Student teams set new personal bests at competition

The 2017 MRDC NIU Robotics Team

Two College of Engineering and Engineering Technology student competition teams advanced farther than ever before in their respective competitions in March.

The NIU Robotics team made it to the semifinals of the Midwestern Robotics Design Competition, a feat club president Joel Rushton said is a first in the team’s history. According to its archives, NIU Robotics has never made it past the first round of the competition before.

After the official contest, teams were given a brief period to outfit their robots with implements of destruction for a “Battle Bots”-style demolition round, which was won by the NIU team.

The SAE Aero team also broke team records at the SAE Aero Design West contest in March. Previous NIU aero teams never logged more than two successful flights in competition, team president Tyler Peterson said; the 2017 team recorded a perfect six flights out of six attempts.

The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology is home to nearly 20 student organizations, including five SAE design teams, NIU Robotics, Engineers Without Borders and the Society of Women Engineers. Students can join clubs or teams that interest them as early as freshman year, and organizations are open to College of Engineering students of all majors.

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