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The Jodsaas Center for Engineering Leadership and Entrepreneurship was established in 2008 to provide engineering students opportunities to develop skills beyond the traditional engineering curriculum. The mission of the center includes:
1. Develop the leadership and entrepreneurship skills of our students
2. Promote the formation and development of student-led entrepreneurial ventures
3. Serve as the link between the School of Engineering and Mines and other established programs on campus, including the Center for Innovation and the Entrepreneurship Program within the College of Business.
To help meet these goals, the Jodsaas Center hosts seminars and workshops on various topics of interest to our students. Two new courses in Engineering Entrepreneurship have also been developed and a certificate program in Engineering Entrepreneurship is planned.
Previous Jodsaas Center events include the following:
“Managing Your Engineering Career”, Speaker: Scott Johnson, petroleum engineer, formerly of BP.
“Technology Based Entrepreneurship”, Speaker: William B. Isaacson, chemical engineer, formerly of 3M
“Globalization”, Speaker: Chuck Kummeth, ThermoFisher Scientific
“Building Successful Teams: How to be a Valuable Team Player”,Speaker: Hesham El-Rewini, Dean, School of Engineering and Mines
“Global Energy Challenges Require Leadership from Engineers and Scientists“, Speaker: Steven Benson, Professor of Chemical Engineering
Society for Engineering and Entrepreneurial Development
The Jodsaas Center also supports the Society for Engineering and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED), a student organization that assists in the development of new student-led ventures. Students with technology-based ideas submit an application to be considered for support from the group. After the application process is finished, the students will be given the opportunity to present their idea, which is evaluated based on three criteria; market feasibility, technical feasibility, and business model feasibility. The goals of SEED are to prepare teams for participation in business plan competitions and help them make the connections necessary to transition their ideas from academia to the commercial setting.
Brian Tande, Jodsaas Center Director
Brian Tande is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering where he teaches statistics, experimental design, engineering economics, and chemical separations. He also conducts research in composites, biobased materials and carbon capture technology. Prior to UND, he worked in the plastics and composites industry in research and management positions. He is also a co-founder of a company that has developed a novel coating technology for the outdoor products industry.
The Jodsaas Center for Engineering Leadership and Entrepreneurship was made possible by a generous gift from UND School of Engineering and Mines Alum, Larry Jodsaas, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, 1962. The purpose of the Jodsaas Center is to develop interdisciplinary curriculum, programming, and outreach opportunities for faculty and students related to leadership and entrepreneurship. One of the first goals is the creation of a minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship, which will provide opportunities for students to experience the challenges of going beyond design and manufacturing into the realm of commercialization, marketing, and sales.
Jodsaas earned an electrical engineering degree in 1962. Following graduation he secured a position with Control Data. There, he held several different roles including president for Control Data’s systems business and vice president of operations for the peripheral products portion of the company. In 1990 Jodsaas bought VTC, Inc., a semiconductor manufacturing business. He sold the brand engineering and sales and marketing portions of VTC in 2000, but kept the manufacturing portion and through it he started PolarFab - the only privately held semiconductor foundry in the United States. Jodsaas, who retired in 2005, recently funded the Jodsaas Center within UND’s School of Engineering and Mines. Jodsaas resides in St. Paul.