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Mechanical Engineering Students Partner with Alumni at TimkenSteel on New Design

May 10, 2023

ALLIANCE – Four University of Mount Union mechanical engineering seniors recently completed work on a new roller table design to be utilized at TimkenSteel’s Faircrest plant. Collaborating with Mount Union engineering alumni who work at TimkenSteel, the students’ design is on track to be of daily use and save the company thousands of dollars.

Students Kyle Burns ’23, Blane Himmelheber ’23, Matthew Sendrey ’23 and Seth Stevens ’23 measured, designed and modeled the new roller table with larger rollers, stronger spherical bearings and thicker supporting walls. This updates an existing design in use by TimkenSteel that was nearly four decades old, aiding in both safety and efficiency at the plant. 

Mount Union alumni Jarrod Dawson ’15 and Eric Howell ’19 are reliability engineers at TimkenSteel and had the opportunity to guide the students throughout the project. In having similar undergraduate experiences at Mount Union, the alumni were able to provide unique perspectives and industry insight. 

timkensteel project on poster

“The most rewarding part of working with the students was being able to give them some industry experience that they could talk about during their job interviews to set themselves apart,” said Howell. “It was also great to share my knowledge to help prepare them for the start of their careers.”

“The senior capstone design class really prepared me for my transition into industry,” said Dawson. “It takes the information you have learned from your previous three years of studying and forces you to apply it to situations you will encounter in industry.”

This capstone project gave the Mount Union students the opportunity to not only forge industry partnerships but also allowed them to work on a project with real-world implications that is reflective of work they can expect in their careers. 

“Working with Jarrod and Eric was a great experience. Not only were they there for us if we needed any pointers along the way, but they were very interested in our development as engineers,” said Himmelheber, who has accepted a position as a project engineer at Steel Equipment Specialists upon graduating. 

“The engineers provided a great opportunity for us. They held us to the high standards of the workforce we are entering and took the time to help prepare us further,” said Stevens, who will be working at Simmers Crane in Salem after graduating. “They were firm in their expectations, but never missed a chance to help us learn.” 

“Our courses gave us our foundation by setting us up for real-world problems and giving us the ability to come up with solutions for them,” said Burns, who is currently deciding between job opportunities.

The project is estimated to be completed within the next year for use at TimkenSteel. Learn more about previous senior design projects from Mount Union engineers by visiting