Posts Tagged ‘rapid prototyping’

ATETV Episode 41: Passionate About Their Careers

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

This week, we look at three technological careers that enable students to also draw on their artistic and creative sides — and fulfill some of their life’s passions.

In our first segment, we talk with Andrew Godek, an Architectural Technology student at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston. Currently studying Architectural Design Studio, a free-hand drawing class in which students design their own houses, Andrew is pleased to have had the opportunity to express his creativity. His advice for future students? “If someone is thinking of going into the Architectural Technology field, I recommend [being in] the city, where there are always great job opportunities.” His second piece of advice: “Definitely have the passion for drawing and be good in math. That’s all I can say.”

And while Andrew is looking forward to influencing the landscape of the city, our second segment introduces us to Chris Eckert, a student who is influencing the design of new products through the Rapid Prototype Technologies program at Saddleback Community College.

“I kind of grew up in hardware store so….the idea of taking things apart and putting them back together [is natural]” explains Chris. “I’m a real mechanical person and seeing a product come out of nothing is pretty amazing to me.”

Technicians skilled in rapid prototying are in tremendous demand in today’s manufacturing marketplace. This type of modeling enables companies to test functionality on a low-cost model before going into actual production — saving time and money. And for students like Chris, the field is also a chance to create his own inventions. “[Inventing] – that’s where my passion is,” he tells us.

Finally, in our third segment, we visit Central Piedmont Community College, where the Geospatial Technology Program is helping students move directly into the workforce as soon as they finish their degrees.

“Every one of our students [from the past two years] is employed in the Geospatial Technology field,” says Central Piedmont’s Chris Paynter. “They’re working for county government, city government and private engineering firms.” And they, too, are being creative, whether out in the field mapping and conducting GPS data collection, or working in an ofice on quality control and quality assurance.

Community college programs like these are helping students set out on the paths that are right for them. You might say they’re literal roadmaps to the future.

ATETV Episode 40: A Closer Look at 3D Design, Data Storage and Drug Development

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

This week, we focus on three of today’s fast-growing industries – Rapid Manufacturing, Information Technology and Biomanufacturing.

In our first segment, we visit Saddleback College where students in the Rapid Manufacturing program are turning their two-dimensional ideas into intricate 3D product prototypes.

“The equipment you see in the school’s laboratory is the same equipment used by industry,” says Saddleback’s Ed Tackett. And it’s the program’s hands-on approach to education and training that has proven critical to its success.

“We let [students] make mistakes,” adds Ken Patton. “That way they learn and they don’t forget.” That’s especially important to today’s employers, as companies work to bring their high-end manufacturing design and tooling back from overseas.

“We’ve had offers from companies to hire our entire class sight unseen because of our approach to teaching technicians how to work in an industrial environment,” says Ken. “Part of the fun and excitement we have is the ‘wow’ factor every time we walk into the lab.”

Information Technology is another industry where jobs are growing rapidly – even exponentially — as we learn in our second segment.

“Anybody who needs to keep data – which is just about everybody nowadays – are our customers,” explains Todd Matthews of EMC Corporation, one of the world’s largest data storage companies. So whether it’s banking records, medical information or online photos and e-mail accounts, or any of the myriad data we use each day, it all has to be stored – and stored securely.

And, says Todd, this is only the beginning. “More digital data will be created in the next two years than was produced in the last 10. Wouldn’t you want to be working in that type of industry? It’s growing exponentially.” Wow, that’s an impressive statistic.

Finally, the week’s third segment explores pharmaceutical development, another fast-growing industry. And, as Great Bay Community College student Matthew Dobben explains, the process required to bring a new drug to market begins with Biomanufacturing, a specialized type of manufacturing technology used to produce biological agents.

“In this lab, we produce the proteins that are used by the pharmaceuticals to create drugs,” says Matthew, who is enrolled in Great Bay’s Biomanufacturing Technology program. “[And this other] area involves recombinant DNA technology, while next door we research and use a process known as chromatography, which is purification.”

The highly technical skill sets needed to produce these biological materials require careful organization and attention to detail. But, as Matthew notes, it all begins with a love of science. “You need to know what you’re talking about [when] you’re considering millions of dollars worth of [new] drugs.” Wow – that’s a great challenge and tremendous responsibility.

ATETV Episode 6: Three More Success Stories

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

ATETV Episode 6 went live yesterday with three more ATE success stories from across the country.

Our first segment, on preparing students for careers in renewable energy, couldn’t be more timely, what with President Obama’s speech on the topic at MIT this past Friday.  As we did in our story about process technology last week, we focus on a single mom who is enrolled in an ATE program — in this case, studying wind energy technology — to make a better life for her and her family.

For our second segment, we get a bit of a history lesson. Benjamin Franklin, who got his start as a printer’s apprentice, believed that apprentices made good citizens. We pay a visit to his namesake school in his hometown of Boston, which is bringing his philosophy into the 21st century through its wide variety of ATE programs.

Finally, we take a look at rapid prototype modeling, the wave of the future in design and manufacturing. Rapid prototyping allows students to “print” 3D copies of their designs; in some applications, they can even use it to produce final products. It sounds like something out of science fiction, but it’s not, and it’s being taught in ATE programs right now.