A senior project by six engineering technology students received a national award and left a lasting impact at PSU.
Students Tyler Casteel, Nick Crain, Brendan Herrera, Jeremy McLennan, Aaron Noack and Kyle Ragan created a mold for a hacksaw handle, improving upon and replacing the mold that has been used by Pitt State students for more than 40 years.
Their project won first place in the American Foundry Society and Foundry Educational Foundation 2015 Student Technology Contest. The students received a $1,800 scholarship for their efforts, and their project paper will be published in the Winter 2016 issue of the International Journal of Metalcasting.
“Since the late 1960s, students in the entry-level Manufacturing Methods course have been making hacksaw handles as part of an introduction into metal casting,” said University Professor Russ Rosmait. “It’s a tradition we’ve had in the College of Technology for decades. You take the class, you make a hacksaw.”
The old mold for the handle had its flaws, though. So the students decided to make a better one.
“The old mold had a lot of issues,” Herrera said. “It had defects. It was inefficient. It left a lot of scraps. For every 10 castings, there would be three good ones and seven bad ones.”
Rosmait said he was happy to see the students take on the project.
“The hacksaw handle is a legacy here that began way before I came to Pitt State,” he said. “One of the freshmen this year said his dad remembers making the handle when he was a student. To have these seniors create a new, better mold that will help continue this tradition is a neat thing. I thought they did a wonderful job.”