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Designing a Future: Mechanical Design

Designing a Future: Mechanical Design

Spring 2014

Apr 3, 2014

Twenty-four-year-old David Zalusky joined the military while still in high school. After a stint conducting military police operations in Iraq, the Appleton native enrolled at Fox Valley Technical College on the GI Bill. 

Today, Zalusky maintains a full-time paid internship at Pierce Manufacturing while pursuing his bachelor’s degree. He also serves as a sergeant in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. 

Zalusky credits his ongoing success to the FVTC experience. “I originally wanted to work on cars, so I enrolled in the Automotive Technician program,” he says. “After a semester, however, I became intrigued by engineering and decided that instead of fixing problems, I wanted to engineer solutions to prevent problems. So, I switched to the Mechanical Design program.”

His studies at FVTC helped Zalusky land a paid internship with Pierce Manufacturing, a manufacturer of custom fire and rescue apparatus. When Zalusky decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, the company was so impressed with his work skills that it extended his internship two more years. “Fox Valley Tech gave me the skills I needed to read blueprints and use 3D software,” he says. “Today, I work with engineers to design custom parts for fire trucks because of my FVTC experiences.”

After earning his four-year degree in engineering mechanics and astronautics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Zalusky hopes to find a career in aviation.

Quick Facts:

91% placement rate for graduates of FVTC’s Mechanical Design Technology program over the past three years
(FVTC’s Graduate Employment Research Reports, 2011-2013)

$45,000 average annual salary for graduates of FVTC’s Mechanical Design Technology program
(FVTC’s Graduate Employment Research Report, 2013)

219 full-time job postings for mechanical designers in northeast Wisconsin 
(FVTC’s Graduate Employment Research Report, 2013)