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LTU professor puts community mapping into the hands of the people with mobile mapping cart

A Lawrence Technological University professor is leading a community mapping project in Detroit. And though he may be Principal Investigator of Mapping + Humanities, Dr. Joongsub Kim, Ph.D., has designed it in a way that makes the community members themselves the true leaders of the project.

Dr. Kim, Professor, and Director of LTU’s Master of Urban Design program, and his team have designed a mobile mapping cart to allow community members of Detroit’s West End neighborhood to map and document their neighborhood and tell their own stories.

The mapping cart is attached to a bicycle, and local high school students ride it around the neighborhood. Drawings, pictures, and infographics are then created to be incorporated into maps. Captured are things that affect people’s daily lives, vacant buildings but also historically significant buildings and other community assets.

The spectacle of a bike-pulled mapping cart is also meant to draw crowds, facilitating conversations and the sharing of stories between neighbors.

"We’d like to make sure that the community is able to design and build their own maps so that they have ownership and want to use them rather than have outside planners coming in and saying, Here’s a plan for you, here’s a map for you, now use it," says Dr. Kim.

"This is to give people a sense of voice and empowerment."

Mapping + Humanities is a multi-tier program. Following a November exhibition, the first mapping cart will be given to the community in December. In the meantime, planning sessions are being held with local high school students. A manual will then be put together, and the high school students will be helped in making their own mapping cart.

Mapping + Humanities is a collaboration between Urban Design and Humanities programs at LTU and West Grand Boulevard Collaborative in Detroit’s West End neighborhood. A Michigan Humanities Council Grant funds it.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


Speaker series examines both how to get better jobs and how to provide them

A speaking event for employees and the companies that employ them is taking place at Lawrence Technological University this month.

It’s a result of radio station WWJ Newsradio 950 and Lawrence Technological University partnering for another year of their Leaders and Innovators business speaker series.

This year’s programming, which runs through mid-April, kicks off with the Your Next Job event on Thursday, Sept. 20. Your Next Job will examine both how employees can improve their chances of landing better jobs but also how employers can better retain employees, thus dissuading them from leaving for competitors.

According to a release, a recent study shows that six out of 10 employees would leave their current company for better pay and/or benefits.

Murray Feldman, business editor for WWJ Newsradio 950, will moderate the event. The panel will include Pete Davis, president of Impact Management Services, an employee recruitment and personnel consulting firm with offices in Southfield, Chesterfield Township, Chicago, and Appleton, Wisconsin.

Additional events include:

  • Thursday, Oct. 18: Weed in the Workplace
  • Thursday, Nov. 15: Crash Course: Financial Fitness in the Workplace
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019: Business and Taxation
  • Thursday, March 21, 2019: Women Entrepreneurs
  • Thursday, April 18, 2019: Topic to be determined


The first event in the Leaders and Innovators business speaker series, Your Next Job, is on Thursday, Sept. 20 at the University Technology and Learning Center Gallery at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. A continental breakfast and networking sessions begin at 7:30 a.m. The program runs from 8 to 9 a.m.

Visit the event online for ticket information.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


MiCareerQuest Southeast nearly sold out as more than 9,000 students registered for inaugural event

More than 9,000 high school students from nearly 100 southeast Michigan schools have registered for MiCareerQuest Southeast, the region’s largest-ever career exploration event, which takes place November 28.

The huge response has shattered event organizer expectations, who anticipate the 10,000-student limit will be reached much sooner than planned. Once the limit is reached, schools will be placed on a waiting list, as each school’s registration numbers and arrival schedule are confirmed in early October.

“The strong response to MiCareerQuest Southeast is very exciting,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. “I think everyone recognizes this is not your typical job fair, and they want their students to be part of it. We’re connecting working professionals eager to demonstrate what they do on the job with young people who want to learn as much as they can about the career opportunities before them. We have room for less than 1,000 more students. If your school has not registered yet, do it now. I would hate for an interested student to miss out on this singular event.”

High schools interested in registering should visit OakGov.com/MiCareerQuestSE. The school registration period will close on October 1, or when all the available student slots are filled.

Event organizers started communicating with public and private schools in February. Notices were sent to all public high schools by the Intermediate School Districts in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston and Monroe counties.

More than 90 companies, trade associations, labor organizations, universities, community colleges and vocational schools are participating in the event, with new ones committing each day. They are preparing hands-on, interactive demonstrations to showcase the skills and education needed to compete for today’s most in-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology. The event will feature a minimum of 20 occupations in each of the four career quadrants. The current list of participating exhibitors can be found at OakGov.com/MiCareerQuestSE.

