Rekhi Innovation Challenge Now Open

The Vice President for Research Office and Pavlis Honors College are now accepting projects for the Rekhi Innovation Challenge, a crowdfunding competition whose aim is to promote student innovation and entrepreneurship through the use of Superior Ideas. This year, the Challenge has been opened up to any Enterprise or Senior Design teams whose projects include an innovative approach to an important design challenge or market need.

The competition runs from Nov. 1-Dec. 31 and projects must be submitted by Oct. 21 in order to be considered. To participate, please see the information for teams, advisors, and the application form.

Any questions can be directed to Natasha Chopp at

fall 15 rekhi innovation challenge

Enterprise Pop-Up Workshop: Successful Projects, Satisfied Sponsors


Enterprise Pop-Up Workshop: Successful Projects, Satisfied Sponsors

Join us for an interactive workshop where we will share techniques to gain early momentum on projects, make positive first impressions, and develop professional relationships with industry sponsors. For teams seeking industry support, we will share information on Enterprise sponsorship and the resources available through the Pavlis Honors College.
When and Where: This session will be held on Thursday Oct. 1 from 6-7:30 pm in the newly renovated Pavlis Honors College Offices (722 M&M). Pizza and drinks will be provided.
About the Facilitators: Rick Berkey (Director, Enterprise Program) and Joe Thompson (Sponsored Projects Manager) will draw upon nearly 35 years of combined experience working in industry and with Michigan Tech’s Enterprise partners and sponsors.
RSVP is required by Wednesday Sept. 30 at 4pm. Attendance is limited to 30 participants; initial priority will be given to allow at least one student from each Enterprise to participate. A confirmation email will be sent out on Wed. to all participants. Please complete the Google form to register.

Michigan Space Grant Funding

msgcby Pavlis Honors College

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium, of which Michigan Tech is a member, will host its annual conference at the University of Michigan on Oct. 31. MSGC supports student work in space-related science and technology—as well as STEM disciplines—in Michigan.

There is currently a call for lecture and poster presentations. Registration is free but required for planning purposes. The registration deadline date is Oct. 19 and travel assistance is available for students. To register and for more information, please visit Michigan Space Grant

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium announces funding opportunities in the following categories: Undergraduate Fellowship, Graduate Fellowship, Pre-College Education, Public Outreach, Teacher Training and Research Seed Grant. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for fellowship grants. The internal Michigan Tech deadline is noon on Nov. 11. Specific information regarding Michigan Tech’s requirements and submission procedures can be found here.

Note: Proposals must be submitted electronically to MSGC only after being reviewed by the Pavlis Honors College and Michigan Tech’s Sponsored Programs Office

For more information contact Paige Hackney, or 7-4371 in the Pavlis Honors College.

To read announcements, submission requirements and to submit a proposal following an internal review, visit the MSGC website.

I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators


The Pavlis Honors College and the Office of Innovation and Industry Engagement held a workshop for faculty, staff and students to consider participating in an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) workshop, offered through the NSF funded I-Corps Sites Program. This workshop offered a valuable opportunity to advance technology-focused business start-up ideas towards commercialization and follow up on funding through SBIR, STTR and private investment. The program is also open to community innovators.

The workshop was conducted in August over a four-week period. Participants also worked on customer discovery. The team-based program structure is similar to the national program that NSF has developed with the help of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs for early-stage technology start-ups. This was a great opportunity for teams to determine and document the commercial potential of their technology through customer discovery using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Start-up technique.

Graduates of this I-Corps Site Program workshop will be better positioned to successfully apply to the National I-Corps program, and graduates of the national program have gone on to achieve higher rates of SBIR/STTR awards than the general population. The program is transformative based on how they approach their research, teaching and other projects they engage in.

The teaching team included Jim Baker, John Diebel and Mary Raber, all of whom have been involved as leaders of technology startups, have participated in the NSF I-Corps training as mentors and who have been trained in the Lean Start-up methodology. Also a team of mentors experienced in the start-up process were available to help navigate the customer discovery process.

I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators
I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators

Supermileage Systems Enterprise takes 4th place at 2015 SAE Supermileage Competition

10346051_1657269987837336_7341870775525437069_nby Rick Berkey

The Michigan Tech Supermileage Systems Enterprise took fourth place at the SAE Supermileage Challenge. Rick Berkey, advisor of the Supermileage Systems Enterprise says, “I wanted to share our competition results as many of you have had a hand in the team’s success, whether it’s providing administrative support, help with fundraising, shop and lab support, technical guidance on projects, etc. I’m very proud of this team for what they accomplished and HOW they accomplished it…demonstrating excellent teamwork, integrity, and resourcefulness. Like many competitions, we were challenged on a few safety issues the judges had concerns about, working late into the evening to address them successfully. Of course we also had a lot of fun!”

