Student’s high-tech belt-buckle artwork benefits deer conservation

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student honed his high-tech skills on an extracurricular project that raised $250 for one of his favorite causes: Whitetails Unlimited.

Nicholas J. Judge, a sophomore in the manufacturing engineering technology major, used electrical discharge machining to fashion two brass-and-steel belt buckles for a “Hunters Night Out,” hosted by the organization’s Bucks County Chapter. One was auctioned to raise funds for the chapter’s deer-conservation efforts; the other was given in a formal presentation to Outdoor Channel personality Travis “T-Bone” Turner, who attended the event.

Judge, who hails from Telford and whose father is closely involved with Whitetails Unlimited, had already met Turner at least eight times, and was surprised when the “Bone Collector” co-host greeted him by name at an event in New York. “It was really cool,” Judge said.

The buckles, fashioned in the image of the Whitetails Unlimited logo, were six months in the making for Judge, who spent a great deal of time on the out-of-class project to select the best materials, research the logo and program it into computer-aided machining software. When it came time to finally machine the stainless portion of the buckles, it took seven hours on the college’s Sodick AQ325 Wire EDM equipment.

Judge attended the event – despite putting an extra 700 miles on his vehicle. On May 13, the student drove to Maine to begin a summer internship at Pratt & Whitney, a manufacturer of aircraft engines, where he is furthering his experience in CNC machining. Just a few days later, he drove back to Bucks County to attend “Hunters Night Out,” then headed north again.

Money from the event – including Judge’s buckle – will be used for youth hunting events and venison-donation programs in the Bucks County area.

To learn more about manufacturing engineering technology and other academic programs offered by the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies at Penn College, call 570-327-4520 or visit www.pct.edu/schools/icet .

For more about the college, visit www.pct.edu , email admissions@pct.edu or call 800-367-9222.

Last Updated July 17, 2013