Ian Partak, a senior in Ferris State University’s Heavy Equipment Service Engineering Technology program, made the most of a trip to Orlando, Florida Sept. 16-17, by winning the National Student Technician Competition, during the fall meeting of the American Trucking Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council.
The Kentwood native competed as a member of the 2017 TMC FutureTech student field and finished second. He was joined by Ferris sophomore Connor Smith, of Alanson, this year as they were asked to demonstrate their skills at 15 diagnostic and repair stations.
“Taking part in 2017 gave me real hope since I went in uncertain of what to expect,” Partak said. “I decided I could work to improve my efforts and returned with an eye on winning the competition. Taking the championship looks really nice on my résumé, and it made me realize that I can reach my goals, by working to pursue them.”
The Ferris HESET students benefitted from corporate support, as Pressure Systems International sponsored Smith while Snap-On Tools backed Partak for a second year.
“I did an internship with Snap-On in the northern suburbs of Detroit this summer,” Partak said. “I enjoyed the opportunity to work with them since it can assist my career goals of being involved with design and testing of prototypes in the original equipment manufacturing for heavy-duty engines.”
The TMC fall meeting offers technicians professional development webinars, seminars and online training, beyond the FutureTech competition, according to HESET Associate Professor Darren Wilson.
“Ian and Connor were asked to demonstrate their abilities in areas ranging from advanced diesel electrical diagnosis to safety and environmental concerns,” Wilson said. “The department is proud of both of their efforts.”
Partak expressed gratitude for the experience.
“I am glad I returned to the ATA’s TMC fall meeting,” Partak said. “Though I had to
stay focused on my goals as a competitor, the meeting offered significant networking
opportunities and very interesting task force presentations on recommendations for
best practices in the industry.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Ian Partak, a senior in Ferris State University’s Heavy Equipment Service Engineering Technology program, stands with the prize package earned during the 2018 TMC FutureTech National Student Technician Competition, part of the American Trucking Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council’s fall meeting Sept. 14-20 in Orlando, Florida.