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Alfred State participating in ELK Charity Challenge to raise funds for children

Posted Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 14:15

Two Alfred State students and a faculty member will depart for Ventura Beach, CA, Friday to partake in the seven-day Everyone Loves Kids (ELK) Charity Challenge. 

Held May 16-23, the event is an interactive adventure that pits 50 philanthropic vehicle enthusiasts against one another in a journey to give back to America’s children, according to www.elkcharitychallenge.org. Each day, participants will navigate through numerous challenges and locations that test their dedication, determination, and preparation. 

Alfred State team competing in the Everyone Loves Kids (ELK) Charity ChallengePoints are earned by completing daily missions based on historical significance, local points of interest, and more. A $10,000 daily contribution is made to the children’s charity of the winning squad. 

A variety of vehicles will be competing in the challenge, from high-end models such as Ferraris and McLarens, to classics such as Cords and Dusenbergers, to more unique vehicles, including the “Back to the Future” DeLorean time machine. 

Alfred State’s car is a 1966 Lincoln Continental once owned by American diplomat and political scientist Henry Kissinger. Craig Corbell, owner of the Lincoln and friend of Alfred State, is sponsoring the college’s team, which consists of Automotive Trades Assistant Professor James Fleischman, and heavy equipment: truck and diesel technician students Jacob Macken, of Alden, and Ryan Balcerzak, of Elma. 

Macken said he feels very excited and privileged to be competing in the ELK Challenge. 

“Hopefully, we’ll represent Alfred State in a good way and get a win out of it, but it’s all about raising money and helping out a charity,” he said. 

Balcerzak said he is also very excited about the challenge, especially the traveling aspect. 

“I’ve never been out of the state very far, let alone to California,” he said. “I’m very grateful to go and it’s for a good cause.” 

Roughly 25 to 30 students from a variety of majors worked on the car, according to Fleischman, who said their efforts included rebuilding the engine, painting, and performing an alignment. 

“The cool part is that it’s a good applied learning project because everything the students are learning in class is everything that we worked on for the car,” he said. 

Fleischman said competing in the ELK Challenge is an honor and noted he was surprised that Corbell decided to sponsor the Alfred State team. 

“It’s not often that somebody will foot the bill for something like this and send you across the country to be in an event,” he said. “I just want to thank everyone who was involved and helped pull this off.”

Basic Utility Vehicle Team finishes second in BUV Design Competition

Posted Date: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:15

BUV Team members and mechanical engineering technology students Brendan Sheridan, of Staten Island, left, and David Parker, of WhitesboroThe Alfred State Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) Team recently took second place in the annual BUV Design Competition held April 25 in Batavia, OH.

The team, which consisted of mechanical engineering technology students Brendan Sheridan, of Staten Island, and David Parker, of Whitesboro, competed against groups from Purdue, the University of Cincinnati, Trine University and Baylor University. The object of the competition is to design a low-cost vehicle to be built and used in third-world developing countries.

This year, teams were tasked with building a farm vehicle capable of transporting water over a rough terrain. During the event, the schools competed in a six-hour endurance test, loading their BUV with one to three full 55-gallon barrels of water and completing three laps around a 2.2-mile course through mud and rough terrain.

Teams then had to unload their barrels, refill them from a pond, and repeat the process. Points were awarded for the number of barrels transported, as well as the number of laps completed.

Dr. Edward Tezak, faculty adviser to the BUV Team, said his students were “nip and tuck” with Purdue during the whole event and were in first place by seven minutes after more than five hours, when the throttle cable broke. Tezak said this was “disheartening,” but added that after a quick on-course repair, the students were back in second place, where they remained for the rest of the competition.

Parker said he enjoyed driving the course, overcoming various obstacles, and seeing how well Alfred State’s vehicle stood up against those from other schools. He said despite not having the crew or the finances that the other squads had, he is very pleased with how his team performed and how its vehicle competed with the others.

