Thanks to a unique partnership between Craven Community College and N.C. State University, students have an opportunity to earn a BS in engineering without ever leaving the Craven Community College Havelock campus.
NC State Mechanical Engineering Systems graduates will present an overview of their year-long capstone design project each year for fellow students, instructors, and members of the community. On Tuesday, May 9, seven local students (all of which are currently employed at Cherry Point) presented their capstone project, which was consisted of a water tower testing system for turbine engines.
A summary of the project is as follows:
As part of the MES capstone design project FRC-E asked senior MES students to design a replacement test stand to functionally test T-64 turbine nozzles. The goal of the test is to measure the effective area of the nozzle to ensure the engine can flow the correct amount of air to the turbine blades.
The test is performed by measuring the time required for a fixed amount of water to flow through the nozzle which permits the nozzles effective area to be calculated. To accomplish this the test stand must facilitate the loading of the nozzle by the artisan, interface and seal with the flange of the water tower, and efficiently control the flow of water.
The previous test stand accomplished the functional requirements needed to complete the test but proved unreliable after prolonged use. The objective of the redesign was to achieve the same functional requirements while increasing reliability and maintainability.
Dr. William Fortney, director of N.C. State at Havelock’s Bachelor of Science Engineering Program, gave a history of the partnership in his opening remarks:
“In 2004, NAVAIR called out to NC State with a need that said, ‘We really have a vision to grow our own engineers. We have a problem with people who come to the area. If they don’t like the area they stay just long enough to leave’ . . . So,” he continued, “they asked NC State, ‘Will you come and put a 4-year program here. So, in 2004, Craven welcomed us on the campus. They provided space, they worked through their courses to get the right sequence, and we started a 4-year engineering program here.”
Fortney pointed with pride to the internationally-recognized accreditation, stating, “It is an ABET [Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology] accredited program; we are evaluated as a mechanical engineering program, so our students qualify for any mechanical engineering job that’s advertised for.”
The 2018 graduating students include Jordan Barnes, Justin Chadwick, Dakota Cooper, Rodney Robinson, Carli Starnes, Takayasu Watanabe, and Brad Wires.
All but two graduates (who went on to participate in the military) of the BSE program from the years 2012-2017 have been employed by NAVAIR, stayed local, and, by to Dr. Fortney’s own calculations, have a combined salary of 4.6 million dollars that feeds back into the community. Continuing the tradition, all 2018 graduates have already been employed at Cherry Point by NAVAIR.