Category Archives: Industry Partners

Dunwoody College Announces Multi-Million Dollar Renovation

An architectural rendering of the Welcome Center for prospective students and their families. The space will also include a gathering area for lectures, social events, student presentations, etc.

The main floor of the old gymnasium will be turned into a Welcome Center for prospective students and their families. The space will also include a gathering area for lectures, social events, student presentations, etc.

Mortenson Selected as General Contractor For Major Renovation of Iconic Minneapolis Campus

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Dunwoody College of Technology, the leader in technical education for more than a century, is taking a big step towards its next one hundred years. The College is breaking ground on a new construction project on its Minneapolis campus: a major renovation of its currently under-utilized gymnasium to create a state-of-the-art Learning Commons and a Welcome Center for students and their families. The project is part of a comprehensive plan that will transform the Dunwoody campus to better meet the future needs of a growing student body, which will help bridge the skills gap in the Minnesota workforce.

“This is more than an upgrade to the physical spaces of our campus,” says President Rich Wagner, Dunwoody College of Technology. “It’s about continuing to create the kind of collaborative, immersive learning spaces Dunwoody has become known for as well as staying ahead of what’s needed to fully prepare our students, from all walks of life and all parts of the state, for success in the 21st Century workplace. There’s a critical skills gap in Minnesota and around the country; this renovation is the next step in our efforts to meet employers’ needs this year, this decade and well beyond.”

Part of that need is spurred by the growth of students in the College’s new School of Engineering. In addition, many of Dunwoody’s other programs are growing and technology is merging across many of the programs requiring space for students to gather and work on sophisticated projects.

The Dunwoody Board, working with project management firm NTH, Inc., has selected Mortenson as General Contractor. Credo Campus Planning & Architecture drew up the multi-year, comprehensive master plan.

“Dunwoody College is one of the oldest technical colleges of its kind in the nation,” says Ken Sorensen, Senior Vice President of Minneapolis operations, Mortenson. “But even more importantly, it’s an iconic building in the Twin Cities metro landscape. Our team is obviously thrilled to partner with Dunwoody and help realize the next stage of the College’s long history.”

Demolition begins later this fall and will focus on a re-imagining of the space currently occupied by the under-utilized gymnasium, which was first constructed in 1924. Smart re-use of this existing space will create 24,000 square feet of space dedicated to support students with a new Learning Commons and Welcome Center. The Learning Commons will house a library, technology for research and additional digital library access, classrooms and multi-use spaces for faculty and student collaboration. The new Welcome Center, capable of accommodating events of up to 200 attendees, will provide students with space to collaborate to work on multi-disciplinary projects and will house the College’s Admissions department.

Architectural Rendering of the new Learning Commons

A second floor will be added to the gymnasium space for a Learning Commons, which will house a library, technology for research and additional digital library access, classrooms and multi-use spaces for faculty and student collaboration.

The original plan for Dunwoody’s main building allowed for the flexible use of space as well as additions and in-fills. Since the building was completed in 1917, the College has taken advantage of this pre-planned flexibility but until now it has not undertaken such a thorough and comprehensive review of space usage for current and future needs. The project is expected to be completed in late 2018 and is funded by capital investments from alumni, industry partners, and other friends of Dunwoody College.

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About Dunwoody College of Technology

Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It has provided a hands-on, applied education to more than 200,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers and become outstanding technicians, successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers more than 30 certificate, associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in the areas of Applied Management, Automotive, Computer Technology, Construction Sciences & Building Technology, Design & Graphics Technology, Engineering, Radiologic Technology, Robotics & Manufacturing, and Workforce Training & Continuing Education.

About Mortenson

Founded in 1954, Mortenson is a Minnesota-based, family-owned company. As one of the nation’s top builders and developers, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build and turnkey development. Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland and Seattle with international operations in Canada.

Polar Explorer Will Steger to Keynote Dunwoody College 2017 Commencement

Will Steger headshotDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that Will Steger– environmentalist, author, educator, and explorer–will be the keynote speaker at the College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Steger is known for his numerous polar expeditions, deep understanding of the environment, and his efforts to raise international awareness to environmental threats. Steger has been an eyewitness to climate change. He has traveled tens of thousands of miles over 50 years leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history.

