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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Alfred State: Hands-on development of assistive technology - two talented students

Students at Alfred State expect to apply their knowledge to real-world problems. And for two engineering students recently featured in Albany, there was the added benefit of knowing that their invention will help New Yorkers with disabilities.
As part of the CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive TEchnology) initiative, Brian Kazalski, mechanical engineering technology, Sidney, and Jeff Evans, electrical engineering technology, Friendship, are developing a device that helps workers with disabilities at Arc of Livingston-Wyoming perform their jobs smoothly and more efficiently.
“The goal is to find many different ways that our students can take their knowledge and put it to the test, working on actual business and industrial problems,” stated Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology. “By evaluating the problem, testing different solutions, creating a design, and then manufacturing a new device, they will be helping workers with disabilities at that non-profit, to realize the satisfaction of a job well done.”
The device being developed by the students inserts an instruction package into a very tight roll for a specific work contract at Arc of Livingston-Wyoming. Their ingenuity was included at a statewide showcase of tech inventions focused on improving the workplace for New Yorkers with disabilities. According to event organizers, the Alfred State invention should improve productivity, reduce material costs, and alleviate workers’ stress.
CREATE is an initiative sponsored by New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID). Student engineers and professors across New York State are invited to partner with NYSID organizations to develop innovative and assistive technology that helps these rehabilitation agencies. The inventions enhance work opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities and improve work flow, while providing applied engineering experience to students.
In photo: John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology; Brian Schneider, vice president of contract administration with NYSID; Robert Romano, president and chief executive officer of NYSID; and Brian Kazalski, mechanical engineering technology student, Sidney, at the CREATE conference in Albany.