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Innovation & Job News

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Gestamp to open new R&D center, adding jobs in Auburn Hills

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Troy-based Gestamp North America is opening a new state-of-the-art R&D facility in Auburn Hills with plans to add 64 new jobs. The company specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of metal components for the automotive industry. 

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Over $40 million in business investment coming to Oakland County, creation of 349 jobs

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Business investment this year in Oakland County is on pace to surpass that of 2016.

This according to Irene Spanos, Oakland County’s community affairs and economic development director.

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New business analytics certificate expands big data education programs at OU

Every day more and more companies are leveraging the benefits of business analytics to improve customer service, enhance operational performance, identify new business markets and drive revenue growth. The industry is flourishing, and Forbes reports the market is expected to nearly double by 2020.
 
To address that demand, the Oakland University School of Business Administration now offers a full complement of business analytics programs to meet a variety of educational and career needs.
 
The newest addition is Oakland’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics. This five-course program is ideal for working professionals from any discipline to gain knowledge in this growing field. The program is available beginning in the fall of 2017 and students can apply online now at oakland.edu/applynow.
 
“Business analytics is moving beyond the scope of IT professionals,” said Vijayan Sugumaran, professor of Management Information Systems and chair of the Decision and Information Sciences Department at Oakland University. “Employers are increasingly seeking professionals across disciplines who can harness data to solve business problems.”
 
Employers agree that finding people who have the requisite blend of quantitative computing and business domain knowledge and skills for business analytics is a challenge. From automotive and financial services to marketing, human resources and education, career opportunities abound for those who understand how to leverage the power of data to improve business processes.
 
“Oakland’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics is perfect for someone seeking specific knowledge in analytics to enhance their performance or career prospects without committing to a full master’s degree program,” Sugumaran said.
 
The need for business analytics education includes, but also goes beyond, the IT profession. Recognizing this, the Oakland School of Business Administration offers a suite of programs to meet the varied interests of those seeking to expand their skills and knowledge in this area.
 
OU’s complete suite of business analytics programs includes:
  • Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics
  • MBA with a business analytics concentration
  • Master of Science in IT Management with a business analytics concentration
  • Business analytics minor for Oakland undergraduate students in any major
  • Business analytics specialization for Oakland MIS students.
 
For more information about the Business Analytics Graduate Certificate, visit oakland.edu/business/graduate-executive-programs/business-analytics-graduate-certificate.

To learn more about OU’s Business Analytics programs, visit oakland.edu/business/undergraduate-majors-minors/business-analytics.

OU INC clients Munetrix and Skypersonic awarded $125,000 via Macomb Innovation Fund

Munetrix and Skypersonic have been awarded $125,000 in funding from the Innovation Fund Macomb Community College, powered by JPMorgan Chase & Co. These two Oakland County-based companies were the sole awardees of this seventh round of funding, chosen from a pool of 17 qualified applicants. Both companies are startup clients at Oakland University’s business incubator, OU INC.

Munetrix will receive a $100,000 award to advance the company toward larger-scale funding. Munetrix is a data science and advisory firm that provides analytics, planning, transparency and compliance tools for school districts and state and local governments. For public administrators, this cloud-based technology is designed to simplify data analysis and use predictive analytics to improve the communication of financials with policymakers and other community stakeholders.

Skypersonic will receive a $25,000 award to support taking initial steps to the market. Skypersonic develops drones for indoor applications within the commercial, industrial, agricultural, and civil industries. The drone’s propeller apparatus is enclosed and protected by an external casing, and it has multiple operating modes including flying, rolling, and traveling on ground.

"We are very excited for our companies, Munetrix and Skypersonic. The support from the Macomb Innovation Fund will catalyze their growth in the market. As each of these companies are building their business, their solutions also provide valuable resources to the community. Skypersonic is providing drone educational kits to K-12 institutions, and Munetrix is providing meaningful data and scorecard resources to local governments and schools,” said Amy Butler, OU INC Executive Director.

The Innovation Fund is a $2.7 million effort to stimulate economic development and job growth among promising Detroit-area entrepreneurs and next-stage companies with high-growth potential. Funding is provided by Macomb Community College’s Strategic Fund and JPMorgan Chase, as part of the company’s $150 million commitment to Detroit’s economic recovery. Information about the application process is available at macomb.edu/cie.

For more information, contact Joan Carleton at (586) 884-9324 or jfcarlet@oakland.edu.

Oakland County unemployment rate at lowest level since 2000

Oakland County’s unemployment rate in April was 3.0 percent – more than a point under the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent and the lowest it has been in the county since December 2000.

The one-month decline in the number of unemployed county residents from March to April was 25,055 to 19,650 – a reduction of 21.6 percent, according to the most recent figures issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Oakland County had a civilian workforce of more than 652,000 in April and of that number, 632,448 people were employed – the highest number since 2001.

“This impressive decline in the unemployment rate is a clear indication that Oakland County’s economy continues to improve and that domestic and global companies remain committed to investing in the county,” Economic Development Director Irene Spanos said Friday. “Since January, the county has realized domestic and international investment of more than $274 million, which translates to 6,200 new and retained jobs. From 2014-16, the county saw investment totaling $2.4 billion – with $872 million of that coming from international companies.”