“Our exhibitors are putting a lot of thought and energy into this event so they can grab the attention and imaginations of students, many of whom are considering their career options for the first time,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, Oakland County manager of workforce development and one of the lead planners of MiCareerQuest Southeast. “Our ultimate goal is to feed the long-term talent pipeline in southeast Michigan, a challenge shared by virtually all of our employers.”

MiCareerQuest Southeast is being organized by the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs and Michigan Works! The Michigan Talent Investment Agency is presenting sponsor. Platinum sponsors include Beaumont Health (health sciences quadrant) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (advanced manufacturing quadrant). In addition, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council and MUST (Management and Unions Serving Together) have joined together for the platinum sponsorship in the construction quadrant.

Event organizers are still seeking a platinum sponsor for the information technology quadrant. Additional major sponsors include Oakland Community College and Automation Alley. There also are more than 20 smaller sponsors, representing their respective career quadrants. The full list of sponsors is available at the event website. Organizations interested in a sponsorship should contact Beth Tomaszewski at tomaszewskie@oakgov.com.

Lawrence Tech President's Symposium to cover future of transportation, self-driving cars

Excerpt: 

Communities and society are profoundly affected by how efficiently, effectively, and safely people and goods move. But what are the proper roles of society and industry in designing future transportation systems?

In the 2018 installment of the President’s Symposium Series at Lawrence Technological University on Thursday, Oct. 11, a panel of experts will discuss those roles, and explore the full-scale implementation of autonomous and advanced driver-assist technologies.

Read more.

Lawrence Tech President's Symposium to cover future of transportation, self-driving cars

Communities and society are profoundly affected by how efficiently, effectively, and safely people and goods move. But what are the proper roles of society and industry in designing future transportation systems?

In the 2018 installment of the President’s Symposium Series at Lawrence Technological University on Thursday, Oct. 11, a panel of experts will discuss those roles, and explore the full-scale implementation of autonomous and advanced driver-assist technologies.

The event is titled “Accessibility, Mobility, and Connectivity: The Edge of Future Transportation Systems.” Moderating the panel discussion will be Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle, PE, a 1987 Lawrence Tech engineering alumnus, who recently announced his retirement after 31 years with the state agency. Panelists for the event are to include:

  • Carla Bailo, president and CEO, Center for Automotive Research, a non-profit organization in Ann Arbor that conducts research and analysis to educate and advise stakeholders, policy makers, and the general public on critical issues facing the auto industry, and the industry's impact on the U.S. economy and society.
  • Soraya Kim, chief innovation officer, American Center for Mobility, a non-profit testing and product development center for connected and automated vehicle technology, located on the former Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township.
  • Alisyn Malek, chief operating officer and co-founder, May Mobility Inc., an Ann Arbor-based  developer of autonomous vehicles, funded by BMW and Toyota, among others.
  • Douglas Patton, senior technical advisor, DENSO International America Inc., the Southfield-based U.S. headquarters of the Japanese auto supplier.
  • Jeremy Tuggle, engineering manager, systems engineering and testing, Continental Corp., Auburn Hills, the U.S. headquarters of the German auto supplier Continental AG.

The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m. The venue is the Mary E. Marburger Auditorium, Room S100, Science Building, LTU, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road, Southfield, MI, 48075 (see www.ltu.edu/map). The event is sponsored by LTU’s College of Engineering.

“This event will feature people who are at the top of their field, discussing state-of-the-art technology in mobility,” said Nabil Grace, dean of the College of Engineering at Lawrence Tech. “These technologies, in transportation and infrastructure, represent the future of Michigan. Students and young people in particular should be interested in this program, because these are the technologies they will be working on in their future careers.”

LTU’s President’s Symposium is an annual presentation series created by Virinder Moudgil, the university’s president since 2012, focusing on technology and its applications to improve the quality of life.

The President’s Symposium is free and open to the public. For further information, contact Tamara Botzen, administrative assistant, Office of the Dean, College of Engineering, at tbotzen@ltu.edu or (248) 204-2500.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.


LTU Self-driving champs

Lawrence Technological University has once again established itself as a leader in the field of autonomous vehicles.

The Southfield-based university won the Self-Drive Challenge contest at the 26th Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC), which was held June 1 through 4 at Oakland University in Rochester. It’s the second year in a row that LTU has won the contest.

The team of LTU students created ACTor, or Autonomous Campus Transport/Taxi, a self-driving campus shuttle bus. The vehicle was judged on a range of tasks, including lane-following and -changing, obstacle avoidance, reading traffic signs, detecting potholes and avoiding them, and more.

C.J. Chung, professor of computer science at LTU and the winning team leader, says that contests like the IGVC both prepares students for the workforce while simultaneously advancing the fields of technology. Students are solving real-world problems while applying lessons learned.

“Driving at night, or in the fog--there are so many unknown environments that self-driving cars can be driving in,” Chung says.

“To be a real product, reliability needs to be 100 percent.”

The contest allowed companies the ability to get a sneak peek of what’s coming down the talent pipeline. It’s a talented future workforce, says Chung, and one upon which the industry relies.

Since winning the competition, students are now reprogramming ACTor to serve as an actual autonomous taxi on the LTU campus.

LTU’s competitors in the contest included University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, and New York University. The winning team received $3,000 and a plaque.

“Detroit is the automotive hub. We should work hard to be the leader in this industry of self-driving vehicles, as well,” says Chung.

“Universities need to provide a talented workforce in order to do that.”

Visit Driven and learn how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.

Rochester's Oakland University to turn bed and breakfast into living learning community

Excerpt

The former Cobblestone Manor Bed and Breakfast in Auburn Hills will be leased to Oakland University in Rochester for Honors College students as part of an agreement between the Moceri family and the university, officials announced.

Read more

Lawrence Tech business incubator wins NEI grant, looks toward expansion

The LTU Collaboratory, Lawrence Technological University’s business incubator and accelerator, is planning to expand its business and technology-based mentorship services, workshops, and events. The move is made possible thanks to a one-year $40,000 grant from the New Economy Initiative. It’s the first time NEI has awarded a grant to the Southfield-based university.

Small manufacturers and emerging hardware startups in Southeast Michigan stand to benefit most from the grant. The money will also be used to engage more high schoolers, college students, and young adults in product and manufacturing-related innovation challenges.

"As a leading resource to small and start-up companies developing innovative, engineered products, the LTU Collaboratory can now provide additional key resources for these companies to grow and scale up their operations, thanks to this NEI grant," said Mark Brucki, executive director of community and corporate partnerships at LTU.

"We are looking forward to getting more students involved in manufacturing as well."

It’s another improvement for the LTU Collaboratory. LTU is planning on a new 6,300 sq. ft. accelerator space for its Southfield campus by spring 2019.

NEI Senior Program Officer Maria LaLonde cites Southeast Michigan’s abundance of engineering talent, manufacturing expertise, patent research initiatives, and export activity in praising the deal.

"We are very excited to be partnering with LTU to offer small manufacturers and hardware entrepreneurs critical resources to keep them on the leading edge of innovation and growth," said LaLonde.

"As a university-based accelerator program, LTU is also a key partner to engage and develop the next generation of design, engineering and manufacturing talent in Michigan."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


Cleary University launches project management program in partnership with Automation Alley

Excerpt

Cleary University, a business university with its main campus in Howell, has announced the launch of the Project Management Professionals program, a 35-hour, instructor-led online course.

The program is designed for professionals who are already in project management. Cleary used data insights from Automation Alley, a technology and manufacturing business association in Troy, to help develop the program’s curriculum to be reflective of current employer needs.

Read more

Birmingham team takes home top prize at World Robofest Championship

Almost 100 teams from lands near and far, from Hong Kong to South Africa to the state of Illinois, descended upon the campus of Lawrence Technological University for the annual World Robofest Championship. But it was a team from Birmingham, Michigan’s own Roeper School that took home this year’s top prize.

On Saturday, May 19, Lawrence Technological University (LTU) hosted the 19th annual competition on its campus. The Southfield-based school has been hosting Robofest since C.J. Chung, professor of computer science at LTU, founded the contest in 1999.

Each Robofest pits teams of students against each other as they work to build and program autonomous robots that aren’t remote controlled. Robots then must complete a series of tasks.

This year’s Robofest required the robots to complete the Autonomous Tennis Ball Challenge. Students had to program their robots to collect tennis balls off a table and deposit them in a box, all while knocking water bottles off the table.

Blood, Sweat and Gears, the team from Birmingham’s Roeper School, took home the top prize in the Senior Game division, made up of students from grades nine through twelve.

"Metro Detroit is in the automotive sector. Automotive technology is moving toward self-driving and connected vehicles. All the technologies learned in Robofest are connected to the development of future self-driving and connected vehicles," says Chung.

