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SUSCC students participate in tech challenge


Pictured with Dan Hilyer (far right) and Steve Manos (far left) are members of Team Britt, the winner of the Tech Challenge. Shown left to right are Amelia Best, Woodrow Wilson, Kade Shaw, and Stephanie Watts.
Students enrolled in the Engineering and Design program of Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC) gained real world experience by partnering with Opelika Utilities in a “Tech Challenge” during fall semester.

The semester long project allowed students to collaborate with engineers at Opelika Utilities in creating design concepts. Students were asked to redesign a tool that is currently used in drinking water distribution, with a goal of improving efficiency.

“This is a great opportunity for our students,” commented Steve Manos, SUSCC’s Engineering and Design instructor. “Anytime we can collaborate with our community partners to help our students, we are excited to do so.”

Second year students enrolled in the program were broken into teams of two to four students each. The four teams were named after former SUSCC deans: Rod Britt, Mary Jean White, Pat Salatto and Barbara Segrest .

The teams presented their design concepts mid-semester to representatives from Opelika Utilities, and received feedback. They then took the suggestions and finalized the designs and produced a model to present at a final demonstration held last week. Team Britt walked away as winners of the competition.

“Good employees are our lifeblood, and we need employees who have critical skills, said Dan Hilyer, General Manager at Opelika Utilities. “We established this partnership with the goal of giving students practical experience with hopes that they will be able to contribute to our community, and maybe even our company, once they leave Southern Union.”

For more information on the Engineering and Design Program at SUSCC contact Manos at smanos@suscc.edu. Registration for Spring Semester is January 4,5 and 8, 2018, and spring semester classes begin January 9.