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The Torchbearer


Team Tennessee

Meet Members of UT's EcoCAR2 Team


Engineering Senior Design Team

  • College of Engineering
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    Images/The Torchbearer Matt Bush, Mechanical Team Leader

    Matt Bush grew up in Bartlett, TN and attended Bolton High School. He enjoys working on cars and racing them, along with outdoor sports such as rock climbing and mountain biking. Matt is pursing a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and joined the EcoCAR 2 team because of his previous experience with a Formula SAE team. He knew how challenging, rewarding, and beneficial this type of intercollegiate competition would be.


    Images/The TorchbearerMichael Potts, Control Team Leader

    Michael Potts has an obvious passion for cars and the automotive industry. He owns a 500whp Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and hopes to get back into track days after graduating in May 2013 with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the EcoCAR 2 team in Fall of 2012 because he has wanted to focus his engineering degree on the automotive sector. When getting into the program, he knew he wanted to be a part of the controls team to help design the Hybrid control system. Ever since then, he has been learning control system design, Software and Hardware-in-the-loop simulation, and In-vehicle calibration. He hopes to keep expanding his knowledge in these areas throughout this year.


    Images/The Torchbearer Alex Cox, Mechanical Team

    Alex Cox grew up in Knoxville, TN and attended Farragut High School. He enjoys working on cars and riding his motorcycle. Alex is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of SAE and ASME. He wants to pursue a career in the automotive industry, so he joined the EcoCAR 2 team to gain valuable experience.


    Images/The Torchbearer Paige Black, Mechanical Team

    Paige Black is from Maryville, TN and enjoys playing guitar and singing in a bluegrass band called Check Engine. She is majoring in Mechanical Engineering at UT and joined the EcoCAR 2 team to learn more about working with automobiles.


    Images/The Torchbearer Xin Huang, Mechanical Team

    Xin Huang, a part of the Mechanical Team, moved to Knoxville from Memphis, TN, but is originally from Shijiazhuang, China and spent part of his childhood growing up there. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and is a part of the Honors Ambassador Program. Xin has always enjoyed working on cars, and joined the EcoCAR 2 team because it sounded like an interesting project.


    Images/The Torchbearer Sulman Haque, Mechanical Team

    Sulman Haque grew up in Knoxville and likes cars, working out, playing chess, writing, and meeting new people. He joined the EcoCAR 2 team to gain exposure to the automotive industry. Sulman is a Mechanical Engineering major and is a part of the Muslim Student Association, Chess Club, and American Society of Engineers. Through the EcoCAR 2 competition, he would like to learn more about the engineering aspect of building and modifying cars. He hopes to gain knowledge of how the car communicates with all of the components.


    Images/The Torchbearer Jake Hollingsworth, Controls

    Jake Hollingsworth, part of the Controls Team, has always loved cars and enjoys the controls side of the EcoCAR 2 competition because it helps develop his programming and computer science skills. Jake says his knowledge of electric RC helicopters is helpful in his work on electric vehicles. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and will graduate in May 2014.


    Images/The Torchbearer Matt Summers, Mechanical Team

    Matt Summers is very interested in automotive engineering and hybrid vehicles, which is why he joined the EcoCAR 2 competition. From Gallatin, TN, he is proud to be the first person in his family to attend a university. His major is Mechanical Engineering and he is involved in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society. Through EcoCAR 2, Matt hopes to learn how to design and evaluate the thermal systems of a vehicle.

    Images/The Torchbearer John Bickers, Controls

    John Bickers grew up in Knoxville, and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the EcoCAR 2 team because he wanted a challenging senior project. Through the competition, John hopes to become proficient at controls, specifically simulation and soft ECU programming.


    Images/The Torchbearer Dominic DePaoli, Mechanical Team

    Dominic DePaoli grew up in Knoxville, TN and attended Farragut High School. He is a senior in Mechanical Engineering and is involved in Baja SAE. He is a total gear head. He loves cars and everything to do with them. In his previous automotive industry experience, he worked with BorgWarner Turbo systems and did research as a Volkswagen Distinguished Scholar. Dominic joined EcoCar2 because he knew it would provide great experience in the automotive industry, which is what he is most passionate about.


    Images/The Torchbearer Keith Havens, Mechanical Team

    Keith Havens is an eight year Army Veteran from Kalamazoo, MI. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Tennessee and joined the EcoCAR 2 team to create relationships within the automotive field.


