Michigan Tech, GE Aviation Partner to Keep Work in Michigan

by Jennifer Donovan, public relations director

GE Aviation of Grand Rapids has announced an expansion of its University Development Center in Houghton. The new facility, a partnership with Michigan Tech, will bring 50 new jobs to Houghton and employ engineering students to do exactly the kinds of work that they are studying at the University.

Here’s how this unique partnership arose.

In the spring of 2005, Don Eenigenburg, director of test systems for GE Aviation—at that time, Smiths Aerospace—was evaluating the economics and process of outsourcing significant amounts of engineering work to India. The work included generation and testing of software code and design of avionics test equipment. There were 13 Indian companies being evaluated, and he had visited each of them.

Later that spring Eenigenburg, a 1974 graduate of Michigan Tech, came to Houghton to visit his son, Trevor, the third Eenigenburg offspring to attend the University. While the aerospace executive was on campus, the annual Undergraduate Research Expo was taking place. It set him thinking.

“By outsourcing our low-level engineering work to the well-educated and ambitious young engineers in India, we’re investing in their future,” Eenigenburg said to himself. “Why shouldn’t we invest in our children’s future instead?”

“If I had a good engineering school where students and graduates have limited opportunities for work experience, we could get the work done right there, save some money, and help prepare our next generation of engineers at the same time,” said Eenigenburg.

He looked around him and saw precisely what he had described: Michigan Tech, a highly ranked engineering school in a remote location with a dearth of nearby engineering internships or jobs.

There was one small problem. The semester was over in two weeks. Then students would scatter for the summer. Eenigenburg wanted to find and hire 12 of them before that happened and put them to work full-time at GE Aviation headquarters in Grand Rapids over the summer and part-time back in Houghton when classes began again in fall.

Michigan Tech’s Career Center came to the rescue. Using their e-recruiting system, the Career Center geared up and quickly located 12 outstanding undergraduates for the jobs.

Tina Giachino, manager of career partner programs and job development, even recruited her own 16-year-old son, Dustin Mitchell, and his friend to assemble the workstations for the new venture.

“This was a unique opportunity,” Giachino recalls, “because it was right in this area, and students could do related work while they went to school.” She hopes the GE approach will become a model for other corporations.

Seven employees and approximately 20 students now work at GE Aviation’s University Development Center. The Houghton operation currently is located in the former Portage campus hospital in Hancock, where it will remain while the second and third floors of the historic Powerhouse facility in Houghton are remodeled. Then it will move to the Powerhouse, where GE Aviation has signed a five-year lease with the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation SmartZone.

A $1 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation helped the City of Houghton to renovate and expand the Powerhouse building and encouraged GE to choose Houghton as the site for its center.

At the expanded University Development Center, 50 employees, including up to 40 students, will work in teams comprising a senior technical leader, five junior-level graduate engineers and five engineering students. “They will be doing real, meaningful work,” Eenigenburg said. “They are already generating code, testing it and designing test equipment hardware.”

In his 30-year career, Eenigenburg stated, the project has been one of the best examples of teamwork from a wide range of organizations that he has ever experienced. “The University organizations, the local community agencies, state agencies and the corporation worked together with amazing cooperation and with the same dedication to make something good happen,” he said.

Carlton Crothers, CEO of the Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone—a state and local partnership to develop high-tech businesses—calls the GE Aviation center a boon to the Upper Peninsula in many ways. “It brings outside money in, creates jobs, enables students to earn money doing meaningful work while going to school, and it enables recent graduates to stay in Houghton to work and pursue graduate studies at Michigan Tech,” he pointed out.

The decision of a major high-tech firm like GE Aviation to develop a model like this in Houghton also helps give the MTEC SmartZone the critical mass it needs to attract more such corporate operations, Crothers said.

“This project is an ideal way to leverage the bright, capable students that are coming out of Michigan Tech,” he added.

Michigan Tech Rises in NSF Rankings, Math Makes the Top 100

Michigan Tech has moved up six places in the National Science Foundation's annual report on research expenditures, to 173rd from 179th, Vice President for Research David Reed has announced.

Most notably, the Department of Mathematical Sciences has seen a phenomenal boost in the rankings. In its breakdown of research expenditures by field, the NSF publishes only the top 100, and in fiscal year 2005, Michigan Tech's math department did not make that list. But in FY2006, it rocketed up to 79th.

"They didn't just cross over into the top 100, they burst through," Reed said. "It's an amazing accomplishment."

The department's research program has been building for a number of years, he said, first under the leadership of former chair Al Baartmans and more recently with the support of the current chair, Mark Gockenbach.

"It's primarily the result of our faculty in statistical genetics," Gockenbach said. "They have received a lot of funding from the National Institutes of Health to study the genetic causes of disease using statistical techniques. Additionally, other faculty in discrete and applied mathematics have been doing important research that is being supported by funding agencies."

Max Seel, dean of sciences and arts, also commended the department. "This is exciting news for the Department of Mathematical Sciences," he said. "My congratulations and compliments go to the faculty who made this possible. I also would like to extend my thanks and recognition to the former department chair, Dr. Al Baartmans, who laid the foundation for the statistical genetics group."

