Category Archives: Research

Turn of the Century Meets State of the Art

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Michigan Technological University’s APS LABS provides a variety of talent, equipment, and expertise to many different customers.  For the first ever annual meeting of the Advanced Light Duty Engine Consortium, APS LABS wanted the experience to go beyond in-depth technical discussions and include informal meetings with student researchers and a touch of local culture.

Michigan Tech - APS LABS - 100517 165651At the turn of the century, “state of the art” technology in Upper Michigan was centered on the mining industry.  The Quincy Mine boasts the world’s largest steam-powered hoist.  It is enclosed in one of the first large reinforced concrete buildings ever built.  This technology was designed to expand the copper mine a distance of almost two miles into the earth.  Fast forward 100 years and the APS LABS Advanced LD Engine Consortium has been formed for the advancement of engine technologies, reducing emissions, improving fuel consumption, and ultimately bettering mobility as a whole. 

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The group in attendance at the opening reception of the annual meeting consisted of sixty-five people.  The mix included APS LABS researchers, students, university administrators, corporate consortium members, and other university staff.  After the tour of the steam hoist, our corporate visitors were able to peruse technical posters and talk to every researcher in a unique and relaxed setting.  

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Posters included information about current and future engine advancements set against a backdrop of equipment that was the best technology had to offer 100 years ago.  

Wherever future engines takes us, Michigan Tech is committed to being on the leading edge of research and technology.


Michigan Strategic Fund Board Approves $2.66 Million in Funding for University Technology Commercialization Programs

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LANSING, Mich. – October 24, 2017 – The Michigan Strategic Fund – the oversight board of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) – today approved funding totaling $2.66 million for the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) and Technology Transfer Talent Network (T3N), both of which are administered by the University of Michigan (U-M) and support collaboration with all institutions of higher education in the state. MCRN will receive $1.4 million and T3N will receive $1.26 million for a one-year period to support university research and university industry collaboration.

 

“Renewed funding of the MCRN and T3N programs represents the value and continued investment placed on spurring Michigan’s economy through the exceptional talent and vast resources available at the university level,” said MEDC university relations director, Denise Graves. “Providing mentors, supporting collaborations among all universities and creating partnerships between Michigan’s companies and university assets have proven incredibly beneficial for Michigan.”

 

MCRN started in 2011, with the support of MEDC and Michigan Strategic Fund, as a collaboration between six of Michigan’s leading research universities: University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Michigan Technological University, Western Michigan University, and University of Michigan-Dearborn. MCRN now supports collaboration among all institutions of higher education throughout Michigan. Its mission is to help small companies become aware of university resources and identify and secure the resources available to meet those company’s needs. Resources include the Small Company Innovation Program, which provides matching funds of up to $40,000 to small businesses to help cover the cost of conducting a research project at any state of Michigan public university.

 

MCRN also supports the placement of student interns, with a STEM focus, into small companies by providing matching funds to the company for the internship with the goal of hiring the student on a full-time basis. In 2016, MCRN supported 51 interns, in which over 50% were hired on a full-time basis. The program is on track to support more than 130 student interns for 2017.  In 2016, the Small Company Innovation Program provided funds, matched by the companies, for 21 research projects that created 42 patents and three license agreements.

 

“MCRN has had a tremendous impact on university students and small businesses in the state of Michigan. The collaboration of public universities within the state to support research and talent is one of the most unique programs of its kind in the nation. The University of Michigan is so proud to be a part of this effort,” said Stella Wixom, Executive Director of the Business Engagement Center and Principal Investigator of the MCRN grant.

 

T3N was created in 2011, also with support from MEDC, to spur the commercialization of university projects with talent programs and resources. Hosted at the University of Michigan, the network serves to share best practices and provide mutual support among lead research universities including: University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University with growth to support all institutions of higher education in Michigan.

 

Talent resources include a fellowship program, mentors-in-residence program, university post-doctoral fellowships and a statewide talent resource network. Investment from the state, along with matching funds from participating universities, have developed and retained entrepreneurial talent, provided key support for startups and the commercialization of their products, attracted resources to Michigan universities, and increased the pace of the contributions of Michigan universities to their communities throughout the state. In 2016, the network supported 32 mentors who contributed to 187 projects that have produced 45 patents, 18 startups and over $11 million in follow-on funding.

 

Additional information on these programs can be found at www.michigancrn.org and www.techtransfer.umich.edu/stories/medc/.

 

MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation, visit michiganbusiness.org.

 

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit MichiganBusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 98,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

 

Pure Michigan


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.

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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.