PULLMAN, Wash.–When spring bursts forth on the Palouse, Washington State University engineering students’ fancies turn to … invention and competition. There’s hardly a free lab in the College of Engineering and Architecture that isn’t teeming with fabrications, designs and late-night pizza — if not for senior projects, then for engineered creations scheduled for competitive circuits.
New to WSU’s repertoire this year are:
* the Carbon Goose — an electric-powered aircraft that competes April 26-27 in Baltimore Md., with other American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts student entries nationwide;
* a mini-Baja dune buggy that returned from ASME battle April 10 in Phoenix, Ariz., after having eaten a lot of desert dust;
* a timber bridge project entered in the April 18 American Society of Civil Engineers/Forest Products Society student contest at Mississippi State University.
Returning to the contestants’ circle this year are:
* WSU Robotics Club with a new six-legged robot, Titus Andronicus, named after Shakespeare’s warlord and general, that’s scheduled for battle at the Society of Automotive Engineers Walking Decathlon in Mexico April 24;
* the “Wazzu Woody” concrete canoe that’s faux-painted to resemble wood, which defends WSU’s eight-year winning streak in the ASCE contest April 26 on Lake Sammamish in Seattle;
* a steel bridge building team that placed fifth of 12 teams in the ASCE contest March 29 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Despite giving them a chance to practice their fabrication, mechanical, automation and design skills, the student projects test their mettle in teamsmanship, fund-raising, deadlines, rowing, flying, driving and building with lightning speed.

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Photo Ops: Friday, April 18: 9 a.m. airplane, 11 a.m. robot, 1 p.m. mini-Baja; Thursday afternoon, April 24: concrete canoe.

Contacts: Carbon Goose, Kevin Koller, 333-3711, David Darrow, 332-8082; mini-Baja, Ken Bryant, 332-5734; timber bridge, Lee French, 332-7422; Titus Andronicus robot, Josh Myer, Paul Dailey, Dan Kenney, 335-3867; Wazzu Woody canoe, Glenn Madden, 334-2852; steel bridge, Matt Brightman, 334-6018