From designing to making with Salah Masad

UW Mech Eng student Salah Masad at kwartzlab-2

The Maker Expo Extraordinary Planners (MEEPs) introduced the ME event at the ever-awesome kwartzlab during Tuesday Open Night last week. Fourth-year UW Mech Eng student Salah Masad trucked all the way down to the corner of Charles and Kent to see what was up. Salah is the founding President of the UW chapter of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He liked what he heard about Maker Expo and told me an interesting story of maker epiphany. More on that in a moment, but first…

Apply to be an exhibiting maker for Maker Expo! The deadline is Canada Day, even though the event itself is in the fall. We need to wrangle up all sorts of makers, and allocate space and hook up a great event for everyone, so we need those applications in pronto. It takes less than 10 minutes to fill out the form. Get something in to us so we can connect. This weekend is a great time to apply. Pitch us any idea/project/performance/workshop/happening and we will high-five you just for putting fingers to keyboard.

Ok, back to the conversation at kwartzlab: Salah told me about an experience on his first co-op workterm.

UW Mech Eng student Salah Masad at kwartzlab-3

He was tasked to make a test jig for his employer’s product. Using CAD (computer aided design) software, he designed the fixture, taking into consideration what was being tested and how many items needed to fit on the jig, and so on. Salah took the design to his supervisor who looked at it, nodded, and then asked “Ok, so how are you going to actually make it?” And there was the a-ha moment for Salah, who asked himself “Yeah, how am I going to make this?” Materials? Tools? Order of operations? Having myself gone through a co-op program in Computer Science, I think that inflection point is the main benefit of mashing up school and work.

UW Mech Eng student Salah Masad at kwartzlab-4

Now in fourth year, Salah has grabbed every opportunity during his workterms to learn how to operate new tools and how to fabricate real things. Getting out from behind a desk to cut, mill, turn, fasten, drill, and weld is where the rubber hits the road. Whether you’re up in E5’s shop on UW campus, or out in industry, or down in Kitchener at kwartzlab, the realization of an idea into a thing is what making is all about.

Salah adds:

“With the current focus on hardware and software, little attention is paid to industrial design and mechanical product development. Both of which can be hacked with the right tools available. University of Waterloo American Society of Mechanical Engineers is now looking to expand and include a new dependent entity with a focus on industrial design. UW ASME is also looking to continue growing in the community and supporting mechanical development!”

Salah knows about Maker Expo. Do you?


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