    Images/The Torchbearer Ben Warf, Rear Mechanical Team

    Ben grew up on a small farm in Belvidere, TN before attending UT. He is a senior in Mechanical Engineering and joined EcoCAR 2 because it sounded like an awesome challenge to compete against other schools in such a high caliber competition. Ben enjoys spending his free time outdoors and is a trip leader and instructor for the University of Tennessee Outdoor Program. From EcoCAR 2, he hopes to take valuable experience into his career along with a much higher level of respect and understanding of hybrid electric vehicles.


    Images/The Torchbearer Eric Bridges, Mechanical Team

    Eric Bridges is from Franklin, TN and joined the EcoCAR 2 team to take on a rewarding and challenging senior design project. He is the oldest of seven kids adopted from around the world and is a part of Sigma Chi, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and works part time for Northwestern Mutual as a financial advisor. He thinks EcoCAR 2 has been a great experience so far, and hopes to continue learning all the details of automobile engineering.


    Images/The Torchbearer Alex Doss, Thermal Team

    Alex Doss went to high school in Greenbrier, TN which is a small town North of Nashville. He chose to study Mechanical Engineering because he has always had a passion for cars and automotive engineering. He enjoys researching the mechanical processes involved in the production of automobiles as well as the exciting new advanced vehicle technologies which can be both more efficient and reliable. Alex's dream is to extend this passion to his professional career, and with EcoCAR2, he is beginning to take the first steps towards this goal.


    Images/The Torchbearer Michael Hinricher, Mechanical Team

    Michael Hinricher went to Beech High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He is currently pursuing his second bachelors degree from the University of Tennessee and is the treasurer for Pi Tau Sigma, the Mechanical Engineering Honor Society. He joined EcoCAR 2 because he knew it would be the opportunity which would best demonstrate the knowledge and abilities he has learned at UT while also challenging him to learn more and graduate better prepared to work in the automotive engineering.


    Images/The Torchbearer Steven Bohling, Powertrain Team

    Steven Bohling loves riding trials motorcycles and racing his diesel Volkswagen Cabriolet in local autocross events. His major is Mechanical Engineering and he is a member of the UT student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Steven joined the EcoCAR 2 team because he wants to work in the automotive industry and saw it as a great opportunity to get some relevant experience.


    Images/The Torchbearer Ryan Schimmel, Controls Team

    Ryan is a Mechanical Engineering student and will graduate from UT in July 2014.


    Images/The Torchbearer Chris Winstead, Center Stack Team

    Chris is studying Electrical Engineering at UT and will graduate in May of 2014.


    Images/The Torchbearer Austin Hoffeditz, Mechanical Team

    Austin Hoffeditz joined the EcoCAR 2 team because he is interested in the automobile industry and challenge of the competition. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Reliability and Maintainability and will graduate in May of 2014. Austin enjoys riding his motorcycle, fishing, hunting, and is an avid sports fan. Through the EcoCAR 2 competition, Austin hopes to improve his engineering skills.


    Images/The Torchbearer Justin Hoffman, Mechanical Team

    Justin is a Mechanical Engineering student and will graduate from UT in August 2014.


    Images/The Torchbearer Paxton Jones, Mechanical Team

    Paxton Jones was born in the Caribbean on the island of Dominica. Because of his father's job, he lived in many different countries while growing up including Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, and Guyana. Growing up, his favorite toys were always remote controlled cars. He attended High School in Clarksville, TN, where he became a published author in the Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science with an experiment on the use of pneumatic motors in automobiles. His whole life he has enjoyed working on or with cars. Paxton studied for two years at MTSU, and was able to join the Formula SAE team. After transferring to UT, he joined the EcoCAR 2 team to help the Mechanical Engineering department build our EcoCAR as part of his senior design project.


    Images/The Torchbearer Westley Harris, Center Stack Team

    Westley Harris is from Morristown, TN, and is majoring in Computer Engineering. He is a part of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, IEEE, and enjoys playing musical instruments. Westley finds the opportunity to work on EcoCAR 2 challenging and interesting. He is looking forward to the learning and networking opportunities while completing this senior design project.


    Images/The Torchbearer Steven Shipner, Rear Powertrain Team

    Steven is a Mechanical Engineering student and will graduate in May 2014.


    Images/The Torchbearer Willie Wells

    Willie Wells is a student veteran, who served six years in the Navy as a Naval Nuclear Electronic Technician. He is majoring in Computer Engineering and is mathematics tutor and a multiethnic student. From his EcoCAR 2 experience, he hopes to make a contribution towards the advancement of technologies that were once considered science fiction.


