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.


Ben Clymer shares message about personal leadership

On Thursday, April 2, Dunwoody College of Technology hosted its monthly C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series event.


Pictured left to right: Gib Syverson, ’74 Automotive Service Technology; Mark Falconer, ’68 Welding & Alumni Board of Managers Chair; Ben Clymer; and Paul Berman, ’82 Automotive Service Technology.

This month’s event featured former NHL player Ben Clymer, who shared a great message about taking ownership in your life through personal leadership.

Clymer2W[1]Clymer, a hockey reporter and analyst for Channel 45 and Fox Sports North and a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch, has earned a national reputation as an NHL defenseman, a broadcaster and a businessman.

The next C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series will feature Michael LeJeune, President and CEO of Fabcon Companies.

The event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 7 at Dunwoody. The cost to attend is $20 and you can register in advance by e-mailing alumni@dunwoody.edu or by calling 612-381-3064.

Multiple programs benefit from new fabrication lab

Architecture student Roman Zastavskiy and President Rich Wagner assemble a chair model created using a laser cutter.

Architecture student Roman Zastavskiy and President Rich Wagner assemble a chair model created using a laser cutter.

Students in Architecture, Interior Design, Construction Management and Graphic Design now have access to a new, state-of-the-art fabrication lab located in Red 67.

Rocky Phandanouvong and Tyler Barres.

Rocky Phandanouvong and Tyler Barres.

The “fab lab”—also referred to as “digital fabrication lab” (dLab)—is a hands-on laboratory that provides students with the necessary resources for material testing, prototyping, product design and development, visualization, and digital fabrication at all scales.

“The fab lab fulfills Dunwoody’s mission to provide a hands-on education that serves the industries in need,” said Architecture Program Manager John Dwyer. “Architecture is expanding its role into computational design and digital fabrication to create buildings with greater performance.  This gives students the capacity to gain the skills for these emerging professional tracks.”

Josh Kulus

Josh Kulus

Among the fab lab’s tools relevant to the architecture industry are: model making and prototyping tools (laser cutter/engraver, small sander, small table saw and dremel); full-scale fabrication tools (CNC router); and product design and development tools (3D printer). Future fab lab tools will include a large format laser cutter, vinyl cutter, mini mill and portable 3D printers.

Interior Design students will use the fab lab for prototyping and testing product concepts for improvements and innovations. “The actual making helps to reinforce a true hands-on educational experience unique to our college—and so important to our students learning,” said Interior Design Principal Instructor Colleen Schmaltz.

Construction Management students will focus on collaboration with other disciplines in the fab lab. Program Manager Heather Gay said: “We plan on working with Architecture, Interior Design, and Graphic Design on multidisciplinary projects such as model building, cost and buildability analyses, and full-scale construction.”

The Graphic Design department will use the fab lab to cut larger retail display components than their new Kongsberg V20 table can handle and also to possibly create 3D-printed prototypes to stand in as product samples and enrich the package design process.

“The other programs will be using Graphic Design’s new CAD table as well for their furniture design and model making when they can,” said Graphic Design Principal Instructor Pete Rivard. “Our table has expandable tooling options that extend it beyond paper and corrugated and allow materials such as plastic, vinyl, wood and aluminum to be cut so there are options available to Architecture and Interior Design to share the cost of tools while making the Kongsberg table available to more Dunwoody students.”

Rivard added that the programs all sharing materials will make the procurement of materials more cost effective for the College.

Laser-Cutter-and-ComputerThe fab lab was funded largely by private donations through the Dunwoody community of donors as well as a matching grant from First Technologies.

“We are applying for an annual grant to continue expanding the lab and are hoping to eventually integrate the fab lab with the materials lab, currently on the Green Level, and house all of them on the Red Level,” Dwyer said.


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.

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.


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.

Automotive body paint booth upgrade complete

Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing recently celebrated the completion of major upgrades to the program’s paint booth. The booth upgrade means students and faculty can use waterborne paint, an environmentally friendly paint that is gaining traction in body shops across the U.S. and internationally.

The booth upgrade was made possible by a matching grant from the Minneapolis Green Business Matching Grant Program and sponsors PPG Industries, ABRA Autobody and Glass, Luther Collision and Glass, and Master Collision Group.


Dunwoody faculty, first and second year Auto students, and industry friends celebrating the upgrade

Waterborne paint, which uses much less solvent than previous paint, provides multiple environmental and economic benefits including lower anthropogenic VOC emissions and reduced job and material costs.


Lynn Engmark of PPG Industries discusses waterborne paint.

The program celebrated the installation by hosting a “Waterborne 101” presentation, including a brief history of collision instruction at Dunwoody by Bruce Graffunder; a presentation on waterborne paint by Lynn Engmark of PPG Industries;  and some observations on using waterborne paint from Pete Latuff of Latuff Brothers Auto Body.

With so many advantages for both the shop and the customer, “there’s absolutely no reason to not shoot waterborne [paint],” Latuff said when describing his shop’s successful shift away from solvent based paints towards water based paints.

Graffunder explained that this new piece of equipment will also change the Automotive program’s curriculum. As auto body shops across the country transition towards waterborne-based paint practices, Dunwoody Automotive students can expect the same. Graffunder now expects close to 75% of painting time will be devoted to using and learning waterborne based painting techniques. This change in curriculum will better train and prepare Dunwoody students as they progress towards a career in automotive collision repair.


Lynn Engmark showing how to properly apply waterborne based paint to a car panel.

The afternoon presentation concluded with refreshments and a demonstration from Lynn Engmark on how to properly apply waterborne-based paint to a car panel.


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!

IMG_5713- small

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.


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

Zech Bradach and Ollie Reller place in Behind the Mask welding competition

Zech Bradach earned second place in Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and third place in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). Reller earned third place in the GMAW division.

L-R: Ollie Reller earned third place in the Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) division. Zech Bradach earned second place in GMAW and third place in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW).

Twelve Welding Technology students participated in the Behind the Mask Welding Competition sponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS) on Feb. 26. Around 100 students from Minnesota and Wisconsin colleges competed in the event held at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Students competed in several categories utilizing such welding processes as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), and Oxy-acetylene Cutting (OFC). During the timed events students were presented with a blueprint and the metal components required to complete a weldment in 20 minutes. The weldments were then inspected by AWS Certified Welding Inspectors who scrutinized the dimensions, weld size and weld quality.

Each division placed the top three individuals to receive prizes. First place won an auto darkening welding helmet (worth $500) and $100 cash, second place winners earned $50 cash, and third place winners took home $25 cash.

Dunwoody student participants were: Zech Bradach, Ben Browne, Jacob Dommer, Lucas Hoglund, Curtis Mattson-Laurent, Max Mertans, Brendan Pliego, Ollie Reller, Austin Reuter, Kristen Schafer and Nikki Umpleby, Wyatt Werner.

Bradach earned second place in GMAW and third place in SMAW. Reller earned third place in the GMAW division.

Dunwoody Instructor Michael Reeser said he’s proud of his students’ performance in the competition.

“This is an excellent opportunity to reinforce the advanced skills that we teach on a daily basis and allows students to apply those skills in a timed event. It motivates students to produce quality work as it is scored by industry-certified welding inspectors,” he said.

To learn more about Dunwoody’s Welding Technology program, visit http://www.dunwoody.edu/manufacturing/welding-technology/