Events and News

Chapter Success Story: New England Chapter Challenges Its Members to Get Involved

June 22, 2017

The New England Chapter of AFS is maintaining its strong record for community outreach and chapter advocacy.

On June 1, engineers Bryan Charette and Daniel Hufziger of the Burndy LLC (Bethel, Connecticut) participated in the STEM night event at Swift Middle School in Watertown, Connecticut.

The two brought a Foundry in a Box and demonstrated the process of making molds and castings to the students that attended. They also explained the importance of castings and their use in the manufacturing of various products including aircraft, automobiles, appliance, machinery and electrical connectors.

The students and teachers listened to the presentation and assisted in the process of making sand molds, which were used to cast small trinkets that were later given to the students to help remember they made a metal casting.

Events like these are par for the course for the New England chapter, which also held a meeting last month about “Opportunities and Subsidies for Lighting Improvements.”

T. Blair Decker, VP Supply Chain General Dynamics Electric Boat, presented at the June meeting on How to Join Electric Boat’s Network of Subcontractors.

Ed Marczyszak, plant manager, Burndy LLC, stressed the importance of community outreach.

“Our chapter’s motivation stems from our desire to provide young people opportunities that they might not be aware of, to educate them so that they know about how things are made and their potential role in it, that things or products don’t magically appear on eBay or Amazon,” Marczyszak said. “Someone has to design it, create the drawings or electronic files and then obtain the raw materials and using labor and equipment actually create the finished product.  Most of them have never thought of where it came from and how it was made, so exposure to the process in a small, fun way really provided them with an eye opener and sparked a fire in a few of them to learn even more about the various manufacturing processes.”

Marczyszak has advice for chapters looking to up their outreach game:

“Involve and challenge your members to donate a little time to introduce the next generation to castings and the manufacturing process,” he said. “Sometimes you have to be a bit of a nudge to get people moving but once they have done something with the kids I think they’ll be back for more. I was lucky in that I have two young engineers who were happy to present and not that far removed from school themselves so it was exciting to them also to meet and present to the kids at the middle school.

“You never know whether you have found the next Thomas Edison, or Elon Musk with this presentation but it gives them a real experience and an idea on what it takes to make something,” he added. “While technology is replacing a lot of the tasks in the foundry, there will always be a need for someone to design, manage or operate the new equipment and it’s to our own benefit to create a farm system to feed the big leagues in the future.”

The New England Chapter sets the bar high when it comes to communication. In addition to a chapter website, Chairman Marczyszak maintains LinkedIn and Facebook chapter pages along with monthly newsletters to keep members abreast of everything happening in the chapter.

If your chapter is doing great things, email Kevin Bartholomae, and share your story.

Michael Tarkanian, MIT Lecturer, explaining the improvements in the newly rebuilt foundry at MIT. The chapter toured the facility as a part of their October 2016 chapter meeting.

Then-AFS President Jeff Cook presented to the New England Chapter's April meeting on continuously improving and gave an AFS update on OSHA Silica Regulations.