Hands-on (and Eyes-on) Experiences Make a Difference to Students
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The Colorado School of Mines (CSM) offers an elective course at the senior/graduate level on “Forging and Forming” in its Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering. The course is taught by FIERF Professor Chet Van Tyne.
“This class is filled with metallurgical and materials engineering students, along with a few mechanical engineering students,” said Madeline Hatlen, a Finkl Scholarship recipient finishing her senior year in materials engineering at CSM. “One of the best parts of this class is how hands-on it is. Lecture is three times a week along with a three-hour lab. The laboratories allow us to process and put to use all the information from the week. Another important aspect to the class was an exciting field-trip opportunity to visit A. Finkl and Sons Co. in Chicago. This field trip was not like any other I have been on with a class before, and it provided more knowledge than anticipated.”
Guy Brada, director of technical services at A. Finkl & Sons Co., explained that the genesis of the tour goes back to 2000 when Professor Van Tyne saw the benefit for his students to see first-hand the processes conducted at Finkl and combine them with an intensive one-day seminar. Finkl management and CSM embraced the idea, and the CSM-Finkl Forging Forum was born. Costs for travel and accommodations are shared between the MME Department at CSM, Finkl and the students.
“Student evaluations for the course have risen dramatically since those visits began,” Van Tyne said.
Hatlen described her impressions. “Everything was big, heavy and hot! It was like taking our laboratory experiments and putting them on steroids. The forging process was mesmerizing, and seeing the product cycle from steelmaking to finished product put everything into perspective. The addition of lectures from the staff of A. Finkl and Sons added to the experience by providing more learning opportunities. Engineers and shop managers were able to connect with our classroom knowledge and apply it to a large-scale operation while answering our questions.”
“Fourteen CSM-Finkl Forging Forums have reached more than 300 students from the fields of metallurgy and mechanical engineering,” Brada said. “Every year the company receives positive feedback from the students about how the experience has made a lasting impression. One of the students of the inaugural CSM-Forging Forum in 2000 now works as a valued member of the A. Finkl & Sons metallurgical team. Today, these CSM-Forging Forum graduates are spread throughout our industry and the world. Ask any one of them and they will remember their visit to A. Finkl & Sons in Chicago.”
FIERF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. 100% of contributions go directly to fund projects and activities. Contributions, bequests and gifts to the Foundation are deductible for Federal income, estate and gift tax purposes. Forging Industry Educational and Research Foundation, 1111 Superior Avenue, Suite 615, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA Phone: 216-781-5040, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.forging.org