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University Relations

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May 16, 2005
Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

KU engineering team wins third place in national aircraft design contest in Texas

LAWRENCE -- A team of 12 students at the University of Kansas School of Engineering took third place at the Society of Automotive Engineers Aero Design West competition, April 22-24 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Team members received a $500 check and a plaque for third place.

The annual competition allows students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real situations. Students must design, build and fly a radio-controlled aircraft that is capable of carrying large amounts of weight. The team's aircraft, the "Sub-SubSonic Cruiser," carried 16.5 pounds.

During the competition, teams submitted a written report and gave a 15-minute presentation that determined half of their score. After the first day of competing, the KU team was in second place. More than 35 teams registered for the competition, however not all teams were able to complete their project in time.

Kyle Hunt, aerospace engineering senior from Wamego and project manager, had high hopes for the final outcome. "After the presentation, I knew that we had a good chance of winning," says Hunt.
The other half of the score came from test flights. Teams had the opportunity to increase scores by consecutive flights with additional weight. Competitors had six to 10 flight opportunities during the 1.5 days of flying.

Normally, teams start with lower weights in the earlier rounds and progressively add more weight. The team's first flight carried 12 pounds and the second flight carried 16.5 pounds. On the last flight, the team attempted to carry 19 pounds.

Now that the competition is over, Hunt has mixed emotions about the outcome. "I am happy about winning third place. But I'm also a little disappointed because I thought we could take it," says Hunt.
KU team members are listed by their hometowns with their level in school, their majors, their parents' names, their high schools and their team responsibility:

From Lawrence
James Leung Moore, senior in aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering, son of James and Karen Moore; Lawrence Free State High School.; member

From Olathe
Katie Lollis, senior in aerospace engineering, daughter of Denese Lollis and James Lollis, Olathe East High School; member

From Overland Park
Brad Torgler, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Alan and Jolene Torgler; Blue Valley North High School; fuselage construction leader.

From Shawnee
Will Miller, junior in aerospace engineering, son of Donald and Luba Miller; Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, member

From Wamego
Kyle Hunt, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Steve and Kathy Hunt; Wamego High School; project manager.

From St. John
Chris Hullman, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Kim and Helen Hullman; St. John High School; structural analyst.

From Topeka
Matt Landavazo, sophomore in aerospace engineering, son of Armond and Rachel Landavazo; Shawnee Heights High School, Tecumseh; wing construction leader.

From Bonner Springs and Kansas City
Jonathan Wheeler, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Dee Etta Anne Wheeler, Bonner Springs, and Terry Wheeler, Kansas City; Bonner Springs High School, member.

From Warrensburg
Kevin Michael, senior in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics, son of George and Joyce Michael; Warrensburg High School; empennage (tail assembly) construction leader.

From Fargo
Braden Sutton, sophomore in aerospace engineering, son of Bob and Claudette Sutton; South High School, member.

From Tulsa
Tim Forthman, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Daniel Forthman; Jenks (Okla.) High School; member.

From Hiroshima
Tomohiro Shimizu, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Hirokazu Shimizu; landing gear construction leader.


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