Category Archives: Industry Partners

Top Tool CEO Shares Personal and Powerful Message on Leadership

On Thursday, August 6, Elizabeth Abraham shared her personal journey – from an early career as a psychologist to the current CEO and Owner of a precision micro-parts manufacturing company. Abraham was the featured speaker in August for the C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series at Dunwoody College of Technology.

Abraham speaking Abraham related her powerful personal story to a series of leadership lessons ranging from learning from your mistakes to surrounding yourself with a great team.

A licensed psychologist, Abraham grew up in New England and taught at the Chicago Medical School in the 1970s. She also did small business consulting and taught Marketing & Small Business Development at the University of St. Thomas and at the Carlson School of Management. All of those experiences helped shape her leadership values, which have become part of the Top Tool culture.

Founded in 1966, Top Tool Company was a tool and die shop that created precision progressive dies, which manufactures used to make metal parts for electronic devices and other products. After purchasing the company with her husband in 1987, Abraham diversified the company into metal stamping and manufacturing of precision micro-parts and has seen annual double-digit growth since 2010. Top Tool has also steadily gained new customers in the defense and medical device industries.

Abraham believes strongly in giving back and has served on numerous boards, including the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association and the Minnesota Manufacturer’s Coalition of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She was also a founding member of the Women Leaders in Manufacturing Council.

For her leadership and advocacy of the manufacturing industry, Abraham received the “American Eagle Award” from the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association. She was also named an “Industry Leader of the Year” by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

Abraham & Ylinen smiling

The breakfast lecture series is held the first Thursday of every month and features key executives from the business community, who are invited to speak on a range of leadership topics. The next event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 and will feature Russell Becker, President and CEO of APi Group, Inc. For more information, or to view past events, visit: www.dunwoody.edu/alumni/jackson

ASHRAE Donates $2,000 Scholarship to Second Year Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Student

Representatives from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) stopped by Dunwoody College of Technology on July 7 to hand deliver a $2,000 scholarship check.

The check will be awarded to a student (or potentially more than one student) entering his/her second year of the Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program.

ASHRAE & Dunwoody representatives holding check

Pictured from left to right: Rob Warnke, REHAU, ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Treasurer; Vin Gupta, 3M, ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Scholarship Chair; Chuck Taft, Dunwoody College of Technology, Dunwoody ASHRAE Student Branch Advisor; Tom Walters, MAG Mechanical, Dunwoody Alum and ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Student Liaison; Cindy Olson, Dunwoody College of Technology.

The $2,000 scholarship will be put towards the awarded student’s tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year. Upon completion of the program, the winning student will also be able to meet with ASHRAE representatives to discuss his/her future career in HVAC&R.

The scholarship will be awarded for the Spring 2016 Semester.

Click to learn more about the Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program or Dunwoody’s ASHRAE Student Branch.

Viking Electric, IDEAL Industries donate tools for Electrical Construction & Maintenance

IDEAL Industries Key Account Area Manager Gary Shantz recently spoke to first- and second-semester Electrical Construction & Maintenance students about new electrical hand tools and technology used by industry professionals. Following his presentation Shantz donated more than $1,500 worth of tools to the College on behalf of IDEAL Industries—including screwdrivers, wire strippers, drill attachments, wire nutdrivers and meters for use in classroom labs.IDEAL donation

IDEAL Industries develops products and practical technology demanded by industries including electrical, wire processing and construction. Viking Electric Supply is an electrical industry wholesaler, distributing products from over 400 manufacturers.

The College’s partnership with Viking Electric goes back to 1988.

Senior Instructor Jeff Chase says he appreciates not only the donation, but also the presentation by Shantz because “it provides students with industry tool knowledge that they can use once they graduate and are working in the electrical industry.”

2015 CAD Table installed for Dunwoody Design students

Dunwoody students and faculty are celebrating the installation of the College’s newest piece of equipment- a Kongsberg V20 CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Table. Kongsberg, a division of Esko, Inc. (a valued partner to the Design & Graphics Technology department) manufactures its tables in the Czech Republic and sells them worldwide.

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The new table and software allows users to design and produce cartons, containers, retail displays, signage and die cut art made from a wide array of materials including paper, plastic and corrugated cardboard. The upgraded table cuts 1,150 inches per minute- nearly 10 times faster than the College’s previous CAD table.

While students of multiple Dunwoody design programs will use and benefit from this new piece of equipment, perhaps those most excited are students of the Design & Graphics Technology department, particularly first years enrolled in the “Intro to Packaging Design” course.

The Packaging Design course, a class required for both Pre-Media and Graphic Design programs, centers around a semester-long project requiring students to work one-on-one with real customers on the design and production of a custom package using the CAD table’s 2015 technology.

The project begins once the student identifies a real customer (e.g., a Dunwoody staff member, instructor or a local business owner) who is in need of a container or package for a certain product.

IMG_6582-smallerKeeping in mind the ultimate purpose or goal of the container, the student begins to design a template for the package using Esko’s ArtiosCAD design software. The resulting file is transferred without further conversion to the CAD table’s computer, which runs Esko’s iCut Production Suite software.

The package’s template will ultimately consist of a large collection of lines (pictured above) that tells the table where the material must be cut, perforated or creased for folding.

IMG_6181-smallerOnce the template has been finalized and the designer has chosen an appropriate type of material to cut, the computer will send a message to the table’s tool head (pictured right) to begin cutting.

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Before cutting

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After cutting

The designer then “pops out” the design (pictured below), assembles the container and issues it to the customer. Should the prototype be something the customer is genuinely interested in using or distributing, the student may share the design template with a larger production house for mass production. Any single design can be stepped and repeated or ganged with other design templates before cutting to maximize productivity and minimize waste. All scrap corrugated and paper is collected for recycling (pictured below), quite often returning in the form of new corrugated sheets.

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Scrap corrugated ready for recycling

At the end of the semester students are graded on their knowledge of the CAD table as well as their ability to successfully work with clients, and design and produce a purposeful, real-life product. The project is a great opportunity for students to network, build their resumes and portfolios and experience design and production in its entirety.

“There is a lot of excitement throughout the department right now,” says Pete Rivard, Principal Instructor of Pre-Media Technologies, when discussing the recent installation. “Students are having a hard time paying attention in Photoshop class because they are too busy refining their package designs! Although we obviously want them to pay attention to their other courses, it is neat to see them so excited about their projects. Package design is a complex process. Nobody gets it right the first time, even out in industry. So to have this table in our lab gives every student in the program a second, third or seventeenth chance to adjust their designs to meet the demands of the material. The finished result should be the equal to any carton on any store shelf anywhere.”

The 2015 table is also generating buzz throughout the community as Dunwoody is currently the only College in the state of Minnesota that has this table for the use of packaging and retail display design. Dunwoody also enjoys the support of local corrugated manufacturer and box design business Liberty Carton, who happily provides the graphics program with all the corrugated material it needs.

“The table also helps with the ‘hands-on’ piece of Dunwoody’s curriculum,” says Rivard. “Because of this table, our students will not only learn the process of packaging design, but will really get to experience it first hand. The act of manually folding and assembling and evaluating a physical object that you yourself designed and cut is a powerful experience, and causes students to want to do better.”

Rivard plans to continue the momentum this table has brought by providing CAD table demonstrations for design students and faculty from various Minnesota colleges, as well as professionals in the design and packaging industry, at the upcoming AIGA PIVOT event on April 22.

Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology department offers AAS degrees in both Graphic Design and Pre-Media Technologies.

Design & Graphics Technology students showcase work at annual Internship Expo

Eighteen Design & Graphics Technology students gathered on Thursday, Feb. 19, to display two year’s worth of work at the 2015 Design & Graphics Technology Internship Showcase event.

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The showcase is an opportunity for the May graduates to present their portfolios and to meet with prospective employers and internship advisors.

The 2015 event was open to the public and was held in conjunction with the Printing Industry of the Midwest’s Print Showcase and the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation’s (ICPF) “Best of the Best” Student Design Competition.

All three campus events had fantastic turnouts bringing in IMG_5735-smallDunwoody faculty, students, family members and local business professionals. Graphic design and printing companies such as Imagine! Print Solutions; Bluedoor Publishing; Liberty Carton; and even SMC Packaging Group out of Missouri, sent representatives.

Dunwoody faculty members and showcase coordinators– Timmreck, Manager of Design & Graphics Technology; Pete Rivard, Principal Instructor of Pre-Media Technologies; and Thomas Herold, Senior Instructor of Graphic Design—were also extremely pleased with this year’s event.

“I found this year’s event to be successful on two levels,” said Timmreck. “The first level of success was that our students got the experience of interviewing and talking with industry professionals… You could tell that by the end of the day the students felt much more confident in themselves and much more comfortable displaying and discussing their work.

IMG_5631-smallThe second level of success was seeing the attending companies really connecting with the students.”

Rivard echoed Timmreck stating that several of his students have already received internship and job offers because of this event, and “to see those offers on the table within days of the showcase is very impressive.”

The Design & Graphics Technology department will continue the Internship Showcase event in 2016.

For additional photos from the 2015 showcase and the “Best of the Best” Student Design Competition, visit our Facebook page.

Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology department offers two-year degrees in Graphic Design and Pre-Media Technologies.

Students start Institute of Industrial Engineers chapter

Three industry professionals involved with IIE attended the Dunwoody chapter’s kickoff meeting on Feb. 10. They are pictured with the student members and Faculty Advisor Janet Nurnberg.

Three industry professionals involved with IIE attended the Dunwoody chapter’s kickoff meeting on Feb. 10, they are pictured with the student members and Faculty Advisor Janet Nurnberg.

Students in the Industrial Engineering Technology (IENG) bachelor completion program have started a student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) at Dunwoody College of Technology.

IIE is a professional society dedicated to the support of the industrial engineering profession by providing leadership for the application, education, training, research and development of industrial engineering.

