Society of Automotive Engineers visits Oshkosh Corporation

February 28, 2013
UW-Platteville students (left to right): Robert Zettel, Michael Butalla, Josh Jansen, Curtis Schneider, Andrew Koehler and Kevin Kulka.


PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Society of Automotive Engineers traveled to Oshkosh, Wis., to display their racing vehicles to the Oshkosh Corporation employees.

The vehicles presented at Oshkosh Corporation were the Snowmobile, Baja and Formula car. Each of these vehicles are used for competing against other universities and colleges in various competitions around the country.

SAE is a professional automotive engineering organization that emphasizes the application of classwork to prepare students for future careers. UW-Platteville’s SAE chapter competes in the Aero Design Challenge, Baja, Snowmobile and Formula Design.

“SAE students build, practice and test at UW-Platteville and then take the vehicles to competitions,” said Dr. David Kunz, UW-Platteville professor and chair of department of mechanical and industrial engineering and SAE advisor.

Six UW-Platteville SAE students had the opportunity to interact with professional engineers. “We had brochures that detailed what each vehicle did and the different components,” said Mike Butalla, a senior mechanical engineering major from Marathon, Wis., the Formula captain. “I think it was a great idea to go and show off our vehicles.”

“The biggest benefit for the students is having that professional interaction,” said Tom Lyga, campus relations manager at Oshkosh Corporation. “We have a lot of UW-Platteville engineers employed here, and many of them worked on some of the same teams when they were attending school. It was also a great alumni event.”

More than 80 UW-Platteville graduates currently work for Oshkosh Corporation in the Oshkosh, Appleton area. “It is important for us to keep ties with UW-Platteville as we know they produce quality engineers. We recruit engineers heavily from UW-Platteville,” said Lyga.

“We explained what SAE was and the professional engineers would ask questions and give us compliments on our work,” said Kevin Kulka, a junior mechanical engineer from Deerfield, Wis., Baja captain “Showing off our vehicles was rewarding.”

Lyga explained that functions and events such as this are important for students because it gives them cross-functional exposure.  “Learning about the interaction between mechanical and electrical engineers working with others is the kind of experience that is invaluable to have in college, because when you get to the professional level, that is the kind of work these students will be doing. Different engineering backgrounds work together and communicate effectively to complete a project,” said Lyga.

A collaborative effort between Ubersox and UW-Platteville, as Ubersox provided the transportation of these vehicles using Ubersox trucks to get to Oshkosh Corporation.

The clean snowmobile will compete in Houghton, Mich., at Michigan Technological University March 4-9. Baja will compete in Rochester, N.Y., at Rochester Institute of Technology June 6-9. Formula will compete in Lincoln, Neb., at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln June 19-22.

The general SAE meeting is the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in Room 115 in Engineering Hall for more those interested in joining.

Contact: Kevin Kulka,

Contact: Michael Butalla,

Formatted By: Eileen McGuine, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194,


Subscribe to RSS FeedSubscribe to news at University of Wisconsin-Platteville using our RSS feed.

Footer Anchor