Stay informed on the latest happenings in PCEC!
Stay informed on the latest happenings in PCEC!
Grand Valley State University
Padnos College of Engineering & Computing Newsletter
Dr. Paul Plotkowski, Dean
Padnos College of Engineering
and Computing
Dean's Message:
Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I frequently receive the question: “How can I get involved with the Padnos College?”  

The programs in the Padnos College were established and have thrived through engagement with our communities, employers, and supporters. In this issue, you will see several examples of such engagement. This ranges from supporting internships and cooperative education, to sponsoring a capstone project, and encouraging our students through support for scholarship programs. Such engagement is particularly essential in these very “not normal” times.

Thank you to all of our partners in providing a life-changing education and opportunities for our students.

As always, I enjoy hearing from you. If you have questions or comments, follow this link to Connect with the Dean.

Application Fee Waived for Fall 2021 Incoming Students
In case you missed it, Grand Valley State University is waiving the $30 application fee for all first-year students who apply before December 31, 2020 to attend in Fall 2021.
Apply now to take advantage of this discounted application rate!
For more information and to apply, visit the GVSU Admissions website.
We are Accepting Industry Proposals for Computing & Engineering Senior Projects!
Do you have an industry problem that needs to be solved? Let our students do the work! Submit a proposal now to sponsor a computing or engineering senior project next semester.
The School of Computing is currently soliciting project proposals for the Winter 2021 Computer Science Senior Project course. Teams of 3-4 computer science students will work on a software deliverable proposed by your company for a 15-week semester. Visit the Applied Computing Institute website for more information on senior projects and how to apply.

Senior students in the School of Engineering are required to complete a two-semester capstone senior project beginning in Winter 2021. Teams of students from multiple engineering disciplines are given real-world engineering design problems to solve by participating industry partners and other sponsoring organizations. Visit the School of Engineering Senior Projects website for more information and the online application form.
PCEC scholarship recipients
A few of this year's PCEC scholarship recipients
Scholarships Make a Positive Impact on PCEC Students; Help Them Obtain Career Goals
Several Padnos College of Engineering & Computing students received scholarships this academic year thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate donors. In a year marred by COVID-19, this scholarship support meant more than ever and helped many students stay on-track in their Computing, Engineering, and Occupational Safety & Health Management programs despite the economic recession and growing financial need. 
So, from all of us in PCEC, THANK YOU, DONORS, for your support of our students! Many individual students shared with us the positive impact that their scholarships have had on them this year; select quotes below.
“As a woman and a minority, I want to make sure that voices like mine are heard in, and contribute to, this field, and this scholarship sent me the message that there are people who believe in me and want to support me.”    - Vivi Hoang, Computing Student, Windstream Technology Scholarship Recipient
“I am honored to have been awarded the Occupational Safety & Health Management Scholarship. It has been significantly helpful in completing my degree and securing my future.” - Jessica Dixon, Occupational Safety & Health Management Student
"Day in and day out, I learn more about the mechanics and technology behind our machines, automobiles, and automated devices because I had an opportunity to further my passion. I couldn’t have asked for a better time to advance my knowledge than now." - Mason Simmet, Engineering Student, FIRST Robotics Scholarship Recipient
Students interested in applying for scholarships for the next academic year should visit the PCEC Scholarship Opportunities website.
Giving Tuesday is December 1, 2020
Giving Tuesday is Coming Up
Between COVID and the economic recession, this year has been challenging in many ways. Grand Valley students need support more than ever to obtain their educational goals.
On Tuesday, December 1, GVSU will celebrate Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy started in 2012. PCEC is participating in this effort by promoting a few of the funds in each of our units that have a direct impact on our students:
  • School of Computing & Information Systems Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • School of Engineering Endowment
  • Dr. Eric Van Fleet Occupational Safety & Health Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Padnos College of Engineering & Computing Endowment
If you are able, please consider giving to support PCEC students! Even small gifts make a big difference! To learn more about these funds and see other opportunities to support the work of the Padnos College, please visit the Give to PCEC website. Thank you in advance for your generosity!
Student working at a computer
Innovation Fund Grant Designed to Turn Computing Program into Talent Pipeline
Grand Valley computer science students will have increased access to a growing program intended to give students real-world experiences, thanks to the university’s first Innovation Fund grant.

