A New Applied Engineering Building at MTSU, Developing Corporate Educational Agreements and Research on “Neuromarketing”

Jul 17, 2023 at 09:15 am by WGNS News


GUEST: Dr. Ken Currie, chair of the MTSU Department of Engineering Technology

TOPIC: MTSU has broken ground on a $74.8 million Applied Engineering Building

Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Engineering Technology and School of Concrete and Construction Management will be next-door neighbors on the east side of campus in 2025 after sharing space in the Voorhies Engineering Technology Building for nearly 30 years.

MTSU officials welcomed special guests, including state representatives, to campus to break ground on its new Applied Engineering Building on Tuesday, June 20, during a special ceremony led by President Sidney A. McPhee. Because of rain, the ceremony was held in the new School of Concrete and Construction Management Building.

Scheduled to open in summer or fall of 2025 at a cost of $74.8 million, the nearly 90,000-square-foot Applied Engineering Building will be the new home to the renowned Mechatronics Engineering program and other Engineering Technology concentrations, providing students with the space, equipment and education to prepare for ever-changing careers. 

Video of the Applied Engineering Building renderings is available below: 

McPhee said the opening of the new facility in 2025 “will be the finishing touch to what we’ve named the Science Corridor of Innovation that began in 2014 with the opening of our $147 million Science Building, the single largest investment by the state of Tennessee for an academic facility.”

Once completed, “it’s going to be fabulous,” said Ken Currie, Engineering Technology chair, adding that features in the new Applied Engineering Building will include a Makerspace area and new robotics and automation labs. 

Learn more: https://mtsunews.com/applied-engineering-building-2023/



GUEST: Mark Murphy, coordinator of recruitment and corporate outreach for MTSU University College

TOPIC: University College’s efforts toward developing corporate educational agreements

MTSU’s University College continues to enhance student educational opportunities, particularly those of working professionals seeking to enhance their skills through the flexible MTSU Online course options via the Adult Degree Completion Program.

MTSU’s average student is a little older than most college students and has responsibilities outside of the college environment. University College offers a variety of programs and services that enable students to gain the most from their college experience and is working with a variety of corporate partners to expand educational opportunities.

Our Applied Leadership degree is a popular choice for working adults looking for career advancement opportunities. The University College wants to partner with companies to help train their workforce to become better leaders, and Murphy is looking to connect with HR professionals from businesses in Rutherford County.

University College also offers virtual one-on-one sessions to discuss its programs, PLA, and the application process with prospective students.



GUEST: Dr. Gaia Rancati, assistant professor of marketing and neuromarketing in the Jones College of Business

TOPIC: Her research and expertise about “neuromarketing”

Before switching careers to join academia, MTSU Professor Gaia Rancati worked professionally for several years in the premium-luxury retail sector for international fashion companies such as Max Mara, Value Retail, and Louis Vuitton.

Rancati took her love of fashion and marketing (and robots!) and carved out a space for herself as a worldwide expert in the field of neuromarketing.

Harvard Business Review defines neuromarketing as “the measurement of physiological and neural signals to gain insight into customers’ motivations, preferences, and decisions.” Such research on neuromarketing, retailing, services marketing, and artificial intelligence is crucial for informing companies about the most effective way to market products to consumers.

It’s neuromarketing behind the common strategy of pricing an item for 99 cents instead of $1 (or $99 instead of $100). It’s also neuromarketing that led the makers of Chips Ahoy cookies to replace their standard cookie picture on their packaging with one that is half-eaten with crumbs fallen to the side.

The effectiveness of such strategies has its roots in the way researchers such as Rancati use neurotools that track eye movement, facial expressions, galvanic skin response, brain wave measurements, and heart rate to gain insights into advertising that moves people to action.

How did Rancati find herself in such an interesting and relevant field for our times? “Everything started with a book,” she said.

According to Rancati, her decision to study neuromarketing “happened by chance,” the result of stumbling upon and reading The Trust Molecule by Paul Zak. Zak’s book explains that when there is trust, the brain releases oxytocin.

Learn more: https://mtsunews.com/in-someone-elses-shoes/