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Mechanical Engineering Team Delivers Industry Prototype

October 6, 2016
A UW student team designed a buggy that assists in welding tank seams.
A UW student team designed a buggy that assists in welding tank seams.

A team comprised of University of Wyoming mechanical engineering students was recognized by an industrial construction company for providing an innovative product.

Brad DeVore, a construction manager of Advance Tank and Construction, penned a letter to Associate Lecturer Kevin Kilty to commend the contributions of the senior design team. It was comprised of (left to right in the photo below) Dugan Hughes, Michelle Fenn, Nicholas Reh and Clayton Maxey.

The team designed a buggy structure that hangs on the side of a liquid storage tank to aid in welding and construction.

“The most valuable part of designing for Advance Tank and Construction was helping make their operation more efficient and making a difference for their company,” Fenn says. “Through this design project, my team and I were able to gain an immense amount of knowledge and skills regarding the industry and project design. It is very valuable to have that hands on experience and to have developed skills that can be applied to any industry, while also making a large difference for the company that has taught us so much.”

Using desired specifications from Advance Tank, the UW team designed a new buggy that assists in welding seams on large tanks. The group met with Advance Tank in September 2015 and presented design objectives. Later in the process, the students visited a tank-building jobsite and met with company managers, engineers and foremen. The initial design was delivered in late 2015, and revised into spring 2016.

Dugan Hughes, Michelle Fenn, Nicholas Reh and Clayton Maxey pose at a worksite.“The expectations that Advance Tank set for this group to meet were very challenging,” DeVore wrote. “However, I believe your department did an excellent job preparing them with the engineering, planning and communication skills necessary to accomplish the task. Our expectations were exceeded and we received designs for a buggy that would drastically improve the process of welding vertical seams and do so in a safe manner.”

One of the students, Clayton Maxey, is employed by Advance Tank and used the prototype buggy to weld vertical seams on the largest tank every built by the company. In the future, Advance Tank plans to use the prototype and add four additional units for tank construction.

“I would like to thank and congratulate the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Wyoming,” DeVore says. “You are clearly producing students that have the engineering, communication and teamwork skills to succeed in the work force.”

Fenn says the experience will aid all the team members in their future endeavors.

“It was very rewarding helping a company become more efficient and safer in their work,” she says. “I would like to continue to make a difference for people, whether it is for a company or for clients. No matter where any of us end up or in what industry, these skills will apply and will allow us to be successful.”

Fenn and the team would like to thank Advance Tank for their sponsorship and support of the project.


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