Richard T. and Catherine F. Podkul have established a new endowed scholarship in honor of their dear son, Zachary Richard Podkul, who suffered from Crohn’s disease and passed away in 2020 at age 25.
Zachary shared a love of cooking, the outdoors and nature, writing, and poetry. As a young boy, he had a curiosity for discovering how things worked. With this passion for knowledge, he enrolled in Michigan Tech and graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology.
It was no small secret that Zachary loved the Upper Peninsula and his best times were at Michigan Tech. His intelligence inspired others to never stop learning. Zachary’s scholarship is intended to ease the financial burden for students who share his MTU experience and who also live with chronic health conditions. Zachary will always be remembered by his Michigan Tech Family and Alumni. Learn more here.
The Zachary Richard Podkul MET Design Competition
Zachary’s family also supports the annual Zachary Richard Podkul Design Competition. Each year, the contest winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Contest rules stipulate that students must use NX CAD software to design their content submission. Once selected by a panel of judges, the top-rated design is then 3D printed using the Stratasys Fortus 400 MC which uses Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process of extruding plastic filament.
And the 2021 winner is….HUNTER WILKE!
The challenge: design an item that can be used to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus, something that can be worn, hooked to a backpack or clothing, or easily carried on one’s person. Hunter was declared the winner in 2021 for his “Door Opening Device.” Read the full story here.
For this year’s competition in 2022, the challenge is to design a Michigan Tech cookie cutter and provide an assembly of the automated process used to manufacture the cookie cutter, which will be used by the department to send to MET prospective students, employers, and alumni. Read the full story here.