Academic Excellence Award Student News

Academic Excellence Award: School of Engineering

Jason Jarosz
Mechanical Engineering, B.S.

Jason Jarosz’s engineering education has run the gamut — from the theoretical and research-based to the hands-on and technical.

During his four years in the Mechanical Engineering program at Dunwoody College of Technology, Jarosz has taken advantage of a wide range of opportunities. He’s helped conduct research in the field of ammonia combustion and joined the Baja SAE team that built an off-road vehicle from the ground up.

He’s now graduating from Dunwoody with an extensive range of experience — and a very bright future. He’s also this year’s recipient of the Academic Excellence Award for the School of Engineering.

student working on a manual milling machine.
Jason Jarosz works on a project in the College’s Machine Shop.

“Jason was a fantastic student,” said Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Jonathan Aurand. “During his time here, he grew and developed as a person and an engineer. This award is very well deserved.”

Jarosz’s diversified involvement and interests in the engineering field probably isn’t surprising to anyone who knows the 2020 Andover High School graduate.

“I knew I wanted to do something STEM related, but I never had an exact idea of what type of engineering I wanted to do — or math or accounting,” he said. “But I’ve always enjoyed engineering. I have a deep appreciation for it.”

So, when he saw that Mechanical Engineering offered the broadest career options, in a wide-range of fields and industries — and was more hands-on — it was an easy choice.

Student building a frame for a recreational vehicle.
Jarosz wires the frame of the BAJA SAE vechicle that he and his teammates designed and created.

It wasn’t until his senior year of high school that Jarosz settled on Dunwoody.

“I came here for a tour and saw that it was really hands-on and that everyone here was passionate about teaching and being of service to the students,” he said. “When I first started, I wanted to go into the medical industry, then it was HVAC, and then power generation. I don’t know. It’s ever evolving — and I’ve enjoyed the continuous learning.”

Jarosz may be the first member of his family to attend Dunwoody, but he follows a long line of engineers, including his dad, his grandpa, and an uncle.

“My dad has been such an inspiration to me,” he said. “He is always pushing me to learn — to be curious about the world and how it works.”

That curiosity is probably why he was selected to assist Professor Daniel Thomas with a research project on ammonia combustion. It was an experience that culminated in a conference at Texas A&M University to present some of their research. They will also travel to Case Western Reserve University to share their research in early May.  

photo of student conducting research on ammonia combustion flame with faculty.
Jarosz, left, conducts research on ammonia combustion with Associate Professor Daniel Thomas.

That same curiosity is also how Jarosz got involved in the SAE Baja team for his senior capstone.

According to Baja SAE, the project challenges engineering students to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain and in some competitions, water. Each team’s goal is to design and build a prototype of an all-weather, rugged, single-seat, off-road recreational vehicle intended for sale to the nonprofessional weekend off-road enthusiast.

photo of student inside an off-road recreational vehicle
Jarosz test drives the recreational off-road vehicle he helped design and build.

Working with the Dunwoody team, Jarosz took on the role of designing and building the drivetrain components. The vehicle, which the team built from the ground up, was put to the test at the end of April when they traveled to the desert in California for the Baja SAE race.

“There were a lot of ups and downs, but it was a really good learning experience,” he said.

Jarosz was part of the team who designed and built this off-road recreational vehicle.

In addition to the real-world projects Jarosz got to work on in school — and his experience as a Dunwoody peer tutor — he was also able to gain experience in the field while still in college. He worked as a mechanical engineering intern at Michaud Cooley Erickson in the HVAC and plumbing fields and then at IDC Spring as a manufacturing engineering intern.

The internship at IDC Spring also led to a job offer: Jarosz will be joining their R&D and Automation team after graduation.  

When he’s not at school or work, Jarosz is a bit of an outdoor enthusiast. He enjoys snowboarding, hiking, running, and playing pickleball with his family.

From the labs and lectures to the research and hands-on projects, Jarosz said he’s enjoyed it all and learned a lot along the way. And he credits the Dunwoody faculty for helping him develop into the engineer he is today.

“Broadly speaking, I’ve learned how to problem solve,” he said. “The program has been a good blend of science and math, with a hands-on approach to problem solving. I feel a lot more comfortable now in presenting my ideas. Challenging yourself is a very important part to improving yourself.”