All posts by ehgroth

Ford Donations to Fund STEM Programs for Girls and Leadership Scholarship

1996CynthiaHodges_bwTech Today articles by Jennifer Donovan

At a Career Success Day breakfast this Friday September 18, sponsored by Michigan Tech’s Presidential Council of Alumnae this Friday, a Ford Motor Company executive and Michigan Tech alumna will present a $30,000 check from Ford. Cynthia Protas Hodges, a 1987 mechanical engineering alumna who is now chassis supplier technical assistance site manager at Ford, will make the presentation.

The gift from Ford will fund three youth programs for women in summer 2016, all designed to engage young women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Women in Engineering (WIE): A scholarship program and an intensive, exciting week-long look into engineering careers. About 150 young women in grades 9-11 will trek up to Michigan Tech to participate. Ford funding will provide scholarships for 10 students to attend.

Junior Women in Engineering (JWIE): Similar to WIE, it provides an opportunity for younger women (grades 6-8) to explore fields of engineering through hands-on projects and investigations. This program will serve as preparation for the WIE program.

Women in Computer Science (WiCS) brings young women (grades 9-11) to campus for an exploration in computer science (CS) fields. The primary goal is to introduce the students to the many ways that CS profoundly impacts every industry from medicine to e-commerce, engineering to insurance and much more.
By hosting a program exclusively for girls, Michigan Tech is trying to change the widespread perception that STEM fields are only for males. The programs also promote diversity by welcoming students from across the US and around the world.


Ford Motor Company Fund Presents Leadership in Engineering Scholarship

by Jennifer Donovan

The Ford Motor Company Fund has awarded Michigan Tech engineering student Michael Robinson a $10,000 Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship. Cynthia Protas Hodges, a Michigan Tech alumna and Ford manager, will make a presentation at 1 p.m., September 17 in the Career Services Office of the Michigan Tech Administration Building.

Alan Mulally is the former president and CEO of the Ford Motor Company. To honor his service to Ford, the Company has established the Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship. The scholarship program is a $1,000,000 fund. Each year for 10 years, the fund will support ten $10,000 scholarships to outstanding sophomore or junior engineering students at Ford’s 20 premiere partner universities around the globe. Michigan Tech is among the inaugural schools to award this scholarship.

Robinson is a second-year mechanical engineering major with an electrical engineering minor. He was selected for his strong academic performance as well as his internship experience and leadership roles in the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Cru Christian student organization. He is also a member of the Formula SAE Racing Team’s powertrain team.


Barbara Oakley Speaks to First Year Students Assembly

oakley2aBarbara Oakley, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Oakland University and author of several books, spoke at Michigan Tech Sept. 3 for the First Year Engineering and Computer Sciences Lecture. She presented a talk on “Learning How to Learn” at the Rozsa Center to over 1200 students.

Oakley also met with faculty in a presentation about her MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). This course is one of the most popular courses in the world, with well over half a million students in its first six months alone. Learning How to Learn is based on the book A Mind for Numbers. Oakley’s latest book is “A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra).”

Oakley herself has learned from experience to apply the perspectives of many fields to learning and to life. Originally intending to become a linguist, she earned her bachelor’s degree in slavic languages and literature. After working for the Army as a signal officer, she returned to school to study engineering so that she could better understand the communications equipment that the Army used.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and worked as a translator on Russian trawlers in the Bering Sea. Oakley also spent a season as the radio operator at the South Pole Station in Antarctica, where she met her husband, Philip. They moved to the Detroit area, where she earned a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering and a doctorate in systems engineering. She has been teaching at Oakland University ever since.

Barbara Oakley, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Oakland University and author of several books, spoke at Michigan Tech Sept. 3 for the First Year Engineering and Computer Sciences Lecture. She presented a  talk on “Learning How to Learn” at the Rozsa Center to over 1200  students.
Barbara Oakley, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Oakland University and author of several books, spoke at Michigan Tech Sept. 3 for the First Year Engineering and Computer Sciences Lecture. She presented a talk on “Learning How to Learn” at the Rozsa Center to over 1200 students.
Barbara Oakley talking about MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)  at Michigan Tech. This course is one of the most popular courses in the world, with well over half a million students in its first six months alone.  Learning How to Learn is based on the book A Mind for Numbers.
Barbara Oakley talking about MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) at Michigan Tech. This course is one of the most popular courses in the world, with well over half a million students in its first six months alone. Learning How to Learn is based on the book A Mind for Numbers.

