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USA - Foundry industry professionals visit university to support scholarships

PLATTEVILLE (USA) - Thirty-eight foundry industry professionals recently visited the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to tour the industrial studies laboratories and support the presentation of FEF scholarships to eight industrial studies students. Many of the professionals are also members of the American Foundry Society and financially support FEF scholarships.

FEF is the college level cast metals educational program established to ensure there is a continuous supply of technically skilled people for the casting industry. FEF scholarships are offered at 25 colleges and universities in North America. Recipients are chosen by a key professor. Kyle Metzloff, professor of metal technology, is UWP's FEF key professor. He selects students based on campus and AFS involvement, involvement in field trips and projects, internship experience and academic achievements. This year's recipients are Travis Bodick, Zimmerman, Minn; Nicholas Brunner, Waupaca; Scot Couturier, Antigo; Robert Cravens, West Bend; Henry Frear, Potosi; Daniel Kaul, Madison; Ben Schlappi, Gratiot; and Tyler Voigt, Campbellsport. The scholarships were presented by Metzloff; Dick Klawiter, chair of the department of industrial studies; Carol Sue Butts, UWP provost; Duane Ford, Dean of the College of Business, Life Science and Agriculture; and Robert Cramer, assistant chancellor for Administrative Services.

"It's great to get a scholarship from the foundry industry. It means a lot that the industry is still really looking for people," said Bodick.

Gregory Miskinis, director of research and process development at ThyssenKrupp, Waupaca, said, "We give scholarships to offset the cost of students' education and support them. It's a fantastic deal. It gives them a head start so they can concentrate on their studies more."

As professionals toured the laboratories, they also met the students. Students even demonstrated some of the equipment to them and made castings of parts for the Norwegian Businessmen's Club of Madison to commemorate their 35th anniversary. The castings are a fundraiser for UW-Platteville's AFS. One hundred castings will be produced for the project.

"I had worked with some of the donors before at a regional AFS meeting in Milwaukee. They're all really nice and happy to help us.

Whenever we call, they want to know what we need," said Schlappi.

Some of the professionals are UWP alumni and said the laboratories have changed drastically since their time at UWP. "Everything has changed - the location, new labs, new equipment. It's incredible," said Rich Shockley, AFS member and UWP alumnus.

Added Andy Shea, also an AFS member and UWP alumnus, "We were well prepared for our careers. We work at AY McDonald Manufacturing Company in Dubuque and have hired UWP students. UWP has a great program to prepare students."

,p> John Serra of Carender Brothers, Region 10 director of FEF and UWP alumnus, expressed the importance of educating young people for the foundry industry. "It's extremely important. Metal casting is basic to the industry. We are facing a shortage of young people, which has presented tremendous opportunities for young people."

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