Ever since he was a child, Samuel Kaufman has been interested in making things.
“As I learned more about metal forming processes while pursuing my degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, I decided that I wanted to get into manufacturing,” he said. “The ability and potential to create something from raw materials with your own hands is exhilarating.”
While Kaufman was at the University of Illinois, he wanted to try out a few topics discussed in classes, with welding at the top of his list followed by machining. He looked at programs and decided on College of DuPage because of the wide range of classes offered and the hands-on curriculum.
“I feel that my bachelor’s gave me a good foundation to understand the processes used in the manufacturing industry, but my education lacked a lot of the practical skills needed to execute projects on my own,” he said. “I want to be able to go from the drawing board to a finished prototype as quickly and with as little friction as possible. COD is giving me the skills and awareness needed to make that agility a reality.”
His ultimate goal is to gain the skills to make anything so he can look at any project and break it down to understand how each part is made. He has joined mHUB, a makerspace in Chicago, and his career goal is to run a company in the smart manufacturing industry and make a contribution to what he believes is the wave of the future – automation, data and IoT.
Kaufman currently works in sales for Meyer Tool & Mfg., which manufactures custom pressure, vacuum and cryogenic systems for research and development applications. Kaufman helps his customers at national labs, at universities and in high-tech industries as they design products for research.
He also teaches part-time in the Manufacturing program at COD and enjoys maintaining that connection with the school.
“I can’t describe how glad I am that I started taking classes at COD,” Kaufman said. “Though I already had a four-year engineering degree when I started, I’ve gained skills that have opened entirely new and exciting paths in my life.
“Whether you’re just out of high school or have been working in industry for years, the skills that you’ll gain in classes at COD will be valuable for the rest of your life. There is a wide range of topics from introductory to advanced and specialized, and the faculty are very accommodating to the needs and interests of each student.”