“The BUV competition was an excellent experience,” he said. “It was great to combine everything that I have learned throughout my years here at Alfred State and apply it to a real-world problem.”

Sheridan said, “The thing I found most fun about the competition was being able to put the vehicle that I had put so much time in to work as it was intended, and in some ways it exceeded my expectations.”

Tezak, chair of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department, said he is especially proud that his team was given the Innovation Award for its design of the water-pumping system “that far exceeded any design in previous BUV events.” He said the competition was a great experience for the students.

“The project is in line with Alfred State’s emphasis on project-based learning, where a real-world challenge is presented and students have to address it,” he said. “Considering that only two students were involved, along with having a close-to-a-zero-dollar budget, I believe that they did a commendable job against institutions that have much more financial support.

Tezak added, “For our students to compete favorably with the likes of Purdue and Baylor is a testament to the quality of education available here at Alfred State.”

Pictured above are Basic Utility Vehicle Team members and mechanical engineering technology students Brendan Sheridan, of Staten Island, left, and David Parker, of Whitesboro, along with their entry into the annual BUV Design Competition. Sheridan is holding the engraved disks denoting the team’s second-place finish and Innovation Award, while Parker is holding the Innovation Trophy.

Architecture students working on design for Andover Volunteer Emergency Ambulance Corporation building

Posted Date: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 08:30

Under the direction of Professors William Akiyama, Richard Carlo, and William Dean, some architecture students have been working on a civic engagement project involving the design of a Volunteer Emergency Ambulance Corporation (AVAC) facility for the village of Andover.

Taylor Chapman, an architectural technology major from Hamburg, and Roberto Trujillo, an architecture student from Jackson Heights, present their schematic designsOn April 1, the students and faculty met with members of the ambulance corporation at the existing fire station in Andover. Students had prepared questions to assist them in better understanding the problems involved with the ambulance corporation sharing the fire station facility.

“This meeting also assisted the students in developing additional program information,” Carlo said. “Afterward, students were provided with a tour of the facilities, equipment, and processes of the corporation.”

The group also toured the proposed site of the new building, located directly adjacent to the fire station. Students collected on-site photos and other observations that assisted them in the preparation of a site analysis and the subsequent schematic designs.

On April 15, students presented their schematic designs to the members of the Andover Emergency Ambulance Corporation, including Chief Kelly Padden; Kevin Waters; Thomas Kent, president of the board; Kathleen Kent, board member; and Ken Gray, vice president.

“The students presented six of more than 20 options generated to give an overview of the possible approches to the design,” Carlo said. “The guests were very impressed with the students’ work and are looking forward to the future design development of the project.”

Carlo said the students intend to have a final design presentation and collate all the solutions into a design booklet.

“This will hopfully aid the AVAC in establishing priorities of the project and aquiring possible grant money to realize the facility,” he said.

Students will give their final presentations to members of the AVAC from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, in rooms 417 and 424 of the Engineering Technology Building.

Three dozen students initiated into Phi Kappa Phi

Posted Date: Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 12:15

A total of 36 students from a variety of academic disciplines were initiated into the Alfred State chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society Thursday, April 30.

The chapter was formed in February, when charter members and officers were installed during a ceremony. The following is a list of names, majors, and hometowns of students who were initiated:

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, according to www.phikappaphi.org, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. It has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines. Each year, around 30,000 members are initiated, and only the top 10 percent of a graduating class and the top 7.5 percent of juniors are invited to join.

Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Associate Professor Christopher Tomasi, president of the Alfred State Phi Kappa Phi chapter, said the honor society’s values are conveyed in its motto, “Let the love of learning rule humanity.” 

“Our mission also states clearly who we are and what we do: ‘To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others,’” he said.

Architecture students to present plans for adaptive reuse of five Wellsville buildings May 11 at David A. Howe Library

Posted Date: Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 12:00

Architecture students will present their proposals and designs for improving the store fronts and interiors of five buildings in the village of Wellsville from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, May 11, in the History Room of the David A. Howe Library in Wellsville. 

