I Voted, ASME Style.

Historic.  To you, the casual Lobby reader, elections may seem monotonous, trivial, or boring; but let me digress and explain the gravity of what occurred on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013.

Besides from historic, these elections were the most highly contested in recent memory.  This is the first year since before the “Adriana Scheiner Era” that every position had a candidate running.   All 19 open positions were contested for.  That’s an impressive statistic and speaks to the quality of ASME-Madison as a student organization.  Becoming an officer is an honor and should be reserved for those who are fully committed to the ensuing responsibility and that is precisely what these elections showcased.

Not only was it a great turnout, but every candidate that ran for a position made an election slide beforehand (somewhere Tom Pocrnich, alumni, is smiling).  The most outrageous and memorable slide of the night was that of sophomore Jess Grev (Yes, she is Nate Grev’s sister).  This slide conveyed important and relevant information about her personality, passions, and ability to use smartphone-based technology.  Wielding this slide Jess won the election for the lucrative Membership Chair position.  Jess was not the lone sophomore elected, she was joined by a notable six other sophomores looking to get more involved in ASME (see list below).

Membership: Jessica Grev, Sophomore

Banquet: Brian Barry, Sophomore

Polygon Rep: Jack Hinze, Sophomore

Academic: Aaron Schmitz, Sophomore

Programming: Eric Johnson, Sophomore

Publicity: Tyler Wied, Sophomore

Webmaster: Jack Trotman, Sophomore

Perhaps one of the most highly contested races of all time was the 4 person race for Industrial Relations Co-Chair.  Experts on the subject have compared it to the famous 1912 Presidential Election.   Regardless of what you label it as the 4 person race was one for the ages.   The Industrial Relations Co-Chair is one of the most sought after officer positions (besides Historian Chair) and always pulls the top candidates.  It has been postulated that this year was so highly contested because the elected candidate gets the honor of working alongside the subtly suave ‘Captain’ Jack Lund.    After the votes were counted, and recounted, Mark Gavin (Senior) was victorious.  Gavin will finish off his epic 3 year career as an ASME Officer in this two-semester position.

Other notable new comers are the two contest chairs: Eric Schmalzer (Junior) and Nik Flahavan (Junior).

This election is an excellent display of the strength of ASME-Madison.  There is no question after these elections that ASME-Madison will continue to ‘set the standard’.  I wish the best of luck to all the officers, new and old.  For general members, please consider running in the fall.  Becoming an officer was one of the best investments I made in college with social, academic, and career-based returns larger than I ever imagined.

“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”

-William Arthur Ward

– Nick Malahy, ASME Vice Chair, Fall 2012 – Spring 2013

Broom On.

It was a year of success and failure for this years broomball squad. Expectations were not high going into the season after previous years of sub-par broomball teams. This years team resembled the 2008 brewers squad; a bunch of scrubs that somehow performed. The season started out with a bang with the team winning all of its regular season games with much ease. Star players on the team could be found in almost every position. It almost seemed that this was a team of destiny with each member fitting into their respective role perfectly. Whether it was Nick “Mr. Dangler” Malahy dribbling through an entire team to score an unbelievable goal or Jack “Yeah, I play lacrosse” Lund with his sneaky goals this team just worked. Mike, an emerging prodigy goalie, protected the net for the team while Mark “Grind it out” Ericson took care of the corners. Brady, our fearless capitano, organized and lead the team on the ice. Often he could be seen taking a player aside for a “coaching session”, or extolling defenders to get back. Finner and Zach provided a solid core in the middle that was almost unpenitrable for opposing team; striking fear into even the most manly. Blanchard was the great off season signing (CC Sabathia anyone?) who kept the team together like glue with his never give up attitude. The team advanced through the first few games of the playoffs with some ease and their toughest test of the season up until that point when they played the team who had bought broomball shoes. Being fearless, the team rallied together to put together what can only be described as “pure broomball”. Defeating the team with broomball shoes 1-0 in the semi-finals showed that maybe, just maybe, this was a team destined to be champions. Going into the final game of the season the team was a little beaten up from injuries sustained while sacrificing body for ice glory. The team made a valiant effort in the final game but ended up being outmatched by a team who was clearly the Wisconsin hockey “b” team. In the end every person on the team ended up with a sense of pride knowing that he contributed to what is highly regarded as “the most surprising thing to ever happen to the sport of broomball”. Good work team. Broom on.

