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tech V.24 | N.3 FALL 2019

ENGINEERING AND THE ENVIRONMENT ESD Girls in Engineering Academy Goes Full STEAM Ahead Nominate a Young Engineer of the Year


Michigan Tech: How to Reengineer a Mine 16

UD Mercy Prepares Young People for STEM Careers 23

This summer, girls from ESD’s Girls in Engineering Academy visited DTE Energy to learn about real-world engineering.

Technology Century



Fall 2019


| N.3


Excitement in the Air: Girls in Engineering Academy Goes Full STEAM Ahead


TechCentury holds Second Annual Student Writing Contest


How to Reengineer a Mine


Unsung Science: Researchers at Michigan Engineering’s Smallest Department are Quietly Changing the World

21 Nominations are open for the ESD College of Fellows as well as many other honors. See page 10.



Project Management: From Red Lights to Green Lights BY THOMAS M. DORAN

23 3 4 5 6 7 8 10



Detroit Mercy’s iDRAW Program Prepares Young People for STEM Careers BY DAVID PEMBERTON

Ethics in Construction BY TEONA THOMPSON


It’s Never Too Early to Network… Networking Tips for Students BY PALAK PATEL | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 1

Future engineers of Michigan.

From 1,700 to 45,000 middle school students. From 16 teachers to 450. The Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform (Mi-STAR) program has grown since 2015—and it helps teachers like Jennifer Martin from L’Anse focus on teaching the next generation of state scientists and engineers. Michigan Tech leads the initiative along with six partner universities and 110 Michigan school districts, taking abstract STEM concepts and making a real-world curriculum.

Michigan Tech creates the future—get the latest: @michigantech Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

techcentury V.24 I N.3 Fall 2019

20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450 • Southfield, MI 48076 248–353–0735 • 248–353–0736 fax • •


CHAIR: Karyn Stickel, Hubbell, Roth & Clark Jason Cerbin, Honeywell Energy Services Group Sandra Diorka, Delhi Charter Township Utpal Dutta, PhD, FESD, University of Detroit Mercy Linda Gerhardt, PhD Richard, Hill, PhD, University of Detroit Mercy William A. Moylan, Jr., PhD, PMP, FESD, Eastern Michigan University Matt Roush, Lawrence Technologicial University Larry Sak, PE, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (retired) Rajiv Shah, PE, ACSCM Michael Stewart, Fishman Stewart Intellectual Property Filza H. Walters, FESD, Lawrence Technological University Cyrill Weems, Plante Moran CRESA Yang Zhao, PhD, Wayne State University


PRESIDENT: Daniel E. Nicholson, PE, General Motors Company VICE PRESIDENT: Kirk T. Steudle, PE, FESD, Econolite TREASURER: Alex F. Ivanikiw, AIA, LEED AP, FESD, Barton Malow Company SECRETARY: Robert Magee, The Engineering Society of Detroit PAST PRESIDENT: Douglas E. Patton, FESD, DENSO International America, Inc. (retired) Paul C. Ajegba, PE, Michigan Department of Transportation Larry Alexander, Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Carla Bailo, Center for Automotive Research Katherine M. Banicki, FESD, Testing Engineers and Consultants Michael J. Cairns, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Sean P. Conway, American Axle and Manufacturing 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 Kouhaila G. Hammer, CPA, FESD, Ghafari Associates, LLC Ronald R. Henry, AIA, NCARB, Sachse Construction Marc Hudson, Rocket Fiber Leo C. Kempel, PhD, FESD, Michigan State University Scott Penrod, Walbridge Robert A. Richard, DTE Energy Bill Rotramel, AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. William J. Vander Roest, PE, ZF TRW (Retired) Terry J. Woychowski, FESD, Link Engineering Company


Robert Magee, Executive Director Nick Mason, Director of Operations Susan Thwing 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. ©2019 The Engineering Society of Detroit


NOTES Karyn Stickel Associate, Hubbell, Roth & Clark

Happy fall to all TechCentury readers! We hope that everyone enjoyed the summer months and are pleased to present our next issue. This issue of TechCentury focuses on engineering and the environment. We include a feature on the University of Detroit Mercy’s iDRAW Marshall Plan program—a collaboration with the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, The Engineering Society of Detroit, FIRST Robotics, and corporate partners. And, don’t miss reading about the University of Michigan’s Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, the university’s smallest engineering department that is quietly changing the world. Also featured is the MiTech program which focuses on converting abandoned mine shafts into community-scale battery systems. As summer has ended, and college students are headed back to campus, we are also happy to announce our 2nd Annual Student Writing Contest. Our first writing contest was a great success and we had excellent submittals from students from the engineering schools throughout the state. We hope to have similar success in the second year. Our appreciation to Fishman Stewart PLLC for the sponsorship of this award. We hope you enjoy! | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 3

ESD President’s Message

SUPPORT WOMEN IN STEM We need more women engineers—now and in the future. Women continue to be underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). According to the National Center for Education statistics, bachelor’s degrees awarded to women in engineering and computer science in Michigan numbered 4,563, just 22 percent of all degrees awarded last year. About 17 percent of tenured/tenure-track faculty in engineering are women. Only 14 percent of engineers in the United States today are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Why does this under-representation of women matter? Because diverse teams perform better, offering more creative solutions to complex challenges. Individuals from different genders, ethnicities, backgrounds and experiences bring diverse perspectives that lead to innovative, effective solutions. We need to tap into the unique strengths that all individuals bring to the table. Research supports this; my own experiences support this. We need comprehensive representation in our engineering departments now more than ever. STEM fields are increasing and expanding into new areas and women need to be a part of it. There are many reasons for this disparity in representation: lack of encouragement, lack of role models, and negative peer pressure among them. That’s why programs like ESD’s Girls in Engineering Academy (GEA)—with many university and corporate partners—are essential. The purpose of GEA is to improve academic achievement and increase interest in engineering topics and careers among underrepresented girls from metropolitan Detroit and to decrease the gender gap that negatively impacts these girls’ successful matriculation through the STEM education pipeline and into STEM careers, particularly into engineering. Entering its third year, the program is making a significant impact. Another program that works to support STEM learning is ESD’s Future City Competition. It’s an educator-administered, industry volunteer mentorassisted program that brings STEM education to life for students in sixth through eighth grades. It integrates STEM learning experiences through hands-on activities and culminates in a day-long competition (see page 9). For younger kids, beginning in kindergarten, SAE offers A World In Motion, which also gets young people excited about STEM. And there are many others. Let’s make sure these programs stay strong, receive our support, and are accessible to all girls to inspire our next generation of engineers! Daniel E. Nicholson, PE President, The Engineering Society of Detroit Vice President, Global Electrification, Controls, Software & Electronics General Motors Company

4  | TechCentury | FALL 2019



AKT Peerless Environmental Services Altair Engineering American Axle Manufacturing American Center for Educational and Professional Services American Society of Employers Aristeo Construction AVL North America The Bartech Group Barton Malow Company Brightwing Central Michigan University Chrysan Industries Citizens Insurance Clark Hill, PLC CMS Enterprises Comfort Engineering Solutions, LLC Construction Association of Michigan Cornerstone Environmental Group, LLC CPCII Credit Union ONE CulturecliQ Danlaw, Inc. DASI Solutions DENSO International America, Inc. Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau Detroit Transportation Corporation Dow Chemical Company DTE Energy DTE Energy Gas Operations Dürr Systems, Inc. Eastern Michigan University Education Planning Resources, Inc. Electrical Resources Company Electro-Matic Products, Inc. Energy Sciences Experis Farbman Group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Financial One, Inc. FirstMerit Bank Fishman Stewart PLLC Fusion Welding Solutions Gala & Associates, Inc. Gates Corporation GHD

General Dynamics General Motors Company Gensler George W. Auch Company Ghafari Associates, LLC Glenn E. Wash & Associates, Inc. Golder Associates Inc. Gonzalez Contingent Workforce Services GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. Harley Ellis Devereaux Hartland Insurance Group, Inc. Hindsight Consulting, Inc. Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc. The Hunter Group LLC IBI Group Ideal Contracting Integrity Staffing Group, Inc. ITT Technical Institute Canton ITT Technical Institute Dearborn IBEW Local 58 & NECA LMCC JNA Partners, Inc. Jozwiak Consulting, Inc. JTL America, Inc. Kettering University Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti and Sherbrook, PC Knovalent, Inc. Kolene Corporation Kostal North America Kugler Maag CIE North America Lake Superior State University Lawrence Technological University LHP Software Limbach Company, Inc. Link Engineering Co. LTI Information Technology Macomb Community College Maner, Costerisan & Ellis, PC Makino McNaughton-McKay Electric Company Meritor MEDA Engineering & Technical Services MICCO Construction Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters Michigan State University Michigan Technological University

