Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.”

 

Students and Snow Devil 1012 compete in Autonomous Snowplow Competition this weekend

Seven students and their Snow Devil 1012 plow will compete in the Fifth Annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snowplow Competition in Rice Park this weekend.

Seven students and their Snow Devil 1012 plow will compete in the Fifth Annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snowplow Competition in Rice Park this weekend.

Seven students and their Snow Devil 1012 plow will compete in the Fifth Annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snowplow Competition in Rice Park this weekend.

The competition runs Jan. 24-25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Rice Park, Downtown St. Paul, Minn.

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

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

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.”

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

Come out and see the latest autonomous navigation technologies from eight of the top engineering universities in the nation.

This is the fifth year Dunwoody has participated in the competition. Here is a preview of the team’s 2015 entry: 

For more information about the competition, visit www.autosnowplow.com.

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.”

 

R.T. Rybak speaks at MLK Day Diversity Forum

Rybak’s speech focused on the importance of fixing the achievement gap in schools and he encouraged attendees to take action to engage with and understand someone who is different than them.

Rybak’s speech focused on the importance of fixing the achievement gap in schools and he encouraged attendees to take action to engage with and understand someone who is different than them.

Around 100 students and staff filled the Holden Center on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Jan. 15, to hear former Minneapolis Mayor and Executive Director of Generation Next R.T. Rybak talk about King’s vision and the importance of equality.

Rybak was the 150th person to speak about diversity and inclusion at one of the College’s monthly Cultural Diversity Forums. The Forums expose students and staff to different cultures and various perspectives.

Rybak’s speech focused on the importance of fixing the achievement gap in schools and he encouraged attendees to take action to engage with and understand someone who is different than them.

“One of the most important things you can learn at Dunwoody is to sit down in the lunch room and talk to someone who is different from you. Sounds trivial, doesn’t it? But the fact of the matter is that’s not happening everywhere,” he said.

Rybak said the issues of race and opportunity are subtler today than they were in the past–stressing that those who succeed will cross boundaries.

“We each need to find somebody different than us and try to understand who they are. That’s not an obvious thing. That’s not something that will get a day named after you someday, but it is absolutely about the daily work of living a dream.”

February Forum
The College’s February Forum celebrates Black History Month. Civil rights leader Dr. Josie Johnson is the keynote speaker and Grammy Award winning-singer Kimberly Brown will perform. The Forum is Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Construction Sciences & Building Technology fish house to be raffled Dec. 6

 On Oct. 17 and 18 Construction Sciences & Building Technology students built a Minnesota Bound-themed fish house for Fish House Frenzy Twin Cities.

Minnesota Bound-themed fish house

Teams from Adolfson & Peterson Construction and Kraus-Anderson Construction also participated in the 24-hour construction competition to raise funds for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, which makes critical repairs for homeowners in need–particularly older adults, individuals living with disabilities, families with small children and members of the armed forces.

While the other fish houses were auctioned off already, the Dunwoody team’s fish house is still available via raffle to be drawn on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Joe’s Sporting Goods, 33 East County Road B, St. Paul.

In addition to raising money for a good cause, the students learned about the importance of preparation and teamwork.

Students learned through trial and error how to manage people and time. During a recap session they shared ideas about technical and management problems that arose,” said Senior Instructor James Strapko. “For example, they agreed on the value of preparation and following the drawings. They also recognized the need for establishing clear lines of authority and matching work crews with tasks.”

Through the competition construction students formed partnerships with other Dunwoody programs. The College’s HVAC and Electrical students provided some labor and materials for this year’s project, and Interior Design students have expressed interest in participating with the College’s Fish House Frenzy team next year.

Raffle
Saturday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Joe’s Sporting Goods, 33 East County Road B, St. Paul.  Tickets are $20. To purchase raffle tickets, email k.greiner@rebuildingtogether-twincities.org.

Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology students form club to expand learning

Surveying-Club-Members

A group of Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology students created a club to gain additional surveying experience outside the classroom. The club’s first project was a geocache; a drone is next on the list.

The students meet informally for about a half hour each week to discuss current and future objectives. The idea for the geocache arose after the students had completed eight weeks of surveying classes.

“We were starting to gain some basic knowledge of the surveying world. We were looking to apply some of the information we’d learned so far in the semester and apply that to a geocache clue,” said club member Jeremy Brunell. “Geocaching is very similar to surveying to some degree. In geocaching you read up on all the clues, then go out into the world to try and find the cache. In surveying, you conduct research on property lines, site history, monument locations, among other pieces of information, and then you travel to the site to see what you can find.”

