The University of Massachusetts Amherst


A team of talented undergraduates from the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has scored a first place in the annual Student Design Competition, run by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on April 22. The five attending members for the MIE team were freshman Moneil Tailor, juniors Nathaniel Ihley and Christopher Orser, and seniors Andrew Keeley and Henry Lanza. The team’s faculty advisor is MIE Assistant Professor Gina Olson. 

The ASME Student Design Competition provides a platform for student members of the organization to present their solutions to a range of design problems – from everyday household tasks to groundbreaking space exploration. Each team is required to design, construct, and operate a prototype meeting the requirements of an annually determined problem statement.

The design project for this year required the construction of a remote-controlled car that uses solar and wind energy to move as much weight as possible from a loading area to an unloading area.

The UMass team was given the first seed overall at the competition after moving more than 22 kilograms in the 10-minute initial testing round. Then the UMass team contended in the single-elimination knockout bracket against other competing schools.

The UMass team ultimately made its way to the final round, in which it produced the best performance of the contest, scoring 88.7 points from more than 43 kilograms moved, to sweep to first place in the overall competition.

The five attending members of the UMass team are all from Massachusetts but have various backgrounds and experience.

Tailor, a first-year student from Billerica, graduated from Billerica Memorial High School, where he was a DECA member, a track & field athlete, and was in the Spanish National Honors Society. Ihley comes from Wrentham and has served as an HVAC design intern at AHA Consulting Engineers and an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Computational Approach to Engineering Problems course (MATLAB). Orser, from Boston, was a mechanical engineering intern at Columbia Tech and will be joining Sensata Technologies as a mechanical engineering intern this summer. Keeley’s hometown is Hopkinton, and he has worked as an engineering intern at New England Wire Products, Inc., and a manufacturing and product development intern at Upstart Power, Inc. Lanza also comes from Boston, and he has been a mechanical engineering intern at Sensata Technologies and a summer engineering intern at Loft.

ASME is a society that, in its own words, “promotes the art, science, and practice of multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences around the globe.”

According to Olson, “The ASME club at UMass Amherst is actively seeking new members, and the club encourages all engineering students interested in building their mechanical design skills to attend future recruitment events.” (June 2023)

Article posted in Student Life