Valley Engineering,Science & Technology Club
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One or two field trips are typically scheduled each year to sites with interesting engineering features. Check in future issues of the Newsletter for more information.

 If you have an idea for a field trip you would like the club to offer in the future, contact the Field Trips

Past Field Trips

Amazon Fulfillment Center - 3/15/2019

Here is a photo taken of the VEST "gang of 10"  at the Amazon Fulfillment Center on March 15, 2019.


Phoenix Transfer Station - 1/25/2011

Each work day the Phoenix Transfer Station receives about 2000 tons of refuse and 250 tons of recyclable materials. Refuse is deposited in one half of the huge building where it is moved by an end loader to an opening in the floor and deposited onto 18-wheelers in a tunnel below for trucking to the city landfill south of Avondale. Recyclable materials are unloaded into the other half of the facility and moved onto a system of conveyor belts where contract employees separate the paper, plastic, aluminum and glass items with some help from mechanical and magnetic sorting machinery. Items are then baled or boxed and shipped to buyers. Most paper products are sent to Snowflake, Arizona for recycling into newsprint. Plastics are sent to a facility in California and aluminum materials are sent to Arizona buyers. The recycling operation has become a money maker for the city of Phoenix.






Federal Reserve Cash Processing Facility

Arizona is in the twelfth district of the Federal Reserve System, which also includes Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific islands. Headquartered in San Francisco, the district operates a cash processing center in Phoenix. The heavily secured, almost windowless facility was built in 2001 and includes three processing rooms and a three story vault for storing new and processed currency. When area banks need more currency or have an excess supply, they contract with armored carriers to pick up and transport the currency between the bank and the processing center. Operators feed returned currency into equipment designed to review each bill rapidly and send those that are dirty or damaged directly to a shredder. Acceptable bills are automatically counted, banded, placed within a plastic bag and returned to the operators who put them in a container for storage in the vault until needed by area banks.



Main Post Office Distribution Center - 1/16/2009

Largest distribution center in the USA - probably in the world. Highly automated.  Mail is dumped into a large chute and the larger packages are removed by hand and placed on a separate conveyor.  The remaining mail is oriented correctly and larger envelopes are routed to a separate conveyor while the remaining letters are scanned for proper postage and then  put in bins sorted by address -- all automatically.  This center handles most of the mail for the state of Arizona.  

Mail Sorting     Mail Sorting Machines


The Karsten Manufacturing Facility (Ping Golf Clubs) - 4/18/2008

The Ping Golf Club Factory has an interesting history and is now considered to be a prime supplier of premium golf clubs.  The facility also produces golf balls and golf bags.  One highlight of the tour is meeting the Ping Man, which is a robot golf ball hitter testing clubs and golf balls.

Karsten Gold Putter Valut     Karsten Manufacturing Ping Putter


Central Arizona Project Headquarters - 1/25/2008

The Central Arizona Project (CAP), Arizona’s single largest resource for renewable water supplies, was designed and constructed to help the state conserve its groundwater by importing surface water from the Colorado River. The aqueduct stretches 336 miles, from Lake Havasu on Arizona’s western border through metropolitan Phoenix to the southern end of Tucson. Our tour of the headquarters in north Phoenix included a visit to the highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art Control Center, from which the entire system is remotely monitored and controlled. We received a presentation about the scope and operations of the system and were able to talk at length with the operators on duty.



Cardinals Stadium - 11/16/2007

The earlier club-sponsored tour of the stadium during construction gave us an understanding of its size and structure. After the completion, our follow-up visit provided insights into how it functions to host a variety of major sports and entertainment events. From the pressroom, luxury suites, and locker rooms to the central kitchen that prepares all food sold by vendors, this tour showed it all.



APS Solar Test & Research Center - 3/23/2007 & 5/3/2007

The APS Solar Test and Research Center, located in Tempe at 1500 East University Drive, is one of the most advanced solar testing sites in the world, with virtually all types of photovoltaic technology and the latest in high concentration tracking systems under test or development. The tour included an indoor presentation on the history of solar energy technology from the early 1970’s up to the present day, including systems for residential and commercial use. This was followed by a guided tour of the extensive outdoor installations.


Cardinals Stadium - 4/22/2006

The new stadium, built as a result of a favorable public vote, is unlike any other in the world and a marvel of design, engineering and technology. Our behind-the-scenes tour during construction gave us insight into the architectural and engineering challenges faced in its creation. This breathtaking new facility sets a new standard for multi-purpose sports and entertainment complexes, featuring the only rollout field AND retractable roof combination in the world. The stadium was named one of the ten most impressive sports facilities on the globe by Business Week magazine in February of 2006.

Aerial View of Cardinals Stadium Construction     Inside View of Cardinals Stadium Construction


Glendale Arena - 3/9/2005

Air temperature in the hockey arena is maintained at about 64 degrees, appropriate for a winter sport. Temperature at the floor is maintained at 8 to 22 degrees to keep 10,000 gallons of water frozen as a 1-inch thick playing surface. Chillers (two 1000-ton and one 400-ton) circulate brine through 11 miles of pipe just under the surface of the cement floor. Three 150 HP motors drive the compressors and each is rated 375 tons. Incoming power at 13 KV is reduced to 480V, and on-site generators are capable of providing 1750 KVA of emergency power. The facility uses 1.5 million KWH per month.

Inside View of Glendale Arena      Outside View of Glendale Arena


The Arizona Republic Deer Valley Center - 11/7/2003

The Arizona Republic's Deer Valley Center is one of the publishing industry's most technologically advanced production facilities. The amount of paper printed in an average week, if unrolled and taped together, would stretch for approximately 22 thousand miles. Four presses print up to 70,000 papers per hour – that’s more than 1000 copies per minute. 

AZ Republic Printing Press at Deer Valley Center     AZ Republic Ready for Delivery


The Cholla Water Treatment Plant (Glendale, AZ) - 3/30/2003

The Cholla water treatment plant processes water from the Central Arizona Project Canal, providing a major source of potable water for the Glendale area.  The plant produces approximately 30 million gallons per day, which is about 38 percent of the total consumption.  The water goes through several stages of filtration including removal of sediment and organic materials resulting in clean potable water. 

Cholla Plant Pumps     Cholla Plant Filters

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Last modified: 09/22/20