Mechanical engineering student pursues path at R&I

Scott Leuty had his first real experience with using design and manufacturing processes when he joined his high school robotics team. His crew had to design and build a remote-controlled robot to complete various tasks in the style of a competitive game.

He was hooked.

His team entered tournaments in places like Myrtle Beach, S.C., and North Bay, Ont. and competed against teams from around the world.

“This experience sparked my interest in mechanical engineering and inspired me to pursue this path as my field of study.”

Now in his fourth year of Niagara College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology (Co-op) program, Leuty is currently a research assistant at Research & Innovation’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC).

When he arrived for his final co-op placement at WAMIC in October 2020, Leuty’s first task was to help complete the 37,000 face shields the research team had worked on since the start of the pandemic to help local health-care workers as well as community groups throughout Ontario.

Since then, Leuty has worked at the research labs in areas such as metrology and 3D modelling. In his most recent project, he has worked on reverse engineering a large medical apparatus. After dismantling and measuring the dimensions of each item, he 3D modelled every piece and created engineering drawings and assemblies to illustrate and exhibit the designs.

“So far, I have found my experience at WAMIC to be very positive in regard to what I have learned about SolidWorks, the process of reverse-engineering and the use of advanced metrology equipment,” says Leuty. “I am also appreciative of the opportunity I had to aid the healthcare community by assembling and packaging face shields, and by modeling the medical apparatus, which will eventually be put into production.”

He has also learned a lesson he’ll carry into all aspects of his life: expect and accept the fact mistakes will happen.

“This experience sparked my interest in mechanical engineering and inspired me to pursue this path as my field of study.”

“It can be discouraging, but what’s important is how you respond to your mistakes,” he explains. “If you’ve done something wrong, think about what you could’ve done differently. Avoid making the mistake again and take it as a learning experience.”

Having been interested in design his entire life, Leuty says he has always wanted to work in a related field. After learning 3D modelling with Autodesk Inventor at Niagara College, he completed an eight-month work term as a product engineering co-op student at THK Rhythm Automotive in St. Catharines. There he learned CATIA (computer-aided design software) and managed multiple projects assigned by product engineers.

Once he graduates this April, Leuty plans to continue his education at university and obtain a professional engineering license.

Leuty lives with his family in Terra Cotta, a small hamlet in Caledon, Ont., known for great hiking trails located on the banks of the Credit River.

Though considered by his friends as the quiet sort, Leuty takes pleasure in cranking his amp loud while playing his electric guitar – something he has been self-teaching himself for the past three years. He’s currently working on Spanish Fly, an iconic solo by the late Eddie Van Halen.

Between guitar riffing and practising engineering design, Leuty enjoys trading stocks, binging Netflix shows and gaming with his friends.