techcentury A PUBLICATION OF THE ENGINEERING SOCIETY OF DETROIT
V.24 | N.1 SPRING 2018
Creativity and Legality in Engineering
Dr. Edward Becker Receives ESD Gold Award 11
A Guide To Protecting Your Creativity
ESD Student Chapters Tour NAIAS 24
Possible is everything. Increase your technical knowledge with advanced engineering degrees and certificates from Lawrence Tech.
Learn more: ltu.edu/engineering
ESD Student Chapters recently visited the North American International Auto Show. See page 30.
A PUBLICATION OF THE ENGINEERING SOCIETY OF DETROIT
3 4 6 7 10
PUBLICATION NOTES PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE MEMBERS IN THE NEWS IN MEMORIAM UPCOMING EVENTS
11 Becker Receives ESD Affliate Council Gold Award 12 A Global Online Meeting Place… AutoHarvest Connects Today’s Innovators 14 Patents and Young Minds… Supporting Student Fairs Encourages Creativity
BY TIM FINO, P.E., FESD
16 Playing the Long Game: Creativity And Protecting it in Engineering
BY KELLEY CHRISTENSEN
18 Engineering Ethics: What We Can Do, and What We Should Do
BY THOMAS M. DORAN, P.E., FESD
20 USPTO: An Important Resource for Entrepreneurial Engineers
BY JAMES WILSON
22 Networking: What’s the Half-Life of Your Engineering Degree?
BY PAUL SGRICCIA, PE, FESD
24 If You Snooze, You Lose: A Guide to Protecting Your Intellectual Property
BY MICHAEL B. STEWART, MELISSA ATHERTON AND PAUL RATZMANN
30 ESD Student Chapters Tour NAIAS 33 Michigan’s Future City Team Places Second In Nationals www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 1
University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science offers flexible Professional and Graduate programs that prepare engineers to become industry leaders and executives. Our programs blend theory and practice to prepare engineers for both Fortune 500 and midsize companies. Working professionals can obtain a respected, high-quality education that is conveniently offered and within your company’s tuition reimbursement plan. Advance your career with one of our Professional and Graduate programs including:
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Major in Chemistry Civil Engineering Electrical & Computer Engineering Environmental Engineering Mechanical Engineering Product Development Software Engineering Technical Management
Automation Alley members receive a 50% discount on graduate tuition.
College of Engineering & Science 4001 W. McNichols Road Detroit, MI 48221-3038 email@example.com 800-635-5020 udmercy.edu/esd
V.23 I N.1 SPRING 2018
20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450 • Southfield, MI 48076 248–353–0735 • 248–353–0736 fax • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.esd.org
TECHNOLOGY CENTURY® EDITORIAL BOARD
CHAIR: Karyn Stickel, Hubbell, Roth & Clark Jason Cerbin, Honeywell Energy Services Group Sandra Diorka, Delhi Charter Township Tom Doran, FESD, Hubbell, Roth & Clark (Retired) Utpal Dutta, PhD, FESD, University of Detroit Mercy Richard, Hill, PhD, University of Detroit Mercy William A. Moylan, PhD, PMP, FESD, Eastern Michigan University John G. Petty, FESD, General Dynamics (Retired) Dan Romanchik Matt Roush, Lawrence Technologicial University Larry Sak, PE, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (retired) Michael Stewart, Fishman Stewart Intellectual Property Filza H. Walters, FESD, Lawrence Technological University Cyrill Weems, Plante Moran CRESA Anne Williams, Baker College Yang Zhao, PhD, Wayne State University
Karyn Stickel Associate, Hubbell, Roth & Clark.
This issue of TechCentury focuses on creativity, intellectual property rights and patents in the world of engineering. Oftentimes, engineers are not considered to be in the creative realm as artists, writers and poets are. However, many of the advancements of the past come from engineers working to develop solutions to common problems. Many of the solutions are part of an overall creative and collaborative process to bring about new ideas and change. However, with all of this creation brings questions of protecting intellectual and creative property. This issue includes focuses on the importance of protecting creativity in engineering, teaching students and new engineers how to protect yourself and your work as you develop new ideas, and the United States Patent Office Detroit Bureau. We also have a feature on AutoHarvest, an organization which provides a neutral and global on-line meeting place for innovators with an interest in advanced manufacturing intellectual properties. A feature on Edward Becker, the ESD’s Gold Award winner, is also included. Our student chapter focus in this edition is on four ESD Student Chapters attending the North American International Auto Show with our ESD member sponsors. We also write about the recent Future City competitions where one of the regional teams took second place in the national contest. We hope you enjoy!
ESD BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PRESIDENT: Douglas E. Patton, FESD, DENSO International America, Inc. VICE PRESIDENT: Daniel E. Nicholson, General Motors Company TREASURER: Alex F. Ivanikiw, AIA, LEED AP, FESD, Barton Malow Company SECRETARY: Robert Magee, The Engineering Society of Detroit IMM. PAST PRESIDENT: Kouhaila G. Hammer, CPA, Ghafari Associates, LLC MEMBERS AT LARGE: Larry Alexander, Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau
Katherine M. Banicki, FESD, Testing Engineers and Consultants Michael D. Bolon, FESD, General Dynamics Land Systems (Retired) Michael J. Cairns, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Patrick J. Devlin, Michigan Building Trades Council Robert A. Ficano, JD, Wayne County Community College District Farshad Fotouhi, PhD, Wayne State University Alec D. Gallimore, PhD, University of Michigan Lori Gatmaitan, SAE Foundation Malik Goodwin, Goodwin Management Group, LLC Ronald R. Henry, AiA, NCARB, Beaumont Health Marc Hudson, Rocket Fiber Ali Jammoul, Ford Motor Company Leo C. Kempel, PhD, Michigan State University Scott Penrod, Walbridge Bill Rotramel, AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Kirk T. Steudle, PE, FESD, Michigan Department of Transportation William J. Vander Roest, PE, ZF TRW (Retired) Lewis N. Walker, PhD, PE, FESD, Madonna University Terry J. Woychowski, FESD, Link Engineering Company.
TECHNOLOGY CENTURY STAFF
PUBLISHER: Robert Magee, Executive Director CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Nick Mason, Director of Operations EDITOR: Susan Thwing GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Keith Cabrera-Nguyen
Technology Century® (ISSN 1091-4153 USPS 155-460), also known as TechCentury, is published four times per year by The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD), 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450, Southfield, MI 48076. Periodical postage paid at Southfield, MI, and at additional mailing offices. The authors, editors, and publisher will not accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made in this publication. The publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein. Advertisements in TechCentury for products, services, courses, and symposia are published with a caveat emptor (buyer beware) understanding. The authors, editors, and publisher do not imply endorsement of products, nor quality, validity or approval of the educational material offered by such advertisements. ©2018 The Engineering Society of Detroit
P.S. Please tune into our next issue for a continuation of our Grand Challenges Series.
www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 3
ESD President’s Message
Support Engineering Beginning Today
upporting the engineering profession doesn’t start the day you hire an engineer. It doesn’t start with internships or college scholarships. It begins when you take the time to inspire a young student to engage in the sciences, in math, in the arts. Whether it is through financial sponsorship of a new program, or the hands-on mentoring of a team for a competition, inspiring students to think about STEM education is step one. Following through with those students throughout the process is step two. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are on the rise at 17 percent compared to other occupations growing at around 9 percent. That means, one, that the competition for good engineers is fierce and, two, we need more students entering the field. It’s important to support STEM education—even if the student doesn’t enter the engineering profession, STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and promotes innovation—leading to new products and processes that sustain our economy. But if you want the total to be more engineers, we must reach them at each piece of their lives. The Engineering Society of Detroit is one of the oldest and largest multi-disciplinary engineering associations in the world. The ESD works diligently to engage students at all levels with age appropriate programs. From the Girls in Engineering Academy to Future City competitions to Student Chapters at local colleges, the opportunity to keep minds focused, creating and developing within engineering are vast. I’m an auto guy, so I love doing things like helping to sponsor Student Chapter tours of the North American International Auto Show. It’s a great way to show older students the results of the engineering they are studying. They see safer cars, more efficient automobiles and designs. They learn that being an engineer means you can create and invent something that will really make a difference in the world. You can make the same impact on a student by sharing your work and successes with them—whatever branch of engineering you are in. Take time to share your excitement, your growth, and your accomplishments with a young person. Be a mentor, be a judge, or be a chapter advisor. But most important—be involved. Tomorrows engineers are out there—they just need us to bring them in!
Douglas Patton, FESD President, The Engineering Society of Detroit Executive Vice President & CTO, DENSO International America, Inc. 4 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
Join the DENSO team for an opportunity to impact the future of mobility. As a leading automotive supplier, we design, develop and manufacture advanced systems, technologies and components for the global automotive industry.
drive innovation Find your next career opportunity CONNECT WITH US DENSO in North America Linkedin.com/company/denso www.densocareers.com
Quality. Teamwork. Diversity. Growth. Culture. Pride.
