Manufacturing First Expo

With a long history of graduating STEM-focused students, many Michigan Tech alumni have had careers in manufacturing environments.  When the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance, organized the Manufacturing First Expo & Conference in Green Bay, WI on October 24, 2018, Michigan Tech was more than happy to participate.

On the evening before the Expo, the Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnerships Awards Dinner celebrated the community efforts to showcase manufacturing careers for High School students.  These students gain practical experience through dedicated educational professionals to help them plot a career path.

From Left to Right: Dave DiPietro, Aaron Berg, Katie Tesch, Gabe Hernandez

At the Expo itself, over 500 High School students attended to learn about career options.  Michigan Tech alumni from Georgia Pacific, Plexus, Paper Converting Machine Corporation, and Rockwell Automation volunteered to help share their stories with students.  They were able to talk to students about how their education helped prepare them for their careers.

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Mobility In Detroit Experience 2018

Mobility in Detroit 1Michigan Technological University partnered with the Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan Tech Career Services,  and MICHauto to create a unique opportunity for students interested in careers in the automotive industry.

Over 80 Michigan Tech students applied, but only 22 were selected to participate in this RenCen Group Photo 2event.  These students joined with other students to learn about careers in the future of Mobility at the  MICHauto Summit.  During the summit, industry leaders provided career advice and a vision for the future of careers in the automotive industry.  Students also had an opportunity to network with industry representatives to discuss career opportunities.  Careers in mobility are much more than automotive!

Mobility in Detroit 3In addition to showcasing careers, the event was designed to help students learn about the city of Detroit itself, from a history, culture, and entertainment standpoint.  This included attending the Detroit Pistons game, taking a walking tour of downtown landmarks led by the Detroit Experience Factory, and seeing the PlanetM Landing Zone.

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New Campaign to Fund Transportation and Accommodations for Visiting Prospective Huskies

Michigan Tech has started a new crowdfunding campaign through the help of Superior Ideas to raise money for travel and accommodations for underrepresented prospective Huskies. Given the Keweenaw’s unique geographical location, many students considering Michigan Tech are faced with barriers such as high transportation and accommodation costs when trying to plan a campus visit.
Events such as Open House and Preview Day allow students to visit campus and get hands-on experiences discovering all of the academic and extracurricular opportunities Michigan Tech has to offer.
Open House is an all-day event held on campus every fall for prospective students to meet with current students, faculty, and staff in order to learn more about Michigan Tech. Students have access to information on financial aid, student life, student activities, Career Services and residence halls, as well as visits in the academic departments they are considering. The admissions office opens up access to online applications that help students start the admission process while on campus. Open House often helps students vetting their higher education options determine if Michigan Tech is a potential fit.
Preview Day, held annually in the spring, is designed for students accepted to Michigan Tech to come to campus for a day to help make (or reinforce) a decision around attending Michigan Tech. Students attend informational sessions about academics, co-ops, internships, housing, financial aid and scholarships; meet and talk with faculty, staff and current students; and experience a taste of college life by exploring campus, visiting the residence halls and touring academic departments.
Open House and Preview Day are Michigan Tech’s way of showing what the University has to offer and draw in new students. The on-campus experience, whether through Open House, Preview Day or Admissions-led campus tours, contribute greatly to the decision made by potential students. Some high-potential, traditionally underrepresented students do not have access to a support network to help them make the trip to Houghton for Preview Day or Open House.
“Being able to take a bus to visit this university ultimately changed the path of my life. Being given the opportunity to see this campus made this university go from a choice that I wasn’t even considering to my first-choice college. Now I am here as a first-year student making my mark as a true Husky” —Jailynn Johnson
This project seeks to organize funding to help potential or admitted students travel to and stay in Houghton in order to understand all that Michigan Tech has to offer them and aid in deciding upon a university. The fund will help with transportation, accommodations and potentially a per diem to offset or eliminate the expenses incurred by these potential Huskies.
Leading the project are Darnishia Slade, global engagement programs manager, and Joseph Thompson, associate director of industry engagement, both of the Pavlis Honors College.
Slade is a proud Tech alumna of the School of Business and Economics who understands the value of the “Tech Experience.” She is passionate about youth development and would like to expose more underrepresented minorities to the rich and rewarding possibilities that Michigan Tech has to offer.
Thompson joined the University after working in multiple industries as a mechanical engineer. In his current role, he works with Michigan Tech’s industry partners, corporate foundations, granting agencies, alumni and University supporters to identify different ways to connect with or support the academic and professional aspirations of Michigan Tech students.
If you’d like to contribute to this campaign, visit Superior Ideas and donate today. Your donations will help defer prospective student transportation costs by assisting with accommodations in Houghton and potentially providing a per diem for food and other travel expenses.

