Enterprise Creates Electronic Broomball Scoreboards

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor, Tech Today

Broomball is a big deal at Michigan Tech: 1,400 students compete on 240 teams that play 1,000 games a season, sliding around on outdoor ice rinks chasing a ball with brooms in hand.

It’s only fitting that the biggest game on campus should have some big, high-tech scoreboards.

“We can do that,” said the Robotics Enterprise. The student-run team began planning in April 2012, designing over the summer and assembling the scoreboards in time for this winter’s season.

Recently, Charlie Rysenga, project leader, was busy connecting pieces of the 4-foot by 8-foot metallic monsters with pop rivets.

“I’ll use about a thousand by the time I’m done,” he says. The third-year electrical engineering major from Berkley, Mich., figures each scoreboard will weigh 200 pounds when finished.

They’ll be a vast improvement over the old, manual, wooden versions currently hung near the black, silver and gold rinks. The new models will follow that Michigan Tech color scheme.

“We are having them painted at Advance Tec, ,” says George Olszewski, a fourth-year business major from Columbus, Ind. The company is donating the labor, after hours.

Olszewski was drilling into the new components, making space for the scoreboard clocks. “These will have running clocks, and that’s a big deal,” he says. “No more guessing how much time is left.”

Olszewski doubles as the broomball connection with the Inter-Residence Hall Council, which runs the competition.

Megan Crowley, a fourth-year applied ecology major from Milford, Mich., shows off the custom-made control boxes, with special “glove-sized buttons” for the outdoor scorekeeping. She is playing on two broomball teams this winter.

“We’ll have local time, too,” she says, working on internal connections on each unit.

And once they are mounted at the rinks, the whole system will be networked for real-time scoring on the broomball website. For those enhancements, Olszewski says they have had great help from IT, Telcom, and Facilities Management, who re-leveled the three outdoor rinks and added conduit and block work to make it all come together.

So, how many total hours have gone into this project?

“Probably 5,000, between the Robotics Enterprise, the broomball people, IT and Facilities,” says Rysenga.

“And the Advance Tec guy is working overnight so we can grab them the next morning,” Olszewski adds. He points to a gleaming black scoreboard standing in the sunlit front hall of the Minerals and Materials Engineering Building.

When the three scoreboards are done, they’ll have cost about $10,000, including $800 to ship the weatherproof components from China.

“Broomball can afford it,” Olszewski says, smiling. “We had to get the exact components we wanted. We shopped around a lot, and we found the best ones in China.”

The green LED scoreboards will be highly visible on the east end of campus.

“And, they’ll be great at night,” says Crowley.

The new mechanisms will add to the enjoyment, no doubt, of the distinctly Michigan Tech tradition of broomball.


Pavlis Fundraiser at Orpheum

Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership Fundraiser at Orpheum Jan. 19:
Support the Pavlis Institute at Michigan Tech while you enjoy live music at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock, Saturday, Jan. 19. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is only $5.

Pavlis inspires international leadership by providing students with an opportunity to implement life-changing projects around the world. Students are equipped with 15 credits of leadership training before embarking on a trip dedicated to inspiring positive change in Pavlis’ partner countries.

Enjoy music by Don’t Feed the Bears, Eryka Vye and Marshall and Lucas Westcott and Heaven Hawkins. There’s also a silent auction featuring items from India and Ghana. Come enjoy some great music, delicious pizza and help Pavlis change the world while representing Michigan Tech and the Houghton/Hancock area.


IBV/Pavlis Mobile Clinic Featured on TV News

A team of Michigan Technological University students is developing a mobile medical clinic for the rural poor of Ghana. The students are converting a van that was donated by Husky Motors in order to build the clinic. The team was featured on TV6 News recently.

Previous Michigan Tech news article



TV6 News story about IBV/Pavlis Medivan



An short informational video about Michigan Tech International Business Ventures Enterprise and the Infant Heart Annunciator Project.


NAE Report Showcases Exemplar Engineering Programs includes Michigan Tech

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has released Infusing Real World Experiences into Engineering Education which showcases 29 engineering programs at colleges and universities across the nation that effectively incorporate such activities into their curriculum and highlights best practices for schools seeking to create new programs. The publication was sponsored by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) in support of the AMD NextGen Engineer initiative.

See Tech Today Article

NAE News Article
See the report


HIDE On World Usability Day

From Tech Today November 12, 2012 by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

The Human Interface Design Enterprise was showing off their driver simulator in Rekhi Hall on November 8th for Usability Day. The event is celebrated around the world, and this was the fifth year Michigan Tech was involved. The event showcasess usability, when technologies or procedures make sense to us and when we can learn–and remember–how to use them, make few errors and feel satisfied with our experiences.
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The Drive to Learn

From Tech Today, by Kevin Hodur, creative writer

While innovation in technology inexorably rolls on, some students from Michigan Tech recently had the chance to roll on the latest technology. The whole idea was to see for themselves how the principles learned in the classroom are actually making cars better and safer.

Students from Tech’s Advanced Motorsports Enterprise experienced the latest in automotive technologies at Continental Tire’s Brimley Development Center in Sault Ste. Marie. Student Ride & Drive, in its second year, brought university students from as far away as Georgia to this state-of-the-art facility.
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Enterprising High School Students Showcase Accomplishments in Detroit

Michigan Technological University and General Motors sponsored a High School Enterprise Showcase at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. Teams of high school students from Detroit, elsewhere in Michigan, and as far away as Puerto Rico, Atlanta and Chicago will present their work to find scientific and technological solutions to real-world problems in business and industry.

See more information and links to other articles, pictures and videos