Conestoga news

April 25, 2014 5:28 PM

Designing furniture from scratch

Students in Conestoga’s Woodworking Technician program presented their year-end projects as part of a special event held in the Woodworking Centre at the Doon campus on Thursday, April 24.

Cabinets, tables and other wood products created by the students were on display for members of the public as judges selected the winner of the Rampa Tec Best in Manufactured Product award. Rampa Tec is a German-based manufacturer of industrial fasteners with an office in Waterloo.

Second-year student Jung In Eun was awarded top prize and $250 from sponsor Rampa Tec for her intricately assembled storage cabinet. Eun will display her creation at the Tech@Work showcase on April 29, where top projects from more than a dozen programs compete for the Conestoga College Mastercraft award presented at Convocation.

Conestoga’s Woodworking Technician program provides students with a solid grounding in the technology and skills involved in the manufacture of furniture, cabinets and architectural millwork as well as training in modern manufacturing techniques.

According to faculty member Dennis O’Reilly, students begin the design process for their projects early in the fall semester. Initial designs are created on a computer: once a solid 3-D model of the project is approved for manufacturing, students can begin the actual build.

O’Reilly stressed that changes in manufacturing techniques mean that students must be trained to use more than just the tools found in a toolbox. The program also includes training in the latest manufacturing technologies. As a result, students are highly employable as soon as they graduate.

“These students can graduate and go directly into the workforce,” explained O’Reilly. “They will be machine operators or supervisors, and some of them will go on to start their own businesses.”

Once graduates have a year of work experience, they can return to Conestoga for a one-year Woodworking Manufacturing Management certificate that will provide them with even more skills in demand in today’s workplace.

For information on the Woodworking Technician program, visit the website.

The Tech@Work Showcase takes place on April 29 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Conestoga’s Engineering and Information Technology campus in Cambridge.