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EAC machining technology student places 2nd in national competition

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EAC machining technology student places 2nd in national competition

THATCHER, AZ—EAC student Kenyon Burrell of Thatcher recently placed second in the Mastercam Innovator of the Future contest. The 2007 competition challenged students to design and machine a steering wheel using Mastercam’s CAD/CAM software and a computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine in the College’s machine shop.

The entries are judged by the late Boyd Coddington, host of the popular TLC show American Hot Rod. The winners are based on several criteria including innovative design, accuracy, and quality of machining finish.

Contest rules also state that the entry must have a professional look and remain consistent with industry standards. Entrants must tell the story of the part and the inspiration for the design and the materials used, with a focus on innovative design and quality machining.

Burrell designed and machined a one-half scale steering wheel incorporating design elements that reflect an Eastern Arizona College and state of Arizona theme. For the steering grip, he used wood from a large, dry mesquite stump from instructor Newell Dryden’s ranch to give the design a “piece of Arizona.” The spokes are intended to represent the rays of Arizona sunsets. Burrell also engraved an image of the EAC mascot, the Gila monster, onto the center of the wheel to represent the College.

“By entering this competition, I have gained confidence in my own abilities. I have also discovered a direction for my future in machining,” said Burrell. “Designing and fabricating original ideas into actual products gives me a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment.”

Burrell will complete his associate of applied science degree in machining technology this May. His future plans include pursuing a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering.