Five Michigan Tech students competed in the Lear Open Innovation Challenge 2018, and four brought home awards.
Michigan Technological University students Shawn Badanjek, Mayank Bagaria, Anurag Kamal, Cameron Philo and Arvind Ravindran completed this year’s challenge, and Badanjek [student in the School of Business and Economics] was a member of the team that won the grand prize.
Lear Corporation, based in Detroit, is a leading automotive supplier that hosts the annual challenge to build connections with the state’s universities and tap new sources of innovative ideas.
“Detroit is the birthplace of the automobile, and, leveraging this proud legacy and manufacturing expertise, its industries are poised to be ground zero for the development of tomorrow’s mobility solutions,” the Lear Open Innovation Challenge website explains.
The challenge is conducted by the Innovatrium, a consulting firm founded to help organizations build the internal capacity to innovate and grow.
This year’s Lear Challenge had 57 participants from six universities: Michigan Tech, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the University of Detroit-Mercy.
The Lear Open Innovation Challenge presents a problem to interdisciplinary teams of university students. This year, the challenge involved increasing vehicle occupant safety. Two weeks later, the teams meet in Detroit to present their solutions.
The competition is designed to teach an innovative mindset, prepare students to create ideas for the future of mobility and vehicle connectivity, work with innovation coaches and Lear technology development experts and learn how to develop solutions that advance technology and manufacturing. While in Detroit, the student teams get a tour of Lear’s headquarters and a chance to network with top companies in the Detroit area and faculty from Michigan Tech, Michigan State, Wayne State, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Grand Prize Winner
Five Michigan Tech students completed the challenge and four received awards. One, Shawn Badanjek, was a member of the team that won the Grand Prize. A senior in engineering management [and management information systems], he will receive an internship with Lear for the summer, where he will work with his team to develop a prototype of their idea. He will also receive $250 cash prize, a Haworth Fern chair (customized personally for him) and a set of Detroit Tigers tickets.
Badanjek has high praise for the competition mentors. “I believe the guidance and mentoring I received from these people was priceless,” he says. “I learned more about high-level team building and interaction in two weeks than in any semester-long class I have ever taken. This is something you learn that will be with you and help you navigate team interactions for life.”
Two other students, Cameron Philo—a Pavlis Honors College student—and Mayank Bagaria, were on a team that won an award for the most innovative idea. They will each receive a $250 cash prize.
“We approached the problem from a very different perspective, not as a conventional mechanical engineer would design, but as a biomedical engineer would design,” says Bagaria, a graduate student in mechanical engineering. “Working on the team was an awesome experience; diverse universities with people from different majors provided a very different perspective to the solution. The whole experience made me realize my strength and areas I need to work on. Michigan Tech helped us throughout the process. It would not have been possible to go and compete in Detroit without Michigan Tech.”
Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries around the world. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our beautiful campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.
Our third Deans’ Teaching Showcase member for spring 2018 comes from Dean Johnson in the School of Business and Economics (SBE). Johnson has selected Jeff Wall, assistant professor. During his brief time at Tech, Wall has already been recognized as the SBE Teacher of the Year Award and with membership in the Academy of Teaching Excellence. Johnson credits Wall’s teaching success to his “humble, demure and genuine passion for students combined with a deep knowledge of his field.”
In his nomination, Johnson also emphasized Wall’s flexibility: “From the freshman intro course to the advanced graduate MBA and Master of Data Science course, Jeff has the ability to effectively teach a wide range of topics and class levels. Jeff consistently receives high teaching evaluations and positive comments from students across this spectrum. I believe this is due to Jeff’s ability to make each student an active valuable member of the class.”
When asked how he helps students feel included, Wall emphasizes using projects and a need for a “safe” environment to enable learning. He elaborates, “In the classroom, I seek to foster an environment of mutual respect and to create an environment where it is okay to experiment and make mistakes. During experiential learning sessions, student teams are asked to present their work to the class for critique. Students see that all of the teams make mistakes. These sessions help to reinforce the idea that making mistakes is an important part of the learning process. From these sessions, students see what common mistakes may occur in practice and how to avoid or remedy them in the future.”
Wall will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.
-by Michael Meyer, Director, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning
This is the second year Kappa Sigma Iota (SBE’s accounting club) has been helping with the Houghton Elementary School Econo Receipts program. Twice a year, students compile receipts from Econo Foods. The receipts are collected through the thoughtful families and friends of the school district, and the receipts are submitted back to Econo in exchange for a donation to the elementary school. Econo Foods generously donates 1% of all the submitted receipts back to the school.
Amanda Massaway from the Board of Education in Houghton says, “It’s been extremely helpful to have the KSI students assistance, they have totaled over $200,000 of receipts over the last year which returned $2,000 to the school.”
Pictured below are two students from the accounting club – Tres Green and Anna Kubek who helped add up receipts this winter.
Goldsworthy, a junior defensive end from L’Anse, Michigan, averaged 4.2 tackles per game, led the Huskies in sacks (3), and was second in tackles for a loss (9.5). His tackles for a loss totals cost opposing offenses 48 yards and his three sacks resulted in a loss of 27 yards. Goldsworthy also recovered a fumble which set up a touchdown in Tech’s win over Davenport. His tackle totals of 46 were a single-season career high as well as his 9.5 tackles for a loss.
Goldsworthy will enter his senior season in 2018 with 106 career tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 18.5 tackles for a loss. Goldsworthy was named to the All-GLIAC 2nd Team and was recently selected as the Defensive Lineman of the Year when Tech football announced the end of the year team awards.
The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 on Aug. 29, 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988. Don Hansen’s Football Gazette began selecting Division II All-Region squads in 2003.
The first-team and second-team All-Region selections advance to a national ballot from which the 2017 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team will be selected.