Massoud Amin, the director of the Technological Leadership Institute and an electrical engineering professor at the U of M, is working on developing a smart grid to deliver electricity to the U.S. The term "smart grid," which Dr. Amin coined 12 years ago, refers to using computer, communications, sensing, and control technology combined with an electric power grid to make electric power more reliable.
The Midwest contains some of the most reliable states which average only 92 minutes of power outages each year, but New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey average 214 minutes without power each year. Instead of just learning to cope with these power outages, Dr. Amin is trying to solve the problem. It is possible to have more reliable electricity - Japan averages only 4 minutes without power per year!
To highlight the work being done by Dr. Amin, the U of M created a 30-second advertisement to run during the halftime of college football games. Many colleges create these ads because they are free for schools in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. This year the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) finally settled the debate: Who has the best college ad?
WSJ created a four-person panel consisting of a representative from Ogilvy and Mather, an international advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, along with an associate professor from NYU's film school, and two high school students who are currently choosing where they want to attend college. They judged 112 of the 120 ads produced by schools.
The ad graded the highest overall by the panel was the U of M's which features Massoud Amin explaining his smart grid research. The panelists gave the U of M's ad top marks for its powerful images and words about academics.
I am proud to represent an institution that has such strong academics and produces innovative research. There are certainly a number of factors in choosing a college, some of which are not academic, but the reason you attend college is to learn! And at the U of M, you will learn from some of the best minds in academia and industry.
So....what do you think of the ad?