Machine shop offers wide array of services
Tucked away in the basement of Lafferre Hall is one of the College of Engineering’s most underrated resources, one that is a boon to the efforts of students and faculty alike.
The machine shop has a wide array of tools, machines and services available to students and faculty for various projects. For students working on academic projects, these are available free of charge, while a modest fee might apply to faculty.
In need of a metal lathe, mill, band saw, small-scale welding services, sander, drill press, computer numeric control (CNC) machine or a specific tool to finish a project? The machine shop has you covered, and the staff is ready and willing to help students learn how to run the machines and what they’re capable of. If you are just not comfortable running the equipment or short on time, the staff is more than willing to complete the work, as well.
“I get a lot of students that come down here … that say, ‘Well, I wish I’d known how to do this before I took the class, how the machine works,’” MU Research Engineering Technician Matthew Marciniak said. “Because if they know how the machine works, they know how to design something for it, know the limitations of the different machines and what they can do.”
The shop even employs certain students through the work study program. Victoria Sanchez, a sophomore chemical engineering major, said she wanted to work in the machine shop because she wanted something beyond a desk job.
“This was the only one that offered a physical, hands-on job,” she said. “(The other day) I was learning how to weld and drive the forklift.”
For students with a hands-on mindset who need a little help in the planning phase, consulting services also are offered by shop staff, who are happy to aid students in narrowing down their options and formulating a plan of attack.
“We’ll get with them and help them figure out the best course of action and the order in which the action should be done,” Marciniak explained. “I try not to do the idea for them, but I just say, ‘Well, what about this, what about that?’ Because they need to figure it out themselves. They’re more than welcome to come down here, sit and talk, and more than welcome to set up an appointment.”