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Student Helps Secure $107,000 Zuken Software Gift for ATS Program

October 26, 2012

By Terri Hughes-Lazzell
Marketing Manager

Answers to problems sometime come in the most unexpected ways. Senior Brandon Hasenour helped Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's formula sprint car find a way to document the complex electrical system for its high-speed vehicle-through a $107,000 software gift to support the college's innovative advanced transportation systems development program.

  Advancing Transportation: Senior mechanical and electrical engineering student Brandon Hasenour brought innovative software systems to help Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's advanced transportation competition teams, which are based in the Branam Innovative Center on campus.

Zuken's E3 Series CAD software package helps engineers define the electrical characteristics of a product's design including the wire harness, cable assembly, and cabinet components. It also allows engineers and technicians to define all of the interconnectivity of electrical and mechanical subsystems-in three-dimensional drawings.

Hasenour became aware of the E3 Series software during a summer internship with Oshkosh Corporation in Wisconsin.

"I thought it would be perfect for our team. It allows us to document the vehicle's entire wiring system in a way that's compatible with the mechanical engineering software we are already using," stated the senior majoring in mechanical and electrical engineering. "This (software) should make us more competitive with other teams, and provide valuable assistance that will enhance the development of future (Rose-Hulman) teams."

Zuken is a Japanese multinational corporation that had been looking for increased options to work with U.S. colleges, and was intrigued that a student had reached out to initiate contact from Rose-Hulman.

"The call made a lot of sense with the connection (Hasenour) had with the summer internship. Plus, it fit so well with what we are doing," stated Bruce Rietdorf, Zuken's U.S. sales manager. "Usually, we work with the administration or we approach the college."

Zuken's gift includes five one-year campus site licenses for the software. It could be used by other competition teams in Rose-Hulman's advanced transportation systems development program such as EcoCAR2, the human powered and efficient vehicle race teams, and the Design-Build-Fly aeronautical team.

Rietdorf was familiar with Rose-Hulman since his son, Michael, was a 2007 mechanical engineering alumnus. The company plans to use the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Race Team as a test for future projects. Team members receive online training with the software licenses and Hasenour also is getting training to set up the libraries within the software.

"There's no question that we got the end result we wanted," Rietdorf added.

The Formula SAE race team is one of four vehicle competition teams that are part of Rose-Hulman's advanced transportation systems initiative.  Learn more about the program here.