The report lists Michigan Tech 125th among public institutions, up from 127th, and 75th among institutions without medical schools, up from 79th. At 9.7 percent, the University is 19th in the nation in the proportion of research supported by industry.

Eight other Michigan Tech departments and areas of study also maintained their standing among the NSF study's top 100.

With a 15 percent hike in research expenditures, mechanical engineering was ranked 21st in the nation, up from 23rd. Electrical and computer engineering was 87th, up from 90th, which was made possible by a 34 percent increase in funding. The overall total for engineering was 73rd, up from 79th; and environmental science was ranked 73rd, up from 74th.

Bioengineering/biomedical engineering was ranked 55th, down slightly from 53rd, in spite of a 34 percent growth in research expenditures.

Chemical engineering (52nd), civil and environmental engineering (53rd) and metallurgical and materials engineering (50th) also were listed among the top 100.

Michigan Tech's research program is continuing to grow. "Overall, we increased from $43.1 million to $56.6 million from FY2006 to FY2007," he said. "Though there is always some up and down, we should be looking at further increases this year in most disciplines, so the news should continue to be good going forward."

The NSF report is available at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf08300/ .

Staff Council's Last Meeting of the Year Dec. 6

Staff Council's last meeting of 2007 is set for noon on Dec. 6 in the Memorial Union's Red Metal Room. John Lehman, assistant vice president for enrollment services, will answer questions about this year's enrollment increase and ways in which Michigan Tech improves its recruiting each year. All interested staff are welcome.

Questions can be directed to Becky Christianson at 487-2416 or rwchrist@mtu.edu .

"An Old-Fashioned Christmas Concert and Carol Sing" Dec. 8

The Rozsa Center will resound with glorious music as audience members sing along with the Michigan Tech Concert Choir and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in "An Old-Fashioned Christmas Concert and Carol Sing," conducted by Professor Milton Olsson (Visual and Performing Arts), on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Sponsors are the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Copper Range Abstract & Title Agency Inc. of Houghton.

In addition to leading beautiful arrangements of well-known songs and carols, the choir and orchestra will present other favorites of the season, from the theme of the movie "Polar Express" to selections from Vivaldi's "Gloria," Handel's chorus, Halleluia, from "Messiah," and dances from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker." Selections also include Morten Lauridsen's moving tribute, "O Magnum Mysterium," and the beautiful Alfred Burt carols.

Olsson says this concert is a response to many requests from community members who love to celebrate the holidays with music. He notes that the carols and other holiday music are part of a much-loved American tradition that binds people of all backgrounds together. The KSO and Concert Choir themselves bring together community musicians of all ages with Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff, all of whom invite families to enjoy the concert as part of their holiday festivities.

Concert tickets are available from the Rozsa Box Office, 487-3200 and http://www.tickets.mtu.edu. Come early to enjoy the festive Rozsa Lobby, decorated with unique trees donated by local artists for the Friends of Rozsa Christmas Tree Silent Auction.

"Holidays Around the World" Dec. 7

submitted by International Programs and Services

Following the University’s mission of creating an inclusive environment and culture, the Office of International Programs and Services (IPS) will offer an open house to celebrate 15 major holidays representing Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Baha’i, and Chinese and Hmong New Year on Friday, Dec. 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

The celebration will highlight major holidays that occur during the fall semester. Informational displays, exhibitions, dresses from different cultures, special presentations on diverse holidays and a sampling of international cuisine will enhance our understanding of how a variety of cultural and religious holidays are celebrated across the world. Student groups and community members interested in reserving an information booth at the event can email ips@mtu.edu . The initiative of a university-wide celebration of holidays around the world is funded by the President’s Office and Student Affairs Division.

A section of the IPS website, http://www.ips.mtu.edu , is also dedicated to information and resources about major religious holidays and cultural festivals around the world. IPS urges the Michigan Tech community to contribute additional information and resources to update our knowledge and understanding of global diversity. Community members can send additional information, suggestions or updates to ips@mtu.edu .

Webinar Dec. 12: "The Future of Academic Advising and Technology"

COMPASS, in collaboration with Student Affairs, invites you to attend a webinar, "On the Horizon: The Future of Academic Advising and Technology," on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Advanced Technology Development Complex.

Our students are already engaged in activities and behaviors that
embrace technology. The questions for advisors have been, and continue to be, "How can we use these tools to better reach and teach our students in advising, and how will we decide what technologies to use?"

Participants in this webinar will

*review some trends pertaining to application of emerging technologies for campuses
*discover selected emerging technologies in the first adoption horizon (one to two years) that may impact our response to the challenge
*participate in demonstrations of technology applications for use in academic advising
*discuss the role of academic advisors in the selection of emerging technologies for our campuses

Those participating in this webinar with a group may wish to bring laptops (with internet access) for individualized viewing of recommended websites. Individual participants may also wish to obtain a laptop (with internet access) or second computer for engaged participation.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by Dec. 11 to Joan Pastore at jpastore@mtu.edu or 487-3558.

