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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie fueled

Texas A&M’s engineering department has received awards for its outstanding performance; some have ranked it as one of the best engineering programs in the nation, and some students are willing to protect that reputation, even if it means starting from scratch.
The A&M Gas Turbine Society, an organization run by students, is experimenting with the possibility of constructing a gas turbine engine from scratch.
Ben Carpenter, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, serves as president for the Gas Turbine Society.
“The organization was started so that [students] could have a fun and good way to get hands-on experience,” Carpenter said.
He said the main purpose of the organization is to design, model and build a gas turbine engine that could power a truck.
Additionally, the Gas Turbine Society has specific goals for the self-made engine.
“Our intent is to at least build an 80 horsepower engine,” Carpenter said, “with the possibility of making it a hybrid engine.”
The organization’s mission has caused enough of a stir in the field that a possible intercollegiate competition could be in the works.
“Our adviser has talked with professors in other universities,” Carpenter said. “And it has turned into a pilot program for a larger competition between universities, the goal now is to see if it’s feasible.”
The organization has started looking into viable solutions to create the turbine.
“Our hope is to buy an old military turbine engine and take it apart,” Carpenter said. “Then we could use reverse engineering to construct our own.”
Juan Menendez, a senior mechanical engineering major, said the organization is a great idea to help the students obtain field experience.
“I wish that an organization like this would have existed to help me make the transition easier into the real world of engineering,” he said.
Alice Lee, a sophomore political science major, said she agrees with Menendez.
“I think it’s really great how Texas A&M can be of so much help towards the engineering students by providing these types of opportunities,” she said. “And it shows to what extent A&M is willing to help its students.”
The organization has sought help from the resources available from Texas A&M.
“Recently, we had a tour of the turbo machinery lab,”
Carpenter said, “to see what kind of research is involved.”
Though the A&M Gas Turbine Society has been in progress since January, the response to its goal has been outstanding. The Gas Turbine Society’s membership ranges from students in the mechanical, electrical and nuclear engineering programs. However, the organization is not limited to students in those areas of study.
“There is absolutely no experience required,” Carpenter said. “The organization is open to anybody who is interested in the program.”
How to joinFor more information on how to join the A&M Gas Turbine Society, contact Ben Carpenter at [email protected]

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