Kettering University helping lead efforts to bring high speed networking to Flint


Kettering University and the City of Flint are at the forefront of the next technological revolution in American cities through the national US Ignite initiative.

US Ignite is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, inspired by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation, and partners in industry, academia and government to identify and share best practices and resources for technological innovation in cities.

Kettering President Dr. Robert K. McMahan, in association with Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, is coordinating local initiatives to upgrade and expand high-speed networking capabilities in Flint which will in turn connect with other communities with similar infrastructure. Flint is one of 60 cities nationwide initially chosen to participate in US Ignite.

“People talk about what’s the next big thing?,” said Dr. John Geske, department head and professor of Computer Science at Kettering University. “The next big thing isn’t going to be a new device, but about cloud resources and how you utilize mobile devices to create high-value applications that exploit all the resources available in the cloud.”

The partnership to bring this technology to Flint also includes the Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD), Flint Chamber of Commerce, Genesys Hospital, the Fint Public Library, Flint Institute of Arts and the Mott Foundation.

“What they would like to be able to do is to roll out high speed networking capabilities in Flint. It’s this sort of thing that’s going to drive a lot of innovation in the next few years,” Geske said. “The next generation, programmable, high speed networking is the foundation that allows cloud computing to really take off.”

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US Ignite Goals

  • Foster the creation of 60 next-generation applications, built specifically to take advantage of ultra-fast  networks, by working with sponsors and partners to enable application hackdays, competitions, and conferences, as well as an ongoing collaborative community.
  • Provide 200 community test beds for testing and deploying next-gen applications by coordinating the deployment of new infrastructure of Ignite’s partners – including telcos, cable companies, municipalities, research and education network operators, and others.
  • Provide a forum for coordination and best-practice sharing among industry, foundations, government, telecommunications carriers, research and education networks, cities and regions, researchers, venture capitalists, and software developers.

Key Players

  • National Science Foundation - NSF
  • GENI - Global Environment Network
  • Mozilla Foundation
  • US Ignite Partnership



  • Software Defined Networking & Virtualization of Networks
  • Local Cloud Resources
  • Gigabit to End-Users
   Kettering University's involvement will advance:
  • Global Distance Education
  • Clean Energy
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Workforce Training

For more about the benefits, see US Ignite Technologies & Benefits.