Midwest Steel Inc. Mitsubishi Motors R&D of America, Inc. Monroe Environmental Corporation Myron Zucker, Inc. Neumann/Smith Architecture Newman Consulting Group, LLC NORR Architects Engineers Planners Northern Industrial Manufacturing Corp. NTH Consultants, Ltd. O’Brien and Gere Oakland University Optech LLC Orbitak International, LLC Original Equipment Suppliers Association Pure Eco Environmental Solutions R.L. Coolsaet Construction Co. Rocket Fiber ROWE Professional Services Company Rumford Industrial Group Ruby+Associates, Inc. SEGULA Technologies Saginaw Valley State University Special Multi Services SSI Talascend, LLC Testing Engineers & Consultants Thermal-Netics TRANE Commercial Systems Troy Chamber of Commerce Trialon TRW Automotive Turner Construction Co. UBS Financial Services—Lott Sheth Farber Group Universal Weatherstrip & Bldg. Supply University of Detroit Mercy University of Michigan University of Michigan-Dearborn U.S. Farathane Corporation voxeljet America Inc. Wade-Trim Walbridge Walker-Miller Energy Services, LLC Wayne State University Western Michigan University Whitehall Industries The Whiting Turner Contracting Company WSP ZF | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 5

Members in the News OU bringing autonomous shuttle to campus

WSU launches Center for Advanced Mobility

Wayne State University and the Michigan Mobility Institute have launched the Center for Advanced Mobility. The new center expands on the WSU College of Engineering’s current cyber-physical systems programs and features plans for a broader set of degrees and certificates focused on autonomous driving, connectivity, smart infrastructure, and electrification. Combined, they represent the world’s first holistic, advanced mobility curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to enroll in offerings for autonomous driving and new courses that provide an overview of mobility fundamentals for engineers. The college also expects to offer a new master of science in robotics for fall 2020. “This will be a leading global center for the future of mobility,” said Farshad Fotouhi, PhD, dean of the Wayne State College of Engineering and computer science professor. “The Center for Advanced Mobility will be the epicenter for academic and startup activity in the mobility sector for students, researchers, and global corporate partners in Detroit.” The Center for Advanced Mobility will further leverage Wayne State University’s recently acquired Industry Innovation Center, a 45,000-sq.-ft. facility in the TechTown neighborhood at the heart of the Detroit Urban Solutions Innovation District, for laboratory and demonstration space, and for a planned speaker series to kick off this fall. “By placing students and industry professionals at the center of this curriculum design, we know that these programs will meet their needs as they begin or transition into mobility careers,” added Jessica Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Mobility Institute. 6  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

Oakland University, as part of the EasyMile collaboration with partners Continental and the City of Auburn Hills, has been selected to host an accessible autonomous shuttle on campus with the latest round of PlanetM Mobility Grant funding. EasyMile was awarded $103,600 for the pilot program. The shuttle works in combination with EasyMile’s fleet management and supervision system, one of the first to be deployed with real-world autonomous vehicles. EasyMile and partner Continental will launch its Zonar technology that will provide more automation and receive digital, real-time vehicle inspections through newly integrated RFID technology. In addition, Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science students will operate the shuttle as part of a STEM education program. “Oakland University is very excited about this great new partnership. The EasyMile shuttle will provide our students and our faculty the opportunity to participate in the evolution of autonomous systems and collect valuable data to improve this technology,” said Louay M. Chamra, PhD, dean of OU’s School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Barton Malow is a GM Supplier of the Year

Barton Malow was selected as a GM Supplier of the Year winner during GM’s 27th annual Supplier of the Year awards ceremony this spring. GM recognized 133 of its best suppliers from 15 countries that have consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value, or introduced innovations to the company. The Supplier of the Year award winners were chosen by a global team of GM purchasing, engineering, quality, manufacturing, and logistics executives. Winners were selected based on performance criteria in Product Purchasing, Global Purchasing and Manufacturing Services, Customer Care and Aftersales, and Logistics.

Members in the News

DENSO ‘Stuffs the Bus’

To help students hit the books with success, DENSO, the world’s second largest mobility supplier, donated more than 4,000 items for school supplies to nearly 5,800 students in the Southfield school district through its 8th annual “Stuff the Bus” program. In eight years, DENSO employees have donated more 40,000 items to Southfield schools, ranging from crayons to calculators. “DENSO is a company that is truly committed to the communities where our employees work and live. Whether it’s donating school supplies, sponsoring free admission at museums or supporting adult education programs, we want to provide the tools and resources to positively influence our employees and community members in North America and beyond,” said Melissa Smith, community affairs lead at DENSO.

LTU adds eSports arena

Lawrence Technological University has turned a former meeting room into a high-tech haven for video game players in a fast-growing student competition called eSports. The new LTU eSports arena features 12 custombuilt gaming computers with 4K monitors, a coach’s station, and a 4K big-screen TV for spectators to watch— and for players to go over game film after a competition. The equipment also includes special video gaming chairs and high-end headsets. The arena was co-developed by LTU and Yellow Flag Productions, a Southfield-based media company that produces “State Champs,” a weekly TV show on Michigan high school sports, a high school robotics TV show, and the weekly “LTU Sports Report,” seen on Fox Sports Detroit. ESports is a form of competitive video gaming with multiple players battling against each other, usually in teams, in tournaments that are streamed live to fans or held in sports arenas. In Michigan, many high schools and colleges are organizing teams. At LTU, more than 100 students participate in eSports through several club teams.

DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower helps Zoo meet renewable energy goal

The Detroit Zoo will be powered by 100 percent Michigan-made renewable energy through DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program by late 2020. The move will offset 7,425 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 8,740 acres of U.S. forests in one year and is part of the Detroit Zoological Society’s “Greenprint” strategic plan to continuously decrease the environmental impact of its operations. DTE will source the renewable energy from three new wind parks that will come online in late 2020.

IN MEMORIAM With deep gratitude for their participation and service, The Engineering Society of Detroit acknowledges the passing of the following members:

RENO J. MACCARDINI Retired/Director Property Management, Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. Member since 1977

ANTHONY J. PARISI Retired/Product Design Engineer, Ford Motor Co. Member since 1989 | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 7

Upcoming Events


Attend this complimentary session and find out how you can earn your PE license. Engineering professionals will be on hand to answer your questions and provide you with the information you’ll need to get started on your path to licensure. The session will cover: % Why you should consider becoming a PE % State exam registration deadlines % Requirements and process for completing the State applications % Recommended study materials and steps for preparing for the exams % ESD’s Review Courses for FE/PE % Real life experiences of PE’s who have taken the exam and passed The session is 6–7 p.m. at ESD Headquarters in Southfield. It is complimentary, but preregistration is required. For more details or to register, visit or contact Elana Shelef at 248-353-0735, ext. 119.

8  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

ESD REVIEW COURSES FOR THE STATE OF MICHIGAN PE LICENSING EXAMS Prepare for the next stage in your career. Licensed engineers enjoy higher salaries and faster career advancement, and become qualified to work independently as a consultant or business owner. ESD has been preparing engineers in the State of Michigan for PE licensure exams for over 70 years. Let our experience help you pass the exam on your first try. You’ll learn in a small classroom-like setting from expert instructors at ESD Headquarters in Southfield. For details or to register for the review courses, visit or contact Elana Shelef at or 248-353-0735, ext. 119.

Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) for Civil, Electrical and Mechanical TUES. & THURS., FEB. 4–APRIL 9, 2020

This course is for candidates planning to take the CBT Exam. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 p.m., with additional Saturday classes for civil and mechanical. The Saturday sessions start on February 22, 2020.

Principles & Practice of Engineering (PE) SATURDAYS, FEB. 22–MARCH 28, 2028 This course consists of six half-day sessions, focusing on problem solving techniques to pass the exam on your first try. Civil and Environmental meet 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Mechanical and Electrical Power meet 1–5 p.m. The Civil and Electrical state exam date is April 17, 2020.

