A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
April 13, 2006 Volume 36 / Number 7

Members of the WESTEC Challenge presentation team clockwise from top left: Chris St. John, Calvin Leiker, Kevin Stein, Chris Marks, and Phil Linscheid. Not pictured: Kevin Maynard.

Engineering Students Win WESTEC Challenge Again

Manufacturing Technology Program students won the Grand Prize in the prestigious WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge on March 27 for a cast aluminum transmission adapter.

This is CSU, Chico’s third Grand Prize win in the last four years: 2003, 2005, and 2006. Chico also won first places in 1987, 1993, 1995, and 1998.

CSU, Chico competed against a field of other universities at the challenge, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, that included Brigham Young University; Cal Poly, Pomona; CSU, Long Beach; CSU, Los Angeles; CSU, Northridge; San Diego State University; and Western Washington State University.

The adapter was built for Skyway Transmissions in Paradise as a commercial product. The students took Skyway’s design and made all the patterns and core boxes for casting the part and then created the tooling for machining the part. They also developed an innovative method of inspecting the part’s accuracy by programming the robots in the robotics lab to check the size and location of holes and other machined features.

“This project was started in late October and completed as an extracurricular activity on the students’ own time,” said Dirk Vanderloop, former coordinator of the Manufacturing Technology Program. “Their planning and documentation of the whole procedure was professional, and their presentation flawless. More than 20 students made the trip to WESTEC this year. They are very pleased with the recognition received, and we can all be justifiably proud of their accomplishment.”

The students on the WESTEC team are in the bachelor of science program in manufacturing technology and are members of the student organization Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The team presenters were Chris St. John, Calvin Leiker, Kevin Stein, Kevin Maynard, Phil Linscheid, and Chris Marks.

An additional 15 students made primary contributions to the project, from fabrication to display, from welding to robotics. They are Scott Baldwin, Steven Boruta, Neal Cameron, Jamie Cogorno, Jeff Ferrara, Stephen Foute, Kyle Greer, David Hill, Ben Hoover, David Lyman, Orian Price, Erik Rott, Paul Ting, Zack Waddle, and Alba Zenil. The faculty advisor to the team is Leonard Fallscheer.

WESTEC is the largest manufacturing competition west of the Mississippi River. The Expo and Manufacturing Challenge are sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), which has more than 400 professional and school-based chapters worldwide. CSU, Chico’s manufacturing technology program has an SME chapter and 85 student majors.