The students, who are in Professor Joy Carlson’s historic preservation and adaptive reuse studio course, have focused on the Raubers, Burrous, Scoville, and Applebee buildings, and the Erie Depot in their proposals and designs. The event is free and open to the public. 

“Come see how Alfred State students envision building restoration and renovation for Main Street and the Erie Depot,” Carlson said. 

First-year Architecture and Design students present designs for new food truck

Posted Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 16:00

Architecture and Design Department Professor and Chair Bill Dean and Dean of the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology John Williams take a look at the student presentation entries for Alfred State’s newly acquired food truck A total of 50 student designs for Alfred State’s newly acquired food truck were presented for display and judging Tuesday, April 28, at the Student Leadership Center.

Working together with student leaders from the Alfred State Architecture Club, the event highlighted a two-week project completed earlier this semester by 52 first-year Architecture and Design Department students in the design fundamentals studio course. Professors Dr. Alex Bitterman, Dave Carli, and Terry Palmiter worked with students, who were tasked with developing a new design “wrap” for the college’s food truck, which will serve as a rolling kitchen to be primarily used at some disaster relief outreach programs.

“The objective of the exercise was to develop a highly visible, recognizable, and meaningful graphic expression for the truck, which embodies the Alfred State commitment to community care and civic engagement,” said Carli.

Tuesday’s event featured 50 presentation entries, each of which included a presentation board and a 3-D model of the food truck emblazoned with the student’s design.

Christian Jankuloski, an architectural technology major from Webster, whose presentation was titled “Pioneer Plates,” said he enjoyed coming up with his own unique design.

“It made me learn a bit more about myself and what I can do,” he said.

Architectural technology student and Buffalo native Brandon Oddo said he based his design, “Grub-on-the-Go,” on the sharp, crisp decals and logos found on racing cars.

“I love graphic design, so I really enjoyed being able to put some creative effort into this, really express myself, and take my love for racing and put it into a school project,” he said.

Michael Bowman, an architectural technology major from Fairport, whose presentation was titled “Simply Alfred,” said the project helped him learn more about the layout aspect of the design process.

“That’s very key to designing anything,” he said.

Invited to serve as judges Tuesday were President Dr. Skip Sullivan, Vice President of Academic Affairs Kristin Poppo, Dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology Dr. John Williams, Dean of the School of Applied Technology Dr. Craig Clark, Assistant Professor of Building Trades Mark Payne, Culinary Arts Instructor Brian Decker, and other Architecture and Design Department faculty.

Judges were asked to pick their top choices, and the results, along with each student’s name and hometown, are as follows:

First place: “Rising Sun,” by Ryan Debree, architecture, Webster.

Second place: “License Plate,” by Hannah Vuozzo, architecture, Salt Point.

Third place: “Rebuilding Your Horizon,” by Christiana Mehmel, architecture, Olean.

Fourth place: “The Orvis Mobile,” by Alisha Jenney, interior design, Savona.

Carli spoke highly of the students’ work, saying, “Some of the designs are quite professional in their development and execution and exhibit a high level of design consideration.”

Bitterman said, “The food truck design project is unique in the sense that it engages students in a hands-on study of the built environment and provides the opportunity for students from both Alfred State campuses to work together to bring an idea from conception to completion. And it puts our best student talent front and center in a very public way and supports the Alfred State mission by helping others throughout our region.”

In photo above: Architecture and Design Department Professor and Chair Bill Dean and Dean of the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology John Williams take a look at the student presentation entries for Alfred State’s newly acquired food truck.

Mechanical engineering technology students utilizing their talents in three impressive projects

Posted Date: Monday, May 4, 2015 - 11:00

Whether they are increasing energy efficiency or looking to showcase their skills in an international engineering competition, mechanical engineering technology (MET) students have been working hard during the spring semester on some amazing projects.

