December 08, 2008 12:00AM
Students and instructors in Pittsburg State University's metal casting program recently took part in two conferences, showing off some of their work at one while taking home scholarships from the other.
The Investment Casting Institute wanted to do something special for the 12th World Conference on Investment Casting, held Oct. 19-22 in Dallas, so they contacted various businesses to cast souvenir medals emblazoned with the group's logo. They also got in touch with Pittsburg State University to help make 250 of the medals.
"We're the only school that was part of the group that made these medals," said Russ Rosmait, university professor of engineering technology and a member of the ICI board. "Our equipment is pretty sophisticated, so makes it possible for us to do this kind of work."
Investment casting, also known as the lost wax process, involves crafting a wax piece and covering it with ceramic. The wax is then melted out and metal is poured in.
Rosmait said PSU already had a close relationship with the Investment Casting Institute thanks to a yearly summer certification program held in the Kansas Technology Center. The program presented a great opportunity for hands-on learning.
"Making the medals gave the students some real-world experience - a task that has to be done that has a deadline that we're not just doing in class," Rosmait said. "When somebody from the outside is giving them deadlines, they have to meet these deadlines. Otherwise they're not going to this conference."
A group of PSU instructors and students also traveled to Chicago recently for the Foundry Educational Foundation College Industry Conference. The conference featured new technologies and research paper presentations.
Rosmait said companies at the conference are often eager to hire Pitt State students, offering internships and sometimes scholarships.
Two PSU students, Garret Davis and Aaron Poe, each received $2000 scholarships. To apply for the awards, each had to write a career mission statement and obtain letters of recommendation from their places of internship.
For more information, contact the Department of Engineering Technology at (620) 235-4350.