About James Anderson and the Institute

The James and Patricia Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute was established to advance Wayne State University's important role in contributing to the growth and revitalization of Detroit and the university's overall vision to become the pre-eminent public research university in the nation.


To be in the top league of universities with regard to entrepreneurship and innovation.


The mission of the institute is to translate research and development (R&D) into innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E).

Embedded within the college, the institute fosters a culture of entrepreneurship among the faculty envisioning commercial applications for new technology, securing patents and establishing start-up companies while providing opportunities for students to learn best practices in applied research, technology commercialization and business creation.

About James Anderson

Jim AndersonAnderson received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1966 and his Master of Science in Civil Engineering with a minor in operations research in 1970, both from Wayne State University. In 1967, Anderson joined the engineering faculty at Wayne State University, where he developed environmental models and computer mapping techniques to display the data created by the models. In 1972, he started working with the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University to expand his computer mapping capabilities to include census data, employment data, and other demographic information systems. In addition, he developed statistical and mathematical models for the location analysis of demographic data. Since its inception in 1977, Jim Anderson has been the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Science Applications, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan.

Jim Anderson is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Marketing Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Statistical Association, American Association for Artificial Intelligence, Association for Computing Machinery, Engineering Society of Detroit, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, National Society of Professional Engineers, and Sigma Xi National Research Society.

Jim Anderson's vision of the Anderson Institute combines science and technology with an entrepreneurial spirit. He strives to improve the world while creating economic opportunities for students and innovators. He strongly believes in what Henry Ford said, "the best way to predict the future is to invent it." Jim has always supported and facilitated innovations by College of Engineering students and paved the road for our students to transition their dreams into business and other industries.

Jim Anderson has dedicated his entire career to serving the community and demonstrating an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of countless individuals. His contributions to education and social justice have been nothing short of extraordinary. Jim Anderson’s unequivocal support of the College of Engineering at Wayne State University agglomerated with his genuine passion and vision for the College of Engineering


Jenelle Michaels
James & Patricia Anderson Ventures Institute Coordinator