Students to showcase automated popcorn machine at Automation Fair

The College of Technology will send a contingent of faculty, staff and students to the annual Rockwell Automation Fair in Chicago Nov. 16-17. The group consists of Brad Harriger, professor of mechanical engineering technology; Jeff Holewinski, systems technologist; John Piller, continuing lecturer in electrical and computer engineering technology; three undergraduate manufacturing engineering technology students; and one mechanical engineering technology graduate student. As part of their exhibit, the group will showcase an automated popcorn machine and an automated guitar fret slot cutter. Both projects demonstrate uses of Rockwell technology. Harriger said he and his students attend the fair every year for several reasons, including networking. “The Rockwell Automation Fair gives us a chance to network with Rockwell’s other business partners and showcase our programs and capabilities to them,” he said. “It is also a great way for our students to network with potential employers.” The two interactive displays draw in fair-goers so that they can then ask questions about the projects and the College of Technology. They also walk away with a customized order of popcorn.