Picture provided by the SAE team
What do most engineering schools have in common? According to senior mechanical engineering student Kendall Bentley, it’s a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). This organization competes in multiple areas of the automotive industry, such as baja, formula cars, snowmobiles and even remote controlled airplanes. For competitions, members travel all over the midwest, and sometimes even to California and Florida.
William Schlosser, a mechanical engineering sophomore and treasurer of UW-Platteville’s Society of Automotive Engineers, confirmed that the snow team will be traveling to Michigan in March to compete with their snowmobiles. Other project teams will travel this year to compete in California, Florida and Illinois. Each competition involves the project’s performance and handling, but also the money and design reports of the project.
In order to attend these events and put all of these projects together, each team requires significant funding. Kyle Petersohn, a mechanical engineering sophomore, is in charge of fundraising and sponsorships for the club. He has set up a GoFundMe page for the formula team that he participates in, as well as reached out to other companies for sponsorships as a whole club.
“SAE does a lot of local outreach,” said Bentley, who has recently been elected as the SAE president. As president, she communicates between advisers to the executive board and members. She makes many financial decisions, and oversees all of the project designs.
Some of the activities include setting up booths for various STEM events, STEM in the classroom at Platteville High School and assisting boy scouts interested in getting their automotive badge. They are in charge of maintaining the “M” and setting it up for homecoming week, and they participate in annual highway clean up.
Members enjoy being a part of SAE for many reasons.
“I enjoy learning and expanding my knowledge in the automotive world,” Schlosser said.
Petersohn likes working on the formula car and “seeing all the hard work pay off when the car succeeds.” The club is not exclusively for engineers, and they are looking for new members.
As Bentley said, “SAE is one big family.” If anyone is interested in becoming a member, look on Pioneer Link, and check them out on Facebook and Instagram.