Michigan Tech Prof Building Better Underwater Drones

HOUGHTON — Practically everybody has heard that an underwater drone armed with the best technology on the planet has descended repeatedly to the bottom of the Indian Ocean, trying to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — and that it has turned up nothing.

But if Nina Mahmoudian has her way, the next generation of autonomous underwater vehicles will have a much better chance of getting it right.

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URC Report: 1 In 5 Michigan Jobs Tied To Water Industries

MACKINAC ISLAND — It’s easy to recognize the importance of clean fresh water when you’re surrounded by it — as you are on Mackinac Island, and indeed in Michigan overall.

The five Great Lakes that hold nearly a quarter of the world’s surface fresh water are Michigan’s defining characteristic, identifying the state even on maps that aren’t labeled. And it turns those lakes are also a great driver of the Michigan economy.

At the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference, the University Research Corridor — the alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University — released a report on Michigan’s “blue economy,” showing it accounts for 718,000 Michigan jobs, one of five jobs in the state. Included are “core” water jobs in water science, engineering and infrastructure, “water-enabled” industries like agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and transportation, and “downstream” industries like tourism.

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Mackinac Day Two: STEM Education Front And Center

MACKINAC ISLAND — Ideas for improving Michigan’s standing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education were common as fudge Thursday on Mackinac Island at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

“How do we make STEM cool?” asked Mary Kramer, publisher of
Crain’s Detroit Business, to a panel of educators and experts
Thursday morning.

Lawrence Technological University president Virinder Moudgil talked about his university’s Robofest robotics program, which takes in kids as young as fourth grade.

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Attention Entrepreneurs: Here’s $1 Million

DETROIT — The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is returning this fall for a fifth year, offering $1 mlllion to entrepreneurs both in Michigan and worldwide.

Each year since 2010, AMIC has attracted entrants from across the
United States, and as far away as India, China, Abu Dhabi, South
Africa, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Argentina. The catch: AMIC winners are committed to remain in, or relocate their businesses to, Michigan.

The competition offers a $500,000 grand prize and $500,000 in other
cash and in-kind prizes.

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13 Counties Get $1.3 Billion Federal Manufacturing Grant

MACKINAC ISLAND — Thirteen Michigan counties and their economic development agencies and other local government will share $1.3 billion in federal funding over the next two years to boost manufacturing.

The counties banded together as Advance Michigan to seek the funding from the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Program. They received word of the grant Wednesday morning and made the announcement Wednesday afternoon at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

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ESD Golf Outing: Fun, Networking And A Great Cause

SOUTHFIELD — The Engineering Society of Detroit and its ESD Institute will sponsor its Third Annual Golf Outing Monday, June 2 at Oak Pointe Country Club in Brighton.

Registration, networking and a luncheon begin at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start for a four-person scramble at 12:30 p.m. A reception and open bar followed by dinner end the day at 5 p.m.

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MPC Day One Highlights: Shaky Economy, Ebullient Duggan

MACKINAC ISLAND — Gallup Inc. CEO Jim Clifton gave the Detroit Regional Chamber a bit of a chill at the opening of the Mackinac Policy Conference, and it had nothing to do with the icy waters of Lake Huron.

Clifton, author of “The Coming Jobs War,” said it’s his opinion that the lack of economic opportunity, not ideology or religion, drives terrorism. The most dangerous person in the world, Clifton said, is a young male without a job, and no hope of ever landing one — and there are hundreds of millions of them around the world.

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New Chamber Survey: Youth Don’t Think Auto Careers Are Cool

MACKINAC ISLAND — Youth and those who influence them don’t think auto careers are cool, according to a new survey released by the Detroit Regional Chamber Wednesday at its Mackinac Policy Conference.

The survey, compiled by for the chamber’s MICHauto program, was released at a private roundtable on the island wiht Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton.

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ESD Mackinac Notebook

MACKINAC ISLAND — Reporters like to call public relations “the dark side.” So in my new role as director of communications for The Engineering Society of Detroit, it can be argued that I have indeed gone all Lord Vader, even though ESD is about as benign a nonprofit as you’re ever likely to find.

But among my duties at ESD is editing its quarterly print publication,
Technology Century, as well as its companion Website,
http://www.technologycentury.com, which I hope you’ve noticed is
becoming much more of a legitimate tech news site.

Based on that, the fine folks at the Detroit Regional Chamber saw fit
to give me a press pass to their annual Mackinac Policy Conference a
the Grand Hotel. So here I am, part PR person, part magazine editor.
Part Sith Lord, part Jedi Knight. Am I Luke or his father? Whatever I
am, I’m not complaining… I’m back in a palatial ballroom at the Grand
Hotel that’s converted into a media center for these four days.
Perhaps three dozen of Michigan’s reporters, editors, photographers,
videographers and web journalists are here. They’re covering the
politicians and the business titans and the labor leaders and the
community champions as they jockey for position and power and
funding and (we hope) work effectively to continue the turnaround of
Detroit. The Grand Hotel takes almost embarrassingly good care of
these fine ink- and electron-stained wretches. Free food and drink
and an unlimited supply of high-speed Internet and copies, in an
atmosphere of elegance most people don’t get to experience much,
if at all.

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Melvindale, Hamtramck Teams Win ‘Engineering SMArT Michigan’

SOUTHFIELD – Two teams from Melvindale High School and another from Hamtramck High School took the top three places in the third annual Engineering SMArT Michigan Competition, sponsored by The Engineering Society of Detroit and held Tuesday at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

The first place team was the “Precursors” from Melvindale High School. Another Melvindale team, “VIT = E,” took second place. Hamtramck High’s “Light Savers” finished third. The event was judged by a panel of energy and science experts.

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