Silicon Valley Tour – Day 1

The 4th Annual, Silicon Valley Spring Break Tour – sponsored by Brocade Communications – began over the weekend as 15 students made their way from 277″ of snow to 65 degrees and Palm trees. Plans for the trek began back in December when nearly 100 students competed for the chance to be selected for the trip. The week-long trip is designed to be an immersive experience for the students, focusing on high-tech companies in the Bay Area of Northern California – arguably the technology hotspot of the world. Heavy-hitters Cisco, Google, Brocade, Tesla, Autodesk, and Netflix are among the corporations the group will be touring, along with unique, technology-focused trips through a fully automated winery (Porter Family,) and engineering efforts with the National Park Service on Alcatraz Island. The visits are enabled by Brocade Communications and made possible by Michigan Tech’s Silicon Valley corporate partners, and in many cases – our hard-working, well-connected alumni in the Bay Area.

We’ll be posting daily summaries all week which will include impressions from select students as well as staff and faculty participating in the activities. The student group arrived late Saturday night and got acclimated with the city all day Sunday.

Read their impressions below, and watch for the first day of corporate tours on Day 2.

Sunday started with a late breakfast that lead into a group of us walking the streets of San Francisco.  We started at Ghirardelli Square.  Walking along the pier we found an art gallery that held some of Salvador Dali’s artwork, that we toured for a time.  A few of us picked up some local street Art as souvenirs on our way down the pier. We walked in and out of small stores picking up food and browsing the souvenirs. The entertainment was a treat, and after getting some refreshments, my group decided to hop on the trolly to take a look around Chinatown. Seeing the lanterns and authentic culture of Chinatown was amazing.  This was followed by a long walk through the streets of San Francisco to the Coit Tower.  The walk took around an hour, after having to find a detour because of a commercial being filmed, the tower ended up being closed down for construction.  The view, however, was amazing.  We walked down the hill, which was much easier than the walk up, to drop a few items off in our rooms and reconnect for dinner.  A group of us ended up going down to North beach to find a little restaurant that was tucked away called Michelangelo’s Caffee. The food was made by the owner of the restaurant, as well as served by him.  The service was hospitable and quick that came with complimentary desert.  Reconvening back at the hotel, a few of the group members decided to hangout in Surbhi and my room to talk about the day that lead into a night walk around town.  Overall, the first night was a success.  Being able to get to know a few of the members of the group better was a blast.  Only time will tell what will unfold next and the adventure to come.

Kirsten Dulbandzhyan
Mktg & Mngmt, Third Year

Our adventure today started off with breakfast on the town. We took a city cable car down to the Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. The car operators were attraction of their own, and offered a glimpse of true San Francisco color. Once down in the tourist section of town, we split off into a few groups. My group took the opportunity to wander around the piers and attractions found along the bay. We were treated to a variety of local flare at famous places like Boudins bread shop, and Pier 39. After stopping for a scoop of some top notch ice cream, we decided to walk the city to Coit tower. We took a jaunt through China Town on the way, and I was amazed with the cultural dynamics. After about 3 miles, and what seemed like 3000 vertical feet we made it to the tower, only to find it closed for construction! The abundance of great food and tourist shops was amazing, and its fair to say my wallet was a lot lighter on the way back to the hotel. We then made our way back to the cable line and road back toward our hotel. This time we were graced with quite the character for a cable car operator, and by the time we got to the hill top my stomach hurt from laughing. I had a few minutes to call home and tell my dad how awesome the city is, and how nice it was to final have temps above 10 degrees. Just as I hung up with him we were headed out again to get dinner. I suggested Italian food, and picked the brain of the hotel doorman to find a local hot spot. He said we couldn’t go wrong with anything down in Northbeach, so we scraped together a few others and hopped on the cable car for yet another crazy ride through the hills. I cant overemphasize how breathtaking every view in the city is, and at night this is even more true. We got off the train of Union street, and made our way through the busy streets toward Little Italy. The night air was coursing with energy, and had a mood completely different from earlier in the day. We chose to go to a little hole in the wall place called Michelangelo. This place was run by two purebred Italian guys, and the food was superb, and the service downright classy. The owner even sat down and talked to us about what we were in town for, and how we liked it so far. Then in a surprise to us all he brought out Tiramisue on the house. I’m pretty sure it was out of sympathy from learning that we came from Northern Michigan! All in all my first day in the city was beyond amazing, and I cant wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Nicholas Schweikart
Mechanical Engineering, First Year

