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GVSU engineering students qualify for international competition

  • GVSU engineering students competed in Erie, Penn.

Posted on March 30, 2010

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A team of students from Grand Valley State University's School of Engineering performed well in the regional American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) competition over the weekend, earning the right to compete in the international competition in Vancouver.

The students traveled to Erie, Penn., to participate in the District B competition, which includes schools in Michigan, Ontario, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In the prestigious Old Guard oral presentation, student Alex Plotkowski of Grandville won the first prize award and the best technical content award, winning a total of $550. Plotkowski will be funded by the ASME to represent the district during the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) in Vancouver in November.

Also, a team comprised of Austin Filush of Grandvillle, Ryan Muller of Clawson, James Stokes of Midland, and Robert Piccard  of Grand Rapids earned second place in the design competition. The task in that competition was to design, build, and test an autonomous system capable of accurately sorting common recyclable materials into distinct waste containers, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics and glass. Grand Valley placed second after Carnegie Mellon University and ahead of Michigan State University. The team won $300 and partial funding to go compete in Vancouver.

Other participating students were Jake Hall of Grandville, Kathy Droillard of Carleton, Mario Rodreguiz of Kentwood and Jordon Walsworth of Hart.

"These students really made us all proud," said Professor Nael Barakat, who traveled with the team. "The Grand Valley students competed against peers from other top engineering programs, and they were able to perform up to the same standards. That's a testament to both the quality of our program and the quality of our students."

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