Lawrence Technological University Cuts the Ribbon on a New Robotics and Factory Automation Laboratory

Lawrence Technological University Cuts the Ribbon on a New Robotics and Factory Automation Laboratory 1200 600 sccadmin

Lawrence Technological University has cut the ribbon on a new robotics and factory automation laboratory that the companies that helped create it say is unique anywhere in the United States.

The Rockwell Automation/McNaughton-McKay Electric Co. I4.0 Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory features world class control architecture, controller based safety, mechatronics, and more. It’s a million-dollar-plus investment by LTU and its industry partners in training LTU industrial engineering and computer science students how the factories of tomorrow will be designed, optimized, and run.

Inside a steel safety cage, Kuka industrial robots simulate assembly line and warehouse operations, controlled by Rockwell software and programmable logic controllers installed by McNaughton-McKay. Also in the lab is machine vision and inspection technology from Oak Park-based Detect-It and Rochester-based Deepview. The lab also uses Rockwell virtual reality software called Emulate 3D, creating a virtual twin of the lab, where students can test manufacturing simulations before trying them in the physical assembly line.

The lab will be used by several LTU engineering and computer science programs.

In other LTU news:

  • LTU’s Centrepolis Accelerator has received a $450,000 grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. The grant is intended to help small and medium-sized manufacturers increase their adoption of sustainable business practices that will both improve the condition of the environment and boost their economic competitiveness.
  • New free help is available to a wide range of Michigan organizations looking to reduce waste and improve sustainability and energy efficiency. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Lawrence Technological University in Southfield have partnered to launch the RESTART Program @ LTU. RESTART stands for Retired Engineers, Scientists, Technicians, Administrators, Researchers, and Teachers. Under EGLE’s guidance, RESTART offers free onsite energy efficiency and sustainability technical assistance and assessments to small and medium-sized commercial businesses headquartered in Michigan with 500 or fewer employees, and public entities including K-12 schools, municipalities, and not-for-profits. 
  • A grant of $300,000 to Lawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator and another grant of $112,000 to the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute has produced a new online database of Michigan’s key renewable energy resources for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The web pages ares intended for use by elected officials, government employees, business owners, planners, developers, industry and commercial stakeholders, and the public.
  • Faculty in Lawrence Technological University’s College of Arts and Sciences are collaborating with the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program for a fun, hands-on Saturday chemistry program. The LTU-DAPCEP Saturday Chemistry Program is a 3-year initiative for approximately 20 DAPCEP 10th grade scholars on the LTU campus. During the Spring 2023 semester, DAPCEP students will be introduced to basic chemistry concepts and hands-on experiments. In the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semester, and in Fall 2024 and Spring 2025, students will learn more advanced chemistry concepts and apply what they learn to complete research projects. Students who complete the program successfully will be eligible to receive a four-year scholarship worth $78,000 if they decide to attend LTU and major in a variety of STEM disciplines.
  • Hyundai-Kia Technical Center Inc. in Ann Arbor has donated battery testing equipment worth an estimated $80,000 to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Lawrence Technological University’s College of Engineering.The equipment can be used to test batteries for electric vehicles, emergency backup power, and utility-grid-scale power storage.

Fitness Amenities Tops at Southfield Town Center

Fitness Amenities Tops at Southfield Town Center 2113 402 southfieldcc_3ik8d2

For employees of companies located in Southfield Town Center, an updated Fitness Center and new Sports Club awaits in the 3000 Building. Locker rooms have been renovated, equipment has been replaced, and new management has assumed operations.

“We are probably one of the few office complexes in Southeast Michigan that offer a fitness center with this level of cardiovascular equipment, exercise machines, free weights and a full range of fitness classes,” says Clarence Gleeson, senior vice president for onsite project leasing and marketing at Transwestern, the management agent for the building.

