Pittsburg State University professor Russ Rosmait was inducted into the Hall of Honor by the Investment Casting Institute in Montvale, New Jersey for his contributions to the investment casting field.
Investment casting is a form of metal-forming technique which involves a wax pattern being coated with a ceramic material. Once it is dry and hardened, the wax is melted out and leaves an internal cavity in the shape of the object being made. Molten metal is then poured into said cavity. After that, it solidifies, cools, and the ceramic is removed from the metal casting and the metal product is complete.
“Well, it truly is an honor,” Rosmait said. “This is a very prestigious award… There’s a website actually that lists the honorees… I’m the first academic that’s on there. I’m the first person from a university or any academic area. Most are industrialists who have made significant contributions to the industry with regard to their own personal research and their own development of their own corporations. So, it is really an honor and kind of humbling that I’m in with that group of fellow lead of people. So, it’s quite amazing.”
According to Rosmait, seeing what students who graduated have accomplished is one of the best parts of being a professor.
“Well, the memories that you have (as a professor), where they come from is when students come back, and you see how successful they’ve been,” Rosmait said. “So, you see them at numerous conferences or meetings that you go to where they’re now executives at companies and they actually took their knowledge from PSU and really expanded on it and grew themselves to be great people within an industry or all over the place. So, that’s actually the most rewarding thing to see. There’s lots of changes obviously. We’ve gone from Whitesitt Hall to the Tech center, expanding our programs that way. But it really is seeing our graduates become successful. That’s really the thing that I take away of people I see and where’ve they’ve gone to and how successful they’ve been. So, that’s the takeaway for me.”
Rosmait created the investment casting labs and curriculum at Pittsburg State.
“Back in the ‘90s, one of the things about the metal casting industry… (is that) there’s lots and lots of things that we make by pouring metal into a mold like the engine in your car, for example, is made that way,” Rosmait said. “So, the main component that drives your vehicle is the engine block and numerous components in there. And we traditionally taught traditional kind of methods… So, all the sculptures you see around campus like… the healer that’s in front of the Health Center (and) the big gorilla behind the stadium, those are all made by this process called investment casting. And we didn’t do (teach) any of that (before the ‘90s). It was in the early ‘90s that we were able to secure some funds and actually buy equipment that allowed us to do that type of thing. When we moved from the Tech Center from Whitesitt Hall, that excited it even more and that’s when the Investment Casting institute saw what we had, and they wanted us to host their annual training program on investment casting. So, we built it from there.”
The annual Investment Casting Institute’s Industry Certification Program has been hosted by Rosmait every year since 2001. The program brings people from around the world to PSU during the summer.
“That threw a lot of development of our investment casting curriculum,” Rosmait said. “So.., we have an eight-day intensive training program that we host at PSU where people from all over the world attend. A lot from the U.S. but a lot from India or even Brazil or Europe come to attend that class. (We’ve had) people from Turkey… attend. They come from all over the world to be part of that particular program because we’re the only one in the world that does it.”