Mechanical Engineering Lets Students Young and Old Design and Build

The mechanical engineering technology program at Beaufort County Community College spans all ages. At 73, Fenner Harding joined the program to help his grandson with his LED sign manufacturing business. The program teaches the skills to design and then manufacture products using programmable machines. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Hunter Braddy, an 18-year-old Northside High School graduate who plans to work building parts for the military.

Generally, the students in the program bring together a creative side with a hands-on side. They use their problem-solving skills to design machines to make a process more efficient or to craft a part that would otherwise be rare or extremely expensive.

Student Gabriel King is designing a machine to crush aluminum cans with minimal parts that can fail. At 20, King already works in industrial distribution, connecting boat manufacturers with materials and supplies.

The broad range of design and programing skills gives students the ability to work throughout a production line, either creating three-dimensional designs using CAD or programming CNC machines or 3D printers to build their product.

With 3D printers becoming more available, the field has taken off. Some students in the program have even built their own 3D printers using parts they have designed and printed. Students work together to realize their creative visions.

The program is currently covered under the Beaufort Promise, meaning that tuition and fees are free for qualifying students. Apply now or call 252-940-6237.

Students can also choose to take Introduction to Solid Modeling (DFT-154) and Advanced Multi-Axis Machining (MAC-234) as parallel classes through the Division of Continuing Education. These classes are offered free of tuition & fees as a way to explore the program before applying for admission to the full degree program. Students who later decide to apply for admission will be offered credit for prior learning toward their degree.