Alan going to Clarkston

2006 Jun 4

This fall, Alan will be going to Clarkston University in up-state New York (Potsdam). It will be hard to see him go, but we are excited for him.

Clarkston is a good school. His major will be Aeronautical Engineering although his real interests are in super-cars (the Ferrari & Lamborgini type). High performance cars like this actually have a lot in common with airplanes. There weren't any schools that had majors in super-car making, so this course of study is probably the best. And Alan will also be able to work on a car while he is there too.

We visited the school in February. When they took us on a walking tour of the campus, we walked through their labs. They had some interesting projects: a low environmental-impact snowmobile, an amphibious Baja buggy and a formula SEA race car. Alan really zeroed in on the race car.

The Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) has made a specification for a class of race cars. Every year, a number of schools design and build up a car to this specification from scratch. Then they compete. The car is more designed for agility than speed (max race speeds are around 60 mph).

Alan has been able to drive last year's car of his team, and he is on the team making this year's car. His roommate is also on the team, so they have a great time together!