In 1976, two ambitious brothers from Tehran enrolled at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Detroit. We all know what happened next, but because it’s such a good story, we’ll still do the super brief version: they graduated, older brother Mohammad brought his young family back to Iran and later Sweden, bachelor brother Javad stayed in the US. In 1989, they reunited in Irvine, and together they poured their hearts and souls into building and growing FUTEK, until Mohammads journey ended on earth in 2013. But, last week, we got to celebrate his remarkable legacy, as Mohammad was inducted to his alma mater’s College of Business and Information Technology (CoBIT) Hall of Fame. A FUTEK delegation of Mohammad’s brother Javad, sons Navid, Omid, and Emud, and nephew Ehsan flew to Michigan to attend , celebrate and forge stronger relationship and collaboration with the university.
“These men were true business visionaries whose accomplishments speak so well of the kind of business education that Lawrence Tech offers—theory put into practical application to expand the scope of human knowledge and improve society,” said Bahman Mirshab, CoBIT dean, as he inducted Mohammad and the two other honorees, Dr. Moudgil the President & CEO of LTU from 2011-2021 and Dr. Thomas Marx, distinguished LTU professor.
But the festivities didn’t stop there. Javad also cut the ribbon on a FUTEK-funded cybersecurity computer lab, which will be used to teach LTU information technology students how to apply cybersecurity techniques and tools to manage risks, along with learning digital forensics, network security, and incident response. “It’s a very important department,” says Javad, “They are exploring how to protect their ideas.”
The day ended with dinner at the dean’s house. “They were all very friendly and generous, they practically rolled out the red carpet for us,” said Javad, “Everyone we met was very passionate and really loved their job.They really know what they’re doing.”
The school’s equipment was equally impressive. ”The labs were substantial, they had everything from giant facilities for testing bridge fault levels to a burn room, a freezer room, and simulated sandstorms,” said Mohammad’s middle son Emud, who took a tour of the buildings, “Having seen labs in major universities in California, I was struck by their industrial capabilities.” Though the university has grown tremendously since the ‘70s, it still offered impressive resources back then. “We both had to work part time jobs,” said Javad, “But we really took advantage of the platform over there, they were already very well equipped and well connected, it was a hands-on type of program.”
It seems fitting that the university that gave FUTEK its roots should be a valued partner for future collaborations. Besides the sponsorship of the new cybersecurity lab and support of other programs, FUTEK’s involvement with LTU is only likely to expand. Javad is in talks with the university to serve as faculty on the entrepreneurial courses and the school, which already uses FUTEK sensors in their labs, might become a playground for experimentation and innovation for our engineering teams. “We are closely connected to LTU”, says Javad, “And we want that connection to get even closer, creating a win-win-win platform."