Bureau figures list Michigan’s unemployment rate for April at 3.7 percent and the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metropolitan statistical area at 4.0 percent. The state unemployment rate in March was 4.8 percent; the U.S. rate was 4.6 percent and Oakland County’s was 3.8 percent.

Spanos said the county’s improving economy was due in part to its Emerging Sectors® business attraction and retention strategy begun in 2004 by County Executive L. Brooks Patterson to offset the loss of manufacturing jobs. Since inception, the program is responsible for 442 successes resulting in more than $3.9 billion of investment, 43,297 new jobs and 27,947 retained jobs.

Emerging Sectors industry categories include Advanced Electronics & Power Generation, Advanced Materials, Aerospace; Communications & Information Technology, Homeland Security, Medical Main Street® and Robotics & Automation. A project is considered a success when a company either expanded an existing Oakland County facility when it had offers for competing sites in another state or opened new operations in the county.

Exlterra in Hazel Park installs India's first groundwater recharge technology

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Hazel Park-based environmental technology company Exlterra announced the installation of its patented Energy-Passive Groundwater Recharge (EGRP) system at the Sushma Medicinal Ayurvedic Research Trust (SMART) EcoPark, an interactive learning space in Mumbai, India. The system has been engineered to work with the surrounding environment to increase water penetration, as part of efforts to revitalize India’s dwindling aquifers.

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Henry Ford to offer innovative cancer screenings for dense breasts

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In a first for Michigan, the Henry Ford Cancer Institute is introducing a new and advanced molecular breast imaging system to screen women with dense breast tissue, who are at an increased risk for breast cancer.

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Junk removal business moves into Waterford warehouse

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Burly Guys Junk Removal is growing fast as baby boomers downsize/move their parents and downsize their own homes. Because of this growing trend, Burly Guys recently moved into a 2,000 square-foot warehouse at 5499 Perry Drive, Suite P, in Waterford Township.

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Baker College of Auburn Hills respiratory care program achieves national "distinguished" credential

The respiratory care program at Baker College’s Auburn Hills campus has, for the third consecutive year, been recognized with the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Programs receiving the recognition are considered using objective criteria from the 2016 Annual Report of Current Status. The criteria includes three or more years of outcomes data; a documented student RRT credentialing success of 90 percent or greater; holding accreditation without a progress report; and meeting or exceeding CoARC thresholds for CRT credentialing success and positive job placement.

“Receiving this credential again underscores that our program is achieving its goals as well as our students,” said Peter W. Karsten, Ph.D., CPA, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. “Each time a Baker College respiratory care student achieves his or her goals, there is a health care employer that has hired an exceptional employee.”

Credentials for a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) and/or a certified respiratory therapist (CRT) are used as the basis for licensure in the 49 states that regulate the practice of respiratory care.

Respiratory therapists work primarily in health care facilities caring for patients who have trouble breathing, such as from a chronic respiratory disease like asthma or emphysema. Patients range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients with lung disease. Respiratory therapists also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, drowning or shock.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than average for all occupations. The median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $58,670 in May 2016. Baker College’s Auburn Hills campus launched its respiratory care associate degree program in 2006.

For more information about Baker College programs, contact Nicole Chirco in the admissions office at nicole.chirco@baker.edu or 248.340.0600, or visit www.baker.edu.

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1911, Baker College grants doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as certificates in diverse academic fields including applied technology, business, education, engineering, health science, information technology and social science. Baker College has on-ground campuses throughout Michigan and offers online programs that can be completed 100 percent online without ever visiting a campus. In 2016, the Online Learning Consortium recognized Baker College Online with the OLC Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement, the highest ranking for online higher education programs. For information, visit www.baker.edu or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bakercollege.
 

Diagnostic biomarkers in saliva show promise in recognizing early Alzheimer's disease

Your spit may hold a clue to future brain health. Investigators at the Beaumont Research Institute, part of Beaumont Health in Michigan, are hopeful that their study involving small molecules in saliva will help identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease - a neurologic condition predicted to reach epidemic proportions worldwide by 2050.

Their study, “Diagnostic Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease as Identified in Saliva using 1H NMR-Based Metabolomics” was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 58(2) on May 16.

Investigators found salivary molecules hold promise as reliable diagnostic biomarkers.

The study exemplifies the quest by scientists to combat Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder with no cure and few reliable diagnostic tests. In the United States, Alzheimer’s is a health epidemic affecting more than 5 million Americans. Investigators seek to develop valid and reliable biomarkers, diagnosing the disease in its earliest stages before brain damage occurs and dementia begins.

Researcher Stewart Graham, Ph.D. said, “We used metabolomics, a newer technique to study molecules involved in metabolism. Our goal was to find unique patterns of molecules in the saliva of our study participants that could be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in the earliest stages, when treatment is considered most effective. Presently, therapies for Alzheimer’s are initiated only after a patient is diagnosed and treatments offer modest benefits.”

Metabolomics is used in medicine and biology for the study of living organisms. It measures large numbers of naturally occurring small molecules, called metabolites, present in the blood, saliva and tissues. The pattern or fingerprint of metabolites in the biological sample can be used to learn about the health of the organism.