Physics Colloquia Dec. 3, 4, 5, 6

Somobrata Acharya, from the International Center for Young Scientists, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, will present a physics seminar, “Ultra Narrow Semiconductor Nanomaterials,” on Monday, Dec. 3, 2 p.m. in Fisher 127.

Anirban Bandyopadhyay, also from the International Center for Young Scientists, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, will present a physics colloquium, “Lotus Lotus Everywhere: A Journey from Neumann's Computer to our Central Nervous System,” on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. in Fisher 139.

Ujjal K. Gautam, from Nanoscale Materials Center, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, will present a physics seminar, “ZnS-Based 1D Nano-Heterostructures: Synthesis, Properties and Applications,” on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m. in Fisher 127.

Professor George E. Ewing, from the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University, will present a physics colloquium, ” Water Drop Electrification,” on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m. in Fisher 139.

For more information, contact Yoke Khin Yap, ykyap@mtu.edu or 487-2900, or Ranjit Pati, patir@mtu.edu or 487-3193.

Is this Your Money?

Michigan Tech has received a wire transfer of $12,087.50 from ASEE-SMART. If anyone is expecting these funds, please contact Margaret Thornton, mmthornt@mtu.edu , in Accounting Services.

Two Toner Cartridges MIA

The West Engineering Computing Network is missing two toner cartridges, HP Q3960A black and HP Q3962A yellow, ordered from Sehi. They were delivered to Tech on Nov. 15, but WECN did not receive them.

If someone received them by accident, please email rob@mtu.edu, and arrangements for pick up will be made.

WECN thanks everyone for their help.

Free Office Chair in OSR

The Office of Student Records and Registration has an office desk chair to give away. If you are interested, please contact Vicky Roy at 487-1616 or stop by Administration 110.

As always, University property may not be given or sold to individuals. It may only be transferred between University departments.

Memorial Union Menus

Monday, Dec. 3
The Grill--Breakfast, Mushroom and Herb Omelets, Toast and Coffee $3.95; Lunch, Mini Corn Dogs $2.25 (Make it a value meal with a small fry and a 20-ounce soda for $2)
Home Style Entrees--Country Fried Steak $3.95, Full Meal Deal $5.50, Mashed Potatoes and Country Gravy $1.50, Buttered Peas and Carrots $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Chicken in Red Curry Ginger Sauce, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup $2.99--Cheesy Vegetable Medley, Beef Barley
Mubsterz Pizza--Mubsterz Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Try this week's featured sandwich, tuna Wraps $3.99

Tuesday, Dec. 4
The Grill--Breakfast, Blueberry Pancakes $2.95; Lunch, Santa Fe Veggie Quesadellas $3.95 (black bean, corn, green onions, bell pepper and jack cheese quesadillas served with salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips)
Home Style Entrees--Chicken Alfredo Supreme $3.95, Full Meal Deal, $5.25 (includes two sides), Spinach and Madarin Orange Salad $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Cajun Beef Stir Fry, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup--$2.99; Tomato, Minnesota Wild Rice
Mubsterz Pizza--Philly Cheeze Steak Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Hot Campbell's Soup Served Monday through Friday, $2.99 per cup

Wednesday, Dec. 5
The Grill--Breakfast, Breakfast Pizza $2.99; Lunch, Sourdough Bacon Cheese Burger $2.50, (Make it a value meal with a small fry and a 20-ounce soda for $2)
Home Style Entrees--Meat Pasty $3.75, Veggie Pasty $3.75, Pasty Combo $4.75 (includes pasty, potatoes and coleslaw), Mashed Potatoes with Gravy or Mushroom Gravy $1.50, Cole Slaw $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Buffalo Chicken Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup--$2.99; Chicken Noodle, Vegetable Garden
Mubsterz Pizza--Hawaiian Delight Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Try one of our low-carb-friendly wrap sandwiches $3.99

Thursday, Dec. 6
The Grill--Breakfast, Breakfast Croissants $2.50; Lunch, Monty Cristo $2.50 (Make it a value meal with a small fry and 20-ounce soda for $2)
Home Style Entrees--Carved Roast Pork $3.95, Full Meal Deal $5.95, Blue-Cheese Stuffed Potatoes $1.50, Buttered Corn $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Shrimp Noodle Bowl, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup--$2.99; Cream of Mushroom, French Onion
Mubsterz Pizza--Mushroom and Olive Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Make any sandwich a value meal and get a 20-ounce fountain soda, chips or a jumbo cookies for just $2

Friday, Dec. 7
The Grill--Breakfast, Breakfast Calzones $3.50; Lunch, Onion Crisps $2.25
Home Style Entrees--Lemon-Steamed Pollock $3.95, Full Meal Deal $5.95, Golden Potatoes and Carrots $1.50, Chef's Vegetable of the Day $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Mexican Rice Bowls, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup--$2.99; New England Clam Chowder, Minestrone
Mubsterz Pizza--Greek Chicken Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Try this week's featured sandwich, Tuna Wraps $3.99