Highlands Students Create Locomotive Shaped Smokers


Dennis Noel Stands by the Locomotive Shaped SmokerFaculty and students from Highlands College have used the fall semester to design and weld locomotives. Each student used the hands-on project to develop their version of a train. Dennis Noel, Welding Technology Instructor III, led the semester-long project.

Welding Technology students, Aurora Andersch, Tristin Barnard, Robert Coggins, Brianne Coon, Hewston Coon, Skyelyn Edwards, Baily Ellingford, Matthew Fouch, Kyler Francis, Haley Frey, Connor Sampson, Lane Veltkamp, used the semester to create an offset smoker that uses propane for the fire and a chip pan with hardwood chips above the flames to make the smoke.

“I already fired it up and made lunch for my students before I painted it.”

The idea behind the design was to make them small enough to fit in the vehicle's back seat. “We live in a rural area, and most students all have big 4x4 trucks.”

"This is one example of our talented faculty and students at Highlands College," said Karen VanDaveer, interim dean of Highlands College. "Welding skills are always in demand across various industries and lead to employment opportunities for our graduates."

The track was designed separately from the Locomotive so that students can haul them home. Noel is considering creating steam tractors with future students.

To learn more about Montana Tech’s Welding Technology program, please visit https://www.mtech.edu/highlands/trades/welding/.