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CCC races to Formula One finish line

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The award-winning RIT formula racer, sporting a prominent Clackamas Community College logo, is parked in front of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.Students in Chris Rizzo’s advanced-manufacturing classes in Oregon City gained real-world experience by building parts for a Formula One-style race car that took a second-place award in national competition against more than 75 national and international universities.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Clackamas Community College students Charles Stay and Shawn Stearns work on the race car components.The race car also competed with universities around the world in Lincoln, Neb., from June 18 through 21, earning third place in presentation out of more than 100 competitors. The RIT formula racer carries a prominent CCC logo, right next to those of other major sponsors, including Toyota, Siemens, SKF, SpaceX and Yamaha.

“Our efforts contributed to the overall presentation award in Michigan through the quality and sophistication of the components we manufactured,” Rizzo said.

The partnership came about when CCC manufacturing instructor Rizzo visited his alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., last summer. Twenty years ago, as a student studying industrial design, Rizzo had taken part in the annual race car-design competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

“When I stopped by the school, they were organizing the crew for this year, test driving the previous year’s car,” he said. “I talked to them about opportunities for collaboration with manufacturing students at Clackamas.”

A couple of months later he heard from the team manager at RIT. The university, noted for its engineering programs, wanted to know if CCC students could produce some high-end suspension components, and Rizzo jumped on the opportunity. The components are manufactured from high-end, exotic metal alloys that are even unusual for people in industry to work with, let alone students.

“These ‘A-arms’ are created through an extremely complicated manufacturing process. This project provided an opportunity for students to learn and practice skills used at the leading edge of manufacturing,” Rizzo said.

The manufacturing students created a total of 16 of the suspension components, using industry-leading skills such as multi-axis machining and tooling. The parts were shipped to Rochester to install on the race car.



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