County students win mechatronics award


KANSAS CITY — Brandon Hall and John Hayes won Bronze in the Mechatronics competition at the Skills USA’s 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City on June 28.

Hall and Hayes graduated from Daniel High School this spring, and were both students in the mechatronics program at the Pickens County Career and Technology Center.

“This is the kind of students the career center and industry needs,” said Hank Hutto, the mechatronics teacher at the Career and Technology Center. “Teaching the soft skills and the ‘can-do’ attitude they have is half my battle. That’s why both students — as of today — have good paying jobs.

“Both of these guys will go far in life, just watch.”

Mechatronics is a process that combines electrical engineering, computer engineering mechanical engineering and control engineering to create and program machines to perform tasks. One of the common applications of mechatronics is the design of manufacturing equipment.

Earlier this year, Hall and Hayes were part of a team of students who successfully programmed a robot to build a prototype capacitor for Cornell Dubilier, an international electronics manufacturer based in Liberty.

Prior to the national competition, Hall and Hayes led Pickens County to its sixth consecutive Skills USA mechatronics title in South Carolina.

In addition to the Bronze award, Hall also won the Skills USA competition’s raffle for a new Harley Davidson Motorcycle.