ESD Members in the News GIFFELS WEBSTER NAMES CHRIS ASIALA AS NEW PARTNER
Giffels Webster, a Detroit-headquartered consulting firm specializing in infrastructure and land development solutions for public, private and institutional clients, announced the addition of Chris Asiala, PS, as the firm’s newest partner. As the survey manager of all global positioning system (GPS) applications and high-definition 3D laser scanning at Giffels Webster, Asiala brings more than 20 years of surveying experience into his role. “Chris has become an integral part of our team, and his knowledge and passion for surveying has helped us complete successful projects that improve quality of life in southeast Michigan,” said Scott Clein, PE, president and partner at Giffels Webster. Asiala’s accomplishments include pioneering the use of GPS and 3D scanning to deliver more informative field surveys and leading survey efforts for numerous redevelopment projects in Detroit, including projects at Detroit Public Schools, Brush Park, MGM Grand, the Riverwalk, and Little Caesars Arena.
PBA PROMOTES W.S. EDGERTON, CPD TO PRINCIPAL AND N. MIELKE TO ASSOCIATE
Peter Basso Associates (PBA) announces two promotions: Bill Edgerton, CPD, has been named a principal and Nathan Mielke was promoted to associate. Bill Edgerton started his career with PBA as a high school co-op in 1996 and continued his co-op position at PBA while attending college. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2006 and in 2007 became certified in Plumbing Design by the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. Throughout Edgerton’s 21 years’ of experience, he has worked on many notable and award-winning projects, including the LEED Gold certified Eastern Michigan University’s Mark Jefferson Science Complex, Ferris State University’s University Center, and WMU’s Western Heights Residence Hall Complex. Nathan Mielke, a member of PBA’s Commissioning Group, received his Bachelor of Science degree in HVACR Engineering Technology from Ferris State University. In Mielke’s 21 years of experience, he has provided commissioning services to a number of notable projects including Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science Building, Mid-Michigan Community College’s Campus Unification Project, and Saginaw Valley State University’s Wickes Hall Renovation. 6 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
LTU COLLEGE OF MANAGEMENT EARNS ACCREDITATION
Lawrence Technological University has earned accreditation for its College of Management from the AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Only 5 percent of the world’s 16,000 institutions of higher learning offering business degrees have earned its accreditation. AACSB accreditation provides a framework of 15 international standards against which business schools around the world assess the quality of their educational services. These standards ensure continuous improvement and provide focus for schools to deliver on their mission, innovate, and drive impact. AACSBaccredited schools have successfully undergone a rigorous review process conducted by their peers in the business education community, ensuring that they have the resources, credentials, and commitment needed to provide students with a first-rate, futurefocused business education. “Through accreditation by AACSB, Lawrence Technological University’s College of Management has met high standards of excellence and demonstrated its commitment to the Association’s hallmarks of innovation, engagement, and impact,” said Virinder K. Moudgil, LTU president. “I commend Dean Bahman Mirshab and our faculty and staff for achieving this milestone. It advances LTU’s historic motto of ‘Theory and Practice’ and assures that this university continues to provide exceptional educational experiences to our students.”
NEW MEXICO FIRM OPENS IN MSU RESEARCH PARK
Applied Research Associates Inc., a scientific and engineering research company headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M., has opened an innovation center within the University Corporate Research Park. The university said the center would partner with MSU’s College of Engineering on various research projects. ARA provides specialized research and technology services, as well as testing and product development in the fields of health, science, and engineering. The company also provides engineering services and products for alternative fuels. ARA comes to Lansing to begin work on autonomous vehicles with MSU’s College of Engineering, advancing the exploration in the key areas of object recognition, data fusion, control systems, and artificial intelligence. Have member news to share? Please contact Susan Thwing at email@example.com.
Eugenia K. Bober
ugenia K. Bober, among the first women to join The Engineering Society of Detroit, passed away December 31, 2017, at the age of 94. Her life was one of admirable spirit and interesting adventures. Mrs. Bober was born and raised in Detroit on Second Avenue. Her parents operated a general store in the 1920s and 30s. As an active young woman, she was the 1939 Detroit News Girls’ Table Tennis Champion. Mrs. Bober’s early employment included being a waitress and short order cook at a small diner at the corner of Barham and Warren Avenue in Detroit as she studied to earn a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering degree at Wayne University in 1949 (which became Wayne State University in 1956). During World War II, she was a test technician for tank and aircraft engines, and then went on to work as an electrical engineer for Essex Engineering and Michigan Bell Telephone. Later, in 1981, she started her own business, Business & Technical Services, where she wrote and developed résumés, business transcripts, legal documents and training documents for many clients until she retired in 1998. She married a childhood friend, Dr. Edward Bober in 1958, and was the mother of three sons—Daniel, Bruce and Greg; and is also survived by their wives Pat, Diane and Lori, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Their fond memories include
her great interest in “making things,” avid internet surfing in the last 15 years and reading about Nikola Tesla’s many inventions. “She was always doing something, creating something…she spent a lot of time at our science fairs while we were in grade school,” says Greg Bober. In later years, she kept busy on projects at home, donating time and talent to ESD and other organizations, and enjoying life.
With deep gratitude for their participation and service, The Engineering Society of Detroit acknowledges the passing of the following members:
JAMES D. ASTON, JR.
Retired/Vice President, Clevaflex, Inc. Member of the Senior Engineers Council Member since 1978
PETER BEARDMORE, PHD, FESD Retired/Director, Ford Motor Co. Member of the College of Fellows Member since 1986
EUGENIA K. BOBER
Retired/Owner, Business & Technology Services Electrical Engineer, Michigan Bell and Essex Engineering Member since 1944
EATON V. KELLY
Retired/Supervising Engineer—Meter Dept., Detroit Edison Co. Member since 1950
REV. WILLIAM S. LOGAN, III
Executive Vice President, Cathedral Foundation Retired/Archdeacon, Diocese of Michigan Member of the Senior Engineers Council Member since 1942
DAVID ALLEN NORDSTRAND
Retired/Subject Matter Expert—Boiler Draft & Emissions Member since 1989 www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 7
ESD Upcoming Events
2018 Michigan Energy Efficiency Conference and Exhibition
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 | Hosted by DTE Energy and ESD In its 21st year, this conference, the only one of its kind in Michigan, is designed to educate small-to-large commercial and industrial businesses on energy technology, products, and services that will assist them in successful energy management. This year’s conference will feature: � A panel presentation during lunch � Educational tracks—technology, industrial, commercial and financial— offering informative 30-minute presentations � Dozens of exhibitors offering energy-related products and services � Major awards recognizing energy efficiency initiatives � A ride-and-drive featuring a fleet of new vehicles, including energy efficient vehicles Registration Cost: $90 for ESD Members; non-members $105 or join and attend the conference at a discounted rate of $160. (This offer is available to new, first-time members only.) The conference will take place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. For more information or to register online, visit www.esd.org or call 248-353-0735 to register by phone. Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting? Contact Leslie Smith, CMP, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-353-0735, ext. 152.
28th Annual Solid Waste Technical Conference
T.B. SIMON POWER PLANT AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY TOUR Friday, April 20, 2018 PLASMADYNAMICS AND ELECTRIC PROPULSION LABORATORY AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN TOUR Friday, June 15, 2018 The tour cost is $25 for ESD Members; non-members can join ESD for $99 and attend the tour free. (This offer is for new, first-time members only.) For more information or to register online, visit www.esd.org, or call 248-353-0735, ext. 222, to register by phone.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 Hosted by The Engineering Society of Detroit and the Michigan Waste & Recycling Association In its 28th year, the Solid Waste Technical Conference focuses on cutting-edge technological innovations and solutions related to the solid waste industry. This year’s conference will feature experts in waste management practices to help attendees learn about issues related to policy, new technologies, regulatory updates and what the future holds for the industry. A post-conference training day is planned at Michigan CAT, designed to provide practical guidance and hands-on demonstrations. The conference will take place on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan. The post-conference training day will be held on April 12, 2018 at Michigan CAT in Lansing. For more information or to register to attend, visit www.esd.org. For more information contact Leslie Smith, CMP, at email@example.com or 248-353-0735, ext. 152. 8 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
ESD Upcoming Events
CONTINUING EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL COURSES
ESD’s Michigan PE License Review Courses
Since 1941, The Engineering Society of Detroit has successfully prepared thousands of candidates for the State licensing exam in a variety of disciplines ranging from civil and environmental to mechanical and electrical engineering. Learn in a small classroom-like setting from expert instructors. Let us help prepare you to pass the exam on your first try. FE REVIEW COURSE Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 9–October 16, 2018, with additional classes on Saturdays for Civil and Mechanical The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Review Course provides instruction in engineering fundamentals for candidates planning to take the CBT exam. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9 p.m., with additional Saturday classes for Civil and Mechanical at ESD headquarters in Southfield. The Saturday sessions start on August 25, 2018 (schedule will be provided to registrants).Last class for the FE Electrical Course is October 18, 2018. For more information or to register, please visit ESD’s website at esd.org or contact Fran Mahoney at 248-353-0735, ext. 116, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PE REVIEW COURSE Saturdays, August 25–October 6, 2018 (No class on September 1— Labor Day weekend.) An additional PE Mathematics class will be held on August 11, 2018, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. You must be registered for the PE Review Course to attend this class. The Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Review Course consists of 24 hours of instruction, on six half-day Saturday sessions, focusing on problem solving techniques needed for the exam. All classes are on Saturdays at ESD headquarters in Southfield. The civil and environmental course meets 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Mechanical and electrical courses meet 1–5 p.m. The state exam will be held on October 26, 2018. For details or register, visit esd.org or contact Fran Mahoney at 248-3530735, ext. 116, or email@example.com.
CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASSES TO MAINTAIN YOUR PE LICENSE August 9–October 18, 2018 ESD provides professional engineers in Michigan with opportunities to meet continuing education requirements. Current PEs can take ESD review course classes on an á la carte basis to satisfy state requirements. Over 50 different courses are available to choose from. The instructor-led, three and four-hour courses are taught by academic and industry professionals. All courses are held in the evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays and in the morning or afternoon on Saturdays at ESD Headquarters in Southfield. For more information or to register, visit esd.org or contact Elana Shelef at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-353-0735, ext. 119.
www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 9
ESD Upcoming Events
ESD 7th Annual Golf Outing
ESD Annual Dinner
A Day of Fun and Networking in Support of Engineering Monday, June 4, 2018 The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) is all about supporting engineering and technical professionals. So is this outing. Outing proceeds help support endeavors like educational and scholarship programs and creating ESD Student Chapters at each of Michigan’s top engineering schools. ESD’s golf outing is held in memory of David A. Skiven, PE, in honor of his deep commitment to ESD and its mission. Golfers— register early as this popular event sells out each year. Don’t miss a day of fun and networking while supporting this generation of engineers and fostering the next! Registration cost: $275 individuals; $165 senior individuals; $1,000 foursome; $85 dinner only. The golf outing will take place at Oak Pointe Country Club in Brighton. For more information, to register or for sponsorship opportunities, visit esd.org or contact Mary Sheridan at email@example.com or 248-3530735, ext. 222.
SAVE THE DATE
Featuring the ESD Construction & Design Awards and the ESD Leadership Awards Wednesday, June 20, 2018
We cordially invite you to celebrate with us at our most anticipated event of the year, ESD’s Annual Dinner at Ford Field in Detroit. This one-of-a-kind event brings out the best, brightest, and most diverse group of engineering, design and construction professionals in Southeast Michigan. Cost to attend: $150 ESD members; $175 non-members; $1,350 table of ten. To register, visit esd.org or call 248-353-0735. For sponsorship information, contact Elana Shelef at 248-353-0735, ext. 119, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Annual Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology (GVSETS) & Advanced Planning Briefing for Industry (APBI) August 7–9, 2018
Engineering & Technology Job Fair September 17, 2018
Some ESD programs, conferences, classes and tours may qualify for continuing education hours or professional development hours—check with your licensing agency for more information. ESD will provide certificates of attendance to participants upon request. 10 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
Edward P. Becker, PE, PhD Receives ESD Affliate Council Gold Award
dward Becker, PhD, PE, was awarded The Engineering Society of Detroit’s Gold Award on March 21 at the ESD’s Gold Award Reception and Recognition. The ESD Affiliate Council, made up of 100 plus technical societies, presents the award each year to honor an outstanding engineer or scientist who has distinguished himself/herself through outstanding achievement and service. Becker was nominated by the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) and endorsed by ASM International. In its 47th year, the Gold Award has honored presidents of companies and leaders of industry, professors and engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators for their dedication and commitment to their professions. Edward Becker, former president and fellow of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and is a lifetime member of Mensa, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. The Gold Award is a special honor to him. “I am overwhelmed and deeply grateful to be chosen. It is a tremendous honor to be among the Gold Award recipients,” he says. Becker retired from General Motors (GM) after more than 30 years, mostly working in the powertrain division on a variety of GM engines and transmissions. During that time he developed processes that resulted in nine U.S. patents. “Working at GM was an opportunity to collaborate with the best in the business. There was a synergy that brought out the inspiration in you, and the patents were a team effort,” he explains.
Don Cohen, an instructor at Michigan Metrology, nominated Becker for the award. The two met while working at GM nearly 20 years ago. “His background is hugely impressive. At one point he went back to school at the University of Michigan to earn his PhD. While there, he was a student of the people who created the field of tribology. His lineage is the founding of the industry,” Cohen explains. Cohen is referring to Becker’s instruction by Kenneth Ludema, a University of Michigan professor highly renowned for his work in friction and the wear of materials. Cohen says he is inspired by Becker’s energy and dedication to the field. “Edward Becker is highly involved in the STLE societies, working his way up from an initial board membership to being president of the international society. At the STLE you receive a medal for each post you hold that you pin to your jacket—Edward looks like a five star general at the meetings,” he explains. After retirement, Becker founded Friction & Wear Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to solving tribology problems. The company is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Maintaining a close network of colleagues and business contacts has helped with the business’ success. “You have to maintain your network and I am fortunate in that way. If someone contacts me for work I’m not an expert in, I can refer that person to someone I know, and so on,” he says. Becker and his wife, Jean Becker, PhD, also a lifetime member of Mensa, travel internationally in their spare time having visited more than 100 countries and seven continents. They also participate in bridge tournaments. For future engineers, Becker has one particular piece of advice “keep trying, keeping looking forward.” www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 11
A global online meeting place… AutoHarvest connects today’s innovators By Susan Thwing
he International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects 2017’s Gross World Product to hit $77.99 trillion, and its GDP (PPP) is forecasted at $126.69 trillion. That’s a whole lot of businesses—global businesses—needing the ability to work across continents. To share ideas, technologies, platforms, spaces and expertise. It’s also essential that these businesses have the right tools to secure Intellectual Property rights to the technology resulting from their hard work. Fortunately for innovators, creators, designers and inventors across the engineering spectrum, there’s AutoHarvest Foundation. AutoHarvest Co-founder and President Jayson D. Pankin—who was ranked one of the World’s Leading Intellectual Property Strategists for the fifth consecutive year in 2018—says the organization is “an important tool for engineers to have visibility for their work as well as access to innovations.” According to its website, the 501(C)3 nonprofit “is a meeting place for innovators of all types with an interest in advanced manufacturing intellectual property.” The online service allows users to showcase capabilities, technologies and needs system-wide and then privately connect with fellow inventors and commercializers to explore technology and business development opportunities of mutual interest. “Our meeting place enables interactions between decision making innovators—from major corporations to grass roots inventors,” he says. “It’s the best mouse trap for this type of activity.” 12 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
Pankin describes the platform as similar to the look and use of an Amazon or eBay account. “The users have a user name and password and are able to log in and access the technologies they need, and reach out the owners. In the same way, large corporations can use the platform to basically operate as a store—letting innovators and startups know what technologies are available for licensing or what needs they are scouting technologies to fulfill.” In addition to the e-collaboration marketplace, the Innovation Hub, led by the United States Patent and Trademarket office and more than 22 organizations offer software, databases, content and services tailored for the advanced manufacturing community. These include resources to protect, commercialize and monetize Intellectual Property. This cross-industry “knowledge zone” allows for companies to stay on top of technology, share information, and make optimal use of expertise, Pankin says.
AutoHarvest isn’t just online. A new service in the works is with Detroit incubator TechTown, to create a “home away from home” for startup companies from around the globe.
“When we started AutoHarvest, the industry was bankrupt. A mere eight years later and we’re experiencing a technology driven transformation beyond the imaginable. We realized we can no longer be myopic and look narrowly at a process or invention,” he explains. “Our world has been turned upside down, but in a good way.” Pankin gives this example: “Technology is changing at lightning speed. We have platforms in the works that can add health and wellness monitoring to vehicles; it’s possible for the car to know that the driver isn’t in the right frame of mind to complete a certain action. The car can become a cocoon of wellness. These are ideas that take you far outside of the box…Being able to access and share these dynamic ideas is what every successful engineer needs.”
But AutoHarvest isn’t just online. A new service in the works is with Detroit incubator TechTown, to create a “home away from home” for startup companies from around the globe. “Many companies, especially startups, need staff to be onsite at a new location—or potential location—for up to 90 days at a time. Instead of staying in a hotel and working from that space, we will provide a place where they can stay, work, and learn about the culture of the Detroit and other areas,” Pankin explains. “Those factors are just as important when deciding to invest in an area with your business.” In addition, the company has supported more than 100 international conferences and moderating panels in 2017. For the third year in a row the organization will be the knowledge partner for the Auto IP USA conference in Detroit. More than 400 prominent R&D and manufacturing organizations from industry, government and academia participate in AutoHarvest. Its Innovation Advisory Council is represented by R&D leaders from industry, academia and government focusing on the manufacturing innovation chain. And recently, AutoHarvest announced partnership agreements with the Licensing Executives Society and its renewal with the United States Patent and Trademark. AutoHarvest is part of the Detroit Innovation District having a presence within Wayne State University’s Research and Development Park and the University of Michigan’s North Campus Research Complex. For more information about AutoHarvest, please visit www.autoharvest.org. www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 13
patents creativity ideas
Patents and Young Minds… Supporting Student Fairs Encourages Creativity By Tim Fino By Tim Fino, PE, FESD
o you think patents are just for experienced engineers? Think again. In 1956, the Special Activities Committee of the Engineering Society of Detroit proposed and organized the first Metro Detroit Science Fair. Since then, every year in March, the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan is the venue for one of the largest science and engineering fairs in the country. This science fair is unique because each participant must actually do an experiment in one of many ‘categories’ such as engineering, physics, biomedical engineering, plant science, microbiology, robotics, etc. Nearly 1,800 students present their science projects, competing for one of the 68 top awards and numerous professional awards. More than 700 of these competitors are high school students who may also win scholarships and monetary awards. Many of these students have developed outstanding, innovative projects that have either patents or are patent pending projects.
