Troy, N.Y. For the second year in a row, a pair of Rensselaer students took first place at the annual Student Manufacturing Design Competition held by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Mechanical engineering doctoral students Casey Hoffman and Jaron Kuppers won top honors in the national competition last month for their innovative Specialized Elastomeric Tooling (SET) process. The SET process offers a new method for curing advanced composites, which are highly customizable materials frequently used in a range of critically important applications from aircraft to windmill blades to biomedical devices. The new process is significantly less expensive and requires 500 to 1,000 times less energy than the conventional curing method used around the globe.
The competition, held in mid-October at the 2010 ASME International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference in Erie, Penn., was established in 1995 and is among the leading national manufacturing and design competitions for undergraduate and graduate students. Hoffman and Kuppers presented at the event, and were accompanied by faculty project sponsor Daniel Walczyk, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering (MANE) at Rensselaer.
"It's a large international conference, with students from many other top engineering programs entering the competition, so it's really exciting to have won first place," said Hoffman, who invented the SET process and was also a finalist in the 2010 Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize. Born and raised in Kempton, Penn., Hoffman received his bachelor's degree in physics from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Penn., and his master's degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer.
"The competition was tough, but we worked really hard on our project, and in the end our efforts paid off," said Kuppers, who added a computational 3-D modeling aspect to the project, to optimize the shape
|Contact: Michael Mullaney|
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute