Category Archives: Photos

Dunwoody’s Midwest Robotics League Team Takes 1st in Regionals, 5th in Nationals

Dunwoody College of Technology students and faculty are celebrating the recent victories of the College’s Midwest Robotics League Team. The Dunwoody team participated in both a regional competition in late April, and a national competition in May, bringing home a consecutive first and two fifth place prizes.

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The 2015 team (pictured above) is advised by former Dunwoody student and league participant–now Instructor and League Executive Director–Alex Wong and coaches Beth Spicer; Al Jaedike (Engineering Drafting & Design Adjunct Instructor); and James Jorgenson (Workforce Training & Continuing Education Adjunct Instructor).

The team includes students Chris Spicer (Electrical Construction & Maintenance); Andy Haug (Electronics Engineering Technology); Ken Weis (Machine Tool Technology); Tony Laylon (Engineering Drafting & Design); Kyle Dumas; and 2007 Dunwoody graduate Mike Rhode (Engineering Drafting & Design).

This year’s regional competition was held at the Mall of America and featured twelve competing teams and hundreds of spectators. The national competition followed just a few weeks later in Cleveland, Ohio, where 64 teams participated.

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Midwest Robotics League’s regional competition at Mall of America

Both the regional and national competitions are held annually and are open to middle school, high school and collegiate teams. Each year, the competing teams are able to enter as many robots as they want under the condition that the robots have been designed and assembled by students. Teams can also use a robot for multiple years until the group decides to retire it or until that robot wins the regional or national competition two times.

This year, Dunwoody entered two robots into both competitions— “Wedgey” the wedge robot and “Reburn,” a robot that deploys a horizontal spinner.

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“Wedgey” the wedge robot

Both Wedgey and Reburn were designed and built by the Dunwoody team and have already competed and placed in several regional and national competitions.

“Wedgey has been running for about 3 years, competing in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 events,” said League Executive Director Alex Wong. “Reburn has also been running for about 3 years, but we have been running variations on this design since the start of the League.”

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“Reburn”

The League is open to all Dunwoody students, creating a unique opportunity for students in various programs to work together–each bringing  their own area of expertise to the process. And while the students enjoy the collaboration in designing and creating the robots, perhaps the most fun is had during the combat competitions.

The combat rules are similar for both regionals and nationals—the best robot wins.

“The robots are limited to 15 pounds each, and it is up to the students to design those robots,” said Alex. “A lot of them will have some sort of spinning weapon or use bigger motors so it can drive faster.”

Each robot is then entered into a randomly determined double elimination bracket where they participate in 3-minute rounds.

“The winner,” said Alex “is whichever robot can either “knock out”the other robot by disabling it, or pushes it onto a wall or other position where it can no longer drive. If both robots are still standing after the three-minute match, the winner is determined by whichever robot has the most points. The judges award points based on three categories: aggression—the moves you make when attacking the other robot; damage—the damage caused to the other robot; and control—how well the robot can maneuver.”

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In addition to combat points, the national judges also evaluate the team’s presentation skills. Prior to the competition, each team must also present their robot to the panel of judges by sharing drawings, describing the design process and explaining why they chose the materials they did.

IMG_8156-awards-smallDunwoody’s students and robots performed well at both competitions ending their season with  several wins and awards. Wedgey scored the team a 1st place prize at the regional competition for the second time in its career. It also tied with Reburn for the fifth overall spot at the national competition. Wedgey was also named one of the “Best Engineered Robots” at the national competition.

The Dunwoody Midwest Robotics League will continue next Fall during the 2015-2016 academic year. Alex says the team has plans to retire Wedgey (as this was its second regional win) and is looking to redesign the current robots as well as build entirely new ones.

If you are interested in joining the Midwest Robotics League for 2015-2016 season, please contact Alex Wong at awong@dunwoody.edu.

2015 Dunwoody Recognition Award Winners

As the 2014-2015 academic year comes to an end, Dunwoody is honored to recognize the many faculty and staff members who have made a difference to the College, its neighbors and its students by presenting several service awards.

Congratulations to the following 2015 Dunwoody Recognition Award Winners:

Building Community Award Winner: Barb Russell

The Building Community award goes to an individual whose projects or efforts demonstrates and heightens Dunwoody’s commitment to cultural awareness being integrated in the campus and community.

Outstanding Team Award: Bachelor of Architecture Team, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Team and Support for Campus Women’s Initiatives Team

The Outstanding Team award is given out annually to a cross-departmental team of employees whose work has had a significant impact on the way Dunwoody serves its constituents.

