WMU Course Introduces High Schoolers to Metalcasting
For each of the last 20 summers, Dr. Sam Ramrattan has been offering a one-week, hands-on metalcasting workshop for 10th-12th grade students at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Parkview Campus Metal Casting Laboratory of Western Michigan University.
The workshops offered to the students range from the history of metalcasting, to trends in metalcasting, to casting processes and quality of castings. Students explore the use of computers, math and material science as it relates to metalcasting, as well as molding, melting and finishing a casting. In addition to the workshops and labs, the students can meet with WMU administrators to discuss university entrance requirements and expectations.
For the students to truly experience the industry first-hand, they are taken on a tour in the western Michigan area that includes a foundry, a diecaster and an investment caster. One of the highlights is the students’ participation in a roundtable discussion with various representatives from the metalcasting industry. This time gives students an opportunity to ask questions related to casting processes as well as to learn about the career opportunities available in the metalcasting industry.
This past summer, the 22 students who participated were from various high schools throughout the Midwest as well as a few local home-schooled students. Thanks to the AFS Western Michigan Chapter, AFS Central Michigan Chapter, Saginaw Valley AFS Chapter, CAC Ohio AFS Chapter, AFS Northern Indiana Chapter, NADCA Chapter 3 Grand Rapids, and the Foundry Educational Foundation, the costs associated with room, board and transportation of the students was covered.
Click here to see this story as it appears in the March/April 2019 issue of MCDP.
Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Metalcasting-related degrees: Students can earn a BS in Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or
Metalcasting course examples: Some of the required courses in the engineering track include: Introduction to Manufacturing; Introduction to Computer-Aided Design; Machining Processes; Properties of Materials; Materials Science for Engineers; Metal Casting Metrology; Fabrication, Assembly and Finishing; and Manufacturing Systems Integration.
Professor notes: Dr. Sam Ramrattan has served as the FEF Key Professor at Western Michigan since 1993. He is also the AFS Student Chapter advisor and directs the activities in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan’s Parkview Campus Metal Casting Laboratory.