Exams Are Over!

Many design team members have graduated and parlayed their team experience into graduate school opportunities or well-paying jobs, but the competition season rumbles on.

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Next week Steel Bridge heads to Akron, Ohio for the SB Nationals. Jermy Jamison’s crew has been practicing, practicing and practicing, and we’re told they’ve trimmed more than a minute from their assembly time and that translates into higher scores.

Tomorrow afternoon the S&T Baja! Team packs up and heads to Pittsburg, Kansas for the first of two off-road design competitions. Joining them is the team from the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil which set up a temporary home at S&T last week. In 2011 Paulo Yamagata’s USP crew helped christen the new Kummer Center so this year is a reunion of old friends and fellow gear-heads.

While the rest of campus is quiet the SDELC shop is humming. And snoring.
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The week before completion is full of sleepless nights, and it’s beginning to take a toll on Miners and guests alike. Team camaraderie and cars are tested to the limit as a year’s worth of effort begins to produce results. Sleep deprivation can produce bizarre behaviors; tempers can flare or the silly season takes over. Both are part and parcel of managing people and morale.

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At the same time the Mars Rover Design Team hauls Phoenix to Hanksville, Utah for their second crack at desert operations. Mechanical lead Ian Lee’s group has produced a masterpiece of form and function, but it’s not been without a cost in physical exhaustion (above).

Some people believe that taking advantage of another when the victim is at their most vulnerable is unfair, classless and humiliating. Others fully understand that making fun of the ones you respect and admire builds camaraderie, that making your buddy’s life hell is like saying “We Love You!”
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We’ll let you be the judge of which is the case here.