Encounter Engineering in Seattle

A group of students recently toured Seattle as part of the Encounter Engineering program. Here’s an account of the trip from one of them!

Growing up in a small town where a trip to the grocery store means running into half of the population is vastly different than the hustle and bustle of a large metropolitan city. Deciding to attend Louisiana State University was a large step outside of my comfortable bubble of the quaint small town life, but it wasn’t my last step. Approaching my junior year, I was presented with the opportunity to travel with the College of Engineering to Seattle, WA. Being honest, the idea of traveling across the United States with a group of strangers was quite daunting, but I decided to take a leap of faith and sign up for this new adventure!

Upon landing in Seattle, we were whisked away with frigid air and a busy schedule. Through the week we toured seven companies including: Arena Net, Google, Amazon, Boeing, Expedia, Glympse, and 343 Industries. At each of these companies we were not only greeted with open arms, but also given a glimpse of the “real world;” each company presenting us with a different view of life in industry.

Arena Net was one of the first stops on our industry tour. One of the most memorable parts of this tour was the “Sound Room,” where all the sounds within their video games are created. This exposed each of us to a new aspect of engineering, sound engineering, but our adventure did not stop there.

 

The next day, we arrived at Amazon bright and early in the heart of Seattle. Outside the front entrance was a community banana stand. Each morning employees of Amazon give away bananas to anyone who walks by and they also have special treats for all furry friends. Amazon works to embrace and welcome the community as a thank you for all the support they have received from Seattle.

Reflecting upon this short cross-country trip, the experience taught me more than how to answer interview questions or build a resume. This trip gave me insight on what it is like to embrace a new culture and grow both personally and professionally. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I learned from this trip is to “be brave.” Whether it is exploring a new type of engineering or opening a banana stand to show appreciation to your community, it is the new ideas, the risks, and the bravery that make you successful in life.

– By April R. Gaydos
Mechanical Engineering
Junior

Make it Work: Meet Sean King, graduate assistant

Each of the Capstone Senior Design teams is able and encouraged to seek guidance outside of the classroom. The SAE Aero Micro team receives advice and direction outside of their coursework through additional talks with professors, meetings with local engineers and mechanical engineering graduate assistant, Sean King.

Each week, the Micro team has time to sit with King and discuss their calculations and designs for their plane.

At the midpoint of the semester, communications assistant M.B. Humphrey sat with King to talk about the ups and downs of the project and the team. Here’s the takeaway:

• On Aerodynamics
“One of the things that people generally run into is that we don’t have as many aero courses here, as say, a school with a full aerospace engineering program. A lot of the things students end up doing is sort of having to learn along the way.”

King said that having a “learn as you go” environment is generally not the most comfortable thing for students, but it does help them learn outside of the “well posed problem” environment that they are used to.

“Its pretty nice to learn to have the students go above and beyond to learn the aero design stuff. We have aerodynamics classes, but aerodynamics is only one part of building an airplane,” King said.

Sean King, left, looks over plans while talking with Micro team member Michael Basham.

Sean King, left, looks over plans while talking with Micro team member Michael Basham.

• On Working Together and Learning Efficiently
The team is at the end of the conceptual design phase and has gathered the appropriate tools and materials to build their plane over the holiday break. The team is prioritizing what most important for their plane as a project and as a competition piece. Weight reduction is a large part of airplane design, King said, and most of what they’re doing is ensuring that the plane is as light as possible.

“The aerodynamics part of the team is trying to make sure the plane is as stable as possible, too,” King said. “They’re priority is stability right now. Which is probably 90 percent of the battle.”

Electrical engineering senior Ryan Cenac, who is a part of the subgroup responsible for the electrical components of the plane, sought advice on the best server motor for the group, and when the appropriate time was to purchase it.

“With something this small scale, everything is sort of known already,” King said. “With RC (radio-remote control) hobbyists and the internet, people who do this make that sort of information known on forums, sharing the sorts of motors that work best. What I was kind of challenging was finding a better way of testing things, like motors and the varied outputs.”

Captain David Giurintano talks with the team about plans for the embodiment proposal and for the upcoming spring semester.

