Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
A Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Computer Integrated Machining Technology student has been named “Innovator of the Future” by a software developer.
CNC Software, developer of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, announced Scott Harrel as the winner of its 2010-2011 “Innovator of the Future” competition.
The competition helps introduce students to real-world manufacturing by challenging them to put their own creative twist on a specific part to be judged by a representative from the manufacturing industry. In the 2010-2011 competition, students designed and machined a working guitar capo.
“We are very proud of both Scott and his instructor, Jason Hill. This contest was traditionally won by four-year university students,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of the college. “I don’t know if people realize that we have students traveling all around the nation competing — and winning — contests with many university students.”
This was the sixth year of the competition. Harrel received a $1,000 scholarship and a trip for him and his instructor to Tolland, Conn., to tour CNC Software Inc.’s world headquarters.
“It was clear the winner put his best efforts into his entry, displaying exceptional aesthetic and mechanical creativity,” said a Mastercam spokesperson.
“I am so proud of Scott. He has shown that not everyone has forgotten hard work and dedication,” said Dr. Rod Townley, vice president of academic programs.
The Computer-Integrated Machining curriculum prepares students with the analytical, creative and innovative skills necessary to take a production idea from an initial concept through design, development and production, resulting in a finished product.
“Scott’s success is also a testament to his professor’s commitment. Jason Hill, Computer Integrated Machining Technology instructor, spent nearly 100 hours of his personal time working alongside Scott to complete this project,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees.
Graduates of the Computer-Integrated Machining Technology program should qualify for employment as machining technicians in high-tech manufacturing, rapid-prototyping and rapid-manufacturing industries, specialty machine shops, fabrication industries and high-tech or emerging industries such as aerospace, aviation, medical and renewable energy, and to sit for machining certification examinations.
“The trip was pure joy, and I hope to make it up there again one day. The trip is all I have been able to talk about,” said Harrel. “I like to think that inside the academic community we do some pretty neat and innovative stuff, but seeing what people in industry are doing really inspired us to raise the bar with innovation on the designs of future projects.”
A video of Harrel discussing the competition and his award can be found online: watch?v=LgKWCqijHhE.
You can call Jason Hill at 704-216-3933 or email for more information about the Computer Integrated Machining Technology program.