"This started in metro Detroit and has a strong impact on the world. Our area is leading the technology for the future by training young people first."

In the Junior Game division, made up of fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, Insele Solutions of Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, took home the gold, with teams from Aurora, Illinois, and Goyang, South Korea, as runners-up. Teams from Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, and Seoul, South Korea, rounded out the top three in the senior circuit.

More than 23,000 students have participated in the World Robofest Championship since its founding in 1999.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


Apprenticeships critical as Oakland County deals with talent shortage in skilled trades

Excerpt

Carlea Johnson, 17, said she fell in love with the sound of a miter saw at 15 years old.

The Pontiac High School junior’s grandfather owned a construction company. She spent a lot of time during her younger years talking about the industry with him. That inspired her to get involved in the skilled trades. Her mom and aunt were also involved in construction.

Johnson is currently enrolled in the Oakland Schools Construction Technology Apprenticeship Program – a partnership between Oakland Schools, Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 1076 in Pontiac, and the Michigan Laborers’ Training Apprenticeship Institute.

Read more

Earn Personal Trainer Certification through Oakland University PACE program

This summer, Oakland University’s Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) is partnering with World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) to offer a Personal Trainer Certificate Program

“The health and fitness industry is booming, and this growth is expected to continue,” said Amy Olind, assistant director of PACE. “As a result, there are a variety of employment opportunities available for personal trainers holding a legitimate certification, and we are proud to provide the opportunity to achieve this at OU.”

Through the Personal Trainer Certificate Program, students will complete coursework that will prepare them to obtain Certified Personal Trainer – Level 1 status. Individuals with this certification help to improve overall health and fitness of clients ranging in age, health and fitness status through the development and implementation of fitness programs required for practice in the service industry in the United States.

“This program is ideal for those who are passionate about fitness and who are also looking to either change careers or earn some extra money doing what they love,” Olind said.

The cost of the course is $700 for current OU Recreation Center members (students and community), and $800 for non-members. It includes 15 hours of lecture and 15 hours of practical, hands-on training led by Erin Davidson, M.S., OU’s fitness programs and services coordinator, at OU’s on-campus recreation center (a four-month membership to the Rec Center is included in program tuition).

Additionally, included in the program cost is the opportunity for students to complete a comprehensive internship at a local fitness facility.

“W.I.T.S. is a fully accredited organization that provides a rigorous, up-to-date curriculum, and the course includes an extensive hands-on component,” Olind said. “This really caused them to stand out from their competitors, as we felt this experiential learning was a necessary piece of the training required to enter this field.”

After completing the 30-hour program, candidates receive a voucher to register with W.I.T.S. to take the written and practical examinations required to become a CPT – Level 1, and completion of the internship component allows for receipt of CPT – Level 2 status.

According to Olind, the courses will be offered twice a year, with the initial offering beginning in summer 2018 on Mondays and Wednesdays starting July 23 through Aug. 22 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

“This program is open to community members and Oakland students alike, and we look forward to helping health and fitness enthusiasts from a variety of backgrounds reach their goals,” Olind said.

To receive updates about registration, sign up on the CPT Course Pre-Registration website. To learn more about the program, visit oakland.edu/pace/health-sciences/personal-trainer or contact PACE at oupace@oakland.edu.

START HERE…FINISH HERE: Oakland University, Oakland Community College team up on digital campaign

It is Oakland University’s brand promise and the inspiration for what is believed to be Michigan’s first cobranded billboard campaign among two higher educational institutions. 
 
As another step in its longstanding partnership, Oakland University and Oakland Community College have teamed up to create the innovative campaign, which includes 12 digital billboards over six weeks primarily located in Oakland County, starting May 21. The two halves of the billboard merge to show student progression from OCC and OU. On the left side are the words, “START HERE” with the OCC logo; “FINISH HERE” and the OU logo are on the right side. 
 
The idea is to encourage prospective students to start their college career at OCC and finish it at OU.
 
“We are very excited to partner with Oakland University on this innovative, fresh and cost-efficient campaign,” said Theodore G. Coutilish, vice chancellor for marketing and community relations, OCC. “We both have excellent faculty, facilities and academic programs that appeal to a wide range of students.”
 
OU and OCC are sharing the campaign cost evenly.
 
“Community colleges are a vital component of higher education in our state,” said John O. Young, Oakland University vice president for communications and marketing. “Encouraging people to start or return to college is very important to our region and we are happy to be a part of this initiative with OCC.”
 
For more information about OU and OCC, visit oakland.edu or oaklandcc.edu, respectively. 
 
About OCC
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve.  More than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

About Oakland University
 Oakland University is a doctoral, research university located on 1,443 acres of scenic land in the cities of Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills in Oakland County, Michigan. The University has 140 bachelor's degree programs and 137 graduate degree and certificate programs. Oakland is a nationally recognized public university with more than 19,000 students. Academics include the School of Music, Theatre and Dance and nearly 100 other majors housed within the College of Arts and Sciences as well as an Honors College and professional schools that include the School of Business Administration, School of Education and Human Services, School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Entrepreneurial competition rewards idea generation

Equipped with just three slides and four minutes, the five finalists of a school-wide business idea pitch competition, sponsored by OU’s School of Business Administration, presented their ideas to a panel of experienced entrepreneurial-minded professionals for the chance to win cash awards.  

Open to all OU students, the competition invited participants to submit a proposal detailing an idea for a product, service or social enterprise that would benefit the Oakland University community. From the 25 submitted proposals, judges selected five finalists who then took part in pitch development workshop to help them prepare for the last phase of the competition. 

“Hats off to the students because they had some pretty complex concepts they had to explain in a very short time,” says Gregory Doyle, manager at Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center, who served as one of the judges. Ray Gunn, MGT ‘80, president, Schechter Wealth, and Jim Roberts, CEO, Jim Roberts Enterprises, also served as judges. 

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and competition coordinator Jae Kang, Ph.D., points out that “unlike other business plan competitions, the focus of this competition was idea generation. Unfortunately, many business plans go to the trash can because they start from ill-defined ideas, or uncreative ideas. This event is designed to help the student with the initial idea.” 

Whether launching a startup or entering an established company, the problem identification and solution process is a valuable skill for any business-minded professional. 

“Developing a business idea helps you think outside of the box,” says Samantha Roberts, MKT ‘18, the $1,000 silver winner. “You have to think of potential issues and resolve them before anyone even asked. This competition helped me to be able to fully analyze a situation and come up with solutions.” Roberts’ pitch proposed PodU, a podcast-based app to connect students to lectures and class materials. 

“It was one of my best experiences at Oakland, I’ve become famous,” says Fawaz Alkhudhayr, engineering junior, who took home the $2,000 gold award. Alkhudhayr’s proposal aimed to add diverse food options on campus by introducing a middle eastern food, snack and juice truck. 

“I’m interested in taking any chance that comes my way,” says Alkhudhayr. “When you get email from your University, don’t ignore it. You should take a look, think about it. You don’t always know where your success will come from.” 

Patrick Adamus, marketing junior, captured the $500 bronze award for his idea to create an Oakland Network app, which would include sections on parking availability, professor ratings, discussion boards and petitions. 

Judges were impressed by the imagination and work that went into all the submissions and presentations by the finalists. 

“As judges, we really focused on how well thought out the idea was, the clarity of the presentation and the feasibility and approach to solve the stated problem,” says Gunn. “Alkhudhayr stood out because of his relentless passion for his idea combined with his ability to identify and address a real problem: the need for variety in food options on campus.” 

“There’s an awful lot of talent at Oakland University and I’m sure I was only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” says Doyle. “There were some brilliant students and I’m looking forward to next year’s competition. It was just a great experience for everybody who participated.”

High score: Lawrence Tech ranks in the top 50 for game design programs for third straight year

Video game fans take note: Lawrence Technological University's game design program has now ranked in the Top 50 of undergraduate schools for game design for the third straight year. The Princeton Review, in a reporting partnership with the PC Gamer magazine, publishes the rankings.

LTU comes in at number 34 among schools to study game design in the United States, Canada, and abroad.

According to officials from the Southfield-based private university, LTU's program is different than most because of its focus on both art and design. Lawrence Tech offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Game Software Development concentration.

"It is an honor being ranked among the best undergraduate programs in the world," Marshall "Mars" Ashton, assistant professor in LTU’s College of Architecture and Design and director of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art program at the university, said in a statement. "Despite how young both the Game Art and Game Software Development programs are, we have seen an incredible amount of progress as we contribute to the field at large and the development of the Michigan game development community."

The Princeton Review created a 40-question survey to determine the rankings of 150 programs based on academic offerings, lab facilities, and more. Also taken into account are alumni achievements, like graduates' starting salaries and career achievements. They then generated and analyzed over 40 data points in academics, faculty, technology, and careers to create the rankings.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
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