Robbie Engelhart, a senior in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, recently earned second place in the Mastercam Wildest Parts Competition.
This is the fourth year in a row that one of WSU’s mechanical engineering students has placed in the top three in this competition. The annual contest challenges students from around the world to design and produce high‑quality machine parts that haven’t been made before.
Mastercam is an international developer of PC‑based computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software.
Englehart, from San Jose, California, entered an oil pan designed by WSU’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineers powertrain team. Englehart added the fins to the oil pan for an aesthetic look. He made three of them, and the final one became his entry.
“It was frustrating because the first one I designed was too small,” he said. “That’s what I like about mechanical engineering—the brain teasing. There’s always a new problem to solve.”
Under the supervision of instructor Robert “Kurt” Hutchinson, Englehart used Mastercam’s manufacturing software and a computer numeric control (CNC) milling machine to create the oil pan.
“We have lots of talented students but every now and then we get exceptional ones like Robbie who go above and beyond,” Hutchinson said. “He’s a great guy and really involved in the Cougarshop.”
Hutchinson’s goal is to give students the chance to get hands‑on manufacturing experience with their designs, an uncommon practice among the mechanical engineering field.
“We can create better engineers by having them also be manufacturers,” he said.
For placing second, Englehart received $1,500 cash. Mastercam will showcase the entry for a year at conferences and events around the country.