Captain David Giurintano talks with the team about plans for the embodiment proposal and for the upcoming spring semester.

• On the Program Overall
King said that the entire program has shown much progress. He explained that the teams are all on schedule more than they have been in the past. He said that stressing the time management and conducting consistent meetings with the teams probably aids in them staying on course.

“We’re directly asking where they are in terms of their design and where they’re going. We are trying to make sure they’re on track and if they aren’t on track, why they are not.” King said. “But, obviously, they aren’t going to be completely on track,” King said with a chuckle, explaining that they’ve never done this before, so they are all essentially making educated guesses.

Toward the end of the semester, the team did an embodiment proposal where they wrote a short report on the design they decided upon, and talked about how they will move forward from the final into the spring semester. The proposal also acted as a milestone to prove how they’re design works and that they are on track. Visit here in the spring semester to see how that presentation went.

Check out the video below to see clips of past LSU Micro teams during the SAE competition.

– written by M.B. Humphrey
Communications Assistant
LSU College of Engineering

Make it Work: Meet the SAE Aero Design Micro Team

This post is the first supplemental installment in our Make it Work: Senior Design Series, a collection of articles where the college will follow a competitive senior design team throughout both semesters of their Capstone Design project. Refer here for additional posts, photos, stories and information regarding the team. Visit our main website for the series.

MICHAEL BASHAM

Michael Basham

Michael Basham

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Fort Meyers, FL. Has lived in Central, Louisiana since 2002
Campus Involvement/Student Organizations: 
American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Your role in this Capstone Project: structural-design, stress analysis, material selection 
Favorite spot on campus: Middleton Library and Highland Coffees (not technically on campus)
Favorite spot in Louisiana: South Baton Rouge, New Orleans
Hobbies: Playing tennis, playing guitar and banjo, playing pool
What’d you do this summer? “I worked as an intern at Owen & White Consulting Engineers, an engineering consulting firm in Baton Rouge which specializes in water systems”


STEPHEN CAPELLA

Stephen Capella

Stephen Capella


Major:
 Electrical Engineering
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Campus Involvement/Student Organizations: 
Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps
Your role in this Capstone Project: To design and operate the propulsion system, consisting of the power supply and the motor 
Favorite spot on campus: EE Lab
Favorite spot in Louisiana: New Orleans
Hobbies: Music and golf

 


RYAN CENAC

Ryan Cenac

Ryan Cenac

Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Kenner, LA
Campus Involvement/Student Organizations:
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Your role in this Capstone Project: Controls
Favorite spot on campus: LSU Student Union
Favorite spot in Louisiana: New Orleans
Hobbies: Going to the gym
What’d you do this summer? “I went to Los Cabos, Mexico for a wedding.”

 


DANIEL FOUQUET

Daniel Fouquet

Daniel Fouquet

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Campus Involvement/Student Organizations: 
Previously: ASME, Intramural dodgeball, Honors College
Your role in this Capstone Project: Aerodynamics Team 
Favorite spot on campus: Patrick F. Taylor – Home away from home
Favorite spot in Louisiana: New Orleans, Superdome
Hobbies: Reading, catching up on the latest TV shows, biking and late night Wal-Mart runs to bake cakes.
What’d you do this summer? “I did an internship in New Orleans for a consulting engineering company, Infinity, specializing in Civil, Structural, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering. Tightened up my AutoCAD skills and time management while there.”


CADE HOERNER

Cade Hoerner

Cade Hoerner

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Aerospace Engineering
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Campus Involvement/Student Organizations: 
American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and intramural soccer
Your role in this Capstone Project: Aerodynamics
Favorite spot on campus: Secret Subway
Favorite spot in Louisiana: South Baton Rouge, New Orleans
Hobbies: Soccer, guitar, slacklining and video games
What’d you do this summer? “I road tripped through the western U.S.” 

 


TOMMY LeBEAU

Tommy LeBeau

Tommy LeBeau

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Monroe, LA
Campus Involvement/Student Organizations: 
LSU Football Player
Your role in this Capstone Project: Team Leader 
Favorite spot on campus: Tiger Stadium/Death Valley, more specifically, the field
Favorite spot in Louisiana: Lake Providence
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing and hanging out with my wife
What’d you do this summer? “I got married! I took summer classes to go toward my business minor and completed LSU football workouts/football fall camp.”


