Plastics education and employment came together for 11 students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout to create, research and present projects using recycled plastics at molder Evco Plastics.
Students who developed a proposal to use post-consumer materials in highway sound barriers also designed and manufactured a small-scale version they could use to pitch the concept.
"Millions of tons of plastic are not being reused, and we wanted to find a way to put this to use," Bradley Sarauer, a student from Bloomer, Wis., said.
While the students gained more exposure in a professional setting, Anna Bartz, a director at Evco of DeForest, Wis., said the industry as a whole can benefit by working with schools.
"Advancements in plastics processing happen when industry and higher education collaborate," Bartz said in a news release. "We were incredibly impressed with every capstone project that was presented by UW-Stout plastics engineering students and we're grateful to support these projects throughout the school year."
How impressed was the company? Well, Evco has already hired Sarauer and fellow UW-Stout student Reis Stingle.