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June 8: Carnegie Mellon's Institute for Complex Engineered Systems Teams With Pennsylvania Infrastructure Alliance To Support Student Engineers


Chriss Swaney               

Carnegie Mellon's Institute for Complex Engineered Systems Teams
With Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance To Support Student Engineers

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) is part of a collaborative statewide team that is helping junior high students earn the checkered flag at the National Formula-Style One Model Car Races June 28 to July 2 in Baltimore, Md.  
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the students as they focus on engineering design and the basics of manufacturing to assemble the most competitive model race cars for our upcoming race," said Conrad Colaric, team coach and technology education teacher at Elizabeth Forward Middle School in Elizabeth, Pa.
Colaric's team, dubbed "Shake 'N Bake," will race model cars in the upcoming national race in which students pit skill and design against the clock and other mini-competitors. Elizabeth Forward team members include Rachel Hough, Eric Onofrey, Courtney Uranker, Mark Verosky and Ryan Wardropper.  The students are part of a national Technology Student Association competition in which middle school students design a model CO2 powered formula one car of the future.
"The competition is designed to entice more youth into advanced manufacturing jobs, the lifeblood of Pennsylvania," said Carol Adukaitis, program manager for workforce development at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. "We need to dispel the misplaced perception of manufacturing as dirty, dark and dangerous."
In fact, southwestern Pennsylvania is home to more than 800 advanced manufacturing companies that employ some 22,000 workers with a payroll of more than $1.3 billion. But there is currently a skills shortage in the state's manufacturing sector, so Carnegie Mellon's ICES supported the National Science Foundation's Advanced Manufacturing Project through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance. The funding provided additional monies that enabled Elizabeth Forward Middle School to purchase a tabletop micro router to help build the team's mini-race car models.   
"We're extremely excited to be part of this great program to bolster the state's future manufacturing pipeline as well as providing resources to encourage today's youth to excel in the competitive and global fields of engineering and science," said Gary Fedder, ICES director and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon. Carnegie Mellon's ICES is a multidisciplinary research department within the College of Engineering dedicated to collaborating with industry to find solutions for tomorrow's most challenging problems.