Category Archives: Student Competitions

Radiologic Technology student wins Third Place in state-wide knowledge bowl

First-year Radiologic Technology student Julie VanderWal recently won Third Place at the Minnesota Society of Radiologic Technologists’ (MSRT) annual Knowledge Bowl.

Every year, the Minnesota Association of Radiologic Students (MARS)–a subcommittee of the Minnesota Society of Radiologic Technologists (MSRT) made up of twelve rad tech programs throughout the state of Minnesota–holds three events to encourage students to network with one another and stay up-to-date on the current issues facing the rad tech industry.

One of those meetings is the annual MARS Knowledge Bowl.

Dunwoody student wins Third Place at 2016 MARS Knowledge Bowl

First-year Radiologic Technology student Julie VanderWal with Dunwoody Radiologic Technology Program Manager David Blake

First-year Radiologic Technology student Julie VanderWal with Dunwoody Radiologic Technology Program Manager David Blake

The 2016 MARS Knowledge Bowl attracted 130 students from eight schools across Minnesota to compete on Thursday, Sept. 29, at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, MN.

Dunwoody student Julie VanderWal won third place in the overall competition—earning the title for highest-performing first-year student—bested only by students from Lake Superior College and the Mayo Clinic Rad Tech program.

In addition to a cash prize, VanderWal will receive free MSRT membership after graduation.

Radiologic Technology at Dunwoody
Dunwoody’s Rad Tech program offers small class sizes and robust clinical rotation experiences. The College maintains partnerships with 10-15 different hospitals and clinics in the Twin Cities area, including North Memorial Hospital.

The variety of clinical sites allows students to work with real patients in every healthcare setting and situation—from level-one trauma centers to geriatric hospitals—before they graduate.

During the clinical rotations, students scrub in and work with real patients alongside Radiologic Technologists and Medical Doctors for an eight-hour shift. Graduates leave Dunwoody well-prepared, knowing exactly what to expect in their field.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Radiologic Technology program.

Dunwoody joins the Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge

First-year student Donald Posterick was part of the highest-ranking high school team in the national Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge last year. And now he’s bringing his skills to Dunwoody.

Donald Posterick with his Eco-Marathon car designsDonald Posterick joined Grand Rapids Senior High School’s Shell Eco-Marathon team–The Thunder Hawks–his senior year after being laid off from his job wiring electric harnesses. Instead of finding a new gig, Posterick decided to teach himself electronics.

“I started out with robotics and programming stuff, and then I got more into the components,” Posterick said. “I designed little circuit boards- etching them myself, doing toner transfers, all that.”

Posterick picked it up quickly and soon became in charge of the electronic components for The Thunder Hawks’ Eco-Marathon car, building the speed controller and the electrical system of the vehicle by himself.

The Thunder Hawks placed fourth in the 2016 National Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge in Michigan–the highest-ranking high school team in the competition.

Posterick brings Shell Eco-Marathon Club to Dunwoody

Donald PosterickPosterick came to Dunwoody in June through the Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) summer camp. After completing the six-week camp, he decided to enroll in the College’s Electronics Engineering Technology program where he could pursue his passions for alternative energy in the automotive industry.

In his short time at the College, he has already organized Dunwoody’s first Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge Club with a goal to design and build a battery-electric eco car during the 2017 season and enter the 2018 competition.

“I think this is something we really have the potential to do good with,” Posterick said. “Heck, the speed controller we competed with last year, I stripped the components off of a wheelchair speed controller to design and build mine. We were scrimping and we took fourth. I think with the right support and the time to do it we can do so much better and put Dunwoody’s name out there.”

Eco-marathon sketchesMembers from the Dunwoody team, including Posterick, will travel to Michigan later this year to watch the Eco-Marathon Challenge and get a better idea of the project that lies ahead of them.

The Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge

The Shell Eco-Marathon is a unique competition that challenges students to design, build, and drive the most energy-efficient car. During the event, student teams take to the track to see who can drive the furthest distance using the least amount of fuel.

The competition is split into two classes: Prototype and UrbanConcept. Prototype simply focuses on energy efficiency without taking passenger comfort into account while UrbanConcept encourages more practical designs.

Each class is divided and judged based on energy types:

  • Internal combustion engine: vehicles using fuels like petrol, diesel, liquid fuel made from natural gas and ethanol.
  • Electric mobility: vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells or lithium-based batteries.

Posterick is planning on entering the Prototype class under the electric mobility category.

