Category Archives: News

Kawatra is a Chemical Engineering Professor You Should Know

S. Komar Kawatra
S. Komar Kawatra

Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering S. Komar Kawatra has been recognized by Online Engineering Programs blog as one of the 25 Chemical Engineering Professors You Should Know.

The list is comprised of some the outstanding professors and Universities in the field. Online Engineering Programs wanted to recognize some of their great contributions to academia on their blog as well as the rise in online education.

Kawatra has worked at Michigan Tech since 1977, where his research interests include iron and steel making, as well as particle technology. He is also the editor in chief for the Minerals & Metallurgical Processing Journal and the Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy Review Journal.

Chemical Engineering Convocation 2016

Convocation Speaker William Colton, Komar Kawatra
Convocation Speaker William Colton, Komar Kawatra

Keynote Address

William Colton was the keynote speaker for the 2016 Department of Chemical Engineering awards convocation. Mr. William (Bill) M. Colton is Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning for Exxon Mobil Corporation. Mr. Colton received his BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1975.

 

PAWS
Prevent Accidents with Safety (PAWS) Awards
Presenter Scott Wendt, Alex Reichenadter, Danielle Kehrig, Bob Lebrell, Olivia Munoz
Not Shown: Alex Wright

Prevent Accidents with Safety (PAWS) Award

Scott Wendt presented awards to Danielle Kehrig, Bob Lebrell, Olivia Munoz, Alex Reichenadter, and Alex Wright.

PAWS Safety Program Acknowledgements

Under the leadership and vision of Dr. Anton Pintar, the PAWS safety program was initiated during Spring Quarter, 1989.

The name of the program was suggested by Elizabeth A. Vary, a 19880-89 student in the Unit Operations Laboratory. Various aspects of the program were suggested by other students of the Class of 1989.

The program is a combination of features used in the SOAR (Stop, Observe, Act and Report) program at the BASF Corporation and the Praise Positive Program at the Dow Chemical Company.

The program continues to evolve and is supported financially through generous contributions from Professor Emeritus Dr. Anton Pintar.

 

Kimberly-Clark Communication Award
Kimberly-Clark Communication Award
Alex Bank, Presenter Laurie Couture-Dorschner

Kimberly-Clark Communication Award

Laurie Couture-Dorschner presented the award to Alex Bank.

This award recognizes the winner of the Award for Excellence in Communication from the department of chemical engineering for the academic year.

 

Kimberly-Clark Professional Ethics Award
Kimberly-Clark Professional Ethics Award
Olivia Munoz, Presenter Laurie Couture-Dorschner

Kimberly-Clark Professional Ethics Award

Laurie Couture-Dorschner presented the award to Olivia Munoz.

This award recognizes a student who has exhibited exemplary ethics and admirable professional conduct during Plant Design and Unit Operations experiences, and throughout their academic career at Michigan Technological University.

 

Dow Chemical Marriott W. Bredekamp Award
Dow Chemical Marriott W. Bredekamp Award
Jonathan Iafrate, Presenter Tim Eisele, Dylan Turpeinen, Kyle Thompson, Michelle Hoard

Dow Chemical Marriott W. Bredekamp Award

Tim Eisele presented awards to Michelle Hoard, Jonathan Iafrate, Dylan Turpeinen, and Kyle Thompson.

This award recognizes outstanding technical skills in the laboratory, outstanding teamwork and professionalism, effective oral and written communication, and strong adherence to process safety practices as recognized by your peers and supported by the faculty of the department. This award is in memory of Dr. Marriott W. Bredekamp.

 

UOP Davis W. Hubbard Plant Design Team Award
UOP Davis W. Hubbard Plant Design Team Award
Presenter Tony Rogers, Travis Pellosma, Cameron Roman, Alex Reichanadter, Paul Langford

 UOP Davis W. Hubbard Plant Design Team Award

Tony Rogers presented awards to Paul Langford, Travis Pellosma, Alex Reichanadter, and Cameron Roman.

This award recognizes an outstanding team in Chemical Engineering Plant Design during the academic year. Also, this award recognizes technical ability, consideration of the safety and environmental aspects of process design, outstanding written and oral communication skills, and overall teamwork and professionalism. This is awarded in memory of Dr. David W. Hubbard.

 

AIChE Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) of the Year
AIChE Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) of the Year
Presenter Jacqueline Harms, AIChE Student President, and Recipient Richard Machiela

AIChE Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) of the Year

Jacqueline Harms, AIChE Student President, presented the award to Richard Machiela.

 

AIChE Research Faculty of the Year
AIChE Research Faculty of the Year
Presenter Jacqueline Harms, AIChE Student President, and Recipient David Shonnard

AIChE Research Faculty of the Year

Jacqueline Harms, AIChE Student President, presented the award to David Shonnard.

 

AIChE Teaching Professor of the Year
AIChE Teaching Professor of the Year
Presenter Jacqueline Harms, AIChE Student President, and Recipient Julia King

AIChE Teaching Professor of the Year

Jacqueline Harms, AIChE Student President, presented the award to Julia King.

