Metalcasting journey for UWM student includes impactful internship
Kevin Slezak is a senior attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, majoring in physics and materials engineering. Throughout his studies, he has had some exposure to investment casting, and the senior capstone project he chose to work on with MetalTek International’s Investcast division gave him even more experience.
Slezak’s knowledge and interest in investment casting greatly expanded during the summer of 2018. He spent several months as a process engineer intern at investment caster Signicast Corporation. His time was split between the headquarters in Hartford, Wisconsin, and their former headquarters in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.
Several process engineer interns at were Signicast, and they spent the first several weeks rotating through all the processing positions in the Hartford facility. This allowed them to obtain a quick but detailed picture of the beginning-to-end production process. Through the remainder of the summer, each intern was assigned a project that was to be their primary focus while the remaining time was spent assisting the process engineers. This work included metallurgical testing as well as tests and data analysis related to other processes.
Slezak was assigned two summer projects. The first project involved testing the company’s relatively newer optical emission spectrometer which had equipment and software that other spectrometers didn’t. He investigated and tested the new features to ultimately determine if the machine was working as designed. Completion of the project meant better quality control for the company’s alloys in the future. The second project focused on exploring applications of ultrasound to processing. This project was very open ended, leading to extensive background research and culminating in a report and presentation given to various department heads within the company as well as the CEO regarding potential technology applications.
“Signicast helped me obtain a scholarship at the end of my internship, leading to an invitation to the Investment Casting Institute’s technical conference,” Slezak said. “My university’s relationship with FEF helped make my trip to the ICI conference possible, allowing me to network with experts in the field and learn more about the investment casting industry.”
Click here to see this story as it appears in the December 2018 issue of Modern Casting.