from the University of Illinois to claim the honor of the overall winning team at this element of Shell’s #MakeTheFuture initiative.

The joint team was tasked with designing a food truck that optimized the customer experience while integrating several emerging technologies. They focused primarily on energy harvesting and conservation. Design tasks included choosing a menu, picking out appropriate appliances, organizing the food preparation process to maximize the rate of production, and developing an enticing theme.

In addition to awarding the group best overall team, most creative design, best story and best food honors, Shell will commission the food truck based on the Louisiana Tech – University of Illinois team design. Following its use at the Shell Eco-Marathon event in Detroit, MI in late April, the food truck will be donated to a low-income community.

“I could not be more pleased with the creativity, innovation, drive, and cooperation that I saw from this team during this 42-hour brain-blitz,” said Swanbom. “The Louisiana Tech Eco-Car team will be participating in the Shell Eco-marathon event for the tenth consecutive year this spring.”

“Louisiana Tech has had a lot of success competing and winning with our undergraduate programs in regional and national events,” Dr. Heath Tims, associate dean for undergraduate studies at the College of Engineering and Science and Eco-Car team faculty advisor, added. “We are proud of the way these students represented our program and are already looking forward to sending a team next year.”

ASCE Hosts  Gingerbread House Building Contest

By Beverly Case
posted January 6, 2017

On a chilly December evening, the American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE, hosted its first ever Gingerbread house building contest. Students from engineering clubs and majors formed teams to compete in this sweet construction challenge.

ASCE provided all of the necessary supplies, from graham crackers for walls, frosting for glue, and a variety of holiday themed candy including peppermint marshmallows, gumdrops, and festive M&Ms. The only requirement for students to participate was to sign up in advance, making the opportunity a great deal.

There were eleven teams in all, five of which were representing student organizations within the College of Engineering and Science such as ASME and ACM. As students built their sugary structures, Christmas music played in the background, creating a fun, wintery atmosphere.

The night was still a competition though, and as the time limit drew nearer so did the anticipation. There was only a prize for the best overall gingerbread design, which made it a difficult decision for the judges. Students fashioned all sorts of exciting creations including a Gingerbread train station, Graham (the engineering dorm), and of course festive winter houses. In the end, the winners were a team that executed extreme precision and detail, but also used every last piece of supplies given to them, including the paper bag! To celebrate their victory, the team was awarded actual gingerbread cookies, since they had to build their houses out of phony ones.

Overall, the first ever ASCE Gingerbread contest was a huge success, and we hope to do it again in the future. Everyone seemed to have a great time, even those who didn’t win. After all, they still got to enjoy their confectionery creations, which is the best part of the winter tradition anyway.

The United States Navy Discusses Career Opportunities With ASME

By Caleb Thibodeaux posted November 30, 2016

On September 21st, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) hosted LTJG Ryan Granahan from the United States Navy to discuss engineering opportunities offered by the Navy. One of the main programs offered by the Navy to students in the field of engineering is the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program (NUPOC). When entered into the NUPOC program, a student is considered as active duty and will be paid while still attending school and completing their engineering degree. This program allows candidates to pursue either an officer, instructor, or engineering position with the Navy upon completion of their degree. In order to enter into the NUPOC program, a candidate must first be a natural-born US citizen between the ages of 19 and 29. Another requirement for students in order to be considered for this program is that they must remain a full-time student throughout the program as well as earn a “C” or above in all technical courses. The application process to be accepted into the NUPOC program consists of a technical interview, a VIP trip to San Diego, and a final interview in Washington D.C. After graduation, accepted candidates must attend further training at Navy facilities. This program includes a five-year service commitment after graduation. LTJG Granahan will be joining ASME for another industry meeting before spring career fair. He will also be available at spring career fair to further discuss the opportunities with the Navy. To those who would like to sign up or learn more about the program, LTJG Granahan can be found at the Navy recruiting office in Ruston.

L-3 Mission Integration Sparks Interest in Aviation for ASME Members

By Luther Pringle posted November 30, 2016

On September 29th, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) hosted L-3 Mission Integration. L-3 Mission Integration, often referred to as just L-3, is a division of L-3 Aerospace Systems which is an organization specializing in the study, design, and integration of special systems for military and commercial applications. L-3 is a contractor for the government that converts regular planes into spy planes with most of their work requiring a high level of security clearance. L-3, which is located in Greenville, Texas, operates out of a 3.6 million square-foot facility. L-3 often visits Louisiana Tech’s career fair and has employed many of our graduates. During their presentation, L-3 gave the members of ASME an inside look of the work performed in the Mission Integration branch of L-3 Aerospace Systems. This branch of L-3, specializes in remodeling planes into, essentially, spy planes. L-3 is responsible for taking a problem, creating and designing a solution, and then implementing it. As such, there are different types of engineers at L-3. The first type is the designer engineer. The designer engineer is in charge of creating concepts, building models, and running simulations. The types of problems these engineers face are most often based around how new surveillance equipment will be installed inside of these planes. When putting new equipment in these planes, it is necessary to ensure the aerodynamics are not affected and that the computers running this equipment can be kept cool. Then, there are other engineers who are in charge of repairing the planes. Several of the planes L-3 works with are older model planes. As such, it is not easy to get new parts for them. Therefore, it is up to these engineers to create solutions whenever parts on these planes break. Ultimately, our industry meeting with L-3 helped re-spark our childlike interest in spy planes.