MTS Systems awards endowment to Michigan Technological University in honour of PCB Founders Jim and Bob Lally

MTS Systems has announced the establishment of the ‘James and Robert Lally Endowment’ at Michigan Technological University.

This $1 million endowment was given in honor of the pioneering efforts of the Lallys in the development of integrated circuit piezoelectric sensors (ICP sensors). These sensors, which are increasingly used in advanced industrial machinery, energy and propulsion systems, and in the testing and validation of new vehicles, measure dynamic pressure, force, strain, vibration and acceleration with extremely high precision.   

In 1967, the Lally brothers founded PCB Piezotronics in Depew, New York, with the vision of becoming a vertically integrated ICP sensor manufacturer. PCB Group, as it later became known, evolved into a leader in the industry, employing over a thousand people in the U.S., and hundreds more world-wide over the next five decades. In July of 2016, PCB was acquired by MTS Systems, creating one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of test equipment and sensor products, supporting the critical needs of OEM’s and leading research laboratories the world over.

In the award ceremony on April 29, 2017, Dr. Jeffrey Graves, president and CEO of MTS Systems stated: “It is an honour to recognise Jim and Bob Lally for their pioneering efforts in creating not only a critical technology for the advancement of engineered systems, but also in turning it into an exceptional business.  Today the company designs and manufactures sensors that make industrial machinery more precise and reliable, jet engines more efficient, and help speed the introduction of new vehicles that are safer, cleaner and more fuel efficient than ever before.” 

Dr. Graves continued: “Michigan Tech’s Dynamic Systems Laboratory, was selected for this award based upon the outstanding research they have done for decades with PCB in the application of advanced sensor technology. The merger of PCB and MTS, who has had a similar strong relationship with Michigan Tech, creates an opportunity to support not only continued leading-edge research, but also the training of engineering students for future roles in U.S. industry. We are confident that the support will make an impact for many years to come.”

In receiving the endowment, Glenn Mroz, president of Michigan Tech, stated: “We are very appreciative for the selection of our University, and more specifically the Dynamic Systems Laboratory in our Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, to receive this award. We have benefited from our collaborative relationship with PCB for decades, and are grateful for this support that will help ensure it continues for many more to follow. The Lallys are symbolic of the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that has made our country great, and this endowment will serve as a reminder of this spirit for our students and our faculty.”

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