Dunwoody’s IENG program provides a 2+2 bachelor degree completion option with the skills and theoretical knowledge needed to advance graduates into engineering and management positions in their respective industries.

Three industry professionals involved with IIE attended the Dunwoody chapter’s kickoff meeting on Feb. 10 to discuss how involvement in industry organizations can enhance students’ learning experience: Nate Andrican – Industrial Engineer, Boston Scientific, IIE Twin Cities Student Liaison; Dan Thury – Industrial Engineer, Andersen Corporation, IIE Regional Vice-President; and Jeromy Knapp – Quality Engineer, Stratasys, IIE Twin Cities President-Elect, IENG PAC Member.

Faculty Advisor Janet Nurnberg says the College’s IIE student chapter helps prepare IENG students for careers after graduation by providing members with networking opportunities, tours of local facilities that hire IENG students and professional development.

The chapter of around 15 members is student-led: President Micah Thorson, Vice-President Dylan Olson, Treasurer Richard Brodala, and Secretary Matt Backus. The chapter will host meetings at least twice a semester. Because of students’ daytime work hours, meetings will be held in the evenings.

Thorson says the IENG students are excited for the opportunity to start an IIE student chapter on campus, and are looking forward to the seeing real-world examples of theories they’re learning about in the classroom during IIE business tours and events.

For more information about IENG or the IIE student chapter at Dunwoody, contact Nurnberg at 612-381-3351 or jnurnberg@dunwoody.edu.

Construction Management students create fabric tension structure models

creating-fabric-tension-structures-1Construction Management students in the Construction Materials & Methods 2 course recently created fabric tension structure models, some of which will be constructed on a larger scale later in the semester.

Senior Instructor Jim Strapko says the project mimics what students will experience in industry.

“With each new project, construction professionals are presented with opportunities to use materials and tools in novel ways to improve the construction process,” he said. “One example is a fabric ‘sail’ system used to provide temporary enclosure for a pair of high-rise office towers currently under construction in the Minneapolis Downtown East project. A Dunwoody graduate, who is an assistant superintendent, is working on ways to more efficiently unfurl fabric strips to cover five stories of a building at a time.”

fabric-tension-structure-team

Students used basic structural concepts derived from tents and sailboats to create fabric tension structure models. The initial models were created using basic tools and materials like needle-nose pliers, side-cutters, awls, hammers, hot-melt glue guns, two-way stretch fabric, florist wire, T-pins, push-pins, and wood dowels.

The students exceeded Strapko’s expectations for the model project. “The Construction Management students were adept at model-building and showed a surprising sensitivity to aesthetic design,” he said.

The next phase is to design and build a mobile hard-shell structure with an optional fabric component. After completion of the concept and model phases, some of the designs will proceed to construction at a larger scale.

The multiple-phase project gives students experience taking an idea from concept through completion.

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Students benefitted from the experience and guidance of Bruce N. White, past editor of the international journal Fabric Architecture and American Institute of Architects (AIA) member, who visited the class on multiple occasions to provide insight and feedback on the student’s designs.

Strapko invites more industry professionals to get involved in the project: “Students value the opportunity to interact with industry professionals especially in a lab environment,” he said. “They like learning how to do things and getting feedback from experts.”

Students are currently working on the concept phase of the hard-shell structure. The evaluation of drawings and models is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on campus (room to be determined). Larger scale construction of prototypes will follow during the final 10 weeks of the spring semester.

Industry professionals interested in getting involved during any of the project phases can contact Jim Strapko at jstrapko@dunwoody.edu or 612-381-3383.

 

Automotive Service Technology earns NATEF reaccreditation


Dean of Automotive Jon Kukachka

Dean of Automotive Jon Kukachka holds the NATEF certificate the College recently received.

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) recently informed Dunwoody’s Automotive Service Technology program (AUTO) that it continues to meet the requirements for NATEF Master Automobile Service Technology Accreditation–the highest level of achievement recognized by NATEF.

This follows a yearlong extensive review process, which included a self-review by the AUTO Program Advisory Committee in May and an on-site review by a NATEF Evaluation Team in September. It also marks the fourth reaccreditation review process of the AUTO program by NATEF since the program was initially accredited May 17, 1993

“For years our AUTO program has strived to be the best program in the upper Midwest, perhaps even one of the best in the nation.  It is this continuous effort that has led to three manufacturer programs being part of our department, industry anxiously wanting to hire our graduates, and our graduates continuing to be the ‘go-to’ technicians in their respective organizations,” said Dean of Automotive Jon Kukachka. “By having the manufacturer programs at Dunwoody, the automotive department has the latest in vehicle technology, tools and training materials that all automotive students are able to use.”

NATEF accredited means that AUTO is following a very demanding set of guidelines in the areas of academics and curriculum, instructor qualifications, organization, management, facilities, equipment, finances and industry approval.

“Our efforts continue to be rewarded, and the NATEF team leaders who come in to scrutinize what we do are always astonished at how well we accomplish some things with our limited resources–and they almost always want to use us as examples for their organization or others,” Kukachka said.

Dunwoody AUTO was one of the first NATEF accredited programs in the state.