Steger received his B.S. in Geology and M.A. in Education at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN. Steger joined Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen in receiving the National Geographic Society’s prestigious John Oliver La Gorce Medal in 1995. In 1996, he became the National Geographic Society’s first Explorer-in-Residence. He has received the Explorers Club Finn Ronne Memorial and Lowell Thomas Awards and the Lindbergh Award. Steger is the author of four books: Over the Top of the World, Crossing Antarctica, North to the Pole, and Saving the Earth and has received several Honorary Doctorate degrees.

Steger is the founder of two nonprofits, the Will Steger Wilderness Center in Ely, MN, dedicated to innovation and leadership in a wilderness setting; and Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, headquartered in Minneapolis, with a focus on engaging educators, youth, and communities in solutions to climate change.

 

Changing Lives Through Scholarships: Paige Fischer

Scholarship Spotlight
Paige Fischer, Industrial Engineering Technology
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Women In Technical Careers (WITC) Scholarship, Graco Scholarship

Industrial Engineering Technology student Paige Fischer always knew she wanted a hands-on career. Now in her second year at Dunwoody she is looking forward to a career as a manufacturing engineer in the medical device industry after she graduates.

“I’m excited to be a manufacturing engineer with a machinist background. My dream job is a medical manufacturing engineer,” Fischer said. “The motivation is being able to be a woman who makes differences.”

The Self-Starter: An Alum Profile

Meet Vern Discher, ’48 Engineering Drafting & Design Technology

Discher_Vernon1Visit Vern and Shirley Discher’s Prior Lake home and you’ll see Dunwoody pride. A Dunwoody pennant hangs over the door in the den. Certificates acknowledging Vern’s membership in the Dunwoody 50-Year-Club and the Legacy Association are displayed on the wall, next to scores of family pictures and a map showing the couple’s travels around the world and to all 50 states.

“Shirley and I have been truly blessed in our journey through life,” says Vern. “This isn’t a ‘me’ story; it’s a ‘we’ story.”

The couple met on a double date in Minneapolis when they were still in high school. Vern was hooked instantly, but marriage had to wait until after he completed his military service in Germany and graduated from Dunwoody.

Once he had settled into work at West Bend Aluminum Company (a job the College arranged for him), he and Shirley launched their life together.

In the following years, Vern moved through a series of positions that built his knowledge of extruded aluminum manufacturing and sales.

“I was always looking for better jobs with higher pay, so I moved around from company to company in those early years,” he explains, admitting that there were a few times when he tried some “wild scheme to be my own boss” that didn’t work out. “I think I just had a built-in desire to be independent,” he explains.

In 1975, he was named general manager of Northland Marine, a division of Northland Aluminum Products that manufactured marine windshields and portholes.

The company was struggling, and Vern and CEO/owner Dave Dalquist turned it around by moving into extruded aluminum fabricating, an industry Vern knew very well.

With a new name of Northland Fabricators and a new product line, sales took off. In 1979, when Northland Aluminum was ready to sell the division, Vern and plant manager Larry Holen, bought the company, renaming it Norfab.

“A lot of the success of Norfab was my ability to hire the right people,” explains Vern. He focused on sales, and let other people do their jobs.

Shirley was often at his side at trade shows, business dinners and calls on key customers. “She did an excellent job,” says Vern. “She loved people and people loved her. We’d go to a trade show, and they’d show up at our booth and say, ‘Where’s Shirley?’”

In 1987, Vern sold his share of the company and retired to travel the world with Shirley.

“I have great personal pride in the fact that after more than 25 years, Norfab is still very much in business and that most of the employees that were there when I left are either still working there or have retired from Norfab.”

“When I look back on my career, I see that things just evolved,” says Vern. He’s pleased to see that Dunwoody continues to evolve too. “When I was there, Dunwoody was all drafting boards and tee squares,” he remembers. “Now it’s all computers. It fascinates me to go through it and to see what the young people are doing and the things they’re creating.”

Architecture Students Present Design Proposals for Steger Wilderness Center Dining Hall

In August 2016, third-year Architecture students were asked to help design a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center, an ecologically-focused building devoted to sustainability education and climate change solution.

Splitting into three groups, the students spent their fall semester studying the land, documenting their experience, creating schematic designs of the hall, designing 3D digital models and building full-scale detail models of the building. Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson even critiqued the students designs.

