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INDUSTRY FACES Instructor Hopes to Influence Students with Foundry in a Box


Tom Cobett knows firsthand how important mentor- ing and student outreach can be in higher education. While studying industrial education at Kent State Univ., Kent, Ohio he received a Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF), Schaumburg, Ill., scholarship. Now, after four decades as an R&D specialist in the field, he promotes met- alcasting educational programs at colleges and universities to at- tract and develop young talent in the industry. “For many of us in the metalcasting industry, we can cite the name of one or two older people who directly influenced us in our choice for a career,” Cobett said. “Tey helped us at a critical time in our lives, and now it is time for us to help other young people.” A former FEF


president and recipient of the foundation’s highest honor, the Ed Walsh Award, Cobett has been involved in the development of the “Foundry in a Box,” an innovative tool for building relation- ships with the industry’s next generation. Te project started in 2005 as the senior project of Stephanie Vogelpohl, Brianna Clemens and Sarah Weigle, three students at Trine Univ., Angola, Ind., who wanted to develop a simple, safe, clean way to demonstrate the basics of metalcasting. Te prototype unit, which involved molding, melting, pouring and finishing a small casting, was used immediately at the ASM International’s Materials Camps.


OBITUARIES


John Hammer died Nov. 28, 2013. He was 62. Hammer was the CEO of Exochem Corp., Lorain, Ohio, and an AFS member. He previously was president of Vermilion Power Boats, Vermilion, Ohio.


Pete Davis died Dec. 30, 2013. He


was 87. Davis was a former eastern sales manager for H. Kramer & Co., Chicago. Prior to that, he worked for Colonial Metals, Columbia, Pa., and A.M. Castle & Co., Oakbrook, Ill.


Jonathan Lavin died Dec. 30,


2013. He was 60. Lavin worked in the metalcasting industry for his entire life, first with the family business, R. Lavin & Son, and later at H. Kramer & Co., Chicago.


William Stewart Jr. died Dec. 31,


2013. He was 67. Stewart had worked for EMSCO Inc., Massillon, Ohio, for 22 years, most recently as a water system specialist. He was a longtime AFS member and served as the mem- bership secretary for the Cleveland- Akron-Canton chapter.


Michael F.


Bernsen died Jan. 23, 2014. He was 69. Bern- sen worked for a number of diecasting com- panies across the U.S. since entering the metalcasting industry in 1972. Most recently, he was the director of group sales for Callen Manufac- turing Corp., Northlake, Ill.


Michael Bernsen March 2014 MODERN CASTING | 19


FEF Key Professor Mike Dragomier and a team of stu- dents at Kent State reduced the size of the original concept to fit into portable shipping boxes, since condensed to a single box. Te Foundry in a Box allows students to create castings by ramming non-toxic, smokeless sand into a small flask to make a matchplate mold, melt- ing tin in a special crucible designed for use in a con- ventional microwave and safely pouring the molten metal into the mold. Cobett and other in-


Tom Cobett recently brought Foundry in a Box to St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio.


dustry advocates use the kits for demonstrations in schools and communi- ty centers. Additionally, the Foundry in a Box is featured at ASM events for high school students and teacher camps. AFS and Canadian Foundry Association chapters have purchased units for presentations in their local communi-


ties. The AFS Student Chapter at Kent State continues to manufacture many of the Foundry in a Box components, including microwave crucibles, molding sand, flasks and matchplate patterns. “If we don’t educate young people on the


Tom Cobett


importance of the metalcasting industry, there will certainly be fewer of them choosing metalcasting as the place for them to start a career,” Cobett said. “Tere will certainly be more people who do not want metalcasting plants in their communities.


Tere will certainly be more government leaders saying that metalcasting is a dirty and dying industry.”


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