The University of Southern Indiana is partnering with Milwaukee-based engineering firm SIGMA Group to give students practical, hands-on experience in designing and fabricating test equipment for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.
The company, through its subsidiary SIGMA Surplus, buys used equipment from those sectors. After undergoing an evaluation, the equipment can be re-sold. Or, if the full unit is not worth refurbishing, sometimes the industrial, electrical, and automation components still have value and can be sold as replacement parts.
SIGMA says that’s where USI students come in. Through USI’s Engineering Department, students are tasked to provide better, more in-depth testing of the components than has been performed in the past.
“Working with local companies like SIGMA has been a great way for me as a student to grow and put the things I have learned to use in real world situations, as well as learn things I have not been exposed to in the classroom,” said Gregory Clevidence, who will graduate this spring. “This project has helped me increase my understanding of the design process and has exposed me to some common industrial equipment that I will likely see in the future.”
SIGMA Surplus says these new tools allow testing of a wider range of spare parts and repairing them as well. Through the program, USI engineering students are gaining real-world, career-relevant experience.
“I have learned so much about industry standards and how to work with equipment I am not familiar with,” said Brenden Bittner, who will graduate next year. “SIGMA has developed my professional career, and I am very grateful.”
The university says the partnership was facilitated by USI’s Center for Applied Research.