I decided to sleep in a little on Sunday morning to rest up after a long day of travel on Saturday. Shortly after waking up part of the group decided to head out towards the Fishermans Wharf. I still needed to shower and get ready for the day so I decided I would just meet up with them. After getting ready I started walking towards the Wharf and I contacted them to see where they were at. Due to a little confusion I ended up walking over to Pier 1 while they were much further north on the corner of Beach and Larkin. I decided to just keep walking north along the bay to meet up with them but I was not disappointed as there was a beautiful view of the city and lots of events happening along the way. Once I finally met up with them they were just finishing lunch and so we headed down to explore the piers. While wandering around the piers we were able to see some seals, watch some street performers, and visited some of the local shops. Then we decided to catch a trolley and head down to experience Chinatown. On the ride to Chinatown we were able to see the famous section of Lombard street. While in Chinatown we found a nice little souvenir shop that we stopped at to pick up some trinkets to bring home with us before deciding to head over to the Coit Tower. On our walk over to the Coit Tower we had the experience of seeing a street that was blocked off to shoot a BMW commercial. After our excitement over the commercial died down we continued to head towards the Coit Tower which turned out to be closed for renovations. We were quite disappointed that we made the climb up all of the hills just to find out the tower was closed but we were still able to get an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We then decided to head back to the hotel for a bit before trying to find a place to eat. A couple people in the group were craving some Italian food so we ventured up to the North Bay to try finding a good restaurant. We ended up deciding to eat at a restaurant called Michelangelo’s on the corner of Union and Columbus. The food was fantastic and affordable but the service was even better and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice Italian restaurant in the area. After finishing dinner we headed back towards the hotel but before retiring for the night we looked around for a Walgreen’s to pick up some essentials for the morning. We had some trouble finding one that was still open at 10pm on a Sunday night but we ended up finding one and then headed back to the hotel for the night to relax for a bit before heading to bed.

Kevin Coleman – Computer Engineering, Fifth Year


Kohler Etiquette Dinner Draws Enormous Crowd

February 13, 2014

Over 400 students flocked to the third straight Business and Dining Etiquette Dinner, sponsored by the Kohler Co., on Michigan Tech’s campus on a cold and snowy Thursday night. Despite Kohler’s inbound flight being cancelled, their team of over a dozen staff drove through snow and ice, and with help from on-campus Kohler Co-Op students, they delivered an exciting and informative program. Michigan Tech students from diverse majors and class years spoke with Kohler staff about their newest technologies and employment opportunities during the pre-dinner reception. The main focus of the dinner was educating students about proper business etiquette as they embark on their future careers.

Chef Rebecca Tillman, from Kohler’s world renowned resort, The American Club, spoke throughout the meal, giving tips and advice on dining etiquette during a business meal. The evening ended with a keynote speech from Kohler’s Cynthia Bachmann, Vice President of Fixtures Engineering for Kitchen and Baths Americas, Kohler’s largest and most recognized business unit. Cynthia passed on her words of advice to the large crowd and encouraged them to pursue their passions with optimism and hold nothing back.

“This event was a great opportunity for us to get a lot of one-on-one face time with the Michigan Tech students. Their active engagement in asking questions about what we do, and their desire to learn skills that will help them in their professional career, makes us proud to be #KohlerHuskies!” expressed Kohler engineer and Michigan Tech Alumni Matthew Barens. For more information on Kohler careers please visit www.kohler.jobs

Overall, the evening provided students a look into the world of a great company and provided another professional development opportunity for their long careers. The Etiquette Dinner is a part of the Michigan Tech Career Services Career Development Education events series. For information on ways to get involved in Career Services events and opportunities to engage more closely with students, please visit http://www.mtu.edu/career/employers/resources/.


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.


