Student takes initiative in securing donation for UWP Society of Automotive Engineers
PLATTEVILLE-It's not always what you know, but rather who you know, as was the case for University of Wisconsin-Platteville student William Kunst of Kohler who recently secured a donation of a $1,800 welder for the UWP Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Kunst arranged the donation through a UWP alumnus.
"Bruce Albrecht, a distinguished alumnus of UWP, is a member of the Industrial Studies Advisory Council," Kunst said. "After discovering his standing at Miller Electric, a leading manufacturer of welders headquartered in Appleton, I contacted him with our need for a tungsten inert gas (TIG) welder.
"I explained that SAE is a nonprofit organization that competes on an international level. Our organization is a direct representation of the University's schooling, using the concepts and ideas taught at UWP to compete."
After roughly a month of correspondence, UWP received the welder which will primarily be used by SAE in the construction of the organization's clean snowmobile, formula and mini-Baja projects, Kunst said.
"A TIG welder is used to weld metal that is otherwise hard to weld using different welding processes," Kunst said. "The welder we received will allow us to basically weld any metal we can get our hands on, saving us a lot of money and service fees, and enabling us to build better projects and be more competitive."
Not only do students benefit from the donation by having access to a more versatile piece of equipment, but Miller Electric also stands to benefit from the gift.
"When we approached Mr. Albrecht regarding the donation, he realized that our need was true and that the donation would benefit SAE and Miller Electric in the long run," Kunst said. "That's the difficult part of working with large companies, selling your organization to them. The company has to buy what you're selling, and in this case, we were selling the chance to sponsor an international organization and help out a program that receives minimal funding through the University. SAE improves learning opportunities on campus and further increases our members' marketability, something a lot of business look for in future employees."
Kunst is a 1999 graduate of Kohler High School and the son of William and Kathleen Kunst of Kohler. He is a sophomore at UWP majoring in technology education at the high school level. He anticipates graduating in 2004 and plans to pursue a career in teaching. Kunst's involvement on campus goes beyond SAE.
"Last year I ran Project Pioneer, was involved in homecoming and helped with the improvements for Brockert Residence Hall," Kunst said. "This year, I'm a student chef, working four days per week, taking 18 credits and I am leading the SAE formula team."