Category Archives: Awards

Biomedical Engineers Inducted into Order of the Engineering

On April 18, 2016, the Department of Chemical Engineering hosted its Order of the Engineer induction ceremony.

The ceremony welcomed 53 new members to the order, including two biomedical engineers and three faculty and staff members.

In 2015, 27 members were inducted, bringing the total of the Michigan Tech Chemical Engineering cohort to 134 since 2014.

Read more at Tech Today, by Chemical Engineering.


BME Students Win Awards in Design Expo

The International Business Ventures took first place in the Enterprise program and the

First Place Award Enterprise IBV (International Business Ventures)
Team Leaders: Leslie LaLonde and Andrew Clark, Biomedical Engineering
Advisors: Robert Warrington, Pavlis Honors College
Sponsor: Pavlis Honors College

Project Overview: The Infant Heart Annunciator is a small, BandAid-shaped device that detects an infant’s electrocardiogram, producing a visible flash and audible tone. Often in developing countries, those present at birth do not have the training or equipment needed to determine if an unresponsive infant is alive. Our goal is to eliminate this unnecessary loss of life. Our team is also designing a simple, yet reliable, ventilator that can be stockpiled by hospitals. Typically, hospitals maintain sufficient numbers of ventilators; however, an increase of patients resulting from a pandemic could create a shortage of ventilators. The current high cost of most ICU ventilators prevents hospitals from stockpiling these machines.

Part of the First Place team  that won the Enterprise Award  IBV (International Business Ventures)
Part of the First Place team that won the Enterprise Award IBV (International Business Ventures)

BME Team won Honorable Mention – Compliance Keweenaw: Aspirus Keweenaw Hand-washing Compliance System
Team Members: Anna Waller, Jannah Brandt, Drew Markel, Creighton Bradley, and Rebecca Manshaem, Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Bruce Lee, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Aspirus Keweenaw

Project Overview: Hand hygiene is of importance to hospitals not only for the safety and health of employees but also to reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections and protect patients. Aspirus Keweenaw recruited our team to create an automated system to track hand-washing compliance among employees to assist them in their goal of 100 percent compliance. We created a system using a microcontroller and RFID readers to detect when a healthcare worker enters a patient’s room and reaches compliance using the sanitizing foam dispenser. This system will be placed near the doorway and communicate with a wristband that identifies the healthcare worker and vibrates as a reminder if compliance is not reached.

 BME Team won Honorable Mention  – Compliance Keweenaw: Aspirus Keweenaw Hand-washing Compliance SystemTeam Members: Anna Waller, Jannah Brandt, Drew Markel, Creighton Bradley, and Rebecca Manshaem, Biomedical Engineering
BME Team won Honorable Mention – Compliance Keweenaw: Aspirus Keweenaw Hand-washing Compliance System
Team Members: Anna Waller, Jannah Brandt, Drew Markel, Creighton Bradley, and Rebecca Manshaem, Biomedical Engineering

BME Teams were featured in the Michigan Tech news article: Design Expo 2015 Success: Winners, Senior Design and Enterprise Projects

See the Design Expo Summary



Study of Key Biomolecule Earns Tolou Shokuhfar CAREER Award

Tolou Shokuhfar will be investigating the inner workings of a protein that plays a key role in human health with funding from a five-year, $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.

Shokuhfar,a faculty member of both departments of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics at Michigan Technological University, will study the biomolecule ferritin, which stores iron in the body in a non-toxic, mineralized form and releases it safely. In humans, ferritin serves as a buffer between iron deficiency and iron overload, and when it malfunctions, it may be involved in a number of degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
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See previous article: A graphene water balloon may soon open up new vistas for scientists seeking to understand health and disease at the most fundamental level.
It’s the Water: Graphene Balloon Yields Unprecedented Images of Hydrated Protein Molecules


Biomedical Engineering Announces the 2014 Kenneth L. Stevenson Research Fellows

The Department of Biomedical Engineering announces the recipients of the 2014 Kenneth L. Stevenson Research Fellows. Two undergraduate and two graduate students are selected annually to receive these competitive research fellowships. The Stevenson Fellows program provides an opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and early-stage graduate students to spend the summer in a total immersion research experience in a biomedical engineering research laboratory. The annual competition is open to students from all academic departments who wish to explore biomedical engineering research and provides a generous research stipend. Continue reading


Biomed Students Earn Biotechnology Research Center Awards

Graduate Research:

$300 Grand Prizes

Biotechnology Research Center

Connor McCarthy (Biomedical Engineering) for “Native Elastin Scaffolds as Blood Contacting Surfaces Incorporating Nitric Oxide Release,” Advisors: Megan Frost and Jeremy Goldman

Ecosystem Science Center

Adam Coble (SFRES) for “Both Height and Light Influence Leaf Morphology in Sugar Maple Canopy,” Advisor: Molly Cavaleri

$100 Merit Awards

Biotechnolgy Research Center

Yiping Mao (Biological Sciences) for “Overexpression of microRNA-30d increases insulin biosynthesis and protects against high-fat diet induced glucose intolerances,” Advisor Xiaoqing Tang

Mu Yang (Chemistry) for Reduction of Porcine Parvovirus Infectivity in the Presence of Protecting Osmolytes,” Advisor: Ashutosh Tiwari

Ecosystem Science Center

Cameron Goble (Biological Sciences for “Assessment of Fish Communities in Tributary Streams of the Big Manistee,” Advisor: Nancy Auer

Mickey Jarvi (SFRES) for “Sugar Maple Fine-Root Respiration is Mechanistically Constrained by Adenylate Control,” Advisor: Andrew Burton

Alida Mau (SFRES) for “Variation in photosynthetic temperature responses across vertical forest canopy gradients: Comparisons between temperate and tropical trees,” Advisor: Molly Cavaleri.