General Motors donates $100,000 to Michigan Tech

General Motors donates $100K to Michigan Tech
The General Motors Foundation, a long-time supporter of Michigan Tech, presented a $100,000 check to the University today at the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC.)
The grant will fund a variety of student activities. Among them are the Advanced Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Advanced Motorsports Enterprises, Environmental Engineering senior design, student groups and diversity programs.

Photo left -> right: Steve Tomaszewski, GM’s director, real estate and facilities operations, Bob Page, Tyler Sierakowski, Rebecca Farrer, John Lukowski, Michael Carey, Glenn Mroz

—- Press Release —-

The General Motors Foundation has given Michigan Tech a $100,000 grant through its University Partner Program. The gift will support a variety of student activities, including the Advanced Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Advanced Motorsports Enterprises, environmental engineering senior design projects, student groups and diversity programs.
Steve Tomaszewski, GM’s global facilities director of operations North America, presented a check to President Glenn Mroz at a ceremony on Oct. 24, at the Great Lakes Research Center.

“The GM Foundation grant presented today is symbolic of our dedication to the next generation of leaders and innovators,” said Tomaszewski. “By supporting higher education programs, we’re ensuring these students receive the necessary knowledge and skills to compete in a global marketplace.”

This year, the GM Foundation will award grants totaling $2.9 million to support leading universities and partnering organizations across the country this year through its University Partner Program. The initiative provides funding to advance secondary education curricula in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM, information technology and other fields important to the automotive industry.

“We appreciate GM’s continued support for Michigan Tech’s students. The variety of programs the GM Foundation grant supports will gives students the chance to work on developing the technologies that will be important to Michigan’s economy far into the future,” said Mroz.

“This funding from the GM Foundation comes at the perfect time, as the students are making the final push this academic year to achieve their goal of having a fully-functioning hybrid electric vehicle, showcasing the capabilities of Michigan Tech and the students on the HEV Enterprise,” said Bob Page, Michigan Tech laboratory facilities manager/HEV Enterprise advisor.

Michigan Tech and General Motors have had a long-standing partnership dating back to at least 1940. Since that time, General Motors and the GM Foundation have provided more than $12.1 million to support a wide range of activities across campus including scholarships, capital projects, Senior Design and Enterprise programs, student organizations, sponsored research, recruiting support, youth programs, diversity initiatives, and more.

The General Motors Foundation has given Michigan Tech a $100,000 grant through its University Partner Program. The gift will support a variety of student activities, including the Advanced Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Advanced Motorsports Enterprises, environmental engineering senior design projects, student groups and diversity programs.

Steve Tomaszewski, GM’s global facilities director of operations North America, presented a check to President Glenn Mroz at a ceremony on Oct. 24, at the Great Lakes Research Center.
“The GM Foundation grant presented today is symbolic of our dedication to the next generation of leaders and innovators,” said Tomaszewski. “By supporting higher education programs, we’re ensuring these students receive the necessary knowledge and skills to compete in a global marketplace.”

This year, the GM Foundation will award grants totaling $2.9 million to support leading universities and partnering organizations across the country this year through its University Partner Program. The initiative provides funding to advance secondary education curricula in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM, information technology and other fields important to the automotive industry.

“We appreciate GM’s continued support for Michigan Tech’s students. The variety of programs the GM Foundation grant supports will gives students the chance to work on developing the technologies that will be important to Michigan’s economy far into the future,” said Mroz.
“This funding from the GM Foundation comes at the perfect time, as the students are making the final push this academic year to achieve their goal of having a fully-functioning hybrid electric vehicle, showcasing the capabilities of Michigan Tech and the students on the HEV Enterprise,” said Bob Page, Michigan Tech laboratory facilities manager/HEV Enterprise advisor.

Michigan Tech and General Motors have had a long-standing partnership dating back to at least 1940. Since that time, General Motors and the GM Foundation have provided more than $12.1 million to support a wide range of activities across campus including scholarships, capital projects, Senior Design and Enterprise programs, student organizations, sponsored research, recruiting support, youth programs, diversity initiatives, and more.


