Brent Newville: MTTIA Instructor of the Year

Brent Newville
Brent Newville

Heavy Duty Truck Technology instructor

Brent Newville, an instructor in the Heavy Duty Truck Technology (HDTT) program at Dakota County Technical College, was recognized as the 2018 MTTIA Instructor of the Year. Brent received the award during the MTTIA 2018 Summer Conference, a technical sessions and trade show held in early August at Central Lakes Community College in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Bob Engberg, a former Automotive Technician instructor at DCTC, serves as associate director of the Minnesota Transportation Center of Excellence (TCOE), which is headquartered on the DCTC main campus in Rosemount, Minnesota. The TCOE is instrumental in conferring the annual award.

Echoing his coworkers at the center, Chris Hadfield, director, Stephanie Zojonc, project coordinator, and Cassidy Jelen, administrative specialist and graphic designer, Bob reported that Brent Newville is a tireless advocate for the transportation industry and student success.

“Brent exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding educator,” he said.

Cassidy added that the MTTIA Instructor of the Year is chosen on the basis of faculty participation. “We look for someone that supports TCOE initiatives by taking part in outreach events and summer camps,” she said, “while promoting professional development activities with colleagues.”

Ken Klassen works with Brent as faculty in the HDTT program. “Brent has volunteered countless hours with the Transportation Center of Excellence,” Ken said. “He has helped the center become what it is today. From high school visits to events throughout the state of Minnesota, Brent has been involved in the promotion of the transportation industry and our HDTT program.”

Ken noted that attending such events throughout the state helps keep transportation programs healthy. “Brent’s work also gives interested individuals a chance to discover the endless career opportunities offered by the transportation industry as well as the skill set needed to succeed in our field,” he said.

Brent at 2018 MTTIA Conference

Brent at 2018 MTTIA Conference

More about Brent Newville…

Brent grew up working working summers on his grandfather’s 400-acre dairy farm in Milaca, Minnesota, where he established his work ethic and knack for repairing heavy equipment.

“We maintained all our own equipment on the farm,” Brent said. “I was already working on tractor engines at the age of ten.”

A 1997 graduate of Coon Rapids High School, Brent went on to earn his A.A.S. degree in Medium/Heavy Truck Technology from Hennepin Technical College. While at HTC, he excelled in SkillsUSA, taking first place in Diesel Equipment Technology at the 2000 SkillsUSA Minnesota State Competition and 12th at the SkillsUSA National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri.

Brent soon turned an internship at Boyer Trucks in Rogers, Minnesota, into a successful career. With six service locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota, Boyer Trucks is a full-spectrum truck store, handling sales and service for top names in the trucking industry, including International, Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, Condor, Isuzu, Ford, Mercedes Benz, Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, Cummins, MaxxForce and Allison.

“I started as an entry-level technician at a brand-new shop in Rogers,” Brent said. “I worked at Boyer Trucks for fourteen years, specializing as a master technician in driveability and engine work. Boyer is a great place to work, but I always wanted to be an instructor.”

Brent Newville gallery

Trucking industry needs highly trained technicians

“Teaching is even better than I expected,” Brent said. “I had a great group of students right from the start. I have found that students enter our program with varying skill levels. We can teach them the technical skills, but what we really want them to learn is how to use their online resources. The trucking industry is always advancing and the best technicians know they need to stay current with new technology on the job.”

Brent explained that trucking service centers have calculated that for every hour a truck is down for repairs, the driver or trucking company loses hundreds of dollars in revenue. Because pressure on the job can be intense, good technicians need strong people skills. They need to communicate clearly with drivers who might be worried or upset while keeping their shop managers up to speed on the progress of a given repair.

“That means as a technician you need to know what you’re doing,” Brent said. “As diagnosing problems becomes more difficult, knowing how to best use your on-the-job learning resources becomes more important.”

Brent Newville Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?
Create an environment where the student wants to know more; challenge the student everyday and have a good time while doing it.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job as a DCTC instructor?
Seeing a student grasp a new concept.

What are the most important attributes students should bring to your program?
HDTT students need to be lifelong learners due to the ever-changing technology in the trucking industry. Students need to come into the program with a passion for what they do. If the student does not have that passion, the student cannot be successful.

What should students know about a career as a college-trained technician in the transportation industry?
The student needs to know there is a great career ahead of them as long as they come into the job with a good attitude. They need to take every repair as an opportunity to learn, no matter what the job is, and do the job with their head held high and be proud of the work they do.

More about MTTIA…

Mission Statement: “To provide professional development for teachers through the enhancement of technical skills and knowledge to better improve student achievement.”

The Minnesota Teachers of Transportation & Industrial Areas (MTTIA) was a professional local chapter under the Minnesota Vocational Association (MVA). The MVA was a state chapter under the American Vocational Association (AVA). Over time the associated parent organizations have evolved and become other organizations. ¹ Read more…

More about the Minnesota Transportation Center of Excellence

The Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence is the go-to organization for the transportation career pathway; consisting of a consortium of secondary, post-secondary, and industry partners. Founded in 2013, the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence is focused on developing a highly-skilled workforce to meet the current and future needs for high-demand, high-paying, high-tech jobs in Minnesota’s transportation industries. ² Read more…

Bus and Truck Mechanics

Maintain or repair any type of diesel engine.


Above the statewide median of $20.07/hour


Median: $23.93/hour
High: $29.04/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $26.10/hour
High: $30.15/hour


This career is currently in very high demand and is seeing very high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 11.9 percent, or well above the statewide average. There will be a need for about 1,930 new Bus and Truck Mechanics to meet market demand between 2014–2024. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

More about the Heavy Duty Truck Technology program…

As a student in the HDTT program at DCTC, you will learn all aspects of heavy-duty truck repair and maintenance. The program focuses on large trucks, typically class 7 and 8.

Areas of instruction include:
  • Electrical and electronic systems
  • Steering/alignment
  • Foundation brakes
  • Air brakes
  • Anti-lock brake systems

You will perform diesel engine troubleshooting as well as overhauls and tune-ups on both mechanical and electronic engines. Clutch, transmission, drive axle repair and overhaul are taught along with welding instruction, preventive maintenance and HVAC.

You will be given the opportunity to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL) and become a state of Minnesota certified commercial vehicle inspector.

This program is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Programs must undergo extensive evaluation and site visits by NATEF to receive and retain program accreditation.

To learn more about Heavy Duty Truck Technology at DCTC, contact:

Kenneth Klassen
Heavy Duty Truck Technology Faculty

Brent Newville
Heavy Duty Truck Technology Faculty

Pete Szybatka
Heavy Duty Truck Technology Faculty

¹ Courtesy of MTTIA

² Courtesy of the Minnesota Transportation Center of Excellence