Department News

Baja 2009 - 8th Place

The student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) won 8th place overall at the SAE Baja Oregon international competition on May 7-10, 2009. 
The team made significant modifications to the Baja vehicle that was built last year to compete in the SAE Baja competition in Illinois (new shocks and shock mounts, wheel spindles and new body panels). The team competed in all the event categories with the vehicle at the Oregon expo center on May 8, including the static judging for design, cost, and technical inspection. They then competed in all the dynamic events the next two days at the motocross track in Washougal, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland. The dynamic events on May 9 included the Maneuverability Test, the Hill Climb, the Rock Crawl, and Acceleration. The four hour endurance race was held the next day. Out of about 80 cars entered from all over the world, Chico State finished 3rd in the Rock Crawl, 14th in the Hill Climb, 24th in Maneuverability, and 33rd in Acceleration. They finished 7th in the four hour endurance race, and at the awards ceremony and banquet that evening, they learned that they had finished 8th overall – the best finish ever for Chico State in a SAE Baja competition.

The students were from both the Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Technology programs. The members of the team that went to the event were Aden Wright, Ben Butler, Bradley Taylor, Evan DaBreo, Jake Matthewson, Jake Philpott, Jessica Thomas, Kendyl Brown, Mike Lazarakis, Mike Siedman, Rick Harris and Wesley Brandon. The faculty advisor to the team is Professor Leonard Fallscheer.

SME Chapter wins Grand Prize again at WESTEC 2009


The student chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has won the Grand Prize (the top award) in the WESTEC (Western Tool Exposition and Conference) Manufacturing Challenge on March 30, 2009, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge is an annual event sponsored by SME to showcase manufacturing programs at colleges and universities in the western states. Chico State competed against Brigham Young University, University of Colorado at Denver, CalPoly Pomona, CSU Long Beach, CSU Los Angeles, CSU Northridge, North Dakota State, and four community colleges.

This is Chico State's fifth Grand Prize in a row and the sixth Grand Prize in the last seven years. What made this project stand out from the competition was the attention to detail in defining and documenting the complete manufacturing process for the short run production of a replica of a 100 year old classic solid hardwood machinist’s tool chest. This included not only the fabrication of the tool chest, but the tooling and vacuum fixtures for CNC machining as well as the project management plan.

“This project was started in late September and completed as an extracurricular activity,” said Leonard Fallscheer, faculty advisor to the SME student chapter. "Their planning and documentation of the whole procedure was professional and their presentation to the judges was flawless. The students are very pleased with the recognition they received and we can all be justifiably proud of their accomplishment,” said Fallscheer.

All the students on the WESTEC team are currently members of the Chico State chapter of SME. The team presenters were Tony Arena, Hobie Stevens, Mike Rincon, Scott Vanni, and Oliver Hayes with support from Grant Douglas, and Wesley Brandon. A total of 16 students made the trip to WESTEC.

WESTEC is the largest annual manufacturing trade show in the country. The Expo and Manufacturing Challenge are sponsored by the international SME, which has more than 400 professional and school-based chapters worldwide