of Alabama in Huntsville"
Team UAH stepped up to the mark with all of its team members on stage. They modeled their delivery as a press conference and team members posing as reporters grilled a male and female proponent. All aspects of the project were discussed and emphasis was placed on the dynamic performance of the design.
The boat was billed to swim between strokes thereby increasing the efficiency of the paddlers. They explained that their quest was real and that the effort was backed by NASA, DoD, and the U.S. Congress. Several potential applications for the STARS technology were given.
The judges began by asking how does the orientation of the graphite fibers in the design of the boat affect the natural frequency? You said that the spacing of the elements makes the modes converge. Could you explain that? Why was damping neglected while performing the modal analysis?
Why were mixes placed using super-plasticizer brittle and how did you observe this behavior? What is the difference between a water reducer and a super-plasticizer? What is a micro-balloon? Where does the name come from? Why did you select 20% fly ash? Would the boat surge forward as the paddlers go through their motions? Does it? What is your expectation from this year’s canoe competition? What is the purpose of a design drawing?
I thought that Team UAH did a very good job presenting their effort. But the team was rattled somewhat during the formal question period. Needless to say, I was squirming during the latter. But stage fright can cost you big time at nationals and Team UAH paid the price.
For the record, I would have placed UAH where they ended up in this event. And, I commend the judges for doing such a good job in scoring this category.