Faculty advisor Angus Tavner arrived today, generously sacrificing time with his family to further help the team, providing guidance, and sharing with us all his wealth of wisdom about the project. Angus has been with the team since 2000 and has seen all the highs and lows that this project provides for the team.
Angus Tavner in the 2004 car
The preparation of the car is coming along well with the bodywork receiving some last efforts and the engine tuning progressing. The suspension system configuration was finalized with the new system proving to be significantly easier to adjust than previous vehicles. The team is very happy with the new suspension concept.
The team leaders have been putting the final tweaks on their design presentation preparation, many debates and discussions have delivered us to feeling prepared for the engineering judges on Friday.
Following from yesterdays Interview with next years PM, we have also included an interview with our 2014 Technical Director Rowan Heinrich.
How long have you been in the team?
I joined the UWAM team just before our expedition to collie this year. It was a great experience and I learned so much about the team from such an engaging week, special thanks to motoring southwest for the generous use of their facilities.
What have you learnt from your time on the team?
When I first joined UWAM, I was part of the electrical team and have gained confidence in both my engineering decision making and manufacturing abilities. I have learnt also that being given the opportunity to be a leader in this team is an unparalleled chance to gain some real-world engineering skills. It commands a level of commitment that gives you more experience than any other project I have discovered.
What are you learning from current Technical Director Lyle Campbell?
The immense importance of clear and concise goals, and the ability to clearly communicate those goals.
Also, that it’s important to address small problems in their initial stages before they become larger and have significantly greater consequences.
What has been your role in the team this week?
This week I’ve been assisting the current technical director and learning what is required for this role at competition. I’m learning a lot about the operation of the team in this kind of high pressure environment.
I have also been working closely with many other team members helping prepare the cost presentation.
What are your hopes for 2014?
For 2014 I hope to create a team with well-devised roles that are suited to members’ abilities and foster personal growth and improvement. I’d like to see the team have the car running by the September, as I feel that it’s really beneficial for all members to go through the complete engineer project cycle.
Why do you want to see all members go through the complete engineer project cycle?
To produce quality, self assured, resourceful graduates that far exceed the expectation of industry.
In my opinion, there is a lack of practical understanding in university graduates today, due to a heavy emphasis on theoretical understanding.
UWAM gives students the opportunity to immerse themself in an authentic and comprehensive program that requires far more of the members than many initially perceive possible of themselves.
Biggest hurdle for 2014?
Hurdles are those frightening things we see when we take our eyes off of our goal.
But if I had to state one, I would say that the changes in the engineering degree structure at the university needs to be looked at to see how the team can work closely to the new structure. The new 5 year masters degree offers exciting new possibilities for member retention.