The Missouri University of Science and Technology Machining Lab Team and the Laureate Machine and Automation Team were named winners of the Build It! challenge at the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2016, each taking home a WARDJet waterjet cutting machine.

AMT member WARDJet sponsored the challenge, in which mechatronics student teams competed against industry professionals in a waterjet cutting machine build-off. Over the course of the show, school teams assembled the WARDKit 5x5 waterjet six times and professional teams put together the E-1515 waterjet five times. More than 200 participants took part in an hour-long session on planning, wiring and assembling a complete, high-end waterjet. As the waterjet machines were completed, WARDJet’s experts scored the machines based on assembly precision, mechanical and electrical skills, overall build quality and machine motion.

AMT member Hypertherm provided its HyPrecision 30 pump, which was included in the prize to Missouri S&T.

“We are ecstatic! This new machine will replace outdated equipment and bring us to the forefront of waterjet technology,” said Jeff Heniff, who was part of the Missouri S&T Team. “We understand and appreciate the value of this gift. Our students are looking forward to incorporating it into national design competitions.”

“The primary objective of WARDJet is to provide sustained employment to our associates while maintaining our culture and character, which includes helping others,” said Rich Ward, WARDJet owner and founder. “We wanted to support the technology going to a school. The deep reward gained from seeing young people enthusiastically building a system at the summit made everything worthwhile. We are grateful we were given the opportunity to share and meet the dedicated and committed people who will serve as our future leaders.”