Category Archives: ESD Tours

ESD Sponsoring Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills

SOUTHFIELD — Join your fellow members of The Engineering Society of Detroit Friday, March 31 for a special tour of the first Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house built in the Detroit metropolitan area.

The Gregor S. & Elizabeth B. Affleck House, built in 1941 in Bloomfield Hills, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places before it was 50 years old.  The house represents one of the finest examples of the architect’s Usonian style — the last great period of Wright’s career — when his goal was to fill a need for low-cost housing for the average American.  Inspired by Wright’s Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania, the Afflecks requested him to design their new home.  Wright responded by directing Gregor and Elizabeth to find a beautiful site which others may have considered “unbuildable” — and then he proceeded to design a unique house in harmony with nature and the home’s steep hillside site.

The Affleck family donated the house to Lawrence Technological University in 1978 for educational use in the university’s architecture and design programs.

One of our tour’s acting docents, LTU assistant professor Janice K. Means — past Chair of the ESD Affiliate Council and a member of the LTU Affleck House Restoration Committee — said:  “Lawrence Tech has an ongoing project to restore this amazing house with its treed site.  Now we wish to share this gem with the community.”

She added: “I know of no other Frank Lloyd Wright house where attendees are invited to sit in original Wright-designed chairs and take personal photos within the house.”

Attendees will experience a few of Wright’s innovations in this house — his use of the then-exotic material we know today as plywood for much of the home’s furniture; the use of combined floor mounted operable  windows and high clerestory windows to enhance natural cooling; indirect lighting from cove-mounted luminaires; a cleverly concealed half bath tucked into minimal space; a surprising amount of built-in storage space; and radiant heating from hot water running through cast iron pipes in the floor, a system that is still in use today.

Due to the historical status and intimate nature of the Affleck House, many rooms and passageways are very narrow and therefore the house is not wheelchair accessible.  Limited photography, for personal use only, is permitted.  In consideration of our other guests, handheld cameras only, no tripods or flash photography.

To register call (248) 353-0735 x 222. or visit http://ww2.esd.org/EVENTS/2017/2017-03-FLW-House-tour.htm.

Two ESD Tours Coming Up — The Internet and 3D Printing

SOUTHFIELD — It’s last call for the latest exclusive Engineering Society of Detroit members-only tour — “Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth” with 123.net in Southfield, Wednesday, Feb. 17.

The tour begins at 3 p.m. with registration and networking and wraps up by 4:30. 123.net is located at 24700 Northwestern Highway, Suite 700, in Southfield.

Seems like everyone is talking about gigabit connectivity these days, but do Michigan engineers and entrepreneurs really understand fiber, how it works and why it’s important? And do people understand the physical infrastructure of the internet — and as data becomes an increasingly important business asset, should they?

With the tour of 123.net, you can better understand how the internet really works.

Despite all the conversation about “virtualization,” the internet is, in fact, a very tangible thing. At 123.Net, participants will see one of the state’s most connected buildings, a place where a massive data center connects to a state-wide fiber network and numerous wireless Points of Presence. The building is also home to the Detroit Internet Exchange, and sits on top of Michigan’s most connected intersection — M-10 (the Lodge Freeway), 10 Mile Road and and Evergreen Road.

The tour is $25 for ESD members; non-members can join ESD for $75 (a 25% discount) and attend the tour for free. (This offer is for new, first-time members only.)

Call 248-353-0735, ext. 222, to register by phone.

The next ESD tour, “The Cutting Edge of 3D Printing & Beyond,” will be held at Troy’s Altair Engineering on Wednesday, March 9, with registration and networking at 2:30 p.m. and the tour from 3 to 4 p.m. Altair is at 1820 E. Big Beaver Road.

Altair is a global leader in simulation, virtualization and engineering. The tour will visit the garages where Altair Engineering is working on the next generation of bus design, labs where Altair develops the next generation of 3D modeling and simulation software, product engineering and industrial design, and check out the latest in 3D printing technology. Founded in 1985, Altair now operates in 22 countries and has more than 2,000 employees.

More at http://www.esd.org.

ESD Tours MSU’s FRIB: A Photo Gallery

EAST LANSING — A dozen members of The Engineering Society of Detroit got a first-hand look at what will become the world’s most powerful linear accelerator Thursday, as ESD offered a members-only tour of the new Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University.

The FRIB is a $730 million federally funded nuclear research center scheduled to go live in 2022. MSU officials say it’s two orders of magnitude more powerful than any other linear accelerator designed to accelerate large atoms like uranium.

It has four scientific aims — studying the properties of atomic nuclei; astrophysics, understanding nuclear processes in the cosmos; defense and homeland security, including applications like nuclear material detection; and building the nation’s work force in nuclear physics.

Civil construction — the building itself — is scheduled to be complete next year (and the project is currently 10 weeks ahead of schedule).

The project has created 5,000 temporary construction jobs, and will have 400 permanent high-tech research jobs. The list of scientific users who will use the accelerator currently numbers 1,300.

The FRIB uses electromagnets powered by megawatts of electricity to accelerate a beam of ionized atoms up to nearly six-tenths of the speed of light — more than 350 million miles an hour. Magnets will also be used to bend the beam to obtain only the specific atoms desired. The atoms will be directed into a target, where the force of the collision will split them into other, less massive atoms. The debris will do everything from provide clues to the conditions of the early universe and the guts of stars, to create new isotopes that may have applications in medical treatments or imaging.

The main acceleration corridor is four feet of solid concrete more than 40 feet underground, 600 feet long, 75 feet wide and 15 high. It will be surrounded by huge rooms containing computers and other scientific gear, connected by more than 60 miles of cable.

MSU has long been a leader in nuclear physics research, having operated a cyclotron particle accelerator since 1961. In fact, it’s the No. 1 rated graduate program in nuclear physics in the nation — a reputation cemented by the FRIB.

Here are photos of Thursday’s tour:

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ESD members get an exclusive look at the FRIB’s science.

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ESD members check out a model of the FRIB.

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Workers atop what will become the deceleration stage of the FRIB.

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Inside what will become the particle generation area in the eastern end of the FRIB.

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Looking up from the acceleration tunnel of the FRIB up through the concrete that will shield its reactions from the outside world.

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In the floor of the acceleration tunnel are these surveyor’s markers, which will serve to align the acceleration machinery.

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The office building addition that will house the FRIB’s new staff.

Kick Off 2016 With An ESD Tech Tour

SOUTHFIELD — The beating heart of the electric grid. The world’s most advanced automotive powertrain laboratory. A $700 million investment in the world’s most advanced nuclear science. And a look at the guts of the Internet.

It’s all on tap for members of The Engineering Society of Detroit in the first two months of 2016, as ESD kicks off the New Year with four terrific members-only tours.

The tour calendar begins Thursday, Jan. 14 with a tour of the ITC Holdings Corp. Operations Control Room in Novi.

Come and see the control room that monitors the electric grid for millions of Americans — and learn about ITC’s efforts to make the electric grid more reliable, safe, secure and flexible.

The Operations Control Room (OCR) is the heartbeat of ITC’s operations. It has employees working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure the ITC systems in Michigan, the Midwest and the Great Plains are maintained and operated safely and reliably. Each employee station in the OCR has a monitor dedicated to the local news and weather to understand what’s happening in their respective regions.

The tour begins at 2 p.m. with registration and networking, with the tour from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The tour will begin in the south auditorium of ITC Holdings, 27175 Energy Way in Novi.

Next, on Thursday, Jan. 21, it’s a tour of the General Motors Co. powertrain research and development laboratory in Pontiac.

See the laboratory that produces some of the world’s most advanced automotive powertrains on this exclusive tour. It begins with registration at 1:30 p.m. and the tour from 2 ro 4 p.m.