PE CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASSES Need continuing education hours by October 31 for your PE license renewal? Check out ESD’s continuing education classes. 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 and afternoon on Saturdays at ESD Headquarters in Southfield. Cost to ESD Members: $100 per four-hour course, $75 per three-hour course. Cost to Non-Members: $125 per three-hour course, $100 per three-hour course. Must already hold a PE license. For a class schedule and to register, visit, or contact Elana Shelef at or 248-353-0735, ext. 119.

Upcoming Events


This year’s theme is Taking the Lead: Collaborating to Solve National Cyber Security Problems—Building partnerships and balancing competition and information sharing for improved security. The event will bring together experts from across the globe to address a variety of cyber security issues impacting the world. Speakers will lead featured breakout sessions on a variety of industry topics. The conference will take place at the TCF Center (formerly Cobo Center) in Detroit. Cost to attend is $85. (A discount rate of $59 is available to students and members of several organizations.) To register, visit


VOLUNTEERS & SPONSORS NEEDED MICHIGAN REGIONAL FUTURE CITY COMPETITION COMPETITION DAY: TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020 Inspire middle school students through the Michigan Regional Future City Competition, a projectbased learning program where students work as a team with an educator and volunteer mentor to design a city of the future. There are many opportunities to get involved and help us inspire students to explore engineering, science and technology careers!


Visit for more information on upcoming programs.


Spend an hour or two a week between now and January coaching and advising a team. Share real-life experiences, offer technical guidance, and help translate academic concepts to the real world of engineering and design. To volunteer as a mentor, contact Allison Marrs at or 248-353-0735, ext. 121.


Draw on your expertise to evaluate our teams’ efforts. Judges are needed for: % Virtual City Design—Judging is December and early January. % City Essay—Judging is December and January. % Model and Team Presentation— Attend the competition day on January 28, 2020. To volunteer as a judge, contact Leslie Smith at or 248-353-0735, ext. 152.


Show your support and increase business exposure. There are many opportunities to sponsor a component of competition day, including industry-specific awards. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, contact Elana Shelef at or 248-353-0735, ext. 119. | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 9

Upcoming Deadlines


The ESD TechCentury Engineering Student Writing Contest invites students to write an essay on one of three topics, including STEAM education, ethics in engineering, or a significant feat of engineering in the past 125 years. See page 15 for more information. The top three entries will be published in TechCentury, while the winning author will receive a $1,000 scholarship, sponsored by Fishman Stewart PLLC, and recognition at the 2020 Gold Award Reception. Rules can be found online at For questions, contact Susan Thwing at



Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year

Help us recognize leaders by nominating a Fellow, one of the highest recognitions that ESD can bestow its members. Candidates are selected based on outstanding professional accomplishments, leadership and service. They must be an ESD member for at least 5 years. Full details and instructions are at For questions, contact Heather Lilley at or 248-353-0735, ext. 120.


This award recognizes a young professional under the age of 35 who has best distinguished him/herself in the engineering and scientific communities. Criteria include education, work experience, and professional and community activities. Applicants must be members of ESD.

Outstanding Student Engineer of the Year


At a special reception each March, the ESD Affiliate Council (made up of 92 societies) presents its most prestigious tribute, The Gold Award, to honor an outstanding engineer or scientist from the Michigan region. Each society may nominate one individual; all nominations received are then judged by a group comprised of past Affiliate Council presidents. Nomination forms can be found at For more information, contact Elana Shelef at eshelef@esd. org or 248-353-0735, ext. 119. 10  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

This award recognizes an undergraduate student who has best distinguished him or herself in the engineering and scientific communities. Criteria include academic background, extracurricular activities, and employment experience. The winner(s) will receive a scholarship.

Outstanding High School Student of the Year

This award recognizes a graduating high school senior. To be considered, applicants must have a least a 3.0 GPA, plan on pursuing a career in the field of engineering or the life sciences, and participate in volunteer activities. The winner(s) will receive a scholarship. Applications and additional criteria can be found at For more information, contact Sue Ruffner at or 248-353-0735, ext. 117.



ENTRY DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 28, 2020 ESD’s 46th Annual Construction and Design Awards honor the three primary members of the building team—owners, designers, and constructors—and recognize outstanding team achievement and innovative use of technology. For more information on submission criteria and how to submit entries, visit or contact Leslie Smith, CMP, at or 248-353-0735, ext. 152.


The TechCentury Image Award recognizes individuals who have promoted, publicized and enhanced the engineering and technical professions to the public-at-large through public engagement, mentoring, public speaking, authoring articles, and other publicly visible activities. Nominees do not have to be ESD members. Nominators must be ESD Members. Nomination requirements and additional information can be found at or contact Susan Thwing at

CONNECT WITH 22,000+ ENGINEERS AND ENGINEERING LEADERS Advertise in TechCentury Digital Distribution: 18,500+ engineering leaders Print Circulation: 3,500+ engineering leaders

Who is Reading? $ DEMOGRAPHICS: 25% of our readership are CEOs and senior leaders. 28% are engineering and technical managers. $ SECTOR COVERAGE: Our readership covers 35 industry sectors, including automotive manufacturing, supply, construction, architecture, utilities, engineering (all disciplines), government, environmental, and quality control. $ DISTRIBUTION: TechCentury is distributed digitally 30,000+ engineers and technical leaders in Michigan, with a print distribution of 3,500. $ EDUCATION AND INCOME: 94% of the magazine’s readers hold a bachelor’s degree; 49% have earned a postgraduate degree. 38% of our readership earn $150,000+.

ESD’s 125th Anniversary is in 2020

Take advantage of the additional exposure you will receive as a result of ESD’s 125th anniversary celebration activities. Ask us about sponsoring an issue!

TO ADVERTISE: Contact Nick Mason at 248-353-0735, ext. 127, or

EXCITEMENT IN THE AIR Girls in Engineering Academy Goes Full STEAM Ahead


For girls participating, GEA is most importantly a time of fun, friendship and exploration. 12  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

hen 26 girls participating in the four-week ESD Girls in Engineering Academy (GEA) converged on Oakland University’s campus this summer, excitement and energy permeated the air. In its third year, GEA is designed to improve academic achievement and increase interest in engineering careers among underrepresented girls in Michigan. It works to decrease the gender gap that negatively impacts these girls’ success in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) and to propel them into STEAM careers, particularly into engineering. But for the girls participating this summer—89 fifth through eighth graders at three university campuses—it most importantly was a time of fun, friendship and exploration. Kahli Small’s daughter Amara, an eighth grader at Bates Academy, is in her third year with the program. She is already thinking of a career in engineering. “She loves it. She is just so excited about participating,” Mrs. Small said, who explained that they became involved in the program when Amara came home from school in fifth

grade. “She said it would be a great educational experience and it would be an important thing to do. We only had a few days to get in her application but she wanted to be a part of it so much that she made it happen.” Mrs. Small and her husband, Cedric, cannot be happier with her experience. “Every year the camps make more of an impact on her interest and educational experience. Every day she talks for an hour straight about what she did, what she learned and how much she enjoyed it.” Robert Magee, ESD Executive Director, said he witnessed that excitement. “The minute the girls started checking into their dorms they were clicking with each other, talking, and getting pumped up for the experience,” he explained. “And at the closing ceremonies they had such a confidence level; an ownership

“Every year the camps make more of an impact on her interest and educational experience.”

Launched in 2017, the Girls in Engineering Academy has grown from 35 inaugural students to 89 participants this year.

During the Academy summer program, the students tour industries in the greater Detroit area to learn more about different areas of study, employment opportunities for engineers, and the impact engineering can make on how we live.

