Enterprise Ready to Tackle Manufacturing Challenges of the 21st Century

By Chris Morgan, Assistant Director of Educational Partnerships

The Enterprise Program provides world-class hand’s on educational opportunities for Michigan Tech students.  Since joining the program office in fall of 2019, I’ve had a chance to see this first hand with the amazing student projects that Enterprise teams propose, design, prototype, and validate as part of their teamwork experience.  The program is filled with unique individuals who are learning to demonstrate their technical, professional, and leadership skills with real-world applicable projects.  The program is also supported by a host of engaged industry partners, advisors, and program staff that are engaged above and beyond expectations to make sure MTU students can receive a world class education.

One opportunity that sticks out from this year has been the Enterprise Manufacturing Initiative.  This initiative allows for Enterprise students and teams to propose a manufacturing related project topic, receive funding through General Motors’ University Giving, get timely advice from two dedicated GM manufacturing engineers (MTU alumni), and execute the project with pre-defined timelines and measurable outcomes.  This year’s EMI student group proposed 7 new projects, including everything from advanced suspension design on the SAE Baja vehicle, to recycling systems for 3-D printing filament, to a low cost vaccine transport device for impoverished communities.  Despite the transition to remote learning, these students produced great strides in the effort to finalize their designs and prepare for prototyping next fall.  The Baja Suspension team was even kind enough to bring their entire vehicle up to the Pavlis Honors College common space to show off their accomplishment during a February EMI general meeting.

Looking forward to next year’s Enterprise team accomplishments!  Please consider becoming involved in the many opportunities and objectives of the Enterprise program.


Enterprise in 2040: A Vision for the Next 20 Years

By Rick Berkey, Professor of Practice and Enterprise Program Director

This Fall, the Enterprise Program began its 20th year of operation —  a significant milestone for any program, and even more so for one that has been financially self-sustaining since the initial NSF grant ended in 2002. In 2006, I left a successful industry career to manage annual fundraising and sponsorship needs for the Enterprise and Senior Design Programs. Looking back on my decision to work for Michigan Tech, Enterprise was a huge and deciding factor. I was motivated by the opportunity to support students in an educational program that:

  1. looks more like the interdisciplinary work environment students are heading towards,  
  2. connects students with project sponsors and mentors to solve open-ended, industry-relevant challenges, and 
  3. gives students ownership of a portion of their education that aligns with their personal development and career interests.

Fourteen years later, I am fortunate to direct the program, in addition to teaching Enterprise courses and advising the Supermileage Systems Enterprise. I am just as motivated now as I was in 2006 to be part of what has become an award-winning program that remains quite unique when compared with other programs across the country. Enterprise was, and still is, ahead of the curve in preparing students for successful careers. While we can (and should!) pause briefly to celebrate our important milestone, it’s really time to forge ahead to keep our graduates out in front. So with that, will Enterprise look like in the next 20 years?

First off, I would like to start with what will not change: Enterprise will continue to be student-led, with support and mentorship from faculty, staff, and industry. When students are empowered in an active learning environment, we shift the focus from ‘satisfying degree requirements’ to ‘satisfying curiosity’. Enterprise will remain a multi-year program, where students create their unique pathway through a cycle of experience, reflection, and growth. This also allows enterprise to build a sense of community and be part of something bigger during their time at Michigan Tech; I really enjoy hearing alumni introduce themselves first by their Enterprise, and then by their major. Speaking of majors, Enterprise must and will remain focused on multi/interdisciplinary, team-based problem solving. Why? Because this is how the world operates, whether working in the public or private sector. Finally, industry partners will continue to play a critical role in the Enterprise Program. After all, the best way to continue preparing students for early career success is by partnering with the very organizations seeking to hire them upon graduation.

