WPI's Tim Dresser Wins 4th Place in Internat

Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - Tim Dresser, a sophomore at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, won a fourth place award at the 35th World Skills Competition Nov. 11-14 in Montreal, Canada, where 600 competitors from 34 countries matched wits on a variety of technical and trade skills. The gold medal for Dresser's category, electronics applications, was won by a competitor from Taiwan.

One of 11 Americans who competed in one of the 45 competitions in the contest, Dresser earned his berth by winning the U.S. World Skills Competition last January.

To prepare for the Montreal competition, Dresser became a cooperative education student, taking a leave from the WPI campus from May through October this year. During his leave, he received advanced training under the wing of Philips Consumer Electronics Co. in Jefferson City, Tenn.

Competitors like Dresser troubleshot broken consumer electronic products, demonstrated their prowess in theoretical electronics knowledge and constructed electronics equipment from scratch. All contestants were under age 21.

The United States brought home two gold medals and, including Dresser's, had five diploma-certificate-ranked competitors, which indicates a fourth-place honors award.

Now that the competition is over, Dresser ponders his next move. "I've been focusing on that for so long, I wonder now what I'm going to do," he said. "I've been devoting eight to 10 hours a day to this."

He won't be pondering long. After spending one term on campus, Dresser is jetting off to another international site. He will be studying and completing a required project at WPI's London Project Center beginning in March.

"This has been a good international experience," Dresser said about the recent competition that challenged students from Germany, China, France, Japan, Italy and other countries. "One thing I learned is that even though English may be the common international language, you should pick up some other languages to improve your skills to be effective in dealing with people from other countries."

One of the nice bonuses for Dresser was to see a friendly face in the crowd in Montreal. His former teacher, John Burns, recently retired from Blackstone Valley Regional High School in Upton, Mass., traveled to the international contest to cheer him on.