The Fitness Center is located on the second level of the 3000 Building, adjacent to the two-story Garden Atrium. The Sports Club – featuring a professional-size basketball court and lounge – is directly below on the first level. “Our expectation is that, as the population returns, companies will use the basketball facility for intra-company events,” Gleeson says, adding that the wood floor can be protectively covered and the space used to host meetings and gatherings.

Within the Fitness Center, men’s and women’s locker rooms each offer eight showers, a sauna and massage services. A variety of classes will be available as employees return to offices, as will personal training for individual and small group sessions.

About 6,500 people work at Town Center when the four skyscrapers are at maximum capacity. The complex is owned by S. L. Town Center/601W Companies. Currently new leases are being signed and existing tenants, including Plante Moran and Alex Partners, are bringing their
staffs back to the office as the pandemic recedes.

The pricing structure also has been updated. Instead of a monthly fee, members pay a $99 annual fee. Gleeson says the change reflects Transwestern’s desire to promote usage and convenience and position the Fitness Center and Sports Club as an amenity for everyone working at Town Center.

For more information, contact or visit

New Development Caters to Millennials’ Live-Work-Play Lifestyle

New Development Caters to Millennials’ Live-Work-Play Lifestyle 1200 501 southfieldcc_3ik8d2

The MiddlePointe, a new mixed-use housing and commercial real-estate development set to begin construction in spring, is designed to meet the live-work-play needs of young professionals, families and Lawrence Technological University students, and the businesses that serve them.

“More now than ever, the current workforce is seeking housing options that are within close proximity of their jobs, including everyday services and amenities within walking distance,” says Hassan Jawad, founder and president of MiddlePointe Investment Group LLC.

Located on Evergreen Road at Civic Center Drive, the 8.15-acre development site will offer 325 amenity-filled residential apartments, 35,000 square-feet of first-floor commercial real-estate space, abundant landscaping and electric-vehicle charging stations.

Back in 2016, the City and Southfield City Centre Advisory Board commissioned a study to determine the best use of the centrally located site. The result, “Southfield City Centre Vision and Redevelopment Plan,” determined a mixed-use development would be ideal. Millennials were identified as the target market, followed by empty nesters and families. The MiddlePointe aims to fill this community need.

“I have had many discussions within the community on how we can enrich the experience for those working or attending our various universities, businesses and religious establishments,” Jawad continues. “I believe that our development will not only serve as an attraction mechanism but will retain those businesses and residents who already reside in Southfield City Centre.”

Jawad has been a member of the Southfield community since 1992 when he decided to locate his IT company, Tower Computer Services, there. He has lived, worked and invested in Southfield ever since. A member of the Southfield City Centre Advisory Board since 2009, he has developed other sites within the city, including City Centre Plaza and City Centre II, which was the first mixed use development in Southfield City Centre.

When complete, The MiddlePointe will be a “lifestyle center,” Jawad explains, the first of its kind in Southeast Michigan. Given its central location, the development will become a community hub, connecting new and existing residential and mixed- use developments in City Centre with recreational resources found on the Municipal Campus – library, golf course, ice rink, tennis courts – as well as Southfield City Centre Trail and public art collection and the LTU campus. “This is truly a passion project for us,” he adds.

For more information, contact Hassan Jawad at

Renovations give Southfield Town Center new leases

Renovations give Southfield Town Center new leases southfieldcc_3ik8d2
  • 601W Cos. began improvements at Southfield Town Center four years ago
  • $56 million in renovations are about to enter final phase
  • Competing with downtown Detroit for prime tenants

It’s not been an easy road for the New York City owners of the region’s second-largest office complex, the Southfield Town Center.

Four years ago this month, 601W Cos. said it would embark on a $50 million renovation of the 2.2 million-square-foot complex off the Lodge Freeway consisting of five sparkling office buildings the company purchased in 2014 for $177.5 million. Those renovations, now totaling about $56 million including tenant improvements, are about to enter their third and final phase with an upgrade to the sprawling atrium, expected to begin later this year…

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