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College of Engineering program receives financial gift and new name

Grand Haven-based, tier-one automotive supplier Shape Corporation has been a long-time supporter of Grand Valley State University’s Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. Tuesday, it continued its commitment to developing future engineers renaming the university’s innovation design center.

“The Shape Corp. Design and Innovation Center was created to tighten our alliance with Grand Valley and strengthen the focus on S.T.E.M., projects, programs, creating a platform for innovation and student growth in and out of the classroom.”

Kyle Verplank is Shape executive co-chair, he explained what’s good for the university is good for the community and company.

Grand Valley President Philomena Mantella said the university is doubling down on its innovation programs.

“We know engineering and tech talent is absolutely key to the future of this community, to the vibrance of our businesses, to the platform that mark this need to inspire. To engage in innovation for the future in a knowledge economy, and a digital economy and an A.I economy, and we want to be there.”

Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, said Shape Corp’ support allows for program expansion at the Winter Avenue location including exposing more than 13,000 K-12 students to stem. At the college level, there are rapid prototyping labs, digital design studios and a fabrication lab.