In 2013, U-M alum Roger Valade fulfilled a dream of returning to Ann Arbor when he took a position at ProQuest, an education technology firm best known for online research resources. ProQuest was founded in Ann Arbor in 1938 and had a long history of involvement with the city and his beloved alma mater.
He quickly connected with U-M’s Business Engagement Center, while helped him identify a opportunities where U-M programs and ProQuest interests aligned. One of those was with the Multidisciplinary Design Program in the College of Engineering.
The Multidisciplinary Design Program is a competitively-selected curricular program for students at U-M. Every year, they organize approximately 40 teams of students to tackle engineering and chemistry projects for various corporate, non-profit and government organizations. ProQuest started with one project in 2014 but quickly realized the value in participating and has done one or two projects each year since.