State Farm gift supports Student Projects Lab in its mission to provide students with lab fundamentals

The funds from State Farm will be used to renovate the Student Projects Lab and to increase its capacity to serve students.

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Pictured L-R: CSE grad student Patrick Pannuto, engineering student Noah Klugman, CSE Chair Marios Papaefthymiou, CE undergrad Paul Doerr, Dr. Mark Brehob, EE undergrad Jonathan Kurzer, with State Farm guests Rob Wills - Project Manager, Mark Becicka - Leadership Development, Lisa Runge - Systems Recruiting and Hiring, Chris Cressy - VP Agency Sales Michigan, and Victor Montgomery - Recruiting.

State Farm has donated $50,000 to the College of Engineering to support and enhance the activities of the Student Projects Lab, which is located on the first floor of the Bob and Betty Beyster Building and which is home to both the Embedded Systems Hub, a shared resource for the development of projects with embedded systems, and MSuite, the student mobile applications development group.

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A student in the lab solders a small PCB as part of a lesson offered by the Embedded Systems Hub.

The Embedded Systems Hub is available to all U-M students, staff, and faculty. It provides the resources needed to do basic embedded systems work and also offers a variety of training sessions related to embedded systems, including sessions on PCB design, soldering, and microcontroller basics. The Hub also hosts short-term faculty-sponsored projects related to embedded systems.

The funds from State Farm will be used to renovate the Student Projects Lab and to increase its capacity to serve students. Mark Brehob, Director of the Embedded Systems Hub, said, “We’re excited about the prospect of improving substantially upon what the Student Projects Lab can offer students. This funding will help us to become more of a maker and hack space, allowing students to work with devices from processor boards to Google Glass.” Plans include improved fabrication facilities and a providing a library of hardware available for checkout to students.

“Today’s donation is not only an investment in the University of Michigan, but in the workforce of the future,” said Mark Becicka, Assistant Vice President of Systems at State Farm. “With this grant, we are excited to support the Student Projects Lab, assisting students with innovative projects that would not otherwise have the support they need to get off the ground.”

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Students provide a tour of the lab for the State Farm guests.
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