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New Oregon Tech Faculty Member Judges International Formula SAE Competition

Jun 11, 2018
With his experience in the Formula racing competition, Professor Stover was the only faculty judge of the competition.

Clifford “Cliff” Stover, an associate professor of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) at Oregon Tech recently returned from the Michigan International Speedway, where he was a judge of the International Formula SAE competition May 9-12.

As a licensed Professional Engineering, Professor Stover came to Oregon Tech in 2017 from Southern California. Prior to Oregon Tech, he worked at Cal Poly Pomona for 22 years as both professor and engineering director for the project and development laboratories. He was also advisor for both Formula and Baja SAE and brought his teams to 72 events all over the United States and Canada as well as international events in Italy, Germany and England.

Judging Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by SAE International (previously known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE). The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a student design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules, whose purpose is both ensuring on-track safety (the cars are driven by the students themselves) and promoting clever problem solving.

With his experience in the Formula racing competition, Professor Stover was the only faculty judge of the competition. He was responsible for suspension evaluation for 8 universities that went through his Bay, judging mostly American teams with the exception of Kookmin (Korea). Asked when he was initially invited to judge where he felt he would be the most useful, Professor Stover requested the suspension area as it is an umbrella of many topics: tires, vehicle dynamics, suspension system design, handling balance tuning, use of associated data and more.

In his first year as a judge instead of faculty advisor, he was involved in reviewing each of the 120 entries. Of the experience, Professor Stover said, “The people I worked with were the top of their industries from all over the world. It was a great learning experience.” Winners of the overall race included 1. Universitat Stuttgart, Germany, 2. Graz Technical Univ, Austria, and 3. Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain.

Cal Poly Pomona adds Professor Stover’s name to their car as thanks for his years as their advisor.Professor Stover was the only professor recruited to judge the competition and the only Formula SAE Carroll Smith Mentor’s Cup recipient to be a design judge. The Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup recognizes outstanding contributions made by faculty advisors to the young engineering students’ Formula SAE competition team.

“All in all, a great week and great to be the only faculty member among such a respected group of engineers who volunteer to judge what is the largest student design competition on the globe.”

OIT Racing2018
Oregon Tech students are frequent competitors within this competition, competing with university teams from around the globe in both Formula and Baja cars under the supervision of faculty advisor and professor of MMET, Brian Moravec. The Oregon Tech Racing club works year-round on vehicles, including conducting biweekly teleconference meetings with Boeing personnel and sponsorship by companies such as IPG Automotive, Lithia Klamath Falls, Coastal Enterprises, Futek Advanced Sensor Technology, TCS Contract, Advanced Composite Education Services, SAE Oregon, Honeywell, Boeing, Genie, Fastenal, Royal Purple Synthetic Oil and Monster Tool Company. More information is available at www.oitracing.com.

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