Bachelor of Architecture Team: John Dwyer, Stephen Knowles, Paul Strother, Bridget Reynolds, Olawale Falade, Molly Reichert, James Howarth and Charlie Radloff – Posthumously

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Team: Jane Bohl, Janet Nurnberg, E.J. Daigle, Tim Flugum, Andrew LeRoy, Jim Nyberg, Mary Anne Jaedike and Carla Pogliano

Support for Campus Women’s Initiatives Team: Maggie Whitman, Janet Nurnberg, Karen Schmitt , Mary Zawadski and Jenny Saplis

Outstanding Academic Innovation Award Winners: Tom Herold, Stephen Knowles and Janet Nurnberg  

The Outstanding Academic Innovation award is awarded to faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to implementing innovative instructional strategies in the classroom.

Instructor of the Year Award Winners: Jeff Bixby and Andrew LeRoy 

Nominations for the Instructor of the Year award come from current Dunwoody students. The award is given out annually to instructors who are committed to the students’ academic success, serve as a professional role model to students and colleagues, aim for academic excellence in curriculum development and aim for academic excellence in instruction.

Distinguished Teacher Award Winners: Hank Beadell and Jim Nyberg

The Distinguished Teacher award is given to faculty members who have committed a significant portion of their career to the art of teaching and who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to education and lifelong learning.

William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service Award: Tou Vang (Honorary), William Morris and Jane Bohl

The William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service award is given to employees who have consistently performed outstanding work for the College.

Dunwoody students earn gold at 2015 SkillsUSA Minnesota contest

Dunwoody College of Technology students performed well again this year in the SkillsUSA Minnesota Contest held last weekend at various locations in the Twin Cities, including the Dunwoody campus.

Overall, 20 Dunwoody students competed in nine contests, including Architectural Drafting, Automotive Service Technology, Automotive Refinishing, Collision Repair Technology, Electrical Construction Wiring, Industrial Motor Control, Related Technical Math, Web Design and Welding.

Students medaled in five of the contests, with five in first place, two in second place and two in third place.

The following are the medal winners:

 

Architectural DraftingAdvisor: Paul Strother

1st Place: James Matthes

2nd Place: Chris Herd

3rd Place:  Celina Nelson

 

Web DesignAdvisor: Kevin Wendt

1st Place Team: Ryan Blaha & Eric Lorentzen

2nd Place: Joshua Eastwood & Nhia Yang

3rd Place: Casey Cross & Andrew Kinniburgh

 
Collision RepairAdvisors: Bruce Graffunder & Allan Zimney

1st Place: Benjamin Meister

 

Automotive RefinishingAdvisors: Bruce Graffunder & Allan Zimney

1st Place:  Harrison Reget

 

Related Technical MathAdvisor: Polly Friendshuh

1st Place:  Matthew Shevich

The National competition will take place June 22 – 26 in Louisville, Ky.

For more information about SkillsUSA Minnesota, visit www.mnskillsusa.org.

 

Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology students calculate circumference of earth using ancient and modern methods

 

Second-semester students Wyatt Spencer, Jake Blue, Jeremy Brunell, Joe Irey, BJ Klenke and Brandon Davis calculated the circumference of earth using ancient and modern methods.

Second-semester students Wyatt Spencer, Jake Blue, Jeremy Brunell, Joe Irey, BJ Klenke and Brandon Davis calculated the circumference of earth using ancient and modern methods.

After studying Greek astronomer Eratosthenes’ methods to calculate the circumference of the earth, students in the Geodetic & Controls Surveys class recreated the process using ancient–276 BC–methods and modern technology.

Second-semester students Wyatt Spencer, Jake Blue, Jeremy Brunell, Joe Irey, BJ Klenke and Brandon Davis gathered background information about Eratosthenes from the book “Elementary Surveying: An Introduction to Geomatics (13th Edition).”According to their research: Eratosthenes determined on the summer solstice each year that the sun was directly overhead the city of Syene, Egypt. It was noted that while looking down a particular well, one could observe the sun’s reflection was directly in the middle of the water. He lived in Northern Egypt, in the city of Alexandria, which was 5000 stadia (equal to 500 statute miles) from Syene. In the city of Alexandria on the summer solstice, he then measured the length of the shadow created by a tower in the city of Alexandria. Using simple geometry he calculated the angle between the tower and the shadow, and determined the angle to be approximately 7.2 degrees, which is one-fiftieth of a circle. Eratosthenes then had the distance between Alexandria and Syene measured by averaging the time it took camels to travel the distance between the two cities. He took that measurement and multiplied it by fifty to approximate the circumference of the earth. His result was remarkably accurate, differing from a commonly accepted value (24,901) by less than 100 miles.

