Michigan Tech has held a partnership with General Motors since 1940. Since then, GM has invested $12.1 million to the university for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs and scholarships.
Of Michigan Techâ??s near 7,000 students, almost 6,500 of them are in a STEM-related study. The GM Foundation granted the university $100,000 to continue the work in these areas.
Director of global facilities for North American with GM, Steven Tomaszewski, said it was a proud moment to be able to give back to his alma mater.
â??You always want to make an investment back in to the location that sort of made you successful, and this is what part of today is about,â?? said Tomaszewski. â??Part of it is giving back from the GM Foundation, but the other part is investing in the future.â??
The money will go toward programs that promote research efforts, like the automotive program, the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Enterprise team that is currently hybridizing a truck from 1949.
â??We require funding just because a lot of the software is expensive. A lot of the hardware is expensive,â?? said co-executive director with HEV Enterprise, Tyler Sierakowski.
Not only does the grant directly support university students who are in the STEM fields, but it also supports programs that aim to boost the interest of high school students in the STEM fields.
For example, the Ride the Wave program over the summer allowed over 500 high school students to take a ride on the Agassiz to learn more about the Great Lakes and aquatic ecosystems.
â??The contribution from the university that really opens the opportunity for students to develop their skills,â?? Sierakowski added.
The grant also provides opportunities for students to pursue their career goals by supplying the means to improve leadership and technical skills.
â??Michigan Techâ??s engineering skills match up very well with the automotive industry and what you need to do to drive into the future,â?? Tomaszewski said.