AMI's Newsletter
November 2011

Dear ;   


In our November newsletter we have an article from John English, dean of the college of engineering, discussing the initiative to expand the engineering schools at Kansas State University, Kansas University and Wichita State University.


Recently, AMI assisted KMW Loaders with finite element analysis (FEA) to determine the structural integrity of their products and provided their staff training on how to utilize FEA methods during the product development process.


We also have a link to a video that talks about how AMI is helping students be more competitive in the marketplace with the experience they gain from our intern program.


Next month, we will have an article from Rick Windholz, senior engineer at AMI, on manufacturing engineering.


Please feel free to give me a call at 800-292-4186 or e-mail if you have any questions or projects you would like to discuss.


AMI...Engineering Success.

 Jeff Tucker signature

Jeff Tucker

Associate Director

Feature Article

Building on the Strengths of Kansas State University to Meet the Need for Kansas Engineers


John English

Dean, College of Engineering


EconDean Englishomic development and wealth creation are greatly impacted by the contributions of engineers, yet nationally and locally in Kansas, engineers are in critically short supply. The National Academies report, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm," recognizes that as much as 85 percent of measured growth in income per capita in the United States is due to technological advancements made by engineers. Despite downturns in many sectors of the economy, current and projected demands for engineering graduates are high, and there are clear indicators this trend will continue. The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, projects that 11 percent more new engineering graduates, beyond the current base, will be needed over the next 10 years. This does not include the assured depletion of our current base due to retirements of engineers from the "baby boomer" generation.


The Kansas economy is critically linked to the engineering professional workforce. Eighty percent of all science and technology-based occupations in the state stem from engineering and information technology fields. In 2008, the top 25 U.S. exports via Kansas fell largely into two commodity categories - agriculture and engineering-intensive machines and equipment. Of the $8.1 billion export value of these top 25 commodities, engineering-intensive commodities accounted for more than $5.5 billion or two-thirds of the total.


The economic future of Kansas is dependent upon its universities graduating qualified engineers who will go to work for Kansas industries paying competitive engineering salaries. Increasing this workforce has the potential to carry the state forward by increasing the size of the tax base. Economic impact from engineering professionals also provides a significant benefit to other segments of the Kansas workforce.


Since 2008, the president of the Kansas Senate, the Honorable Steve Morris, has worked with the deans of engineering at Kansas State University (K-State), the University of Kansas (KU) and Wichita State University (WSU) to develop a proposal that would dramatically increase the number of students graduating from these academic programs. On March 10, 2011, Senate Bill 235 was announced, which added significant state support to growing the engineering infrastructures at the regents' universities with engineering programs. This bill, the "University Engineering Initiative Act (UEIA)," was designed to provide funds for each of the three engineering colleges/schools through the expanded lottery act revenue fund (ELARF).


On May 25, 2011, Governor Sam Brownback signed the UEIA into law. The celebrated event creates an unprecedented opportunity for the three regents' universities having engineering colleges/schools (specifically, K-State, KU and WSU) to exponentially increase the number of engineering graduates by adding 163 new graduates to each of their programs by 2023. For K-State, we will add these new engineering graduates to our current five-year average base of 423 to net graduating classes of 586 students by 2023.


Through increases in the number of scholarship offerings and improvements in retention programs, we will meet these target numbers. This growth in engineering graduates from K-State will be accomplished by improving management of the student pipeline through enhanced recruitment and retention. More students will be brought into engineering by increasing the number of scholarships offered and by expanding student recruitment efforts at Kansas high schools and in surrounding states. The number of scholarships offered by K-State will essentially need to double in order to remain cost competitive with other universities in the region. Many adjacent states are currently using scholarship dollars to entice Kansas high school graduates to enroll in their academic programs. To improve retention, K-State's outstanding and nationally acclaimed student-support, tutoring and mentoring programs for freshman and upper-level students will be expanded.


The K-State College of Engineering will manage this student expansion, based upon the projection of new jobs, by partnering with the Departments of Commerce and Labor in Kansas, as well as integrating knowledge gained from semi-annual meetings of the advisory councils who provide input to each of the engineering academic departments. The dynamic challenge to meet the projected engineering needs within the state of Kansas, while maintaining the national and international stature of the college, is multidimensional in nature and requires expert input from academic, state and industry leaders. Essentially, the natural and organic growth of our student body can be impacted by appropriating scholarship and faculty/staff resources into areas with the greatest projected needs.


Increasing the number of engineering graduates will make it necessary to also increase the number of professors supporting the K-State programs. The UEIA initiative and the associated match will provide the resources to grow our faculty base (in engineering as well as support colleges such as arts and sciences) and enhance the size of the associated support staff. Growth of the faculty body will enable us to offer more classes, which will enable greater matriculation by adding more capacity and flexibility for the student body.


The College of Engineering is at capacity in view of facilities, and if approximately 750 new students are added to our student body and many new professors are added to the faculty roster, classroom, laboratory and office facilities at K-State must be expanded. Expansion plans expressed as Phase IV of the Durland/Rathbone/Fiedler complex are planned to add an additional 80,000 ft2 to the current facilities. This will add classroom facilities more conducive to learning, space for active participation in engineering-based extracurricular activities and new laboratories for undergraduate research experiences as well as faculty research and technology development.


Investments made under UEIA will help K-State achieve its 2025 goal to be recognized as a top-50 public research institute. Many objectives of the UEIA dovetail with K-State 2025 objectives including improving student retention, increasing undergraduate student research opportunities and increasing size of the faculty. Greater opportunities for student education, training and internships will be created as the engineering programs grow.


The impact of this initiative will serve generations of Kansans to come. It has already spurred a thought revolution across the country. The state has drawn positive national attention for this progressive action and should be commended for supporting a primary economic driver of Kansas' exports and innovations-its colleges and schools of engineering.


For more information about the Kansas State University College of Engineering visit


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Featured Video
Jeff Tucker, associate director, talks about how the AMI intern program helps students be more competitive in the marketplace.

Loading Up On Success: AMI Helps Sterling Company Improve  Product Performance

With help from AMI, a Sterling company has been able to optimize its product designs, strengthening the quality of its product line.


KMW Loaders, Sterling, designs and builds front-end loaders and backhoes that are used on AGCO, Case, John Deere, Mahindra and New Holland agricultural and residential tractors.


AMI and KMW have been working together for several years utilizing finite element analysis to determine the structural integrity of their products. AMI also recently trained KMW staff on finite element analysis methods and how to effectively use the methods during the product development process.


"Companies today are looking to be more competitive in their market," said Taylor Jones, chief engineer at AMI. "Computer simulation tools produce a significant competitive disadvantage for those without them. AMI utilized finite element analysis to provide the foundation for predicting product performance throughout the development process for KMW Loaders."


Integrating finite element analysis, also known as FEA, into the design process enables simulation of structural behavior, making design changes and seeing the effects of the design changes automatically and quickly. Finite element analysis also streamlines product testing by eliminating the need for unnecessary tests.


"FEA provides many advantages for KMW Loaders," Jones said. "Computer simulations can be done without the expense of fabricating and testing multiple prototypes, potentially saving significant amounts of time and money. Design changes can also be made and a new analysis rerun within a shorter period of time. AMI was able to enhance as well as ensure durability and reliability of KMW Loaders' products."


"AMI has moved KMW forward with FEA at a much quicker pace because of the experienced FEA people they have and their hands-on knowledge of the actual product," said Dave Schneider, vice president, KMW Loaders. "We could have gone to other types of FEA training, but using AMI for this training allowed us to learn what FEA can do for us on the products we design and manufacture."


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