Justina Silva (US Forest Service) for “Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Sedge Mediated Oxygen Dynamics,” Advisor: Erik Lilleskov

Undergraduate Research:

$150 Grand Prizes

Biotechnology Research Center

Keegan Yates (Biomedical Engineering) for “Decellularization of Fibroblast Cell Sheets for Natural Extracellular Matrix Scaffold Preparation)”, Advisor: Feng Zhao

Ecosystem Science Center

Brittany VanderWall (SFRES) for “Leaf Mass Per Area of Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Varies Seasonally and Across a Vertical Gradient”, Advisor: Molly Cavaleri

$100 Undergrad Merit Award

Biotechnology Research Center

Michael Bostwick (Biomedical Engineering) for “Biomimetic Adhesive Containing Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Enhanced Mechanical Properties,” Advisor: Bruce Lee


Biomed Students Win 2014 MSGC Awards

2014 MSGC Awardees Announced: Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards tallying $71,175 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) sponsored by the NASA.

Undergraduates receiving $2,500 research fellowships are:

Laura Lynch (Biomed): “Prevention of Secondary Lymphedema with Biomaterial Hydrogels”

Roger Guillory (Biomed): “Characterization of the Biocompatibility of Zinc-Magnesium Alloys for Bioabsorable Coronary Stents”

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education, and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico. As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for over fifteen years. For more information, please contact Robert Warrington or Paige Hackney in the Institute for Leadership and Innovation


Kenneth L. Stevenson Biomedical Engineering Fellowship Program

Kenneth L. Stevenson Biomedical Engineering Fellowship Program

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Technological University is now accepting applications for the Kenneth L. Stevenson Biomedical Engineering Summer Research Fellowship Program. The primary goal of the program is to provide deserving undergraduate and beginning graduate students the opportunity to participate in meaningful Biomedical Engineering research at Michigan Technological University. Specifically:

a)      Undergraduate students (2 awards): Undergraduates will receive undergraduate-to-graduate transitional research fellowships of $4000 each. Students entering their junior and senior years will be considered. The award is intended to introduce students to the rigors associated with graduate level research in Biomedical Engineering.

b)      Graduate students (2 awards): Students who have completed an undergraduate degree prior to the fellowship period and are beginning studies in Michigan Technological University’s Biomedical Engineering graduate program (PhD or MS) will receive fellowships of $5000 each in support of intensive summer research. These awards will allow students to establish their research in the initial phase of their graduate studies.

The application process is now open!  Program requests for applications will be announced in Tech Today beginning in mid-March, with applications for these annual awards due March 31, 2014 by noon (EST). Fellowship recipients will conduct a research project under the guidance of a Michigan Tech Department of Biomedical Engineering faculty mentor, during the summer semester. Fellowship recipients will be required to:

  • Submit a final progress report of their work and/or evidence clearly showing the work has contributed significantly to a work being prepared for peer-reviewed publication.
  • Present their research in poster or oral form, preferably at a nationally recognized research meeting or the University BRC research forum, or the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Research Forum.

Application process:

Each applicant should submit the following (Incomplete applications at the deadline will not be considered):

  1. Application Coversheet (pick up in Biomed main office MM309, or email malabeau@mtu for a copy)
  2. Project Description (2-page limit, 12-pt font- Arial, ¾-inch margins)
  3. Faculty mentor letter of support
  1. Application Coversheet. Completed coversheet should be included with each application.
  1. Project Description. Project description should be prepared with (not by) a faculty mentor, and at a minimum address the following regarding the proposed project:
    1. Motivation and Significance
    2. Specific objectives, hypotheses, and aims
    3. Brief description of the work that will be done to specifically address aims
    4. Time-line for work to be completed

The Project Description is limited to 2 pages (12-pt font, Arial, ¾-inch margins minimum) and is to be submitted as a PDF file. You may include graphs, images and tables as needed. A separate page may be used for references as needed. All references however must be cited in the text of the project description.

  1. Faculty mentor Letter of support. Letters of support should at the minimum address the following:
    1. How long have you known the student and in what capacity?
    2. Why do you think the student is likely to succeed in the project?
    3. Where does the student’s project fit into your overall research program?

To submit application, email a PDF file that includes both the Application Coversheet and Project Description to Judy Schaefer (jlschaef@mtu.edu). Ask your faculty mentor to email the letter of support to the same address.



A RISEing Star: Biomedical Engineering Student Awarded International Research Internship

When Leslie LaLonde first heard about the RISE internship program, she thought, “I’m all over this.”
She wasted no time in applying to the competitive Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) program and recently received word of her acceptance for summer 2013. The program offers undergraduate students from the United States, Canada, and Europe the chance to work with researchers at Germany’s top research universities and institutions
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