Category: Enterprise Spotlight

Built World Enterprise Takes Third Place for the 2021-2022 TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs

Four students standing for picture
Students pictured left to right: Greg Porcaro, Clark Fadoir, Mary Ollis, and Drew Vega

A Michigan Tech Enterprise Team, Built World Enterprise, earned third place in the 2021-2022 Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. 

The four-member team from the Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering Department placed in the Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions Including Aprons, Ramps, and Taxiways category. Their design is titled Thermal Detection System for Mitigating Runway Incursions at Non-Towered Airports. The student members of the team are Clark Fadoir, Mary Ollis, Greg Porcaro, and Drew Vega.  Dr. Audra Morse served as faculty adviser.

This year, the prestigious competition encourages students to design innovative solutions to airport challenges. The competition requires students to work with a faculty adviser and reach out to airport operators and industry experts for advice and to assess their proposed solutions. The Virginia Space Grant Consortium of Hampton, Virginia, manages the competition on behalf of the ACRP. Funding for the competition is provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Volunteer panels of airport industry and academic practitioners, as well as FAA representatives, selected the winning submissions from among the proposals submitted by 21 student teams. Winning teams receive $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, $1,000 for third place, and $500 for honorable mentions.

The names of all winners and copies of designs receiving place awards are available at https://www.trb.org/ACRP/ACRPDesignCompetition.aspx.

New guidelines for the 2022-2023 academic year competition will be available on the competition website by early August 2022.

The Airport Cooperative Research Program is an industry-driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to airport challenges. The program is managed by the Transportation Research Board, which is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The National Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit https://national-academies.org.

Tell Your Story – An Inside Look into CinOptic Communication and Media Enterprise

CinOptic Communication and Media is a student team in the Enterprise program that focuses on creating photography, video, and sound in communicative media products for clients. They specialize in filming, editing, lighting, acting, and other aspects of media production. The team uses technology to “tell your story,” as advertised on their website. They focus on clarity and creativity in their projects while allowing student members to grow in their skills. Located in the Humanities Digital Media Zone in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center Building on Michigan Tech’s campus, CinOptic has access to computing equipment, photography devices, editing software, etc., for their work. The team has grown to nine members within the past year, including three team leaders and a faculty advisor, Dr. Erin Smith. Additional information on the team can be found at https://cinoptic.hu.mtu.edu/.

From left to right: Brisson, Humbecke, and Mehki working on their projects in the HDMZ

Team Leader Matthew Brisson opened up on his experience with the enterprise: “CinOptic has been the most important part of my collegiate experience so far. Without the exposure to hands-on equipment usage and real-world clientele, I would not feel comfortable on my current path. Michigan Tech doesn’t have a lot of options for Humanities students, but CinOptic has been the perfect organization for honing the skills I hope to use after graduation.” 

Julianna Humbecke, Team Leader for the biology educational series, describes CinOptic’s project selection process: “Dr. Smith looks over a project proposal, then presents it to the team to make the final decision.” She noted the freedom the team has in terms of who they work with.

One of Humbecke’s current projects is creating a series of educational and promotional videos for Biologist Dr. Erika I. Hersch-Green. She explained, “We accompany her in her greenhouse, lab, or mini-internships to record the processes that are undergone and the research she gathers. We then host interviews with her so she can further explain the procedure, and we can edit an accurate description to accompany the visuals.” Julianna mentioned that the National Science Foundation funded the project to promote Dr. Hersch-Green’s research. It’s meant to follow her progress in research and garner interest in biology and research from high-school students. 

Team Leader Riley Mehki
Team Leader Riley Mehki
Team Leader Matthew Brisson
Team Leader Julianna Humecke
Team Leader Julianna Humecke

Last semester, Humbecke traveled abroad to Germany. Fortunately, another team member could step in to finish up filming and capturing material until she returned. Humbecke described how the organization looks after its members, having members cover one another to help keep projects going. During their bi-weekly meetings, teammates communicate objectives and project progress. 