Many of these students have developed outstanding, innovative projects that have either patents or are patent pending projects. 14 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
One outstanding project that won the regional Science Fair at Cobo in 2016 involved the design and construction of a wheelchair stroller by a group of students at University of Detroit Jesuit High School. The project designed a special stroller that easily adapted most wheelchairs to allow wheelchair-using parents to safely, effectively, and independently transport infants.
Who inspires these students? YOU!
Another project, in 2006, defined a process to optimize ethanol production efficiency by fermenting yeast in a selectively permeable membrane void of oxygen. The student won numerous awards at the Regional Science Fair, the State Science Fair, and the International Science and Engineering Fair. As a result, the student had her complete college education paid for via scholarship winnings. Last year, a student developed a special helmet for hockey players to minimize the risk of a concussion. Besides winning the Flint Regional Science Fair, she won the State Science Fair and won the International Science Fair as the Best Overall Project in the category of biomedical engineering! As a result, the student received a four-year scholarship plus a lab in which to further her research. Seven of the top projects each year at the Regional Cobo Center Science Fair go on to the International Science Fair where 1500 students from 65 different countries compete for over $4 million in awards. So who inspires these students? YOU! Most of these students come up with an initial idea and are able to get it to a pre-prototype design but they need additional help from engineers and scientists who will challenge their ideas. In fact, all of the judges at the ISEF are required to be PhD’s (or the equivalent). Are you interested in helping these aspiring young people in STEM? There are several ways you can do this: by judging at the Regional Science Fair (held each March) by judging at the State Science Fair (April 7), or the International Science Fair in Pittsburgh, PA on May 16; or by taking on a more personal role by mentoring and challenging a student.
You also can get involved in the ESD Girls in Engineering program. Information can be found at ESD’s website, esd.org. Lots of these students are looking for expertise and/or facilities that will assist them in their research. Whether it be research labs, prototype shops, mass spectrometers, cancer research labs, or just a person that asks the right questions—you can help. For more information, contact the Science and Engineering Fair at email@example.com or visit the science fair website at www.sefmd.org. Details of the above projects, and all projects entered since 1982, may be found on our web site.
Clara Wagner recently participated in the Metro Detroit Science Fair.
Tim Fino, PE, FESD has been the fair director of the Science and Engineering Fair Metro Detroit for 37 years. He established the Michigan Science and Engineering Fair (State Science Fair) in 1995 and was the overall fair director for the International Science and Engineering Fair held in Detroit in 2000. He has been “repaying society for the fun he had as a science fair contestant” 50+ years ago. He is the president and owner of Mini/Micro Computer Applications, registered Professional Engineer in Texas and Michigan, and a Fellow of ESD. www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 15
Playing the Long Game: Creativity and Protecting It in Engineering By Kelley Christensen
hough popular scientific history is littered with tales of eureka moments, the behindthe-scenes work of taking an idea from conception to marketable product is rarely highlighted. This is likely the case because the patenting, copyrighting and trademarking process is not an event. It’s a long game with necessary strategic moves and decisions that can affect careers long-term. At Michigan Tech, the process of protecting intellectual property maximizes public benefit, rather than to decorate individuals’ curriculum vitaes, which necessarily winnows the field of ideas that qualify for commercialization. However, these stricter guidelines also require researchers, scientists and engineers to think beyond the eureka moment—much of the creativity put into the patenting, copyrighting and trademarking process comes after the big breakthrough. “Edison didn’t invent the incandescent light bulb. He wasn’t the first to patent it, he didn’t first sell the lightbulb. He is recognized as the inventor because he commercialized the lightbulb,” says Jim Baker, executive director of Innovation and Industry Engagement at Michigan Tech. “Many people want to be Sir Humphrey Davy, the man who actually invented the incandescent light bulb. But no one knows who Sir Humphrey Davy is. We’re in the business of commercialization and dissemination. We are looking for the Edisons.” In recent years, patenting guidelines have changed; researchers must prove their ideas pass a stringent test of obviousness—that a trained professional in their field couldn’t have observed the same problem and come up with the same obvious solution. But perhaps the bigger test of whether to invest in federal protection for an idea is determined by the scientist’s willingness to continue with the discovery process even after the big “a-ha!” moment. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and we’ve never seen a technology come to us that was ready to go when it came to us,” Baker says. “There were always more discoveries that needed to be made, and the difference between the 16 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
discoveries that make it to commercialization and those that don’t is whether you overcome those additional discoveries that need to be made.”
CREATIVITY IN ENGINEERING Adrienne Minerick, associate dean for research and innovation, professor of chemical engineering, and co-founder of MicroDevice Engineering Inc., says the public perception of creativity is that ideas come from thin air—when in reality ongoing creativity is often characterized by lengthy iterative processes. “If you’ve got some purpose or challenge ahead of you, you brainstorm and come up with creative solutions to attain that challenge,” she says. “Creativity and technology are so closely married. Whenever something has gone wrong, you try the obvious solution first. When that doesn’t work you try the next thing. You’ve exhausted the obvious solutions so you try the outlandish options. That’s when the creative solutions come in. That’s the point you go back and check your original assumptions.” Minerick says for her, creativity often means reevaluating what she thinks she can and can’t do, enabling her to push forward and expand her skill set. MicroDevice Engineering provides diagnostic pointof-care devices—such as blood typing and hematocrit (blood cell concentration) measurement during blood collection—that optimize testing and lead to better outcomes for patients. Megan Frost, associate professor of biomedical engineering, affiliated associate professor of materials science and engineering, and chief technology officer of FM Wound Care—a startup company specializing in products that reduce wound healing time—holds nine patents. She says the patenting process has greatly
changed during the course of her career. Frost thinks that the idea that engineering lacks creativity is a misconception. “Everybody likes these things we take for granted— step trackers, ATMs, intermittent windshield wipers,” she says. “Those are solutions that people found to solve common problems. The creative energy that goes into that is as awesome as the energy that goes into painting a picture or writing a beautiful song.”
Baker says, “Ask yourself, what’s the whole strategy, the whole path, what are all the milestones, the technical discoveries, and the business discoveries that need to come together? What is the right time in that big mix to file the patent application?” The nitty-gritty details of protecting intellectual property come down to managing information, pacing yourself, project management, making decisions about which aspects of the research are public or proprietary, and understanding that all research has competing priorities. For Minerick, what she’s learned during the patenting process has become a trade secret for her business. “Intellectual property protection is a strategy, not an event,” Baker says. “It’s a way to solve a continuum of problems, and to decide which mechanisms are most effective to protect each discovery.”
Pro Tips for Patenting, Copyrighting, & Trademarking �
Adrienne Minerick, together with Mary Raber, assistant dean of academic programs in Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College (not pictured), is developing a handheld point-of-care device to type ABO-Rh blood and hematocrit (blood cell concentration) in five minutes. The device is being engineered to be as easy to use as a blood glucose meter.
Don’t publish until you’ve made a decision about how to protect the work. “From a legal standpoint, you lose the ability to obtain international protection the moment it’s published,” Baker says. “There is the intersection of legality and strategy that we continually work through— how do we allow publication in a way that doesn’t impair protection and preserves proprietary interests?” Get non-disclosure agreements with technical collaborators. Don’t work with people you don’t trust. Unfortunately, behaving dishonorably may not be illegal. Get everything in writing. Even when you trust your collaborators, get everything in writing. Baker says that he encourages parties who are in verbal agreement to individually write down what their mutual understanding of what the verbal agreement is, because the collaborators often discover their interpretation is different from their colleagues’. Resolve the differences before it’s too late.
Frost notes that the senior design courses at Michigan Tech are the perfect example of watching creativity in engineering from concept to fruition. Students are given a problem to solve with no constraints and a nine-month deadline. At first the students struggle; then they burst with creative solutions. Engineers and scientists wishing to pursue intellectual protection must also continue to creatively innovate. “It’s a tough task navigating the balance between the fundamental research you do as faculty member and the completely applied commercialization-ready research you do for a company,” Frost says. “I still apply for fundamental research grants to generate new knowledge. Commercialization is much more than the nitty-gritty details of connecting the dots. From that perspective, it’s not that big of an issue to protect your creativity because fundamental knowledge is a long way from a commercial product.”
FROM IDEA TO MARKETABLE PRODUCT
Kelley Christensen is a science and technology writer at Michigan Tech. She earned her master’s degree in technical communication at Montana Tech.
Michigan Tech researchers understand that commercializing an idea comes with certain responsibilities.
