Eric Tobin – Student 1998 – 1999 & 2001 - 2004
I graduated from Weber State University in 2001 with an Associate of Applied Science in Design Graphics and in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology. I remember one day while sitting in our Statics class the professor, Doctor Robert Parker, suddenly stopped teaching and just stared at the class. He put his hands in his pockets and just waited. I was sitting in the front corner of the classroom, opposite the door and looked around to see why he had stopped. Looking back at my classmates, I saw the entire class staring out the door into the hallway. Upon looking into the hallway, I too saw it – the Interior Design class was walking past. Our class of all male Mechanical Engineers had been caught by the siren call of the female Interior Design students walking to the computer lab. We looked like a pack of wild hyenas that just stumbled on a lion eating a water buffalo – we smiled and stared but just had to let it pass. A minute later when they were gone, students began to look back at the work on the white board, Doctor Parker asked if they were gone so he could continue, and teaching resumed. I understand that the Interior Design program was later moved to a different building.
Senior Project – Mini Baja
My senior year was the 2003-2004 school year and for our senior project we decided on resurrecting the Mini Baja competition. The Mini Baja competition requires students to design and build a mini dune buggy within a set of rules. There is a competition between all the participating colleges and the best built, fastest buggy wins. We had heard stories that Weber State had competed in Mini Baja competitions many years before, but it had been at least 15 years prior to our time at WSU. The entire class was excited. We were a bunch of gearheads and the idea of building a mini dune buggy, we could actually compete with, was extremely exciting to us. The most memorable moment in the project was the day the first major component arrived. That first part was a brand-new engine, still in the box. We had never seen an engine in a box and didn’t even know they came in boxes. We were told it was in a receiving area next to the plastics lab, sitting on a table. Of course, we all ran down there after class was over to get a look, but it was in a box. To take it out of the box, we had to set it on the ground so we could lift the box off and see our new toy. So, like the inexperienced seniors we were, two of us grabbed box by the handles, lifted it off the table, and the bottom of the box fell off, dropping the brand-new engine on the cement floor. It scared the crap out of us, but nobody was hurt. Luckily the only damage was a small dent which was quickly fixed. We didn’t do very well in the competition, but we loved building it and working together as a closely-knit senior class.