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Oregon Tech Faculty Member Returns to International Formula SAE Competition as Judge for Second Year

May 15, 2019
In his second year as a judge, he was involved in reviewing each of the eight entries. Professor Stover was also the only Formula SAE Carroll Smith Mentor’s Cup recipient to be a design judge.

WILSONVILLE, Ore. Clifford “Cliff” Stover, an associate professor of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering and Technology (MMET) at Oregon Institute of Technology (“Oregon Tech”) recently returned from the Michigan International Speedway, where he was a judge for the second year at the International Formula SAE competition May 8-11.

As a licensed professional engineer, Professor Stover came to Oregon Tech in 2017 from Southern California. Before 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 adviser 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.

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 racecar. The prototype racecar is evaluated for its potential as a production item, with the target marketing group for the car a 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 innovative problem-solving.

Judges with Kookmin (Korea)With his experience in the Formula racing competition, Professor Stover was responsible for judging systems integration/design integration (packaging, electronics/power management, team organization, analysis methods/tools) and also manufacturability for eight universities: Kookmin University (South Korea), Auburn University, Kansas State University, Clemson University, Penn State University, Florida International University, Northwestern University and University of Toronto. Each university is given one hour to present their respective designs to the cue of eight judge, each an expert in separate categories: Suspension, Frame/Body/Aero, Powertrain, Cockpit/Controls/Brakes/Safety, System Management/Integration, Manufacturability/Serviceability, Aesthetics/Style, and Creativity.

Presenting the Aero Award to the Univ of TorontoIn his second year as a judge, he was involved in reviewing each of the eight entries. Of the experience, Professor Stover said, “Working with these top industry motor sports engineers is great. The judges in my queue were the systems engineer and co-driver for world famous racecar driver Robbie Gordon, who just completed the grueling Dakar off-road race, as well as engineers from Tesla, SpaceX, General Motors, Ford, Bosch, Penske and MAHLE.” Winners of the overall race were University of Stuttgart (Germany), Graz University of Technology (Austria) and ÉTS School of Advanced Technology (Canada).

Professor Stover was also 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 advisers to the young engineering students’ Formula SAE competition team.

“All in all, it was a great week and was humbling 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 Racing2018Oregon 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 adviser 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 sponsorships 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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