Secure-24 Adds Cloud Engineering Desktop Service

SOUTHFIELD — The managed IT services provider Secure-24 has rolled out a managed, cloud-based engineering desktop for engineering firms that combines commonly used computer aided design resources into one service.

Secure-24 says the company’s new Engineering Desktops offering simplifies the management of engineering workstations used for 3D intensive applications such as AutoCAD, CATIA, Revit and Photoshop and secures high-value creative content by providing a virtual desktop with a dedicated, hardware-based graphics processor, in the company’s secure data centers.

Secure-24 says the product will offer customers a reduction in capital expenditures of high-use graphic workstations, reduced overhead of maintaining these workstations, increased data security, and faster onboarding of new engineering, design and creative staff.

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Baker College Auburn Hills Adds New Welding Programs

AUBURN HILLS — Baker College of Auburn Hills will launch two new welding programs beginning 2015 fall quarter. One is a certificate program, while the other is for an associate degree. Classes begin Monday, Sept. 28.

Those interested are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as enrollment may be limited. Classes will be held in the welding lab of Oakland Schools in Pontiac.

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AT&T Gets Federal Money For Rural Broadband Buildout

DETROIT — AT&T Inc. will receive nearly $30 million from the federal government to provide reasonably priced high-speed internet access to areas in Michigan where the company and the government say it’s costly and uneconomic to provide it.

The $29.7 million in funding will provide access to more than 86,000 rural homes and businesses across the state. The Michigan funding is among $428 million the company got from the FCC nationwide to provide service to more than 1.1 million rural homes and businesses.

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Kettering, Michigan Tech Top Graduates’ Salary List

HOUGHTON — Michigan Technological University ranks first among public universities in Michigan for the mid-career salaries earned by its graduates.

In’s latest College Salary Report, Michigan Tech also ranked 13th nationwide for mid-career salaries of graduates of public universities and 20th in the nation for mid-career engineering salaries.

The median mid-career salary reported for Michigan Tech was $99,900. The report also listed early-career salaries, defined as earnings by graduates who have been working five years or less in their fields. Michigan Tech graduates’ median early-career salary was $62,800, placing Tech seventh among public universities nationally. defines mid-career as 10 years or more of work in a field. Median means that half of those surveyed earned more and half earned less.

Kettering University in Flint topped the Michigan list, with early career pay of $64,700 and mid-career pay of $102,000. The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor was third on the list, with figures of $58,000 and $96,000 respectively. Lawrence Technological University was fourth, with figures of $56,600 and $94,000, and the University of Michigan – Dearborn was fifth, at $50,100 and $89.400.

Rounding out the Michigan top 10 were MIchigan State University, Oakland University, Alma College, Calvin College, and Wayne State University.

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ESD To Tour Macomb Emergency Operations Center

SOUTHFIELD — Members of the Engineering Society of Detroit can get a behind-the-scenes look at Macomb County’s Communications and Technology Center Thursday, Sept. 24.

Completed in December of 2013, the Macomb County Communications and Technology Center is a 25,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that provides 24/7 situational awareness for our residents, businesses and first responders. Whether it pertains to a routine traffic accident, fire or EMS call for service, road closure or an escalating emergency event such as severe weather, COMTEC is ready to assist.

The facility houses the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Centralized Dispatch, the Road Department Traffic Operations Center, the Information Technology Department and Data Center, and the Emergency Management & Communications Department. Placing all of these operation centers into one location allows COMTEC to maximize scarce resources and improve services.

These four areas of county operations are dependent on each other on a daily basis. This center satisfies the need for a central location that is operable 24/7 and has the ability to monitor, manage, prevent, protect and respond to any type of emergency situation throughout the county.

The tour will begin at 2:30 p.m. with registration and networking, with the tour running from 3 to 4 p.m. The cost of the tour is $25 for ESD members. Or join ESD for $75 — a 25 percent discount — and take the tour for free. (This offer is good for new, first-time members only.)

