Normandale Dedicates Philip Danielson Vacuum Technology Center

By Steven Geller - Director of Media and Public Relations

Normandale Community College held an official naming ceremony and ribbon cutting for the Philip Danielson Vacuum Technology Center on April 27.  

The ceremony featured comments and speeches from Normandale Vacuum Technology instructor Del Smith, retired Vacuum Technology faculty member Kent Maffitt, Director of Special Programs, Colleen Simpson, Hans Luedi, who worked with Phil, Normandale Vacuum Technology student David Niday, Normandale President Joyce Ester and Vacuum Technology Program Chair Nancy Louwagie. 

Following the ceremony, there was also a telepresence demonstration in the newly named Philip Danielson Vacuum Technology Center with Lawrence Livermore in California and Laco Technologies in Utah. Robert Ruiz, Superintendent of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jay Cowles Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Trustee also spoke in the lab. 

Phil was an engineer, inventor and entrepreneur in the Chicago area who passed away in April 2015. He was a mentor to many people starting in the field of vacuum technology, including Smith. Phil also owned Danielson Associates, a manufacturer's rep company in Illinois.   Among his many accomplishments, Phil built custom vacuum systems and invented an important device, still in use across the world, to enhance the removal of water vapor from vacuum systems. Normandale purchased those devices to use for instruction. 

Phil's wife Doris selected Normandale to be the repository of over 50 online technical articles Phil wrote over the course of his career. When Doris passed away, Phil and Doris, in their will, left over $578,000 that have gone toward scholarships for the Vacuum Technology Program at Normandale.