SAE president enjoys knowing how things work

Michelle Heiman

SAE President Jesus Zamarripa-Ortega, already has a job after he graduates. He will work with a vehicle research facility in Ohio, hopefully with the new Acura model.

Zamarripa-Ortega said he has enjoyed his time in the mechanical engineering program at UMKC.

“I like that it’s a small community,” he said. “It’s almost a personal relationship between the teachers and students. And I really like that. Especially when you have a problem or you’re falling behind in a class, you can ask them. It feels like they care about you.”

His favorite class within the program focused around feedback control systems, which he said is probably the most difficult course in the mechanical engineering program.

Along with helping to build an all-new Baja Buggy for competition this year, Zamarripa-Ortega also competed with the old buggy with last year’s SAE.

The May competition in Pittsburg, Kan.

did not turn out as well as Zamarripa-Ortega and others had hoped, as the UMKC team came in 58th out of 106 teams, after they had to rebuild part of the buggy on site.

Zamarripa-Ortega’s interest in engineering started when he was young, mostly with aircraft. He said almost all of his uncles are engineers of some sort.

“I like to find out how things work,” he said. “I guess I grew up with engineering.”

Sometime in the future, Zamarripa-Ortega would like to continue his education. He said this might start next spring after he works in Ohio for a while. He would like to earn his master’s degree in engineering from Ohio State University, but has not yet applied.

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