Michigan Tech News

Major Auto Parts Supplier Supports Engineering Program for Young Women


Through the generosity of Dana Incorporated, young women from throughout the country are getting a taste college life and the exciting world of automotive engineering at Michigan Technological University.

More than two dozen high school girls from across the country are on the Houghton campus this week taking part in Women in Automotive Engineering (WIAE). The week-long exploration, designed to maintain a pipeline of college-bound students interested fields of study that relate to the automotive industry, is part of Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program (SYP). As it is a scholarship program, students must apply for admission. Accepted students received a scholarship valued at more than $1,000 that covers tuition, room and board and supplies. Dana Incorporated is a major sponsor of WIAE and provides scholarship funding.

Headquartered in Maumee, Ohio, Dana Incorporated is a worldwide leader in the supply of drivetrain, sealing and thermal-management technologies for the auto industry. Founded in 1904, the company employs nearly 36,000 people in 33 countries.

Women in Automotive Engineering provides an opportunity for academically talented young women to explore the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering within the automotive industry. Through projects and classroom activities, students are gaining a better understanding of the importance of automotive engineering. Throughout the week they’ve been exploring engineering labs, interacting with female leaders and role models in the industry, investigating career opportunities meeting with other talented students with similar interests.

Heidi Koedam, manager at Dana Incorporated, said the sponsorship of WIEA is part of the company’s commitment to increasing gender diversity within Dana’s Engineering Department. “We recognize that getting girls excited about the automotive industry at a young age is the key to close this gap. Opportunities like the Women in Automotive Engineering Program play a pivotal role in encouraging girls to pursue engineering educations and later, careers within the automotive industry.”

In addition to explorations of automotive engineering, the young women are getting a taste of college life by staying in residence halls, eating in University cafeterias, participating in evening activities on campus and trips throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula.