Machinist - Part 2
Dr. Feltham was eager to head back to the Machinist program, this time with the CNC Machinist Technician program (full-time certificate). This visit took place in a lab with many horizontal and vertical milling machines and looked more like a science lab than a machine shop. Stewart Cook, chair of the program, says, “This is probably the cleanest machine shop you will ever see.”
Machinist instructor Phil Townsend told Dr. Feltham that his project would be to make the amazing “cube inside a cube.” Dr. Feltham was immediately excited and wanted to get started right away.
Townsend explained to Dr. Feltham how they needed to set up the horizontal milling machine to make the project and Dr. Feltham placed some of the metal cubes inside the machine.
“It was interesting because this is one of the exercises that students in this program have gone through, even manually, for many years,” says Dr. Feltham. “It requires a great deal of thought to figure out how to keep the block of metal stable as you carve the inside out. I was told the secret of how to create the cube within a cube and it’s pretty cool, kind of like the “Caramilk secret.”
Dr. Feltham worked with instructor Ryan Reeves on his next project, using a complicated lathe to make a wine stopper out of a long piece of food-grade stainless steel. “This is the best wine stopper I have ever seen. It’s absolutely beautiful to be able to make something like this out of a piece of steel,” says Dr. Feltham.
“What did I learn this time in the Machinist program? I learned just how far technology can take us in terms of being able to mill incredibly complex things to tens of thousandths of an inch,” says Dr. Feltham. “This is really what allows us to move forward as a society, the ability to manufacture at this level.”
Medical Laboratory Technology
During his second visit, Dr. Feltham worked with a student to program a blood analyzer to run 10 different tests on six samples. Dr. Feltham and the student loaded the samples from test tubes into tiny vials to place on the analyzer. The samples were yellow in colour because the patient’s whole blood samples had been centrifuged to separate the red blood cells from the serum.
Then it was time for Dr. Feltham’s lipid profile test to compare his March 3 sample to the one taken on April 18. At first Dr. Feltham was reluctant to go over his results, but once he learned they were good, he asked the group of students in the class to explain what the numbers meant.
As one would hope, Dr. Feltham’s good cholesterol (HDL) was slightly higher than the threshold, while his bad cholesterol (LDL) was slightly lower. As for his risk factor for a heart attack, Dr. Feltham found out that he had a 3% chance of developing coronary heart disease in the next 10 years – a very good result.
Afterwards, Audrey Dyke, associate chair, explained what the other students in the class were doing. One activity in particular piqued Dr. Feltham’s interest: the students were testing different blood samples for THC (the active ingredient in marijuana).
Students are also able to determine blood type, perform thyroid tests, kidney function testing as well as many other tests. In fact, 85% of a doctor’s diagnosis is based on medical laboratory analysis.
“It was interesting to learn how they actually perform the tests and to understand a little bit more about how these diagnostics happen,” says Dr. Feltham. “For example, when a medical laboratory technologists or assistant draws your blood in a clinic, what actually happens to your blood? I found it absolutely fascinating to learn how they run all of these different tests and how they analyze this information.
“Once again, there is a tremendous amount of science involved in this, including understanding all the toxicology and other tests. There are incredibly interesting things that our students are learning to do at a very, very high level.”