A college-wide effort

Donald Posterick at the Student club and organization fairCurrently, Posterick is working on recruiting students to help with the initial planning and prototyping. He’s looking for students from across all disciplines to help bring this prototype to life.

“I’m looking for welders, robotics, manufacturing, and electronics folks,” said Posterick. “Even the graphic design students could help us with our car graphics”

Posterick has a few sketches and a small 3D prototype of an eco car he’s got in mind, but he’s interested in hearing ideas from other students. He wants the car to come to life through a college-wide collaboration.

For more information about the club or to find out how to get involved, email Donald Posterick at

Learn more about Dunwoody’s student clubs and organizations.

Meet the students participating in the 2016 MSP Home & Design Show

Dunwoody is pleased to introduce Maggie Ellsworth, Alex Lord, Lise Hanley, Megan Augustine, and Lydia Faison, the five interior design seniors participating in the MSP Home & Design Show, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2016.

The show—a first for Minneapolis—will allow attendees to learn of upcoming trends, meet with design professionals, and participate in interactive demonstrations. The Dunwoody group will manage a feature booth at the event, where they will present their take on a modern home office. Hand-crafted furniture and additional design work created by the students will also be on display and available for bidding/purchase.

Meet the seniors

Photo of Maggie EllsworthName: Maggie Ellsworth
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Passions Related to Interior Design: Space planning, sustainability, rendering, and lighting.
Hobbies Outside of Work: biking, camping, art/film, geography, and history.
Why Interior Design? “I believe as interior designers, we have the ability to make an impact on consumers. I want that impact to be a positive one.”


Photo of Alex LordName: Alex Lord
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Passions Related to Interior Design: Art and sculpture.
Hobbies Outside of Work: Sculpting, and designing and painting custom automobiles.
Plans After Graduation: To start a business and possibly design furniture/lighting on spec.


Photo of Lise HanleyName: Lise Hanley
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Passions Related to Interior Design: Minimalism.
Hobbies Outside of Work: The local music and art scene; real estate.
Most Excited About: “Exploring my strong interest in furniture design and hopefully meeting Keith Wyman, the owner and designer behind Concrete Pig.”


Photo of Megan AustineName: Megan Augustine
Hometown: Wyoming, MN
Passions Related to Interior Design: Home design and remodeling.
Hobbies Outside of Work: Building and racing mopeds; flying.
Plans After Graduation: To work in commercial/hospitality at an architecture firm. 


Photo of Lydia FaisonName: Lydia Faison
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
Passions Related to Interior Design: Rendering and furniture design.
Hobbies Outside of Work: Cross-stiching, wood-working, riding motorcycles, camping, traveling, and hiking with her dog.
Why Interior Design? “I notice and appreciation functional art above others. I think it’s amazing when a space can transport you somewhere else.”

Learn more

Get your tickets for the 2016 MSP Home & Design Show.

Learn more about Interior Design.

Pre-Media Technology student wins First Place in cardboard as art competition

Student Karen West wins National Corrugated as Art Competition with a life-size concert harp made completely out of corrugated cardboard.
Graphic Design student Karen West

Graphic Design student Karen West

Second-year Pre-Media Technology student Karen West put in over 40 hours designing and producing a full-sized concert harp, standing five to six feet tall. What’s more impressive? The harp is made completely out of cardboard. And her hard work recently paid off.

The Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) named West the First Place winner in the Corrugated as Art category of the 2016 Student Packaging Design Competition.

Along with the First Place title, West also won a $500 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to Orlando, Florida, to attend the AICC/TAPPI SuperCorrExpo Conference in October.

Harp built by student Karen WestAICC Corrugated as Art Competition

The annual AICC Student Packaging Design Competition honors the best student designs entered in three distinct categories. This year’s Corrugated as Art category asked students to design a musical instrument of their choosing and build it completely out of corrugated cardboard. The final product needed to be one-of-a-kind and not commercially reproducible.

By entering into the competition, students have the opportunity to showcase their talent and creativity to corrugated packaging and display professionals from around the world.

Harp, deconstructedWest designs and builds life-size harp

West used ArtiosCAD to design each piece of the harp individually. West then cut the pieces on the College’s Esko Kongsberg V20 CAD cutting table and assembled them by hand to form the harp.

To figure out proportions and how the harp should be put together, West started with a 6-inch model and scaled up for size. Each week, for three weeks, she built a new harp a size larger than the last.