AHMED SHAWER

Ahmed Shawer

Ahmed Shawer

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Your role in this Capstone Project: structural-design, stress analysis, material selection 
Favorite spot on campus: The Quad
Favorite spot in Louisiana: None
Hobbies: Squash, running and reading
What’d you do this summer? “I spent the summer traveling and looking for Masters Schools.”

 


JACK SIM

Jack Sim

Jack Sim


Major:
 Mechanical Engineering/Product Design Engineering
Hometown: New Cumnock, Scotland
Your role in this Capstone Project: CAD and Manufacturing
Favorite spot on campus: Parade grounds
Favorite spot in Louisiana: None, yet.
Hobbies: Rugby, running, squash, snowboarding, hill walking, hiking and mountaineering
What’d you do this summer? “I did a summer placement at a manufacturing plant in Scotland”

 

 

For more information about the series, check out our main website at eng.lsu.edu or contact M.B. Humphrey at marissah@lsu.edu. For more information on the history of the LSU Capstone Design Program, click here.

Encounter Engineering at LSU Before School Starts

Encounter Engineering (E2) Camp begins in just a few weeks for our incoming class of 2019. For you younger students out there, here’s some more information about our camp and a blog from a student who’s not only attended the camp herself, but worked for it as an upperclassmen.

About Encounter Engineering
Encounter Engineering (E2) is a one week bridge camp hosted the week before the fall semester each year. It introduces incoming engineering, construction management, and computer science first-year students to the College of Engineering and helps them transition from high school to college mindsets. Dedicated staff, counselors, and peer mentors work hard to give these students everything they need to succeed. Each group of incoming freshmen is paired with a peer mentor that is either currently in the student’s preferred major or a major of interest in the College of Engineering. Peer mentors guide students through a variety of activities, lead design and professional development sessions, and host evening activities with industry personnel.


Giselle Medina

Giselle Medina

Hi, my name is Giselle Medina, and I am currently a senior in mechanical engineering at Louisiana State University as well as a peer mentor for the Society of Peer Mentors. I am originally from Beaumont, Texas, so coming to LSU not knowing anyone else in engineering was stressful to think about.

As an incoming freshmen, participating in Encounter Engineering (E2) created a smooth transition from high school to college academics. One of the great things that my family and I liked about this camp is that I got to move in a week early and adjust to the campus before college classes even started. This was such a comfort since I was able to become familiar with the buildings and campus a week in advance. While this was great, I quickly realized how much more this program had to offer.

A few weeks before camp even started, I remember getting an email from my peer mentor introducing herself and telling me all about Encounter Engineering. Just this simple act was enough to get me excited! I could not wait! The first day of camp, my parents and I went to the theater in the LSU Student Union and were introduced to our peer mentor and student groups. After that, I remember saying goodbye to my parents, going to my residence hall, and making friends with other campers immediately. Not only was this camp an eye opener to life as an engineering student at LSU, but it was a great way for me to make friends and get to know students before school even started!

I remember the first few days were super eventful. We were working on a Rube Goldberg design project with our team which helped us get a better understanding of what engineering was like. A Rube Goldberg is a project where you complete a simple task in as many steps as possible. We were given a limited amount of supplies with some “currency” we could use at a “shop” in case we wanted to buy more supplies. The team with the most steps, least amount of money spent, and a successful Rube Goldberg would win the contest. Unfortunately, my team did not win, but it was still a fun and insightful experience!

Students at Encounter Engineering camp

Students at Encounter Engineering camp

I also attended mock calculus and physics classes during camp and met some of my future professors. I knew my calculus and physics professor before school even started! Each class was set up to be an example of what an actual college class was like. This proved to be another big help for me because I had a better understanding of what to expect. Towards the end of E2, we all attended a large industry dinner with industry personnel from different companies. This was a huge opportunity for us since we were able to network with professionals before our other classmates.

