Michigan Executives Chosen for FIRST Robotics World Championships in Detroit Steering Committee


Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe will join Gail Alpert, president of FIRST Robotics in Michigan, and Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development, to lead the steering committee for the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Detroit.

For three consecutive years beginning April 25-28, 2018, the FIRST Robotics World Championships will bring more than 700 teams and 60,000 students to Cobo Center and Ford Field annually. The events are expected to generate more than $90 million in economic impact and expose tens of thousands of students to opportunities for STEM careers in Michigan.

“We’re excited to welcome the next generation of talent to Michigan knowing their experience here will provide them with a lifetime of in-demand skills that will set them up for success in STEM fields after graduation,” says Poppe. “Much like our state’s economy, Consumers Energy depends on STEM talent to innovate, engineer, anticipate, and respond to opportunities now and in the future.”

The 74-person steering committee works to promote FIRST and the Detroit experience, showcase Michigan talent and universities, and grow more FIRST teams.

Elementary through high school students participating in FIRST Robotics team up with mentors from local employers to design and build robots for competition. Michigan leads the nation with more than 500 teams.

The steering committee includes leaders from other Michigan companies, including:

  • Alro Steel
  • Denso
  • Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Dow Chemical
  • DTE Energy
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • Ideal Group
  • General Motors Co.
  • Kettering University
  • Lawrence Technological University
  • Mason Public Schools
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Switch
  • Whirlpool Corp.
  • Traverse City Central High School
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Detroit Mercy

“Having the world championship in Detroit provides us the perfect opportunity to showcase Michigan as the leader in talent development and career opportunity,” says Curtis. “It also shines the world spotlight on our state as a front-runner in education, and helps us highlight the work we are doing to ensure our students get career-connected with expanded opportunities to explore the vast career options available to them here.”