Enterprise Students Help 3M Build a Better Taillight

Most of us take pride in being able to see the fruits of our labor, basking in a job well done. Brett Spigarelli can bask in the red glow of a taillight going into production for the 2013 model year of several cars. A PhD candidate in chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University, he serves as an advisor to the Consumer Product Manufacturing (CPM) Enterprise, and previously, as a student, he worked on a project with 3M to test how one of their new materials handled the process of thermoforming, leading to the redesigned taillight on several 2013 model-year cars.

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National Academy of Engineering Report Spotlights Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech is among 29 colleges and universities showcased in a new National Academy of Engineering (NAE) report called Infusing Real World Experiences into Engineering Education. Michigan Tech’s Enterprise program caught the eye of the NAE.

The report highlighted programs considered “best practices” as models for schools seeking to incorporate hands-on, multidisciplinary problem solving into their curriculum. The publication was sponsored by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) in support of the AMD NextGen Engineer initiative.

“These programs are strategically preparing students to become the engineers who will tackle the technical and social complexities that lie ahead in the 21st century,” said Charles M. Vest, NAE president.

The best practices described in the report include incorporating multidisciplinary team-based projects into curricula to help students develop skills in decision-making, leadership, written and oral communication, organization/time management, cultural awareness and problem-solving. The report identifies frequent impediments to infusing real-world experiences into engineering programs and suggests ways to overcome these barriers to program implementation.

The best practice case studies in the NAE report compare anticipated versus actual program outcomes to demonstrate how each institution is improving the level of preparedness of its engineering students.

See NAE article
and <a href=" Infusing Real World Experiences into Engineering Education

Salt Power: Watt’s Next in Rechargeable Batteries?

By Marcia Goodrich
October 5, 2012—

Reza Shahbazian-Yassar thinks sodium might be the next big thing in rechargeable batteries.

Now, the gold standard in the industry is the lithium ion battery, which can be recharged hundreds of times and works really well. Its only problem is that it is made with lithium, which is not cheap. It could get even more expensive if more electric vehicles powered with lithium ion batteries hit the road and drive up demand.

Michigan Tech Wins National Diversity Award


By Jennifer Donovan

November 13, 2012—

Michigan Tech has received a national Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from the magazine, INSIGHT into Diversity. The award cites Michigan Tech for “its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion for the year 2012.”

The award, announced on Nov. 13, 2012, went to 48 colleges and universities nationwide. They were featured in the December 2012 issue of the magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.