On May 26th SCE students travelled to Pittsburg, KS to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja Buggy competition in which 106 teams, including several international teams and one all-female team competed. Our team included Jesus Zamarripa, Oscar Vallecillos, Brian Huff, Alireza Farahani, Isaac Chleborad, Dwayne Dsouza and Francisco Garcia-Moreno. Several students volunteered their time and efforts toward helping SCE with their buggy and the competition. SCE alumni were also in attendance to support the team. Governor Sam Brownback stopped to witness the event and wish the contestants well.
The competition included design judging, performance testing, and culminated May 29th with the aptly named Endurance Race where going the distance means a lot more than just having enough fuel. The brutal course is designed to push the limits of the equipment and find any shortcomings in design, construction, and materials. The UMKC team placed 58th out of 106 total entries, showing just how tough the competition is. For the first time a Baja Buggy event was streamed live online and many videos of the event can be found on the Pitt State YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/pittsburgstate.
Following the competition several teams, including our UMKC SCE Baja Buggy team, were invited to bring their buggy and attend the NASCAR races at the Kansas Speedway on June 4th and 5th. Team members had a great time and were able to promote UMKC via the buggy. The team hopes to be invited again to a future event!
SCE congratulates Len Rodman, Chairman, President and CEO of Black & Veatch, a global engineering, consulting, and construction company. Mr. Rodman was honored at UMKC’s Celebration 2011 luncheon presentation on April 27th at the Intercontinental Hotel as our UMKC School of Computing and Engineering 2011 Alumni Achievement Award Recipient. The annual event honors outstanding alums, one from each UMKC School. Following the luncheon, Mr. Rodman visited with Kevin Truman, SCE’s dean, and was presented with a copy of his alumni plaque. The original was hung on SCE’s Distinguished Alumni Wall.
Since 2000 Mr. Rodman has led Black & Veatch, which is on the Forbes 500 list of largest US private companies. Under his leadership the company has experienced substantial growth and expansion in global markets. He is responsible for Black & Veatch’s engineering, construction, and related business activities in the energy, water, and information market sectors worldwide. Mr. Rodman has been recognized as the Power Elite, Ingram’s Magazine, 2000, 2003, & 2005.
Mr. Rodman is an active supporter of educational initiatives in the Kansas City area, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Community / Legislative Affairs Committee of the University of Missouri – Kansas City, as well as the Board of Advisors of the University of Kansas – Edwards Campus. He is also on the Iowa State ECIAC (Engineering College Industrial Advisory Consul). He has been Director of ALLETE Inc. Mr. Rodman has served on the Board of INROADS, a minority based organization that helps to transition high school students through college and into productive business careers. His Professional Registrations include Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio; Diplomat, American Academy of Environmental Engineers; Professional Associations ASCE, AWWA, MSPE, NSPE, and WEF. He graduated with a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering in 1978 from the former coordinated engineering program between UMKC and MU which merged with the UMKC computer science department to form UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering.