Tech Design Expo showcases program’s real-world projects

File photo Michigan Tech’s annual Design Expo last April provides Enterprise teams the opportunity to display their designs, inventions and projects to the public. It is also a competition in which projects are judged. The April 13 event is open to the public.

HOUGHTON — Michigan Technological University’s Enterprise Program has grown dramatically in its 17 years, according to Joseph Thompson of Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College and the program’s project manager.

“Implemented in 2000 with grant funding under the NSF Action Agenda for Systemic Engineering Education Reform,” Thompson said, “the program is now 100 percent externally supported by our industry partners, engaged alumni and other external sources.”

For the 2016-17 academic year, Enterprise teams are currently working on several projects, Thompson said.

“(There are team) projects covering app development, steel production, computational fluid dynamic modeling for commercial product development, and automotive component manufacturing,” Thompson said.

Along with those projects, teams are also working on alloy development; casting simulations and process improvements; electric vehicle charging infrastructure; energy conserving consumer products; and connect car testing protocols. Teams are also engaged in naval rescue systems; organic food production management software; mining economic and environmental impact studies; wearable medical technologies; and hybrid vehicle battery repurposing among others.

“This list does not include internally generated or entrepreneurial projects the Enterprise teams also work on,” Thompson said. “Some of these projects, both industry sponsored and internal, will be featured at the Michigan Tech Design Expo 2017.”

Held April 13 in the Memorial Union Building’s Ballroom, the Design Expo is Michigan Tech’s annual event to celebrate and honor designs, inventions and projects Enterprise teams have done over the year.

“The Design Expo is open to the public, and we encourage the local community to attend.” Thompson said.