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Home News Education Education Gniadek part of award winning sustainable manufacturing team

Gniadek part of award winning sustainable manufacturing team

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Nicholas Gniadek – a 2007 Kelseyville High School Graduate and a senior at California State University, Chico – was part of the team of main presenters that took grand prize for the 2012 WESTEC (Western Tool Exposition and Conference) Manufacturing Challenge on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Pictured, from left to right, are Cody Leuck, Duke Schimmer, Louk Hendricks and Nicholas Gniadek. Photo courtesy of California State University, Chico.

CHICO, Calif. – The Sustainable Manufacturing Program at California State University, Chico won the grand prize for the 12th time at the prestigious 2012 WESTEC (Western Tool Exposition and Conference) Manufacturing Challenge on March 27, hosted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

The students won the competition by creating a manufacturing system for producing a sustainable composite skateboard.

The winning team included Nicholas Gniadek, a 2007 Kelseyville High School graduate.

The team of students in the Chico State SME chapter designed and manufactured the tooling and full production system for the creation of 10 sustainable composite skateboard decks and truck assemblies which include CNC machined base plates and welded hangers.

A number of things set this competition aside from others such as the attention to detail in defining the project scope and documenting the complete process in developing a concept into a final product ready to take to market along with a viable business plan.

CSU, Chico has also won the grand prize award in this competition in 1987, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 2011.

This year there were 18 teams from 15 colleges including Cal Poly Pomona, Western Washington, Brigham Young University, University of Colorado at Denver, Cal State LA, and California State University, Northridge just to name a few.

The details in the team’s project included not only the design, analysis and fabrication of the sustainable composite skateboard, but the tooling and fixtures for mass production and the project management plan for the entire project.

The materials used in this ready-for-market product were chosen with an emphasis on sustainability by using a natural plant based flax fiber to replace traditional petroleum based carbon fiber composite material.

“This project was a year-long project and was completed as an extracurricular activity on students' own time," said Cody Leuck, chairman of the SME student chapter. “In this time, we took an idea through design, prototyping, testing and production. The project demanded a huge time commitment from all of the team members, and their dedication and talent made it possible.”

Eighteen students in the Sustainable Manufacturing Program from Chico Stat made the trip to the manufacturing challenge this year.

The five main presenters were; Cody Leuck, Louk Hendricks, Duke Schimmer, Nicholas Gniadek and Tony Arena.

The Manufacturing Challenge is sponsored by the international SME, which has more than 400 professional and school-based chapters worldwide.

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