On May 13, 2015, Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Welding Technology students had the unique opportunity to get a firsthand look at a mobile biofuel processing vehicle. Portable biofuel processing units can produce gallons of high value bio-oil each day. The mobility of this bio-oil production vehicle has numerous advantages, as it arrives ready to produce fuel and it can operate in any location – such as farms. One tanker truck of the pyrolytic oil produced by the mobile unit has the same Btu value as 22
truckloads of the biomass used to produce it, so, converting at the farm has a significant positive effect to the economics of renewable fuels.
Meghan Reiff, EASTERN’s Welding Technology Instructor, was recently teaching her students how to read blueprints for welds, and she noticed that many of them were having difficulty visualizing where the welds actually were on a structure that they had never seen before, as well as difficulty visualizing what the unfamiliar parts were by just looking at the blueprints. Reiff’s goal was to bring unfamiliar parts into her Welding Technology program for students to study on a blueprint drawing and then see in real life. She mentioned this to EASTERN’s Welding Technology Occupational Advisory Committee (OAC) Chairperson, Neil Goldberg. EASTERN’s OACs consist of professionals from local business and industry that volunteer their time to work with EASTERN’s instructors and administration to keep the curriculum and the tools used in each program cutting edge and industry-standard.
Goldberg, a Mechanical Engineer for Agricultural Research Services, provided Reiff with blueprints of a mobile bio-oil processing system, and brought the system to EASTERN for the students to inspect. “This was a great opportunity for my students to use blueprints to find welds on a unique structure,” said Reiff. “Mr. Goldberg and several Drexel Mechanical Engineering students designed and built this vehicle over several years. It was a great education for my students on blueprint reading, biofuel, and environmental awareness. I also liked having the opportunity for students to learn about blueprint reading from a welding professional other than myself. It helps the students to get a different perspective.”
EASTERN’s Welding Technology program is designed for the student who is interested in the industrial engineering field. Career objectives for this program include Combination Welder, Welder/Fabricator, MIG Welding, and Gas Welding and Cutting.