Engineers race to fourth in competition

After a five-year absence, PNW returned to the EV Grand Prix and placed fourth overall out of 21 teams on May 15 and 16 in Indianapolis.

PNW students placed first in design, with their custom-built battery pack allotting them full control over their cart’s power, energy, weight and integration. This also secured them second place in efficiency, fifth in community outreach and 13th in racing.

Neftali Arteaga, president of IEEE and senior Electrical Engineering major, drives the vehicle in the EV Grand Prix competition.

Neftali Arteaga, president of IEEE and senior Electrical Engineering major, said he was proud of the results.

“We had no experience going into this; none of us had competed up to this point. It was a good bonding experience for members that taught us budget managing and what it took to back a project,” Arteaga said.  

The opportunity to compete at the event occurred following the reestablishment of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in Fall 2017. PNW previously participated in the competition in 2013.

Arteaga said the organization’s inactive period was due to senior members graduating and lack of younger members to continue it. When Arteaga started at PNW, he decided to pick up where they left off.

“I felt there wasn’t a project for Electrical Engineers to dig their heads into my freshman year, that’s when I heard about the race. I even talked about designs for a cart with like-minded peers, but we didn’t compete that year,” Arteaga said, “I’m still upset we didn’t compete.”

Engineering students from PNW contacted the community for grants and sponsorship from local businesses to be able to compete in 2018.

“Big thanks go out to those who lent a hand, and especially to the Department of Engineering who believed in us despite the timeframe we worked against,” Arteaga said.

The chapter intends to make the competition an annual tradition. Miloshoff said mounting interest and growing members have shifted the chapter’s focus toward new projects.

“This year we want to maximize groups in competitions by participating in the autonomous cart race also hosted by the EV Grand Prix, IEEXtreme programming competition, and projects involving Drone technology, solar boats and remote control underwater vehicles,” Miloshoff said.

Both Arteaga and Miloshoff said all majors are welcome to join the PNW IEEE chapter.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers finished in fourth place at the EV Grand Prix in Indianapolis in May.


Update: The original version of this article has been edited for length in the print edition of the newspaper.