Engineers’ News                        September 2016                        Vol. LXXIV  No. 1


September Tour

Harris Boats

Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 PM

FWEC Treasurer Ryan Stark has arranged a tour of Harris Boats.

Harris has been making fine pontoon boats for 55 years and recently moved into their new facility on Hadley Road. They offer many different styles of boats, as well as some impressive options like JL Audio Diamond Sound System with Subwoofer, Amp and Bluetooth Connectivity; electric power lift Bimini tops; and the all new Glass Dash upgrade that features GPS Cruise Control, clear gauge display, video playing, and command of stereo and lighting options.  For more information, check out their beautiful website.

FY17 Membership Year FWEC Board

Vice President
Treasurer & Resident Agent
  • Ryan Stark (260) 456-0809
    • We're looking for a Treasurer trainee to understudy under Ryan.  Please contact Ryan for details on Treasurer duties.
1st Year Board Members
2nd Year Board Members
3rd Year Board Members
Northeast Indiana DiscoverE Committee Chair
Board positions are crucial to the planning of tours and events for the FWEC.  Please consult the FWEC constitution or contact us at for information on specific duties on board positions.

FY17 Dues are Owed

Dues for the 2016-2017 (FY17) membership year are now owed.  Please refer to your mailed dues post card address label to understand your dues status.  Below FY17 indicates that dues are owed.  HO is honorary membership and CO is complementary membership; neither HO or CO owe FY17 dues.
Dues can be mailed ($10 full/associate, $5 student) or paid online ($11 full/associate, $6 student).
Please mail checks:  Fort Wayne Engineers' Club, C/O Treasurer Ryan Stark, 828 W. Oakdale Drive, Fort Wayne, IN  46807

In addition to FWEC membership dues this is also an opportunity to donate to the Northeast Indiana DiscoverE Academic Award.  Please be generous!

FWEC Membership

The FWEC exists through funding of its membership.  Please forward your copy of the Engineers’ News to prospective members and encourage their attendance at tours.  Remember, the FWEC is the best deal in town, annual membership is $10.  We offer free monthly tours September through May.  Please be sure to recommend FWEC membership to your colleagues and friends.

Future City Volunteers Needed

My name is Carissa Richardson Lahrman, I am the Engineering Technology teacher at Towles New Tech Middle School.  During the fall semester my students work toward preparing for the Indiana Regional Future City Competition.   One of the components of Future City is connecting students with Engineering Mentors to help them complete the five competition deliverables. I currently have one engineer already as mentor and I am looking for a total of three more engineers to serve as a mentors for the four teams we will be submitting to the competition.  Each of the hyperlinks provide additional information about the competition and the role of an engineer mentor.  Our class meets daily from 10:45 to 11:30.  Anyone who plans to regularly volunteer during those times or after school would need to be an approved FWCS volunteer (background checked).  If interested please contact me at

FWEC Board Meetings

Fort Wayne Engineers’ Club board meetings are open to all FWEC members.  The next FWEC board meeting will be Tuesday October 4th at 7:00 PM.  Board meetings are held on the Indiana Tech campus in the Academic Center in room ACC-201.

Advertise in the Engineers’ News

The FWEC provides advertising space within the Engineers’ News.  Advertisements are $10 per issue and limited to ½ page of content.  For submissions please contact

May Tour History - TekVenture

FWEC President Rod Vargo provides our May tour history.

Twenty-two members attended the May 26 tour of the TekVenture Makerspace in Fort Wayne at 1800 Broadway, just south of the former General Electric campus.  TekVenture's volunteers cleared and partially renovated a facility originally built as a tire store in 1942.  It is a nonprofit run entirely by volunteers.
Their operating concept is a social and technical clubhouse to support and intermingle interests, skills, and specialized equipment for anyone from complete newbies to retired technical experts.  These are all open-ended so the organization should continually change and grow.  Youngsters are wanted and age restrictions are as minimal as possible.
They hope to develop rentable individual workrooms on the second floor, much like an artisan's loft, to synergize commercial initiatives and the range of club expertise and equipment available on the main floor.  Many members have long had their own isolated shops at home, but these lack the social interactions and sheer range of knowledge, materials, equipment, and overall space. 
The downside and challenge of a physical presence are the overheads of rent, insurance, and utilities.  To better meet these costs, TekVenture has already provided training for specific business purposes or projects.  During our tour, they were set up to teach someone how to weld in remote areas of Uganda using mostly local materials.  Other examples of tailored services include familiarizing corporate employees with the nitty-gritty of processes such as casting or milling unusual parts, or providing upper level managers with more general exposures to equipment and materials.  TekVenture is trying various fee arrangements to encourage use for relaxation or experimentation. 
One of TekVenture's automotive bays has a safe and fairly modern lift.  This has been the center of several car conversions to electric power, among other projects.  Other sections of TekVenture can produce unique or refurbished parts.  Various bicycle conversions and workshops have also been done.  Motorcycle workshops will probably be offered in the future.
Two former automotive bays are being utilized for a range of hot metalworking including smithing, tinning, aluminum casting, welding, brazing, and joining metals such as soft iron and hardened steel for blades.  This area supports individual projects, just-for-fun experimenting, generalized group workshops, and personal instruction.  Two specialized hearths are available, up to 2500 degrees attainable in three minutes.  TekVenture hopes to move and expand this into another existing space, almost fully enclosed by concrete, which is currently being used by the landlord for car storage.
Another bay is a fully functional woodshop.  ARCH has used the area to rescue antique window assemblies.  A project in progress during our tour was an accurate reproduction of a ninth-century Viking tent, projected for use during Renaissance Festivals.  The owner is a woman with no serious prior woodworking experience.
An electronics area is used for individual projects, a microcontroller group which meets weekly, soldering classes, some robotics initiatives, and more.  Soldering can involve novice through specialty levels of expertise such as aeronautics.
All of the above areas have immediate access to "cold" metalworking and other industrial scale equipment including workbenches, mills, lathes, drill presses, a laser etching machine, and more.  A "Marvel" band saw is capable of cutting metal as thick as I-beams at various angles.  An ongoing set of projects involves drilling out sections of tree trunks for replicating Native American drums. 
The showroom of the original tire store is walled on two sides by glass but well shaded.  It is equipped as a multipurpose room for classes, Arduino, sewing, 3-D prototyping/printing, CAD, vacu-forming (basic to modern packaging), and other activities.
A retired home economics teacher (M.S.) enjoys providing serious instruction in sewing for beginners, often men.   She is also a credentialed career guidance counselor for elementary and middle school ages. 
TekVenture has various categories of participation including membership, workshops, personal instruction, hosting of clubs, and business arrangements.  Please also consider donations of equipment, materials, and funding.  Donations may be tax deductible. 
TekVenture and the Fort Wayne Engineers' Club have been mutually supportive.  Info is available through and, to some extent, the FWEC newsletter.