Use legal counsel. Use lawyers for legal advice, but make your own practical decisions to maximize chances for success. “Asking a lawyer whether you can get a patent is a different conversation of whether you should get a patent,” Baker says. “You need a professional to answer whether you can, but you need to answer whether you should yourself.”
www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 17
Ethics in Engineering
What We Can Do, and What We Should Do By Thomas M. Doran, P.E., FESD
“The purest treasure mortal times afford Is spotless reputation; that away Men are but gilded loam or painted clay... Mine honor is my life; both grow in one; Take honor from me, and my life is done.” —SHAKESPEARE, RICHARD II
...many technical professionals who participated in projects we now consider unethical or evil were convinced at the time they were just doing their jobs
18 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
eputation, honor, and character require ethical reference points. Technical professionals don’t make political or policy decisions, but we are often recruited to help implement such decisions. Should we do something because we can, or because we’re told to? Of course, we’re constrained by budgets, schedules, the competitive market, but these cannot be excuses for failing to ask the necessary ethical questions. Security systems, manufactured products, the environment, genetics, medical devices and drugs, software—so many things that affect our communities, country and world are impacted by technical professionals. A sobering thought is that many technical professionals who participated in projects we now consider unethical or evil were convinced at the time they were just doing their jobs, or that the questionable projects they were supporting with their technical expertise would bring about a necessary end. We need not hold the same religious or philosophical beliefs to get into the practice of probing our consciences, questioning motives, keeping good ethical references close at hand (Leon Kass and Mary Ann Glendon are two of my favorites), and examining the propriety of what we or our employers are doing. Historical evidence and reason demonstrate that ethically grounded societies are more peaceful, just and creative. I read a book about Adolph Eichmann that describes how little lies and little accommodations
become big lies and big crimes. On a much smaller scale, we’ve heard about this closer to home, too. Once we start down a questionable path, even a step or two, it becomes harder to find our way back. Unfortunately, there isn’t an ethics formula where we plug in numbers and get an answer. Do no harm is a good start. “Is this legal?” is an essential question. An even better question is “how does this project, product or policy benefit people, a community, a nation or our world?” We cannot make such decisions without self-reflection and good ethical formation. Being able to do something—having the knowledge, scientific or engineering skill to do something—doesn’t mean we should do it. Awards, honors and accolades have been bestowed on people who have made awful ethical decisions. Such distinctions do not guarantee an honorable legacy. As technical professionals, we are not merely implementers of political and policy decisions. The ethical question needs to be asked and answered to the best of our ability, even when it’s uncomfortable, or seemingly harms our career. We must ask: Could this cost saving measure impact human health or safety? Could covering up this mistake harm people? Even if this “Isn’t our job”, or “Isn’t in our
The ethical question needs to be asked and answered to the best of our ability, even when it’s uncomfortable, or seemingly harms our career
scope of work”, do we have an obligation to make sure the appropriate people are aware of it, and potential consequences? Could people be harmed by what I’m doing? If my project affects the environment, are we taking prudent measures to mitigate the impacts? Does a conflict of interest hinder our ability to do this work? Does this company have a reputation for cutting corners? In the abstract, ethical behavior sounds reasonable and desirable, but when we encounter organizational pressure or compelling voices it can be very difficult to resist the expedient path. This is precisely the time when a solid ethical foundation, grounded in the clear, critical thinking Dr. Mumtaz Usmen identified in this column in the previous issue of TechCentury, is essential. Ethical behavior cannot be a suit of clothes we put on and take off when convenient or inconvenient. Just because some are unhappy with the outcome of a project or the performance of a product doesn’t mean you or your company have done something unethical, and just because we fall short of perfection doesn’t make us unethical, so long as we strive to ask the right questions and act in accordance with ethical principles to the best of our ability. I’m convinced that few people who participate in unethical projects set out to do something unethical. Like the story of the frog in water that slowly begins to boil, they are often well down the path before they realize the magnitude of the problem. When we make mistakes, we should admit them and do our best to promptly rectify them, rather than covering them up or explaining them away, as honesty and humility will enhance our reputation rather than damage it. Being remembered as ethical, honest and trustworthy is more important than being remembered as a great engineer or scientist. In the same way that we train to be technical professionals, for marathons, for any worthy endeavor, we must train to make good ethical choices.
Thomas M. Doran has led several engineering companies and is a member of ESD’s College of Fellows.
www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 19
USPTO: AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL ENGINEERS By James Wilson
By James Wilson
he word engineer is a combination of the Latin terms ingeniare and ingenium; loosely translated as “to contrive or devise by clever intelligence.” An engineer is one who invents, designs, analyzes, builds and tests machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements. An engineer is an inventor. Engineers use their technical expertise to contribute to the global innovation ecosystem. In his book “Applied Minds: How Engineers Think,” biomedical engineer Guru Madhavan sets out to prove engineers are significant actors in modern society. Madhavan calls engineers, “propellers of economics, designers of our material destinies and subliminal brokers who facilitate our experiences with the world.” Recognized for their commitment to create, invent, and innovate, engineers underscore the importance and value of intellectual property as the driving force behind innovation. Protecting this property 20 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
allows individuals and businesses to reap the benefits of creations from the minds of engineers. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) advances intellectual property protection and promotes progress of the sciences and the useful arts. The Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office of the USPTO, established in July 2012 in Detroit, Michigan, is one of four regional offices in the United States. The regional offices provide an opportunity to broaden the talent pool of federal employees while supporting local industry, thus influencing the local economy and addressing regional needs for intellectual property resources and education. The ability to fine-tune our resources to serve regional stakeholders with greater specificity provides an opportunity to establish the Midwest region as an innovation hotspot. Additional advantages of the USPTO presence in the Detroit metropolitan area and Midwest include increased opportunities for outreach in the innovation ecosystem, providing educational
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) advances intellectual property protection and promotes progress of the sciences and the useful arts.
intellectual property programming, answering stakeholder inquiries, and funneling community feedback to agency leaders. The Midwest Regional Office has also set the stage for advancing the USPTO’s goal to establish a nationwide workforce which strives to recruit more experienced patent professionals throughout the country, with the intention that these individuals will be more productive and have a higher retention rate. The Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office of the United States Patent and Trademark Office looks to expand its footprint on the innovation ecosystem of the Midwest. We invite engineers to seek intellectual property education, expansion, employment, empowerment and protection. James Wilson is the Assistant Regional Director for the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You can reach the office at MidwestRegion@uspto.gov or call 313-446-4800. www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 21
What’s the Half-Life of Your Engineering Degree? By Paul Sgriccia
icture if you will, the locker room before a hockey game. The players are strapping on updated versions of medieval armor. They intensely prepare for a rousting contest. This careful preparation contributes to their future success. This “be prepared” approach is also true in planning your career. There are a lot of economic and regulatory changes that buffet everyone in this profession, sometimes feeling like a body check into the boards. Career success is awarded to participants who have taken steps to protect their career against those hits. Why was hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, The Great One, so great? He looked forward to what was to come. An often-repeated legend says that when Wayne’s father took him to see his first game, young Gretzky watched the on-ice action with fascination and then with puzzlement. “But Dad,” he asked, “Why don’t they just skate to where the puck’s going to be?” His observations of on-ice patterns and forethought to the next play demonstrate the value of looking ahead and considering the next move in hockey, as well as in your engineering career. Gretzky-like insights into the trends in the engineering profession and society will prepare you to meet the needs of tomorrow. Call it “futureproofing your career.”
KEEP YOUR EDUCATION UP TO DATE A big part of career success involves thinking about how long your education stays relevant. It’s like a radioactive substance—it has a half-life, which the time taken for the radioactivity in a specified isotope to fall to half of its original value. Your education and training start to lose their relevance right after you receive them—new technologies develop (such as airborne drones and AI), new science emerges, and new materials are introduced. This is why the engineering profession requires 22 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
engineers to invest a certain amount of time each year in ongoing education. So, what do you think is the “half-life” of your technical or engineering degree—the point at which half of what you learned in school is out of date? You need to be intentional about keeping your skills and knowledge from obsolescence—finding out how your particular field is changing, and then taking steps to keep up with those changes. This may involve going back to university or college part-time, or using any of the online education alternatives. Attending ESD events and continuing education courses, reading engineering publications and websites, and subscribing to the right news feeds, can help.
UNDERSTAND THE BIG PICTURE To develop an effective continuing education plan, it is important to understand the bigger issues and challenges that the world faces. Such issues include climate change, managing carbon outputs, an aging and growing population, the rise of automation including automated driving, and concern about water and other natural resources. Understanding those issues helps you understand how the engineering profession, and your work in particular, can get involved. For example, consider recent changes that have affected one specific part of engineering—the solid waste management industry. Landfills used to be just places where solid waste was dumped. Then, concern grew about protecting groundwater, surface water and our air from pollutants that might come from that solid waste—and this led to the design and construction of composite baseliners and the installation and operation of complex landfill gas collection and control systems. This then led to the development of leachate pumping and treatment systems, in turn leading to development of final cover systems to minimize infiltration. From these trends, it is easy to see why the management of storm water and
leachate are key landfill operation skills today, and are likely to become even more important in future. Similar changes are taking place in other areas of engineering, probably including yours.
You need to be intentional about keeping your skills and knowledge from obsolescence.
