Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Transformers, the MMRI and Formula Hybrid Cars ~ A Love Story

Hello world!
Author sitting in one of the McMaster Engineering Custom Vehicles, the Carpool
Me Sitting in the Carpool

My name is Christen and I am the new, 'old' kid on the block! I am going into my final year of Mechanical Engineering and Society here at McMaster, but it has taken four years to come out from behind the scenes to say hello on this amazing blog. I am heavily involved with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) here on campus, and have been since my first year developing workshops, and helping to organize conferences to get students excited about being a globally-minded engineer.
Author and other blog contributor Danielle dressed up for the Engineering formal, the Fireball
Danielle and I at Fireball

Aside from EWB and being a full time engineering student, I somehow manage to find time for skiing, kayaking, silk screening, indoor farming, and reciting Shakespeare in parks. I could go on and on about my various other interests and passions, but I feel you get the picture; just like a Transformer, there’s more than meets the eye!

Now that all the awkward introductions are done, let’s get to it! Last week I had the privilege of attending a showcase at the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI). What is the MMRI you might ask? It is a huge facility on McMaster campus doing research in polymer, automotive, aerospace, tool, die and mold industries. 
Graduate student Emma holding a Turner's Cube manufactured in the MMRI
Turner's Cube
I was starstruck! Imagine a room filled with million dollar equipment, machining parts that are strong enough to cut through steel. Not to mention, their Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines are so precise they can manufacture these cool Turner's Cubes in one go! It was a great time to chat with leading industry professionals and some of my favourite professors about manufacturing processes.

Also being showcased at this event was our Formula Hybrid Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) team sporting four awards from a competition earlier this May at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The formula hybrid car is designed by McMaster undergraduate and graduate students to compete in the Formula Hybrid International Competition
McMaster's Formula Hybrid SAE team posing around the car and their awards.
McMaster's Formula Hybrid SAE Team
Our team won several awards including: the 1st Place GM Best Engineered Hybrid Systems award and the IEEE Engineering the Future Award.  I am so proud to see our team rock the international stage in sustainability. I look forward to an encore performance next year!

That’s all for now folks!
McMaster's formula hybrid car racing on the New Hampshire Motor Speedway
McMaster's Formula Hybrid Car in Action (no, that's not me)

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