JAMESTOWN - Jamestown Community College's engineering science and technology degree programs will benefit substantially from the addition of two key pieces of testing equipment.
A universal tester and a fluid power testing system, obtained through a U.S. Department of Education Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant, enable students to develop a comprehensive understanding of material/fluid properties and replace equipment that was prone to frequent repairs.
Familiarity with the equipment is considered integral to students who, when hired by industries or who transfer into mechanical, civil, structural, and architectural engineering programs at four-year institutions, will need to know how to conduct and learn from product testing.
Above: Shawn Field of Westfield, left, and Brian Howell of Denver experiment with materials on JCC’s new universal tester.
Below: A.J. Maze of Warren, Pa., studies results on JCC’s fluid power testing system.
The universal tester, used to study the strength of materials, allows students to apply large forces to samples until they break and then study the failure modes. The machine can also be used to test the quality of welds.
"A 'good' weld will break next to the weld, not on the weld," notes Jill Johnson, engineering instructor. "A student can understand how metals fail and what the fracture surfaces tell about how or why something broke. As engineers and technicians, students will be expected to study failures and propose new designs to reduce the likelihood of future failures.
"Some of our graduates may go on to industry and operate a machine like this, so having a state-of-the-art computer controlled system to collect data is always good for our programs," she added.
Topics in thermodynamics, such as pressure, Pascal's Law, and fluid friction, are demonstrated on the fluid power testing system. In addition to existing programs, the fluid power testing system will support JCC's proposed industrial maintenance program. Graduates of the proposed program will be prepared to maintain and repair large industrial equipment. Students will learn how to build and troubleshoot hydraulic and pneumatic systems, which is an integral part of the role of an industrial maintenance technician.
JCC offers degree programs in engineering science and mechanical technology, degree and certificate programs in welding technology, and certificates in computer-aided design and computer numerical control and machine tool technology. A proposed industrial maintenance certificate program is being reviewed by the state education department.
The multi-year Title III grant is also being used to strengthen student advisement and technology competencies and enhance access to higher education in the region.