So, how might we build on this foundation to adapt and evolve the Enterprise Program so that it continues to meet the needs of its graduates and those who employ them? Here are some thoughts and ideas for the next two decades:

Agility, Inclusive, Innovation
  • Agility: Cross-enterprise collaboration – if we think of the Enterprise Program as a network, each enterprise is a node with valuable assets, capabilities, resources, and motivations. What if we harnessed this potential more seamlessly and to a greater extent? Imagine multiple enterprises collaborating to address larger-scale “wicked problems” such as NAE’s Grand Challenges. Or, a more agile approach to assembling project teams of varying duration, across enterprises, leveraging complementary skill sets. This year certainly reminds us of the need to be flexible, adaptable, and resilient. We have had successes already with ‘joint ventures’ between enterprises, and the potential to expand on this idea will enhance the Enterprise experience for our students and project stakeholders.
  • Inclusivity: Enterprise options for ALL undergraduate majors – from the outset, Enterprise has been open to all majors and annually attracts ~900 students from 30+ majors. Yet, the majority of student enrollment is from the colleges of engineering and computing (see chart). Two factors strongly influence Enterprise enrollment: 1.) degree programs that include a defined Enterprise pathway option for their students, and 2.) the attractiveness of the Enterprise team and project ‘portfolio’ to students. Progress continues on both fronts, with a goal to attract a broader slice of Michigan Tech’s student population each year.
  • Value Creation: Fostering innovation and entrepreneurial mindset – in terms of industry-sponsored projects, Enterprise students get first-hand experience delivering an innovative solution of value to a client. As part of the scope, they may even do sponsor-guided market research and economic analysis to help quantify the value for the sponsor’s client. But, we have many enterprises also working on their own innovations, without an external sponsor. Often, these are the projects where student motivation is highest — working on something they are truly passionate about. Some could turn out to be the “next big thing”, and students may even wish to start an eventual business around the idea. The potential to enhance student-initiated project experiences with more support — educationally, financially, and programmatically —  will be a focus for the coming years, working closely with colleagues in Husky Innovate and our broader innovation ecosystem.

These are some major initiatives we’re working on, so stay tuned for updates in the coming months. We welcome alumni and industry input in these plans, so please get in touch! As the saying goes, “the only constant is change”, and the ability to embrace, respond, and adapt to change is what will differentiate our graduates going forward. We need only look to our current COVID-19 environment for motivation. But rather than focusing on getting back to normal, our focus is on getting back to better…a better Enterprise Program, a better Michigan Tech, and a better future, created by Huskies!


2020 Design Expo Goes Virtual!

Design Expo 2020 - A showcase of Enterprise and Senior Design student projects

Nothing can stop us from celebrating the 20th anniversary of Design Expo. More than 1,000 students in the Enterprise and Senior Design programs have come together to put on a virtual showcase of their work and compete for awards. This year, a panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives, alumni, community members, and Michigan Tech staff and faculty will critique videos of team projects, solutions and results. 

Similar to past years, teams have a chance to earn cash awards along with well-deserved recognition among their peers. This year, total student awards have been increased to more than $3,500. As always, many projects are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience in solving real industrial problems. Additionally, many teams engage in student-initiated ideas that embody the innovative and the entrepreneurial spirit that comes with being a Husky.

This event is free and open to the public. We encourage current and future students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, families of students. etc to help us celebrate our students and their achievement—register today to virtually attend Design Expo (see registration links below). 

2020 Schedule of Events:

Tuesday, April 14

Noon: Remote Judging Opens 

Thursday, April 16

10:00 a.m.: Opening Remarks via live webinar

10:15 a.m.: Virtual gallery open to public

2:00 p.m.: Remote judging closes

4:00 p.m.: Presentation of Awards via live webinar

4:30 p.m.: 2020 Design Expo concludes

Register to attend Design Expo live events today.

Design Expo: Kickoff & Opening Remarks

Design Expo: Presentation of Awards

Text In Voting

New this year, participants will have the chance to vote for their favorite student project. Using the number (919) 351-8683, participants can vote for as many competitors as they like but can only vote once for each competitor. Text in voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 16.

To vote, a participant might text the following case sensitive message to the phone number above:
101 to vote for Baja Blizzard or 201 to vote for Medical Device Ball Bearing Temperature Test Fixture

Team numbers will be available on April 16 via the Design Expo website, and all who register for Live Webinars. 

Interested in judging for the 20th annual Design Expo? 

This year, judges will have the flexibility to vote anytime between noon on  April 14 through 2 p.m.  April 16. Judging should still take about an hour, depending on the number of volunteers. Please register to become a judge today.

Check out all of the details of Design Expo here. For questions, please reach out to Briana Tucker.