See the Video of Barbara Oakley: Learning How to Learn


I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators

IMG_3013d

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

NSF Research Center RFP Networking/Pitch Social Session

ERCThe National Science Foundation just released their RFP for Engineering Research Centers with a Letter of Intent deadline of Sept. 25. Teams are already discussing ideas, so an open networking/pitch social session was held campus community involved. The session was at the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge with snacks and drinks provided.

According to the NSF, the goal of the ERC Program is to integrate engineering research and education with technological innovation to transform national prosperity, health and security. ERCs create an innovative, inclusive culture in engineering to cultivate new ideas and pursue engineering discovery that achieves a significant science, technology and societal outcome within the 10-year timeframe of NSF support.

Adrienne Minerick, associate dean of research and innovation, College of Engineering
Adrienne Minerick, associate dean of research and innovation, College of Engineering
Adrienne Minerick, associate dean of research and innovation, College of Engineering
Adrienne Minerick, associate dean of research and innovation, College of Engineering

For more information, visit the National Science Foundation or the Engineering Research Centers. Contact Adrienne Minerick, associate dean of research and innovation, College of Engineering at minerick@mtu.edu with any questions.

Invitation Flyer: RFPERC PDF


How to Land a Job in STEM, from Women Who Have Done It

image122968-horiz2GoodCall, a website of consumer-oriented education news, published an article about how women can land a job in STEM fields, featuring tips from Associate Professor Adrienne Minerick (ChE), associate dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering.

Read the whole article at Good Call

In addition, GoodCall, a website offering consumer and student advice, quoted Professor Adrienne Minerick (CoE), associate dean for research and innovation in Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering, on why engineering is a STEM degree in high demand among employers. See the website for more information.


Connecting People and Geology on Volcanoes

image124601-horizIn October 2011, heavy rainfall poured down the sides of El Salvador’s San Vicente Volcano, nearly four feet of water in 12 days. Coffee plantation employees, working high up on the volcano’s slope began noticing surface cracks forming on steep slopes and in coffee plantations. Cracks herald landslides—places where the wet, heavy upper layers, saturated with water, slide over the less-permeable rocky layers underneath. The workers radioed downslope, keeping close tabs on the rainfall gauge network.
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Lake Superior Day

img_0099by Joan Chadde

The beauty and bounty of Lake Superior was celebrated Sunday at the Third Annual Lake Superior Day in Copper Harbor. Community volunteers, along with the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, organized the festival with lots of special activities at the 6th Street Dock along the Copper Harbor Boardwalk. Activities included:

Community picnic
Canoe races and kayak demonstrations
Interactive art (paint the model freighter)
Remotely-Operated-Vehicle demonstrations by Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center
Presentation on the health of Lake Superior by Great Lakes scientist Martin Auer (CEE)

Live music, poetry and more
From 1-4 p.m. a special highlight was the opportunity for festival attendees to find out how scientists study the Great Lakes by taking a 40-minute scientific excursion aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel, Agassiz. The excursions are part of the Ride the Waves Program funded by a grant from General Motors.

Lake Superior Day is celebrated throughout the Lake Superior basin on or close to the third Sunday in July in many communities around Lake Superior. Learn more about Lake Superior Day events around the lake.

Lake Superior Day (2014)
Lake Superior Day (2014)

MORE PHOTOS from 2014 Lake Superior Day



Bringing Back the Magic in Metamaterials

image124459-horizA single drop of blood is teeming with microorganisms—imagine if we could see them, and even nanometer-sized viruses, with the naked eye. That’s a real possibility with what scientists call a “perfect lens.” The lens hasn’t been created yet, but it is a theoretical perfected optical lens made out of metamaterials, which are engineered to change the way the materials interact with light.
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