DTE Energy Foundation gift will help businesses, students

From left: President Thomas J. Haas; Jennifer Whitteaker, DTE Energy Foundation; Mark Stiers, president of DTE Gas
From left: President Thomas J. Haas; Jennifer Whitteaker, DTE Energy Foundation; Mark Stiers, president of DTE Gas

A gift from DTE Energy Foundation will allow Grand Valley State University to expand a center that helps local businesses design and test electrical devices entering the marketplace. 

Representatives from DTE Energy Foundation and Grand Valley celebrated the $300,000 donation to the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Center March 4, during an event at the facility, located at 609 Watson St. in Grand Rapids.

The 4,000-square-foot EMC Center, renamed the DTE Energy Foundation Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab, is the first of its kind in West Michigan. All electrical devices must be certified for EMC compliance by the Federal Communications Commission before entering the marketplace, which can be costly. The center pairs engineering students with local companies to provide affordable pre-compliance testing and design support for small- to medium-sized businesses in West Michigan. 

"The DTE Energy Foundation gift helped raise the center from an emerging facility into a highly capable facility and operation, that is providing substantial support to local industry and education for both Grand Valley students and industry practitioners," said Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. 

The gift will be used to purchase testing equipment and expand and improve the space. 

Mark Stiers, president and chief operating officer of DTE Gas, said DTE Energy Foundation is pleased to support the Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab because programs related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are so important to Michigan'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," said Stiers. "This lab also provides an excellent opportunity for Grand Valley engineering students to get hands-on experience, preparing them to power Michigan’s economy in the future.” 

The facility opened in 2012 and is led by Bogdan Adamczyk, who has taught EMC courses at Grand Valley since 1999. The EMC Lab has worked with companies such as Gentex, Whirlpool, GE Aviation, L-3 Communications and Johnson Controls Power Solutions. It recently participated in an EMC Correlation Study with centers from Michigan corporations to ensure accuracy and consistency of its testing. 

For more information about the EMC Lab, visit www.gvsu.edu/engineering.