Steinmetz presentations showcase innovation at Union


On May 6, 2016 Union College’s 2016 Steinmetz Symposium showcased some of the many innovative projects that Union College students have been involved in this past year.

The following will showcase some of the projects that were presented in the Peter Irving Wold Center that have a particular focus towards engineering and design. Many of the projects were used in actual competitions that Union students competed in.

Union faculty serve as essential advisors to the students who present their work at the Steinmetz Symposium.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja’s chapter in Union College presented their race car’s design at Steinmetz. Union’s Baja chapter club vehicle will be competing in Rochester, NY on June 9 in the Baja SAE competition which tests teams on the criteria of how well their car performs both on the track and in technical usage.

Baja Club presents their racecar which will compete in the SAE Baja competition on June 9. (Courtesy of Brendan Dempsey ’19)
Baja Club presents their racecar which will compete in the SAE Baja competition on June 9. (Courtesy of Brendan Dempsey ’19)

During the presentation two traits of the car were emphasized. First was the car’s suspension abilities that would allow its front and rear tires to remain on the ground at all times during any obstacle.

Second was the car’s drivetrain, the system that connects the transmission to the drive axles.

The drivetrain eliminates the need for constant gear change or clutch operation and this gives the car automatic shift capabilities when evasive action is needed while on the course.

The engineering behind the car was handled by Union students Zachary Rosenberg ’16, Samuel Teitler ’16, Kenneth Marshall ’16, Ben Davis ’17, Scott Zinck ’17, Ari Weinstein ’16, and Joseph Noonan ’17 along with their advisor, Mechanical Engineering Professor Abraham Tchako and support from the operators of the Union College Machine Shop.

Another project that was featured in the Peter Irving Wold Center was the Union SAE Aero team’s propulsion design for their propulsion airplane.

Similar to Baja, the Aero team used this plane to compete in the SAE Aero competition on April 22 to 24.

The plane competed in the advanced class competition and this was partly due to the use of an internal combustion engine that had a total displacement of 0.46 cubic inches.

The second part of the plane’s testing was deciding whether to use a second engine set, and the decision was between an O.S 46 AX II or the Sport Jett 0.46.

Both were tested in physical flights and the engineer in charge of the propulsion, Daniel Chan ’16, decided that the O.S 46 AX II engine was the model best equipped for the plane.

Propeller sizes were also tested, and the decision was decided based on how much horsepower the propellers were able to generate.

The highest was achieved by the propeller that was measured out to be 11 by 6 inches and resulted in an output power of 1.42 horsepower.

The Union Aero team placed fourth out of the twenty teams that competed in the competition in late April.

Mechanical Engineering Professor Bradford Bruno and and Electrical and Computer Science Professor John Spinelli served as advisors for the Aero team.

The Engineers for a Sustainable World Club designed a solar charging station that provides energy storage for equipment like lights or desktop computers. The goal of the project is “to see a world of environmental, social and economic prosperity created that is sustained by local and global action.”

The energy charging station to be impemented on the Union Campus. (Courtesy of Kyler Wang ’19)
The energy charging station to be impemented on the Union Campus. (Courtesy of Kyler Wang ’19)

Advised by Mechanical Engineering Professor Ronald B. Bucinell, the club has been active on campus grounds as they continue to push the Union College administration to integrate their invention with Union’s Memorial Field House to promote energy efficiency.

The club also plans to install a WiFi extension to their charging stations for convenience. The club membership includes Brendan Cheevers ’17, Duncan Smith ’16, Kenneth Marshall ’16, and Nate Billings ’17.


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