Category: Uncategorized

Silicon Valley to Michigan

GLRCBy Office of Advancement

There will be an open roundtable at noon Wednesday (Oct.26) in GLRC 202. The topic of the roundtable is “Silicon Valley to Michigan—Does the Model Translate?”

This will be an open discussion on business, technology, government and the links between Michigan and California. Automotive, start-ups, app-development – who is taking cues from whom? This roundtable is part of the 14 Floors series.

14 Floors is a series of events and activities designed to build momentum and enable culture change on Michigan Tech’s campus. Core are initiatives focused on fostering entrepreneurism and high-tech innovation—both within the context of a global culture and economy. These activities are cross-disciplinary on and off campus, led by staff and faculty, focused on students and largely enabled by Michigan Tech alumni.

Ownership of student intellectual property – clarifying policies and dispelling myths

By Jim Baker

This is my first blog as a member of the Pavlis Honors College team. I work half time in the Honors College as co-director of the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE) alongside Mary Raber. ICE was established in the fall of 2015 to serve as a cross-campus resource to connect entrepreneurially-minded students, faculty and staff to resources and expertise that will help them advance their businesses and ideas into the market. Mary and I have both been involved in startup companies and established manufacturing companies and are building ICE within the Honors College to complement existing campus and community resources. In addition to my new role focused on enabling student innovation and entrepreneurship, the other half of my job involves creating companies and business opportunities around University technologies. I have a technical background with a PhD in engineering and am licensed to practice patent law in the United States.

Among the host of topics rattling around in my head on innovation, entrepreneurship, and various random issues, the ownership of intellectual property for students at Michigan Tech is one that comes up a lot and seems to remain a source of confusion and even mystery. In this post, I will clarify the University’s policies on intellectual property ownership for students.

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The University policy on Patents can be viewed online and provides for two sides of this issue. 1. The University has rights to “any software or invention conceived or reduced to practice by faculty, staff, and students in the course of University employment or research, or through the use of University facilities and equipment”, and 2. The University does not have rights to “inventions developed without the use of its funds, facilities, or equipment.”

University employment is quite simple – did you get a paycheck to do it? University research is also quite simple – is there a contract or other agreement in place that covers the project? The phrase “use of facilities and equipment” is sometimes a cause for concern and is perceived by some to allow the University to claim ownership to anything that a student does while they are at Michigan Tech. That is not the case, and this issue has been formally clarified in a memo issued by Dave Reed, Michigan Tech’s Vice President for Research.

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The memo lays out two very important qualifiers to the facilities and equipment issue. It requires that the facility/equipment be specialized and that the use be substantive. Any facility that is open to the entire student body is outside of the definition of specialized. A dorm room, the library, an open computer lab, and the Innovation Alley Makerspace are examples of things outside of the definition of specialized facilities and equipment because all students have access to them. The supercomputer cluster, electron optics equipment, and any specialized lab facilities would be specialized, however their use alone may not necessarily result in University ownership – the use must also be substantive to the creation of the invention in question.   For example, if you design something on your own computer and then make arrangements to simply have it made in a ‘specialized facility’ then that use is not substantive.

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All policies regarding facilities use still apply so you can’t open a retail store in your dorm room or us a machine shop to manufacture production parts but if you think of the next best invention in your dorm room and email a description to your friend from a University email account it’s all yours to do with as you please. I am hopeful that this post clarifies the policies and practices but if you have any remaining concerns I encourage you to reach out with your specific questions and circumstances. We can answer any questions you have, and through ICE, we can provide guidance on your path forward to customers as well as recommendations to other recourses that will be essential on your way there.

Jim Baker can usually be found at the Pavlis Honors College offices on Tuesdays or Thursdays. If you would like to set up an appointment with him to talk IP, please email Amy Karagiannakis (akaragia@mtu.edu).

Meet Brad Turner…

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By Amy Karagiannakis

Brad works part-time as a product designer for Handshake, the Michigan Tech start-up that is now headquartered in San Francisco. He started as an intern while the company was still located in Houghton in 2014. David Shull, Michigan Tech alumni and Director of University Growth at Handshake, related, “I’ve had the chance to work with Brad on a few different teams now.  At Handshake, Brad crafted major redesigns of the student on-boarding process. Over three months, Brad’s inquisitive nature enabled him to learn about the company, the team, and the users to create a new student experience that has been used by hundreds of thousands of students across the country. From day one, Brad was treated as a full time team member and impressed the entire team with his work ethic, design skills, and technical approach to problem solving.” Brad’s biggest challenge since working at Handshake is trying to involve more actual users in the design process. He’s currently leading many student-focused projects that will help to redesign the job search experience for all of Handshake’s users.

