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Ford Motor Company Donates Support for Women in Engineering Scholarships

Ford Motor Company Donates Support for Women in Engineering Scholarships

Last Modified 10:42 AM on Mon Mar 2, 2015

March 2, 2015—

By Monica Lester

From the left, Women in Engineering alumnae Monica Lester and Rachel Kloc,, Tech alumna and Ford representative Cynthia Hodges, President Glenn Mroz, WIE alumnae  Kara Barakowski and Maggie Stangis.

From the left, Women in Engineering alumnae Monica Lester and Rachel Kloc, Tech alumna and Ford representative Cynthia Hodges, President Glenn Mroz, WIE alumnae Kara Barakowski and Maggie Stangis.

Science, math and classes are normally the farthest things from a high school student’s mind during summer vacation. But every summer about 150 pre-college women trek up to Michigan Tech to participate in Women in Engineering (WIE), a scholarship program and an intensive, exciting week-long look into engineering careers. For some, it’s a life-changing experience.

This year, WIE and the young women attending will be able to do even more, thanks to a $10,000 donation from Ford Motor Company.

Tech alumna Cynthia Hodges, representing Ford Motor Company, presented Michigan Tech with the company’s check. Hodges earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech and participated in WIE herself in 1980. She is also on a committee at Ford Motor Company called Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), which encourages women into STEM fields, especially engineering. So when an opportunity came to support another program at Michigan Tech, Hodges knew which one she wanted.

“Ford Motor Company is pleased to support the WIE program at Michigan Tech,” said Hodges, who is chassis supplier technical assistance site manager at Ford. “We recognize how important it is to encourage young women to study engineering. As an alumna of the WIE program myself, I know how the program really helped me determine I wanted to be an engineer. It’s great to be a part of this wonderful program.”

Hodges presented Ford’s check in the John Edgar McAllister Welcome Center. Many people came to celebrate this donation. Brent Burns, director of industry relations at Michigan Tech, introduced the speakers. Cody Kangas, director of the Center for Pre-College Outreach, said, “Every summer we look forward to WIE.”

Then four WIE alumnae – Rachel Kloc, Monica Lester, Maggie Stangis and Kara Bakowski – stepped up to speak on the experience they had at the program and how it changed their lives.

President Glenn Mroz talked about the employment rate and how the number of people earning degrees is ever-changing process but those with degrees are needed. “These kinds of things do make a difference,” he said.

Finally, Hodges spoke, emphasizing the importance of WIE. “When people ask me what has changed my life, WIE did,” she said.

Kangas said, “Ultimately, the short-term effect of this donation is that 10 more women will be getting scholarships for this summer, but long term, these women have a bigger potential to become engineers and to come to Michigan Tech.”

WIE also has a Superior Ideas page, where Ford Motor Company’s contribution is shown along with others. Superior Ideas is a crowdfunding website at Michigan Tech that helps bring university research and public service projects to life. To contribute to WIE, go to http://www.superiorideas.org/projects/women-in-engineering.

 

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

Original URL: http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2015/march/ford-motor-company-donates-support-for-women-engineering-scholarships.html


Tech Students Explore Career Options at Medical Career Week

Tech Students Explore Career Options at Medical Careers Week

Michigan Tech students will get to explore a wide variety of careers in the medical and health fields during a four-day event called Medical Careers Week. Medical professionals from diverse fields will be on campus to discuss their professions and the educational pathways to success in those fields and to answer students’ questions.

Medical Career Week topics will be

  • Monday, Jan. 26—Medical Informatics
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27—Allied Health and Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Wednesday, Jan. 28—Medical Careers
  • Thursday, Jan. 29—Medical Devices

Each day features a Lunch and Learn presentation from noon to 1 p.m., followed by small group discussions with visiting professionals from 6 to 8 p.m. These informal events will take place in the Memorial Union Ballroom. They are open to all students, and no registration is required.

Departments in the College of Sciences and Arts, the College of Engineering and the School of Technology pitched in to help organize the event. Guy Hembroff, director of the medical informatics graduate program in the School of Technology, helped organize Medical Informatics Day. High school students from area schools who are involved in robotics have been invited to participate.

Jason Carter, chair and professor of kinesiology and integrative physiology, and Karyn Fay, director of the medical laboratory science program in the Department of Biological Sciences, helped organize Allied Health/Medical Laboratory Sciences Day.

Stacy Cotey, director of pre-health programs, helped plan Medical Careers Day. Students from the health careers programs at local high schools have been invited to participate.

Sean Kirkpatrick, chair of biomedical engineering, helped put together Medical Device Day. A variety of medical device companies will be at Michigan Tech to discuss the future of the medical device industry.

