SK regional director, Oon-Doo Baik interviewed two members (Cory Bart and Dane Steen, both from Mechanical Engineering) of The University of Saskatchewan ¼ Scale Tractor team named “U of S Sled Dogs”. The team has been participating in the ASABE International ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition since 2002. For the competition, all the competing teams are provided with the same engine and a set of tires (31 hp Briggs & Stratton and Titan tires). The design of their tractors is a good open-ended project totally up to the teams. Numerous judges from industries evaluate each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, safety, sound level, and ergonomics. Teams also submit a written design report. Their tractors will be tested for pull, maneuverability and durability.
(Left: Cory Bart, Right: Dane Steen)
Oon-Doo: How many members do you have now?
Cory & Dane: Currently, we have 21 undergraduate students.
Oon-Doo: I guess most of them are from Mechanical Engineering.
Cory & Dane: Yes, though we have some 1st year students who haven’t declared yet, and three outside the College of Engineering, two from Business and one from Agriculture and Bio resources.
Oon-Doo: What are the qualifications to join the team?
Cory & Dane: Not much. Any students who registered at U of S and has desire in designing, building and competing can join. Not necessary to be in College of Engineering, however to participate the competition in Illinois, you need to register as a member of ASABE/CSBE.
Oon-Doo: Why/When did you join the team?
Cory: Grew up on a farm and heard about the team during my first year and I joined the team my second year (he is 3rd year now).
Dane: I was interested in heavy machinery like agriculture machinery and I would like to work for those industries. I have heard from an employee from there that they recognize the quarter scale team activities (design, fabrication, reporting, teamwork, etc.), thus being a member is beneficial to get a job in the related industries. And we can have great hand-on experience and software skills development during school.
Oon-Doo: How was the most recent competition results for U of S Sled Dogs?
Cory & Dane: We were in 7th place Overall, 1st place Written Design Report, 5th place in Durability, 6th place in Marketing Presentation, 8th place in Design Judging, 9th place in Tractor Pulls out of 32 teams from Canada, Israel and the United States.
Oon-Doo: What is your favorite thing about being a team member?
Cory & Dane: Starting from small ideas, developing them further, sharing the ideas with team members, and building a real piece based on the design. We like it and feel a sense of pride. In the competition, we also enjoy learning from other University teams about how they approached design problems differently, etc.
After the interview they sent me more photos (U of S Sled Dogs team members and the pulling test during 2017 competition) for CSBE newsletter below.