Machine Shop Builds Lifelong Skills

Published in MIT Campus News on May 14, 2013 by Hamsika Chandrasekar '13, correspondent, and Camilla Brinkman, Communications Administrator, Edgerton Center

Hamsika Chandrasekar '13 is a senior in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She plans to attend Stanford Medical School in the fall. Adam Madlinger '07, SM '08 rides his steam train

Not every MIT graduate feels the need to buy his or her own CNC Bridgeport milling machine. But that is exactly what Adam Madlinger ’07, SM ’08 did.  With a job at Exxon Mobil in research and engineering, he missed the tools and environment of the Edgerton Student Shop. So, he has replicated his own version of the shop in his garage in Martinsville, N.J., where there is not only a CNC mill but a CNC lathe, drill press, grinders, band saw, sheet metal-forming and welding equipment. This is where Madlinger builds his steam trains. 

Madlinger’s passion for steam trains began in eighth grade when he fell in love with coal-powered 1/8 scale steamer trains (1.5 inches = 1 foot). When Madlinger came to MIT, he had already been taking machining classes at a vocational school, had set up a machine shop in his parent’s garage and built several steamer cars. Madlinger went full steam ahead at MIT, spending four to five days a week working (and instructing) in the Edgerton Student Shop. By graduation he had machined five cars for his steam train and had also built parts for his UROP in a chemical engineering lab focused on sustainable energy...

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