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Michigan Tech talks Mobility at Plug and Play event in Detroit

On July 11, PlanetM, in partnership with Plug and Play, hosted a Matchmaking summit in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena, designed to connect start-ups in the autonomous vehicle space with OEM’s and suppliers.  Hundreds in attendance heard from Keynote Speakers including Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder and Goodyear CTO Chris Hessel about Michigan’s mobility future and the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead. Next 20 startups representing fields of artificial intelligence, deep learning, data analytics, and visualization technologies provided rapid-fire pitches to the enthralled audience. Lunch included an overview of university mobility efforts from Michigan Technological University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.
Brent Burns, Director of Industry Relations at Michigan Tech, discusses Mobility@Michigan Tech
Brent Burns, Director of Industry Relations at Michigan Tech, discusses Mobility@Michigan Tech

Director of Industry Relations, Brent Burns, shared an overview of Mobility@MichiganTech and their expertise in the “unstructured environment”.  Leveraging world-class facilities like the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC), Advanced Power Systems Laboratories (APS Labs), and the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), Michigan Tech is helping solve some of the most challenging mobility problems.  Over 60 faculty are working in multiple interdisciplinary areas including Cyber Security, Propulsion Systems, Industry 4.0, User Experience, Smart Transportation Infrastructure, Data Analytics/Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Controls & Mechatronics.  Leveraging their extensive work the Department of Defense, Michigan Tech thrives on addressing challenges in the rural and cold weather (unstructured) environment.

The day concluded with an afternoon of start-ups and universities in the “demo pit” and one-on-one meetings, exploring their vibrant technologies and opportunities with the guests.
To learn more about Mobility@MichiganTech please visit

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Recovery Underway in Wake of Flash Floods

CampusAssessment, cleanup, and repairs are moving forward at Michigan Technological University in the aftermath of devastating flash floods in the western Upper Peninsula produced by torrential rains between Saturday, June 16th and Sunday, June 17th.

The National Weather Service reported as much as seven inches of rain fell in the Copper Country between 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, with the majority of rainfall occurring from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday. Roadways throughout the area washed out; homes and businesses were severely damaged or destroyed by mudslides, flooding, and cave-ins.

Many of our corporate partners and local companies have stepped forward to extend a helping hand. We would like to thank 3M Company, Milwaukee Tool, ArcelorMittal, Cooper Standard Automotive, Georgia-Pacific, Ford Motor Company, McBride Construction, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Two Ravens Soap Company, Appleton Beer Factory, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Medtronic, Oshkosh Corporation, Enbridge and everyone else who has provided support.

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Michigan Tech Alumni in NASCAR

Michigan Technological University has a long history of involvement with the automotive industry, engine research, cold-weather testing, and other validation resources.  When the Michigan Tech Advanced Power Systems Labs (APS LABS) brought the Mobile Lab to the Texas Motor Speedway in April, it was expected that quite a few NASCAR fans would be in attendance and probably a few alumni.   


The Mobile Lab helped showcase current and future technologies for mobility.  The Mobile Lab can be used to provide education at a customer location but also functions as the command center for Michigan Tech’s research related to the ARPA-E NEXTCAR challenge designed to improve vehicle performance through vehicle automation and connectivity.  

FinePix HS20EXR701The Mechanical Engineering Annual Report for 2014-2015 featured many of our alumni that work within the automotive industry.  Currently enrolled students are active in SAE International’s Collegiate Design Series through the Advanced Motorsports consortium.

Michigan Tech has strong representation on the Hendricks Motorsports team with three alumni employed there.

  • Greg Ives (BS-Mechanical Engineering, 2003) has been in the racing industry since he graduated.  He is currently crew chief for the #88 Hendricks Motorsports team.  
  • Chais Eliason (BS-Mechanical Engineering, 2014) joined Hendricks Motorsports as an intern and became a full-time employee after graduation and has been a race engineer for the #48 team.
  • Doug Wojcik (BS-Mechanical Engineering, 2015) is the most recent Husky to join the Hendricks Motorsports team as a race mechanic on the #88 team.

#SCF1929These alumni found their Michigan Tech education prepared them for their careers in the highly competitive cutting-edge application of automotive racing.  

To learn more about research, development, and validation opportunities, please contact Jim Desrochers.

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Industry Involvement on Campus

When people think of industry involvement on the Michigan Technological University campus, Career Fairs are often the first things that come to mind.   The Fall and Spring Career Fair brings hundreds of companies to campus for several days of interaction and interviews with students.

The spring also brings many companies to campus for a different kind of engagement.  In April, corporate representatives traveled to campus to provide valuable information to the University.  Their time and talents were used to help shape and develop future programs, provide insights into past efforts, and connect with current students that may be their future employees.  

Here a few examples of different ways companies have gotten involved on campus in the past month:

CareerServicesCorporateAdvisoryBoardAdvisory Boards

Michigan Tech has more than 20 Advisory Boards for different departments, colleges, and other organizations.  These Educational Advisory Boards (EAB) typically meet twice per year. The agenda for these meetings is adjusted to focus on individual priorities of the group. Departmental advisory boards have anywhere from 10-25 members.  Members of the boards receive updates on departmental activities, provide feedback on future program development, and ensure that the University continues to meet the needs of industry.

For example, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Professional Advisory Council (CEEPAC) discussed accreditation, toured some facilities, met with current students, and learned about some new research developments.  

Design Expo

DesignExpoDesign Expo allows corporate representatives to interact with students to discuss what they learned throughout the year working on their Senior Design and Enterprise projects.  Judges volunteer their time to help provide students valuable feedback about their presentations and projects but they also get an opportunity to learn more about student’s future career plans.

FordExecutivePanelDiscussion2Executive Visits

Many companies take advantage of the various activities to hold executive meetings on campus.  For example, executives from Ford Motor Company made a two-day visit to discuss their broad involvement across campus. During their visit, they had a chance to talk to university leadership, department chairs, and various faculty involved in research projects.  They also had events to informally meet with students working on their projects or receiving their scholarships. A panel discussion was held in the evening to let students ask questions of these executives in an informal setting.

More Information

To learn more about additional ways to get involved on campus, please contact Jim Desrochers or any member of the corporate relations staff.

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Role Models For STEM

Role Models for STEM 1In school, spring break is often a time to escape academic rigors and refresh oneself in order to get ready for finishing the semester.  However, for some Michigan Technological University students, Spring Break can also provide an opportunity to perform community service.

During this year’s break, nine members of the Michigan Tech National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Pre-College Initiative student chapter at Michigan Tech traveled to Detroit to conduct STEM John Deereeducation & outreach in six elementary, middle and high schools.  NSBE’s Alternative Spring Break program, now in its 7th year, has become a tradition. This year’s program was generously funded with corporate support from the John Deere Foundation.

Role Models for STEM 2The NSBE college students’ activities included:

  • Making presentations to nearly 1000 middle school and high school students about going to college and pursuing STEM majors;
  • Conducting Family Engineering events at three K-8 schools for 200+ students and their families.

Role Models for STEM 3

“The teachers and students both thought the presentations were great and want to invite the students back.” – Kenyano Jones, Principal Detroit Collegiate Preparatory School at Northwestern

To learn more about how your company can help Michigan Tech’s efforts in STEM outreach or to sponsor a Family Engineering event in your community, please contact Jim Desrochers.

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Oshkosh – Fueling Renewable Energy Education on Campus

OshkoshOshkosh Corporation has a long history of partnership with Michigan Technological University.  The Oshkosh brand includes many more items than just their Oshkosh Defense products.  Their business has expanded to include the brands of McNeilus, JLG, Pierce, IMT, and many others.

Oshkosh 1The Enterprise Program at Michigan is a unique multi-year, multidisciplinary program available to all students.  Enterprise teams organize themselves much like companies in the private sector with a technology or business focus area, a leadership structure, and multiple project sub-teams.  Many Enterprises have a combination of industry-sponsored and internally generated projects.  Enterprise project work is a recognized alternative to Senior Design for Michigan Tech engineering majors.  Michigan Tech has 25 active Enterprise teams with nearly 800 students involved annually.

