A new twist on angles

YOUNGSTOWN – First-year engineering students demonstrated their designs Thursday to an industry leader in metal processing.

Youngstown State University honors students gathered in Moser Hall to demonstrate their craftsmanship to officials from Hynes Industries in a new university-industry partnership.

The students, in four teams of two, showed creations they designed and built using Flex Angle, a heavy-duty slotted angle product made by Hynes. The project was completed in addition to the students’ other class assignments and counted as extra credit.

“They’ve done an outstanding job,” first-year engineering program director Kerry Meyers said.

The students were required to come up with 10 prototype designs, which were presented to Hynes officials who then selected two or three for the students to build and present. The students worked outside of the classroom to complete their projects.

“Hynes provided all the products,” Meyers said. “The students really enjoyed it. They’ve been very happy.”

Designs presented by Sean Meditz, 19, and Gina Mancini, 18, were selected by three Hynes officials as the best creations, although Hynes CEO and president D.R. Golding said it wasn’t easy selecting the winner.

“We thought they all did a great job with their design proposals, their artwork some of them gave very effective sales pitches,” he said with a smile. “We had a tough time (deciding).”

Meditz and Mancini’s designs included an ottoman with adjustable height and a desk with adjustable tiers that can be converted into two smaller desks.

“The whole idea of this project was to be customizable,” Meditz said, explaining that the desk was created with the idea of dormitories in mind and creating a product that could enable students to customize their limited living space to suit their needs.

Golding said the well-planned marketing aspect of the team’s creations was one thing that set their designs apart.

Other projects included a multi-layered shoe rack; adjustable scaffold; textbook holder; kitchen organizer / space-saver; practice targets; firewood holder; mountable counter; chair frame; and foldable ladder.

Jakub Kelly, 19, and Aspen Glaspell, 19, said they both enjoyed the design process of the project.

“The most challenging part was to make the ladder, but I also thought it was the most rewarding,” Glaspell said.

Kelly said the biggest challenge for him was using Google Sketchup to create a digital sketch of their design.

Brandon O’Neill, 19, and Kyle Spickler, 18, said they didn’t encounter significant problems and the building process went very smoothly. They said they would definitely do the project again.

The hardest part for Kelsey Kridler, 18, and Karen Schilling, 18, was to come up with the initial designs. Once they knew what direction they were taking, the sketching and building went very smoothly, they said.

“I loved the teamwork. I love building things and I love brainstorming new ideas,” Schilling said.

“Hynes Industries did a great job keeping us in the loop and making sure we had constructive criticism,” Kridler said.

The students’ designs soon will be featured on the Hynes Industries website.