“Our team’s study demonstrates the potential for using metabolomics and saliva for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease,” explained Dr. Graham. “Given the ease and convenience of collecting saliva, the development of accurate and sensitive biomarkers would be ideal for screening those at greatest risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In fact, unlike blood or cerebrospinal fluid, saliva is one of the most noninvasive means of getting cellular samples and it’s also inexpensive.”

The study participants included 29 adults in three groups: mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and a control group. After specimens were collected, the researchers positively identified and accurately quantified 57 metabolites. Some of the observed variances in the biomarkers were significant.  From their data, they were able to make predictions as to those at most risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Said Dr. Graham, “Worldwide, the development of valid and reliable biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease is considered the No. 1 priority for most national dementia strategies. It’s a necessary first step to design prevention and early-intervention research studies.”

As Americans age, the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s is rising dramatically. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by 2050, it’s estimated the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease will triple to about 15-16 million.

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia affecting a person’s ability to think, communicate and function. It greatly impacts their relationships, their independence and lifestyle. The condition’s toll not only affects millions of Americans, but in 2017, it could cost the nation $259 billion.

The Beaumont Research Institute study was partly funded by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.

The eight investigators are now seeking additional funding to conduct a larger, three-year study with significantly more participants to validate the pilot study. Seven of the researchers are with the Beaumont Research Institute; Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine; and one is with the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.
 

Oakland University to offer Master's in Systems Engineering degree

Oakland University’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is now offering a Master’s in Systems Engineering program with a focus on systems integration.
 
“Our department has a strong history in systems engineering, and with this master’s program we are looking to serve mechanical, electrical and other engineers involved in product design and development,” said Robert Van Til, Ph.D., chair and Pawley professor of lean studies in the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department.
 
“There has always been a demand for Systems Engineers in Southeast Michigan, primarily from the automobile and defense industries,” Van Til added. “But with the growing interest in connected vehicles and other connected products, the demand for Systems Engineers is expanding rapidly in all industries.”
 
Systems Engineering is the most difficult job for companies to fill with an estimated 1,388 annual job openings in the Southeast Michigan region between 2016 and 2026, according to a Connected Mobility Industry’s Skills Needs Assessment Project (SNAP) report issued by the Oakland County Executive and the Oakland County Workforce Development Board in March 2017.
 
“With the rapid advances in connected and autonomous vehicles, the need for skilled Systems Engineers is unprecedented,” said Tracey Stanyer, senior systems engineer at ESG Automotive Inc. “Graduates with the skill set to synthesize across engineering disciplines and guide the overall engineering process will have employers beating down their door with job offers.”
 
The Oakland University program is open to engineers with a degree in any field of engineering, including mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. No preliminary or make-up courses are required.
 
“Where other engineering disciplines concentrate on the specifics of a system, Systems Engineers focus on the integration of all of these aspects into a coherent and effective system,” said Vijit Pandey, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the ISE Department.
 
While the program is built around a core of the courses listed below, the flexible nature of the course requirements allows students to tailor the program to meet their career needs:
 
• Foundation of Systems Engineering I
 
• Foundation of Systems Engineering II
 
• Engineering Project Management
 
• Product Lifecycle Management
 
• Engineering Decision Analysis
 
“The Systems Engineering M.S. educates engineers to serve as the primary interface between management, customers, suppliers and specialty engineers in the systems development process,” Pandey said.
 
Students may enter the program at any time of the year and begin their classes in either September, January or May due to the flexible nature of the course requirements.
 
“Many engineers working full-time will enroll in the Systems Engineering M.S. program on a part-time basis since all courses are offered in the evening, and some courses are also available online,” Van Til said.
 
For more information about the program, including course requirements, visit the Master’s in Systems Engineering website.

Inventor is helping to get 5 million people back on their feet

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When Katy Olesnavage was a little girl, she was fascinated by her mom's work as a physical therapist.

The 27-year-old Ferndale High graduate learned early on about the challenges people face when they lose a limb and about navigating the world in a wheelchair or on crutches.

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Search is on for the 2017 Free Press Top Workplaces

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Is your company one of the best places to work in Michigan?

The nominations are open for the 2017 Free Press Top Workplaces competition. Public and private companies, as well as nonprofit organizations, with more than 50 employees, are eligible. Nominations will be accepted through June 16.

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City Club Apartments launches global property management company

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Farmington Hills-based City Club Apartments (CCA) announced it will begin managing its $2 billion, 10,000-unit apartment and penthouse portfolio.

The first five of its 30 properties includes Ann Arbor City Apartments, Central West End Apartments in St. Louis, Plaza Club City Apartments in Kansas City, 800 Tower City Apartments in Louisville, and CCA, CBD in Cincinnati.    

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BorgWarner develops key technology for hybrid and electric vehicles

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Aurburn Hills-based automotive supplier BorgWarner announced the development of a high-voltage temperature coefficient (PTC) cabin heater as a waste heat independent heating solution for electric and hybrid vehicles.

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1276 Articles | Page: | Show All
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