Chemical engineering junior Anthony Pyka likes to build things. As a member of the SAE Beaver Racing team, Anthony took an elective course to get certified to use the campus machine shop, where he occasionally becomes inspired to create extra projects for himself.
One such project was a working model of an oscillating piston steam engine (see video, above), also known as a “wobbler” design. The materials for this project were sourced entirely from the scrap bin.
Pyka presented the engine as a gift to Philip Harding, Linus Pauling Engineer and associate head for undergraduate programs in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering. Harding could not have been more pleased.
“This is a great example of the kind of ‘maker culture’ I want to help build in our school,” Harding said. “It’s tremendously satisfying when students are motivated to create something from scratch, to figure out how something works — and then, when they see it through to completion and everything works? There’s nothing better.”