To sign up for the tour or for more information,  contact Matt Roush, ESD Director of Communications and Public Relations, at or (248) 353-0735, ext. 112.

Highlights of the center are a 20-by-50-foot video wall accessible to the Road Department, the Sheriff’s Dispatch and the Emergency Operations Center. There are also eight traffic monitoring stations, 25 dispatch stations, a centralized data center, emergency generator power, a computer lab and training center, and integrated communication and technology.

Systems Engineering: It’s A Bit Like Golf

SOUTHFIELD — A systems engineering expert used familiar
golf sayings to describe systems engineering concepts at a monthly meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering Thursday night at ESD Headquarters in Southfield.

Dave Walden, lead editor of the newly released fourth edition of the INCOSE Handbook, said there are plenty of parallels between golf, invented in 15th-century Scotland, and systems engineering, which originated as a military standard tying different engineering disciplines together.

Walden, who owns the Minnesota systems engineering firm Sysnovation LLC, gave the following examples:

* “It matters what you do before you play the round.” In short, train. Don’t try out a new swing on the golf course. Don’t try out new systems engineering concepts on an important project.

* “Know the course.” Study the project before you begin.

* “Drive for show, putt for dough.” This old saying means that the best golfers frequently putt better than they hit the driver off the tee. Golfers use their driver 14 times a round, but their putter as many as 36. The short strokes are the most important. Similarly, the shorter, less glamorous steps to a successful systems engineering project are very important.

* “Trees are 90% air.” This is frequently said by a golfer trying to hit through a tree blocking the path to the green. Fact is, that’s hardly ever a good idea. Systems engineers have to make tough decisions and stick to them.

* “Sometimes it is better to lay up.” In other words, don’t try to hit an impossible shot. Or try the impossible in a project.

* “A short putt never goes in.” So don’t ever hit one less hard
than you need. And in a project, always do more than the minimum.

* “Every hole is a new hole.” In other words, don’t bring the baggage of your last failure along with you. Don’t repeat your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them, and move on. Better yet, learn from others’ mistakes.

* “Scramble teams do much better than any one person.” In a golf scramble, everyone hits from the best shot of the four participants on a team. And systems engineering is a team activity, so make sure you have the right team in place. Leverage each other’s strengths and accommodate each others’ weaknesses.

* “It matters what you sign.” Golfers who forget rules or fudge on scorecards face big penalties. So remember the rules, and don’t sign anything that goes against them.

* “Clubs are NOT the limiting factor of my game!” Some golfers feel a better club will make them a much better golfer — but they’re rarely right. In systems engineering, that means avoiding over-
reliance on tools — as the saying goes, “A fool with a tool is still a fool.”

* “Replace your divots.” “Reseed the tee box.” In golf, that means take care of the course to ensure it stays in good shape. In systems engineering, that means give back and mentor the next generation.

More about Walden’s business at More about the Michigan INCOSE chapter at

Also at the event, Matt Roush, ESD Director of Communications and Public Relations, gave a brief presentation to the group about the programs and services of the Society.

Walden was to give an indepth presentation on the new systems engineering handbook at ESD Friday.

ESD Tours Guardian Glass Plant

CARLETON — Members of The Engineering Society of Detroit enjoyed a tour of the Guardian Industries Inc. glass plant in Carleton Thursday afternoon.

The plant, built in 1970, is capable of producing up to about 1,000 tons of float glass a day on its two lines. It employs just over 400 and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

It produces both architectural glass and automotive glass, which is generally tinted darker.

Construction on the massive plant began in 1969. At the time, it was one of only a handful of float glass plants in the world. A revolutionary technology introduced in the United Kingdom in 1959, float glass is manufactured by pouring molten glass onto one end of a shallow “bath” of molten tin at about 2,000 degrees. The molten glass is shaped into a ribbon, and floats on the tin until it cools to about 1,100 degrees, cool enough to be taken up by rollers without marring the surface.

