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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

CSUN Students Rise to Engineering Challenge

Engineering students at Cal State Northridge won the grand prize and a first prize in the Manufacturing Challenge sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers at the AeroDef Manufacturing Conference and Exhibition. The students were recognized for creating a device that can lift a car up to three feet but collapses to six inches, and a device that augments the hand grip of the elderly and people affected by stroke, brain damage, or carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, James Hunter, a senior who was on the automated automotive lift system team, received the William B. Johnson Leadership in Manufacturing scholarship. “The students worked very hard and they were so serious and motivated,” said Ileana Costea, chair of the Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management Department in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSUN. The Manufacturing Challenge is a competition for four-year schools and community colleges to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in creating innovative products. CSUN competed against eight other schools in the university category to earn the first prize award for the automotive lift. The grand prize for the assisted gripping rig was in recognition of the top device out of all 23 schools from both the university and community college divisions. The gripping rig is a glove that includes sensors designed by the team of six students that can detect when the hand initiates a grip. The students used the university’s computer numerical control milling machine and 3D printer rapid prototyping machine to create parts for the rig, Costea said. This is the fifth year that CSUN students have taken part in the Manufacturing Challenge, and the first year winning the grand prize. Participating students in addition to Hunter were Kevin Manocheri, Arin Clint, Jordan Stawarz, Ivan Escobar, Aydzhan Salim, Hovig Keushkerian, Colin Irwin, Jobinderjit Kaur, Aaron Michelson, Tawsive Ibrahim and Khaled Alturkey. Trade Show The AeroDef show at the Long Beach Convention Center , held March 19-21, brought in more than 130 manufacturing and support service companies that serve the aerospace and defense industries. Those exhibitors included companies from North Hollywood, Camarillo and Valencia. At the Reynolds Advanced Materials booth, applications specialist Brooke Wheeler demonstrated the vacuum bagging system distributed by the North Hollywood company, a tooling method that uses a sheet of nylon that gets sucked over a mold to make a part. Vacuum bagging is used to create airplane parts, boat hulls, and automotive parts like the hood of a car, Wheeler said. “It works with anything that makes a mold and needs multiple parts,” Wheeler said. Nearby to Reynolds was AMS Corehog, a Valencia manufacturer of cutting tools for use on composite material to make airplanes. The company is in a growth spurt having recently installed the largest cutting tool grinder in Los Angeles County at a cost of $600,000, said Glen Jelletich, a sales manager. Next for AMS is expanding its tools into the metallic market after having made its name in composites. The company chose metals because it believes it has something to offer that market, Jelletich said. “We are patenting cutting geometry and doing some pre-market testing,” Jelletich said. Catch and Release When the Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth on March 25 after carrying supplies to the International Space Station, the actuators used to open the main parachute were made by the Camarillo factory of Cooper Interconnect. So were the devices used in deploying the nose cone and releasing the trunk used in disposing of waste during the re-entry. This is the second mission of the Dragon program for which Cooper Interconnect has supplied non-explosive actuators, or release mechanisms. The company made the actuators for the spacecraft’s first flight in May 2012. The Dragon capsule was built by Space Explorations Technologies, or SpaceX, the commercial space venture of billionaire Elon Musk based in Hawthorne. Cooper Interconnect is a division of Cooper Wiring Devices, part of the electrical business of Eaton Corp. plc, of Dublin. Staff Reporter Mark R. Madler can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or [email protected]

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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