I love USC’s is the many extracurricular opportunities that are offered on campus. In engineering, ‘hands on’ experience is the most valuable that you can obtain. When I think about experience I think about design teams, and when I think design teams I think USC Racing.
USC Racing builds a new Formula style car from scratch every school year, in preparation for a competition in Lincoln, Nebraska over the summer. I joined the Composites Team last fall. The Composites Team focuses on the structural and aerodynamic design of the car – the body that you see. In USC Racing’s past it hasn’t had the ability or the budget to add an aerodynamic package to the car; that changed this year with our development of front, and rear wings, and an under-tray diffuser. The racing team supports the education of newcomers on as many fronts as possible. Going through the design stage of the car, you learn to appreciate the details that must be considered so that the whole assembly functions together. Moreover you learn how your class work is applied to the improvement of the vehicle. Designing individual parts is awesome, but it is assembling the vehicle that really makes the team fun. Once the design is finalized we get to manufacture and connect the components to create the vehicle. It is an incredibly satisfying feeling, seeing your hard work turned into an operating machine.
As I mentioned earlier, I joined the team this year. However, my newcomer status hasn’t stopped me from being able to help the team a lot. The Captains are always looking for help. This year I helped manufacture the carbon fiber wings. The entire process was a learning experience, but the older guys on the team are happy to get you going, and guide you when you need it. I went from not knowing how to use many the machines in the shop, and having zero background experience with carbon fiber layups, to now understanding and having the ability to explain the processes to newcomers. Overall, USC Racing has been an awesome addition to my college experience. Between the new friends who made it easy hop in, the learning I have gotten to do, and the fun I have gotten to have, I can’t imagine what organization could have given me more.Meet Ian