Student Dedication = Success

University of Northern Iowa

This past fall, members of UNI's chapter of the Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association (TEECA) had great success at their regional conference. The regional conference offers many opportunities for UNI students in the Department of Technology to apply academic and co-curricular learning through friendly competition with their peers from other institutions. UNI students brought home first place awards for Communications, Transportation and Problem Solving.

In addition, UNI students received a runner-up award for the “Teach a Lesson” competition, and they placed third for the “Technology Challenge.” This is quite an accomplishment, and our students' success at the conference underscores their commitment to engaging in the high quality educational environment offered at UNI.

“We are very focused on taking that extra step to make sure that the educators and engineers that graduate from the college are well versed within the field and to help the members excel in their future,” explained Bailey Abbott, UNI TEECA chapter president.

Technology and engineering education students are not the only students in the Department of Technology to receive awards. In February, UNI's Metal Casting students earned runner-up honors at the 80th annual American Foundry Society (AFS) Wisconsin Regional Foundry Conference & Exposition. They also took second place in the casting competition with its weldment conversion for the Environmental Tillage Systems: Soil Warrior.

These accolades and awards are not surprising to Jerry Thiel, director of the Metal Casting Center (MCC). “While other universities are moving away from research in basic materials such as sands, refractory and resins, UNI continues to specialize in foundry material characterization and testing that provides the industry with valuable information and students with specialized education,” explained Thiel. “Ninety percent of the research at UNI is completed by undergraduate students under the direction of full-time technical staff and academic faculty. The MCC currently employees 25 undergraduate and graduate students who gain advanced knowledge and experience in manufacturing while financing their education. The UNI student advantage has been noticed by the industry and is one of the main reasons our students are highly recruited.”