Karen West with the full-sized concert harp made from corrugated cardboard.

Karen West with the full-sized concert harp made from corrugated cardboard.

“I learned that it’s a good idea to do steps,” West said. “There are certain things you can’t do because of size. So each week, not only was I blowing it up and adjusting it, I was also adding more to it. It was a great learning process.”

West was also happy to participate in the competition because it gave her hands-on experience that she can take with her after she graduates in spring 2017.

“This competition gave me a glimpse at what’s out there in industry,” West said. “It was cool to see just how creative I could get with only corrugated cardboard.”

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology department.

Dunwoody takes 2nd in 2016 American Solar Challenge

The Dunwoody/Buhler Team

The Dunwoody/Buhler Team

Dunwoody/Buhler Apprenticeship program allows students to work at Buhler, attend classes at Dunwoody, and even race solar-powered cars.

Dunwoody students/Buhler Apprentices have spent the last few weeks traveling the country with a solar-powered car they helped to build. The students competed in the 2016 American Solar Challenge (ASC) July 22 – Aug. 6, earning second place.

8 days; 1,971 miles

The Challenge—which began in 1990—consists of a three-day track race and an eight-day, 1,975 mile road race through seven states. Students began in Brecksville, OH and travel to Hot Springs, SD, stopping at several checkpoints along the way.

Solar car on the roadThis year, checkpoints were located at nine national parks and historic sites—including the Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site (St Louis, MO), Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site (Topeka, KS) and Scotts Bluff National Monument (Gering, NE)—helping to celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial.

Students taking a break from traveling to charge the car

Students taking a break from traveling to charge the car

The 2016 Dunwoody/Buhler team consisted of Electrical Construction & Maintenance Principal Instructor and Dunwoody team coordinator Steven Lee; Buhler Apprenticeship Training Coordinator Daniel Roth; Adjunct Instructor Gary Reiman; as well as members of Dunwoody and Buhler’s American Apprenticeship program, including Michael Klaas; Andrew Hohn; Alex Peden; Austin Carline; MacKenzie Ritchie; Nate Sharp; Justin Mestler; Vlad Lelyukh; Dominic Lemke; Michael Cenin; Marc Guillet; Sam Nogosek; and Isa Brady.

Several members of Buhler’s Swiss Apprenticeship program also joined.

“Buhler has been involved in other solar races around the world and the solar car that we used was actually originally built by them for one of those races,” Lee explained. “The apprentice students made modifications to the car so it met requirements for the 2016 American Solar Challenge.”

Together, the Dunwoody/Buhler team traveled a total of 1,971.5 miles in 59 hours, 30 minutes, and 22 seconds.

Students with their solar carBuhler/Dunwoody partnership

Dunwoody and Buhler’s American Apprenticeship program helps supply well-trained grads to Buhler, a global market leader in mechanical and thermal process engineering technologies.

The program allows students to attend Dunwoody classes, while also working at Buhler’s Plymouth, MN, location.

Final results

1: Michigan
2: Dunwoody
3: Toronto
4: Missouri S&T
5: Principia
6: Appalachian State
7: Iowa State
8: ETS Quebec
9: Berkeley
10: Minnesota and Poly Montreal
11: Illinois State
12: Kentucky

See final times. 

Photo Credit: Samuel Rhyner

Architecture students place 2nd, 3rd in 2016 Skills USA State Competition

Photo of Eli Abnet

Eli Abnet at 2016 SkillsUSA Minnesota

Architecture students Eli Abnet and Charles Evans Bille placed 2nd and 3rd respectively at the 2016 SkillsUSA Minnesota Competition, which was held earlier this month at various locations throughout the Twin Cities including Dunwoody campus.

SkillsUSA—a national organization made of students, educators and industry representatives working to provide America with skilled workers—regulates the competitions, which are held annually at the local/state, national and global level.

Photo of Charles Evans

Charles Evans Bille at 2016 SkillsUSA Minnesota

During the contest, Abnet and Bille participated in a short written exam, a hand drafting exercise, and a computer-drafting project. The competition aims to test students’ problem-solving abilities as well as their drafting techniques.

Get involved

The College has been participating and placing in SkillsUSA competitions for many years, with students earning gold in 2015 and 2013.