GEA prepares girls to study engineering at a level competitive with other students.

of ‘this is where I should be’ and a maturity beyond their years.” Dr. Gerald Thompkins, ESD Girls in Engineering Program Manager, explained, “The main goal of the GEA program is to prepare and encourage middle school girls, particularly students from the Detroit metropolitan area, to enter college and study engineering at a level competitive with other students. The over-arching objective is to academically prepare middle school girls for high school and beyond.” Magee concurs that the GEA isn’t just a one-time summer academy. “We plan to be here for them through high school, into college and into the workplace—to offer support and education.” The Oakland University academy was just one part in the overall program. During the academic year, students meet every other Saturday for three-hour sessions learning about various engineering disciplines and careers. Students also focus on STEAM activities to reinforce concepts learned over the summer. Started in 2017, the inaugural class will graduate in 2020. In recruiting girls for the first group, Thompkins worked with the Detroit Public Schools Office of Science Education and then visited many public schools, talking to principals and fifth-grade teachers. A detailed application and 200-word essay was required. | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 13

Originally 30 girls were to be selected, however, “The applications were overwhelming—parents really wanted their girls to be a part of this— so we increased participation to 35 students,” said Thompkins. “We chose fifth grade girls because when boys and girls enter school, their interests are relatively similar. But as they progress through the grades, by the time girls reach middle school, their interest in math and science has significantly decreased. Boys seem to continue their interest and it very well could be because if you look at textbooks, most science illustrations, etc., have males leading the activity. We want to reach girls at this critical age.” Now the program has grown to 89 students. For 2019’s 30 first-year students, summer and academic day sessions were held on the campus of Wayne State University. Classes include pre-algebra, mechanical engineering, physics, computer science and English/language arts. For second year students—numbering 33—the summer sessions were held at Eastern Michigan University where girls resided in a dorm for four weeks. In addition to studying geometry, drone technology and biology, the girls added campus life exposure to their experience. This was the first year for the Oakland University unit. The universities provide housing, activity space, and sometimes food. According to the American Society of Engineering Education in 2016, 110,000 B.S. degrees were granted in engineering in the United States. Of that number, 27,000 degrees were awarded to women, 2,200 went to Hispanic women and only 1,100 were awarded to African American women. “There continues to be a huge disparity between men and women when it comes to bachelor’s degrees being granted in engineering. GEA is helping to ameliorate the gender and achievement gaps in STEM and in engineering education,” Thompkins explained. Of the 89 girls currently enrolled, 92 percent are African-American, 6 percent are Hispanic, with the remaining being biracial, Indian or 14  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

First-year students participating in the Girls in Engineering Academy use an Arduino computing platform to program blinking LED lights during their computer science class. Classes also include pre-algebra, mechanical engineering, physics, computer science and English/ language arts.

Asian. Corporate and university sponsorship for the academy has also grown. Many companies provide tour and educational experiences. “During the camps, one of Amara’s favorite things are the tours she has been able to go on,” Mrs. Small, explained. “At Bosch, they spent the entire day with women engineers who are working in the field. It was very inspiring. They created an entire program including sitting down to lunch with the girls and talking, answering questions.” Among the academy sponsors are Bosch, FCA, Ford STEAM, NASA and Denso. Camp field trip sponsors include Denso, DTE Energy, Ford Motor Company, FCA, Magna, Marathon, Robert Bosch LLC, the

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and ZF Group. “To have this kind of corporate support is humbling,” said Magee. “They came to us wanting to support this program and be part of this important education experience for our future engineers.” Magee also was impressed by the level of excitement and encouragement from the parents. “On graduation day all of the parents were in attendance. Not a single one missed,” he said. “These were busy people who work during the day, but they made the point of being there for their daughters. It’s exciting to see.” For more information on the Girls in Engineering Academy, or to offer your support, please visit


Holds Second Annual Student Writing Contest Attention students: we want to hear from you!


n an effort to promote and engage student voices and ideas about the profession of engineering, the TechCentury magazine will hold its 2nd Annual Engineering Student Writing Contest. The contest is now open to all students attending Michigan universities and studying within any of the engineering disciplines or related fields. The top three entries will be published in the January issue of TechCentury. The top award-winning essay author will receive recognition at the 2020 Gold Award Reception and a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Fishman Stewart, LLC.

Contest details

1. The student will write a 750-word essay on one of three topics listed below. 2. The student must be studying an engineering or related discipline at an accredited Michigan university. 3. Entries must be received by close of business, Monday, November 18, 2019 via email to

4. The TechCentury Editorial Board will review entries and the top three essays (along with a student profile) will be published in the January issue of TechCentury, both print and online. 5. The top essayist will be recognized at the 2020 ESD Gold Award Reception as well as receive a $1,000 scholarship.


Essayists should choose to write on one of the following topics: 6. STEM/STEAM Education: why is it important, did it play a role in your career choice, and if so, how? 7. Explain the role of Ethics in Engineering—its perceived challenges and solutions. 8. ESD will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2020: what do you feel is the most significant engineering feat of the past 125 years, and why? Please send writing contest entries to by Monday, November 18, 2019. | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 15

The Quincy Mine is one of the most iconic in the Copper Country and sits across the Keweenaw Waterway from Michigan Tech. Credit: Sarah Bird


16  | TechCentury | FALL 2019


n 1885, the Michigan Mining School opened its doors. Copper was booming; housing density in Calumet, Michigan, was as thick as in New York City; the Keweenaw’s remote Upper Peninsula forests were clear cut and much of the timber went underground in mine shafts and drifts. The school started with 23 students—all mining engineers in training. Much has changed in the past 134 years: Notably, mining in the Keweenaw “Copper Country” and the purpose of the mining school, renamed Michigan Technological University in the 1950s. But an industrialized place can never fully escape its roots, and as engineering has changed over the last century so have the practices and uses of mines. From a new but familiar degree to creative energy solutions, mining in Michigan is being reimagined and refurbished.

Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering

Amidst development efforts to bring more mining back to Michigan, the state created a new committee to make recommendations to grow the industry. The process is not simple— we do not live in our grandparents’ landscapes, neither physically or politically—and the bill’s sponsor, Representative Sara Cambensy, said the ultimate goal of the advisory committee is to “do things better.” Ever ready for a challenge, engineers are the ones who bridge traditional extractive industries and modern expectations. “Michigan Tech is bringing back its undergraduate mining engineering degree because the industry needs professional engineers who can address today’s technical challenges — and to do so in an environmentally responsible manner,” said John Gierke, chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences. “Sure, we’re returning to our historic mission, and it’s

great to honor that path, but we’re also reshaping how mining is done by how we will train future engineers.” The changes required in new mining endeavors focus on the front end of the work. In the past, mining operations dug deep, tossed first, and remediated later, which is a costly and wasteful process that makes environmental and human health a cheap price for fast economic gain. Best practices in mining now demand thoughtful siting, remediation strategies, community engagement, and more backup plans than an operations crew can shake a shovel at. No matter what, mines do come at a cost — they are bound to leave an imprint on the earth. However, there are known methods to minimize that impact, which students in the mining engineering program will be steeped in, and Generation Z’s hallmark is wanting to make a real difference in the world. Plus, few people are willing to give up their cars, phones, buildings, air travel, paint, and garden fertilizer. As the old PR tagline goes, if it’s not grown, then it’s mined. Or perhaps there are more options.

Recycled and Reused

The dichotomous nature of mining debates over whether a mine should go in the ground overlooks the fact that the Upper Peninsula and other parts of the state are already riddled with old mines. And some old school techniques can find new uses. Lei Pan, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech, hails from a mining engineering background — which is helping him recycle lithium batteries. “We saw the opportunity to use an existing technology to address emerging challenges,” Pan said. “We use standard gravity separations to separate copper from aluminum, and we use froth flotation to recover critical materials, including graphite,

Old school mining techniques separate out cell phone components, like silvery graphite, to improve modern battery recycling. Credit: Sarah Bird

lithium, and cobalt. These mining technologies are the cheapest available, and the infrastructure to implement them already exists.” Pan is the lead researcher at Michigan Tech who is working with the Department of Energy’s ReCell Center, the agency’s first lithium-ion battery recycling research and development center. The center’s goal is to find ways to reuse recycled materials from lithium-ion batteries in new batteries, reducing production costs by 10% to 30%, which could help lower the overall cost of electric vehicle (EV) batteries to DOE’s goal of $80 per kilowatt hour. The first step is getting the materials: Pan and his team are focused on developing a lab-scale prototype.

