Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Auto industry has the need, Dunwoody has the grads

Industry speaks at March open house

Photo of Auto Open House eventDunwoody Automotive invited representatives from Luther Automotive Group, Walser Automotive Group, and Alliance of Automotive Service Providers-Minnesota (AASP) to speak at the College’s open house event this month, which was held Tuesday, March 15.

Steve Reinarts, Automotive Dean, said the goal of the event was to help organizations find potential hires as well as provide students and their guests with a better understanding of what the automotive job market looks like right now.

And what does it look like?

According to Judell Anderson, Executive Director of AASP: “Desperate.”

All three organizations confirmed that automotive job opportunities are skyrocketing—and shops and dealerships across the nation are in need of technicians.

“When I left my office, we had 43 openings,” said Meg Miller, HR Recruiter for Luther Automotive Group. “The opportunities are endless.”

In fact, auto mechanics are in such demand, many automotive organizations are hiring recent graduates—and even current students—to work. And for organizations like Walser Automotive, Dunwoody College is one of the first places they look.

Why a Dunwoody student?

“For years, we have all gone out and simply tried to steal one another’s technicians,” said Walser Automotive Corporate Service Director Jeff Lamott. “But as a business model, it doesn’t make sense to put an ad in the paper and hope you can get someone from another store.

Photo of students talking at Auto Open House event“Maybe that’s a short term solution for now, but probably a better solution would be to hire people at an entry level—student graduates for an example—bring them in, provide them with mentorship, and then grow them into a technician from the ground up,” he said.

“And to do that, we immediately look for organizations that provide students like that, or we look around and ask where we have gotten people from before…and Dunwoody would be the answer to both of those.”

Luther Automotive also has a long history of hiring Dunwoody graduates.

“Several of our managers and technicians have come from Dunwoody,” Miller said. “We always look for a well-rounded individual–someone who has the skill but also has the drive to learn more.

“We definitely find that in a Dunwoody student.”

Industry reps to return May 24

A first-time event for the department, Reinarts couldn’t be more pleased with the end result.

“I think the most beneficial part of the event—for both prospective students and their parents/guardians and guests—was being able to talk directly with industry,” he said.

“When parents come to an open house, they’ll often ask ‘will my son or daughter be able to get a job, and if so how much will they be able to make?’ Those answers, coming from me or one of our other instructors, could be perceived as self-serving.

“But by having industry there, we direct those questions to them and they’ll tell the parents and the students exactly how much they will be able to make and what the job market and career outlook looks like right now.

“That is why we wanted them there. So prospective students can get the story first-hand and hopefully consider choosing automotive as a future career,” he said.

Photo of guests talking at Auto Open House eventDue to the success of this month’s event, Dunwoody Automotive plans to host industry partners again at the College’s May open house, which takes place on Tuesday, May 24, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Prospective students can RSVP here.

If you are interested in speaking about your organization at the upcoming event, or becoming more involved with Dunwoody Automotive, please contact Reinarts at

Dunwoody College celebrates Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and Dunwoody is celebrating in some very exciting ways!

Starting tomorrow, the College has several women-focused events on campus, including:

The 76th Diversity Forum: Women’s History Month with guest speaker Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.
March 15, 12:30 p.m. in the McNamara Center

A Kate’s Club Meeting for all Dunwoody women interested in attending  a supportive, networking event.
March 17, 2:45 p.m.

A Salary Negotiation Workshop for students in Dunwoody’s Women in Technical Careers (WITC) Scholarship program.
March 18, 4:30 p.m.

Note: If you are not a WITC student and are looking for salary negotiation tips, please contact

The College has also launched a social media campaign to celebrate women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) professions—occupations that have been historically dominated by men. The campaign features Dunwoody women employees, students, and alumni who are pursuing or already working in a STEAM career.

Several of the campaign’s participants include:




The College invites all women in STEAM careers to participate! To join the campaign, simply tweet or instagram your photo, career choice, and a sentence about what makes you, you.

Make sure to use the hashtag #STEAMwoman or use our social media handle @dunwoodycollege.

Happy Women’s History Month from Dunwoody!

Dunwoody Architecture students help create 8 affordable housing projects at Search for Shelter Design Charrette

Photo of Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty, and Gianna Madison

From L to R: Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty and Gianna Madison.

Dunwoody Architecture students Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty, and Gianna Madison,  joined nearly 60 other students and professionals for a rigorous three-day, pro bono brainstorm at the annual Search for Shelter Design Charrette Feb 19-21.

The goal of the Charrette—organized by industry partner American Institute of Architects (AIA)—is to bring together architects, interior designers, landscapers, students, and affordable housing representatives to help generate housing solutions for the homeless.

Despite Search for Shelter beginning over 3 decades ago, AIA representatives say homelessness continues to be a problem throughout the nation—and right here in Minnesota.

The Dunwoody students volunteered their time and expertise to assist in the project, which could help participating affordable housing organizations to move forward with eight different developments.

The entire Search for Shelter event lasted around 42 hours.

For both the students and the future residents, however, the impact will last much longer.

