A NEW PARTNERSHIP – Lake Superior State University President Tony McLain, left, and Moran Iron Works President and CEO Tom Moran sign an agreement on May 2 that opens an exchange of academic and industrial projects and trains workers, management, LSSU faculty and students. Looking on from right are David Finley, dean of LSSU's College of Engineering and Business and Tom Coates, executive director of LSSU's Foundation Office. Moran Iron Works officials (l-r) Michael Mehan, vice president and director of inspection; Kurt LaLonde, vice president and director of quality; and Gerald Ganske, executive vice president and chief operating officer, look on from the left. (Courtesy Moran Iron Works)
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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University and Moran Iron Works (MIW), one of Michigan's largest and fastest growing large-component metal fabricators, have signed an agreement to open an exchange of academic and industrial ideas and foster training between workers, management, LSSU faculty and students.
University and company officials signed a memo of understanding on May 2 at MIW's Onaway, Mich., corporate headquarters.
For LSSU, MIW is a ready client for senior-year engineering project teams, and offers valuable internship and co-op experience for faculty and students. Company executives will reciprocate by presenting lectures on LSSU's campus, ranging from technical engineering topics to perspectives on business development and entrepreneurism.
MIW gains a veritable custom-trained pool of potential employees as LSSU students close in on and graduate with degrees in general, electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering. Many student engineers opt for minors in general, manufacturing, and industrial engineering technology, with concentrations in robotics and automation. Moran Iron Works will also tap expertise in areas of management, marketing, accounting, and business administration through LSSU's Lukenda School of Business.
"The agreement grows and consolidates a natural fit between the academic and applied," said David Finley, dean of LSSU's College of Engineering and Business. "Our students and faculty will migrate classroom and laboratory experiences into the industrial metal fabrication business, where Moran Iron Works flourishes."
Moran Iron Works excels at oversized metal products — often custom-designed on tight deadlines — such as stacks, platforms, chutes, hoppers, heat shields, exhaust diffusers, and coffer dams — for clients all over the world. Founded in 1978 by president and CEO Tom Moran, it employs more than 100 people in Onaway, Cheboygan and Rogers City, Mich.
"This is a very significant agreement for MIW", said Moran at the signing. "We look to LSSU to enhance our company's pursuit of knowledge and integration. LSSU brings the facility and resources to enhance our research and development areas as well. We trust it is equally beneficial to LSSU students to intern and potentially find a home at Moran Iron Works".
MIW recently signed a $19 million contract with Consumers Energy to build clean-air equipment for the utility's power plants. Last year, the Edward Lowe Foundation and the Michigan Celebrates Small Business program recognized Moran Iron Works as being one of Michigan's "50 Companies to Watch."
LSSU has a proven track record of industrial partnerships, primarily in the automotive and robotics sectors. Senior engineering design project teams work with clients such as 3M, Continental Automotive, AMT Robotics, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.-based Essar Steel Algoma. Through the Moran Iron Works agreement, senior project teams and their faculty advisors will work commissions that are physically much larger on the industrial scale.
The agreement also gives MIW access to LSSU's nationally recognized Robotics and Automation Laboratory and the Product Development Center. PDC engineers will collaborate very closely with the new Michigan-designated SmartZone technology accelerator building staff to assist entrepreneurs in refining product manufacturability and developing operational and marketing plans.
LSSU, one of 15 public universities in Michigan, is located in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. It is the state's smallest public university, with an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students. Due to its proximity to the international border, notably the twin city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., LSSU has many Canadian students and maintains a close relationship with its international neighbor.
Run a Web search on "LSSU engineering business" for full information about those programs at Lake State. To read more about Moran Iron Works, point your Web browser to www.moraniron.com.
CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Tom Pink, e-mail, 635-2315; Marilyn Kapp, Moran Iron Works, e-mail, 989-733-2011.