The grant was awarded to Jonathan Engelsma, director of the university’s Applied Computing Institute (ACI), to grow enrollment and participation in computing programs by hiring graduate and undergraduate students for projects with companies that need real-world computing problems solved.

“What we wanted to do was broaden the scope of the ACI and increase levels of industry collaboration in the computing area,” Engelsma said. “Right now our students already get a good experience with their senior projects as they complete software deliverables for a real client. The grant allows us to get select students into longer-term placements with companies not only to work on computing needs, but for the company to learn about the student and vice-versa.”

Companies who partner with ACI also see benefits. Michigan Labs, a software and app development company co-founded by Grand Valley alumnus Josh Hulst, has partnered with Engelsma and ACI for several years. Hulst said he views the opportunity a significant win for his company. “At Michigan Labs, we focus on software for clients, and having talent at all levels is an important part of delivering those solutions,” Hulst said. “This partnership with ACI is really a great talent pipeline for us. Many of our current employees are GVSU grads, and we really value the new solutions and ideas they bring to the table through this program.”

View the full story.
Richard Gross with Dr. Jeffrey Potteiger, Dean of The Graduate School
Richard Gross (right) with Dr. Jeffrey Potteiger, Dean of The Graduate School
Engineering Alumni Nominated for Midwest Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master's Thesis Award
The Midwest Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards are to recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level. The MAGS GVSU Thesis Review Committee has recently selected Richard Gross as a nominee for his master's theses.

Richard received his Master of Science in Engineering degree in 2019. His thesis, Algorithm for Geodetic Positioning Based on Angle-Of-Arrival of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcasts, is the nominee for the Math, Physical Sciences, and Engineering category.

The review committee deemed Richard's thesis to be the strongest representation of GVSU's graduate student thesis work from the past two academic years. Richard's advisor, Dr. Nicholas Baine, noted that the thesis "is superbly written, the work is relevant to the current state of the art, and his design provides an extra layer of safety to a system all air traffic depends on."

The Graduate School will submit a copy of his thesis for consideration by a committee from MAGS and a winner will be announced in early 2021. Congratulations to Richard!

Dr. Dave Huizen
Dr. Dave Huizen
Professor of Occupational Safety & Health Appointed to COVID-19 Committee
Dr. Dave Huizen, Director of the GVSU Occupational Safety & Health Management program, was recently asked to serve as a public member on the Institutional Biosafety Committee for Grand Rapids Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM). The purpose of the committee is to ensure the safe manufacturing of a vaccine candidate for COVID-19.
Dr. Huizen is also serving as a key member of the GVSU Virus Action Team working to keep students, faculty, and staff safe by monitoring COVID-19 trends in the community and implementing best practices for health and safety on campus.
PSM students at last year's showcase
PSM students at last year's internship showcase
Professional Science Master's Programs to Host Virtual Internship Showcase
The Grand Valley State University Career Center and Professional Science Master’s (PSM) Programs cordially invite you to our Virtual PSM Internship Showcase 2020 scheduled for Friday, November 20th, 2020 from 1:00-2:30 via Zoom.  
For this year’s PSM Showcase, students from all four PSM programs will provide poster presentations on the fantastic work they have completed during their internships. 
We would like to thank all of our internship employers and industry partners for their continued support of PSM students despite the current pandemic situation. In these trying times, you have stood strong to bolster our students by providing them with experiential learning and real-world skills.

Please register in advance to participate in the PSM Virtual Showcase.
Happy Thanksgiving
Wishing You a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us in the Padnos College of Engineering & Computing!
This year has provided ample opportunity for reflection on what is truly important in life. As you celebrate with your loved ones, please remember to prioritize your health and safety by practicing social distancing and wearing masks. 
We are so grateful for our students, who have shown resilience, persistence, and patience in this challenging semester; for our employees, who have gone above and beyond to provide high-quality learning experiences during a pandemic; and our community and industry partners who have navigated changing co-op and internship requirements without ever wavering in their support for our students.
Wishing you all much to be thankful for!

Stay Informed!

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