School of Mines News
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Phone: (605) 394-6082/2554 • Fax: (605) 394-6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2005
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
School of Mines Takes First Place in Aero Design
In just its fifth year of competition, the South Dakota School of Mines and
Technology captured first place in the Aero Design West remote-controlled
airplane competition in Fort Worth, Texas.
“This is like winning the NCAA championship,” team advisor Dr. Dan Dolan said
as the team drove home Monday morning from the weekend competition. “This is
absolutely awesome. It’s truly something special.”
The School of Mines team spent months designing, building and testing the
remote-controlled biplane that features a 5-foot wingspan. At the competition, the
plane carried 19 pounds of added lead weight, the most of any of the nearly 40
teams, and placed third in design.
When the judges tallied the total scores, the School of Mines finished atop the
regular class and ahead of some of the best-known universities in the country.
The School of Mines team also is bringing home the best team award and the
traveling trophy that will remain on campus for the next year.
“The team is just flying high,” Dolan said. “It’s still sinking in. It’s still sinking in to
me. I woke up this morning and asked myself if I was dreaming.”
The team is expected to arrive on campus late Monday night. The team will
display its airplane during the Senior Design Fair scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
in the Surbeck Center Ballroom.
Dolan credited the team’s success, in part, to the Center of Excellence for
Advanced Manufacturing and Production, also known as CAMP. Competition
teams such as Aero Design fall under CAMP, a program that uses teams to offer
an innovative engineering and science education and teach team-building and
other skills students need and future employers want.
“This is a typical good CAMP team,” Dolan said. “They really put everything
together. Every student had a task and every student fulfilled those tasks
flawlessly. The Aero Design team members really put their trust in each other.
Everyone was willing to voice their opinions and when they had a problem, they
worked through it until they reached a consensus. Every student felt like they
belonged on the team.”
The Aero Design competition is intended to provide undergraduate and graduate
engineering students with a real-life engineering exercise. The competition has
been designed to provide exposure to the kinds of situations that engineers face
in the real work environment.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.