– Mark Ericson, ASME Historian, Spring 2013

Wisconsin > Illinois, Duh.

With the Milwaukee Brewers having one 4 in a row prior to the game and the always interesting rivalry with the Cubs/Cubs fans, the annual ASME Brewer Tailgate was much anticipated this Spring. This was the first time in the past few years that we lucked out with great weather for the tailgate and man was it fun. Everyone was very generous bringing snacks, games, and grilling equipment to make the day a huge success. A few ASME Alumni were able to join us, as well as new general members creating a great atmosphere for not only fun, but also networking and catching up with old friends. Charles, the bus driver, had a great attitude and was very easy. The “live music” was very entertaining, the food turned out great, the Brewers won 5-0, and no one was (seriously) injured. Just another awesome memory to add to our college experience that we wouldn’t have ever had without being a part of ASME!

– Brady Van De Hey, ASME Social Chair, Spring 2013

ASME 2013 Dream Team/Design Team


If you dream it, we can design it.

The Design Challenge

In light of the nuclear crisis that occurred in Japan, there is growing interest in building remote controlled vehicles for entering areas of high radioactivity to perform tasks and return so that a human is never exposed to those levels of radiation.  Thus this design competition’s task was to design a remotely-controlled, proof-of-concept vehicle for inspection purposes. The vehicle had to be able to negotiate around obstacles, get to the inspection points, and bring a sensor back to the designated start area, ready for another run. All tasks had to be performed without line of sight.

The Tasks

The operator of the vehicle was in an enclosed area, separate from the course, had no prior knowledge of the course layout, and had to rely on sensors and/or video feed to navigate the obstacles.  Inside the course, the vehicle had to drop off one sensor (wooden dowel), retrieve another sensor, take a reading from a digital pressure gauge display (paper on floor), and push a button that initiates a simulated cooling pump (box with dot on it).   Teams were scored based upon completion time, tasks completed, and vehicle’s ability to maneuver obstacles and stay within the course.

 Our Design

Our design consisted of a four-wheel-drive chassis controlled by an Arduino Uno.  The Arduino also controlled a claw for sensor drop off and pickup and camera position.  An XBee transceiver was used sending wireless signals to the Arduino.  A laptop running Processing read controls from an Xbox 360 controller and sent the signals over the XBee network.  The laptop will do this in the background as its primary function was to receive the video feed from the camera so the operator could navigate the course.  The video was relayed using a different network and viewed on the laptop using a USB receiver. 

The Competition

The course was marked out on the floor with blue masking tape and the driver’s area was position next to the course but behind a curtain.  Teams were allowed to view the course beforehand – before obstacles were placed.  Each Team was allowed up to two drivers and all drivers were sequestered prior to placing the obstacles (2×4’s).  Of the fifteen competitors that came for our district, we ranked 8/15.  Almost half of the vehicles were not able to compete due to technical difficulties (unable to control their car, unable to connect to their video feed, broken part, etc).  Our major limit in our design was our motor speed.  We finished all of the tasks within the 5 minute time limit (3mins 26secs), but the winning vehicle managed to do it in only 48 seconds.

Interested In This Design?

The car will be kept at ASME’s office in 1082 ECB.  Stop by sometime during our posted office hours and check it out! And remember, there will be another design competition again in the Fall – all help is appreciated.

From left to right: Gregory Hanson, Josh Lee, Nik Flahavan, Eric Schmalzer

From left to right: Gregory Hanson, Josh Lee, Nik Flahavan, Eric Schmalzer

– Gregory Hanson, ASME Design Co-Chair, Fall 2012- Spring 2013

E Stands for Engineering, E Week and Expo



ASME E-Weekopoly Team


We do engineering and accounting.

ASME participated in E-week this spring, which ran from February 18th-22nd. The team competed in multiple events, including Bean Bag Toss, Euchre and the Spelling Bee. Senior Jack Lund took first place in the Mario Cart Races and the team took 7th place in the event overall. ASME was in charge of the E-weekopoly game (pictured above) which they also won due to the expert banking skills of seniors Zach Gaertner, Jeff Albrecht and Kate Slattery.

