For one week during each of the last five
summers, IME professor Dr. Sam Ramrattan has
been offering hands-on metal casting workshops for
up to 15 area tenth-through-twelfth-grade high
During the students’ five-day campus visit,
Ramrattan, a technical advisor to the American
Foundrymen's Society and a Key Professor for the
Foundry Educational Foundation, directs activities in
the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences,
Parkview Campus Metal Casting Laboratory.
Field trips to metal casting industries provide
students with opportunities to see real-world
technology and to meet with professionals.
Workshop topics include metal casting history
and trends, and the relationship of manufacturing
(molding, melting, filling, and finishing), engineering,
quality, purchasing, marketing, and sales of castings.
They also explore career opportunities and the use
of computers, math and science in metal casting.
The metal casting workshop is funded by several
chapters of the American Foundry Society (AFS)
located within about a three-hour drive of WMU.
Students are selected on the basis of an aptitude for
math and science. “I want this to be a learning
experience but I want it to be enjoyable,” Ramrattan
WMU has had a casting metal program in various
engineering curricula since the college opened over
100 years ago. Its most recent accreditation began in
1992 when Ramrattan joined the faculty. “Our goal
is to produce hands-on engineers as an integral part
of what we do in manufacturing engineering
programs,” he said.
Metal casting is currently a program option in
industrial, manufacturing, graphics, and engineering
Ramrattan specializes in material and process
improvement emphasizing casting and nontraditional
manufacturing processes. His current
research projects involve alternative foundry molding
media, process improvement in metal casting, and
thermal distortion of foundry sands systems.