If you are interested in joining the 2017 SkillsUSA team, please contact Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt at 612.381.3322 or

About SkillsUSA

According to SkillsUSA Minnesota is part of a national organization that serves over a quarter million student members annually, organized into more than 14,700 chapters and 54 state and territorial associations (including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands). The Minnesota Association has offered leadership opportunities to over 200,000 student members since 1967, with a current annual membership of over 3,000. There are chapters in 29 technical colleges and 50 high schools or cooperative centers, with potential to serve many more. SkillsUSA is governed by a Board of Directors, elected from teachers that advise local chapters, and representing both the high school and college divisions and industry representatives. All programs are offered as integral to the curriculum.

Dunwoody Surveying students place 1st in 2016 NSPS Student Competition

Second-year students Wyatt Spencer, BJ Klenke, Doug Pouliot, Joe Irey, Brandon Davis, Jake Blue and team observer Patrick Kowal took first place in the two-year degree program category of the 2016 National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) Student Competition earlier this month.

Photo of Wyatt Spencer, BJ Klenke, Doug Pouliot, Joe Irey, Brandon Davis, and Jake Blue.

L to R: Wyatt Spencer, BJ Klenke, Doug Pouliot, Joe Irey, Brandon Davis, and Jake Blue.

The annual event—which was held in conjunction with the 2016 Surveying & Mapping Conference—was held in Crystal City (Arlington), VA, and was open to all two- and four-year colleges across the country.

New event, new skills

To enter the competition, the Dunwoody team—advised by Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology Principal Instructor Kelly Ness—had to complete a boundary and topographic survey of a parcel of land, approximately 10 acres in size, for a hypothetical land development project.

The team was then required to create a “metes and bounds legal description” of the land lot (i.e., a description of the land and its boundaries) and construct a plot map of the surveyed area.

This information—along with a safety plan, field notes and data calculations—was compiled into a final project binder and then presented to a panel of industry experts and competition judges.

“In order to complete the project, we had to develop the types of skills that are used everyday in the industry,” Ness said. “That was the most beneficial piece for the students—the knowledge and skills obtained throughout the competition.”

A welcome win

A first-time event for Dunwoody and the students, Ness said he couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.

“Winning the competition is a huge achievement and one that will be recognized by future employers and peers in the surveying community.”

Spencer, Klenke, Irey, Davis, and Blue will graduate with an associate’s degree in Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology this May. Pouliot will follow in Fall 2016. Kowal hopes to participate in the 2017 NSPS Student Competition next Spring.

The College would like to thank industry partner Westwood Professional Services for their generous donation, which allowed the students to travel toand participate inthe competition.

Learn more about Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology.

Dunwoody’s Snowplow earns third place in 2016 Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionDunwoody College’s Snow Devil 01102 Snowplow earned third place—and a $2,000 prize—at the 6th annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snowplow Competition held January 28-31 during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. The team also won the $500 Professor Nattu Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row.

Dunwoody’s 2016 team—coached by faculty members E.J. Daigle, John McShannock and Alex Wong— included Electronics Engineering Technology students Alan Stafford, Matt Herrick, and Andy Haug; and Automated Systems & Robotics students Ryan Dailey and Dustin Forcier.

Competition aligns with Dunwoody’s approach to education

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionAccording 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.”

This year, eleven teams from the top engineering universities in the Upper Midwest and Canada participated. Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing Department is one of just two teams that have been competing in the annual event since it first began in 2011. The College has since taken home several awards, including a third place prize in 2015.

“The competition provides great credit to the application-based engineering culture here at Dunwoody,” Daigle said. “Especially as we prepare to launch new engineering programs over the next 5 years.”

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionThe team’s knowledge and experience with the competition appeared to be evident to other teams as well. Daigle said that at one point during the competition, a team announced they were going to quit due to technical difficulties when another team suggested they, “find the Dunwoody guys–they can fix anything.”

Daigle said that the cooperative competition displayed by his team was one of the best parts of this year’s contest.

Final results:

1st place: University of Michigan “Yeti 6.0”

2nd place: Case Western Reserve University “Otto X”

3rd place: Dunwoody College of Technology “Snow Devil 01102

4th place: University of Michigan “Zenith 2.1”

5th place: Case Western Reserve University “Snow Joke”

6th place: North Dakota State University “Thundar 2.0”

7th place: University of St. Thomas “John Snow”

8th place: University of Minnesota “Ground Squirrel”

9th place: University of British Columbia “Snow Flake”

10th place: North Dakota State University “Snow Blight”

11th place: Bemidji State University “BeaverBot”