Aug. 4, 2021
Spartans awarded more than $2 million to help Michigan’s industries
Michigan State University will be home to a new Industrial Assessment Center, or IAC, where faculty, staff and students will work with Michigan companies to save money, improve energy efficiency and shrink carbon footprints.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded MSU $2.25 million over the next five years for this effort, which will support Michigan’s small and medium-sized manufacturers and commercial buildings. This is part of a national DOE initiative that began in 1976 and now funds 32 IACs across the country.
MSU’s will be the only one operating in Michigan and the state’s first since 2017.
“We have so much manufacturing in Michigan, but we didn’t have an IAC,” said Kristen Cetin, the director of MSU’s center and an assistant professor in the College of Engineering.
“It’ll be nice to fill that void,” she said. “Even though we’re starting something new for MSU, we’re really not starting from square one because we have a lot of collaborative support. We have a large, diverse and cross-disciplinary team.”
“We spent a lot of time on Zoom developing this proposal — it felt like we talked to everyone in Michigan,” said Cetin’s colleague, Annick Anctil.
“But we both like working with lots of people,” said Anctil, who is the center’s assistant director. “A big part of this center is trying to reach communities and manufacturers who haven’t traditionally been represented in these projects.”
This goal of being more inclusive, explicitly stated by U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm when DOE announced the 2021 IAC cohort on July 26, resonated with Cetin and Anctil. Not only does the emphasis align with MSU’s values, but the university also has the breadth of expertise needed to help Michigan’s diverse array of manufacturers and commercial workspaces.
“Michigan State University is a world-class institution and a global leader in groundbreaking discoveries that are not only saving lives but creating jobs,” said U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, and a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “MSU will continue playing a key role in innovations that will help manufacturers save costs and reduce their carbon footprint.”
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