In December 2016, students presented their design proposals to students, faculty, Will Steger, and members of the design faculty.

These are their final designs.

 

 

Dunwoody Automotive adds online training for Audi and Subaru vehicles

 Latest offerings boost Dunwoody’s number of manufacturer programs to five.

As the need for Automotive technicians continues to rise, so does Dunwoody’s list of program offerings.

A photo of Dunwoody's Automotive LabDunwoody will soon offer online, add-on credentials for students interested in working on both Subaru and Audi vehicles.

Audi is the College’s first European manufacturer program, which means Dunwoody is now recognized as a Premium Plus – Audi Education Partnership Program (AEP) College. The two new programs will join the already impressive spread of manufacture-specific programs at Dunwoody, which include Honda, Mopar, and Toyota.

“We are very fortunate in that we now have five manufacturer programs,” said Steve Reinarts, Automotive Dean. “Many colleges don’t have a single one.”

Online training to complement student’s campus training, boost job opportunities

The Audi and Subaru trainings are completely free for students enrolled in the College’s Automotive Service Technology, Mopar Career Automotive, or Honda Professional Auto Career Training programs.

A close-up of an Audi vehicle’s engine, recently donated to Dunwoody College

A close-up of an Audi vehicle’s engine, which was recently donated to Dunwoody College

The add-on credentials aim to complement the training students will already be receiving on campus. Reinarts explained that when a student is studying engines in class, they will also study engines specific to either Subaru or Audi online. The online training as well as all course materials come directly from the manufacturer, ensuring students are learning the most up-to-date information.

Upon completion of the training, students receive an Audi or Subaru General Skill Level certificate, which allows them to work at any Audi or Subaru dealer in the country. Combined with the student’s associate’s degrees, hands-on training, and internship or job experience, the additional certification aims to place students at the top of the resume pile.

Auto department to receive brand new Audi and Subaru equipment, vehicles

But the training doesn’t just benefit those who take it, Reinarts explained. “The entire Automotive department as a whole benefits from these programs.

A close-up of a Subaru vehicle’s engine, recently donated to Dunwoody College

A close-up of a Subaru vehicle’s engine, which was recently donated to Dunwoody College

“Because of these manufacturer programs, the Auto department is donated tools, equipment, vehicles—all of which are brand new,” Reinarts said. “So, all of our students get exposed to brand new service information and the latest and greatest of everything.

“These programs also benefit our new students because we can offer them all kinds of options,” Reinarts continued. “Some students love to work on just one type of vehicle, others like to learn and train on a wide variety of vehicles. We have opportunities for both.”

The College’s Subaru training option is available now. Audi training will most likely be available starting fall 2017.

Discover the Dunwoody Difference

If you are interested in an Automotive career, join us at our next open house on Tuesday, Jan. 17, or visit dunwoody.edu to learn more.

Learn more about Dunwoody Automotive.

Dunwoody’s Cindy Martimo elected to second term as Secretary/Treasurer of IDEC

Dunwoody Interior Design Principal Instructor Cindy Martimo to start second term as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC).

Dunwoody Interior Design Principal Instructor Cindy Martimo Earlier this month the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) announced the 2017-2018 Board of Directors, naming Cindy Martimo Secretary/Treasurer for the third year in a row.

The mission of IDEC is to advance interior design education, scholarship, and service. Founded in 1962, the organization strives to advance responsible design thinking through professional development, innovative teaching resources, and open dialogue/collaboration projects.

IDEC is the place where excellent teaching ideas are shared as well as opportunities for scholarships, grants, and presentations by our faculty,” Martimo said. “The organization provides an opportunity for instructors from across the country to connect.”

As the Secretary/Treasurer for the organization, Martimo manages the minutes and notes from all board and annual meanings, oversees the budget, maintains the Policy and Procedures Manual, and chairs the finance committee.

“I like my role as Secretary/Treasurer,” Martimo said. “It provides an inside look at the organization as a whole and the opportunity to provide the voice of a teaching institution.”

Martimo has been involved with the organization since 2010. Her second term officially begins May 1, 2017.

Learn more about Dunwoody Interior Design.

Birchwood Café Chef helps Architecture students design Steger Wilderness Center Dining Hall

Chef’s critiques and background in restaurant industry influences student James Matthes’ kitchen design.

