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Consumers Energy powers up engineering program

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With a $150,000 gift made through the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy became the first corporate partner in a new initiative designed to immerse College of Engineering students in real-world issues facing the energy industry.
In the new partnership, Consumers Energy will present an energy-related engineering problem each year to students in the Residential Experience and Cornerstone Engineering program. Student involvement could include developing ideas to solve energy industry issues, leading environmental initiatives, working on energy-related projects that emphasize an interest in technology with a low carbon footprint, job shadowing and field trips to Consumers Energy facilities.
“I am convinced that this partnership will be a great way to educate our students about the power industry and encourage them to consider pursuing careers in this field,” said Satish Udpa, dean of the College of Engineering.
Students in the Residential Experience program live, take classes, meet with advisors and receive training—all  in Wilson Hall and with students from many other disciplines. They learn from each other and through hands-on and co-curricular activities, gain skills for functioning in a collaborative, team-based, diverse and increasingly global setting.
With the addition of this partnership gift, Consumers Energy and the Consumers Energy Foundation have provided more than $3 million in support for Michigan State. Their recent gift includes support for the program’s student design projects, supplies, graduate teaching assistants, undergraduate mentors, a co-curricular adviser and computer lab equipment.
“Consumers Energy believes in higher education, in the development of our young people,” said David Joos, recently retired president and CEO of CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, and now chairman of the CMS Energy board. “We think this new model – this residential program – is an excellent way to accomplish that in a very effective manner. It develops the young people, and it develops our relationships with them. It’s good for us, it’s good for the students and it’s good for the state.”
The support from Consumers Energy will help students explore careers in a vital field.
 “We know that the number of jobs in America’s emerging clean energy economy is growing more than twice as fast as employment in general,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Thanks to corporate partners such as Consumers Energy, we will have additional resources to prepare students for the highest-value energy jobs and simultaneously add to the state of Michigan’s portfolio of assets for a 21st-century work force.”
For more information on giving to the College of Engineering, contact Director of Development Stephen Bates at (517) 355-8339;