One of my favorite parts about the camp was the academic discussions with peer mentors and faculty about transitioning into college, as well as how to keep up good grades and a social life. No one can give better advice than a student who has been in your shoes and has gone through the classes you will be going through. The entire experience was invaluable and definitely helped prepare me for my first day. Without E2, I would not have met the friends I currently have today. I would not have had a role model and mentor in my major that I could go to for advice or academic help. Most importantly, I would not have become a peer mentor and helped other incoming freshmen as I do today.

So why should you consider Encounter Engineering? I would say for a few reasons. It has been observed that students who went attended the E2 camp were more likely to stay in the College of Engineering and succeed in their classes versus students who didn’t participate. Just one week of mock classes, team building, discussions, design challenges, and more led to tremendous outcomes. Also, students are given a valuable connection through Encounter Engineering – their peer mentor. My first summer as a peer mentor, I had a group of four students. Even after camp was over, I kept in contact with most of them. I was able to give them study aid books and online copies of my textbooks that helped them in their freshmen classes. I was able to answer any questions they had about the campus or the College of Engineering. I was able to give them advice about mechanical engineering classes, and it simply goes on from there. The last reason, and a big reason why I participated, was because it gave my parents and me peace of mind about starting college. My parents knew that I would be in good hands and learn from the program. I knew that I had an extra week to learn about LSU, learn from upperclassmen in the College of Engineering, and meet my classmates before school started.

– Giselle Medina
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

For more information about Encounter Engineering, please visit our website at www.eng.lsu.edu/current/freshmen/e2.

Leading into Graduation: Leadership LSU Class of 2015

Courtney Irwin

Courtney Irwin

This month’s post comes from Courtney Irwin, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in leadership development. As an LSU student, Courtney served as the Engineers without Borders (EWB) chapter president. Courtney is also a candidate for the Distinguished Communicator certification, which recognizes students that demonstrate successful use of their communication skills in leadership roles and community service.

Leadership LSU is an annual program which addresses adaptive leadership through the lens of critical issues here in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. This year, the Leadership LSU Class of 2015 explored issues such as race, education, modern day slavery, and crime with various speakers including Maxine Crump, the first woman of color to live on LSU’s campus, and Dr. Laura Murphy, Founder and Director of Loyola University’s Modern Slavery Research Project. Participants gained specific insight into these issues and focused on the adaptive leadership challenges that each leader faced.

Leadership LSU Class of 2015

Leadership LSU Class of 2015

I learned an incredible amount about myself over the course of the program, and was able to identify challenges in my own life and my own leadership efforts that were echoed by the leaders and by my peers in each session. Throughout my time here at LSU and in the College of Engineering, I have been in many leadership positions, whether in small group settings or larger student organizations, and have faced many challenges. Some of these challenges stemmed from my own skills or my team members’ skills, but others were much greater challenges stemming from organizational or societal issues. Being able to reflect on my personal experiences while learning about the experiences of other leaders led me to many personal realizations and understandings. Sometimes, it is important to take a step back, as hard as it may be, and reevaluate a situation.

Courtney Irwin and fellow Leadership LSU Class of 2015 members

Courtney Irwin and fellow Leadership LSU Class of 2015 members

Even in a setting such as community service where you would like to be on the ground getting work done, it is sometimes more beneficial as a leader for you to step back, observe, and develop a new strategy before getting back in the action. Reflection can also be an incredible tool for growth. I was able to identify several aspects of my previous experiences and challenges that I had not extensively thought about before, and look at them with a new perspective.

The leadership and teamwork skills that I have learned throughout my time at LSU and through the Leadership LSU program have been, and will continue, to be invaluable as I move forward in my career. After graduation in May, I will work full-time in New Orleans, La. for Shell International Exploration and Production Co. as a Wells Engineer, specifically for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. As a drilling engineer, one works as a project engineer, interacting with people from many companies with different technical skills, educational backgrounds, and cultural backgrounds. It is very much a team position with inherent leadership because of the decisions that are left to the drilling engineers.

Many engineers are in roles with similar responsibilities and that require communication, team, and leadership skills. Be sure to make the most of the opportunities you are presented with here at LSU, both in and out of your classes. Geaux Tigers!

– By Courtney Irwin
Mechanical Engineering