Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Cost Estimate Process

Following the execution of Project and Intellectual Property agreements, the client meets with an Engineering Project Manager to disclose the nature of the concept and establish the scope of the project.

The PDC staff will develop a task by task project plan with costs based upon projected usage of labor, facilities, materials and special equipment.
A written proposal with cost and estimated completion is time is then provided to the client.
If signed and returned by the client with an initial payment, work can begin on the project.

The PDC is not a source of funding.
The PDC can not undertake unfunded activities.

For Project Funding Assistance

There are federal, state and private sources for economic development funding. The SmartZoneSM system, the MEDC and its Strategic Service Providers can provide suggestions and help finding resources.
Occasionally the PDC has had grants that can partially offset project costs.
The Mi-SBDC can provide help in developing a business plan suitable for presenting to private and governmental financing sources.


The Sault Ste. Marie/LSSU SmartZoneSM is operated by SSMartSM, Inc. providing help to entrepreneurs to bring new products and businesses to reality.


Whether it's an expansion, relocation, or even a concern with an agency of state government, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) can help. From site location assistance to job training grants, from help with permits to tax abatements, the MEDC is the State of Michigan's official economic development corporation -- a one-stop resource for businesses seeking to grow in Michigan


The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) is comprised of 12 offices statewide, providing services and support to the Michigan small business community in the areas of counseling, training and research.





Top Engineers


First Place
Lake Superior State University

Tied with: Eastern Michigan University

Second Place
Lawrence Technological University

Third Place
Western Michigan University

Other participants included: University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Ferris State University

2000 Society of Manufacturing Engineers Region 6 Conference

Student Design and Build Competition

March 25, 2000
Lansing, Mich.

Apply Today!

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