News Releases 2008

Three LETU Engineering Teams Return With First Place Wins

Thu, Apr 24 2008

LeTourneau University engineering students won first place honors in three separate engineering competitions over the weekend.

"It is phenomenal that all three of our student teams competing in major events last weekend returned home with first place finishes,” said Tom Hellmuth, dean of the School of Engineering. “It is a testimony to the quality of our students, God's blessings on their work, and the excellent educational experience available at LeTourneau University."

Students Joshua Baumgartner of San Antonio, Texas; Benjamin Reed of Wenatchee, Wash.; and Lincoln Stannard of Chicago, Ill., won first place in the Regional ASME design competition in Ruston, La., with their robotic window cleaner. The students were required to design, build and demonstrate a robot that could wash both sides of a residential, double-hung sash window without the aid of human intervention.

“Usually about 25 teams show up, but this year’s competition was so difficult, only about 10 teams competed,” Hellmuth said. “This is our seventh first place finish in the past 10 years. They will progress to a national competition next fall, where all of the 12 regional first place winners will compete.

The region includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the nation of Mexico. ASME, which stands for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is a professional organization that promotes mechanical engineering.

Two LeTourneau University junior electrical engineering majors Richard Godley of Temple, Texas, and Steve Gilbertson of Sierra Vista, Ariz., won first place in the Circuit Design Competition at the IEEE Region Five Technical, Professional and Student Conference at the University of Missouri in Kansas, City, Mo.

The students were given a digital electronics design problem at 8 a.m. with a goal of having their project designed, built and tested by 5 p.m. The objective was to use both analog and digital design to create an energy conservation system that turns off lights in rooms left unoccupied for a given length of time.

“Our students were the only team successful in completing the entire project,” said Joonwan Kim, faculty adviser who accompanied the students to the competition. “Our students’ success shows our courses in electrical engineering meet the high standards for industry.” Kim said the judges were from the electrical engineering industry.

Godley and Richardson won the top spot after competing against 11 teams including state schools like the University of Arkansas, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the University of Missouri at Columbia, University of Texas Pan American and Texas Tech. Both students were offered jobs by two of the judges.

IEEE, which originally was an acronym for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is an association of professionals dedicated to the advancement of technology.

LETU students won first place overall in the SAE Aero Design® 2008 East overall competition, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, in Atlanta, Ga. and received a $1,500 prize. The design competition required students to design, build and fly a radio-controlled airplane that could successfully lift, carry and land a maximum possible payload.

LETU students also won third place in most payload lifted with 22.07 pounds and third place in the regular class design for their report and presentation. The team was also won the NASA Systems Engineering Award.

Team members were seniors Nathan Brower of Keller, Texas; Joshua Hasty of Dallas, Texas; Adam Noble of Des Moines, Iowa; Tim Shirley of Idyllwild, Calif; Joshua Shutts of Borger, Texas; and team leader, Daniel Williams of Tigard, Ore. Juniors on the team were Andrew Burgess of Longview, Texas; Josh Trempert of Nampa, Idaho; and Tim Storm of Chicago, Ill. Faculty sponsors were Lauren Bitikofer and Greg Reynolds.

LETU students competed with teams from 38 schools in the U.S., like Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, University of Cincinnati, Kansas State University, California State University, and international schools from Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela and Poland.

Society of Automotive Engineers a professional organization that promotes innovations in transportation technologies.