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Congratulations Dr. Jones! | May 1, 2010

Dr. Andrew Jones received the 2010 Distinguished Teacher Award
PARTING OF THE MINDS – Lake Superior State University Engineering Professor Dr. Andrew Jones makes his way through the faculty section after being announced as recipient of this year's Distinguished Teaching Award during commencement exercises. The recipient, chosen by LSSU employees and students, is kept secret each year until announced during the ceremony. The reception included surprise visits from his parents and daughter, and a video feed from an alumnus and former colleague. (LSSU Photo)

Andrew Jones Ph.D., an electrical engineering professor who has the knack of turning digital electronics into an exciting topic was chosen as this year's recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award at Lake Superior State University. The recipient, chosen by LSSU employees and students, is kept secret each year until announced during the ceremony.

"I'm speechless," Jones said after being asked to come up to the stage to accept his award. Greeting his students, he said, "It has been a great privilege, no, an honor, to serve you…I enjoy interacting with you."

Jones came to LSSU in 2005 from Purdue University, where he was teaching after earning his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering there in 2002. He received his master's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue in 1993 and his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from University of Texas at Austin in 1991.

"The Distinguished Teacher is a member of the LSSU community who exemplifies the best of our university," said LSSU Provost Tony Blose. "This year's recipient has been described as not just a professor, but also a mentor and role model. He has been a breath of fresh air since his arrival and has impressed students with his superior knowledge of subject matter, demonstrated great love of teaching, and boundless enthusiasm."

Jones lists artificial intelligence and data mining, environmental sensors and renewable energies, computer vision and image processing as some of his academic interests. He teaches senior design classes, microcontroller fundamentals, intro to engineering, robotics engineering, honor thesis, digital systems design and many other classes. He serves on several LSSU committees, has been faculty advisor for the student IEEE chapter and the LSSU Pep Band, and a mentor for the Sault Schools FIRST Robotics Team.

Blose said Jones' teaching style "has been described as 'one of a kind' and he has been appreciated for his motivation and constant support to assist students in reaching their potential in a very challenging discipline."

Jones showed some of that boundless enthusiasm on stage, telling the audience, "Teaching is not just what you do in lecture; it's the energy you bring…Digital electronics can be boring, but we can make it exciting!"

He advised his students, "Find that passion and regardless of what your pay is, you'll enjoy your life from here on out…It's been a privilege to serve you and this community."

The LSSU Distinguished Teaching Award has been presented to faculty since 1971.

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New Scholarship Opportunities

Precision Edge has given LSSU engineering an endowed scholarship for students of at least sophomore status majoring in an LSSU School of Engineering & Technology program. The Floyd and Joyce Starks Memorial Scholarship has been revised to benefit both an incoming freshman and a returning student who are pursuing either an electrical or computer engineering degree at LSSU. Check out the SET scholarship page for more details.

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SAE prepares for 2010 Baja Season | Winter 2010

SAE plans Toga party fundraiser ENGINEERS, CLASSICAL GAS – Lake Superior State University's student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) hosted a Toga party on Friday, Jan. 29, at Zim's Restaurant in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The benefit featured toga contests, music with DJ Seismic, and fun until closing. Proceeds went toward the group's trips to February’s Winter Baja Invitational in the Keweenaw Peninsula and to Greenville, S.C. for the Baja SAE Carolina in April. Left to right, in planning mode, are chapter president Brandon Roy (mechanical engineering senior; Mancelona, Mich.), secretary Tiffany Radka (fisheries and wildlife management junior; Turner, Mich.), and treasurer Stephen Wilson (manufacturing engineering technology senior; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)

The LSSU chapter of SAE is rolling into its third year of participation in the SAE Baja series as a bonafide Baja team. The chapter has continued to grow, and now includes students from majors across campus, including fisheries and wildlife management, fire science and computer science.

LSSU’s first entry into a Baja SAE competition was in 2007 when two senior project teams came together as Laker Racing at the Baja SAE Midwest Regional in Rochester, NY. The following year, a senior project team entered a new vehicle in the 2008 Baja SAE Illinois competition in addition to the revamped version of the 2007 vehicle by the SAE chapter members.

The chapter developed a new vehicle of its own design during the 2008-09 competition season. The vehicle's first test was in February at the Winter Baja Invitational in the Keweenaw Peninsula's Lake Linden. Then the training wheels came off and the crew got down to some serious business in the shop. A caravan made its way to Baja SAE Alabama in April, where they finished 42nd overall, with top-20 places in all the racing events.

The chapter launched into the third version of its vehicle on the heels of its first full season. Plans include participating in the 2010 Winter Baja Invitational and traveling to April’s Baja SAE Carolina in Greenville, SC. The Carolina competition field has 100 entries. Teams will be coming from throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada and Brazil.

To fund this season’s participation, the chapter is hosting three major events. The first was a Halloween Party hosted at Zim’s Restaurant in Sault Ste. Marie. A toga party took place in late January, also at Zim’s. The group hopes to raise enough to satisfy its budget of more than $3,000 with its third fundraiser on March 26, a Las Vegas night that will be held in the Cisler Center Superior Room, featuring dinner followed by casino-style games.

Looking toward the future, there have been rumblings about developing a test-drive area on campus to simulate various conditions at competition, from mud and rocks to hills and flats.

For more information about the LSSU chapter of SAE, contact the group’s advisor, Dr. Robert Hildebrand at

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SIFE Entrepreneurial Lecture provides valuable insight | January 2009

David Ollila, founder and Chief Product Developer of the V.I.O., point-of-view (POV) camera systems, came to the LSSU Entrepreneurial lecture sponsored by SIFE. Ollila provided insight to the workings of the entrepreneurial world and its pros and cons.

The presentation led to a showcase of the prototype for his newest product, a combination snowshoe-back country cross country ski. The combination shoe/ski is intended for use when the wearer wants to "float" on the snow like a snowshoer, yet be able to tackle inclines and ski downhill like an alpine skier. Watch for its introduction into the market later this summer (remember - our summer is the southern hemisphere's winter!).

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Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour a successful ride | November 2009

The Extreme Entrepreneur Tour, held on campus November 17 drew more than 200 participants from LSSU and surrounding communities. Students from the School of Engineering & Technology, and the School of Business attended as part of their courses in addition to the faculty and staff. Many also served as volunteers for the evening's events.

The event provided inspiration and practical advice. Emerging entrepreneurs and students of all disciplines learned how they might apply the entrepreneurial mindset to their lives regardless of career choice. As a follow-up to the tour, the Product Development Center encourages entrepreneurs to contact them to learn more about the next steps: developing business plans, what it takes to turn your idea into reality or create a prototpye, manufacturing methods and more at

The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, the first national collegiate entrepreneurship tour, is presented by and sponsored by Inc. magazine. Founded by award-winning 25-year-olds Michael Simmons and Sheena Lindahl of Extreme Entrepreneurship Education, the tour includes many of America’s top young entrepreneurs who've made, earned, or sold a company for millions and/or made a huge impact before the age of 30. The vision of the tour is for all of America’s college students to graduate with an entrepreneurial mindset.

The programming was sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; the Sault Sainte Marie SmartZone; the LSSU College of Engineering, Technology, and Economic Development; and the LSSU Product Development Center.

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