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.

Industry partner Graco donates InvisiPac system to Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department

Students work with the new Graco InvisiPac system in Dunwoody's packaging lab. Graco recently donated an InvisiPac hot melt glue machine — one of its’ latest technologies — to Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department. The InvisiPac donation came about as the result of a visit late last year by Graco Engineering Manager Mark Weinberger.

During the visit “one of the students told me about the working assembly lines at Dunwoody that included glue machines,” Weinberger explained. After looking over the assembly line, he approached Senior Instructor Jeff Bixby about replacing the old glue machine with the InvisiPac.

Graco InvisiPac gives students hands-on, industry-standard experience

Automated Systems & Robotics students use the Graco InvisiPac hot melt glue machine for sealing cartons after an MGS Cartoner fills them in Dunwoody’s packaging lab. The automated packaging line then uses these cartons to demonstrate a “product to pallet” approach to machine troubleshooting.

By replacing the older glue machine with Graco’s InvisiPac, students will have hands-on experience with the latest tools currently being used in their field. The InvisiPac is one of the newest technologies to come from Graco and sets a standard for state-of-the-art packaging plants. Here are just a few of the upgrades that students will benefit from:

  • The Graco InvisiPack system works with the MGS Cartoner to fill cartons in Dunwoody's packaging lab. Graco’s InvisiPac is ready to use in 10 minutes versus 35-60 minutes for the older system.
  • It has a superior hose design that minimizes glue charring.
  • Its’ applicators have plug-free modules, eliminating unplanned assembly line downtime.
  • The InvisiPac has an easy-to-use high-tech display, along with glue use tracking and reporting with wireless connectivity.

Graco serves as a great industry partner

In addition to their recent donation, Graco has also supported Dunwoody students by providing internship opportunities and job placement after graduation.

“Two recent hires, Jake Whiteoak and Justin Weldon work in my division.  They both worked as interns for Graco before graduating last year.  Jake and Justin are doing excellent work.  We appreciate Dunwoody’s willingness to allow their students to work as interns,” Weinberger said.  “This is valuable experience for both Graco and the students.”

Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt noted that Graco hired five Dunwoody graduates just last year in addition to hosting several interns.

Click here for more information on the Robotics & Manufacturing department.

Hands-on with robotic arms

Student project entitled Bad Escape Artist, spells out "LET ME OUT" with a dry erase marker. Second-year Automated Systems & Robotics students were recently tasked with a simple assignment: to design an industrial robot program for any application of their choosing.

According to Instructor Joey White, the only requirement was that “they needed to demonstrate the use of position registers, the offset motion option along with math instructions to make sequential moves in a specific pattern based on a minimum number of taught reference points.”

A hands-on project gives real-world experience

In addition to programming the robot, the students also used SolidWorks to design the tooling at the end of the robotic arm and later brought their tools to life using the College’s Stratasys 3D printers.

This approach to the project exposed students to the full process of putting together a packaging system from start to finish — finding solutions to problems from the very first stage of production.

“I’ve learned a lot more about the automated packaging systems and how they can be utilized in so many ways,” said second-year Automated Systems & Robotics student Dallas Stewart. “It’s crazy the amount of opportunity there is in this field.”

One robot, many applications

With the guidelines in mind, the students paired up and got to work in Dunwoody’s FANUC-certified robotics lab — designing an array of robotic programs.

  • Spiral Supreme, designed by Mark Reznikov and Jesse Theis: this program is designed to pick up and drop metal balls down a spiral chute.
  • Bad Escape Artist, designed by Dallas Stewart and Steve Thulien: this program was designed to write “LET ME OUT” with a dry-erase marker and then erase it.
  • Robot Piano, designed by James Olson and Will Snyder: designed to play “Hot Cross Buns” on the piano.
  • Auto Butler, designed by Kim Wieting and Mike Prudhon: designed to serve glass bottles.

“What I really enjoy most about this class is actually being able to program the PLC’s and the robots rather than just talking about it in theory,” Stewart said.

Visit Dunwoody’s Automated Systems & Robotics program web page for more information or contact Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle at edaigle@dunwoody.edu.

Diversity Forums: a Dunwoody tradition

Since 2002, Dunwoody has hosted a monthly Diversity Forum inviting students, faculty and community members to discuss new topics surrounding diversity.

Kimberly Brown sings with her group of singers, Kimberly's Krew, at the February Diversity Forum celebrating Black History Month.

Kimberly Brown sings with her group of singers, Kimberly’s Krew, at the February Diversity Forum celebrating Black History Month.

Throughout the years, Dunwoody has hosted more than 160 speakers including Minnesota Council on Foundations President Trista Harris, Former Minneapolis Mayor and Executive Director of Generation Next R.T. Rybak, and Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief of Staff Medaria Arradondo.

Most recently, Dunwoody featured Grammy Award Winner Kimberly Brown and KSTP TV 5 Broadcast Journalist Cleo Greene at the February Diversity Forum last Wednesday celebrating Black History Month. More than 100 students and faculty filled the College’s McNamara Center to listen to Brown sing along with her group, Kimberly’s Krew. Afterward, Greene spoke about her experience growing up and fulfilling her dreams of becoming a broadcast journalist. As Greene shared her background story, she urged students to think about what they are posting to social media and how it reflects their personal brand – and how they are being perceived. “We are the owner of who we are as a brand,” Greene said.

KSTP TV 5 Broadcast Journalist Cleo Greene speaks at February's Diversity Forum celebrating Black History Month.

KSTP TV 5 Broadcast Journalist Cleo Greene speaks at February’s Diversity Forum celebrating Black History Month.

Don’t miss the next Diversity Forum where Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson will speak about Women’s History Month and her experience being elected as the first female attorney general in Minnesota. The Forum will take place at 12:30 p.m., on March 15, in the College’s McNamara Center. All are welcome, and refreshments are provided.

For more information on Dunwoody’s Diversity Forums — or to RSVP to the next event — contact Dr. Leo Parvis at lparvis@dunwoody.edu. Dr. Parvis is the Diversity Programs & Education Coordinator at Dunwoody College of Technology.

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.