Since the sun was not directly over the Dunwoody campus and it wasn’t plausible to drive the 500 miles to carry out the measurements, the class reached out to a forum called surveyconnect.com to ask for a volunteer to assist them in measuring the angle of the sun’s rays. Dan Robinson, of Little Rock, Ark. responded to the students’ request for assistance.

On January 16 at approximately solar noon, the students went outside in front of campus with a 24-foot pole—which they made by connecting six four-foot range poles. They held the pole vertically and used a plumb bob to confirm it was vertical. They then used a 100-foot tape measure to determine the length of the shadow cast by the range pole.

On January 16 at approximately solar noon, the students went outside in front of campus with a 24-foot pole—which they made by connecting six four-foot range poles. They held the pole vertically and used a plumb bob to confirm it was vertical. They then used a 100-foot tape measure to determine the length of the shadow cast by the range pole.

On January 16 at approximately solar noon, the students went outside in front of campus with a 24-foot pole—which they made by connecting six four-foot range poles. They held the pole vertically and used a plumb bob to confirm it was vertical. They then used a 100-foot tape measure to determine the length of the shadow cast by the range pole.

They measured a shadow at 59.9 feet from the base of the pole to the tip of the shadow. At approximately the same time—solar noon in Little Rock, Ark.—Robinson measured the shadow of 39.6 feet from a 25-foot pole.

“Dan’s participation was greatly appreciated,” said Principal Instructor Kelly Ness. “I think it speaks for the support students have from others in the surveying community.”

Using the coordinates Robinson gave them for his location (N 44-35-00 W 93-10-00), the coordinates of Dunwoody College (N44-58-22 W93-17-28) and a program to convert coordinates to geodetic distance (http://www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong.html) the students determined the distance between the College and Dan’s location to be 706.49 miles. With this information they were able to calculate a circumference of 24,383 miles. The value they calculated is similar to a currently accepted value of the earth’s circumference at the equator of 24,901 miles.

Although they enjoy the modern day GPS (GNSS) technology they’re using in their classes, the students are interested in additional projects using ancient methods of measurement.

“Next we will create a triangulation network similar to the method used from the late 1700s through the 1900s,” said Ness. “Surveying is a profession that will forever be tied to the past.”

For more information about Dunwoody’s Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology program, visit http://www.dunwoody.edu/construction/surveying-civil-engineering-technology.

Dunwoody Design & Graphics Technology students take first place in ICPF “Best of the Best” Student Design Competition

The results are in! Congratulations to Design & Graphics Technology Students: Stephanie Burdorf, Charlotte LaCour, Dan Mueller, Finn Pearson, Noah Rabinowitz and Jenna Weiler, winners of the annual International Corrugated Packaging Foundation’s (ICPF) “Best of the Best” Student Design Competition!

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Featured left to right: Noah Rabinowitz, Jenna Weiler, Charlotte LaCour, Dan Mueller, Finn Pearson and Stephanie Burdorf.

The 2015 “Best of the Best” Competition was held Thursday, Feb. 19 via a live teleconference during the Design & Graphics Technology 2015 Internship Showcase.

Competing against Dunwoody was 2014 AICC Structural Design Competition runner-ups California Polytechnic State University and Millersville University, Pennsylvania.

The objective of the 2014 AICC competition– won by Burdorf, LaCour, Mueller, Pearson, Rabinowitz and Weiler last summer– was to create real-world marketing materials to assist with their college’s student recruitment and retention efforts. The final project was to be tailored to each team’s corresponding schools and stay within the branding guidelines of that institution. This required students to work with the college’s admissions and marketing departments to ensure the end result was something their college could realistically use.

The Dunwoody team’s project, titled “Recruiting Standee,” was comprised of a student recruitment mailing envelope/folder, a 3-D floor display to be used during college events and a “first day” experience box to be given to new students. The box, purposefully designed to fit inside each new student’s locker, included room for a Dunwoody T-shirt, pens, pencils and a USB flash drive. The Dunwoody team explained they also hoped the box would drive locker sales, helping increase overall revenue for the College.

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The “Best of the Best” competition took the AICC competition a step further by requiring the top three contenders to successfully “sell” their completed projects to a panel of industry experts. The teams were then judged not only on their project’s overall design creativity, but also the team’s ability to communicate effectively and exercise strong persuasion techniques during their presentation.

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Weiler, LaCour and Rabinowitz shortly after they discover they have won!

The competition winners were announced during the telecast, shortly after each school finished presenting. Stephanie, Charlotte, Dan, Finn, Noah and Jenna leave with a $500 cash prize and an incredible addition to their portfolios and resumes.

For more information on next year’s competitions, visit www.aiccbox.org/student or
www.icpfbox.org/Best_of_the_Best_Student_Design_Presentation_Competition

Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology students attend ASHRAE Conference, AHR Expo

Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology students Kevin Clausen, Jared Courtney and Bill Bobick attended the 2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference Student Program and AHR Expo in Chicago, Ill., Jan 24-26.

Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology students Kevin Clausen, Jared Courtney and Bill Bobick attended the 2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference Student Program and AHR Expo in Chicago, Ill., Jan 24-26.

Three Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology students attended the 2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference Student Program and AHR Expo in Chicago, Ill., Jan 24-26.

For the last four years, Dunwoody College of Technology—with financial assistance from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Heating Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)—has sent students to the ASHRAE Winter Meeting in various U.S. cities. This year, students Kevin Clausen, Jared Courtney and Bill Bobick attended the meeting in Chicago with HVAC Program Manager Chuck Taft.

Dunwoody’s Student Chapter of ASHRAE was started in 1988—Taft, then a student, was the first president of the College’s chapter. According to its website, ASHRAE is known for its research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education to shape tomorrow’s built environment. Bobick, who received a HVACR Systems Servicing degree at Dunwoody and worked in industry before entering the Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program, says ASHRAE’s standards and publications are “the gospel of HVAC” so you know you’re learning from the best when you attend an ASHRAE seminar.

Stephanie Mages, ASHRAE Student Program Staff, is pictured with HVAC Program  Chuck Taft and students Kevin Clausen, Bill Bobick and Jared Courtney.

Stephanie Mages, ASHRAE Student Program Staff, is pictured with HVAC Program Manager Chuck Taft and students Jared Courtney, Bill Bobick and Kevin Clausen.

Taft says the ASHRAE and International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating (AHR) events expand students’ understanding of what they’re learning in the classroom, while exposing them to innovative technologies they’ll be using as the industry continuously innovates to become more energy efficient.

During the ASHRAE Student Program, the students listened to project presentations and a panel of young engineers discuss their experiences in the HVACR industry, toured the mechanical spaces of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and participated in technical talks about the HVACR industry.

The students toured the mechanical spaces of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.

The students toured the mechanical spaces of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Clausen, Courtney and Bobick said the ASHRAE and AHR events were not only educational, but also great for networking with industry professionals and potential employers. They agreed the greatest educational takeaway at the ASHRAE Student Program was a greater understanding of the thermal storage processes—making cold water at night when the electric rates are low to cool buildings during the day.

More than 2,000 vendors were present at the AHR Expo.

More than 2,000 vendors were present at the AHR Expo.

Taft said he’s glad the students have the opportunity to attend the events to see the reality of where the HVACR industry is, where it’s going and what they should do to become sought-out professionals following graduation.

“Knowledge is power, and the knowledge they gain from experiencing nationally-recognized industry events will make them more valuable employees,” he said.

About ASHRAE
According to ashrae.org: ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. ASHRAE was formed as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers by the merger in 1959 of American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE) founded in 1894 and The American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE) founded in 1904.

Snow Devil 1012 team earns third place in Autonomous Snowplow Competition

The team, lead by faculty advisors E.J. Daigle and John McShannock, was made up of Automated Systems & Robotics students James Adams, Tim Easter, Jim Herman and Evan Prokop; Electronics & Engineering Technology students Andy Haug and Donald Kries; and Engineering Drafting & Design student Tony Laylon.

The team, lead by faculty advisors E.J. Daigle and John McShannock, was made up of Automated Systems & Robotics students James Adams, Tim Easter, Jim Herman and Evan Prokop; Electronics & Engineering Technology students Andy Haug and Donald Kries; and Engineering Drafting & Design student Tony Laylon.

The Snow Devil 1012 plow team earned third place and the Golden Smile Sportsmanship Award last weekend at the Fifth Annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snowplow Competition.  The event is part of the St. Paul Winter Carnival and took place in Rice Park.

The team, lead by faculty advisors E.J. Daigle and John McShannock, was made up of Automated Systems & Robotics students James Adams, Tim Easter, Jim Herman and Evan Prokop; Electronics & Engineering Technology students Andy Haug and Donald Kries; and Engineering Drafting & Design student Tony Laylon.

The Snow Devil 1012 used a magnetic navigation system to track a 0-3VDC electronic signal. Course correction calculations were done in an Allen Bradley MicroLogix PLC.

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The University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Zenith and Yeti plows earned first and second place. Dunwoody’s Snow Devil 1012 earned third place, followed by the University of Calgary’s Fighting Mongooses, North Dakota State University’s Thundar, Case Western Reserve University’s Von Snowmower, University of Minnesota’s Ground Squirrel, and North Dakota State University’s Snowmenator.

Faculty Advisor and Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle said the Snow Devil 1012’s simplistic design and marketability set it apart from the competition.

“Most of the robots had over $10,000 in just sensors. Our total robot cost was $3,000 and could be implemented today by embedding magnetic sensors into a sidewalk or driveway,” he said.

For earning third place, the Snow Devil team won $2,000. Part of the prize money was used to build this year’s robot, some was used for a celebration dinner for the team and the rest will be used to kick start next year’s team.

The team also won the Golden Smile Sportsmanship Award and $500.  Daigle said the team did a lot to deserve the sportsmanship award. The Dunwoody Snow Devils: helped every team with tools, wire and parts to make repairs; cheered the loudest for every team as they competed; organized and participated in the parade with two other teams; initiated crowd participation through an audible checklist and 1-800-SNO-PLOW; and helped tear down the competition field after the event.

WCCO Channel 4 News’ Rachel Slavik interviewed Daigle for the story “Autonomous Snowplow Competition Wows Winter Carnival.”

ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition

According to the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition website: “The purpose of this competition is to challenge university and college students, as well as the general public, to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow to remove snow from a designated path. The objectives of this competition include encouraging students and individuals to utilize the state of the art in navigation and control technologies to rapidly, accurately, and safely clear a path of snow.”

 

Student Mindy Heinkel attends Kiewit Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar

Construction Management student Mindy Heinkel was one of 50 female students nationwide selected to attend the Kiewit Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar in Omaha, Neb.

Construction Management student Mindy Heinkel was one of 50 female students nationwide selected to attend the Kiewit Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar in Omaha, Neb.

Construction Management student Mindy Heinkel was one of 50 female students nationwide selected to attend the Kiewit Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar in Omaha, Neb.

The two-day event challenges female students and develops their leadership skills while they gain valuable experience and industry knowledge.

Heinkel applied for the seminar because she wanted to gain greater knowledge about opportunities for women in the construction industry from one of the leading contractors in the world.

“Kiewit is involved in variety of projects from sports arena, bridges, mining, transportation, oil, etcetera,” she said. “I was also intrigued by their diversity in staffing compared to typical construction companies or contractors.”

Heinkel is the first Dunwoody student to attend the national seminar.

“Being involved with the Leadership Seminar provides an opportunity to expose our female students to the opportunities for growth and the unique challenges women in our industry face,” Construction Management Program Manager Heather Gay said. “The Leadership Seminar is a place to build networks across geographic and sector boundaries and creates a shared experience that makes participants able to apply what they learned immediately in their careers and in the classroom.”

Heinkel encourages other female students to apply for future seminars.  She said she left the event with a larger network of current and future industry leaders and greater confidence in her own abilities.

Heinkel encourages other female students to apply for future seminars. She said she left the event with a larger network of current and future industry leaders and greater confidence in her own abilities.

Heinkel said she appreciated the opportunity to attend the leadership event: “The seminar was great. I met a lot of women of all ages from all walks of life. It was very inspiring. The simulation and leadership building activities were phenomenal. The speakers offered a lot of insight to the construction industry and empowerment geared towards women. I learned and was reminded of my worth as a woman and how to turn challenges into opportunity. It was a very motivating experience.”

Heinkel encourages other female students to apply for future seminars.  She said she left the event with a larger network of current and future industry leaders and greater confidence in her own abilities.

“Dunwoody is grateful for the support of Kiewit and its family of companies that provide this opportunity to our students,” said Gay. “Kiewit also has hosted Polly Friendshuh, one of our instructors, in their faculty leadership seminars.  We believe Kiewit’s investment in students and faculty around the world make them an attractive partner in industry.”