Team Leader Riley Mehki followed up on Humbecke, stating, “My favorite thing about CinOptic is that everyone has a specific role and knows exactly what to do at the end of each meeting.” One of his major projects was working with Isle Royale National Park to produce a video guide for visitors in the past few years. This included voiceovers recorded by a park ranger with footage from the island. For Mehki, projects like these are “… a great way to learn to work with equipment and real-world clients in a low-stress environment.”

Enterprise Team (as of March 2022)

If you’re interested in learning more about Enterprise at Michigan Tech, you can visit https://www.mtu.edu/enterprise/.

Don’t Lose Your Tenacity: Allysa Meinburg’s P&O Pathway

Allysa participating in a study wearing Free-EMG muscle sensors

Hi! My name is Allysa Meinburg. I am currently a first-year grad student in the Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics at the University of Pittsburgh. Prosthetics and Orthotics is a specialty field in rehabilitation medicine that focuses on creating and delivering devices for those with limb deficiencies. This program applies biomedical engineering concepts but adds pathology and physical human care in a treatment plan. This specialty can be in both immediate post-op and long-term care.

I enrolled at Michigan Tech as a Biomedical Engineering major, and later I switched majors to Biology and graduated with a Human Biology major and minors in Pre-Health Professions and Enterprise. Having a strong engineering and biology background has really set me up to have a well-rounded understanding of my field.

I knew I wanted to be a prosthetics and orthotics practitioner since I learned about the field in high school and have been pursuing avenues to get there ever since. I participated in competitive robotics (FIRST Robotics Competition) and later mentored teams through my time at Mott Community College and at Tech. I enjoyed engineering and technical device design but realized I wanted to focus more on healthcare and human practice. I have worked in many healthcare positions as an ER Physicians Scribe, a Surgery Tech, and an Orthotics Technician. My education at Tech enriched my understanding of human biology, research, and design, but my work taught me patient management and healthcare systems technology.

While at Tech, I had participated in Dr. Ongs’ BME research lab but found my true passion on the AAA Prosthetic Enterprise Team. Over 4 years our team addressed the challenge of affordable accessible prosthetic devices. I used my 8 semesters of Enterprise research and design to publish 2 research posters and presented them at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists national conference. The team I was a part of was made up of mostly engineers, but I found myself focusing on the overall functionality of the product and clinical interactions. With my history of patient care in mind, we designed an ankle prosthesis so it could be easily serviced by the individual with components that are replaceable when they wear out. Having a complete understanding and motivation in product design, I feel like we really created a breakthrough product.

 Allysa with her first upper extremity cast

I loved all that Michigan Tech has to offer- both academic and extracurricular! I conducted research in Dr. Ong’s BME research lab and published a paper with his team. On the Enterprise AAA Prosthetic team, we presented research posters at the American Association of Orthotists and Prosthetists conference twice. In my senior year, I was elected the President of the Enterprise Department and received the Outstanding Leadership Expo award. I was also a part of the medical honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta and served as a member and the President. For extracurriculars, I played Women’s Club Rugby, was a member of CRU, and loved(!) to play broomball. I would highly recommend joining AED, the national health honor society. This honor society offers great mentoring connections, volunteering, and philanthropy opportunities. I would also recommend conducting research in any department. I learned so much about how to design a research project, gather data, and implement changes. These skills are paramount in Evidence-Based Practice.

My biggest piece of advice for any Tech student is don’t lose your #tenacity! At the time, Tech didn’t have any prosthetics programs, so I created my own! Working with the Enterprise department we, myself, and the other team members expanded the AAA team and now it has an ankle and foot, prosthetic research team. Lots of the P&O background research and medical ISO preparation processes I am now learning in grad school- huge advantage! We sought funding by presenting to other foundations and departments. Ultimately, this spearheaded our traveling and publishing research at the AAOP conference. If you want to study something that doesn’t exist, it just doesn’t exist YET! Go and find what you love and stay #tenacious.

