Rishi Kapoor's long-term career goal is to work on the test flight phase for flying cars. "If everything is gonna fly, I want to be there," he said. An extremely determined student with great mathematical and mechanical aptitude, it's easy to imagine his involvement in such a revolutionary development.
Kapoor earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in his native India. He immigrated to the United States in 1997, and decided to expand his education into the area of computer numerical controls (CNC). He received a diploma in CNC production from Gateway Technical College and later earned a diploma in CNC machining from Milwaukee Area Technical College.
He currently works as a financial auditor for Super 8 Hotels, but is hoping to transition to a position in advanced CNC work. Familiar with MATC's training facilities, Kapoor was aware of the cutting-edge equipment housed in the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Conservation (ECAM) at the Oak Creek Campus.
Worked on State-of-the-Art Equipment
CNC student Rishi Kapoor poses with the miniature Corvette engine he machined at MATC's Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Conservation Center at the Oak Creek Campus.
Kapoor uses a caliper to measure the dimensions of the Corvette engine. To the right is the five axis machining center he used to create the engine.
He approached CNC instructor Chris Haase about working on the state-of-the art five axis machining center which had been loaned to ECAM by the Hardinge Group, with assistance from Terry Iverson of Iverson & Co. (MATC recently purchased the machine from Hardinge at a reduced cost.) Semester-long classes working on the five axis machine are not yet officially offered, but Haase allowed Kapoor to work on the machinery and produce projects while curriculum is being developed and approved.
"I couldn't find another CNC educational program that uses five axis," Kapoor explained. The five axis machine offers the ability to create complex shapes in a single set up, saving time and increasing production rates. It also improves accuracy and allows shorter and more rigid tools to be used.
Kapoor said that most machine tool shops use three axis machines. He explained that shops that do have five axis machines generally only offer employees about four days of training on them -- not nearly enough to become proficient in use of the complex machines, he believes.
"I couldn't find another CNC educational program that uses five axis."
MATC CNC instructor Chris Haase (left) and Kapoor
discuss how to orient the Corvette engine, with the five axis machining center in the background.
Machined Miniature Corvette Engine
When offered an educational opportunity, Kapoor makes the most of it. He asked Haase if he could use the five axis machine to build a small scale model of a Corvette engine - just for fun. "This is five to ten times more complicated than the average projects students work on," said Haase. Kapoor spent more than 100 hours building the engine block from an aluminum block. The engine is machined on six sides, which means creating six sides and combining them all into one large CNC program. It is so accurate that if the prototype were built to scale, it would need only minor tweaks to be used in a Corvette.
"What impressed me most was how he could sequence and machine the part," said Haase. "This kind of project takes a lot of logic, mathematical ability and the ability to visualize."
CNC work is hard to get these days because of the strained economy, Haase said. "But the industry will recover when the economy does and people with advanced skills will do the best." Haase is certain Kapoor will land a good job in the field.
Kapoor wants to work for the aeronautics industry. With any luck, he'll get his chance to graduate from duplicating an earth-bound Corvette engine to developing an engine for the first flying car.
For more information on MATC's Computer Numerical Controls Operator and Programmer diploma programs, see: http://matc.edu/student/offerings/cncop.html