Faculty members Mel Oyler, Engineering Technology, and Pablo Wenceslao, Applied Design, were approached to design and build a portable frame to display a water purification system for potential investors. Money raised would be used to purchase the units and ship them to third world countries for installation, all under the direction of World Vision.
“This is the type of integrated technical system work that showcases the high quality students, faculty and technical program capabilities we have here at LWTech,” says Oyler, a PhD and faculty lead in the Engineering Technology program. “We have a collaborative set of educational resources that are a benefit to the community in real ways.”
Oyler led the design phase utilizing the skill of students in the Electronics Technician, Engineering Technology, Applied Design, and Welding programs under leadership provided by Wenceslao and Joe Gryniuk.
Somewhere between 30 and 40 students worked approximately 60 hours on the project. “They were able to examine the filtration unit and figure out how and why it worked. It was a great learning experience.” The frame had to not display the unit but also fit in an elevator, be transported in a pickup truck, and light enough to be lifted by two people.
When it came time to weld the aluminum frame, student Trevor Torres was given the lead. “He had a great knowledge of how to weld aluminum,” said Oyler. “I told him to take the lead and he did.” It took Torres about 30 hours to complete the frame, aided by fellow students and staff.
“It’s real-life work,” said Oyler of the finished product, “and was a demonstration of our relevance to industry. But most of all, it just feels good.”
Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) is a broad-based technical institute providing education in more than 40 areas of study and offering pathways to certificates, associate degrees and a baccalaureate degree designed to give students the latest cutting edge skills relevant to today’s workplace. Founded in 1949, LWIT offers hands-on, real-world training in manufacturing, transportation, energy, business, allied health, engineering, computer and information systems, food and hospitality, and health and fitness.