“We use it for doing research equipment for different professors and stuff around campus. We do jobs for some companies, mostly working on senior design projects for students,” Engineering Machine Shop Director Steve Struckman said. “We’ve had several students working in the shop, they learn how to use the machines. They do the jobs that we bring in from the different areas of the college. They learn how to set them up and run the jobs complete.”
Students learn to use professional machinery like lathes, mills, and 3D
printing devices. They use them to create special parts for the University, create materials for companies, or even aid in research.
“We did a leg ergometer where they did research on the blood flow of the femoral artery in the leg while it was under stress, so they needed a machine that they could use to exercise the leg at the time they were doing the blood flow,” Struckman said.
Along with the ergometer they’ve created ankle joints for prosthetic limbs, and starting in May will begin creating artificial hip joints.
Senior Mechanical Engineering student Craig Brown has worked in the shop for over a year and said the experience he’s gaining will help him in the future.
“It’s a great experience for all the kids, and it makes things easier accessible for all students, and also for the research and university,” Brown said. “For the students like me it gives a great experience for going into the working world, that a lot of people don’t get.”
Struckman said many student don’t know about the shop, but when they find out they use it quite a bit. He’s seen the shop change over the years, and he’s excited to see how it will grow in years to come.