Española, NM - The College of Engineering and Technology at Northern New Mexico College received a computerized numerical control (CNC) milling machine last week from the Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL). CNC machines control machining processes using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).
“A piece of equipment like this can easily cost over $100,000 new,” said Dr. Ivan Lopez, Dean of Northern’s School of Engineering and Technology.
LANL helps colleges obtain classroom and laboratory equipment through its LEEG (Laboratory Education Equipment Gift) program, which repurposes retired LANL property for educational purposes.
“The program moves retired property to a group at LANL that determines its suitability for repurposing,” said Janelle Vigil-Maestas, an Education Outreach Specialist at LANL. “Last fall, Dr. Lopez, requested some items and we were able to determine that one of those, a CNC milling machine, was available to give to Northern.”
Dr. Ashis Nandy, Assistant Professor at Northern's College of Engineering and Technology, looks forward to incorporating the machine into his classes. “The CNC mill can be used to teach Northern’s Electromechanical Engineering Technology students modern manufacturing and machining technologies,” he said.
Besides the benefit to Northern’s current students, hundreds of high school and middle school students can be introduced to the donated LANL equipment through Northern's Friday Academy program and dual credit courses, which are part of Northern’s continuing effort to promote STEM awareness and enthusiasm among the next generation of students.