OU INC connects clients with student engineering talent

OU INC connects clients with student engineering talent
Wave Water Works, LLC’s fall semester senior design team during their final presentation.

OU INC clients, Berylline, Corp., Wave Water Works, Inc. and Na4B, LLC, have engaged with students in the School of Engineering and Computer Science senior design engineering lab through OU INC’s innovative Academic Integration Program.


The Academic Integration Program connects startup and growth stage incubator clients with senior design projects and students throughout the university, and provides experiential learning opportunities in the areas of technology, engineering, testing and design.


“One of the key values we provide to our clients is linking them with the talent at the university,” said Amy Butler, executive director of OU INC. “This is a win-win opportunity to both the businesses and the students. You can see the excitement, innovation and mentoring in the way the principal and the students interface throughout the semester and in their final presentation.”


Berylline, Corp., a startup company developing a scooter to be used as secondary, short-range transportation, is working with students to install and test a new fuel injection system on their 3-wheeled hybrid scooter. The Berylline hybrid system features a boost electric motor to improve both starting and hill-climbing performance while enhancing fuel economy.


“Through the first month, their ability to complete the design tasks, think outside the box, offer suggestions and address our requirements have been as good as I have seen in our industry,” said Dennis Dresser, president of Berylline, Corp. “The benefit to Berylline is unparalleled and the pure excitement of working with these young, energetic students has increased our enthusiasm to finish this project and move towards production.”


Wave Water Works, Inc. worked with engineering students during the fall semester and has returned for the winter semester. In the fall, they had students develop a test bench system that produced an oscillatory motion that would be used in the company’s Oscillo Drive transmission. For the winter semester, Wave Water Works is working with two student teams on constructing a float system that will efficiently capture oscillating mechanical energy that can be used for the company’s Oscillo Drive. The Oscillo Drive captures energy through the use of wave power.

“We’re really thankful to have had this opportunity,” said Chuck Keys, project director and business manager for Wave Water Works. “I think it’s great that OU INC is connecting students to companies. It’s a really good way to expand their education and to network with potential employers. We’re excited to see these bright, fresh faces test technology that will change the world—their world—for the better. Wave power is the cleanest and most reliable renewable source of energy available on the planet, and OU engineering students are getting practical, real-world experience that any employer will understand. We fully expect that some of these students will be leaders in green technologies in the future. We’re thrilled to help in this process in any way we can.”



Na4B, LLC founder, Dr. Wolfgang Jansohn,
(dark blue sweater facing camera) discussing
the project with a colleague during the collaboration.

Na4B, LLC also worked with engineering students during the senior design lab during the fall semester. Na4B is a startup company that is developing a new prismatic sodium nickel chloride cell based on an improved ultra-thin ceramic electrolyte. Students worked on developing a gas-tight container for an electromechanical cell and an oven cabinet for one or more gas-tight containers for the company’s experiments.


“This was a great experience for ourselves and the students,” said Monika Jansohn, founder of Na4B. “We got to see students abilities’ grow over time and it was great to see young minds at work. I would highly recommend working on this project to any company considering it.”


These collaboration projects were partially funded utilizing the state of Michigan’s Business Accelerator Fund (BAF). BAF awards are an initiative of the State of Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund Program and are distributed by the Michigan Small Business Development Center through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Michigan’s network of business accelerators.


"OU INC is emerging as an important piece of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in southeast Michigan," said Maria LaLonde, a senior program officer at the New Economy Initiative, which has provided operating support to OU INC. "The Academic Integration Program is a great example of how our region can develop and retain local talent to help local companies grow."


About the Senior Design Laboratory

The School of Engineering and Computer Science Senior Design Laboratory (SDL), located in the Engineering Center, is a unique and highly flexible facility that provides SECS undergraduate students the space and resources to design, model, simulate, optimize, fabricate, test and deliver multidisciplinary engineering projects. The SDL welcomes project proposals from large industry and small business.


About OU INC

OU INC is a Smartzone Business Incubator and Innovation Center, in collaboration with the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and strategic industry partners. With a focus on the energy, medical device, and information technology sectors, OU INC provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions for developing business ventures and accelerating ideas to market. OU INC is a designated Soft Landing Facility through the International Business Association for international companies.

berylline group

Berylline Corporation leaders Dennis and Mike Dresser
(from left) with their winter 2017 senior design lab team.