Braun Fellowship to Support SVSU Profs Work to Study African Business and Develop Engineering Textbook

Braun Fellowship to Support SVSU Profs Work to Study African Business and Develop Engineering Textbook

Nov 16, 2009/SVSU News


By J.J. Boehm


Two Saginaw Valley State University professors have been selected as the latest Braun Fellows. Enayat Mahajerin will produce a novel engineering textbook and Joseph Ofori-Dankwa will study business conditions in sub-Saharan African through research support grants totaling up to $37,500 over the next three years to further their scholarly and professional activities. Funds may be used for research expenses, equipment, travel and/or other related support.


A professor of mechanical engineering, Mahajerin plans to author a textbook tailored to 21st century needs in the areas of mathematical modeling, contemporary numerical methods and computer programming. He intends to emphasize ingenuity, insight and imagination, which he says are often absent from traditional texts but frequently needed to solve engineering problems.


The working title of the book is “Computational Methods with MATLAB Programming,” and it will contain numerous examples to illustrate analytical methods. MATLAB is a computer programming language used by both education and industry. Mahajerin plans to employ a student research assistant to help with setting up experiments and collecting data for the project.


Ofori-Danka will study the emerging economy of West Africa, and specifically, the nation of Ghana, which he says has been largely unrecognized by U.S. firms, though countries such as China and India have been quick to see the business opportunities. His research focus will be to more fully describe the scope and opportunities associated with the West African market and to identify factors that influence successful firm performance, which have not been comprehensively identified previously.


Factors leading to successful enterpreneurship in such economies also will be examined by Ofori-Dankwa. He contends identifying such market success factors may help U.S. firms and investors to more fully explore, engage and ultimately benefit from the potential opportunities associated with this emerging economy.


A resident of Saginaw Township, Mahajerin joined the SVSU faculty in 1984 and has received the University’s highest honors for teaching (the Landee Award, 1989) and research (the Warrick Award, 1990). An active scholar, he has published or presented nearly 80 articles and papers during his career. Mahajerin also has served as faculty adviser to SVSU’s chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers since 1985. He completed his Ph.D. at Michigan State University.


Also a resident of Saginaw Township, Ofori-Dankwa joined the SVSU faculty in 1987 and likewise was honored with the Warrick Award (in 2005); he received the House Award for Teacher Impact in 2000. He has written 27 articles that have appeared in scholarly journals, and has given more than 50 presentations at management conferences. Ofori-Danka also has served as faculty adviser to SVSU’s chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed business fraternity, since 2005. He completed his Ph.D. at Michigan State University.


Mahajerin and Ofori-Dankwa form the fourth class of Braun Fellows.


Established in 2005, the Braun Fellowship program was created through a $1.5 million endowment from the Saginaw-based Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation. Administered by the Saginaw Community Foundation, the program’s purpose is to recognize the exceptional accomplishments and potential of select SVSU faculty and staff. It is named in honor of Ruth and Ted Braun of Saginaw.