Next, on Thursday, Feb. 4, it’s an inside peek at the newest research center at the nation’s No. 1 school for nuclear physics, Michigan State University — the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

ESD toured Michigan State University’s Cyclotron Laboratory last winter. Now, after a year of construction work, we’ll be looking at its replacement – the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a $730 million center for national nuclear physics research. Wear sturdy shoes and cold-weather gear — this is a hard-hat tour of construction as much as 40 feet underground through huge concrete chambers, where atomic nuclei will be accelerated to half the speed of light for nuclear research beginning in 2022. Tour is limited to 20 people.

The tour begins with registration at 2:30 p.m. with the tour from 3 to 4 p.m. The FRIB is located at 640 S. Shaw Lane in East Lansing.

Particle accelerators are among the highest forms of high-tech. They use magnets and high voltage to accelerate atoms close to the speed of light, and force them into collisions with a variety of materials and other particles. The resulting debris can produce clues to conditions of the early universe, shortly after the Big Bang. Accelerators also produce rare isotopes that are extremely valuable in medical imaging and other experimentation.

Due to national regulations, there are restrictions on the tour for citizens of Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria; contact ESD for details.

Finally, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, ESD will tour the data center of connectivity provider 123.Net at 24700 Northwestern Highway in Southfield.

This tour begins with registration at 3 p.m., with the tour running from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Despite all the conversation about “virtualization,” the internet is, in fact, a very tangible thing. At 123.Net, participants will see one of the state’s most connected buildings, a place where a massive data center connects to a state-wide fiber network and numerous wireless Points of Presence. The building is also home to the Detroit Internet Exchange, and sits on top of Michigan’s most connected intersection — M-10 (the Lodge Freeway), 10 Mile Road and Evergreen Road.

All ESD tours are members only. The cost of each tour is $25 for ESD members; non-members can join ESD for $75 (a 25% discount) and attend the tour for free. (This offer is for new, first-time members only.)

To register, visit the events section of http://www.esd.org, or call (248) 353-0735, ext. 222, to register by phone.

ESD Tour To Bring The Cloud Down To Earth

SOUTHFIELD — Seems like everyone is talking about gigabit fiber data connectivity these days, but do Michigan engineers and entrepreneurs really understand fiber, how it works and why it’s important? And do people understand the physical infrastructure of the internet — and as data becomes an increasingly important business asset, should they?

The Engineering Society of Detroit is inviting its members to tour the headquarters of the managed services provider 123.Net in Southfield to better understand how the internet really works.

Despite all the conversation about “virtualization,” the internet is, in fact, a very tangible thing. At 123.Net, participants will see one of the state’s most connected buildings, a place where a massive data center connects to a state-wide fiber network and numerous wireless Points of Presence. The building is also home to the Detroit Internet Exchange, and sits on top of Michigan’s most connected intersection — M-10 (the Lodge Freeway), 10 Mile Road and and Evergreen Road.

This is your chance to understand how the internet really works – bringing the cloud back down to earth, if you will.

The site offers plenty of convenient parking and easy access from all of Southeast Michigan. Sign up today at this link.

COST: $25 for ESD members; non-members can join ESD for $75 (a 25 percent discount) and attend the tour for free. (This offer is for new, first-time members only.)

TO REGISTER: Call 248-353-0735, ext. 222, to register by phone.

ESD Gets Members-Only Tour Of 3D Printing Firm

PONTIAC — Nearly 20 members of The Engineering Society of Detroit got a peek at the “next industrial revolution” Thursday with a tour of the 3D printing laboratory of Pontiac-based DASI Solutions.

DASI owner and co-founder David Darbyshire gave the members a detailed history of the family-owned business — which now employs four of the 11 children of David’s father, an engineer.

Continue reading ESD Gets Members-Only Tour Of 3D Printing Firm

See The Factory Of Tomorrow On 3D Printing Tour

SOUTHFIELD — Members of The Engineering Society of Detroit can get an exclusive, members-only tour of the factory of tomorrow when ESD visits DASI Solutions Inc. in Pontiac on Thursday, Nov. 12.

The event begins with registration and networking at 2:30 p.m. The official tour is scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. DASI is located at 31 Oakland Ave., Suite 100, Pontiac.

The cost of the tour is $25 for ESD members. Or, join ESD for $75 (a 25 percent discount) and take the tour free. (This offer good for new, first-time members only.)