Handshake office in San Francisco

With the new Michigan Tech Makerspace set to open in a little over a week, Brad has been busy trying to get The Alley ready. Next week, Silicon Valley alum will be visiting campus to take part in the Makerspace grand opening. As the Student Director, Brad incorporated a design thinking process to turn the old Michigan Tech bowling alley into a multi-functional makerspace that the entire University community can benefit from.

Preliminary floor plans courtesy of makerspacemtu.github.io/updates.html
Preliminary floor plans courtesy of makerspacemtu.github.io/updates.html

Brad is a fourth year student graduating in the Spring with a Bachelors degree in Software Engineering. A Custom Pathways Innovation student, Brad sits on the Pavlis Honors College (PHC) Undergraduate Student Advisory Board and is very involved with Michigan Tech’s new Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE). During Homecoming week, Brad gathered a team to construct a cardboard boat for the Pavlis Honors College to compete in the annual races. Dr. Meadows may have captained the boat, but Brad led the charge. The well constructed design stayed afloat, and PHC came in second in their race.

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Named University Innovation Fellow in 2015, Brad continues to bring the entrepreneurial mindset to Tech by increasing engagement on campus through innovation, design thinking, and creativity. He facilitates student workshops and coordinates the Maker Coach training. Brad is also putting what he learned through his involvement with UIF, to use at Handshake, as he develops personas to better understand the students using the platform.

UIFs in Silicon Valley for Epicenter Training

One of Brad’s favorite memories while working in San Francisco this past summer was marching in the Pride parade with a group called the Trevor project, which is a suicide hotline for LGBT youth. Outside of class, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, skiing, and taking pictures.  Self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd, Brad bought the new book this summer on the day of its release and read it all in one day. He also loves volunteering at the Humane Society in his spare time to hang out with the cats.

Brad Turner is redefining what it means to be an Honors student. Have a passion for innovation? Find out how you can get involved with the Pavlis Honors College. Applications are due October 23rd.

 

Michigan Tech Ranked #18 for Return on Investment

michigan-technological-universityReturn on investment or ROI compares the cost of a college education with what that graduate can expect to earn. Bestcolleges.com recently released a report on the 50 best colleges and universities in terms of ROI. With a 30-year net ROI of just under $1,000,000, Michigan Tech ranked 18th in the nation. This number is calculated by taking the average net earnings a graduate can expect to make over a 30 year period and subtracting the cost of their education.

Find out how the Pavlis Honors College can help make that number grow. Our Scholars and Leaders Programs prepare students for success after graduation. We address society’s need for graduates who possess both depth of knowledge in their chosen field and intellectual breadth obtained through interdisciplinary collaboration, experiential learning and deliberate reflection. Graduating with recognition from the Honors College provides students with what Frank Pavlis calls the “plus factors” that put them at a noticeable advantage above their peers when applying for jobs.

Read the full report from Bestcolleges.com.

High school girls invited to Tech last Friday for Women in Computing Day

Last Friday Michigan Tech hosted high school girls from all over the upper Midwest who are interested in careers involving computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering. The Blue Marble Security Enterprise team, advised by Glen Archer, facilitated many of the projects which included programming a robot, building a working heart rate monitor and making a hologram. Be sure to check out Blue Marble Security at this year’s Design Expo on Thursday, April 14th. Read the full story from the Daily Mining Gazette.

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Challenge Detroit: Accepting Applications

Graduating students and post-grads, don’t miss this unique opportunity to make a social impact in Detroit and connect to great job opportunities through a program called Challenge Detroit. Over the course of a year, Challenge Detroit Fellows live, work, play, give and lead in Detroit. They work for top regional companies, while partnering monthly with nonprofits to address issues and opportunities facing the community.

Students that are interested in learning more about Challenge Detroit are welcome to email The Challenge Detroit Team directly at info@challengedetroit.org or apply at www.challengedetroit.org/application now through 11:59pm on March 6, 2016.

 

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There will be a general meeting for Michigan Tech’s Engineers Without Borders chapter Thursday, February 11th at 6pm in Dillman 214.

