ROCHESTER — Four professors in Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science have been awarded a $598,980 National Science Foundation grant to support OU’s Product Lifecycle Management Scholarship Program that will increase the number of underrepresented students studying industrial and systems engineering, and mechanical engineering.
The five-year grant, funded by the NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program, will provide 32 academically talented and financially needy students with $4,800 per year for up to four years. The scholarships will be evenly split between students of both engineering disciplines.
The NSF’s goal in allocating these funds is to help satisfy a growing demand for engineers by enabling more engineering students to enter the workforce following completion of their degree.
Oakland’s faculty members will work closely with teachers and administrators from the Oakland Schools intermediate school district, as well as the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program, to identify eligible students. Each scholarship recipient will be appointed an OU faculty mentor and will have access to math and science tutoring relevant to their studies. Each recipient will also be assigned an industry mentor — an OU engineering alumni working for a local company.
The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget estimates that the state will welcome about 4,000 new industrial and systems engineering and mechanical engineering jobs over the next six years. Oakland University is striving to help meet this growing demand by providing stimulating, rigorous and rewarding academic programs of the highest quality.
“While this grant will provide direct support for 32 deserving students, we believe it will also help highlight to other students the exciting engineering career opportunities in southeastern Michigan,” said professor Robert Van Til of the Department of Industrial and System Engineering. “Even though overall unemployment is high, companies are having a difficult time finding enough qualified engineers to fill their current job openings.”
Added Hulas King, director of global community relations and GO PLM programs for Siemens PLM Software Inc.: “We are working with Oakland University engineering faculty to help integrate PLM software tools into their curriculum. These tools will give OU engineering students a distinct advantage by being able to use the same PLM technology widely used by leading, multi-national companies in Southeastern Michigan and around the globe.”
Aspiring engineers interested in pursuing this NSF scholarship opportunity should contact Van Til by phone at (248) 370-2211 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sixteen scholarships will be awarded to students enrolling in fall 2012 and the remaining sixteen to those enrolling in fall 2013.