The Michigan Engineer News Center

Gift will establish Nguyen Family Fund for the Michigan Engineering Zone

The fund will provide operational support to the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ) in Detroit. | Short Read

Motivated by their passion for robotics and STEM education, John N. and Patricia M. (MSE ’92, PhD ’94) Nguyen have provided a recent gift to establish the Nguyen Family Fund for the Michigan Engineering Zone, which will provide operational support to the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ). Serving communities in Detroit, Michigan, the MEZ provides space, equipment, training and mentoring for high school students to design, build and test technologies in robotics. The MEZ has helped over 2,800 Detroit high school students receive hands-on STEM education beyond what their individual high schools can provide. Drs. Nguyen are proud to partner with the MEZ in equipping these students for successful futures in engineering and technology.

After Dr. Patricia Nguyen earned her bachelor’s degree from MIT, she continued to study materials science and engineering at the U-M and received her MSE and PhD in 1992 and 1994, respectively. Her educational background led her to creating smart thread technology for clothing, and founded several companies related to electronic textiles.

Dr. Patricia Nguyen met her husband, Dr. John Nguyen, as a MIT undergraduate. Dr. John Nguyen went on to earn both his master’s and PhD degrees from MIT in engineering. With a shared interest in entrepreneurialism, Dr. John Nguyen has also launched several technology companies.

Drs. Nguyen have two sons, and they are active in coaching their FIRST Robotics team on the local, state and national levels. They reside in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Portrait of John Balbach


John Balbach
Executive Director of Advancement

Michigan Engineering

(734) 763-0893

2002 LEC

The 3D printed block M model made by Scott and Burns team. Photo: Evan Dougherty

3D printing 100 times faster with light

The new method also results in a stronger print than typical layered models. | Short Read