Two Cal Poly teams from the American Foundry Society Student Club earned second- and third-place awards for the authentic African spear points they designed and cast for the 2023 Cast in Steel Competition in Cleveland, Ohio.
The contest, established in 2019 by the Steel Founders’ Society of America, or SFSA, introduces a weapon or tool that is traditionally forged and challenges students to design and cast their version of the object.
Thirty-four teams from across the country competed this year, with Cal Poly and Cal Poly Pomona representing the only schools west of Colorado.
The contest culminated with performance evaluations on April 24, when spears were put through a series of tests to determine their worthiness. Awards were handed out on April 25 at the American Foundry Society’s Metalcasting Congress.
The Cal Poly SLOmies – made up of Arina Poggioli (manufacturing engineering) and Joey Dirck (manufacturing engineering) – won second-place awards in the Best Video and Best Casting categories.
The Poly Pointers – composed of Matthew Garrido (manufacturing engineering) and Andrew Murach (mechanical engineering) – took third in the Best Casting category.
Steel experts serving as judges offered praise for Cal Poly’s innovative designs.
Judge Ben Abbott expressed admiration for the socket and colors employed in the Cal Poly SLOmies design as well as the casting. “The blade held up pretty well in the testing,” he said. “It’s a beautiful-looking spear and you should be proud.”
The Cal Poly Pointers’ spearhead with its as-cast finish was another standout for Abbott. “It has a cool look to it,” he said in his judge’s comments. “Nice job.”
Participating universities must collaborate with an industrial partner, usually a foundry, or metal casting center, in the leadup to the contest. Cal Poly teamed with American Casting Co. in Hollister, California, and alumnus Cole Pike (Manufacturing Engineering, ‘21) to achieve their successes.
“We’re grateful for American Casting Co., who have for four years in a row contributed generously to Cal Poly engineering with their time, in-kind donations of materials for lab courses and financial assistance for travel to help make our participation possible,” said Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering lecturer Rob Carter, faculty adviser for the club.
The SFSA created the Cast in Steel competition to encourage students to learn about making steel products using the casting process with the latest technology. Since 1902, the SFSA has represented the interests of the steel casting industry in the U.S. and abroad.
By Emily Slater