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Mason Phillips Continues Guitar Tradition in ICS

Related story: Mitul Mistry Launched His Engineering Career with a Dream and a Guitar

The sounds that emerge from the woodshop in the Min H. and Yu Fan Kao Innovation and Collaboration Studio are increasingly music to our ears. After a couple of students tried their hand at guitar design and building, the UT Makers Club took up the concept on a regular basis.


Mason Phillips, nuclear engineering junior and a Makers Club officer, finished an ambitious acoustic guitar project in fall 2021. The unique instrument is colorful, with natural purpleheart sides and a wood inlay of a Power T in naturally orange Padauk beside the soundhole.

“I have a passion for music and working with my hands, so building instruments seemed like a logical next step,” said Phillips. “Guitar building is a very technical process that requires a lot of thought into the future of the build. This necessitates deep thought into the order of operations of the build, as if the order is messed up in some areas the entire project can be at risk.”

Phillips sees a direct translation of guitar building for engineering approaches—offering gives insight into the most efficient ways of completing any given problem.

“I highly recommend technical projects such as this to anyone in the engineering field,” he said.

The guitar is a demonstration model for a workshop held by the Makers Club, and to provide an example for similar projects. It will be auctioned sometime in the spring 2022 semester as a funding event for the club.