Dunwoody students humbled by event

“Everyone participating at the event really came together to work for a common goal—one that didn’t have a paycheck attached to it,” Madison said. “It made it a very sincere, untainted and humbling experience.”

Huberty agreed: “I think the appearance of architecture is that sometimes it’s for only the 1% who can afford an architect to design a home–and that is somewhat a reality of the industry. And so, I enjoy when opportunities like this come along where we can serve people who couldn’t normally afford it,” he said.

Hands-on, technical education proved invaluable at event

When asked if a Dunwoody education helped prepare the students for the project, the answer “yes” was unanimous. The group agreed that had they not been receiving a technical education, actively participating in an event of this magnitude would have been nearly impossible.

“Our technical education allowed us to become valuable assets within the group, and to make meaningful contributions to the group—especially as relatively inexperienced students,” McCauley-Aburto said.

Huberty agreed explaining that because of his Dunwoody education, he felt confident in working and designing with the other practicing architects in the room—and in some instances, even felt on the same level of expertise as them.

“I think the impression with a technical school is that it limits your creativity,” Huberty said. “People think since you are focusing on the software, that that gets in the way of the actual artistic expression.”

“But I think it is the opposite,” he continued. “We have been able to get our technical foundation first so that we can jump right into the artistic expression–because we know our tools are sufficient to get us there.”

Students hope to continue with Search for Shelter, affordable housing

The Dunwoody students hope to stay involved with the organization, their projects, and the affordable housing movement. In fact, some of the students are even considering specializing in affordable housing work upon graduation.

And while the students don’t know their exact career plans just yet, the group agreed that no matter where life takes them, they are just looking to “do something meaningful.”

Madison is set to graduate in May 2018. Huberty and McCauley-Aburto follow in May 2019.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.

Buhler Apprentices/Dunwoody students showcase robotic machines

Buhler apprentices/Dunwoody students Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson

From L to R: Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson

Buhler apprentices/Dunwoody students Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson celebrated the end of their final class module during a student showcase event on campus Feb. 23.

Students were able to demonstrate the robotic machines they have spent the last few classes designing, assembling, and programming. The group also displayed several robotic parts that were designed and printed on the College’s Stratasys 3D printer.

Photo of Buhler Apprentices/Dunwoody students demonstrating their robotic machines

The group will finish their final segment of the apprenticeship program by continuing to work towards full-time positions at Buhler.

Students travel to Orlando, FL for 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference, AHR Expo

Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology students Jack Vaccaro and Kristofer Petrie—along with Program Manager Chuck Taft—attended the 2016 American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Conference & Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration (AHR) Institute Expo in Orlando, FL Jan. 23-27.

Photo of Kristofer Petriea and Jack Vaccaro at 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference

Kristofer Petrie and Jack Vaccaro (L to R)

More than 2,000 manufacturers and 60,000 Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) professionals attend the AHR event each year.

ASHRAE Conference, AHR Expo shapes students into valuable employees

Taft said the annual conference and expo are especially beneficial to students pursuing a career in HVACR.

At the events, Kristofer and Jack were able to:

  • Participate in educational presentations, seminars, panels and workshops
  • Learn how to navigate through everyday HVAC engineering and design issues
  • Network with industry professionals and ASHRAE YEA (Young Engineers in ASHRAE) members
  • Hear about the industry’s latest awards, grants and competitions
  • Examine new HVAC equipment, products and technologies from internationally recognized manufacturers
While in Orlando, students also toured the Orange County Convention Center

While in Orlando, students also toured the Orange County Convention Center

“When students have the opportunity to attend these events, they see the reality of where the HVAC industry is, where it’s going, and what they need to do to become sought-out professionals following graduation,” Taft said.

“The knowledge they gain from experiencing nationally-recognized industry events will make them more valuable employees.”

Dunwoody students appreciate learning outside the classroom

Photo of Dunwoody students discussing with other engineering studentsTaft said one of the student’s favorite parts of the trip was participating in the various events offered during the ASHRAE Student Program on Jan 24.

Through the program, Kristofer and Jack—who are both members of Dunwoody’s ASHRAE Student Chapter—were introduced to students from other HVAC programs across the country. Taft said his students appreciated learning how other students were also studying HVAC engineering concepts.

Learn more

This is the fifth year Dunwoody students have attended the event, thanks to financial assistance from the Minnesota ASHRAE Chapter. In 2015, students traveled to Chicago, IL for the conference. The 2017 event will be held in Las Vegas, NV.

Learn more about Heating & Air Conditioning 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”

Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology student receives $2,000 ASHRAE Scholarship

This past summer, representatives from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) hand-delivered a $2,000 scholarship check to Dunwoody employees. The check was to be awarded at the start of spring semester to a student who showed promise of a successful career in the HVAC&R field.

Dunwoody is pleased to announce that the chosen recipient for the 2016 spring semester ASHRAE scholarship is second-year student Matt Svihel.

Photo of Dunwoody Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology student Matt Svihel

Svihel—who is set to graduate this May—says it is a great feeling to be rewarded for his hard work here at Dunwoody.

Svihel has a 3.83 grade point average (GPA) and is an active member in Dunwoody’s ASHRAE student chapter.

Learn more about Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology.