Engineering Project Teams Exemplify Alumni Support
Engineering project teams exemplify alumni support
By Kate Klein
It smells like an auto repair shop in the lower floor of Upson Hall, a pungent combination of oil, gasoline, dust and cement. The Cornell Racing shop is empty of students for the summer, but it is evident that just a few months ago the two workstations -- one for the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) car and the other for the Baja car -- were alive with activity.
"This is way better than it needs to be," he says of the perfect metal seams in the car's suspension. Attention to detail is a sign of good engineers; some day soon, if the students who welded this car follow in the footsteps of many a Baja team member, they might be supervising projects as engineers with Google, Cummins, SpaceX or Moog, which seek out Cornell project team graduates.
A quarter of all undergraduate engineering students participate on a growing number of project teams -- 23 in 2014-15. Project team alumni say the real-life design, teamwork and hands-on experience they gained is instrumental in their professional work. And current project team students, staff and faculty say alumni engagement -- from advice to a vibrant network to financial support -- is essential to successful teams.