Each year, NIATT honors one especially outstanding graduate student by naming that person
Students are selected based on the technical merit of their
research, academic performance, and professionalism and leadership. The
NIATT student is then submitted to represent UI for a chance to be the
TranLIVE or the PacTrans UTC Student-of-the-Year. The US
Department of Transportation (DOT) recognizes the Student-of-the-Year from each
university transportation center at a special ceremony during the annual Transportation Research Board
meeting in Washington, DC. The student
also receives $1,000 cash award and a trip to DC for the annual TRB
TranLIVE selected Rory Lilley the 2014 TranLIVE Student of the
Year. As a Mechanical Engineering master’s
at the University of Idaho, Rory has served as an effective
leader/organizer/technical consultant to our undergraduate Formula
Hybrid SAE team. This project has been sponsored by TranLIVE as an
educational outreach since the inception of the TranLIVE center and by
the Idaho Engineering Works in the senior design program. Rory worked
his way up through the student ranks, as an undergraduate team member,
as a senior design student, as a UTC intern, and as a UTC graduate
student. Currently, he is an excellent role model in terms of his
dedication to hard work, his recruiting of new inter-disciplinary talent
to the team, his ability to organize training sessions/design
experiences that capture and retain important vehicle design knowledge,
his rapport with faculty advisors, his familiarity with manufacturing
equipment in our machine shop, his ability to deploy testing equipment
in our small engines laboratory, his ability to accurately simulate
engine/powertrain systems, and his high standards in the authorship of
project reports/technical papers. The impact of his efforts, coaching,
and all-around vehicle knowledge can be seen in the FHSAE team success
at the 2014 International Formula Hybrid Competition. This included 1st
place overall, the Chrysler Innovation Award, and the GM Hybrid Electric
Design Award. Rory has been an integral part of the UI FHSAE legacy for
many years and his efforts continue to pay it forward to future vehicle
platform teams as well as engine design/ engine testing research
projects. Contributions in both areas are closely aligned with DOT UTC
mobility, sustainability, and human resource missions.
Rory received the award at the annual Council of University
Transportation Centers (CUTC) Award Banquet in Washington D.C., January
Andrew "Drew" Hooper
UI mechanical engineering graduate Andrew (“Drew”)
Hooper has been selected Student-of-the-Year for the PacTrans regional
UTC, which is based at the University of Washington.
He was selected as the most exceptional student studying
transportation in the five northwest universities that comprise the
PacTrans research group.
Drew graduated Fall 2013 with a MS in Mechanical Engineering from the
UI. He is now a project
engineer with Polaris.
His expertise is in the area of clean and efficient
direct-injected two-stroke engine development.
He was instrumental in the achievements of the UI Clean
Snowmobile Team in the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge in 2013, which won
overall Third Place, and a record of 10 other trophies and awards.
The UI snowmobile had the same pollution emissions as the
cleanest four-stroke machines, while being equally fuel efficient and
200-300 pounds lighter.
With Polaris, Andrew is now working on the next generation of clean
Drew is author or co-author on two papers that have
been submitted to the Society of Automotive Engineers for publication as
technical papers and presentation at the international Small Engines
Technology Conference, the premier global venue for work in small
engines. One of the papers
received the Best Technical Paper Award at the Clean Snowmobile
Challenge in 2013.
Drew also was a member of the
senior design team which designed and now has a patent on a synchronous
charge trapping (SCT) two-stroke engine.
The SCT valve is unique in that it operates at any engine speed,
and may be able to replace the heavy, bulky, large tuned pipe which is
placed in the exhaust of a typical two-stroke engine.
These rotary exhaust valves operate at the speed of the engine
and greatly reduce emissions from the engine by improving scavenging.
This saves weight and space, and reduces costs. His thesis
examined the pollution emissions produced by the engine and is entitled
“COMPARISON OF SYNCHRONOUS CHARGE TRAPPING AND VARIABLE EXHAUST VALVES
IN A TWO-STROKE ENGINE.”
During his graduate career, Andrew also had an internship with
Bombardier Recreational products, makers of Evinrude and Ski-Doo, and
learned how to control combustion in two-stroke engines.