Engineers Without Borders is an international philanthropy organization. By joining Michigan Tech’s EWB chapter you will learn to use a variety of skills to improve the lives of communities in need around the world. Michigan Tech’s chapter is currently working on well projects in Guatemala and a water distribution project in Panama, with both teams planning on traveling in the next year. Don’t let the name of the organization deter you from joining if you aren’t an engineer. EWB is looking for anyone interested in making a difference in people’s lives, regardless of major. Scientific and Technical Communication, business, language, and biology majors, to name a few, are all welcome. There are opportunities for experience in water resources, Spanish, technical writing, communication, engineering, team building and much more.
If you are interested in learning more about Engineers Without Borders, please attend the upcoming meeting in Dillman 214 at 6pm on Thursday, February 11th. If you can’t make it, feel free to email the chapter president (smbeine@mtu.edu) with any questions!

Registration for Design Expo 2016 is Now Open!

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Design Expo 2016 will be held in the MUB Ballroom on Thursday, April 14th. Please save the date!

Design Expo highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning at Michigan Tech. More than 600 students on Enterprise and Senior Design teams showcase their work and compete for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty members, critique the projects. Many team projects are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience through competition, as well as direct exposure to real industrial problems. Design Expo is co-hosted by the College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College.

Registration is now open for Senior Design and Enterprise teams. Student teams should visit the Design Expo website to register before Monday, February 1st.

 

Apply to Join the Pavlis Honors College Community!

Programs Offered in Global Technological Leadership, Peace Corps Prep, and More

Are you interested in joining a community of self-motivated, independent-thinking students who take charge of their education and full advantage of all that Michigan Tech has to offer? If so, consider applying to the Pavlis Honors College’s Scholars and Leaders Programs.  All motivated and committed undergraduate students in good academic standing are invited, regardless of GPA. The current application window will remain open until March 1 for students wishing to join the college in fall, 2016.

All Scholars and Leaders students take core courses, participate in an immersion experience, and carry out an honors project.  The Scholars and Leaders Programs offer multiple pathways for students to complete the requirements for Pavlis Honors College designation on their diplomas and transcripts as well as special recognition in the graduation program.

One pathway is the well-established Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership which is designed to prepare students to become successful leaders through focused coursework and interdisciplinary, team-based project work implemented in a cross-cultural environment.  Students applying to this program should have at least three years remaining in their undergraduate degree program and be prepared to travel to one of our foreign project centers the summer between their 3rd and 4th years of study at Michigan Tech.

A second pathway is the new Peace Corps Prep program, an official partnership with the U.S. Peace Corps. This program prepares undergraduates for Peace Corps service or other cross-cultural, community-based professional work. Students gain cross-cultural and foreign language learning experience in and out of the classroom.  They also gain first-hand experience in a prominent sector of community development work, such as health, education, or environment.  The Peace Corps Prep program emphasizes establishing strong cross-cultural professional partnerships and developing an interdisciplinary framework for addressing pressing global problems such as climate change, sanitation, childhood malnutrition, girl’s education, and others.  Students can customize their area of focus to fit their personal interests.  Students applying to this program should have at least two years remaining in their undergraduate degree program.

Third, is the Custom Pathway Program, where students can customize their own pathway to incorporate an enterprise experience, student research, an entrepreneurial endeavor or an industrial internship, to name just a few options, to complete the Pavlis Honors College requirements. If none of our established pathways suit your needs and interests, design your own and work with the college’s faculty and staff to realize your vision for success.

For more information, read here and attend one of the following Pavlis Honors College Information Sessions scheduled in the coming weeks.  All information sessions will be held in the Pavlis Honors College Collaboration Space – Minerals and Materials Building, room 722 (facing the Portage Canal).

 

Tuesday, January 19 from 4-5pm

Thursday, January 28 from noon-1pm

Thursday, February 11 from 6-7pm

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Summer Internships

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate Office of University Programs sponsors a 10-week summer internship program for students majoring in homeland security related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (HS-STEM) disciplines. The program provides students with quality research experiences at federal research facilities located across the country and allows students the opportunity to establish connections with DHS professionals. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students in a broad spectrum of HS-STEM disciplines and DHS mission-relevant Research Areas.

Undergraduate students receive a $6,000 stipend plus travel expenses. Graduate students receive a $7,000 stipend plus travel expenses.

These 10-week research experiences are located at:

Coast Guard Research and Development Center ● Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute ● Customs and Borders Protection ● Engineer Research and Development Center ● Federal Emergency Management Agency ● National Security Technologies ● National Urban Security Technology Laboratory ● Naval Research Laboratory ● Office for Interoperabilty and Compatibility ● Transportation Security Laboratory ● DOE National Laboratories: Argonne, Berkeley, Idaho, Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Sandia

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The deadline to apply is December 16th, 2015. If you are interested in learning more visit http://www.orau.gov/dhseducation/internships/.