Mines as Batteries and Heat Exchangers

Another project looks at using mines themselves for pumped hydropower energy storage. This summer, an interdisciplinary group of researchers began a pilot study in Negaunee, Michigan, to determine the feasibility of repurposing the Mather B Mine into a giant battery. Roman Sidortsov, assistant professor of energy policy at Michigan Tech and Tim Scarlett, associate professor of archeology and anthropology, are the project leads. They say the effort can help struggling post-industrial mining communities to transform decommissioned mines from environmental and economic liabilities into productive assets. | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 17

Although pumped hydro power is currently the most prevalent form of energy storage worldwide, permitting new sites becomes very difficult due to environmental and aesthetic concerns. Placing these systems into an existing mine takes care of the concerns and the existing mine site infrastructure can significantly reduce capital costs. “Communities can look at the abandoned mines in their area and consider them more holistically than an energy company or utility provider,” Scarlett said. “There are many flexible design options at multiple scales, from the household or industrial-park seeking energy reliability or independence, up to gigawatt-scale facilities supporting the grid reliability and resiliency for a large region of the national electrical grid.” Sidortsov adds: “With the rapid growth of renewable energy, the need for energy storage has been increasing at a neck-breaking speed. There are more than enough mines across the United States and the world that could potentially serve as sites for energy storage of different scales. More importantly, such facilities belong to the category of win-win projects as they are capable of delivering environmental, economic, and social benefits for the government, community, and industry, while achieving something that thus far has been out of reach – sustainable mining.” Within the mines, Michigan Tech faculty and students have been trying to improve ways geothermal energy is harvested from mine water. Assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering Zhen Liu and the Keweenaw Research Center’s director Jay Meldrum have led teams studying the movement of water in abandoned mines, as variations in temperature and salinity cause complex flow patterns in old, flooded workings. Modeling this complicated mixing process is the central challenge to designing 18  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

Michigan Tech was originally the Michigan Mining School established in 1885.

systems that maximize the value of harvested geothermal energy. To that end, Michigan Tech installed a model geothermal system at the Keweenaw Research Center ten years ago, which has been a model for ongoing research and education, and more recently inspired community discussions on the social acceptability of a mine water geothermal energy system in Calumet, Michigan. Led by Richelle Winker, associate professor of sociology, a group of student researchers also put together the first comprehensive guidebook communities can use to explore the feasibility of using mine water to heat and cool buildings.

More than a Mine

Tim Eisele, associate professor of chemical engineering, sees other opportunities in mining technology, specifically waste products. “The technology for separating valuable minerals from mined material is always improving, and so there is much opportunity for reprocessing former tailings materials,” Eisele said. “This material is already mined, crushed to a fine size, and stored accessibly on the surface, so there is a lot of room for recovering metal that it was not formerly economical to extract.” He adds there are ore bodies that used to be considered too low-grade to work with, but that now could potentially be mined safely and economically. For example, there are

new processes in the works to source materials that Michigan mining has historically concentrated on, like cement, clays, copper, iron, limestone, gypsum, salt, and sand/gravel. There is also the attraction of developing markets for all of the minerals mined, not just the key mineral. If in addition to selling metal ore concentrates, a mine can also sell other products like aggregates, agricultural supplements, and byproduct industrial minerals, then the quantity of remaining tailings can be reduced while also increasing profitability. “To do this, we need a much better understanding of what is actually being mined and who might potentially want to buy it,” Eisele said. “In a perfect mining operation, all of the minerals dug out of a mine would eventually be converted into useful products and the mine tailings would become nonexistent.” Michigan’s mines, old and new, aren’t going away. To break boom-bust cycles, it takes collaborative and creative thinking to delve beyond what mining used to be and re-engineer the training, tools, and spaces to meet the needs of modern extraction and consumption. Allison Mills is Associate Director of Research Communications at Michigan Tech. She studied geoscience as an undergrad at Northland College before getting a master’s in environmental science and natural resource journalism at the University of Montana.

“Our program is the only one of its kind, and the way we see it, that makes the work we do here even more crucial.”




lpena, Michigan’s Thunder Bay Marina is still asleep as the battered black minivan swivels into its parking lot in the filmy sunlight of an August morning. Humid air carries the sweet smell of late-summer grass through the van’s open window as it slow-rolls past empty parking spaces, a silent fish cleaning station and drydocked boats with names like “Fishin’ Mission.” It backs up to a waiting boat at the edge of Lake Huron. Nick Goumas and Gideon Billings of the University of Michigan Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME) department unload IVER, a ten-foot long torpedo-shaped underwater robot. Without a word, they load it into the boat and glide away into the rising sun. Goumas is a graduate

research assistant, Billings a PhD candidate. Equipped with a customdesigned stereoscopic camera system, IVER is designed to navigate autonomously, just a few feet from the sea floor, taking hundreds of thousands of photos. Ultimately, those photos will be analyzed by a machine learning system to provide an unprecedented level of information about large swathes of the underwater world. Today, they plan to test it in the open water for the first time. “It’s amazing how little attention we attract,” says Goumas, who with Billings has built the robot over the past two years as part of U-M’s Deep Robot Optical Perception (DROP) lab. “We’ve carried this thing through marinas, hotels, rest areas, lakes. Nobody looks twice.”

NAME researchers are accustomed to working under the radar. The oldest and smallest department at Michigan Engineering, NAME numbers just over 250 students in an engineering college of more than 10,000. But their small size means that there are only about three students for every faculty member. And the fact that they’re the only dedicated naval architecture department in a top-ten U.S. school gives them an outsized influence. In fact, the IVER test is just one of the NAME innovations on the water this morning. The ore freighters that lumber by sport bulbous bows, a drag-reducing innovation conceived at the department in 1960. The design element is used on virtually every large shipping vessel today and has saved uncountable billions of | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 19









96 %



3,000 +







$ 91K


$ 3,000 +



gallons of fuel over the decades. A few miles down the coast, near the town of Port Huron, lies the testing site of VIVACE, a device that aims to harness the energy of river and ocean currents for emissions-free electricity. Across the Atlantic, Norwegian researchers are working with NAME professor Matt Collette on a new generation of offshore wind turbines. Back in Ann Arbor, professors Timothy McCoy and Jing Sun are working with the United States Navy on propulsion and defense systems powered by electricity.

Connected by water The researchers are connected by water, but also by a sense of shared purpose. While most of us don’t see or think about the massive vessels that ply the world’s waters, the global economy and much of modern society as we know it today couldn’t exist without them. “Ninety percent of consumer goods are shipped by water. Two-thirds of the planet is underwater,” said Sun, who is the Michael G. Parsons Collegiate Professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and the chair of the department. “And yet the United States invests much less in marine 20  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

research than other countries, like Norway and China. Our program is the only one of its kind, and the way we see it, that makes the work we do here even more crucial.” Indeed, the U.S. Navy relies on NAME grads to populate its upper ranks; four of the last five of its Chief Naval Architects are NAME alumni, and they’re disproportionately represented among the brass. Back on Lake Huron, Goumas and Billings are arriving at the IVER test site a few miles from shore. Their project is led by U-M Associate Professor Matthew Johnson-Roberson. Since joining the department in 2013, Roberson has done research in a variety of fields, working with Ford Motor Company to pioneer better autonomous land vehicles and even helping to uncover a lost seventeenth-century pirate city off the coast of Jamaica in addition to his robotics work. “One of the things that really excites me about the NAME department is how forward looking it has been. How technologies from across a wide variety of fields can be applied to this discipline,” said Roberson. “We see ourselves as a bridge between classical science and the cutting edge of technology.”

Goumas and Billings unplug the blue umbilical cord that feeds data to a laptop and work as a team to carefully lower IVER into the water. They watch it swim away, its orange periscope disappearing silently beneath the surface. It will travel autonomously on a preprogrammed path, bobbing back up—they hope— after its test run is complete. Right now, there’s nothing to do but wait. “It’s nerve-wracking when the vehicle should be back,” Goumas says, his eyes on the horizon. “You’re looking at your watch and wondering where it is.” Goumas and the rest of the NAME department envision a future with hundreds of robotic colleagues like IVER working silently, tirelessly and often invisibly, inspecting ship hulls, monitoring invasive species and keeping shipping ports secure. And around the globe, the rest of NAME’s researchers and alumni share a vision of a healthier, more secure, more productive marine world. Gabe Cherry is senior writer and assistant magazine editor at Michigan Engineering. He focuses on naval, computer science, materials science, and industrial operations engineering.



ow many books have been published and classes taught on project management (PM)? Yet, we have too many “Red”, “Pink”, or “Yellow” projects and products rather than the “Green Light” projects/products we celebrate. Take for example... • A city in Michigan switches from one water supply to another and experiences elevated levels of lead in their drinking water. An exclusive focus on legal remedies won’t prevent messes like this from occurring again. • Projects like the California rail project, using early-stage estimates to set budgets, with many unknowns and important decisions still to be made, end up costing 50 percent more than originally estimated, or 2-3 times as much. • The Fukushima nuclear reactor, suspended Wayne County jail project, Boeing MAX… Reading and listening to the news, these aren’t rare occurrences. Must we accept such outcomes now and then—bad luck, bad karma, once in a lifetime “asteroid strikes”? Some would like to reduce project management to a mechanical exercise and software, but good PM is also an art, especially in relation to communications.

