Industrial and systems engineering department honors students, alumni and DTE energy

DETROIT (Dec. 23, 2013) – Wayne State University’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) honored alumni, graduating seniors and longtime industry partner DTE Energy at its annual Celebration of Achievement and Excellence on Dec. 5.

  Select event photos are available on Flickr

The event brought together leaders in the ISE community and offered participants the opportunity to network across industry and academia.

DTE — which has a long history of hiring Wayne State ISE students as interns and co-ops — received the department’s prestigious Recognition Award. DTE Energy Vice President of Gas Operations Joi Harris accepted the award on behalf of DTE and made a brief speech on the importance of giving back to the community.

“DTE Energy has provided practical experience to many engineering students over the years through our co-op and summer internship programs,” says Harris. “Also, the DTE Energy Foundation has awarded Wayne State University more than $500,000 this year alone for various initiatives, including the renovation of the College of Engineering’s teaching labs. DTE aspires to be a force for growth and prosperity in the communities we serve. One way to reach that goal is by investing in the leaders of tomorrow.”

In the last four years alone, DTE has employed the following ISE students: Han Cao, Christine Cardenas, Hani Chehade, Mohama Dagher, Nataki DeForrest, Norman Dotson, Sunith George, Danielle Hunter, Edwin Idusuyi, Kristen Jordan, Vilma Kocllari, Catherine Mitchell, Vatsal Patel and Nasser Yahya. According to Carmen Gamlin, Wayne State College of Engineering career consultant, many more engineering and computer science students find opportunities for hands-on experience thanks to DTE.

“DTE Energy is the most represented employer for Wayne State undergraduate engineering students participating in cooperative education and internships,” Gamlin says. “Since DTE Energy collaborates with so many industry leaders, our students and alumni are well-positioned to advance their careers as a result of working at DTE Energy.”

Additionally, Bimal Napal received the Outstanding Alumni Award, and Aishwarya Sankar and Chelsea Zenk received a Distinguished Alumni Award. The department also awarded its Leadership Award to ISE Professor, Graduate Chair and Founding Director of the Global Executive Ratna Babu Chinnam, and Academic Advisor Gail Evans.

“This event provided us with a wonderful opportunity to properly honor our outstanding students, alumni and industry partners,” says ISE Department Chair Leslie Monplaisir. “It’s a great time to be in ISE, at Wayne State and in Detroit.”


Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 28,000 students. For more information about engineering at Wayne State University, visit

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