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,

We've reached the end of a uniquely challenging semester. Many of our students have persevered to complete their degrees despite the difficulties caused by COVID. To them, I wish good fortune, successful careers, personal fulfillment, and continued engagement with the Padnos College of Engineering & Computing (PCEC). We are proud to celebrate your significant accomplishments!

Community engagement is a pillar of great importance to PCEC. While we've all had to adapt our programming and interactions this year due to COVID, the stories below represent the varied ways that we continue to engage with and impact the broader community. 

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

Have a healthy, joyful holiday break!
Paul

Thank You For Your Support!

From all of the students, faculty, and staff in the GVSU Padnos College of Engineering & Computing, thank you so much for your support!
The gifts you made to PCEC on Giving Tuesday will provide many opportunities for students to learn, grow, and change the world. We are truly grateful!
If you did not get a chance to give to PCEC on Giving Tuesday but would still like to help computing, engineering, and occupational safety & health students attain their educational goals, it's not too late!

Congratulations, Graduates!

You finished your degrees during a global pandemic, and we couldn't be more proud of you!
You are Lakers for a Lifetime, and we hope you'll stay in touch! Check out PCEC's Alumni Connections website for information on all of the ways you can be involved with the college as an alum.
View the PCEC graduates in the GVSU Winter 2020 Yearbook and the Fall 2020 Yearbook.
Graduation cap text: The best is yet to come GVSU alumni cookies GVSU graduates hugging

PCEC Outreach Team Creates A to Z STEM Experiments Website

The PCEC Outreach team has gathered fun and educational A to Z STEM experiments that can be completed from the comfort of home. The PCEC A to Z STEM Experiments website was created to help kids in grades kindergarten and up remain active with STEM content, despite many children being at home for school due to COVID-19.

On the A to Z STEM Experiments page, you will find a wide variety of activities that include making a solar stem, creating a water clock, and even building your own x-ray. These activities are designed to be engaging, safe, and inspiring for K-12 students of all ages. All of the activities require minimal supplies, and all are labeled with a recommended minimum age to help parents select activities appropriate for their children. 

“The PCEC Outreach Department usually gets to interact with thousands of K-12 students throughout the academic year. With the COVID-19 pandemic modifying face-to-face education, we are not able to take field trips to schools like usual. Instead, we created a collection of simple, engaging STEM activities for parents, kids, and teachers to access,” said Sara Maas, K-12 & Community Outreach Coordinator for the Padnos College. 


Visit the PCEC A to Z STEM Experiments page to try them yourself, and to share them with others! 
Additional at-home STEM activities led by PCEC students can be found on the PCEC YouTube channel.
SME Award Recipients
(Clock-wise from top left) GVSU SME Award Recipients: Noah Bollo, Taylor Hepler, and Matthew Fontana

Engineering Students Place 2nd in Society of Manufacturing Engineers Digital Manufacturing Challenge

Three School of Engineering students, Noah Bollo, Matthew Fontana, and Taylor Hepler, received the 2nd place award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers as part of the 2020 Digital Manufacturing Challenge.
Their project investigated the design and functionality of a fog collection device as a potential solution to the lack of drinking water faced by millions of people across the globe.
"The SME Digital Manufacturing Challenge provided me with an opportunity to further develop my design and engineering skills with fellow students outside the classroom setting. We saw firsthand how developing technologies, such as additive manufacturing, can be used in innovative ways to help populations in need," said Bollo. "I enjoyed applying problem solving skills learned in the classroom to take a creative approach and propose a viable solution for addressing the widespread issue of clean water scarcity."
Congratulations, Taylor, Matthew, and Noah, on your wonderful work applying engineering principles to improving health and quality of life of others. We are proud of you!

