|UTPA Society of Manufacturing Engineering student chapter. Back row, from left, Joaquin Padilla, Roberto Muniz, John Saldivar, Lamberto Ung, Ulises Vargas, Edmundo Cortez, faculty advisor Dr. Miguel A. Gonzalez and faculty advisor Dr. Doug Timmer. Front row, Assurim Lopez and Maribel Berrones.|
The team won the rolling trophy for first place overall in the competition and placed first for outstanding student and best display. The students finished in second for written report and presentation.
UTPA has competed in the regional competition since 1997, and this is the first time it has placed first overall.
UTPA competed against Texas A&M, Oklahoma State University, Southwest Oklahoma State University and Texas State Technical College at Sweetwater.
Judges choose the winners in five categories: project presentation, a written report, display, outstanding student chapter and overall.
The projects entered by UTPA students were models of a milling machine, a washing machine, an automated garage door opener, a programmable tow truck and a conveyer system.
Ulises Vargas, society president and a senior in the manufacturing program, said the six months the group spent working hard on the projects was well worth the effort.
"(Winning) is exciting because it gives a lot of exposure to our members and recognition of the job we’ve done," he said.
Dr. Subhash Bose, professor and chair of the UTPA Department of Manufacturing Engineering, said the win is a big honor that will bring the program national visibility.
"That we are able to win competing against such prestigious universities is definitely going to show the quality of the manufacturing engineering program offered here at Pan Am," Bose said.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is a national society for professional engineers involved in manufacturing industries with more than 100,000 members.