Posted on www.wvva.com 6 May 2009
BLUEFIELD, WV —Transition from college life to work life can be a real challenge.
We've all heard the question - "How do you get a job without experience and how do get experience without a job?"
But one local college has found a way to help students gain real world experience while fostering economic development at the same time.
Fenner Dunlop Americas, a world wide conveyor belt manufacture recently partnered with Bluefield State College's Center for Applied Research and Technology to give engineering students access to real world problem solving.
"Our students respond to real projects and this is a real application that really gets them excited about what they are learning in the classroom," says Bruce Mutter, CART President.
Projects like this state of the art belt monitoring system, called the Eagle Eye, requires a vast knowledge of electronics, mechanics, computer science, and mining.
"This system monitors weaknesses in the belt and detects, rips, tears, delays. It can tell the operator when maintenance is needed. It saves a lot of money, because if the belt breaks, you lose all that downtime," says Mutter.
Eagle Eye is a local R and D project with worldwide potential, giving students invaluable experience and the possibility of a new careers.
"This is a golden opportunity for me. I am hoping that this will open the door for possible employment there," says James Craig, an engineering student at BSC.
A win-win partnership with education-led economic development that college officials hope to duplicate with other companies.
The Eagle Eye system was recently featured at the 2009 Las Vegas Coal Show were it generated a lot of interest and more than a dozen orders.