Two exceptional Vermont Technical College engineering students were honored by the college and recognized at a Vermont Society of Professional Engineers event on February 26 at the DoubleTree Hotel in South Burlington.
Vermont Tech selected Dillon Delano, an Architectural Engineering Technology student from Worcester, Vt., for its “Student Engineering Technician of the Year” award. Torrie Weston, an Electrical Engineering student from East Calais, Vt., was recognized with the “Student Engineer of the Year” award. Awards are bestowed annually to one graduating associate's degree student and one graduating bachelor's degree student from the college's engineering technology programs.
Vermont Tech makes these selections based on academic excellence, professionalism, character, and communication and leadership skills. These individuals then have their names submitted to the Vermont State National Engineers' Week Committee, which holds an annual banquet with engineers from around the state.
Torrie Weston learned the value of teamwork while studying Electrical Engineering. “My classmates and I were exposed to a real-world and practical approach to problem solving. Our success as students was heavily influenced out of need and our collective willingness to work together as a team,” he said.
“During my four years at Vermont Tech, I acquired a structured approach to problem solving through advanced study in subjects including math, physics, programming and engineering,” Weston said. “It was a humbling experience to study under professors who had worked at several of the world’s most renowned research laboratories, including IBM, General Electric, Bell Laboratories, and the Naval Research Laboratory. These individuals inspired me to take great pride in my work and stressed the importance of integrity and personal achievement.”
Weston was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society. At times, his coursework proved very difficult, he said. He recalled the herculean effort he put into conquering a calculus-based Applied Mathematics for Engineering course.
At Vermont Tech, Weston was invited to work as the senior lab technician – organizing work schedules, setting up labs and helping other students succeed in their endeavors at the college. He also represented the college in an annual Dragon Boat fundraiser that benefits cancer survivors. At home, he worked to help pay his tuition and also volunteered to assist those who needed help stacking wood, winterizing their homes, caring for lawns, gardens and equipment.
Dillon Delano enjoyed hands-on and visual assignments in high school and he took an interest in architecture. However, he wasn't confident at the time that he could handle all of the architectural coursework in college. He then experienced two other colleges and a solar installation job before enrolling in the Architectural Engineering Technology program at Vermont Tech. While he continues to balance his academic studies with work, Delano came to realize that he would need a degree to fully achieve his career goals.
"After exploring my options, I found Vermont Tech to be the best choice to pursue my education. I liked Vermont Tech because it was close to home, affordable, and the student-to-teacher ratio was something I needed to be able to accommodate for my Orthographic Dyslexia," he said.
“I have been able to enjoy the freedom to design, while learning the technical background that I was previously unaware of. I enjoy challenging myself, and working through technical problems that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to tackle earlier in my life,” Delano said. “I really enjoy the process of putting an idea in my head onto paper and then bringing it to life.”
Delano has a passion for helping other students. “I often spend time during and after class to help someone understand new concepts in a way they may understand better,” he said. He discovered that as he assisted others, it helped him better understand the technical material he was studying.
At Vermont Tech, Weston and Delano will have their names engraved on a plaque and will be recognized at the Honors Convocation on April 14.