SWEA Students Receive Patent for Tool Design


Since the original posting of this article, we have received more information regarding the full team that created the design for this patent. We are proud to celebrate their accomplishments and have updated the article to appropriately celebrate the four former SWEA students behind this patent. Congratulations, SWEA alumni! 

Four alumni from Southwire’s Engineering Academy (SWEA), recently received a patent for a device they helped design in 2016 while part of the program. SWEA is a cooperative educational program currently offered to seniors in the Carrollton High School and Carroll County High Schools’ STEM programs. The Engineering Academy was created to empower, inspire and prepare students for futures in engineering by combining hands-on experience and mentoring while working on real projects.

“We are so proud of these students for receiving this patent,” said Tom Heberling, Southwire VP of manufacturing and SWEA champion. “They embody the work ethic and spirit of the SWEA program. It is both gratifying and humbling for Southwire to play a part in the development of these young people. Since 2011, the SWEA vision has always been to provide a practical real-world experience as we partner with our local schools to expand the standard of education. Congratulations, all!”

Samuel Campbell, Adlar Tuten, Jason Ishoy, and Lucas Cheney are the four students that hold the patent alongside four Southwire employees. Campbell said that they created a new conductor trimming system to replace an outdated one that contributed to costly downtime for utility lineman crews. Now, all eight of them are listed as the inventors for Patent No. US 10,784,661 B1.

“Even though I finished the project my senior year of high school, the patent process was always in the back of my mind," said Campbell. The  patent application was submitted at the end of his freshman year at Georgia Southern University. "Receiving the patent approval is by far the greatest accomplishment in my life. The experiences I gained through the project and SWEA have opened up many doors into the world of engineering that otherwise would have been closed." 

SWEA first launched in 2011 and, since its beginnings, the program has had 237 graduates. While in the program, students earn class credit while at the Southwire facility. Guided by Southwire lead project engineers, they also gain valuable hands-on experience using traditional engineering principles and critical thinking skills to solve manufacturing and product development challenges.

“Earning a patent is something that doesn’t happen every day and is quite an accomplishment.,” said Carrollton City Schools Supt. Dr. Mark Albertus. "The Southwire Engineering Academy allows students to merge theory into practice where they can see the relevance of what they've learned… We are grateful to the Southwire partnership for providing this unique opportunity for our students.” 

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