Berkey says the vehicle was completely new that took two years to design, build, and test. Nothing from the 2013 vehicle was reused and thus it was a major design effort, with the team logging over 5,000 hours (yes 5,000) over two years!

29 teams competed in this year’s event, including teams from Canada and the US. Of those 29, 23 made it successfully through technical inspection, and 18 were able to make qualifying fuel economy runs
We were one of only 3 teams eligible for the Endurance Award, which requires a minimum of 4 qualifying fuel runs…BYU earned the award based on higher mpg We were one of only 2 teams with throttle by wire…made possible due in large part to our multidisciplinary team of EE, CpE, CS, and ME majors Our combined verbal/written design report score was 360 out of 450 possible…in the top 1/3, and we know what to do to improve further Tech placed 4th overall with a top mileage of 793 mpg, improving on our 2013 performance of 758 mpg. Check out the official results. We also had the opportunity to be part of a local alumni event on Thursday evening (thanks Kay!) and presented our vehicle to about 12 MTU alumni, including two Supermileage alumni from 2013.

For next year, we’ll be entering the Shell Ecomarathon Americas competition for the first time…a bigger event that will give Michigan Tech more exposure, and an opportunity to demonstrate our new battery electric vehicle (BEV) architecture which is not allowed in the SAE competition. But for now, I think we’re all ready for a nice break over the summer!

SSE Website

SSE Facebook & Photos

FIRST Robotics Scholarship Recipients Announced

by Mark Wilcox, Tech Today

11 of this spring’s high school graduates, five from Michigan and six from Wisconsin or Minnesota, are the inaugural recipients of FIRST Robotics Scholarships to Michigan Tech. These exceptional students have actively competed on a FIRST Robotics Competition or FIRST Tech Challenge during high school.

The FIRST Robotics website calls its competitions “The Varsity Sport for the Mind,” combining the competition and thrill of interscholastic athletics with the rigors and discipline of science and technology.

William Roberts, director of student financial services at Michigan Tech, says the first-ever scholarship program is a collaboration between the University and FIRST Robotics. He says with these scholarships, Michigan Tech has an additional tool to attract exceptional students.

Describing the first class of FIRST Robotics Scholarship winners, Roberts says, “These are world-class students who will make an immediate impact here at Michigan Tech.” Roberts says the 11 scholarship winners were chosen from more than 80 applicants. He says students who compete in FIRST Robotics are typically students who thrive at Michigan Tech.

“These students come with experience in hands-on experiential learning. They are precisely what we are looking for at Michigan Tech,” Roberts says.

Five Michigan students have been awarded $5,000 Michigan Tech FRIST Robotics Scholarships. These annual scholarships are renewable for four years of full-time undergraduate study, based on renewal criteria. Among the in-state recipients is Houghton High School’s Peter Lund who competed in the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis.

Four students from Wisconsin and two from Minnesota have been awarded scholarships valued at $14,000 per year.

Formula SAE Car Team finished 23rd out of 110

11243461_948304381867568_1670157093017189994_oThe Michigan Tech Formula SAE Car Team finished 23rd out of 110 teams at the 2015 Society of Automotive Engineers International Competition at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The Team took 25th in Acceleration, 26th in Endurance, 31st in Design and 31st in Business Presentation. They also won the 2015 MacLean-Fogg Fastening Challenge earning them a trophy and $1000. Way to go!!

Dow Corning Donates 1,000+ Tubes of Caulk to Tech Enterprise, HEET

From Tech Today May 12, 2015

Dozens if not hundreds of area homes can be made cozier, thanks to a gift from Dow Corning.

The Midland-based company has donated 1,200 tubes of clear silicone sealant to the Efficiency Through Engineering and Construction Enterprise (ETEC) at Michigan Tech. The gift will be used to weatherize area homes as part of the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) effort.

“We did it because we’ve always had strong ties to Michigan Tech, and because it’s an excellent program,” says Bob Schroeder, global procurement director for Dow Corning.

ETEC advisor Lynn Artman, a lecturer in Michigan Tech’s School of Technology and a HEET member, says the gift would be put to good use sealing leaks that let cold air into houses. “We focus on weatherizing homes for low-income residents,” she says. “That not only makes their homes more comfortable, it slashes their utility bills. I’m so grateful to Dow Corning for their support.”

HEET is a local volunteer group dedicated to helping Houghton County residents reduce their utility bills and to compete for the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize challenges communities to rethink their energy use and implement creative strategies to increase energy efficiency.