This blog is reposted from the Pre-Health Professionals Blog

Enterprise Spotlight: Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise

Consumer Manufacturing Enterprise Team
Consumer Manufacturing Enterprise Team

Consumer Product Manufacturing (CPM) Enterprise, one of 26 Michigan Tech Enterprise Teams, has been busy with several team projects this year. CPM is a multidisciplinary enterprise team that aspires to empower Michigan Tech students with the entrepreneurial, technical, and professional skills to conceive, develop, and market successful products in a company-like setting. In this guest blog, fourth-year chemical engineering major and Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise’s Chief Financial Officer and Co-President Seth Whiting shares more about CPM Enterprise, team projects, and how students and sponsors can get involved.

Seth Whiting
Seth Whiting

I decided to come to Michigan Tech after hearing people in the industry speak about how good of a school Michigan Tech is. I joined Consumer Product Manufacturing (CPM) Enterprise to get hands-on experience working on an industry-relevant project. The biggest highlight for me has been the opportunity to work on multiple different interdisciplinary teams. Working with individuals from different majors lends new perspectives that I wouldn’t have considered before.

About CPM Enterprise

We are one of the original enterprises at MTU and have been around for just over 20 years. CPM has multiple different teams working on multiple different projects, which fall under the broad categories of sustainable services, process improvement, and product creation. The Enterprise is open to all majors. Currently, the majority of our members are chemical engineering majors, however, we do have a number of biomedical engineering majors and mechanical engineering majors as well as a few others.

“One of the big aspects that makes CPM unique is the opportunity to meet and work with real-world industry sponsors.”

Seth Whiting, CPM Enterprise student

For over 20 years CPM has provided students a chance to develop a wide range of technical and professional skills. Whether it be by working with a sponsor to solve a real-world problem or creating an idealized solution to one of the many challenges that society faces, CPM provides opportunities for students to grow their skills and gain hands-on experiences. The goal of CPM is to help students develop entrepreneurial, technical, and professional skills and be able to practice them in an environment that is normally not provided in a typical class.

CPM Enterprise Projects

CPM is working on about 10 different projects at the moment, one of which is our shareable air virus mitigation system. The shareable air project was started as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re attempting to use hydroxyl radicals to eliminate airborne pathogens and mitigate the spread of diseases.

One of CPM’s previous projects worth mentioning is our nanomag project, sponsored by alumnus Dr. Robert Carnahan, and implemented into production by Shaggy’s. The project explored the use of a dampening agent in skis, utilizing a magnesium alloy developed by nanoMAG.

While I haven’t had a chance to work on this project myself, I would still have to say that I am most proud of CPM’s biogas project. The biogas progress is an attempt to convert food waste into methane that can then be used by MTU. The project has been running for a while now and has seen the creation of an anaerobic digester pilot plant on its path to completion.

CPM is a great way for students to gain experience working on projects, as well as a great resume builder. Anyone interested in learning more about CPM is free to contact me or visit the CPM website. To join, you can contact our advisor, Dr. Tony Rogers.

Get Involved With CPM Enterprise

CPM Enterprise is always looking for industry partners to sponsor a project for the student teams. This process is very straightforward and comes with excellent benefits like engaging students well in advance of graduation, finding new and unique solutions, and growing your organization’s presence at Michigan Tech. To learn more about participating, contact Chris Morgan cjmorgan@mtu.edu or visit mtu.edu/enterprise/giving/.

About the Enterprise Program

The Enterprise Program is a unique project-based curriculum and is available to students from any major. Students work in multidisciplinary teams on real projects, with real clients, in an environment that’s more like a business than a classroom. With coaching and guidance from faculty mentors, the Enterprise teams work to invent products, provide services, and pioneer solutions. 

Through Enterprise, students have the opportunity to build up their existing skills, and also add some new ones to their repertoires. Enterprise encourages:

  • effective time management
  • leadership, project management, and team-working skills
  • problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • adaptability
  • global awareness
  • business savvy
  • competence in written and oral communication
  • networking with industry leaders

Teams collaborate with industry sponsors, communities, and government organizations, and work closely with a faculty advisor. Students could work with organizations like 3M, General Motors, Kimberly-Clark, and the Department of Energy, among many others. Take a look at the Enterprise team listing to learn about existing teams. If you have questions about the Enterprise Program, please contact enterprise@mtu.edu.