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Rancho's RamGT Team Wins National Engineering Challenge

On March 20th Anthony Coppola, Director of the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC), announced that Rancho High School's RamGT Team won the national competition for this year's surface transportation challenge. The RamGT Team competed against numerous teams nationwide, modifying a 1986 Peterbilt truck with a standard 40-foot trailer. In addition to designing for efficiency, the team had to justify the cost of modification through fuel savings over the course of three years. The RamGT Team will travel to Washington, D.C. at the end of April to present their solution to this year's challenge and to receive their award.

Devin Mack, the team's project leader and a junior in Rancho's Aerospace Engineering program, is excited about the prospect of visiting the nation's capital and presenting to leaders in the aviation and aerospace industry. The following article was written by Mack, outlining the team's challenge and how it went about earning this outstanding achievement.

Rancho's Real World Design Challenge Surface Team
By Kevin Mack

Since October the RamGT Team was hard at worked their truck project for the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC). The RWDC Surface Challenge is an annual national engineering and design challenge for high school students. Every year a new challenge is issued, and this year's was to modify a 1986 Peterbilt truck and standard 40tfoot trailer and to justify the cost of modification over fuel savings in three years.

The RWDC could have presented the team with a simple engineering challenge to design a fuel efficient truck, but to modify one presented us a twist. The team had to actually design parts and select engines with which to outfit this truck with while keeping cost in mind. In doing this, the RWDC made the challenge more real as the manufacturing of fuel efficient add-ons would allow trucking companies to save thousands of dollars in the cost of new trucks and fuel.

The PTC Corporation, the parent company of the RWDC, provided the team with approximately $1 millon in software to compete in the challenge as well as instruction on how to use the programs. The team used Creo, a 3D modeling program, Mathcad, a math program that allows for mathematical definition of the design, and FloEFD, a virtual wind tunnel. These same programs are used in professional engineering firms and allowed the team to utilize the tools professionals use every day.

Unlike the Aviation Challenge team that have to compete at the state level before going to the national competition, the Surface Challenge teams had until the National Challenge submission date on March 5th to complete their designs. This allowed the team a little more time to complete and refine the design.

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