Engineering Expo!


ASME Members Trent Thomas and Mark Gavin test their Lego cars on the ramp. Energy is cool!


A student takes control of the robot car


A visiting student controls the design car using an Xbox 360 controller and watching the video stream from the webcam mounted on the car.


Students watch as the design car maneuvers around the obstacles.


A student watches carefully as the robot picks up a wooden dowel.

ASME had a great time running an exhibit at the Engineering Expo from April 18th – 20th.

The Expo is put on by the College of Engineering every two years, and is open to Elementary and Middle Schools on Thursday, High Schools on Friday and the general public on Saturday. In order to appeal to this wide range of ages and interests, ASME set up two demonstrations at their exhibit. In one section of the room the Design Team let students drive the car they had built for ASME conference earlier in the spring. The car is controlled by viewing the video stream recorded by a webcam mounted on the car.  When an ASME member asked the kids what they liked about the exhibit, one student exclaimed, “It’s like we are simulating the Mars Rover!”

ASME also ran a Lego Car Racing demonstration, which was also a big hit with the visiting students. Seniors Zach Gaertner, Jack Lund and Kate Slattery built a ramp for the exhibit, and the team was able to purchase multiple Lego sets thanks to a grant from University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Polygon Engineering Student Council. The students enjoyed building and testing their cars on the ramp, and received help from ASME members who volunteered at the event.

– Kate Slattery, ASME Polygon Representative, Spring 2013

Polar Plunge 2013

Nine brave members of UW ASME’s club faced the elements head-on this winter to participate in the Wisconsin Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. The group was able to raise a total of $1010, doubling our initial goal of $500. After a quick trip to the local thrift shop for denim outfits, we felt unstoppable.

When the day came, anxiety kicked in as the weather was cold, wet, and windy and everyone agreed that they would much rather be inside watching the Badgers take on the Michigan Wolverines in basketball. The group approached the open water and each person was looking at their neighbor like he/she was about to back out and run away. The countdown began, 3..2..1.. JUMP! Some ‘brave’ people were in and out as fast as you could blink, and even the cocky ones realized after a second or two that this water was indeed freezing! Everyone ran to the warming baths as quickly as they could, which seemed like slow motion because of their muscles not wanting to move. The group had a big laugh and some immediately regretted doing the jump, but when asked later they all agreed it was a very rewarding experience. Special thanks to the group drivers Trent Thomas and Zach Gaertner, as well as all the donators that helped these college kids realize what ‘being cold’ actually means.


This looks like it may have been a poor choice…


Oh my gosh. So cold. Definitely a poor choice.

– Brady Van De Hey, ASME Social Chair, Spring 2013


February 2nd – February 3rd

The ASME officers attended the biannual officer retreat at the start of the Spring Semester. The goal of the officer retreat is to get the officers off of campus for a night and get to know those that they will be working with closely for the semester.

The spring retreat began as the officers departed late afternoon from the Engineering Centers Building. After a short drive to the Wisconsin Dells, the officers checked into a Cabin at the Wilderness and immediately everyone claimed beds that they knew would be up for grabs later that night anyway.

After everyone settled in, the business meeting began as the group of officers discussed ideas and events for the upcoming semester. At the conclusion of the meeting, everyone piled onto the Marley’s Shuttle Bus and headed to Marley’s for dinner.

While waiting for dinner, officers tested their crayon game skills on the tables. It was decided that TT > EC at the dot game. After playing childish games, a great meal was had and it was off to the pool table for a couple games.

When returning to the hotel, the true group bonding began. Team games were played and champions were crowned.

Later, officers gathered in the living room for a deep question and answer session where everyone was able to really open up and share with the group. Everyone really loved sharing with Jeff at the conclusion of the session.

The rest of the night was spent having fun. The music meter slowly moved toward “Full Rage” as the night progressed and everyone had a blast. Even at full rage there was still Taylor Swift to be sung. As the night came to an end, Clever Paul won the engineer of the night award as he created his own bed out of dining room chairs.

The morning quickly came and it was time to clean up and head out. Some went back to Madison, some went to Denny’s, some went to the water park, and Greg replaced his flat tire… Thankfully, everyone made it home and the retreat was considered a success.

– Trent Thomas, ASME Chair, Fall 2012 – Spring 2013