Arts Technicians to Attend Inaugural Conference at Duke University

UA Department of Art and Art History Arts Technician Senior Patrick O’Sullivan and Assistant Arts Technician Mike Eddins will be attending the first annual Student Shop Managers Conference hosted by the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University in Durham, N. C., in July.Mike Eddins brazing a cast iron leaf finial from Clark Hall.

The goal of the conference is to provide a professional forum that will bring together managers and directors from colleges and universities across the US to discuss and learn about topics such as safety, training, procedures, instrumentation and design software, including Simulating Virtual Machining software.

The keynote address will be “Integrating the Student Shop Experience into the Classroom,” by W. Neal Simmons, Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke. A panel discussion on “Models of Different Student Shop Operations,” with panelists from Harvard, Clemson, University of Texas, Georgia Tech and University of Minnesota will also allow questions and comments from the attendees.

Aluminum pour in the foundry with Mike Eddins and Patrick O'Sullivan.This is the first conference of its kind anywhere in the country. Commenting on the conference’s focus on safety training and procedures, O’Sullivan noted, “We’re always trying to standardize our [in-class] demos so it’s nice to know that other places are interested in this, too.”

The conference will also help the arts technicians stay abreast of the latest technology. “A lot of student shops are heading in that direction by adding the machining software as well as 3-D printers and cutting lasers. We want to get familiar with these so down the line we will be able to use them,” said Eddins.


 Patrick O'Sullivan (philosophy and BFA in sculpture) with Dr. Chet Alexander, a retired physics prof who has been taking sculpture classes for several years now. Photo by Molly Brooke Threadgill.  Patrick O'Sullivan and Mike Eddins carving cuttlefish molds for the aluminum pour. Bob Fanning, Patrick O'Sullivan, Craig Wedderspoon, Mike Eddins and Robert Mellown discussing Hebe's damage and repairs.