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On Engineering in Crisis: Solving Puzzles

Over the next few weeks, we invite you to join us for a short-form blog series on how SWE Members are navigating the world amidst COVID19.
On Engineering In Crisis: Solving Puzzles

Today, we are pleased to feature Janet Callahan, dean of College of Engineering at Michigan Technological University. These blogs will showcase how different SWE members are engineering their lives during this fluid and ever-changing environment.

Want to be featured? Submit your engineering in crisis story here.

Your Name & Affiliation: Janet Callahan from Michigan Technological University

Engineering Discipline: Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering


How do you handle stress and maintain a work-life balance right now?

I’m working on a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. Usually in my plaid pajama pants. I encourage puzzles, it is helping me think strategically. Progress. One-piece at a time…


Do you have any tips for studying or working from home? 

Get adequate sleep. It’s important for studying and work, and important for immune health too.

How do you maintain community with your fellow SWE members, section, or affiliate?

Zoom, zoom, and more zoom. I actually enjoy it.

Engineers will be part of the critical solution to the global crisis created by COVID19. How are you engineering in crisis today?

As a dean, I immediately called for seed grant proposals from faculty of up to $25K industry or government. It was a call to action to help our region, state, nation, and the world with their talent, time and effort in support of human life. One project, the MTU Mobile Sanitizer, is in Detroit now awaiting approval from the FDA. It uses heat to kill the virus so PPE, ventilators and hospital equipment can be reused. The team was able to build and test this unit in just 12 days from receiving the funding approval, a testament to community and tenacity.

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