Many of the speakers are Michigan Tech alumni, including William Karpus ’84 (BioSci), Brad Tomassucci ’84 (MedTech), Erin Thompson ’02 (ClinLabSci), Robert Richards ’77 (MedTech), Tracey Bershing, ’92 (Pre-PharmEd), Michelle Seguin ’07(BioSci), along with current medical students Eric Sturos and Stephanie Rutterbesch.

“Events like Medical Careers Week give students from all fields of study the opportunity to learn more about careers available in the medical field, said Shelley Farrey, coordinator of career development for Michigan Tech Career Services. “Not every student knows what avenue he or she wants to pursue in life when they enter college. Medical Careers Week gives them a chance to learn about the many opportunities available and the paths to get there.”


Michigan Tech Partnering with Local Businesses – GreenForces

Michigan Tech would like to announce its partnership with GreenForces – a consortium of aerospace, technology, and defense companies located in the Upper Peninsula.  The GreenForces consortium provides niche technology capability for developing product solutions in heavy vehicle, off-highway, aircraft, rotorcraft, and marine applications.  The consortium focuses on developing engineering and production solutions that are sustainable and environmentally conscious.  This includes material optimization for weight reduction and increased lifetime as well as performance optimization for mechanical systems, engines, electronics, and power utilization.  Michigan Tech provides material, metallurgy, electrical, and mechanical engineering expertise to compliment the capability and capacity of the other members of the consortium.

Greenforces graphic for blog

Each of the partnering businesses has the versatility and quick response that only small businesses can bring while leveraging the research and development capability of Michigan Tech.  With the combined resources of the companies, the consortium can provide support to any part of the product development process.

GS Engineering – Electrical, mechanical, and material engineering for vehicle and aircraft systems.  They provide innovative solutions for weight/size reduction, FEA and failure analysis, structural optimization, electronic equipment design, and vehicle testing.

Great Lakes Sound and Vibration (GLSV) – Noise, vibration, and harshness analysis, design, and testing services.  GLSV has extensive experience with exhaust systems, suspensions, and isolation systems and has a suite of capabilities for benchmarking, standard tests, and root cause analysis.

Creative Composites – Composite material development as well as component design and fabrication.  With design and development in armor and ballistic protection, Creative Composites brings effective and practical composite solutions.

IR Telemetrics – Advanced testing solutions for rotating equipment and hard to acquire data.  IR Telemetrics provides custom testing solutions for wireless acquisition of strain, pressure, torque, temperature, and fluid flow in harsh environments like those inside engine hot sections.

L’Anse Manufacturing – Precision machining and low volume high mix manufacturing for aluminum, steel, magnesium, titanium, plastics, and other materials.  L’Anse Manufacturing provides the high reliability and quality machining that is needed for aerospace, medical, and military applications.

Calumet Electronics – High Reliability bare printed circuit card fabrication since the dawn of the industry.  Calumet Electronics provides secure, safe, and sustainable PCBs for aerospace, military, and power transmission applications.

For more information on GreenForces, visit their website at www.greenforcesllc.com.  If you have interest in joining GreenForces or working with the members of the organization, please contact Executive Director Rob Cooke at 906-231-7769 or rob.cooke@greenforcesllc.com.


Students Pull Together to Pull Off BonzAI Brawl

by Dennis Walikainen, senior content specialist, Michigan Technological University

The recently completed Seventh Annual BonzAI Brawl attracted some 120 students, alumni, faculty and staff and was a resounding success, according to organizers and advisors.

“Northern Michigan students even competed remotely, due to weather, and that’s the first time we’ve done that,” said Mike Stefaniak of Husky Game Development (HGD) Enterprise. With Women in Computing Sciences (WiCS), they were the chief organizers. “We hope to do that again in the future.”

According to Stefaniak, in the BonzAI Brawl, teams create autonomous agents (via artificial intelligence, the AI in BonzAI) to overcome challenges and outperform their opponents. Students have no prior knowledge of the game design and mechanics before BonzAI. The morning of the event, students learn about the game and then have eight hours to develop their autonomous agents. In the evening, they watch their agents face off against each other as they compete for first place.

This year’s top three teams were:

1. Slaughterhouse: Kyle Falk (Computer Engineering) and Zachary Dunham (Computer Engineering)
2. Team Dinosaur: Michael Kent (Computer Science), Joseph Ryan (Computer Science) and Matthew Vaught (Computer Science)
3. The Headcrabs: Tim Bradt (Computer Engineering), David Pariseau (Electrical Engineering) and Evan Bajek (Electrical Engineering)

“The main core of students from WiCS and HGD Enterprise put hundreds of hours into creating the game and setting up the event,” said advisor Laura Brown, assistant professor in computer science.

