Monday, April 16, 2007

Columbus State student Mike Kochman wins national engineering 3D design contest, $2,500 scholarship

Mike Kochman, center, poses with the dirt bike that inspired his winning 3D design. Joining him are his CAD instructor, Christine Haggy, left, and his hydraulics class instructor this spring quarter, Dick Bickerstaff, who is chairman of the Engineering Technologies Department.

The Dimension 3D Printing Group announced winners in its third annual "Extreme Redesign: The Ultimate 3D Printing Challenge," a global design and 3D printing contest for high school and college students, and a mechanical engineering student from Columbus State has come out on top.

Mike Kochman, of Columbus State, and Mike Rouse of Warren Career Prep Center/Cousin High School in Warren, Mich., were chosen from a pool of more than 1,200 design entries from around the world. Both first place winners received $2,500 scholarships, with the remaining four finalists receiving $1,000 scholarships each.

The design allows riders to keep cell phones and other small, important items dry and safe while riding.

Kochman, who won in the university category against students from two- and four-year colleges in the United States and abroad, won for his design of an off-road cell phone carrier. The carrier is a waterproof case clamped to either upper fork tube on a motorcycle. The design allows riders to keep cell phones and other small, important items dry and safe while riding.

"I wanted to create a waterproof case for a cell phone that will be used on a dirt bike. Cell phones are really needed while riding," said Kochman, an avid dirt-bike rider. "Many times I have been miles from civilization--once in Arizona, it was over 25 miles--and experienced injury or, more commonly, mechanical failure. Having a cell phone with you can literally be life saving. An expensive cell phone is a terrible thing to waste!"

Mike Rouse, the high school winner, won for his solar powered street sign design. The design modifies a common street sign with the addition of a solar collector and lights mounted above the sign. Using only the power of the sun, the goal of the design is to enable drivers to view street signs more safely and easily at night.

More information on the finalists and winners, including images and descriptions, can be found at

"I want to extend my congratulations to the winners and all four finalists," said Jon Cobb, vice president and general manager of 3D printing. "Making it as far as the finals in a contest with more than a thousand entries is a remarkable accomplishment. The designs featured are truly first rate. I look forward to seeing more great designs from our talented pool of contestants in the years to come."

Employee celebration heading to new locationThe annual employee celebration: "This Magic Moment" will be held Friday, May 18, from 6:30-11 p.m. at a new location, the Made From Scratch banquet facility off Route 33 in Dublin. A dinner, followed by magical entertainment and dancing, will be featured. Invitations and directions are coming soon in your email.

Academic Enrichment Program gives host of awardsColumbus State's GED and Academic Enrichment programs honored their graduates for the first time at a ceremony in the WD Ballroom March 21.  

Students earning their GED (high school equivalency) and students completing the Orientation to Trades and Apprenticeship Program (OTAP) were both given certificates at the ceremony.  

Several special awards for outstanding work were given, including awards to Jo Swartz, highest grade-level improvement in math; John Head, highest grade-level improvement in reading; Isha King, Perseverance Award; Patrice Johnson, Overcoming Obstacles Award; and Latisha Roland, Spirit Award.