Mentor Highlight

MESA Mentor Invents New Cooker for Iditarod


One of our very own MESA Mentors, Aimee Ritter, is making some interesting headlines at Portland State University:

MME Student Build a Better Mushing Cooker

Thanks to Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) student Aimee Ritter, musher Lisbet Norris will be equipped with an ultra-light, compact and high-capacity “mushing cooker” for this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race which kicks off Saturday March 5.

Musher cookers are simple stoves used to melt snow and to thaw food for dogsled competitors and their dog teams. The project was initiated by CEE lab tech Tom Bennett who has been building mushing cookers for two years in the MCECS Machine Shop with help from Zdenek Zumr (MME), MME student Taylor Sharpe, and Mike Chuning (MME).

Ritter’s project was supported by a Beta Project Grant, and the Undergraduate Research and Mentoring Program. MME MELT team member Joe Ladd, seen below with Ritter and Bennett, also contributed by etching the lid design.

Aimee has been a MESA Mentor since 2014 and has served four different MESA chapter programs since she started with us. Our Liberty High School MESA Chapter is lucky to have a real inventor working with our students!

Congratulations, Aimee!