Class of 2014
“I chose MSOE because it has a reputation as great school that will prepare you for working in engineering.”
Michael Fricke, a mechanical engineering student, has his sights set on working in the automotive industry after graduation. “Ideally I would like to have a job where I engineer mechanical systems within vehicles,” he said.
“I chose MSOE because it has a reputation as great school that will prepare you for working in engineering. It allows you to get into engineering classes at the beginning of freshman year, and there’s lots of involvement in student design teams and professional engineering organizations.”
In addition to his course work in mechanical engineering, Michael is taking advantage of extracurricular activities to prepare for his career. “I’m a member, team officer, and vehicle driver for the Supermileage Vehicle Team. I’m also an officer in MSOE’s SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Student Chapter, and I’m enrolled in MSOE’s honors program.”
Michael traveled across the country with the Supermileage Vehicle Team. They participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon in Houston and also the SAE Supermileage® Competition in Marshall, Mich.
“The Eco-Marathon was exciting! There were over 100 teams from colleges and high schools competing with vehicles running on electricity, gasoline, diesel, ethanol, and fatty acid methyl ester (biodiesel). Our team only has gasoline engine vehicles, but we are looking into expanding toward electric vehicles. We took two vehicles to the Eco-Marathon in 2013—one vehicle was built by the team in 2011, and the second vehicle we have been designing and building this year.
“The course is located on streets of downtown Houston that are closed off just for the Eco-Marathon. It’s a big event for the city and for Shell, and it’s amazing to see all the vehicles that teams have built over the past years. As the car’s driver, I had the opportunity to experience driving through the course alongside some record-setting vehicles. Although we did have some issues with our vehicles’ performance, we were able to successfully drive through the course to achieve 522 miles per gallon. The trip was a great learning experience and the whole team had a great time! (It was 75 degrees and sunny every day, so that helped too!)”
Michael became involved in Supermileage during his sophomore year at the suggestion of one of my friends who was already on the team.
“I really liked the idea of working on a project that would expose me to engineering design and technological advancement while working towards efficiency. I also liked the fact that team is comprised of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, so I knew I would be able to research, learn, and design systems with others who were learning at the same time and pace as me. Supermileage provides great leadership opportunities for team members and has led to some great networking opportunities as well.”