Impactful SAIT instructor named 2024 ASET Technology Professional of the Year

20, Jun, 2024

EDMONTON, June 20, 2024 – A SAIT engineering technology instructor has been honoured at the provincial level. Rick Duchscher received the 2024 ASET Technology Professional of the Year Award from the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET).

The ASET Technology Professional of the Year Award recognizes an ASET member who demonstrates exemplary professionalism and leadership through impactful contributions to the profession. The actions of that member support and assist in establishing the important role technologists and technicians serve in the community.

The award was presented to Duchscher, a professional technologist (PTech) in the survey and geomatics discipline, during an awards event at ASET’s annual general meeting (AGM) on April 19 in Banff. He was recognized not only for being a leader among his peers, but also for being praised by students for his excellent teaching skills. He’s considered the go-to person for SAIT’s School of Construction, and is devoted to operationalizing ideas.

He has made a name for himself by spearheading the development and management of the SAIT Connector lab, which is a large, industrial space on campus designed for applied learning and interdisciplinary collaboration. It provides students access to specialized technical equipment, such as hard-to-find surveying instruments, 3D scanners, extended reality (XR) hardware, and drones.

The lab trains students in how to use the equipment safely and effectively, empowering them to collect and process the data themselves. It also puts them in touch with industry contacts and working job sites across the province. And, it connects students from different SAIT programs to encourage interdisciplinary learning and collaboration.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to work with a younger generation of future technologists and technicians on a daily basis, and to be able to share some of my knowledge with them,” said Duchscher. “The 2024 ASET Technology Professional of the Year Award inspires me to continue to focus on demonstrating for them all the benefits that a professional attitude can yield - not only in their careers, but also in their everyday lives.”

Duchscher has built numerous, meaningful industry partnerships and enabled SAIT to acquire a significant inventory of modern manufacturing and reality capture equipment (technologies that are used to capture and record the physical world as digital data). This has resulted in an explosion of multidisciplinary Capstone Projects, work-integrated learning, and research opportunities. (Work-integrated learning is a form of curricular experiential education that formally integrates a student’s academic studies with quality experiences with a workplace or practice setting.)

His involvement led to SAIT attaining access to more than $400,000 in new scholarships and well over $1 million in equipment. In addition, he has brokered several letters of understanding with industry partners that allow students to have the tools and technology they need. He has also facilitated numerous events, workshops, team functions, and student club initiatives inside the SAIT Connector.

“Indefatigable SAIT instructor Rick Duchscher continues to leave a shining legacy in the projects he propels forward and the students with whom he engages,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. “In the complex world of engineering technology, he is the definition of an all-rounder.”

About ASET
ASET is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 17,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and more than 120 occupations across a multitude of industries.

Media Contact:
Michele Penz, Calico Communications for ASET


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