CSU, Chico News

Students Bring Home Top Prize from Sustainable Manufacturing Event for 14th Year

Date: 04-04-2013

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Darren Otten
Coordinator of Sustainable Manufacturing Program

Students from California State University, Chico’s Sustainable Manufacturing Program brought home the Grand Prize from the prestigious Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Conference and Exposition (AeroDef) on March 19. The award marks the 14th time that CSU, Chico Sustainable Manufacturing students have won the top prize in recent years.

The students were honored for creating a manufacturing system that produces a cast 356 T6 aluminum cylinder head for a piston engine application for general aviation light aircraft. This redesigned cylinder head will permit general aviation light aircraft to operate on unleaded, lower octane fuels as opposed to the standard leaded fuels used today.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) again hosted the Manufacturing Challenge Contest. A team of students from CSU, Chico’s student chapter of SME designed and manufactured the sand casting pattern, tooling and full production system for the manufacturing of the cylinder head. The pattern was designed using Solidworks CAD software, then programmed using SurfCam CAM software. The pattern was CNC machined and assembled by the students, after which the heads were cast in the CSU, Chico foundry and CNC machined in the Material Removal lab.

The degree of detail in all phases of the project and the documentation materials are what set the Chico students’ entry apart from the others, according to Daren Otten, CSU, Chico’s Sustainable Manufacturing Program coordinator.

“The attention to detail in defining the project scope and documenting the complete process was impressive to the judges,” said Otten. “The extensive development of the manufacturing system, including a project management plan, was extremely professional and complete.”

The project, which began in September 2012, was completed as an extracurricular activity, noted Louk Hendricks, chair of the SME student chapter and project team leader. “In this time, we took an idea through design, prototyping, testing and production,” said Hendricks. “The project demanded a huge time commitment from all of the team members, and their dedication and talent made it possible.”

Eighteen students in the Sustainable Manufacturing Program from CSU, Chico made the trip to the manufacturing challenge this year. The five main presenters were Joe Bauer, Ben Hoover, Hobie Jensen, Keith May-Davis and Colton Wanner.

CSU, Chico has also won the Grand Prize award in this competition in 1986, 1987, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2005-2009, 2011 and 2012. This year, 16 teams from 14 universities and colleges competed, including Cal Poly Pomona, Western Washington University, Cal State LA and Cal State Northridge.

The Sustainable Manufacturing students will present their project April 8 at 4 p.m. in O’Connell 436.

The Manufacturing Challenge is sponsored by the international Society of Manufacturing Engineers, which has more than 400 professional and school-based chapters worldwide. For more information, contact Daren Otten, Sustainable Manufacturing Program coordinator, dmotten@csuchico.edu, or 530-898-4316; Leonard Fallscheer, SME faculty advisor, lfallscheer@csuchico.edu; or Louk Hendricks, project team leader, louk.hendricks@gmail.com.