SWOSU Engineering Technology Students Tour Defense Plant
Seven Southwestern Oklahoma State University engineering technology students and two faculty from Weatherford recently toured the Choctaw Defense manufacturing plant in McAlester.
Students attending included Amanda Adney, Clinton; Tyler Colwell, Mt. View/Gotebo; Tyler Dyck, Corn; Corey LaMoureaux, Broomfield (CO); Clint Peck, Mt. View/Gotebo; Nick Rymer, Thomas; and Jordan Sage, Binger/Oney. Faculty attending were Brad Bryant and Ric Baugher.
Choctaw Defense is a subsidiary of the Choctaw Nation and is an ANSI, ISO, ASQ 9001 certified manufacturer. Choctaw Defense manufactures tactical trailers for the United States military as well as helicopter and aircraft landing gear components. They also make storage and shipping containers for rockets, bombs and artillery shells.
The SWOSU group toured the fabrication areas and learned how Choctaw Defense is utilizing SolidWorks, a three dimensional computer aided design (3D CAD) software package to design and provide finite element analysis for highly complex military trailers. During the plant tour, the students also observed LEAN manufacturing principles in practice. These trailers carry a variety of payloads with one of the most common being water transport, where this equipment must operate in temperatures as low as -25°F.
Choctaw Defense Vice President of Engineering Derrick Loveless hosted the group and discussed engineering skills that are in high demand by manufacturers around the country. He also recommended that students gain work experience as interns prior to graduation. The need for life-long, continuing learning was also stressed.
“It’s always good to have our students see the application of the skills they are learning as part of their degree program.” said Bryant, chair of the Engineering Technology Department at SWOSU.
After visiting Choctaw Defense, the team of students traveled to Muskogee where they prepared the playing field for a First Tech Challenge (FTC) high school robotics regional competition.