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Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game that uses GPS-enabled devices to help participants navigate to a container located at hidden location using a set of GPS coordinates. The container typically includes a logbook and a few small “treasures.” If a participant takes a small item from the container, they leave something of equal or greater value and write about their find in the logbook.

Pelican-Case

The club used Topcon HiPer SR GNSS receivers to record the position of their geocache.  To store the logbook and small items, the students used a durable Pelican Case, which is commonly used to store survey equipment.

The club’s main objective for the semester is to create a surveying drone from scratch.

“The concept of drone technology has enormous potential to impact the surveying world. Such drones can collect data from the field in minutes, where it may take surveyors on the ground hours to collect such data,” said Brunell. “Drone technology is such a new concept that it hasn’t yet impacted the surveying world, but in the next decade it is possible that every surveying company will have a drone to use out in the field.”

Principal Instructor and Club Advisor Kelly Ness supports the students’ desire to pursue emerging technologies for club projects.

“I think the club has an opportunity to focus on emerging technology more than our curriculum can,” Ness said. “Our curriculum focuses on technology currently utilized by the industry. The club can look into the future and explore what technology will be used and how it might impact the profession.”

The club plans to send out letters requesting donations or student/non-profit pricing for drone components.  They hope to have a drone that will collect data by the end of the school year.

“These surveying drones are not allowed to operate commercially at this time, but the FAA is working on procedures to allow for this.  I think our students could be operating these drones within a few years,” Ness said.

Other projects the club has planned include attending surveying conferences and reviewing old surveying documents to research where past historical monuments were once located in the Twin Cities.

Geocache
For more information about the club’s cache, visit http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5EXAT_william-h-dunwoody-cache?guid=b096fb5a-d2c8-4613-89e3-20978ec733a1. Brunell says individuals who search out the geocache might learn some basic surveying concepts.

 

 

MDES students visit Modern Metals Foundry Inc. for putter casting project

Engineering Drafting & Design students in the Product Design class recently visited Modern Metals Foundry Inc. in Bloomington, Minn. The visit is part of a golf putter design project the students are working on.

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Before the students visited the foundry, Dan Taylor, pattern maker and partial owner of Modern Metals, spent a day in the classroom working with 21 students to create golf putter designs and follow boards that could be easily cast in aluminum.

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“At the foundry the students were able to watch the actual process of packing the sand into a core and cavity using one of their putter patterns and follow boards,” said Senior Instructor Andrew LeRoy. “The sand was hardened using a CO2 process. Finally the sprue and runners were cut into the mold and the liquid aluminum was poured into the mold by hand using a ladle. After a cooling period the part was removed and then brought into the grinding area to clean it up.”

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When all the putter parts are complete they will be returned to the students to do the final machining of the putters striking faces and installation of the shaft and grip.

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“This project makes the design process come to life from conception through final manufacturing of a part using required standards from industry. It is very realistic and mirrors what graduates will face in industry on a smaller scale,” LeRoy said. “Modern Metals has been integral to the MDES program for several years and they really make an invaluable contribution.”

Putter Contest
For this project the students are required to ensure their putter meets United States Golf Association standards of weight and design. In mid to late November the students will host a putting contest for Dunwoody faculty, staff and students–who will be asked to vote for which putter they think is best. The winner will be listed on a trophy displayed in the Robotics & Manufacturing department.

Dunwoody was featured on “Life to the Max” May 17

Mike Max took a tour of Dunwoody College through its 100 years of history to the present day for his Life to the Max TV Show that highlights stories of perseverance, tenacity and winning attitudes.

If you missed the episode that aired on May 17, you can watch it at http://lifetothemax.tv/index.php/2014-archives/551-show-189-the-dunwoody-difference

 Mike Max takes a tour of Dunwoody College of Technology through its 100 years of history to the present day. A generous gift left by William Hood Dunwoody in his will started the Minneapolis technical college in 1914 and since then its reputation for excellence continues to grow. Mike meets with instructors, current students and wildly successful alumni of Dunwoody to find out what makes the college and its culture breed success.

“Life to the Max” is sponsored by Lifetouch and produced by Lifetouch Media Productions.

For more information about Life to the Max, visit http://www.lifetothemax.tv/.