Leader Under 40: E.J. Daigle

Academic director - Robotics + Manufacturing, Dunwoody College of Technology – AAS Electronics Engineering Technology, Coastline Community College; BS Mathematics, Metropolitan State University


E.J. Daigle, 38

Academic director – Robotics & Manufacturing, Dunwoody College of Technology, www.dunwoody.edu

Minneapolis, Minn.


AAS Electronics Engineering Technology, Coastline Community College; BS Mathematics, Metropolitan State University


“I teach and manage the Robotics + Manufacturing Department at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minn. I have 14 faculty members that report directly to me, and I train students in automation/robotics, electronics, engineering/design, CNC machining, and welding. This past year has been exciting as I served as faculty advisor to a group of automation/robotics and machining students in the First Annual Institute of Navigation's Autonomous Snow Plow Competition at the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Our plow used an Allen-Bradley PLC combined with ultrasonic sensors to navigate a course while plowing two inches of snow. Our team placed third among some of the top engineering universities in the Midwest.

Non-work-related activity

“I serve as a mentor/coach for two local high school FIRST Robotics teams (2500 and 3524). This work involves robot design, the manual and CNC machining of robot parts, and programming NI CompactRIO using LabVIEW,” Daigle said.

Engineering-related activity

An Allen-Bradley PLC-controlled traffic signal light in Daigle’s garage helps in parking his car in the right position. Several project iterations can be found on YouTube by searching for PLC Garage.

Interesting details

“I served as part of the commissioning crew for the submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740). My senior project for completion of my mathematics degree was a Rubik’s cube algorithm to calculate the optimal solution strategy. This project involved the use of group theory,” Daigle said.

Began interest

He began in controls and electronics while serving as a Missile Technician on Trident Submarines in the U.S. Navy. This work included maintaining the digital control computers for the targeting of submarine-launched nuclear weapons.

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