Clean Snowmobile Challenge Enterprise Team Takes First Place

The Michigan Tech Clean Snowmobile Challenge Enterprise Team captured first place in the Spark Ignition (SI), internal combustion engine category competition in the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge that took place last week at the Keweenaw Research Center.

Other awards the team received in the SI category are:

  • Best Lab Emissions Winner
  • Quietest Snowmobile Winner
  • Most Practical Winner
  • Most Sportsmanlike Winner ($1,000 and one of the most important prizes in the competition)

 In the Diesel Engine Category the team won the Quietest Snowmobile award. William Predebon,  J. S. Endowed Department Chair and Professor
in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics said the wins were impressive. 

“Teams from 14 universities from as far east as SUNY- Buffalo and as far west as the University of Idaho, and as well Ecole De Technologie Superieure in Canada participated in the competition. It is unusual to win so many categories in the SI competition. This is an impressive accomplishment by our team of students from several College of Engineering Departments.”

Predebon said with past wins in the Diesel and Electric Snowmobile categories Michigan Tech has accomplished wins in all three categories. The Electric Snowmobile category is no longer part of the Clean Snowmobile Challenge.  

The CSC advisor is Jason Bough (ME-EM) and engine co-advisor is Scott Miers (ME-EM).

Source: Tech Today, 3/18/2020


Enterprise Turns 20!

Twenty years of computers, robotics, and game development. Of better snowboards, open-source solutions, and nanosatellites. Of clean snowmobiles and cinematography. Twenty years of working with industry, leading and managing teams, persevering through setbacks and challenges, and developing lifelong friendships.

In 1999, it all started with an NSF grant and three pilot teams– Program in Integrated Sustainable Manufacturing (PrISM), Resource Engineering Associates (REA), and Wireless Communication Enterprise. One year later, over 200 students were enrolled in 11 different Enterprise Teams with over 19 majors represented. And now, two decades later, over 900 students enroll in Enterprise each year. Today’s Enterprise students represent 31 different majors from across the University. Nearly 5,000 alumni (and counting!) have chosen the Enterprise pathway at Michigan Tech.

Enterprise is a student-led, multi-year, interdisciplinary program open to first-year through graduate-level students of any major. Each year, the program offers team-based, hands-on, and client-centric project experiences that can only be found at Michigan Tech. All of those projects and innovative ideas are showcased at one year-end event — Design Expo. More than 1000 students in Enterprise and Senior Design teams present their work and compete for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty, critique the projects. Many team projects are sponsored by industry, providing students valuable experience addressing industry-relevant challenges and communicating their results to a diverse audience.

Help us take Enterprise into the next 20 years by getting involved! The Enterprise Program encourages alumni, industry partners, and community members to give back through student engagement and project sponsorship. Sponsorship opportunities are flexible and range from unrestricted donations to multi-year partnership agreements. We can work with you to successfully match your project or idea to the appropriate Enterprise team. 

Learn more about sponsoring a project here: www.mtu.edu/enterprise/involved/industry/

Looking for ways to get involved sooner? The Design Expo is in need of individuals to serve as distinguished Design Expo judges. We’re calling all alumni, community members, and industry representatives who are interested in seeing what today’s students are accomplishing. Judging typically takes an hour or less. As a judge, you’ll be paired with 3-6 teams where you will evaluate their poster/presentation design, organization, communication, and final solutions.

Learn more about judging here: www.mtu.edu/enterprise/involved/expo/judges-guests/

We hope you will join us at the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Ballroom on Thursday, April 16, 2020, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. for the 20th annual Design Expo. Whether a judge or simply a guest, your feedback at the event is greatly valued by our student teams and makes a valuable contribution to their education. 

2oth anniversary Enterprise Logo
www.mtu.edu/enterprise/20/

Enroll in ENT3970: LabVIEW

Want to learn how to program in LabVIEW?

LabVIEW is a graphical programming language that is used by engineers and scientists for data acquisition, automation and many other tasks.

ENT-3970 (CRN 15000) is open for enrollment for the Spring 2020 semester. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of LabVIEW.