PCEC Faculty Honored with Service Awards

Several PCEC faculty have been honored for their years of service to Grand Valley State University. Please join us in congratulating them! 
Dr. Blake Ashby
Dr. Blake Ashby
10 Years
Engineering
Dr. Andrew Kalafut
Dr. Andrew Kalafut
10 Years
Computing & Information Systems
Ira Woodring
Prof. Ira Woodring
10 Years
Computing & Information Systems
Dr. Jamal Alsabbagh
Dr. Jamal Alsabbagh
20 Years
Computing & Information Systems
Dr. Jerry Scripps
Dr. Jerry Scripps
20 Years
Computing & Information Systems
Dr. Yonglei Tao
Dr. Yonglei Tao
30 Years
Computing & Information Systems
Dr. Larry Kotman
Dr. Larry Kotman
35 Years
Computing & Information Systems
Dr. Alireza Mohammadzadeh
Dr. Alireza Mohammadzadeh
35 Years
Engineering
Dr. Erik Fredericks
Dr. Erik Fredericks

Computer Science Faculty Member Participates in Google Cloud's Faculty Summit

Computer Science faculty member, Dr. Erik Fredericks, recently participated in the Google Cloud (Virtual) Faculty Summit as a panelist in the “Google Cloud Undergraduate Curriculum and Student Projects” track.  He joined many other faculty, practitioners, and Googlers in presenting his experiences in incorporating cloud techniques in the classroom, focusing on student projects.  

Dr. Fredericks has been participating in the Google Cloud faculty program since 2015 and has leveraged it to bring cloud resources into class, enabling projects that are typically difficult to implement without the cloud. Cloud resources will feature prominently in the upcoming CIS 659 (Cloud Applications Development) course, where students will receive hands-on experience with the many different facets of cloud applications.

OSH students at the zoo
OSH students tour John Ball Zoo

Occupational Safety & Health Students Learn through Experience

Students in the GVSU Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) program had ample opportunities for experiential learning this semester through completion of a variety of hands-on lab activities and a visit to the John Ball Zoo hosted by the West Michigan American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Chapter.
OSH students learned about swimming pool hygiene by visiting the Pool Mechanical Room in the GVSU Allendale Fieldhouse. They conducted a mock confined space entry using a storm drain outside of the L.V. Eberhard Center, ensuring replacement of contaminated air with fresh air and proper fitting of safety gear. They practiced lockout procedures that protect employees from the unexpected energization of equipment during repairs, and they also tested the HVAC systems in a classroom to determine ventilation levels of the air. During their visit to the John Ball Zoo, the students learned about emergency preparedness plans, what to do if an animal escapes, and the overall safety of the zoo and its guests.
"The hands-on aspect of the Occupational Safety & Health Program at GVSU is one of it's best features," said Dr. Dave Huizen, Director of the OSH Program. "Students retain critical information on employee health and safety because they have been engaged in lab activities that provide them with real-world experience they will use when they graduate and enter the workforce."
The GVSU OSH Program is one of only two ABET accredited OSH programs in the state of Michigan. These experiential learning opportunities are a critical component that support program accreditation.
Testing air quality Confined space entry Ventilation system testing Jolene, the hearing damage estimator
Veteran student stands in front of the American flag

GVSU Veteran Promise Program Announced

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella announced a major initiative to support Michigan veterans, the first of its kind in the nation.

The GVSU Veteran Promise guarantees admission to Grand Valley for enlisted 2021 Michigan high school graduates.

2021 Michigan high school graduates who have signed enlistment papers to serve in the U.S. military for at least two years are reserved a spot at Grand Valley upon exit of their service or to begin online in their active duty years.

Mantella unveiled the initiative during the GVSU President’s Annual Veterans Day Breakfast held virtually November 11. She said the GVSU Veteran Promise is another way to build on Grand Valley’s historical commitment to veterans.

Student taking a test

Reminder: School of Engineering Offers Credit-by-Exam Options for First-Year Engineering Courses (Sign up now!)

Engineering students may attempt to test out of the EGR 111, EGR 112, and/or EGR 113 courses if they have prior experience with the course content and have not previously attempted or completed the course in question at Grand Valley. Students who test out of these courses will receive credit for each course by passing each exam. 
The next exams will be held in-person at the Innovation Design Center on the GVSU Pew Grand Rapids Campus on January 11th, 12th, and 13th, 2021. Each test costs $50 per course credit. 
Visit the First-Year Engineering Course Credit-by-Exam website for details and to sign up for the exams.
Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Have a happy and healthy holiday break, Lakers! After this very strange semester, you deserve it.
Wishing you time to relax, rejuvenate, and partake in activities you enjoy. Take care of yourselves and your families, and please be sure to look out for one another by following COVID safety precautions.
We look forward to seeing you again in January!

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