College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

SAE goes the distance to encourage future Cyclone Engineers 

SAE student helps high schooler put together wheels to an ATV.
SAE student helps high schooler put together wheels to an ATV.

Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) members can be seen with their heads buried deep in vehicles they have designed and built from scratch. Whether it be a snowmobile, plane, all-terrain vehicle, or formula-one car, they are deeply involved in the club’s hands-on learning experiences. 

From the wheels up 

SAE is a collection of five teams each building a different automotive vehicle from scratch. The teams complete all aspects of the production process, from a sketch to the final drivable vehicles. The teams routinely do well at competitions, competing closely or outright beating teams from Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa. 

SAE is one of the leading student organizations on campus, providing opportunities for technical skill learning and mastery and a place to continue to build on soft skills, like communicating and project collaboration.  

100% job placement rate 

Not only are SAE members getting a leg up when it comes to skill applications, but they also have opportunities to work with the companies that are regularly at the career fair.  

“Caterpillar, Vermeer and AGCO are always at the Engineering Career Fairs and always looking to see what Cyclone Engineering and SAE has to offer,” according to SAE treasurer Anthony David, a graduate student in mechanical engineering. 

“SAE helps us stand out,” said David. “Employers care a lot about your ability to apply the skills and concepts learned in class, and SAE is a great application.” 

SAE is proud to have a 100% job placement rate, with every graduating student having a signed contract before graduation.  

“People get hired by companies that haven’t heard of SAE but want experienced graduates on-site or by our sponsors; I even know a guy who got a job offer at an SAE competition!” 

Inspiring tomorrow’s engineers 

Not only is the team a force to be reckoned with at competition, but they also do amazing outreach work for students around Iowa and the surrounding states. The team will visit schools to show elementary through high school students what Cyclone Engineering is all about. 

SAE’s commitment to youth outreach made them the perfect candidate for the WiSE Go Further event, which is aimed toward 13–16-year-old students to inspire interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and careers. 

SAE’s participation in Go Further allowed high-school students the opportunity to work hands-on with the cars and experience for themselves all that SAE has to offer. 

“It’s so great to see more young people involved with SAE. I can’t wait to see where these students end up!” said Cloey Waterbury, a junior in mechanical engineering and SAE member. 

“SAE is such a great way to learn more about the processes that go into production and is a great place to apply the skills we learn in class. It’s awesome to share those skills with tomorrow’s Cyclone Engineers,” added David.