NMT mechanical engineering students working on the recently donated Boeing-SVS equipment.
by George Zamora

Left: Photo caption: New Mexico Tech mechanical engineering students working on the recently donated Boeing-SVS equipment.

SOCORRO – Boeing-SVS, a high-tech company that develops laser and optics systems for the U.S. defense industry, recently donated a set of state-of-the-art laboratory and testing equipment to the New Mexico Tech Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The equipment, which was made available through a long-term loan arrangement between the Albuquerque-based company and the university in Socorro, will be used primarily in the mechanical engineering department’s mechatronics laboratory.

Mechatronics is the application of the latest techniques in precision mechanical engineering, controls theory, computer science, and electronics to the design process to create more functional and adaptable products.

“Because of this recent donation, our students are now able to use the equipment in their lab exercises to validate their knowledge about mechatronics,” says Thompson Sarkodie-Gyan, associate professor of mechanical engineering at New Mexico Tech.

“Students in the mechatronics lab can now get to know the real physical properties of these types of devices, as they work to develop computer models of these same devices,” Sarkodie-Gyan relates. “As such, it will be easier for them to optimize the capabilities of this specialized equipment they are working with.”

Sarkodie-Gyan considers the new lab equipment a “great teaching aid” in his labs, allowing students hands-on experience on the very same equipment many high-tech companies are currently utilizing.

“Also, should they happen to experience any problems using the equipment, our students are able to e-mail any one of several Boeing-SVS engineers to get their questions quickly answered by someone who actually works with the equipment on a daily basis,” he points out.

“In particular, John Blackburn, chief engineer of Boeing-SVS’s aerospace relay mirror project, and Steve Baugh, their senior engineer for electronics and controls, have both been very supportive of this corporate donation from the start, and continue to respond to many of the students’ e-mailed questions,” Sarkodie-Gyan adds.

“This donation of state-of-the-art equipment will allow the mechanical engineering students to work on real-life engineering problems, and we sincerely thank Boeing-SVS for their generosity and concern about improving our students’ education,” sayRichard S. Reilly, associate professor of mechanical engineering and chair of that department at New Mexico Tech.