New LTU-EGLE program taps retired professionals’ skills to boost sustainability

SOUTHFIELD—New help is available at no charge to a wide range of Michigan organizations looking to reduce waste and improve sustainability and energy efficiency. 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Lawrence Technological University in Southfield have partnered to launch the RESTART Program @ LTU. RESTART stands for Retired Engineers, Scientists, Technicians, Administrators, Researchers, and Teachers. The program had been established in the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act in 1994 as the Retired Engineers Technical Assistance Program (RETAP). 

Under EGLE’s guidance, RESTART offers free onsite energy efficiency and sustainability technical assistance and assessments to small and medium-sized commercial businesses headquartered in Michigan with 500 or fewer employees, and public entities including K-12 schools, municipalities, and not-for-profits. The program is now accepting applications. 

Supported through a $2.86 million RETAP contract, RESTART also will advance EGLE’s energy, sustainability, and climate programs. 

The university is recruiting retired professionals to add to a RESTART talent pool expected to number about 20 at any given time. 

“Michigan’s retired professionals bring tremendous skill sets to the table,” said Elizabeth Browne, director of EGLE’s Materials Management Division. “We’re eager to see the state’s businesses and public organizations benefit from their experience and expertise.” 

RESTART’s aim is to create and retain jobs, improve marketplace competitiveness, and help Michigan’s manufacturing and commercial sectors toward a low-carbon future in line with goals in the MI Healthy Climate Plan. Its business objective is to offer bang for its buck, producing big savings for clients when compared with program expenditures. Offerings include: 

  • Technical assistance that incorporates advanced, innovative, or expert energy and sustainability systems. 
  • Approaches and software tools to maximize energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption, promote sustainable manufacturing, and reduce operational costs and environmental impacts.  
  • Help implementing projects that result from a RESTART assessment, internal assessment, or third-party assessment, serving as an owner representative. 
  • Special added services for nominal fees. 

“EGLE’s commitment to the RESTART program is significant in positioning the state of Michigan to be a leader in decarbonizing our businesses and public sector,” said LTU President Tarek Sobh. “LTU is grateful to be administering this program with retired engineers, technicians, teachers, and students to have a lasting impact on our environment.” 

In addition to EGLE, RESTART’s partnering organizations include the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and many others. 

RESTART internships 

Teaming up with Michigan universities and colleges that have accredited undergraduate programs in chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, or manufacturing engineering, RESTART is accepting college students’ applications for three-month summer internships. Interns must be juniors or seniors in engineering programs and will be selected through competitive interviews. 

About EGLE 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) employs more than 1,300 scientists, engineers, geologists, toxicologists, inspectors, technicians, managers, biologists, and support staff across the state. Working with local, regional, state, and federal partners, EGLE’s mission is to protect Michigan’s environment and public health by managing air, water, land, and energy resources, while supporting the economic growth and development crucial for Michigan’s future. Its vision is a Michigan that respects people, treasures natural resources, and fosters thriving communities throughout our two peninsulas. 

About Lawrence Technological University 

Lawrence Technological University,, is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports. 

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