Focusing exclusively on reports and software may make you a better project manager, but not a great one. Managing many projects; conducting hundreds of project audits; hearing plenty from project team members who have experienced too many troubled projects, revealed high impact processes that can significantly reduce the number of “Red Light” projects. Yes, these high impact processes take effort, but if organizations can find the time to clean up “Red Light” projects, why not invest a fraction of the time to prevent or mitigate these messes? What’s necessary to get to “Green Light” projects and products (consistently superior outcomes) rather than “Yellow Light” (superior outcomes mixed with mediocre outcomes), “Pink Light” (consistently mediocre outcomes), or “Red Light” (too many bad outcomes)? • Work Definition that’s clear to all parties, including identifying Work Not Included. This means thinking expansively about the project/product, asking What Could Go Wrong, What Aren’t We Considering?: In our rush to get the work underway, we often shortchange the probing questions that can make a big difference. Without clear definition, the project manager

is vulnerable to all kinds of project twists and turns, and the customer won’t know what to expect. • A documented face-to-face pre-project Customer Interview (external and internal customers, technical and non-technical customers) to confirm expectations, as well as outcomes the customer cannot accept, to resolve differences between expectations and the contracted work before the project proceeds, and a project completion interview to measure performance and identify systemic weaknesses, every interview producing something we hadn’t expected or considered. • A concise Project Work Plan (roadmap) that includes more than just the contracted work definition, addressing risk (What Could Go Wrong—see Michigan lead mess), measures to eliminate or mitigate risks, project communications, team budgets that may be different than anticipated in the proposal, when quality reviews will occur and by whom. For early-stage cost estimates, risk can be mitigated by providing a cost range with a best estimate within this range rather than one number packed with assumptions and contingencies, framing the degree of risk and allowing the customer to participate in establishing risk | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 21

tolerance. An organic roadmap that changes when the project changes so the project manager and team have a common understanding of responsibilities and accountability. In this era of emails, texting, and big generational differences in job/ life priorities, project managers must take time for face-to-face, explicit conversations when important commitments are being sought. • Status Reports to the customer that address work performed, including requested or perceived changes in the work that may affect performance, budget, schedule, and risk. This requires the project manager to be knowledgeable about the true status of the project, probing as the project/product development proceeds, putting the customer on notice when they have time-sensitive responsibilities to fulfill or decisions to make.

• A means to regularly assess Work Actually Completed in relation to labor/dollars spent. More than a few project managers have asked how their project could be 90% complete a month earlier and have 50 percent of the budget spent since. The answer? The PM’s estimate of work actually completed was flawed, or the project team didn’t want to bear bad news, or the PM/team succumbed to the inclination to be overly optimistic about completion, or a combination of the above. It is best if the project manager comes at this estimate from more than one angle—task-by-task completion estimates, deliverables completed, QC feedback, status of built components. Strive for your best estimate of percent complete, then reduce this percentage by 10-30 percent. If you estimate 70 percent complete, actual completion is

probably closer to 40-60 percent. This is what harsh experience has taught me. All of these high impact processes presuppose a competent project team and can be adapted to PM programs and customer requirements already in place. Meeting project/product budgets is essential, but the best project managers know success is more than dollars and cents. Success equals satisfied customers, companies that meet their profit goals to stay healthy, project teams experiencing satisfaction in their work, and communities, companies and environments experiencing fewer “Red Light” projects and the misery they entail.

Tom Doran has been managing projects, developing PM processes, training and coaching project management for over 30 years. Contact him at

“Detroit: America’s Newest Tech Hub” — The tech scene in Detroit continues to surge, with major companies like Google and Microsoft opening offices along with dozens of other startups. Billions of dollars in investment has fueled the rise of new attractions, boutique hotels, unique retail and adventurous new restaurants that will please any palate. Along with its convenient Midwest location for non-stop flights and a drive-in market, Detroit has a new energy that will guarantee your meeting is memorable and fun. It is time to consider Detroit for your next Midwest meeting. Call Sheila R. Neal, CASE Associate Director of Sales at 313-202-1930 or Detroit. It’s GO time.

Photo courtesy of Bill Bowen

22  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

Detroit Mercy’s iDRAW Program Prepares Young People for STEM Careers BY DAVID PEMBERTON


onvincing young people to consider a career in math and science can be challenging. Students in a classroom setting don’t necessarily get to experience how fun and exciting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields can be. University of Detroit Mercy’s new iDRAW (innovating Detroit’s Robotics Agile Workforce) program uses robotics as the primary theme to show students the fun in STEM. The elements of study essential to the field of robotics serve as core components to STEM careers. “Sometimes math and science are abstract, it’s hard, it’s on paper and it’s not very exciting, but robotics are math and science coming to life,” said Richard Hill, assistant dean for Research & External Initiatives for Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science. “In robotics, you can

see something move and it does something cool. “As a part of any robotics competition, the robots usually have to pick something up and move it to another location or they have to push another robot out of the way, different things like that. Robots and video games—as an engineer, I understand those things are cool to a high school kid.” The objective of iDRAW is to reduce barriers and prepare at-risk youth for entry into STEM fields. It builds on existing, successful partnerships and programs to provide multiple career pathways into high-demand professions. According to recent research, by 2024 there will be 811,055 high-demand career openings in Michigan. Many of these will be in STEM fields. In addition, significant portions of Michigan’s population face barriers to participation in STEM careers. These underrepresented

populations represent significant untapped potential. Through iDRAW, Detroit Mercy and project partners have the ability to begin tapping these potential students and help them engage in STEM related disciplines and careers. “There are not enough engineering students, there are not enough students in the STEM pipeline and we can’t just sit back and wait for them to appear,” Hill said. “We have to go out and do more to facilitate student interest in developing the skills to enter these fields.” iDRAW has partnered with area high schools, FIRST Robotics, the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC) and corporate partners to help achieve its primary objective. Melvindale High School and Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy are the first two schools iDRAW has partnered with. | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 23

“They are schools where their students face challenges, but they’ve had some good success despite those challenges,” Hill said. “They perform well academically with respect to comparable schools. And they have a good commitment to engineering. Both schools have good FIRST Robotics teams, good extracurricular activities and they’ve had success in sending kids to college in these fields. That is big.” iDRAW will be offering two high school dual enrollment courses, Intro to Computer Science Principles I this fall and Intro to Computer Science Principles II in the winter. Students who complete the sessions will receive two college credits from Detroit Mercy and are eligible to take the AP Computer Science Principles Exam for even more credit. The courses will also lead to stackable badges and industryrecognized credentials. “We want a lot of them to go to college, but that’s not the only path,” Hill said. “Some of them will take other routes like a two-year degree or maybe skilled trades.” Courses will initially be taught by college instructors with support from college student teaching assistants and a full-time administrator. During the process, high school teachers will receive training to take over responsibility for the courses, which will greatly reduce the long-term need for external support. iDRAW will roll out a new course each semester for the next six high school semesters with the goal 24  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

of offering all six courses at each school. “The idea is to train up the high school teacher,” Hill said. “The first time there is college instructor there, the second time it’s primarily the high school teacher. We build up the infrastructure, the knowledge base in the school so they can take it over.” iDRAW has already begun this process by hosting an Engineering and Technology Teacher Bootcamp in August. The week-long experience was offered to teachers at Caesar Chavez and Melvindale. “Teachers were immersed in cutting edge pedagogical techniques, which put student inquiry first,” said Joy Mohammed, iDRAW program manager. “They used state of the art technology to give their lessons a sense of practicality and real life purpose and application. And to top it off, the teachers were able to take materials back to their home schools to use in their lessons. “We were also very happy to send two teachers from our partner high school to a bootcamp through, thanks to the Marshall Plan grant,” Mohammed said. “These teachers are now well versed in teaching coding to high school students utilizing real life applications and concepts.” The iDRAW program is funded by the State of Michigan’s Marshall Plan for Talent Innovation Grant. Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science is helping lead the Detroit Robotics Consortium, which received a grant of $653,000 from the Marshall Plan.