* No prior programming experience needed  * No prerequisites  * All majors welcome

Contact Steve Lehmann (sdlehman@mtu.edu) for more info

This course is perfect for preparing for data acquisition or automation needs involving Enterprise, Senior Design or any research project.


Enterprise Open House– Friday, August 02, 2019, 1-4pm

The Enterprise Program Office invites Alumni and Friends, the campus, and community to tour various Enterprise team spaces Friday, 1-4 pm during the Campus and Department Open Houses. There are over 20 labs, classrooms, and meeting spaces across campus that Enterprise teams call home. Join us as we explore Blue Marble Security, Consumer Product Manufacturing, and M&M 614. During this time, stop by to talk with students and program staff to learn more about these Enterprise teams and their current projects. Refreshments will be served along the way.

Blue Marble Security- EERC 629

Consumer Product Manufacturing- Chem Sci SB018

Enterprise Collaborative Team Space- M&M 614 (Shared space for all Enterprise teams and office space specifically for Supermileage Systems, BoardSport Technologies, General and Expedition Adventure Research (GEAR), and Innovative Global Solutions)


Supermileage Team Succeeds with New Design

Students work on the Michigan Tech Supermileage vehicle

 

Michigan Technological University’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise Team had a successful showing in the recent SAE Supermileage Competition held June 6-8 in Marshall, Michigan. The Michigan Tech team was one of 30 from the U.S., Canada, Lebanon, Mexico, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. Lawrence Tech was the only other Michigan team in the competition. 

SAE Supermileage is an engineering design competition for undergraduate and graduate students. It provides participants with the opportunity to enhance their engineering design and project management skills by applying classroom theories in a challenging competition. 

The engineering design goal is to develop and construct a single-person, fuel-efficient vehicle that complies with the competition rules. The vehicles complete a specified course to obtain the highest combined miles per gallon rating. Students were also required to submit a design segment consisting of a written report and verbal presentation. For the second straight year Michigan Tech earned first place in design, scoring 410 out a possible 500 points based on written and oral presentations. 

Of the 30 teams registered, Tech was one of only 14 to make it successfully through the inspection process, finishing 10th overall. 

Rick Berkey, professor of practice in Tech’s Pavlis Honors College and Supermileage Systems Enterprise advisor, said this year’s vehicle was completely new and the result of a two-year design and build schedule. He said in the past year alone, the 26-student team logged more than 5,000 hours on the project. 

Berkey said the design prize came with a trophy and $500 but no new world record. “Despite several attempts on the track we were unable to complete a full mileage run,” Berkey said. “We narrowed our issues to engine tuning due to inconsistency in the signal from our crank position sensor. We also struggled to maintain chain tension. Both of these issues are priorities for design improvements and testing in 2020.”

Berkey said manufacturing the new composite body and chassis required the team to make custom molds, which alone took hundreds of hours. “Our team showed great dedication and perseverance to stay positive and work together. Despite our struggles on the track, every student member of Supermileage Systems Enterprise has furthered their learning and personal/professional development through an experience that simply cannot be duplicated in the classroom. By this measure we had a very successful year and can look back with pride on our accomplishments. Needless to say we are hungrier than ever to get back to competition in 2020!” 


Michigan Tech Awarded $40,000 Grant from DENSO for STEM Education

Denso logoMichigan Technological University, a leading educational institution, received a $40,000 grant from the world’s second largest mobility supplier DENSO for programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The grant, which is made possible by the company’s philanthropic arm, DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF), is one of 26 grants awarded by DENSO in 2019 to colleges and universities throughout North America. The donations are part of DENSO’s broader efforts to cultivate tomorrow’s workforce and prepare young thinkers to lead a new era of innovation.

Michigan Tech Enterprise logoRick Berkey, professor of practice and director of the Enterprise Program in the Pavlis Honors College, states, “We are extremely grateful to the DENSO North America Foundation for their strategic investment in Michigan Tech students. The automotive industry needs well-rounded engineering graduates with hands-on experience in vehicle design and development, powertrain controls, manufacturing, and data analytics. This grant helps provide these experiences for the 125+ students enrolled in Michigan Tech’s Advanced Motorsports (AMS) Enterprise teams.”

