Talk to Dr. Len Walsh, Goodwin College’s program director for CNC Machining Training and Supply Chain & Logistics Management, for only a few minutes and it’s easy to get caught up in his enthusiasm for critical thinking, problem solving, and — as truly befits a college professor — inspiring his students.
And although he is very much at home teaching in Goodwin’s new Business and Manufacturing Center in East Hartford, Walsh’s work is not solely academic and will likely have effects beyond the boundaries of the Manufacturing School campus. “Manufacturing and creativity have a synergistic relationship,” he says. “I try to impart to my students that they can reach for anything they want to do. I’m here to listen and to help them turn their ideas into reality. Goodwin is a great place to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit.”
Walsh understands that process from experience. In the construction of jet engines, it has traditionally been a challenge to torque bolts properly. He and his wife, Frances Gudelski, brainstormed a process that will speed up productivity using a safer, greener process. Recently, Walsh and Gudelski were awarded a U.S. patent entitled prehensile anti-torque and simultaneous support for power tool. The invention was designed and experimented with back in 2010 on a number of jet engine types and in 2011 a patent was applied for. The device allows a single individual to operate a vice, which previously required two people, to precisely torque a bolt and associated fastener with high accuracy. The device substantially reduces the amount of time to fasten the 200-plus bolts that are common to engine case flanges.
Motivators like Walsh are gold when developing a team that can open students’ eyes to options for successful careers. “It’s very cool to work with Len every day,” said Dr. Cliff Thermer, Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Business Development and program director for Business, Management and Advanced Manufacturing. “He’s creative, fun, and a great team player. We are very proud to have him in the Manufacturing program at Goodwin.”