10 Minutes with Stella Wixom

By | 10 Years of the BEC | No Comments

U-M’s corporate partners say that it’s the people of the BEC that provide the biggest benefit to working with UM. That definitely starts at the top, with the Executive Director, Stella Wixom. Having served as the University and Campus Manager for Nortel Networks, Wixom brought industry experience in technology, sales, and marketing when she joined U-M. Her experience and expertise sitting on the industry side of collaborations represented a valuable perspective in building the newly structured BEC. A core part of the BEC since nearly its inception, Stella played a pivotal role in developing some critical industry/university partnerships before taking…

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Wolverine pathways students smiling

Saturday Classes

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It takes a lot of initiative for students to attend class on Saturday. That level of dedication is what the 400+ middle and high school students from Ypsilanti, Southfield and Detroit bring to all of the events in the Wolverine Pathways program. Wolverine Pathways, a new diversity pipeline program at U-M was established to address the pressing need for U-M to offer a focused and intentional K- 12 program to sustain and improve the diversity of the undergraduate student population. Nell Dority, Senior Director at the Business Engagement Center, knew this would be a good fit for the community-minded University…

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DENSO students

We Have a New Housemate

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Building on their Master Research Agreement and their Mcity Leadership Circle membership, automotive technology company DENSO co-located at the University of Michigan in 2017 to work side by side with U-M researchers and students. In addition to new research projects, this arrangement has supported new Multidisciplinary Design Program projects and created 18 new paid summer internships for undergraduate, Master’s and Ph.D. students. “This has been an amazing opportunity to first learn from and then work with industry and see how we  can use that knowledge in practical situations. We do projects in class, but they are in a controlled environment….

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Students demonstrate various research projects as part of their work in the Sensory Augmentation and Rehabilitation Laboratory (SARL) and the Laboratory for Innovation in Global Health Technology (LIGHT). Both labs fall under the Sienko Research Group, led by Kathleen Sienko, an Arthur F Thurnau Professor and associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan Photo: Evan Dougherty/Assistant Multimedia Editor - University of Michigan - College of Engineering www.engin.umich.edu

Impellia Plants Their Feet

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It’s tough being a start-up company. The need for access to technology and capital can lead many budding companies to fail. The turning point can sometimes be through the power of your network, one that Impellia and U-M worked hard to create. Impellia’s leadership had a number of connections at the University of Michigan, some of them key members of the Athletics department. Even with those connections, the hurdles of undertaking sponsored research projects were large for an early stage start-up like Impellia. It was funding from the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) that made this opportunity a reality. Impellia…

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Dell Team from Tauber Institute

Reflections from the Winning Team

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Congratulations to the Dell team from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations for taking first place in the 2017 Spotlight Contest. A summary of their experience is worth the read! Reflecting on Our Ocean Plastic Summer Internship We knew all the statistics from our initial research— the 8 million tons of plastics entering the ocean every year, the growth to 80 million tons by 2025, and the notion that one day there may be more plastic in the ocean than fish. But until we actually saw the piles of discarded plastic and walked the beaches ourselves, it was really hard…

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Faculty and students at the DDEP Mentoring Dinner.

A Shared Commitment: Toyota Research Institute Commits to Diversity Initiatives at U-M

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In 2016, Toyota Research Institute (TRI) made a $22 million commitment to partner with the University of Michigan on research. As part of the research agreement, TRI committed to support the University through philanthropy, starting with a $1 million gift in late 2016. Understanding the needs and interests of TRI, John McLaughlin, Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations at the College of Engineering, knew many of TRI’s goals and objectives aligned well with priorities within the College of Engineering. “They are concerned with diversity in the research pipeline, and the College of Engineering is passionate about building diverse and inclusive programs.”…

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Staff demonstrate Microsoft's HoloLens device.

Transforming the Classroom Experience

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David Chesney has a new approach to his senior level EECS class, thanks to a stellar group of U-M students and game-changing technology from Microsoft. Using Microsoft HoloLens devices, students in his class partnered with Vice Chair of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Medicine Dr. Prashant Mahajan to identify potential technology applications that would streamline hospital logistics, comfort patients, and provide lifesaving care. Chesney illustrates one example of long distance critical care that could result from software using this technology: “Imagine an EMT at an emergency scene, wearing a Hololens and communicating with a clinician in a…

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MCRN’s Small Company Innovation Program Exceeds 100th client

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Small Companies are the backbone of the U.S. economy.  They provide one of the largest opportunities for growth and form critical supply chains to big industry.  Small companies that innovate remain globally competitive, continue to employ, and create a greater positive economic impact often creating more jobs by bringing more efficient products and services to market. Innovation often necessitates significant research and special resources, research and resources that are available at universities.  However, university resources are often unknown or unaffordable to small companies. The Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN), a program supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in…

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10 Minutes with Jack Hu

By | 10 Years of the BEC | No Comments

Though Jack Hu has been involved with the Business Engagement Center (BEC) since participating in the exploratory committee that developed BEC a decade ago, he is only looking forward. When he does, Hu sees the future of corporate engagement, and it is full of diversification. “After years of declining federal funding, industry has stepped in to fill a very critical gap. I see this trend continuing and see opportunity for industry – both domestic and international – to connect with U-M for comprehensive student support and dynamic research,” Hu says. He highlights the BEC’s successful corporate engagement model in two…

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