DeWALT Donates Tools & Equipment to Mechanical Engineering

DeWALT (and parent company Stanley Black and Decker) has supported the University of Maryland Department of Mechanical Engineering for over 20 years. During that time, they have not only donated materials, funds and time to support and enhance the design curriculum and hands-on experience our Mechanical Engineering students receive, but have also employed over 300 UMD graduates.

In December 2014, the company donated over $11,500 in tools and equipment for student and lab use. The donation included everything from power drills, sanders and hand tools to grinders, saws and inspection cameras.

UMD alumnus Aris Cleanthous (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, '96), who works an engineering manager for DeWALT and has served as both lecturer and visiting committee member for the department delivered the tools while students from the department's capstone design class—ENME 472: Integrated Product & Process Development—took a break from working on final projects to unload them.

The growing mound of bright yellow boxes generated a lot of excitement—among both students and faculty.

"We value the on-going strong relationship that we have built over the years," said John Howson, Vice President of Engineering for DeWALT, in a letter to the department. "We are fortunate to have such a strong institution right here in our backyard. Many of your graduates have achieved great things with us."

DeWALT has not only provided tools and financial support over the years, but they have been critical in the development of, and support for, Mechanical Engineering's ENME 371 course, Product Engineering and Manufacturing which provides students fundamental skills in the product development arena through a hands on approach using DeWALT products donated by the company. 

According to Associate Professor Linda Schmidt—who teaches both of Mechanical Engineering's design courses—the ENME 371 course offers students an experience on par with an internship.

During the course, students learn about the product design process by both disassembling the tool provided, but also suggesting and implementing a design modification.

"It gives them a context for applying the skills and concepts they have learned, along with an understanding for the realities of all the technical topics they've learned, and it improves their engineering reasoning," said Schmidt.   

During the more than 20 years the department has offered ENME 371, DeWALT has not only donated resources in the form of tools and equipment, but they have sent their own engineers—frequently the ones responsible for designing the tools students are working with—to lecture on the product development process from an industry perspective.

"It provides them with an "authentic product design experience," said Schmidt. "It gives them a context for applying the skills and concepts they have learned, an understanding for the realities of all the technical topics they've learned, and it improves their engineering reasoning."

(Pictured Above: Professor & Associate Chair, Academic Affairs, Hugh Bruck, DeWALT Engineer Manager Aris Cleanthous, Associate Professor Linda Schmidt & Department Chair Balakumar Balachandran)

The department distributed the tools across several labs, including the newly renovated DesignME Lab that supports product design and development courses such as ENME 472 and the DeWALT supported ENME 371.

In 2009, DeWALT donated funds to support the modernization of Mechanical Engineering's main conference rooms. The renovated space featured a technologically-friendly design and host a variety of department events such as seminars, meetings and thesis defenses.

In 2011, DeWALT supplied the department with $12,000 in tools during an impromptu ceremony attended by DeWALT representatives, faculty and students.


Published February 11, 2015