Brandon Taseski

Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Shelby Township, MI

Student Organization: President, Oakland University Society of Automotive Engineers (Formula SAE Team, aka Grizzlies Racing)

Career plans: After graduation I’m hoping to work up the ranks of a professional race team and become the lead Vehicle Dynamics engineer.

Do you work while going to school?  If so, tell us about that work. After only one semester at Oakland I landed an internship at Faurecia in their Automotive Seating division. I currently work at Continental Tire in the Passenger OE Development group. Being part of the Formula SAE team provided me a good understanding of tire basics. A lot of my work involves comparing the construction of a tire against its results from performance testing and trying to find a correlation.

What do you love most about your major? Since I was a young, I’ve always played with LEGOs. First, I’d follow the directions, build the kit and play with it for a few days. Then I took it all apart and either tried to build it better, or something completely different. That’s exactly what engineering is, and I wish I would have known that sooner. Being able to design, create, and improve things is what I enjoy the most.

How does technology play a role in your education? Technology is used and created in engineering. Saying computers would be far too general, as almost every major utilizes them. More specifically, CAD software that can simulate part stress and fluid simulation play a huge part in the design process. Although not 100% accurate, they can provide you a good idea of what to expect from a real-world part.

How have alumni played a part in your education? The FSAE team is very fortunate to have tremendous alumni support. Racing is a bug that you just can’t get rid of. Even after graduating, alumni come back to give us advice. It really helps with knowledge retention within the team, instead of learning from scratch every year.

What was the strangest/craziest thing that you’ve seen or done at OU? During a long night at the FSAE garage (2am), we decided to take a break from working and ended up taking turns racing scooters from the Engineering Center down the hill to the roundabout. OUPD drove by and recognized us by our team t-shirts. They called us crazy, but let us continue.

How donors have impacted your education and/or experience? Without donor support, our machine shop would not have such great equipment. Being part of the FSAE team allows me to apply my class learning toward a tangible final product instead of just completing homework. You get to fully understand the processes involved with design, manufacture, assembly, and testing. Having those hands-on practical skills are what really make the difference between an engineer and a great engineer.  For that, I am thankful.