In order to help provide meaningful projects to students interested in alternative forms of energy, Oshkosh has graciously provided the Renewable Energy Mission Module (REMM) for undergraduate students enrolled in the Alternative Energy Enterprise to use for engineering project work.  The REMM
Oshkosh 2has an array of technology that includes:

  • Folding-blade wind turbine
  • Folding-solar panel array
  • Chargeable battery pack
  • Integrated generator
  • Exportable power

Students in the Alternative Energy Enterprise can use the REMM to study alternative energy sources connected to the power grid.  This will allow measurement of energy utilization and effectiveness in the northern climates of Houghton.  Engineering talent from Oshkosh is available to provide training and technical expertise to help students understand how the equipment functions.

Oshkosh 3

We are pleased to be able to provide this hardware for Huskies to apply what they are learning in the classroom in a practical manner.”  

Rob Messina, Chief Technology Officer, Oshkosh Corporation and Michigan Tech Alum

For information on how to get involved with Enterprise please contact Joe Thompson.

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How to Recruit 365 with Minimal Additional Expense – Virtual Career Fairs

General Motors (GM) is investing $1 billion to expand the Warren Tech Center outside Detroit, Michigan. This expansion will create 2,600 jobs. GM’s main challenge: finding the talent to staff it! “We have to meet or beat the talent levels in Silicon Valley and other technology hubs around the world,” says GM product chief Mark Reuss, but the question is how they will find it.

Five years ago universities could host two traditional career fairs and satisfy industry recruitment needs. The typical recruiting season included a five-week cycle in September and a second season in February, but with the 2018 unemployment rate at 4.1 percent, a 17 year low, and industry needs increasing, year-round recruitment has become a necessity.

So how do university career centers accommodate the 365-day recruitment season? They create convenient and affordable opportunities for companies to connect with student talent. Career centers can supplement career fair season with more low cost, high impact Virtual Career Fairs by utilizing evolving online platforms. When universities and colleges collaborate to offer multi-university virtual career fairs, they’re giving employers a one-stop recruitment shop.

On Monday, April 9, 2018, ten Michigan universities attended the Michigan Public Universities Virtual Career Fair, hosted by Michigan Technological University. University participants included:

  • Central Michigan University
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Ferris State Universitytrabalhar_em_casa
  • Michigan State University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Oakland University
  • Saginaw Valley State University
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn
  • University of Michigan – Flint
  • Western Michigan University

Prior to the fair, students could post a personal profile, upload their resume, and research registered companies.

Using the digital platform Brazen, the event ran from 1:00pm to 4:00pm (EST.) Students were able to see company booths, select the companies they wanted to talk to and could take a stop in their queue. Recruiters were given 10 minutes to engage with each student using text, or a video chat format is also an event option. If needed, companies could add five additional minutes to the discussion, but only five minutes. The average conversation lasted a little over seven minutes.

Recruiters can use the platform to rate students after each interaction. According to survey data, employers indicated they would take action on 60 percent of the students they engaged with at the Michigan Public Universities Virtual Career Fair, meaning they would schedule a follow-up interview or further screening.

“There were quite a few participants, and it was a quick way for me to meet people while still being able to work on some day-to-day items,” reported one student.

Students value the engagement that Brazen offers, opposed to the generic online application process. One student said, “Making the employer and hiring manager’s information available before the event allowed me to do research and develop materials tailored to the positions I wanted. This is what got me a few interviews. So thank you for the help!” Their only recommendation? “More companies!”

Recruiters also had a few suggestions to improve the event, “I would recommend being able to see a list of students for each major and being able to connect with [majors I am looking for] first, versus waiting for them to connect with the employer.”

During the event, GM was one of the top recruiting teams engaging with student participants, proving that virtual career fairs are a valuable tool for hiring organizations to find talent. Magna International, DENSO, Nexteer Automotive, and Technology Resource are other Michigan-based companies that reported high engagement.

On-site, in-person career fairs will continue to be the primary source of recruiting for many employers, but virtual career fairs will continue to grow. As technology evolves, students and recruiters will recognize the benefit of virtual career fairs. Look for more virtual collaborations and career fairs that connect students to growing career opportunities in Michigan and beyond.

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