DETERMINE HOW TRENDS AFFECT THE FUTURE Examining big-picture trends alerts us to changes in the industry so that you can see where the “puck” will be in future. Using the solid waste sector as an example again, we see an industry well on its way to managing carbon output—partly by diverting organics away from landfills and through complex methane-capture, and waste-toenergy networks within existing landfills. Furthermore, waste in North America is still largely truck-transported, situating the industry squarely in the crosshairs of environmental regulators. If carbon pricing becomes an issue, emissions from trucks will carry a tangible financial cost. We are starting to see more waste collection trucks powered by compressed natural gas, and recently there has been developments with all-electric vehicles. Think about it—in a face-off between fossil fuel technology and electric motors, which way do you think the game will go? Consider also, the social trend of packaging of consumer goods, such as baby food. Easily recycled glass jars have been replaced by shatter resistant, complexly-engineered squeeze tubes that lead to challenges to recycling efforts. The design of packaging is one area where engineers need to stay current with trends, so that their work and their skills continue to be relevant. You can find similar examples in your specific field of engineering. Think about the devices that have become obsolete since the introduction of our new cell phones.
BUILD THE SKILLS YOU NEED TO SUCCEED From there, you need to take an intentional approach to understanding the skills you will need to succeed. Just about any field will be impacted by 3-D printing, robotics, and driver automation, to give just a few examples. This means that understanding these fields will be important to your future. This will provide guidance to the continuing education plan we talked about at the start of this article. As Emil Faber, founder of Faber College once said “knowledge is good.” The result can be much like a breakaway in hockey—a chance for you to excel in your career, and do the world a good turn at the same time.
Paul Sgriccia, PE, FESD is the Director of Engineering for Rochem Americas and is a past ESD Board Member. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 23
Editor’s note: The following is an overview of Intellectual Property and how it can be addressed in the field of engineering. The accompanying checklists—available online at esd.org/ip—serve as guides to using the correct procedures for protecting your work.
IF YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE: A GUIDE TO PROTECTING YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY by Michael B. Stewart, Melissa Atherton and Paul Ratzmann
ntellectual Property (IP), a product of the mind and human intellect, is recognized by our nation’s founders as crucial to the ongoing success of the United States. The U.S. Constitution expressly provides for the protection of creativity “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”1 According to one study, IP-intensive industries account for about $5 trillion in value added, or approximately 35 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.2 There are four basic forms of intellectual property. When a new idea is first created, but before it is disclosed to others without a duty to maintain its confidentiality (e.g., lacking a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement), it is a trade secret. When the new idea is fixed in a tangible form (e.g., written down or recorded on a computer medium), it is subject to copyright. When the idea is put to a practical use, it can be the subject of a patent. Finally, when a service or product is sold, its source identification (e.g., the name under which it is sold) becomes a trademark. Except for trade secrets, the other three forms of intellectual property protection are subject to a 24 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
registration process with the U.S. government. In the case of patents, there must be a formal grant to receive any scope of protection. While federal registration provides advantages for copyrights and trademarks, copyrights exist upon creation and trademarks are created through use as discussed in more detail below. Intellectual property protection of creativity is geographic in scope, however, and a similar registration process may be required in foreign jurisdictions. Under some circumstances a brief grace period is provided to file for corresponding protection in other regions of the world while receiving the benefit of your earliest US filing date. History is full of examples illustrating the failure to fully appreciate the power of the creative process: � “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” (Lord Kelvin, Royal Society President, 1895)
� “In the future computers may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” (Popular Mechanics Magazine, 1949) � “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” (Thomas Watson, IBM Chairman, 1943) � “This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communications. This device is inherently of no value to us.” (Western Union, Internal Memo, 1876) � “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” (Dick Rowe of Decca Records in rejecting “Like Dreamers’ Do” by the Beatles, 1962) Nevertheless, why is it important to invest intellectual and monetary capital to protect creativity? Most important, it transfers something intangible into a tangible asset that can be treated like any other asset, including its use in bartering, licensing, financing, and even ownership transfers. For most business organizations, properly securing and monetizing intellectual property protection of creativity maximizes enterprise value and has become more valuable in many industries than “hard” assets such as plants and equipment. Moreover, the use of intellectual property protections also provides control to the creator or subsequent owner including the right to stop unwanted third parties from improperly using their creativity even if the asset is neither licensed nor sold. Many song artists, for example, are quick to take legal action against politicians who use their songs without permission. Value may even be increased by identifying your creativity in advertising and marketing (e.g., “Designed by Apple in California”).
TRADE SECRETS A trade secret protects any information, data, or know-how that is not publicly available, is maintained as a secret, and has economic value from being a secret. A trade secret can include any formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process. Exemplary trade secrets include: � Business, customer and vendor data and lists � Pricing/discount information � Manufacturing processes, formulas and recipes � Marketing/business strategies � Sales projections and target markets � Software code (unless it is publicly available) � Mobile health analytics.
For something to be a trade secret it must not be generally known. It only makes sense to keep a creation as a trade secret if it derives independent economic value from not being known and is not readily ascertained. For example, if it can be reverse engineered, it is most likely not worthy of protection. To maintain a trade secret, reasonable efforts must be shown to prevent its public disclosure. There is no time frame and so long as it stays confidential, a trade secret may be maintained indefinitely. There is no registration requirement. On the other hand, this means that the creator must limit access to only those individuals who have a need to know the trade secret and take steps to maintain secrecy. The trade secret should be locked up and those individuals who have access should sign either a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement or their obligations should be set out in an employment contract. Finally, mark any written material pertaining to the trade secret as proprietary.
COPYRIGHTS Copyrights protect an author’s original expression that is fixed in a tangible medium such as paper or a computer medium. Ideas are not copyrightable. Only the expression (and not limited to a verbal expression) of ideas is protectable under copyright law. Original works of authorship include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works. Copyrighted materials include: � Analytic data and graphs � Patient instructions � Policy standards � Sculptures � Software code A copyright is created as soon as creativity is fixed in a tangible medium that is sufficiently stable and permanent to permit the work to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration. Copyrights may be enjoyed for many decades, but do eventually expire. To have a copyright, however, the work of creativity must be original. This means that the work originates from the author and not be copied from another’s work. Even if a work is identical, it is entitled to copyright protection if it was independently created. Moreover, the work need not have literary or artistic value of quality. A joint work is a work created by two or more persons with the intention that the contributions are merged into a unitary whole (e.g., the director, camera operators and actors associated with a video). Authorship rests with each of the creators unless the joint work is prepared by employees of a company www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 25
NEED HELP? In an effort to assist ESD members with questions regarding copyright, patents, trademarks and trade secrets, Michael Stewart has prepared helpful checklists to walk members through the process. COPYRIGHT Copyright protects the original expression of an idea that is fixed in a tangible form. For example, an idea for a book is not protectable, but the way the idea is conveyed via written text is protectable. Generally, music, photographs, movies, books, software code and other works of art are protectable. Common expressions, such as basic geometric shapes or slogans, may not be sufficiently original to warrant protection. For a complete checklist of steps to take to determine if you have a legitimate copyright and to protect your copyright, visit esd.org/ip for a PDF version. PATENTS A patent protects ideas and their practical implementation. It is a government grant conferring a title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, importing, selling, or offering to sell an invention covered by the patent. Specific statutory criteria must be met as part of the examination process. For a complete checklist of steps to take to secure a patent, visit esd.org/ip for a PDF version. TRADEMARKS A trademark is a word (COCA-COLA®), a logo or other designation (i.e., the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle) that functions to identify the source of a good or service. A strong trademark is an arbitrary or invented designation that has no connection to the goods/services it is used in connection with (i.e., XEROX® for copy machines, KLEENEX® for tissues, APPLE® for computers). A trademark that describes the goods/services it is used in connection with (i.e., APPLE for fruit) may be difficult or impossible to protect and enforce. For a complete checklist of steps to take to secure a trademark, visit esd.org/ip for a PDF version. TRADE SECRETS A trade secret protects any information, data, or know-how that is not publicly available, is maintained as a secret, and has economic value from being a secret (e.g., customer/vendor data and lists; pricing/discount information). To maintain a trade secret, reasonable effort must be taken to prevent its public disclosure. For a complete checklist of steps to take, visit esd.org/ip for a PDF version. 26 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
or is a specialized work falling within an explicit exception provided under law in combination with a corresponding agreement. If a copyrighted work is a “work made for hire” then there is a single author such as the company for whom a work was created. Unless changed by agreement, joint authors each have an equal, undivided interest in a copyrighted work. Each author can exploit the work, subject only to an obligation to account to the other authors for a pro rata share of the income resulting from the work. To obtain damages for copyright infringement including potentially significant enhanced statutory damages, and attorney fees in the case of willful infringement, it is important to register a copyright with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress within 90 days of publication. The Office does not conduct a formal examination other than to make sure that the submission meets a low threshold of originality. It might make sense to register a copyright even before publication and in the case of some types of copyrights (e.g., photographs), individual protection for multiple photographs may be possible using a single registration filing. Moreover, it is desirable to use the copyright symbol “©”, the year of publication, and the name of the copyright owner to avoid certain defenses to infringement such as an innocent infringer. Finally, it is very important for organizations to beware of the so-called “independent contractor trap.” This trap results when a work is commissioned from a third party that falls within an exception provided under the Copyright Act, but there is no written agreement, or if the work is not made by an employee. If a work is made by an independent contractor, always obtain a written assignment of the copyright and make sure to include language that does not permit the original author to seek reversion of the copyright at some point in the future.
