For Colorado State University mechanical engineering students, the final two semesters provide a challenging team assignment that tests more than just classroom knowledge. Commissioned to design and build a hybrid, open-wheel, single-seat, race car, Alan Morine and six classmates have been diligently working to complete their car before Engineering Days at CSU and the Formula Hybrid International competition in New Hampshire.
“We have some busy weeks ahead but overall this has been a very rewarding experience,” said Alan Morine, engineering student at Colorado State University. “The real excitement for the team is the fact that we are not only building a race car, but that it is also a hybrid. It breaks the stereotypes of hybrids because it’s low to the ground and a blast to drive!”
Morine and his teammates will showcase their car to the Fort Collins community, engineering professionals and prospective engineering students at CSU April 17, 2009 for the annual Engineering Days celebration (E-Days) and then tow it over 2,000 miles to New Hampshire for the Formula Hybrid International competition May 4 and 5, 2009.
In addition to school, Morine balances a Mechanical Engineer and Designer position at OtterBox, a Fort Collins company specializing in protective technology cases. Knowing the company’s commitment to supporting staff and the community, Morine and teammates turned to OtterBox for support.
“We knew we needed sponsors to make it to New Hampshire and as an employee at OtterBox I thought it would be a great fit. OtterBox already does so much to give back locally and places emphasis on education as well as our environment,” Morine said.
Although it has been difficult to balance school and work, Morine attests that the skills attained at OtterBox have been essential to the success of the hybrid car.
“My experience with the company over the last five years helped me so much when it came to designing and building the hybrid car. Not only have I been able to hone my SolidWorks skills over the years, but I have had extensive experience getting products through issues and into production,” Morine explained. “I sort of fell into the role of ‘project manager’ for the team and have been able to use my experience at OtterBox to help the team layout our tasks, overcome problems and move the project towards success.”
By applying their engineering education, Morine and his teammates have been able to problem solve outside of the general academic setting and look forward to the competition ahead.