Steel Wheel Design Competition Winners Announced
“The steel wheel design competition presented student designers with a rare opportunity to influence the growing automotive styled steel wheel market,” Ron Krupitzer, vice president, automotive market, SMDI said. “This year, the students took steel to a new level in terms of lightweighting and their designs proved to be low mass, feasible concepts that automakers and customers would love.”
First place, and a $2,500 scholarship went to Colin Bonathan, second place went to Chris Nichols, who received a $1,500 scholarship, and Matthew Eash, a sophomore, placed third and was awarded a scholarship of $1,000. In addition, nine students who participated in the competition received honorable mentions and were awarded $100 each.
The winning wheel designs included:
- Bonathan – A modern wheel designed for a 2011 Chrysler 300, includes a cylindrical shape that offers more character than today’s flat blanks. Based on a paper model he designed as a solution on how to simulate folding steel, the wheel features high-strength stainless steel to achieve a lightweight design;
- Nichols – The winner of last year’s competition at LTU, Nichol’s wheel was designed for the luxury electric car, Fisker Karma. His wheel, inspired by a heated coffee mug, is designed to celebrate electric cars and integrates heatsinks on the spoke, drawing heat from the hubmotors and electronic components for a functional and appealing design. With heat reactive paint, the wheel creates an eco-friendly identity at night by creating a subtle glow;
- Eash – Inspired from an electric guitar and American culture, Eash’s modular design features a lightweight, steel stamped backbone with a concave side in front to show depth and accentuate its steel-rolled spokes. Designed for a Lincoln MKR concept, the wheel is integrated for balance and allows for owner customization without compromising strength.