PATENTS Unlike copyrights, patents protect ideas and their practical implementation. Unless you have invented a specialized asexually reproduced plant that is covered by a plant patent, most creators look to utility or design patents to protect their creativity. Applications are prepared and filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Utility patents protect new and useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, or compositions of matter. A utility patent cannot be obtained on any item in its natural state or as it occurs in nature. Design patents protect ornamental features for devices and user interfaces. Utility patents typically last up to 21 years (and more typically 20 years unless a provisional application is filed first) from the original date of filing while design patents typically last up to 15 years from the date of grant. To obtain any scope of protection, patents must undergo a full registration process including substantive examination. If successful, the registration process averages on the order of three or more years to complete. A patent may only be enforced upon grant. A patent allows its owner to prevent others from making, using, selling or offering to sell, or importing devices covered by the claims of the patent. A patent does not give its owner the right to make, use or sell their invention since it may be covered by another patent. Nevertheless, patents are considered extremely important capital assets by many organizations. Even if they are not bartered, licensed or the like, patent ownership helps to minimize competition in the subject matter covered by the patent. Thus, a patent portfolio may be compared to a picket fence surrounding significant organization technology, keeping competitors out. Like copyrights, patents may also be jointly owned. Unlike copyrights, however, there is no duty of accountability to one owner to share revenue on a pro rata
basis with the other owners. Thus, be particularly careful to control ownership of all patent assets. Typically, individual inventors assign their rights to a common organization. A patent application undergoes a formal examination process at the USPTO when an Examiner specializing in the technology to which the invention pertains compares the claims of an application setting forth the metes and bounds of the invention in the same way that a deed does with a piece of real estate. The applicant may amend the claims (i.e., alter the metes and bounds of the invention) or make arguments explaining why the application is patentable. If the application is successful, a patent is ultimately granted. In the United States, at most approximately 60 percent of all applications filed achieve patent status. The requirements for patent protection include novelty and non-obviousness. An invention must be new and not previously known by others and not be obvious to others at the time of invention. In the case of utility applications, moreover, the invention must have a practical application. Additionally, a patent application must give a sufficiently clear explanation of the invention to enable a person of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains to make and use the invention without undue experimentation. An inventor must also disclose the best method known of carrying out the claimed invention at the time of filing. Finally, it is essential to disclose the known pertinent prior art (e.g., articles, pictures, gene code sequences, diagrams, and earlier patents). For patent protection, the United States is now like most of the rest of the world, having changed from a “first to invent” to a “first to file” schema with a limited and restricted grace period. Thus, you should file early. It is possible to file a specialized patent application called a provisional application before filing a utility application. A provisional application acts as a place holder for a later filed utility application, which must be filed within one-year of the provisional application. Never examined, a provisional application may be informal and in some cases, can be filed based on and shortly before presentations are made to a potential customer who refuses to sign a non-disclosure agreement. There is a danger, however, of losing the filing date if it does not adequately disclose the inventive concept of the later filed utility application. Thus, informal provisional applications should be filed judiciously (e.g., when an immediate public disclosure is necessary). Finally, once a patent application is filed it is permissible to use the designation “Patent Pending” or the like in relation to a product or process, but prior to a patent being granted or the application abandoned. Once a patent issues, to maximize the possible damages available for infringement it is crucial to mark any product with the issued patent number (e.g., PAT. 7,000,000) or to utilize virtual marking in combination with a web site listing the applicable patents. www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 27
TRADEMARKS A trademark is any word, name, symbol or device used to identify and distinguish goods and services, and to indicate their source. It helps to guarantee and maintain a demand for the product or service and is often used as a marketing tool to build a brand, differentiating one source from another. Trademarks include: � Word marks such as CHEVROLET® � Logos such as the CHEVROLET chevron: � Slogans such as “FIND NEW ROADS®” by CHEVROLET® � Colors such as pink fiberglass insulation � Sounds such as that made by a HARLEY DAVIDSON® motorcycle � Smells such as one associated with a specific type of thread � Trade dress such as distinctive knob or restaurant layout. Some types of trademarks are much more difficult to register than others, with colors, sounds and smells being among the most challenging. Trademarks are created through use. A federal registration, however, gives additional rights including constructive notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark and its exclusive right to use the mark nationwide or in connection with the goods or services listed in the registration as against newcomers in a geographic area. Enhanced damages including attorney fees may be available if there is willful infringement of a federal trademark registration. While federal trademark registrations must be regularly renewed to be maintained, it is possible to maintain trademark protection indefinitely. Federal trademark registrations are granted on a first come basis for specific goods or services so a delay in filing may result in a loss of potential rights. When a trademark does have a federal registration, it is typically identified with an (R), which puts third parties on notice of the rights provided through registration. Finally, domain names or social media handles have become an extremely important component to trademark protection and registering them should be done concurrently with seeking trademark protection. It may even be possible to register a domain name as a trademark and the USPTO has specific procedures for how applications to register domain names are to be handled.
COMPUTER SOFTWARE: AN EXAMPLE OF USING MULTIPLE FORMS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION AT THE SAME TIME The protection of computer software is an area where intellectual property law continues to evolve. For example, inventions that are software based may be patentable, if they meet the requirements for patentability. The distinction is not a clear one, and the law is currently uncertain. If
28 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
the software does something in the real world such as controlling a machine or transforming something from one state to another, or it involves a technological device other than a general-purpose computing device, or it improves the operation of the computing device or some other technology, you may be able to patent how it does what it does. Whether it is patentable or not, software code may be protected using a copyright registration since it protects against copying without reference to the novelty or non-obvious of the code. Additionally, key parts of program code should always be maintained as a trade secret. You will want to have confidentiality agreements with anyone who may have access to the code. There are also ways to avoid providing source code for those parts of the code which you consider secret when registering a copyright. Finally, if you are going to be marketing the software code or its use, source identification through trademark protection is strongly recommended.
CONCLUSION It is very important to protect your creativity as soon as practical after the creative process is complete or it may be lost to latecomers. As a variation to an old saying goes, “you don’t want the second mouse to get the cheese.” Instead, you wish to be the one controlling the mouse trap. Trade secret or the registration benefits provided by patents, copyrights and trademarks can provide a significant competitive benefit in the market place as well as the ability to control how your creativity is used and by whom.
Michael B. Stewart
B.S. English, B.S.M.E., M.S. Aerospace Engineering, J.D. ESD Editorial Board Member Patent Attorney Founding Partner of Fishman Stewart
All of our attorneys specialize in IP Serving our clients for over 20 years World Class Quality, Midwest Value.®
1 U.S. Const., art. 1, § 8, cl. 8 2 Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus” Prepared by Economics and Statistics Administration and United States Patent and Trademark Office, March 2012.
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Michael Stewart has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, an English Degree, and a Juris Doctorate. A registered patent attorney, he is a member of the Engineering Society of Detroit Editorial Board and can be reached at email@example.com or at 248-594-0633. Fishman Stewart a leading intellectual property (IP) law firm. The firm’s central office is in Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA. Fishman Stewart attorneys focus exclusively on patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing for organizations around the world. The firm is also a leader in intellectual property litigation. The IP attorneys at Fishman Stewart are recognized by leading legal publications and rankings, including IAM Patent 1000, IAM World Trademark Review 1000, Martindale, Leading Lawyers, Best Lawyers, IP Stars, Best Law Firms, and Super Lawyers.
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2/27/18 2:33 PM Engineering Society of Detroit | 29
ESD Student Chapters
ith an eye to inspiring and engaging the next generation of engineers, the Engineering Society of Detroit recently hosted four ESD Student Chapters at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Industry Day. Industry partners—DENSO, Link Engineering, American Axle Manufacturing (AAM) and the American Center for Mobility (ACM)—were on hand to speak with students, answer questions, and gain insights on their career goals. Students from ESD Student Chapters at Central Michigan University (CMU), Lake Superior State University (LSSU), Michigan State University (MSU) and Michigan Technological University
(MTU) attended along with advisors. Keith Lemley and Josh Rzeppa, both MTU students graduating in May with degrees in mechanical engineering, participated in the tour. “Being from Michigan, we had been to the auto show before, but this was an entirely different experience,” says Rzeppa. “We were
At the Skyline Club networking event after the Auto Show tour, ESD Board Member Terry Woychowski met with students from Michigan Tech. Mr. Woychowski, Vice President of North America Test Operations at Link Engineering, is Chair of Michigan Tech’s Board of Trustees.
