MSC SE Project MFG 2023

Submitted photo


Pictured from left are Austyn Warren, Ellery Kiesel, Joseph Schultz, Bradley Bishop, Ivey Wadman Vehrenkamp, and Instructor Rick Hengel.

Last fall, teams from across the nation competed in the qualification round of Project MFG's Integrated Advanced Manufacturing Competition 2023. Minnesota State College Southeast (MSC SE)’s team was one of the top 16 that made it to the regional level. 

During the week of February 13-17, 2023, Minnesota State College Southeast CNC Machine Tool instructor Rick Hengel and students Bradley Bishop, Ellery  Kiesel, Joseph Schultz, Ivey Wadman Vehrenkamp, and Austyn Warren traveled to Wichita, Kan., to represent the college at regionals.  

"We are so proud of these students for all their hard work in preparing for this competition and having such a great work ethic, attitude, and determination," said Dr. Marsha Danielson, president of MSC Southeast. "Thanks also to our instructors for their leadership in bringing this experience to our students."

At the competition, Project MFG attempts to mirror the modern workplace as much as possible within the confines of a competition environment. Teams are challenged with real-world scenarios and pressure-tested to showcase the critical skills needed to succeed in modern advanced manufacturing.   

The competition required the production and documentation of a "product," imposing time and cost constraints and encouraging strategic approaches to optimize production. The teams were expected to perform the competition within the allotted time and had to complete all tasks associated with the project. Evaluation is based on their performance and their product output.   

“Our students’ teamwork was noticed by the Project MFG staff, who commented multiple times on how well our team worked together and how respectful our team was,” said instructor Rick Hengel. “While we don’t know the outcome of the regional competition yet, I think we have a chance to make it to the finals because of our team’s professionalism and their teamwork.” 

“MSC Southeast is very proud to have these students represent the college and the CNC Machine Tool program," said Alex Howell, dean of academic innovation. “The teamwork needed to prepare for this competition embodies the spirit of Southeast. We are very fortunate to have instructors like Rick Hengel and Todd Ives leading our program.”