DBusiness Daily Update: Lawrence Tech renames Center for Innovative Materials Research, and more

Nabil Grace, Dean of LTU College of Engineering, addresses the public at the inauguration of the building that bears his name. // Courtesy of LTU

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Lawrence Tech renames the Center for Research on Innovative Materials

Lawrence Southfield University of Technology has renamed its materials research lab to the Nabil Grace Center for Innovative Materials Research in the southeast corner of the LTU campus.

Named after the university’s dean of engineering, a researcher dedicated to improving the lifespan of bridges and other critical structures, the building has become a leading infrastructure laboratory under his leadership.

This center was developed and supervised by Grace, who was instrumental in its construction and operation.

“The LTU Innovative Materials Research Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive infrastructure laboratories in this country and the world,” said Douglas Ebert, Chairman of the LTU Board of Directors. “The prolific research Dr. Grace is leading here results in massive improvements in the durability, longevity, safety, and ultimately the cost of transportation-related infrastructure, especially highway bridges.

“He has received dozens of federal, state and private research grants and contracts totaling nearly $ 28 million. And along the way, his work has drawn new industries and new avenues to opportunity and success right here in Michigan. “

Completed in 2008, LTU’s CIMR is a 7,200 square foot research facility with an interior height of 30 feet. It has a 25 ton crane to test structural components up to 100 feet long under various types of loads up to one million pounds. It also has a full-scale fire chamber with dynamic and static loading capabilities that can test structural components at temperatures up to 2,400 ° F, conditions like those of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. September 11 – the event that inspired the construction of Grace CIMR.

The CIMR also houses an environmental chamber spacious enough for a large vehicle, which can simulate harsh weather conditions such as high winds, freezing rain, sub-zero temperatures of minus 80 ° F or dry heat up to 180 ° F. ° F. The CIMR also includes small environmental chambers that measure the performance of materials when subjected to tensile, torsional and repeated loads, and a chamber that can subject materials to various forces at temperatures ranging from minus 80 ° F. at 600 ° F.

“It is indeed rare that a person who is still active as a faculty member, researcher and administrator has a building that bears his name,” says Virinder Moudgil, president of LTU. “It says a lot about the references and contributions and about the person he is, a good citizen of the university, of the community, a person who has personally contributed to the economic growth of the region, who is just in facing the infrastructure that is under discussion at national and local level.

Detroit Land Bank sells 20,000th side lot to Detroit owner

Detroit residents have proven just how popular the Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA) Side Lot program is, purchasing more than 20,000 parcels of vacant land through the DLBA since 2014.

Sold for just $ 100 each, side lots are a way to restore land ownership, eliminate the scourge, and make neighborhoods safer and more attractive. Since its launch in 2014, the program has remained an exclusive benefit for Detroit homeowners and the most affordable access point for vacant land.

“The Detroit Land Bank Authority has sold more secondary lots than any other land bank in the country, the success of this program is truly unprecedented,” said Saskia Thompson, executive director of the DLBA. “With 20,153 total secondary lot sales and an average area of ​​just over 4,078 square feet per lot, DLBA’s secondary lot sales total nearly 1,887 acres or 3 square miles of land – that’s the size of the town of Highland Park. “

Each side lot earns approximately $ 50 on the city’s tax rolls each year. With over 20,000 currently on the books, that’s about $ 1 million in tax revenue this year alone. Over 10,000 side lots are currently listed for sale through the DLBA, and new listings are added each month based on inquiries from residents of Detroit. This means that there are still plenty of opportunities for residents to invest in their communities and turn dilapidated and vacant plots into green spaces.

Residents can purchase secondary lots online, through DLBAs buildingdetroit.org website.

The side lot program is intended exclusively for Detroit homeowners. Buyers must own an occupied house adjacent to the side lot. Side lots can be on the left, right or back of the house. The eligibility conditions include:

  • Own a house that shares a property line with the side lot.
  • Be up to date on property taxes or in accordance with a tax payment plan.
  • No tickets for the scourge in circulation.
  • Payment of $ 100 and completed application.

Michigan celebrates Computer Science Education Week with STEM awareness

Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed Dec. 6-12 as Computer Science Education Week in Michigan, with a call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, to advocate for equity in computer science education and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers and field partners.

This week also recognizes Michigan’s growing need for highly skilled workers in IT career fields.

According to the 2021 State of Computer Science Education report, there were nearly 15,000 open computer jobs, which is more than 2.6 times the state’s average application rate and an average salary of over $ 80,000, but there were only 2,467 computer science graduates in 2018. By 2024, Michigan is expected to create more than 270,670 computer / IT jobs, an estimated salary growth of $ 20.8 billion.

“We are constantly evaluating how we can better prepare our students for the jobs of the future,” says Whitmer. “As we strive to better attract and retain our talent right here in Michigan, it will be essential to focus on IT staffing and other STEM jobs. Creating a diverse pool of students with computer skills is critical to our state’s economic future.

Earlier this year, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. invested $ 1.5 million to place Michigan STEM students in internships at start-ups across Michigan. The program faces huge demand and can be expanded over the next three years to address this skills gap.

“The advancement of computing and other STEM opportunities is inextricably linked with Michigan’s commitment to building a more prosperous and fairer economy,” said Quentin Messer, CEO of MEDC. “As Michigan continues to build a world-class talent pool and foster a competitive business climate, we must ensure that our students have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to fill these critical positions right here in Michigan. “

Michigan employers can join the effort to prepare today’s students by partnering with local schools to expand student learning and provide real-life experience and insight into these careers by:

  • Provide role models for students to see in the field.
  • Provide hands-on experiences so that students can better understand what computer science is.
  • Offer apprenticeships and work placements as part of vocational and technical education programs and high school courses.
  • Volunteer with organizations that support student growth in computer science learning and careers.
  • Offer workplace teaching placements or learning experiences about their industry.

To learn more about Computer Science Education Week, visit hourofcode.com for activities designed to interest students in computers. For more information on state programs, click here.


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