To sign up for this tour, call (248) 353-0735, ext. 222, or visit http://ww2.esd.org/EVENTS/2015/2015-11-12-DASI-tour.htm.

What’s now known as 3D printing burst upon the manufacturing scene years ago as “rapid prototyping” and “additive manufacturing.” Now it’s going mainstream, as American manufacturers are using it to produce incredible, complex shapes and parts for a wide variety of industries, out of a wide variety of materials, from plastics of all types to metals. (There have even been experiments with 3D printed pizza!)

On this tour, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at one of Michigan’s most advanced 3D printing shops, DASI Solutions. We’ll start with an introduction to the business, and continue with a review of the company’s design and engineering staff and software.

Then on to the star of the show, a wide variety of 3D printers at work. We’ll show how DASI uses 3D printing for design validation and analysis in a wide variety of industries – aerospace, automotive, defense, dental, electronics, energy, medical, packaging and more.

You won’t want to miss this demonstration of manufacturing that can make anything the mind can conceive — from art to part!

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 mroush@esd.org 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.

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.

OU Engineering Center ESD Tour — A Photo Gallery

Here are photos from The Engineering Society of Detroit’s members-only tour of the new Oakland University Engineering Center on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015.

The tour begins in the lobby atrium of the Oakland University Engineering Center.
The tour begins in the lobby atrium of the Oakland University Engineering Center.
Some of the uniquely designed study and small group meeting spaces in the Oakland University Engineering Center.
Some of the uniquely designed study and small group meeting spaces in the Oakland University Engineering Center.

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This video screen just off the lobby at the Oakland University Engineering Center shows off the building's high tech and green energy features.
This video screen just off the lobby at the Oakland University Engineering Center shows off the building’s high tech and green energy features.

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Engineering students start with the basics -- a machine shop.
Engineering students start with the basics — a machine shop.

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This lab at the Oakland University Engineering Center works on autonomous vehicles.
This lab at the Oakland University Engineering Center works on autonomous vehicles.

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A 200-seat lecture hall, largest in the building.
A 200-seat lecture hall, largest in the building.

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A typical classroom in the Oakland University Engineering Center.
A typical classroom in the Oakland University Engineering Center.

 

 

 

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The OU Engineering Center is built into a hill. This is the exit on the second floor on the north end of the building, providing a gateway to the rest of the OU campus.
The OU Engineering Center is built into a hill. This is the exit on the second floor on the north end of the building, providing a gateway to the rest of the OU campus.

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Large video screens throughout the building highlight OU campus programs.
Large video screens throughout the building highlight OU campus programs.

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Another student lounge and study space.
Another student lounge and study space.
The robotics lab at the OU Engineering Center.
The robotics lab at the OU Engineering Center.
The thermodynamics lab at the OU Engineering Center.
The thermodynamics lab at the OU Engineering Center.
The alternative energy lab at the OU Engineering Center.
The alternative energy lab at the OU Engineering Center.
Just outside the alternative energy lab is a sedum roof for student experimentation, and racks for solar panels that will be installed.
Just outside the alternative energy lab is a sedum roof for student experimentation, and racks for solar panels that will be installed.

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From the fifth floor of the OU Engineering Center, yes, that's downtown Detroit's Renaissance Center on the horizon.
From the fifth floor of the OU Engineering Center, yes, that’s downtown Detroit’s Renaissance Center on the horizon.

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The sixth floor "penthouse" of the building features boilers, chillers, and two 250-kilowatt gas-fired turbine electric generators -- all so high tech it's quiet enough to carry on a normal conversation.
The sixth floor “penthouse” of the building features boilers, chillers, and two 250-kilowatt gas-fired turbine electric generators — all so high tech it’s quiet enough to carry on a normal conversation.

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The water evaporation unit atop the OU Engineering Center.
The water evaporation unit atop the OU Engineering Center.

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Up on the roof, the OU Engineering Center's solar photovoltaic array.
Up on the roof, the OU Engineering Center’s solar photovoltaic array.