New AES award

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April 28, 2017

MSU Engineering presents inaugural Mike Sadler Competitive Edge Award at 2017 Design Day 

Mike Sadler was part of the Michigan State University College of Engineering for three years, earning a bachelor’s degree in Applied Engineering Sciences (AES) in 2013. 

Those years were well spent, he liked to say.AES Director Laura Genik, Coach Mark Dantonio, and Karen Sadler presented the first Mike Sadler Competitive Edge Award during Design Day on April 28. Pictured are (back, l to r) Laura Genik, Chang Joon Kim, Edward Okuniewski, Derek Stockman, Daniel Feenstra, (front) Coach Mark Dantonio, Junyu Liu, Jasmine Lim, Rachel Gasparovich, Hanish Mehta, and Karen Sadler. 

“I am very proud to call myself an Applied Engineering Sciences alumnus,” Sadler had said. “The program has fostered within me maturity, discipline, leadership, and a worldly sense of systems thinking.” 

Sadler was also an award-winning punter and scholar-athlete for Michigan State’s football team and known for giving the Spartans a competitive edge by pinning opponents back near their own end zone with perfect punts.

Tragically, Sadler was only 24 when he died in a car accident in Wisconsin in July 2016. 

Sadler’s competitiveness and creative solutions were honored April 28 during the College of Engineering Design Day awards ceremony with the introduction of a new Applied Engineering Sciences Award – the Mike Sadler Competitive Edge Award. 

Sadler’s mother, Karen, and MSU football coach Mark Dantonio officiated with the inaugural presentation, assisted by AES Director Laura Genik. 

Video - hear Karen Sadler and Mark Dantonio (Video courtesy of MSU Athletic Communications)

The award honors the AES capstone team that strives to achieve the highest possible outcome to attain the next level of success. The winning project will be considered to have “flipped the field” with an innovative and creative solution that results in a competitive edge that not only solves the problem but distinguishes itself from the competition. 

“I am honored and humbled to represent my son here today,” Mrs. Sadler said. “When he came to here to Engineering, Mike was really good at critical thinking and critical writing. When he left, he was great at it.” 

Executive Director of Design Day Wayne Dyksen (left) hosted MSU Trustee Melanie Foster, Coach Mark Dantonio, Karen Sadler, and Engineering Dean Leo Kempel during the Spring Design Day awards ceremony Friday afternoon.Winners of the first Mike Sadler Competitive Edge Award were presented with medallions. They are the Johnson Controls/MSU IPF team for their design of a decentralized, decarbonized district energy strategy. Team members are Chang Joon Kim, Edward Okuniewski, Derek Stockman, Daniel Feenstra, Junyu Liu, Jasmine Lim, Rachel Gasparovich, and Hanish Mehta.

Dantonio congratulated the winners, saying he had talked to many great minds during Design Day. “Mike embodied that description, too,” he added. 

Design Day showcases competitions and project presentations from a variety of engineering classes at the end of each semester.

For seniors, the 15-week capstone course provides a platform for students to apply the knowledge and experiences gained throughout their engineering education at MSU. 

Mike Sadler was on an award-winning AES Design Day team in 2013."The College of Engineering and AES really were an important part of Mike's life, as was football." -- Karen Sadler, mother of the late Mike Sadler (AES '13)