Earlier this year, third-year Architecture students were asked to help design and build a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center, an ecologically-focused building devoted to sustainability education and climate change solution.

Photo of Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson critiquing student designs.

Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson critiques student designs, shares tips and best practices on kitchen design

The project—led by Architecture Instructor Molly Reichert and Center Founder Will Steger—began in late August, when students spent a week at the Center in Ely, MN. Here students studied the Center, learned of the building requirements set forth by Steger, and camped at the location where the new structure will be built!

Students have since split into several small teams, each working to design a different options of what the dining hall could be. Steger will then use the designs as he seeks funding for the structure.

But creating the schematic design proposals hasn’t been as easy as some of the student’s past design projects. It has required a lot of one-on-one time with the client, new approaches to design, and even critiques from the Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson.

Advice from industry experts gives students a taste of life in the industry

As someone who has spent most of his time in a kitchen, Paulson was able to provide students with a unique and necessary perspective to each of their designs. During his presentation, Paulson shared industry tips and best practices on things that might not have immediately come to mind for the students, including sink location, cabinetry space, number of drawers, preferred shelving structures, ideal appliances, kitchen health codes, budgets, and timelines.

Architecture student James Matthes said that the critique was extremely valuable, helping him and his group identify a few areas of improvement that could be made to their design.

“It was really good to have his perspective,” Matthes said. “We bounced ideas off of him, and he was able to pick out a few things that we had missed, especially in regards to the openness of the kitchen to the dining room.”

In addition to help from Paulson, Matthes’ background in the restaurant business has also helped shape his schematic design.

Family business helped shape Architecture student’s design
Initial sketches/designs from Architecture students James Matthes, Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

Initial sketches/designs from Architecture students James Matthes, Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

“My dad owns a restaurant and I worked there for several years,” Matthes explained. “So I’ve been surrounded by kitchens my whole life—it’s kind of in my blood.”

With good Italian food, reasonable prices, and catering capabilities, Matthes’ family restaurant, Marino’s Deli’s, cliental and sales varied greatly. And those experiences have helped Matthes decide what the Center Dining Hall could look like and how to best accommodate a wide-array of customers and kitchen-needs.

“We have a very small restaurant, and we keep our prices fairly cheap so we get a huge mix of people coming in. So, I got that small, day-to-day interaction with people, but we also cater really large events. And that’s kind of what this Dining Hall space has to be flexible with: the people and both small events and big events.”

But one thing Matthes said he and his classmates were not as prepared for was the challenge of making a sustainable kitchen.

“It’s really tough to make a sustainable kitchen,” Matthes said. “You have these big pieces of equipment, and you’re constantly washing things—it’s a waste. But we’re exploring ideas on how to deal with waste and recycling and composting, and Will is interested in adding a root cellar and using an icehouse. And that’s not something we’ve done in past projects, like when we were-designing an apartment complex in downtown Minneapolis. It’s just not something we are used to seeing. So it brings a whole other perspective that should help all of us in the long-run.” 

Studio provides real-world experience

While this studio hasn’t been the student’s first stab at design, Matthes shared that this particular project has been much more real than the projects conducted in year one and two.

The combination of hearing from industry experts, working with a real client, and knowing this is a structure that will actually be built, has forced the teams to approach their designs in a much more practical, real-world way—an approach to education that Dunwoody College prides itself on.

A potential dining hall design for the Steger Wilderness Center created by Architecture students James Matthes,<br /> Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

A potential dining hall design for the Steger Wilderness Center created by Architecture students James Matthes,
Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

“In the past it’s been ‘okay, here is our design. This looks cool, so let’s just go with that,’” Matthes said. “Whereas now [we ask] ‘does this appeal to the client and is it going to fit?’ And so from the get-go that was something we really concentrated on: to make sure that the design worked.

“It’s exhausting every design idea that we’ve had, and it has been stressful, but in the end, it’s worth it. It’s worth it to see a client happy and enjoying what they’re seeing.”

Learn more

The students will present their designs at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 16, at Dunwoody. Steger and Paulson as well as Founder of Birchwood Café Tracy Singleton and Mechanical Engineer and Alternative Energy Consultant Craig Tarr will be in attendance.

After the presentation, Steger will choose several student designs, or portions of their designs, to move forward with. The final building design will be dependent on funding and community support. The hope is to break ground in 2018.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.