At Guardian, raw materials — silica sand, soda ash, limestone and other ingredients — enter the furnace and are heated to 2,900 degrees. Then they’re poured onto the tin bath. At the end of the bath, the glass is carefully cooled through a temperature-controlled kiln called a lehr down to 125 degrees. Then the glass is further cooled by forced air, cut to customer-specific dimensions, and packed by employees and robotic arms for coating or direct shipment to customers.

Guardian dates back to 1932, when it was established in Detroit as a windshield manufacturer. Legendary CEO William Davidson — a nephew of an early investor in the company — took over in 1957, leading both Guardian’s initial public stock offering in 1969 and taking the company private again in 1985. Davidson was born in Detroit in 1922 and was a World War II veteran who earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Wayne State University after the war. His business experience before Guardian included turnarounds at a pharmaceutical wholesaler and a surgical supply company. He also owned the Detroit Pistons from 1974 until his death in 2009.

After building the Carleton plant, Guardian added float glass plants in California and Texas in the 1970s, expanded into Europe in the 1980s, and spread around the world in the 1990s, with plants in Venezuela, Hungary, Thailand, India, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. In the 2000s, it added plants in Poland, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. (The heavy weight of glass makes it impractical to ship long distances, so plants tend to be close to customers.) The company also continued its U.S. expansion and now has seven float glass plants in the United States.

In 2000, Guardian opened its Science and Technology Center, located across the street from the Carleton plant. More than 70 scientists, engineers and technicians work to make glass perform in new ways. Crain’s Detroit Business has named the STC one of Michigan’s top generators of intellectual property among commercial and educational organizations. The STC was expanded in early 2015.

In addition to its glassmaking operations for the commercial, residential and automotive industries, Guardian is also one of the world’s largest suppliers of advanced, high value coatings on plastics for the automotive, commercial truck and consumer goods industries and is one of North America’s leading distributors of building products.

Stardock Names VP Business Development

PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth software and computer game developer Stardock has named Chris Kowal vice president of business development. Kowal has 17 years of technology leadership experience, including stints at Compuware, Chase and EdgeRunner.

“Exponential growth is in our near future,” said Brad Wardell, Stardock president and CEO. “We require a business development leader with strong vision and a depth of experience to maximize our potential without overextending. Kowal has the right mix of skills to lead growth both within Stardock and in our industry as a whole.”

In his new role Kowal will lead Stardock’s worldwide game and software publishing, ensuring that game developers have the support they need to bring successful games to market, and that everyday business people have software that makes the most of the latest innovations from Microsoft and other Stardock partners.

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UM Experiments Seek Answers To The Future of Milkweed, Monarchs

PELLSTON — The milkweed plants growing in 40 cube-shaped chambers on a hilltop at the University of Michigan Biological Station in northern Lower Michigan provide a glimpse into the future that allows researchers to ask a question: How will monarch butterflies fare?

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LLamasoft Adds New Partners For Supply Chain Data

ANN ARBOR — LLamasoft, the Ann Arbor developer of supply chain design and analysis software, Wednesday announced partnerships with three supply chain companies to provide more data to its modeling customers.

Transplace, a Frisco, Texas-based supply chain technology company and long-term LLamasoft partner, increased engagement with LLamasoft customers by providing intra-Mexico benchmark truckload rate data. This data complements data already available for Mexico-to-United States truckload rates and intra-U.S. truckload rates.

Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium is a Raleigh, N.C.-based provider of supply chain management benchmarking and best practices. The consortium now supplies LLamasoft with a sampling of its database, including metrics around freight spend, sourcing, inventory turns and distribution center operations.

Xeneta, a, Oslo, Norway-based sea freight intelligence platform, now provides LLamasoft with benchmark port-to-port ocean service contract rates, information that LLamasoft said is highly sought after and difficult to gather. LLamasoft will continue to offer an ocean tariff module as part of their standard Data Services subscription but this additional data will only be offered in the LLamasoft Data Services premium subscription package.

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