Lake Superior College
Hometown: Chanhassen, Minnesota
Degree/Major: Associate of Applied Science (CNC Programming)
Matt Gildner always has new challenges to look forward to at his job as a Senior Robotic Technician in IKONICS’s Advanced Material Solutions Division. “I handle everything from fixture design, robotics, programming, fabrication and set-up, so each day is different,” he said. “People think robots are taking over all these jobs. Well, robots only do what someone tells them to do, so there are always highly trained humans behind robot production.”
Gildner’s employer, IKONICS, is a Duluth-based imaging technology company that focuses on the creation and transfer of physical and visual images through processes based in photochemistry, abrasive etching, chemical etching and other technologies for international markets. Gildner’s recent project involved programming and operating a KUKA industrial robot to produce complex shaped parts for Bell Helicopter tail rotor vents. His division also works on perforation patterns on various materials for NASA and other aerospace giants.
Gildner returned to school at Lake Superior College to earn a CNC Programmer AAS degree after earning a BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota. “I am able to apply all my training and skills I honed at LSC– CNC programming, machining, welding and CAD design — on my job on a regular basis to design and create, problem-solve and produce high tech products,” Gildner said.