Higher Education, Nonprofits, and Technology

College lab receives $300K donation

March 4, 2016
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Center tests electronics for marketplace
GVSU electrical engineering students Calvin Preston and Matt Amidon at the GVSU Electromagnetic Compatibility Center. Courtesy GVSU

A Michigan-based utility has given a $300,000 donation to a local university lab to help businesses and students.

DTE Energy Foundation and Grand Valley State University representatives celebrated the donation to the university’s Electromagnetic Compatibility, or EMC, Center today at the lab near GVSU’s Pew Campus in Grand Rapids.

The donation

DTE Energy Foundation, the charitable arm of the Detroit-based utility, gave the $300,000 to the university to support the expansion of the EMC Center and its pre-compliance capabilities for electrical devices.

The facility will be re-named the DTE Energy Foundation Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab.

The donation will go toward purchasing testing equipment, expanding the compatibility lab, refinishing the floor and installing a new HVAC system.

Mark Stiers, president and COO of DTE Gas, said the foundation is pleased to support the EMC lab, since STEM programs are important to the state’s economic progress.

“We understand how important it is for West Michigan businesses to be able to test their products close to home, saving companies thousands of dollars in research and development costs,” Stiers said. “This lab also provides an excellent opportunity for Grand Valley engineering students to get hands-on experience.”

EMC Center

GVSU’s EMC Center is located in a nearly 4,000-square-foot facility that includes a compliance lab and a seminar room.

The center pairs students with local companies to provide affordable pre-compliance design and testing before entering the marketplace and offers experiential learning for students.

Paul Plotkowski, dean of the GVSU Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, said the DTE Energy Foundation donation will help raise the center from an emerging facility into a highly capable operation.

“It is providing substantial support to local industry and education for both Grand Valley students and industry practitioners,” Plotkowski said.

Bodgan Adamczyk serves as the director of the center and is a professor of electrical engineering at GVSU. He developed the pre-compliance laboratory to support EMC courses at the university and local businesses.

Electromagnetic compliance

Electrical devices are required to be certified for EMC compliance, which is defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a device that doesn’t cause or emit enough energy to interfere with its electromagnetic environment.

Some of types of energy that can cause electromagnetic interference are conducted, radiated and electrostatic discharge.

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