“It is easy to underestimate the huge number of details that need to be taken care of for the event to go smoothly,” said Scott Kuhl, advisor and assistant professor of computer science. “All the planning really adds up and took a lot of effort from students to organize. The students helped with everything including writing the custom software we use for BonzAI, testing the software for bugs, finding sponsors, handling registration, creating artwork for the software and marketing materials, and ordering food and prizes.”

“Outside of this core group, we had volunteers from Michigan Tech’s chapter of ACM (Association Computing Machinery) and UPE, the computer science honor society, helped with many activities,” Brown added. “This year the Copper Country Programmers, a club of middle and high school students learning to program, also got to help beta-test and try out the game.”

“If others in the campus community (faculty, staff, alumni) are interested in participating in or sponsoring the event next year, please stay tuned to http://bonzai.cs.mtu.edu for announcements for BonzAI 2015,” said Brown.

The event was sponsored by Lasalletech, Jackson National Life Insurance Company and ControlTec.


Kimberly-Clark Hosts Michigan Tech Students

Nineteen students from Michigan Tech spent a day in Neenah, Wisconsin touring Kimberly-Clark facilities, meeting with company representatives and alumni, and learning about careers with Kimberly-Clark.  The students included members of Michigan Tech’s Society of Women Engineers collegiate section and other professional university organizations.

For many students, the trip gave students a better understanding of what their future will be after graduation.  Erin Richie, a first-year student explains, “It was a really good opportunity for me to see what industry can be like and gave me an idea of what I want to do when I graduate.”  Jeanette Kussow added, “The Kimberly-Clark visit was a great experience.  From it, I was able to visualize myself working there in the future, and how I can get there from where I am today.”

Cassie Bobart, who’ll be a co-op with Kimberly-Clark this summer, found the trip reassuring. “It was a lot of fun to meet and interact with people who are not only successful engineers but also Michigan Tech alumni. Having that connection with these engineers not only made it much easier for me to connect with the employees but also made working in the real world seem more tangible and exciting. The idea of being outside in the real world can often feel overwhelming and unreachable but meeting such friendly Kimberly-Clark staff was really reassuring and helpful. All my questions were answered and I am not only more knowledgeable but more confident and comfortable talking to these engineers because experiences like this make you realize that you actually have a lot in common with them. The tours were extremely interesting and got me excited for the future. I can definitely see myself working in facilities like those we visited at Kimberly-Clark.”

Kimberly-Clark is well known for their personal and family care product brands – Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Poise, Pull-ups and Depends, and their growing leadership in the Health Care and Professional Products markets.


Career Services Suite Renewed by Black and Veatch

(left to right) Don Gibson, Electrical Controls Supervisor and Vikas Bhargava (’05 MSEE) Power Delivery Supervisor/Chief Engineer for Black and Veatch, Ann Arbor Michigan office, presented a check for $10,000 to Michigan Tech’s Julie Way, Career Services and Brent Burns, Corporate Partnerships, renewing their support for Career Services Partnership, Career Center interview room, Undergraduate Expo, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Electrical and Computer Engineering undergraduate scholarships, and diversity student organization funding.

The Black and Veatch Suite in the Career Services Offices, provides prime interview space while on campus and feature interior posters, coffee mugs, pens, and other insignia from the sponsoring company. In addition to on campus interviews, the full time office of Julie Way, Assistant Director for Career Development Education, sees hundreds of students each semester.

For more information on Career Services Interview Room Sponsorships, please contact Jim Desrochers at 906-487-2313 or jtdesroc@mtu.edu, or visit mtu.edu/career.


Georgia-Pacific Foundation Supports Women in Engineering

Seth Adams (left, ’12, BSEET), Electrical Converting Engineer and Andrew Bomstad, Product Engineer (right, ’10, BSME) from Georgia-Pacific Corporation present a check for $5,000 to Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz in support of the Women in Engineering (WIE) program. This gift, made by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, will help Michigan Tech reach out to more young women through the WIE program.

Annually WIE engages 150 pre-college young women in STEM education and career discovery. WIE participants are some of the best and the brightest. In 2013, WIE women boasted an average GPA above 3.9, 17 percent were number one academically in their high school class, and 31 percent were in the top five in their class.  For more information on WIE and other pre-college STEM outreach, please contact Steve Patchin at 906-487-2219 or shpatchi@mtu.edu, or visit syp.mtu.edu.