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08-22-2007

Clarkson University's Design, Build & Fly Team Competes

The Clarkson University Design, Build & Fly team, the Knighthawks, recently finished 29th out of 50 teams at the 2007 Cessna/Raytheon Design/Build/Fly Competition held at the TIMPA flying field in Tucson, Arizona.

Student teams design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric-powered, radio-controlled aircraft, which best meets the specified mission profile. The goal is a balanced design, possessing good demonstrated flight handling qualities, and practical and affordable manufacturing requirements, while providing a high vehicle performance.

The team members were seniors Matthew Kimak of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Leighton Myers of Philadelphia, N.Y., Michael Parker of Springwater, N.Y., Tom Perley of Herndon, Va., Martin Spackman of Saratoga, N.Y. and Kevin Zeznick of Olean, N.Y.; and juniors Zachary Koester of Deansboro, N.Y. and Marissa LaCoursiere of Lee, N.H. The advisors were Piergiovanni Marzocca and Kenneth Visser, professors of mechanical and aeronautical engineering.

The SPEED program is one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives exemplifying Clarkson's "defy convention" approach to education. SPEED promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 250 undergraduates annually. Projects involve engineering design and analysis, and fabrication. In addition, students learn real-world business skills such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communications skills. SPEED receives its primary financial support from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with contributions from ExxonMobil and Turner Construction Company. The program was recognized with the 2001 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award and the 2002 Corporate and Foundation Alliance Award for its exceptional contributions to improving undergraduate engineering education.

Find out more about the Design, Builsd & Fly team at http://www.clarkson.edu/speed/teams/designbuildfly .html.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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