Gift supports WSU student club projects

The WSU Materials Advantage student chapter has received a $1000 grant from Bruce and Barb Wollstein that supports student efforts to build a forge and participate in next year’s Bladesmithing Symposium and Competition, sponsored by the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS).

As part of the competition, the student team aims to design and produce a metallic blade with a guard containing alternating layers of forge-welded nickel and copper. They have also been constructing a forge, using steel and refractory bricks, that they will use for the competition. The competition requires that students use metal manufacturing processes, such as forge pressing, to build the blades.

The student team selected a kukri blade, a type of machete, for their design. They also aim to make a mokume gane guard that uses a historical Japanese metalworking technique to introduce distinct layer patterns that are similar to wood grains. As part of the competition, the students will produce a technical report, professional poster, and video in addition to their demonstration blade.

“This project will create the opportunity for us to engage in metallurgical design, fabrication, and innovation at WSU and will allow us to gain technical, hands-on skills in metalworking, which is optimal for placement into the workforce after graduation,” said Jessica Erickson, president of the WSU Materials Advantage.

In addition to Materials Advantage, WSU’s Crimson Robotics and WAZZU Racing also received club support from the Wollsteins.

“We see the clubs as a way for students gain valuable experiences working as a team to achieve a common goal,” said Bruce Wollstein, a WSU mechanical engineering alumnus. “These experiences give students exposure to things like defining project requirements, project planning, understanding the systems, and managing issues when they come up.”

“We support clubs because we see them as a way for students to stretch themselves beyond the text books,” added Barb Wollstein.