June Social History - FWAS

FWEC President Rod Vargo provides our June social history.

Seven of FWEC members attended our Spring social on June 2 at Jefferson Township Park, west of New Haven, hosted by the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society (FWAS).  The sky looked cloudy towards evening but cleared beautifully after sunset.  The small group proved ideal for access to FWAS's sophisticated computer-controllable 16" reflecting telescope, weighing several hundred pounds and costing nearly $20,000.

The evening started with a tour of a novel observatory under construction.  See the picture below, from the FWAS website, for a realistic vision of the completed structure and its surroundings.  Two roof sections slide aside to provide positions for use of at least three telescopes simultaneously, while still allowing largely unrestricted viewing ranges and largely blocking light pollution from Fort Wayne and New Haven.  Using a conventional dome would have limited use to one scope at a time.  

The telescopes must remain at ambient temperature to avoid various distortions.  A heated room in back of the structure is for general purposes.  It will have a flat screen TV usable with videocamera(s) on the telescope(s).  

The central telescope mount will have a periscope-style well to allow moving the heavy 16" scope up and down, eliminating ladders and also many limitations for handicapped or young participants.  Five additional cement pads are available outside the observatory for portable telescopes.  FWAS is very serious about supporting all ages and levels of experience.

Fort Wayne Inventors Club

The Fort Wayne Inventors Club will have its next meeting on Saturday September 10th at 12:00 PM on the Indiana Tech Campus Center for Creative Collaboration (C3).

During meetings FWIC members discuss our experiences–the successes, the failures, the aha’s, and the oh-no’s. We also bring in speakers to share what inventors need to know. The club is particularly useful as a venue to give inventors time to showcase their work and receive feedback about it from their peer inventors. We also point inventors to resources they need to be more effective and help them meet people to collaborate with on projects.

Fort Wayne Astronomical Society

The Fort Wayne Astronomical Society will have their next general meeting on Tuesday September 20th at 7:30 pm at the Tecumseh Branch Library.
Tuesday Evening, September 20, 7:30 PM

Narrow Band Imaging  By Dave Thackeray

Dave will present a program on Narrow Band Imaging, the advantages, disadvantages, The acquiring of the image and the processing using the Hubble Palette.

Hi, I'm David Thackeray. I am a retired Quality Control Technician. Most of my life my hobby and at times occupation was a piano/keyboard player. My music has been severely limited the last six years after getting hooked on Astronomy and especially Astrophotography. I started in 2010 with a CPC 800 and a DSLR. It has since grown to a SV105T, SV80 St-2.5 optical tubes, on a Losmandy G11, Gemini II mount, and an Atik 383L Monochrome camera with LRGB and Narrowband filters. My main interest is Deep Sky imaging.

I make no claims to be an expert at this, I'm learning as all of us are.

Here is my Pbase Astronomy site.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

St. Joseph Valley ASME

Tour and dinner scheduled for Wednesday, September 28th.
Please contact Scot Blair ( if you plan to attend.

Elkhart Public Works, Sewage Treatment plant
1201 S Nappanee St, Elkhart, IN 46516

Jade Garden--Chinese Restaurant
1308 S. Nappanee Street, Elkhart, IN 46516
The plan is for people to order off the menu and pay for their own meals.

Wednesday, September 28th
Tour starts at 6:30 PM with dinner to follow at 8:00 PM

St. Joseph Valley ASME welcomes your ideas for other tour locations, if you have a specific interest or would like to show off your own workplace. Feel free to contact Scot or Danny with your suggestions.

Northeast Indiana Chapter Project Management Institute

NIEC PMI will hold their September dinner meeting on September 28th.  Please see the NEIC PMI website for topic and reservation details.

Engineers’ News Past

The FWEC has a significant history; Treasurer Ryan Stark and his wife were able to find past Engineers News documents dating back to 1938!  Here is an excerpt of the past newsletter (a scanned copy of the entire newsletter is available through the FWEC website):

September 1986
Copyright © 2016 Fort Wayne Engineers Club, All rights reserved.

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