Cal Poly Racing team members and mechanical engineering students Noah Wheeler and Carl Stoye recently visited Maserati’s new Innovation Lab over winter break and toured several Italian car museums after winning the VI-grade Virtual Formula competition for electric cars. The duo is the first American team to win. They won the competition by using VI-grade vehicle dynamics software to optimize a virtual formula car to compete in a series of race events.
On Nov. 1, 2019, the Heating, Ventilating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigerating program hosted the second annual MAC competition — an industry-sponsored collaboration between the student chapters of the Mechanical Contractors Association and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning. The three-day competition started on Friday evening when teams were announced at a mixer sponsored by the Northern California MCA Chapter. On Saturday the teams had less than nine hours to come up with a solution to the proposed HVAC problem and all written documents were due by 5 p.m. On Sunday morning, the teams gave presentations on their design solution. Forty students participated in the competition from various majors and the winning team was awarded a cash prize.
Successful First Flight of Next-Generation Flight Test Data System
Cal Poly’s Autonomous Flight Lab and the Boundary Layer Data System project successfully conducted the first flight of a smaller and lighter flight test instrument family called the Flight Test Data System (FTDS). FTDS is the first major revision of the existing boundary layer data system in a decade. The instrument uses more efficient power components, non-volatile data storage and will include both flow and non-flow sensors for strain, temperature, acoustic and acceleration. The new flight test system can be used in a broad range of test requirements including unmanned aircraft applications. The flight test marked the first milestone of a planned long-term collaboration between the lab and Bounday Layer Data System project aimed at development of a next-generation low-cost flight test capability.
Mechanical Engineering Professor Russ Westphal has worked with students on the system, which employs small, self-contained, autonomous instruments to help aircraft companies measure the aerodynamics of their planes.
Counting the Days
Mechanical engineering students designed a motorized advent calendar that was featured at the December 2019 Cambria Christmas Market. Based on Christmas markets in Europe that date back to the Middle Ages, the Cambria Christmas Market, housed primarily at the Cambria Pines Lodge, featured 2 million lights in dioramas and displays. The display — roughly 14 feet tall, 20 feet long and 4 feet deep — featured 25 days represented by boxes. Each box contained a playful diorama. There were a shooting star, a polar bear snow globe, Santa’s workshop, an ice skater, a hula dancer and other animated scenes of the season. Seventeen boxes featured moving parts, and all played music related to the subject of the respective diorama.