MET students with their solar-thermal clothing dryer prototypeIn one such venture, students have developed a solar-thermal clothing dryer prototype that uses 90 percent less energy than a traditional dryer and improves drying performance. Jon Owejan, assistant professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology, said the dryer has a novel energy-recovery system and a solar-thermal heat source.

In order to create the prototype, the students designed two heat exchangers, fabricated parts, and retrofitted an existing dryer.

“These students are taking a real hard look at something that’s in every household and making it a lot more efficient,” said Matthew Lawrence, associate professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology.

Peter Borglum, of Pittsford, said he is proud to have been involved in this project, which he said shows “such promise” and considerable cost-effectiveness.

“Hopefully the results of our work will spur future MET projects that put the knowledge we have gained into practice,” Borglum said.

Yanmar engineers Yoshinori Jodo, left, and Michael Alfano inspecting the installation of the micro combined heat and power (Micro CHP) systemIn another project, through a collaboration with the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) and Yanmar Energy Systems, Alfred State has commissioned a micro combined heat and power (Micro CHP) cogeneration system that utilizes a natural gas engine to produce 5 kilowatts of power. As part of his senior project, Luke Miller, of Hornell is helping to install the system, which will become a regular part of the MET teaching curriculum.

According to Owejan, the cogeneration system has a higher efficiency than traditional stand-by generators because it captures the waste heat and re-deploys it for a number of uses, such as domestic hot water, heating pools, radiant heating systems, and more.

“This is a great example of next-generation energy systems the students are being exposed to in the MET program,” he said.

Michael Alfano, sales application engineer at Yanmar, said, “We at Yanmar are pleased to have the opportunity to work in partnership with the students, faculty, and staff of Alfred State on the Yanmar Micro Cogeneration Project. We are excited to introduce micro cogeneration concepts and ideas and assist in facilitating an operational system for the students to observe and learn from.”

MET students have also, for the second consecutive year, designed and fabricated an off-road vehicle for a Baja SAE international engineering competition taking place May 7-10 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The object of the competition, according to bajasaemaryland.umbc.edu, is to provide SAE student members with a challenging project that involves the design, planning, and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market.

Baja team with vehicleThis year, the Alfred State vehicle features on-board instrumentation and an advanced suspension. About 15 students will be making the trip to Maryland to compete against approximately 100 other colleges.

Nathan DeMario, of South Wales, said working on the Baja team has had a significant impact on him.

“It has changed my view of my college experience, it has helped me develop a relationship between information gained in class work and applying the information that we have learned, and it has also allowed me to enjoy my college experience more than I ever thought I would,” he said.

Nathan Sheckler, of Phelps, said this year’s Baja vehicle has “made leaps and bounds over last year’s” entry.

“It’s really exciting to see each individual part come together to make something this cool,” Sheckler said. “It will be an amazing opportunity to compete with this car in Maryland, put it through such a rigorous test, and truly see how well it is built.”

Solar-thermal dryer photo: Mechanical engineering technology (MET) students Brian Mothon, of Galway left, and Zach Hale, of Rochester, stand in front of a poster that explains their solar-thermal clothes dryer project. MET students who were also involved but are not pictured are Peter Borglum, of Pittsford; Kyle Smith-Miglorie, of Avon; and Evan Duffy, of Hamburg.

Cogeneration system photo: Shown here are Yanmar engineers Yoshinori Jodo, left, and Michael Alfano inspecting the installation of the micro combined heat and power (Micro CHP) system.

Baja team 2015 photo: Pictured are mechanical engineering technology students and their entry for the Baja SAE international engineering competition taking place May 7-10 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. From left to right, are Jason Walker, of Phelps; Zach Shadbolt, of Attica; Alex Fisher, of Painted Post; Nathan Sheckler, of Phelps; Nathan DeMario, of South Wales, and (kneeling) Eli Bell, of Shinglehouse, PA.