“The Marshall Plan for Talent will assist our College in building a network of support and opportunities for students and high school teachers to provide pathways for students to STEM careers,” said Katy Snyder, dean of Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science. The consortium features several corporate partners, including General Motors, DTE Energy, Ideal Group and FANUC. Corporate partners have committed to supply funding, mentors, training and hiring students out of the program. The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) is one of the partners on the Marshall Plan grant and will, along with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), leverage robust memberships and ties to local industry to promote and enhance the program. The societies will be able to communicate information gathered from their boards and membership of working engineers. This consortium will

evaluate immediate needs, but will also look to 2-, 5-, and 20-year skills projections, as well as the relevance of new and existing third-party credentials. “They’ve made a big commitment in terms of providing mentors and advisors, but they’ve also committed to hiring students out of the program for internships and full-time positions,” Hill said. “I think that’s pretty cool and pretty unique.” iDRAW has also partnered with DHDC and its Robotics Engineering Center of Detroit (RECD) program. DHDC offers after-school and summer programs to engage youth from fourth to 12th grades in STEM activities, including serving as the build site for the RECD’s 10 FIRST Robotics teams. Over 150 high school students currently participate in the RECD program. “DHDC does a lot in the community,” Hill said. “A student can’t be successful in school if they are hungry or they’re homeless or having other issues. They have programming that helps with some of these social needs, some of these

external needs, so they can better focus on academics.” FIRST Robotics is a great recruiting tool for iDRAW and partnering with the RECD program helps reach more students. “A lot of students like the competition of FIRST Robotics,” Hill said. “The hope is that robotics is motivating. It’s an application where we can build up their core-required skills. Their ability to do math and communicate and do it in the context of something they enjoy is motivating for them. “Different technical skills are used as part of the robotics projects so they might do some drafting or computer-aided design (CAD) for the chassis of the robot, they might do some programming of the robot, they might have to do some wiring and dealing with the electronics. It’s a direct application of technical skills that could be a career pathway.” The iDRAW program is loosely patterned after the successful IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) iDEW (informatics Diversity Enhanced Workforce) program. The iDEW program has grown from offering three courses in 2015 to 24 and has reached 613 students in eight schools. Currently 93 percent of graduating seniors are enrolled in or planning to attend a two- or four-year degree program with 78 percent indicating an interest in pursuing a career in IT. The iDRAW program will also be a formal member of the regional iDEW network.

“We are working with them primarily because of their success,” Hill said. “I feel like we were heading there on our own so it was just serendipitous that we got in contact with them.” Programs like iDRAW are critical to closing the gap between the number of career openings in STEM fields and the number of qualified candidates. iDRAW’s ambitious goals are that more than 200 students will earn recognition as official iDRAW graduates during the initial five-year period and upon high school graduation, 75 percent of iDRAW graduates will immediately enter college in a STEM field or will be employed in a STEM occupation. “The goal is to be cumulative,” Hill said. “It’s not that they only do FIRST Robotics, it’s not that they only take this class. The hope is they do four or five of these things. They take three different classes, they do FIRST Robotics, they do a summer camp, they do an internship. Just because a lot of these students face a lot of barriers, it’s interventions and impacts of all these different things that will really move the needle and actually have an impact.” For more information on the iDRAW program, visit http://eng-sci.

Dave Pemberton is a Web Content Specialist at University of Detroit Mercy where he develops stories, video and photography for the Detroit Mercy web site. | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 25

Ethics in Engineering



thics, what is it and what does it mean in correlation to business? Ethics can be defined as the study of what constitutes right or wrong behavior, a branch of philosophy that focuses on morality and the way in which moral principles are derived and applied to one’s conduct in daily life.¹ However, business ethics focuses on how businesspersons apply morals, right or wrong behavior, and ethical principles as situations arise in the workplace. What does that mean to the construction industry?

Ethics vs. Law

The main difference between ethics and law is the matter of what a person does and what a person should do, although both the law and ethics are made in alignment so that they do not contradict each other. However, the law is legally binding, and ethics are not binding by nature. But an unethical decision or action can lead to a violation of the law. In construction ethics and law coincide with each other immensely. As the company conducts in multiple binding contracts from various projects, ethics, doing what is right based off the contract and the company’s procedures and codes is key when deciding what to do in a given situation. It is always best to follow what is stated and knowing when you are in the right or wrong.

Ethical Absolutes and Situational Ethics

Ethical absolutes, or in other words absolutism, is the ethical belief there are absolute standards against moral issues that can be judged and that certain actions are either right or wrong irrespective of the context of the act. However, there are challenges. There will always be disagreements about what is morally correct or incorrect. It can be referred back to social ethics on what one believes is morally right while someone else may believe it to be immoral. Situational ethics is the position that moral decision making is contextual or dependent on a set of circumstances. 26  | TechCentury | FALL 2019



It holds that moral judgements should be held within the context of the entire situation and all normative concepts of the situation must be viewed in whole.

of honesty. The company will have a better turnover and experience in the industry.

Examples of Acceptable and Unacceptable Ethical Behavior in Construction

Here are six guidelines or steps a company/employee can use to evaluate ethical actions: 1. The law: is the action legal? If you do not know, find out. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. 2. Rules and procedures: make sure the decision follows the internal rules and procedure put in place by the company. 3. Values: you might wish to ask yourself whether you are attempting to find a loophole in the law or in the company’s policies. Next, you need to ask yourself whether you are following the “spirit” of the law as well as the letter of the law or the internal policy. 4. Conscience: if there are guilty feelings, most likely it is the wrong decision. Always let your conscience be your guide. 5. Promises: the company needs to be based on trust. Our clients need to believe the company will do what it’s supposed to do and in good faith. The same trust in the employees, suppliers, vendors, and subcontractors as well. The actions and decisions need live up to these commitments made to others, both inside the company and outside. 6. Heroes: everyone has role models and heroes they look up to. Think about what they might do in the same situation. Knowing your right from wrong is key.¹

Acceptable ethical behavior in construction would be a contractor putting forth policies and procedures to have a safe workplace, owners and contractors making payments on time and according to the contracts, following and adhering to the contract documents and specifications. Unacceptable ethical behaviors in construction include the practice of bid shopping, or the divulging of pricing prior to the official bidding process. Those clients or owners that bid shop to their preferred contractors, end up wasting the time of other bidders. Bid shopping can also happen between contractors and sub-contractors. Another unethical practice concerns failure to honor the payment schedule stipulated in the contract. If the client/owner does not pay the contractor in accordance with the contract and delays payment, it may have a ripple effect on the timeliness that the contractor can pay sub-contractors, suppliers, and vendors. These practices can lead to huge disputes and, if not settled, may lead to legal action and arbitration.

Good Ethics for Business and Ethical Improvements in Construction

Unfortunately, the construction industry is often viewed and considered unethical by nature. There are many contractors that make unethical decisions but, there are also many clients that engage in unethical behaviors. In the beginning of a contract, being ethical is what sets the strength of the relationship, but when unethical decision making begins, this relationship starts to breakdown and trust is broken leading to questions on what else has been unethically conducted. This in turn makes the project suffer and the company given a negative reputation. The question is, how do we improve the ethics in construction? First, we need to understand the proper way to treat our employees, clients, subcontractors, suppliers, and vendors. It is about being honest and fair during all dealings, not compromising safety and quality, complying with the conditions of the project, and adhering to the contract.² Another improvement would be to know the company values and let all decisions dictate those values, understand the law (especially construction and contract law), pay good attention to rationalizations, stick with that gut feeling, seek help when something isn’t understood, and ask for an opinion or advice when stuck. When these improvements are made, good ethics for the company are made. The company will have a positive reputation, and clients will want to work with the company based on their high quality and high level

Ethical Solutions

Companies need to understand the importance of business ethics and the long-run viability of the company. It is also important for the well-being of the company’s individual managers, directors, officers, and employees to understand how unethical decision making can negatively affect the suppliers, vendors, subcontractors, cliental, and the community and society as a whole. “As they make business decisions, businesspersons must remember that just because an action is legal does not necessary make it ethical”¹

References 1.


Miller, R. L. (2014). Business Law Today (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Paul. (2017, July 4). Ethics in Construction. What are unethical behaviors? Why should we care?

