SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release

SF State engineering students place third in national competition

San Francisco State University was the only public institution represented in the top three finishers after judging at Conference of the Society of Hispanic Engineers

SAN FRANCISCO, February 15, 2008 -- A team of three San Francisco State University engineering students placed third in the nation at an invitation-only competition sponsored by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). The team, one of only six invited to compete at the organization's annual conference in Philadelphia last November, was the only public institution to make the top three, which included Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University. The other competitors represented University of California, Berkeley; California State University, Los Angeles and New Mexico State University.

The SF State team's winning project, a remote-controlled model car powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, earned $2,000 in scholarship awards. Team members were mechanical engineering students Mathew Jaeger of San Diego and Thu Ya Maw of Redwood City, and Tatiana Cantu of Redwood City, a computer-engineering student and president of SF State's SHPE student chapter.

Norman Owen, acting director of the SF State School of Engineering, said the project provided the students with an excellent opportunity to learn both the theory and practical issues regarding construction and control of an important energy source.

"We are especially proud because these three undergraduate students are working at the cutting edge of a new technology," said Owen. "Because of its potential to power buses and cars, fuel cell technology is being used in a number of experiments around the country with the hope that it can be an alternative to the internal combustion engine."

The competition was developed and administered by the Advancing Hispanic Excellence in Technology, Engineering, Math and Science (AHETEMS) Foundation to demonstrate to industry the technical and business capabilities of Hispanic engineering and science students. Finalists were required to present a commercially marketable product that had a unique social benefit and would help improve the quality of life.

The San Francisco State University School of Engineering, which consists of students and faculty from a diverse and multicultural population, produces "industry-ready" professionals. Part of SF State's College of Science and Engineering, the school offers bachelors and masters degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering and a minor in computer engineering. For more information visit: http://engineering.sfsu.edu/.


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