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Students from SEC colleges compete at first-ever machining competition, crafting SEC logo

Teams from four SEC schools took part in a new CNC machining competition to create parts of the SEC logo out of metal and other materials.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee hosted a competition focused on machining. 

They will be using Computer Numerical Control machining, a process where machines that are controlled by numbers cut and shape metals as well as other raw materials. It’s one of the many important facets of the manufacturing industry.

This brand-new competition is centered on using machinery to create parts of the SEC logo. Student teams from UT, Texas A&M, Auburn and Mississippi State will be taking part in it and they will be joined by middle school and high school students from around the state, as well as Greene Technology Center.

"Competitions like this increase the visibility of machining and increase the opportunity that, 'Maybe that's a career track for me,'" said Tony Schmitz, a professor at UT. "We've invited middle and high students in today to see the university students competing and understand this is a trajectory they could join."

The SEC decided to hold this competition to help support workforce development as well as manufacturing research. They, as well as the other sponsors, hope to also create interest in the manufacturing industry.

These student-led teams will compete two at a time with Haas VF-4SS three-axis CNC machines, from Zeiss. The winning team will get the chance to create a part of the SEC logo with those machines. The winners will be the ones who do so with the least amount of time, at the lowest cost and with the highest accuracy.

The competition is supported by the U.S. Department of Defense Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program. Several other organizations will have representatives at tables to speak with students about their skills.

The competition lasted from 7 a.m. through 6:30 p.m. on Friday.


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