Teona Thompson is a Task Planning Construction Coordinator/Business Analyst at Pyramid Consulting International. Her responsibilities include coordinating documents, spreadsheets, and communications at all levels of construction. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from South Dakota State University and is obtaining a Master of Technology degree in Construction Management from Eastern Michigan University. | The Engineering Society of Detroit | 27




or students with no experience in a professional workplace, networking is a daunting task. The general mindset of incoming freshmen and even some upperclassmen is “who would want to network with me?” The answer to that is lots of people, both other students as well as professionals. The real problem is figuring out how to find them. A student’s natural network is made up of friends, family, classmates and professors. While this is a good start, in most cases that is not enough. To increase the size of their network one of the best things a student can do is join a student organization, as almost all student organizations for engineering hold social events. This gives students a chance to network with their peers. Talking to upperclassmen in the organization can be especially helpful. They usually have valuable information on the best events to attend and what technical skills got them their first internship. The one downside to these organizations is that everyone comes from the same technical background. This is why The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) is vital to those preparing to enter engineering and similar fields. ESD focuses on helping students from all engineering backgrounds with their soft skills, such as resume building, public speaking and interview preparation. The Wayne State University student chapter has organized a variety of events perfect for members to network with both professionals and students. All of this being said, students do need to do more than just show up to events to increase the size of their network. They must be prepared for the event, as well as actively participate and dress the part. If a student takes the time to do research on the speaker beforehand they may find that the speaker has a job that they are interested in, and is a good indicator for which events to attend. After they discover the presenter is relevant to them, preparing a few questions in advance can be helpful, as students may leave a better impression by 28  | TechCentury | FALL 2019

asking questions and showing interest in presentations. Professional speakers frequently stick around after presentations to answer questions both related and unrelated to their presentation. Some may even give out their email and offer to connect with students on networking platforms like LinkedIn. In workshop-style events, students have the opportunity to work with a facilitator who actively engages them and helps to strengthen their soft skills, which are critical for networking. The most important networking tool for students is an elevator pitch, a vital resource for creating a good impression. Taking the time to practice an elevator speech and getting feedback can give students the confidence of knowing that they can introduce themselves in a polished and professional way. Students who have the time and leadership aspirations may want to take things a step further and become a board member. There are many advantages that come with this. Companies reach out directly to student organizations to partner with them on events. While audience members have the opportunity to talk to the presenter and maybe give a resume, board members have the chance to make a more lasting impression. Students organization boards also tend to become their own mini networks, sharing opportunities and providing critical feedback. It is understandable that students may be hesitant to join an organization, participate in events or become a board member, especially events that may involve public speaking. The most important thing is to get and stay involved! Palak Patel is a senior at Wayne State University majoring in computer science and specializing in android application development. She joined the The Engineering Society of Detroit’s Student Chapter at WSU in her freshman year and served as secretary before rising to the position of president. She is currently working on organizing the chapter’s first annual STEM fair. Outside of school, she enjoys cake decorating, calligraphy and hiking.

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Call 800-682-6881 for a quote. Be sure to mention that you are with ESD. SAVINGS AVAILABLE TO ESD MEMBERS AND MEMBERS OF THESE AFFILIATE SOCIETIES: Air & Waste Mgmt. Assn.–East MI Ch. (EMAWMA) Am. Chemical Soc.–Detroit Section (ACS) Am. Concrete Inst.–Greater MI Ch. (ACI-GMC) Am. Council of Engineering Companies–MI (ACEC) Am. Foundry Soc.–Detroit Windsor Ch. (AFS-DW) Am. Inst. of Architects-Detroit Ch. (AIA) Am. Inst. of Architects-MI (AIA) Am. Inst. of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Am. Inst. of Constructors–MI Ch. (AIC) Am. Nuclear Soc. (ANS) Am. Polish Engineering Assn. (APEA) Am. Soc. for Quality–Greater Detroit Section 1000 (ASQ-DETROIT) Am. Soc. for Quality–Saginaw Valley (ASQ-SAGINAW) Am. Soc. of Agricultural & Biological Engineers–MI Section (ASABE) Am. Soc. of Body Engineers Int’l (ASBE) Am. Soc. of Civil Engineers–MI Section (ASCE) Am. Soc. of Engineers of Indian Origin–MI Ch. (ASEI) Am. Soc. of Heating, Refrig. & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Am. Soc. of Mechanical Engineers–MI (ASME) Am. Soc. of Plumbing Engineers–Eastern MI Ch. (ASPE-EMC) Am. Soc. of Safety Engineers–Greater Detroit Ch. (ASSE-DETROIT) Am. Soc. of Sanitary Eng. for Plumbing & Sanitary Research (ASSE) Am. Water Works Assn. (MI-AWWA) Am. Welding Soc. (AWS-DW) Arab Am. Assn. of Engineers & Architects, MI (AAAEA) Armenian Engineers & Scientists of America–MI Section (AESA-MI) ASM Int’l–Detroit Ch. The Materials Soc. (ASM-INT-DETROIT) Assn. for Facilities Engineering (AFE) Assn. for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST) Assn. of Business Process Mgmt. Professionals–SE MI Ch. (ABPMP) Assn. of Soil & Foundation Engineers (ASFE) Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Assn. (AASA) Biomedical Engineering Assn. (BMES) Building Commissioning Assn.–Central Ch. (BCA)

Construction Specifications Inst. (CSI) Council of Supply Chain Mgmt. Professionals (CSCMP) CREW Detroit–Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Detroit Chinese Engineers Assn. (DCEA) Detroit Soc. for Coatings Technology (DSCT) ElectroChemical Soc. (ECS) Engineers Without Borders (EWBUSA) Great Lakes Renewable Energy Assn. (GLREA) Heavy Duty Manufacturers Assn. (HDMA) Illuminating Engineering Soc. of North America (IESNA) Inst. of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Inst. of Environmental Science & Technology (IEST) Inst. of Industrial Engineers Greater Detroit Ch. (IIE) Inst. of Mathematical Sciences (IMS) Instrumentation Systems & Automation Soc. (ISA) Int’l Council on Systems Engineering–MI Ch. (INCOSE) Japan Business Soc. of Detroit (JBS) Mechanical Contractors Assn. (MCA-Detroit) Mechanical Inspectors Assn. of MI (MIAM) Metropolitan Mechanical Inspectors Assn. (MMIA) MI Ch. of Am. Soc. of Landscape Architects (MASLA) MI Assn. of Environmental Professionals (MAEP) MI Assn. of Hazardous Materials Managers (MI-AHMP) MI Chemistry Council (MCC) MI Interfaith Power & Light (MIPL) MI Intellectual Property Law Assn. (MIPLA) MI Rural Water Assn. (MRWA) MI Soc. for Clinical Engineering (MSCE) MI Soc. of Professional Engineers (MSPE) MI Soc. of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) MI Water Environment Assn. (MWEA) MI!/usr/group (MUGORG) National Assn. of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) National Assn. of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

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Nat. Soc. of Black Engineers–Detroit Alumni Extension (NSBE-DAE) Net Impact Southeastern MI (NISEM) North Am. Soc. of Chinese Automotive Engineers (NACSAE) Project Mgmt. Inst.–Great Lakes Ch. (PMI) SAE Detroit Section (SAE-Detroit Section) SAE Mid MI (SAE-Mid MI) SAE Int’l (SAE-Intl) Safety Council for SE MI (SCSM) Saginaw Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) Soc. for Industrial & Applied Mathematics–Gr. Lakes Sec. (SIAM) Soc. for Marketing Professional Services–MI (SMPS) Soc. of Am. Military Engineers (SAME) Soc. of Am. Value Engineers–Greater MI Ch. (SAVE-GMC) Soc. of Applied Engineering Sciences (SAES) Soc. of Fire Protection Engineers–MI Ch. (SFPE) Soc. of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Soc. of Manufacturers’ Representatives (SMR) Soc. of Manufacturing Engineers–Detroit Ch. No. One (SME) Soc. of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Soc. of Plastics Engineers–Automotive Division (SPEA) Soc. of Plastics Engineers–Detroit (SPE-DETROIT) Soc. of Tribologists & Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Soc. of Women Engineers (SWE) SE MI Facility & Power Plant Engineers Soc. (SEMPPES) SE MI Soc. for Healthcare Engineering (SMSHE) SE MI Sustainable Business Forum (SMSBF) Southeastern MI Computer Organization, Inc. (SEMCO) Structural Engineers Assn. of MI–Am. Inst. of Steel Const. (SEAMi) Student Environmental Assn.–University of MI, Dearborn (SEA-UMD) TiE–The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) U.S. Green Building Council–Detroit Regional Ch. (USGBC-DRC) United States Army (USARMY) United States Navy (USNAVY)

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Profile for The Engineering Society of Detroit

TechCentury v24n3 Fall 2019  

Published by The Engineering Society of Detroit

TechCentury v24n3 Fall 2019  

Published by The Engineering Society of Detroit