When Moving Backwards Is a Good Thing
To the joy and relief of FEF students and professors, conditions are such that regular outreach activities are now able to be scheduled and hosted on many campuses. Tours of local foundries are also now being enjoyed by students and professors.
One such campus that has been able to schedule some of these activities is Trine University in Angola, Indiana. In October, the Mechanical Engineering students participated in a tour of Metal Technologies as well as hosted an open foundry day.
Trine alum, Kramer Pursell (Metal Technologies metallurgist), met with the students to give them a little background on the company and prepare them for the processes they would be seeing during the tour. One of the important outcomes of a facility tour is that students are able to visualize how the things they are learning are actually put into practice in a real-world application.
Open foundry days are another highlight for current, past, and future students. Current students use their knowledge of the casting process to help future students cast their own mementos. Future students are exposed to the exciting and important field of manufacturing. Past students have the opportunity to encourage the next generation to continue their pursuit of metalcasting.
At one of the open foundry days, former Trine students Dylan Stasko and Devin Wolf spent the afternoon in the Trine foundry. Wolf is currently employed as a process engineer at Metal Technologies; Stasko is currently employed at GM, also as a process engineer.
“I think it is important to stay connected with the university and students to continue to grow the industry. It was my first time returning to campus since graduating,” Stasko said. “I enjoyed looking at some of the work that students were doing.”
Wolf added, “I was actively involved with open foundry days when I was in college. The two big reasons it’s important for me to attend this event is to give back and to hopefully recruit young minds with interest in the foundry industry for our co-op program at Metal Technologies.”
Both Stasko and Wolf mentioned that one of the reasons they continued in the industry was because of their exposure to designing and pouring castings.
“I found the process of pouring liquid metal very interesting. I then began taking as many courses as I could on metal casting,” Stasko said.
Wolf added, “While attending college I was fascinated with designing a part and physically making it.”
Activities and experiences, in addition to book-learning and lectures, are important opportunities offered at FEF’s network of colleges and universities. And encouragement from FEF alumni has an immeasurable impact.