"With Twenty Seconds to Spare"
Eric Lintula expects to graduate with his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering technology in spring 2008, and as he begins his senior year, he’s already seen the reward of hard work and dedication. Not only has Eric been offered a job at Argonics Inc., where he currently interns, he’s also recently won a competition that resulted in a $2,000 tuition scholarship.
Eric has anticipated Model Mania since July, when he was demonstrating the Solidworks computer design program to Upward Bound students. Dr. Robert Marlor was overseeing the Upward Bound program and recommended that Eric compete in this fall’s competition. Eric received full financial assistance from the School of Technology and Applied Sciences and was able to travel to Grand Rapids and compete on September 20.
“In previous years, the competition was open to professionals only,” Eric said, “but this year it was open to students.”
More than 300 students attended from various universities. Each was given a 2D printout used to create a 3D part within 20 minutes on the Solidworks program. Eric completed the design with twenty seconds to spare and admitted that “there was a lot of pressure … I was sure that others had done much better.”
To further the pressure, Eric had to wait days for his score. Due to a computer problem at Model Mania, they weren’t able to tally that day. When Eric opened the email from Model Mania a few days later, he was certain that he hadn’t won.
“I saw that an NMU student placed fourth,” he said, “and then I saw my name by it, and I couldn’t believe it.”
Only five students placed at Model Mania this year, and although Eric’s sure that he “could have done better,” he’s content with placing fourth. He’s grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to compete, and he’s feeling confident about his future.
Having secured a job as a product design engineer for Argonics Inc., where Eric “develops new mold tooling for polyurethane products,” he said “there’s so much pressure off.” Though the job “may not sound glorious, it’s fun. It’s awesome to have a job after you graduate.”
With graduation soon to come, a job secured, and placing fourth at Model Mania, Eric’s senior year of college is off to a good start. The future looks promising.