Walla Walla student starting work with wind energy firm – Walla Walla Union
With a brand new bachelor of science in mechanical engineering in hand from Colorado State University, Walla Wallan Phillip Somers is headed into the workplace July 14 as a production engineer technician for Vestas in Windsor, Colo.
The global energy company is solely dedicated to wind energy, according to his mom, Diane Benfield of Walla Walla.
A CSU honor student, he received a Mary Garner Esary Scholarship from Walla Walla High School.
As president of the CSU Cycling Team, he competed in collegiate races in Colorado and national championship events in Wisconsin and Utah. His passion for cycling began with the Walla Walla Community Center for Youth Cycling Team, Tour of Walla Walla. He was mentored by Max Coleman.
Phillip’s early years at Three Rs Montessori School, Green Park Elementary and Pioneer Middle School gave him a strong academic foundation, Diane said. And he took calculus courses with teachers Laura Schueller and Douglas Hundley at Whitman College.
In summer 2011, he held an undergraduate internship with the Walla Walla District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, gaining experience in delivering high-quality, timely, innovative solutions in cost engineering.
As a senior, Phillip worked in the hydraulics laboratory at CSU’s Engineering Research Center, assisting in levee analysis to aid in withstanding hurricane forces. He was team leader for his senior design project, which sought a numerical foundation from which to base optimization of longboard wheel geometry.
It resulted in a testing machine that generated lateral force as a function of slip angle for longboard wheels.
The data can be used to determine variables to better suit a rider’s particular riding style and skill set. Phillip hopes to continue research in longboard wheel optimization with his senior design sponsors.
He is also the son Donald Somers of Dallas, Texas.
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