*** NOTE ***
By Karen Herland
When Jo Frazao was an engineering student here about 25 years ago, he dreamed of building his own flight simulator. He did and used his experience as the foundation for Mechtronix, a company he formed with a handful of other students after graduation.
Frazao was able to pay it forward when he learned that a group of current students had a similar ambition and had become accredited as a local chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) early this year with the support of professor Luis Rodrigues. According to the president of the chapter, Khalid Koraitem, members hope to create a community of students interested in aerospace by organizing competitions, seminars and create a multidisciplinary team to tackle simulator design.
Frazao invited the students on a tour of the Mechtronix facilities and spent four hours with them demonstrating the equipment, answering questions and offering advice.
Dainius Juras, technical officer in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, accompanied the students on their tour. “He had one main message for the group: define your objectives, calculate your resources and dream your vision.”
This is not the only link Mechtronix retains with its founders’ alma mater. The company has donated money towards acquisitions for the department, a flight simulator to support student research and the crusher used to test the resilience of bridges built during the annual Troitsky bridge-building competition.