30 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
able to experience behind-the-scene, non-public activities such as actually sitting in the cars and watching demonstrations. However, more important, we met with industry executives who were really interested in hearing and answering our questions about the auto industry and engineering.” Rzeppa says the industry partner executives met with the students to give advice and insight on technology, career fields, and networking. Lemley feels this type of connection, provided via ESD, is beneficial to students as they navigate toward successful careers. “As we are finishing college, it is hard to be your own middle man between school and potential employers because there is so much to do,” he says. “ESD essentially says ‘You focus on being the best you can be and let us be the middle man.’ They have bent over backward to ensure we have experiences that keep us on track and growing. This trip to the NAIAS was one example.” Terry Woychowski, FESD, Vice President of North America Test Operations at Link Engineering and a current member of the ESD Board of Directors as well as ESD past president, says making the connection between
students and industry partners is a win-win situation. “There is a significant battle for STEM talent in the market today. The next generation of engineers have great opportunities ahead of them, with some colleges reporting upwards of 94 percent of their graduate engineers leaving college with first time jobs making an average of $62,500 annually,” he explains. “Supporting these students through Student ESD chapters and networking events like these allows us to integrate the fundamental knowledge of current engineers with the new advanced technologies students are now being exposed to It is the right thing to do, and it makes good business sense.” Andrew Smart, Chief Technical Officer at the American Center for Mobility, says “it is important for any student to gain as much practical knowledge as possible from the people
Connecting students to working engineers is a “good partnership that allows the seasoned engineers to give back while educating and guiding the workforce of tomorrow.”
who live it.” Connecting students to working engineers is a “good partnership that allows the seasoned engineers to give back while educating and guiding the workforce of tomorrow.” As for Lemley and Rzeppa, the enthusiasm ESD and its industry partners provide just fuels their own drive to succeed. “Their enthusiasm and excitement for helping us really shows. From the events to networking activities, being part of a student chapter is much more than a line on your resume,” Lemley says. This enthusiasm has inspired both students to become mentors as they move into their careers. “We’re both excited to carry on this awesome excitement—and the benefits of being an ESD member—through to others as we gain experience in our fields.” For more information on ESD Student Chapters, please contact Heather Lilley at 248-353-0735, ext. 120, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 31
HOSTED BY DTE ENERGY AND THE ENGINEERING SOCIETY OF DETROIT
MICHIGAN ENERGY EFFICIENCY CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION
MAY 8,2018 In its 21ST year, this conference, the only one of its kind in Michigan, is designed to educate small to large commercial and industrial businesses on energy technology, products, and services that will assist them in successful energy management. THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE WILL INCLUDE: • A panel presentation during luncheon • Educational tracks—technology, industrial, commercial and financial— offering informative 30-minute presentations • Dozens of exhibitors offering energy–related products and services • Major awards recognizing energy efficiency initiatives • A Ride-and-Drive featuring a fleet of new vehicles, as well as energy efficient vehicles
COST TO ATTEND:
90 $105 $160 $
ESD Member Non-Member Non-Member—attend and join ESD at a discounted rate! (This offer is available to new, first-time members only.)
Visit www.esd.org for more information and to register, or call 248-353-0735. Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Leslie Smith, CMP, at email@example.com or 248-353-0735, ext. 152 for more information.
SUBURBAN COLLECTION SHOWPLACE
MAY 8 • 2018 46100 GRAND RIVER NOVI, MICHIGAN 32 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
MICHIGAN’S FUTURE CITY TEAM PLACES SECOND IN NATIONALS
he Future City team from St. John Lutheran in Rochester recently competed in the National Future City competition in Washington, D.C.,where they placed second in the nation. St. John represented Michigan and was one of 40 teams competing. Future City is an intense student-team effort, requiring a substantial commitment from students, teachers and volunteers to follow a nearly 30-page rubric and prepare for the competition over several months. To qualify for nationals, the team placed first in the regional contest in Novi in January. This year’s challenge was to present an age-friendly city that would allow senior citizens to be active and independent. The students spent months of work in the classroom, after school and on the weekends. The St. John team created a senior-friendly community built on a former contaminated waste site in Butte, Montana. Each team project includes: � Research, design and construction of a model city using mostly recycled materials that demonstrates all the elements of the city, as well as moving parts and technology. � Using a computer simulation to help plan their city and find the right balance to provide food for the city, create revenue streams and other issues related to running a city. � Writing a 1,500-word essay. � Delivering a seven-minute presentation about their city and participating in a question and answer period following their presentations. Professionals and leaders in industry ask questions about the project. www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 33
2018 ESD MICHIGAN REGIONAL FUTURE CITY COMPETITION WINNERS First Place St. John Lutheran School, Rochester Second Place St. Valentine Catholic School, Redford Third Place Trinity Lutheran School, Team 2, Utica Fourth Place Geisler Middle School, Walled Lake Fifth Place Navigator Upper Elementary, Pinckney
SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS: Architectural Engineering of an Integrated, High Performing City Award Lawrence Technological University Navigator Upper Elementary, Pinckney ASQ—Quality Improvement Award American Society for Quality, Greater Detroit Section 1000 St. Valentine Catholic School, Redford
Second Place St. Valentine Catholic School, Redford
Special Award Sponsors Special Award Sponsors
Best City for People with Disabilities Award Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America St. John Lutheran School, Rochester Best Communication System Award Society of Women Engineers, Detroit Professional Section Gompers Elementary-Middle School, Detroit
EICHIGAN AST M ICHIGAN C HAPTER E AST M C HAPTER
Best Engineered Project Award NTH Consultants, Ltd. STEM Middle School of Dearborn Public Schools, Dearborn Heights Best Futuristic Transportation Award DENSO International America, Inc. Agnes E. Beer Middle School, Warren Best Land Surveying Practices Award National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Trinity Lutheran School, Team 1, Utica Best Project Plan Award Project Management Institute, Great Lakes Chapter Sarah Banks Middle School, Team 1, Wixom Best Rookie Team Award Navigator Upper Elementary, Pinckney Best Schoolhouse Award Eastern Michigan University College of Technology Sarah Banks Middle School, Team 3, Wixom 34 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
Best Use of Alternative or Renewable Fuels Award Dürr Systems Inc. Mayville Middle School, Mayville Best Use of Energy Award DTE Energy Foundation Dewitt Junior High School, Dewitt Best Use of Green Principles Award U.S. Green Building Council—Detroit Regional Chapter, Green Schools Committee Sarah Banks Middle School, Team 3, Wixom Best Use of Materials Award ASM International, Detroit Chapter STEM Middle School of Dearborn Public Schools, Team 1, Dearborn Heights Best Waste Management and Recycling Award East Michigan Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association Mayville Middle School, Mayville Building a World of Difference Black & Veatch 4-H M-YEARS Farwell Youth Association, Southfield Innovative Sustainability Award University of Detroit Mercy Trinity Lutheran School, Team 2, Utica Building with the American Spirit: People, Projects, Communities Award Barton Malow Company Herbison Woods School Team 2, Dewitt
Electrotechnology Award Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Southeast Michigan Chapter Trinity Lutheran School, Team 2, Utica Herbert W. Link Visionary Award Link Engineering Company Dewitt Junior High School, Dewitt Incorporation of Plastic Materials Award Society of Plastics Engineers, Detroit Section Defer Elementary School, Grosse Pointe Park Most Healthy Community Award Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network of Michigan University Prep Science and Math Middle School, Team 1, Detroit
Most Sustainable Food Production Award American Association of Agriculture & Biological Engineers Gompers Elementary-Middle School, Detroit People’s Choice Award Ford Motor Company Fund St. John Lutheran School, Rochester Safest City Award Hartland Insurance Group, Inc. Trinity Lutheran School, Team 1, Utica Sustaining Our Future Award Golder Associates Inc. Pierce Middle School, Grosse Pointe Park www.esd.org | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 35
Third Place Trinity Lutheran School, Team 2, Utica
competitor. Our goal is to win, but our goal is to help the other teams be better also.” He added that students also learn important career skills, such working as a team, using computer simulation software and delivering presentations in front of large crowds and television cameras.
In the last 11 years, St. John has won the Michigan Regional Championship eight times, finished in the Top 10 National five times, and participated in the Top 5 National four times, including winning the 2014 and 2015 national championship, the first time a team has ever won the program in back-to-back years. William Abramczyk, a global liaison for safety investigations for FCA, is the team’s mentor. He says in his FCA blog, “We set really high expectations. Being a parochial school, we focus on doing the right thing, following the rules and being a good sport and good
Fourth Place Geisler Middle School, Walled Lake
REGIONAL COMPETITION HOSTS 22 SCHOOLS, 36 TEAMS In its 23rd year, the ESD Michigan Regional Future City Competition has given 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from throughout Michigan the opportunity to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)related activities and apply it to real world problems. Organized by The Engineering Society of Detroit, the January competition hosted 36 teams from 22 schools. The teams had been working diligently since September along with their teachers and volunteer engineer mentors to design thaeir future cities. Over 125 engineers and technical professionals served as team mentors and judges. A special thank you to all of the companies and organizations that provided financial support which made possible the presentation of 26 special awards to the teams. Thank you to all of the educators, mentors and competition and special award judges that volunteered their time, along with the finals judges which evaluated the top five teams: � Denise Carlson, vice president, North America Production Innovation Center, DENSO International America, Inc. � Jeffrey Hamilton, vice president/project director, George W. Auch Company � Robert Richard, senior vice president, major enterprise projects, DTE Energy � Jasmine Sisson, lead structural engineer, at WSP � Robert Stevenson, senior vice president, Ghafari Associates LLC
Fifth Place Navigator Upper Elementary, Pinckney
36 | TechCentury | SPRING 2018
Drop by Drop: Portable Blood Typing Chemical engineering professor. Associate dean. Entrepreneur. Adrienne Minerick is bringing her portable blood-typing technology to market. The handheld pointof-care device types ABO-Rh blood and hematocrit in just glucose meter.
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