EcoCAR is ready for the big event!

Preparations for both the upcoming EcoCAR competition and President Barron’s visit have occupied Penn State’s Advanced Vehicle Team this week.

The team had plans since November to replace the Malibu’s brakes to reduce vehicle weight, and only recently got the nod from competition organizers, said Nick Wyckoff. Weight savings of 15.5 pounds came from the rotor hat being made of aluminum, rather than cast iron, and the rotor’s two cast iron disks being thinner than the stock equipment.

EcoCAR 2 May 2014The vehicle just returned from a 120-mile drive and testing of the new brakes at the Larson Institute’s test track facility yesterday. Testing included testing the brakes at hot temperatures.

The team was busy practicing presentations until 11 p.m. last night, said Wyckoff. “And we’re back here early this morning,” he added with a smile.

Today’s send-off reception is timely. The vehicle could ship as early as Friday. The team won’t know the date of shipping until the tractor trailer rolls into the parking lot to get it.

The competition will begin in earnest at the GM Proving Ground, Milford, Mich. on June 1.


For more information about the Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team, visit their official page on the EcoCAR 2 website or go to the PSU AVT website

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Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week at Penn State

by Frank T. Koe, Ph.D.

9425343_origGlobal Entrepreneurship Week at Penn State will take place at University Park from November 17 to 22, 2013.

Successful and up-and-coming business owners will be on hand to provide support and encouragement to budding entrepreneurs via the broad variety of activities, competitions, and lectures. All events are free and open to students and the public.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is celebrated in 140 countries worldwide. Penn State’s event placed fourth in the country last year, based on attendance and number of events held. With more than 50 exciting events scheduled throughout the week, the Global Entrepreneurship Week at Penn State organizing team is optimistic that the results will be better than fourth place this year (right now we’re #1 in the USA!).

Follow Global Entrepreneurship Week at Penn State on Facebook or visit the website for updates on scheduled events and activities.


Frank T. Koe, Ph.D. is an instructor in entrepreneurship within the School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP) at Penn State. Accomplishments include founding his own sporting good accessory business that focuses on hunting and fishing. Products can be seen in Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and other outlets nationwide. His entrepreneurial academic experiences include serving as associate director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Stern School of Business, New York University, and dean of the Baker School of Business and Technology at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY.

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SWE Wins National Essay Contest

Where do you think your shoes could take you? Could you explain it effectively in 350 words for cash prizes for your organization?
“Where will your shoes take you?” was the essay question that the Penn State Society of Women Engineers (SWE) answered in 350 words that won them a total of $16,800 in prize money to be given in part to their engineering programs.

The contest, named Create Your Own Path, was sponsored by Schlumberger and the National Society of Women Engineers. This is the third year that the organization has won this essay competition.

Contestants had to creatively answer where they thought their non-traditional careers would take them. Penn State had 148 entries followed by Ohio State with 95. Penn State was awarded $100 per entry and an additional $2,000 for having the highest number of entries.

Kelsa Benensky, a mechanical engineering junior, won first-place for an essay about her parents’ influence on her to go for her dreams.

“I learned from their example that if you follow your heart and really go for it that there is nothing stopping you,” said Benensky. She also said it means a lot to Penn State’s SWE organization to have done so well in the competition because their success raised money to help young women in engineering at Penn State.

“SWE really gives women engineers a great opportunity to network, make friends and give back to the Penn State community,” explained Benensky. She intends on using her prize money to attend the American Nuclear Society’s winter meeting, meet her mentor and network with other professionals in this field.

SWE President Kylie Sheplock echoed what Benensky had to say. “I am so happy that this year SWE has continued the tradition with winning the essay contest. Schlumberger is a wonderful company who has been always generous to Penn State SWE, and it is nice to see how important it is for them to get women interested in engineering.”

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