How to entertain 300 companies

The job fairs at Michigan Tech regularly bring in companies by the hundreds; many hundreds. This Fall’s fair was no exception, and Michigan Tech’s Corporate Partnerships group teamed up again with the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation Smart Zone (MTEC SmartZone) to host recruiters, staff, and faculty at the Keweenaw Brewing Company. It’s tough to find time to connect everyone in a social setting with the pressure of the job fair and a full week of interview slots to fill, but beer and pizza seem to always motivate. Over 200 joined together in downtown Houghton to talk shop, and casually mingle before the busyness of the rest of the week hit. The MTEC SmartZone is a generous and natural fit for hosting this event. Their mission is to accelerate and foster high-tech business growth – focusing specifically on driving Michigan’s innovation leadership and economic growth with sustainable opportunities for companies and their employees to prosper in incubators and offices in any of three sites in the local Houghton area. The SmartZone even started the next morning at 6:30 with a hosted breakfast and a tour of their business spaces.

Learn more about what the MTEC SmartZone is doing for businesses.

And learn more about how to connect with Career Services.


Steel Day at Michigan Tech – Oct 15

Students from all majors will get a chance to learn about career opportunities in the steel industry on Tuesday, Oct. 15, during Michigan Tech’s first annual Steel Day. Major players in steel such as Gerdau, Nucor, Cliffs and ArcelorMittal will be interacting with students in a fun and informational setting.

The day will start with a cookout on the Dow Patio from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when students can visit interactive displays set up in the Dow Atrium. At 6:30 p.m., a panel of industry experts will answer questions and talk with students in the Memorial Union Ballroom A. Later that evening, over $1,500 in prizes will be raffled off to participants.

To increase awareness of the steel industry, Michigan Tech’s materials science and engineering department, Advanced Metalworks Enterprise and student professional society Materials United are working with Career Services to organize and publicize this event.

Steel Day is meant to engage all students who might be interested in pursuing a career in this vital industry. Company representatives are hoping to build personal relationships with first-and second-year engineering students in an effort to promote careers within the industry.


Dow Company Great Lakes Bay Science and Engineering Festival

The Dow Chemical Company has taken the lead as naming sponsor of the Dow Chemical Company Great Lakes Bay Science & Engineering Festival at Delta College Oct. 4-5. The festival, hosted by Michigan Technological University and Delta College on the Delta College campus, will feature the Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers and the American Chemical Society Midland Section’s SciFest, performing their hands-on science shows.

The free two-day festival is designed to get children, adolescents and their families excited about science and engineering by engaging them in hands-on activities. Its ultimate goal is to attract more bright students into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies and careers.

On Friday, Oct. 4, the festival will host 4,000 middle school students from Midland, Bay City and Saginaw area schools. On Saturday, Oct. 5, it will be open to the public.

“STEM literacy has a profound and growing impact on our day-to-day lives. It helps us make critical decisions, and it reveals the power of the world we inhabit,” said Rob Vallentine, director, North America geographic site public affairs, and global director, STEM education at The Dow Chemical Company. “We believe engaging, hands-on learning opportunities are critical for building, supporting and growing the STEM pipeline. The Science and Engineering Festival is a great example of this model.”

Other major sponsors so far include Denso International America Inc., Nexteer Automotive, CMS Energy and the Dow Corning Foundation Donor Advised Funds awarded by the Midland Area Community Foundation, Saginaw Community Foundation and Bay Area Community Foundation.

Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers undergraduate and graduate student volunteers conduct high-energy, sometimes startling demonstrations and activities involving the young people who come to their performances. Science and engineering are anything but dull when you can make—and eat—liquid nitrogen ice cream, shoot a ping pong ball through a soda can using nothing more powerful than air or walk on (and sink in) a sticky liquid-solid called ooblek.

Mind Trekkers has brought the “Wow!” of STEM to hundreds of thousands of young people all over the country since the traveling science show was established in 2010. Partnering with the USA Science & Engineering Festival, Mind Trekkers will take its performance to the nation’s capital in April 2014.

ACS Midland’s SciFest also brings hands-on science to curious people of all ages, with exhibits, activities and performances. The Midland Local Section of ACS won a ChemLuminary award from the national ACS for SciFest in 2011.

Michigan Tech and Delta College are inviting other organizations and corporations interested in science, engineering and STEM education to participate in the Great Lakes Bay Science & Engineering Festival. Email Steve Patchin at Michigan Tech for more information at shpatchi@mtu.edu.


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.