CAROL STREAM, IL., U.S.A., October 15, 2021 . . .  The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoforming Division has announced the winners of its third student radio-controlled car design and racing competition.

Twelve students from five schools across the U.S. were charged with designing, manufacturing and decorating the bodies of radio-controlled cars whose chassis were furnished by the Division, with support from corporate sponsors, including Kal Plastics, LyondellBasell, MAAC Machinery,  McConnell Company, Monark Equipment, MSA Components and Primex Plastics. The car body had to be formed using clear plastic, such as PET, PETG, acrylic or polycarbonate, and produced using the vacuum/thermoforming process.

Students also participated in a race conducted on a built-to-specification indoor racetrack located on the exhibit hall floor during the Thermoforming Division’s biennial conference, held September 20-22 in Grand Rapids, MI (click here to watch video of the race).

Cash prizes were awarded in three different categories: People’s Choice, Best Design and the race itself.  This year’s winners are:

  • First Place in the Race ($1,000 cash prize): Purdue Polytechnic Richmond, the team from Purdue Polytechnic Institute:  Drake Cunningham, Tyler Dudley, Matthew Johnson and Brayton McKnight. 
  • Second Place in the Race ($750 cash prize): Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) Team Two:  Szymon Salamon and David Soller.
  • Third Place in the Race, Best Design and People’s Choice ($1,500 cash prize): Blue Devil Racing, the team from Central Connecticut State University:  Timothy McGough and Avery Tolboe.
  • Second Place, Best Design: Szymon Salamon and David Soller, MIAD.

“Each year, the RC Car Race becomes more exciting, and more competitive,” said Dan Sproles, SPE Thermoforming Division Student Activities Chair. “The enthusiasm demonstrated by the faculty advisors and the students made this a particularly fun competition.  The designs were also really impressive, and we hope that even more schools will participate in the 2023 event.”



Photo Captions: 01. Winners of SPE Thermoforming Division radio-controlled car design and racing competition are (left to right) 01. Matthew Johnson, Tyler Dudley, Brayton McKnight, Rex Kanu (faculty advisor), Drake Cunningham.  02:  Competition participants are (front row, kneeling, left to right):  Sabrina Cameli (Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design), Szymon Salamon (also of MIAD), Avery Tolboe (Central CT State University), Matthew Johnson (Purdue Polytechnic Institute), Brayton McKnight (also from Purdue), Emma Moratti (MIAD).  Second row, standing are (left to right):  Kat Barndt (MIAD), Ian Munnoch, MSA Components (race sponsor), Ned Moore (CCSU Faculty Advisor), Tim McGough (CCSU), Drake Cunningham, Tyler Dudley (both of Purdue), Rex Kanu (Purdue Polytechnic Institute Faculty Advisor), Dan Sproles (SPE Thermoforming Division RC Car Race and Competition Chair), Peter Streblow (MIAD).

Photo and Video Credit:  Dallager Photography

###THE SPE THERMOFORMING DIVISION is a technical division of the Society of Plastics Engineers, based in Danbury, CT. The Thermoforming Division’s mission is to facilitate the advancement of thermoforming technologies through education, application, promotion and research. The Division hosts an annual educational conference and publishes an award-winning technical journal, SPE Thermoforming Quarterly®. The Division has also funded over $275K in equipment grants and tens of thousands of dollars in undergraduate scholarships since it was first formed. For more information, please visit https://thermoformingdivision.com.