Central Michigan University’s engineering program has been designated one of a select number of universities nationwide to be invited to participate in the Ford College Alliance. This new initiative is managed by the Ford Motor Co. Fund and supports the company’s U.S.-based Premier and Standard Recruiting colleges and universities.
In addition to internship and job opportunities provided as a Premier Recruiting school, the Ford College Alliance allows CMU students to benefit from vehicle team support and $25,000 in scholarship money as a result of this collaboration.
"The intensity and caliber of CMU’s engineering students equal those at other schools with very strong engineering programs,” said CMU alumnus Kevin R. Ford, ’85, plant manager of Dearborn Engine and Woodhaven Forging Plants. “Their passion and enthusiasm when they talk about what they’re working on in their labs is just incredible.”
CMU’s participation in the Ford College Alliance means the Ford Fund will award $10,000 in Ford Blue Oval Scholarships to qualified CMU students. Two College of Business Administration students and three College of Science and Technology students already have been designated Ford Blue Oval Scholars and will each receive $2,000.
“CMU having earned the level of a ‘Premier’ university to target for recruitment by a company of the caliber of Ford is a great vote of confidence in our programs and graduates,” said CMU School of Engineering and Technology director Mohamad S. Qatu.
CMU’s engineering program was started a decade ago. The university now is looking at adding a master’s degree in engineering.
Ford is providing CMU $5,000 in financial support split between two engineering and engineering technology student vehicle teams on campus: the Society of Automotive Engineers Baja team and the Formula One team. In addition, four students have been conditionally approved to receive $10,000 — $2,500 each — through Ford Blue Oval Vehicle Team Challenge Scholarships.
In addition, Ford’s manufacturing division has selected four CMU engineering students for a 12-week summer manufacturing internship. CMU senior and mechanical engineering major Allison Lynch from Weidman is among them.
“CMU’s mechanical engineering major is rigorous and nearly every class is catered to engineering projects,” Lynch said. “I’m so thrilled that I’ve been accepted for an internship and am eager to experience engineering through the manufacturing environment at Ford.”
Ford Motor Co.’s manufacturing division also intends to recruit up to five CMU engineering students for the Ford College Graduate program, a three-year, fast-track program for top recruits upon graduation. Graduates selected into this program are rotated to work in a new division within Ford manufacturing every six months. At the end of the three-year term, they are placed in the division they most enjoyed and were most effective.
CMU senior and mechanical engineering major Alexandar Grabinski completed an internship last summer at Ford’s transmission plant in Livonia where he analyzed and documented transmission assembly process operations, shadowed process engineers, worked with plant personnel to solve issues and led team project review meetings with plant management and staff.
Grabinski has been offered a position in the Ford College Graduate program after graduation from CMU in May 2015. The Lansing native said his independent research project studying microfluidics and hydration analysis with Tolga Kaya, assistant professor of engineering, was instrumental in preparing him for his career.
“At CMU you can walk into any faculty member’s office at any time, which is so great,” Grabinski said. “You can’t really find such ‘open-door opportunities’ to build relationships with professors like this at any other university. It’s what makes Central special.”
In addition to Grabinski, CMU senior and mechanical engineering major Tyler Teichman from Owosso has accepted an offer in Ford’s College Graduate program and will become a Ford Intern Ambassador to assist Ford with on-campus recruiting efforts.
According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Ford Motor Co. is the second largest Michigan automotive manufacturer ranked by 2013 revenue. According to CMU’s Career Services office, the company employs approximately 900 CMU alumni.