Grants were awarded to programs focused on design, materials management, mechanical and electrical engineering principles, thermodynamics, robotics and more. With this grant, Michigan Tech plans to provide continued support to the AMS teams who compete annually in SAE International’s Collegiate Design Series — namely Baja SAE, Clean Snowmobile Challenge, Formula SAE, and SAE Supermileage. The grant will help fund the purchase of a state-of-the art CNC control system to retrofit one of several manual mills used extensively by undergraduate students for vehicle fabrication and manufacturing lab courses. The Blizzard Baja Enterprise will use a portion of this grant to continue hosting the annual Winter Baja Invitational, a competition that attracts nearly 50 vehicles from more than 20 universities to Michigan Tech’s snowy campus each February. Finally, this grant will strengthen Michigan Tech’s focus on data analytics education by supporting an Enterprise project that explores technology obsolescence of automotive electronics and the impacts on purchasing and supply chain decisions made by automotive manufacturers.

DNAF has supported STEM education through grants at colleges and universities since 2001, enabling students to access tools, technology and experiences that better prepare them for technical careers after graduation. DENSO education grant proposals are invite-only and evaluated based on technical merit, student experience, and alignment with industry needs.

“Investing in tomorrow’s workforce is critical to ensuring we have individuals who are equipped to help DENSO fulfill its vision of creating software and products that enhance safety and reduce environmental impact,” said Bill Foy, senior vice president of Engineering at DENSO and a DENSO North American Foundation board member. “Through these grants, we hope to create a generation of innovators who inspire new value for the future of mobility.”

About Michigan Tech

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Its campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

About DENSO

DENSO is a $48.3 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 221 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company’s 170,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 9.3 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019. For more information about global DENSO, visit https://www.denso.com/global.     

In North America, DENSO employs 27,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 31 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,000+ employees across 13 states and 25 sites. Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, in fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, DENSO in North America generated $10.9 billion in consolidated sales. Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career. For more information, go to https://www.denso.com/us-ca/en/.   


Design Expo Winners for 2019

More than 1000 students in Enterprise and Senior Design showcased their work last Thursday, April 18 at Design Expo and competed for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives, community members and Michigan Tech staff and faculty, critiqued the projects. The College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College is pleased to announce the following winners.

Gypsum Water Extraction from the ME-EM department took first place for Senior Design in the 2019 Expo.

Senior Design Awards (based on poster/video)

1st place: ME-EM – Gypsum Water Extraction

2nd place: ME-EM – Assembly Cell Changeover

3rd place: MSE – Gerdau Inclusion Solidification Prevention

Senior Design Honorable Mention

ME-EM – FCA Advanced Hood Architecture – Structural and Attachment Team

MSE – Cobalt Reduction in Tribaloy T-400

BME – Transcatheter Single Ventricle Device

Aerospace placed first for Enterprise based on their poster and presentation scores.

Enterprise Awards (based on poster and presentation)

1st place: Aerospace Enterprise

2nd place: Alternative Energy Enterprise

3rd place: General and Expedition Adventure Research (GEAR)

Enterprise Honorable Mention

Innovative Global Solutions

Consumer Product Manufacturing

Blue Marble Security

Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship Innovation Award

1st place: Alternative Energy Enterprise for Renewable Energy Mission Module (REMM)

2nd place: Universal Driver Gear Train (BME)

3rd place: Transcatheter Single Ventricle Device (BME)

Design Expo Image Contest Winners

1st place: Blizzard Baja

Meet our 2019 Comp Car “Hornet”

2nd place: Full Flexion Knee

3D Scanning of Tibial Insert

Honorable Mention: Cin/Optic Communication and Media

Team photo

 

Enterprise Award Winners

Student Awards:

Outstanding Leadership: Oliver Schihl, Advanced Metalworks Enterprise

Rookie Award: Troy Maust, Aerospace Enterprise

Innovative Solutions: Paul Kamps, Alternative Energy Enterprise

Industry/Sponsor Relations: Romana Carden, Aerospace Enterprise

Faculty/Staff/Sponsor Awards:

Outstanding Enterprise Advisor: Jay Meldrum, Alternative Energy Enterprise

Behind the Scenes: Dr. Jennifer Becker, Civil and Environmental Engineering

 

Congratulations and thanks to ALL teams for a very successful Design Expo 2019!