LASR: Andrew Snead ’15 “How An Engine Works”

Andrew Snead pursues a lifelong fascination with mechanical engineering in his LASR project.
“When I was little,” says Andrew Snead, “I took apart my tricycle, which was a bad idea because I didn’t know how to put it back together again. I did that a lot, where I’d take something and try to put it back together again. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. For my LASR project, I wanted to continue with that interest. And I figured, what better to do than an engine?”

For his LASR project, How an Engine Works, Andrew Snead acquired an inline four cylinder 1984 Toyota truck engine and, with the help of his project advisor, Ben Moss, has been spending the last several months disassembling, reassembling, and learning the functions of this engine.

After finding and transporting the four hundred pound engine from a local scrapyard to a garage on campus, Andrew was ready to go. “I started with the engine being fully put together with basically everything it needs to run in it. The tag on it said it didn’t run right, so it’s the perfect engine to use: something to fix.”

It’s been a challenge. Andrew’s never attempted a project of this magnitude before and he’s run into his share of unexpected hurdles, from transporting the 400 pound engine to learning exactly how an engine works and what it needs to run correctly. “I’m excited to be learning something new, something I didn’t know how to do, where I had no idea what I was doing. And now I have so much knowledge. I’m just really excited to be digging deeper into something that I’m passionate about.” The engine is now completely disassembled, and now Andrew begins the process of putting the engine back together again.

He thanks Ben Moss for his advice and school buildings and grounds staff member Mike DiDomenico for the use of tools, workspace, and valuable input.

“I think the endgame for me with this,” Andrew says, “is for me to have this knowledge and carry it through my whole life.” Andrew plans to study mechanical engineering in college.

Follow Andrew’s project on his blog here!

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