    Images/The Torchbearer Kenneth Davis, Mechanical Team

    Kenneth Davis grew up in the Smoky Mountains and went to Sevier County High School. He is an Eagle Scout, involved with UT's Project Veggie, and enjoys spending time outdoors. Kenneth is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and hopes to further his knowledge and gain experience with the physical aspects of automobiles.


    Images/The Torchbearer Tate Hawkersmith

    Tate Hawkersmith has loved cars since the first Fast and Furious move was released. He grew up in Tullahoma and is majoring in Computer Engineering. Tate joined the EcoCAR 2 team to learn more about electrical engineering aspects of the car and to obtain a wider variety of knowledge and experience.


    Images/The Torchbearer Tom Cook, Mechanical Team

    Tom is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and will graduate in December 2014.



    Communications Team

  • College of Communication & Information
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    Images/The Torchbearer Sarah Zimmerman, Communications Manager

    Sarah Zimmerman is majoring in Public Relations and is the vice president of the Public Relations Student Society of America. She joined the EcoCAR 2 team because she saw it as a unique opportunity to fuse the worlds of science and communication. As an outdoors lover, Sarah appreciates the sustainability goals of the competition. She enjoys whitewater kayaking and is a trip leader and instructor for the UT Outdoor Program. Sarah is excited to represent Team Tennessee and help its members gain recognition for the hard work they put into this project.


    Images/The Torchbearer Helene Rynczak

    Helene is from Franklin, Tennessee and attended Fred J. Page High School. Helene is the President of the Society of Women Engineers on campus and is a senior in Biomedical Engineering here at UT. She is strongly considering a career within the medical device industry to one day be working in the operating room alongside physicians. Within the communications team, Helene assists with website design, blog organization, and overseeing the team's social media platforms. Involvement with the Communications Team is invaluable to Helene to continue developing communications skills.


    Images/The Torchbearer Karson Stone

    Karson Stone grew up in Louisville, TN, and attended Alcoa High School. She is a freshman in Mechanical Engineering and is involved with the Society of Women Engineers. She has six horses and has loved to ride since she was six-years-old. Through EcoCAR 2, she hopes to learn more about not only revamping a car but also about the entire process and all the components that come together to make the project a success.


    Images/The Torchbearer Chris Salvemini

    Chris is Team Tennessee's Communications Mentee from a local high school. He is a senior at L&N STEM Academy and is trying to decide if he wants to major in Journalism at The University of Tennessee. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, playing video games and surfing the internet. Chris joined the EcoCAR 2 team because he wanted to be a part of a group working towards a green initiative and to strengthen his writing, website editing and collaboration skills.


    Business Team

  • College of Business Administration
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    Images/The Torchbearer Nick Ponzio, Business Manager

    Nick Ponzio has grew up in East Tennessee and is a dual-degree MBA & MS Environmental Engineering Candidate. He is an MBA Ambassador at UT and plans to graduate in May 2015. Nick joined the EcoCAR 2 team because he believes in getting vehicles that increase fuel efficiency and decrease emissions on the road. He wants to preserve the planet so future generations have the same opportunities we enjoy today. Through EcoCAR 2, Nick wants to learn a great deal about collaboration across different disciplines and the importance of delegation within a business unit.


    Images/The Torchbearer Charlie Drennan

    Charlie Drennan is from Memphis TN, and enjoys hiking and the outdoors. His major is Supply Chain Management and he is a part of the Catholic Student Association, Lambda Chi Alpha, Ignite Team Leaders, and Intramurals. Charlie joined the EcoCAR 2 Business Team because he wanted to branch out to other fields.


    Images/The Torchbearer Jake Watkins

    Jake Watkins, from Morristown, TN, is a Geography major and is involved with The Daily Beacon and Club Geography on campus. Jake joined the EcoCAR 2 Business Team to obtain experience in marketing and to contribute to a program that promotes sustainability.


    Images/The Torchbearer Seth Atchley

    Seth Atchley was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN and attended Soddy Daisy High School. He enjoys mountain biking an playing sports. He is majoring in Natural Resources and Environmental Economics and joined the EcoCAR 2 Business Team to diversify his experience and build his credentials for future job opportunities.


    Faculty and Support Advisors

     

    Images/The Torchbearer David Irick, Engineering Faculty Advisor


    Images/The TorchbearerDavid Smith, Engineering Faculty Advisor


    Images/The TorchbearerLeon Tolbert, Engineering Faculty Advisor


    Images/The TorchbearerJonathan Overly, Outreach Support & Advisor


    Images/The TorchbearerScott Curran, Outreach Support & Advisor

     



     

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