View the Convocation Photo Gallery in Chemical Engineering 2016

Global Future: People, Progress, Energy and Engineering

William Colton Talk 2016
William Colton Talk 2016

Department of Chemical Engineering Presents

William M. Colton
Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning
Exxon Mobil Corporation

Global Future: People, Progress, Energy and Engineering

Fisher Hall 135
Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 4:00 pm

ABSTRACT: By 2040, the world’s population will have reached 9 billion, and global GDP will have more than doubled. This economic progress translates into improved standards of living for billions of people. Energy underpins standards of living everywhere in the world, and the need for affordable and reliable energy in the 21st century remains vast. Global energy demand is expected to grow 25% by 2040 and, to keep pace with demand, the world will need to pursue all economic energy sources. These sources include oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables. At the same time, the CO2 intensity of the global economy is expected to be cut in half by 2040. These advances, for the economy, for people’s living standards, for the expansion of energy types and supplies, and for the environment, are enabled by technology. Technology has the highest potential to help meet our economic, energy and environmental goals—reinforcing the critical role played by scientists and engineers.

BIOGRAPHY: Mr. William (Bill) M. Colton is Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning for Exxon Mobil Corporation as of February 1, 2009. In this role, he oversees all of the corporation’s strategic planning activities and the development of its Energy Outlook, ExxonMobil’s assessment of global energy trends.

Mr. Colton received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1975. He joined Exxon Corporation in 1975 and his career has been spent in both upstream and downstream businesses throughout ExxonMobil, including project development, refining, lubes, synthetic fuels and natural gas marketing.

Mr. Colton also worked in finance and planning positions, including ExxonMobil corporate headquarters and eight years overseas in Tokyo and Bangkok. Mr. Colton’s previous assignment was as the Corporation’s Assistant Treasurer.

View the Presentation Photo Gallery in Chemical Engineering 2016

Chemical Engineering Major Wins Portage Health Foundation Scholarship

The Chemical Engineering Department would like to congratulate undergraduate student, Dylan Turpeinen, on receiving a Portage Health Undergraduate Scholarship.  Dylan is a local undergraduate student at Michigan Technological University. He graduated from Houghton High School in 2012 and decided to stay in the Houghton area to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering. In addition to classes, he enjoys performing undergraduate research with Dr. Heldt and Dr. King, and also actively participates on the MTU Men’s Club Soccer Team.

Dylan’s interest in biomedical engineering began when he was recruited to perform undergraduate research with Dr. Heldt in her Bioseparations Laboratory. He worked on fabricating and testing graphene nanoplatelet (GNP)/cellulose biosensors. During the summer semester of 2014, he was able to share his enthusiasm for biosensors with Summer Youth Program (SYP) participants. The SYP project utilized a multi-meter and biosensor to identify proteins using a relation between the surface resistance of the graphene paper, and the concentration of proteins in solution to find the molecular weight for an unknown protein. Starting in the summer of 2016, he will begin graduate research work with Dr. Heldt on biosensors to detect malaria.

Full Story: http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2016/january/four-michigan-tech-students-win-portage-health-foundation-scholarships.html

Morrison Honored by Rheology Society

famorrisonA Michigan Tech Professor has received a rare honor from a national professional society.

Faith Morrison (ChE), has received the Distinguished Service Award of the Society of Rheology. The award was presented to Morrison, who earlier this year was elected to the inaugural class of Fellows of the Society of Rheology, during the Society’s 87th meeting Oct. 13 in Baltimore. She was inducted as a Fellow at the meeting in Baltimore as well.

Morrison was just the tenth recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. She was recognized for her exceptional service to the Society of Rheology. She has been active in the society for decades having chaired the membership committee and constitutional reform committee and served on other ad hoc committees. She has served as both president and vice president and on the executive committee for six years. Morrison is currently the editor of the Rheology Bulletin.

1445881324Morrison says she was “surprised” at the banquet with the award. “I am honored to have been recognized in this way. The Society of Rheology is a wonderful professional home that has given me much more than I have given to the Society. I look forward to many more years of service.”

Komar Kawatra, chair of Michigan Tech’s Chemical Engineering Department, says Morrison’s recognition is deserved, “We congratulate Faith Morrision on this honor,” Kawatra says.

Morrison has served as the Society of Rheology designee to the board of directors of the American Institute of Physics since 2013.

Unit Operations Lab Dedicated

IMG_4392450The Chemical Engineering Department held a dedication to Dr. Komar Kawatra for the Unit Operations Laboratory on Wednesday, September 30th. The department’s External Advisory Board from industry attended and Dr. Glenn Mroz, Michigan Tech president and Dean of Engineering, Dr. Wayne Penington spoke at the dedication and several other Michigan Tech officials attended.

More photos can be seen on the Chemical Engineering Photo Gallery

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Chemical Engineering News Briefs

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David Shonnard (ECM/SFI) gave an invited talk, “Biofuel Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities” at Wayne State University for the Sustainability@Wayne seminar series on Oct. 20.

CBS Sunday Morning featured a story about David Edwards, a 1983 Michigan Tech alumnus and winner of Tech’s Melvin Calvin Medal, who designed and markets the o-phone, a phone that transmits aromas. Edwards is a biomedical engineering professor at Harvard University. Watch the story.

Faith Morrison (ChE), has been elected to the status of Fellow of the Society of Rheology. She’ll receive her certificates during the SOR 87th Annual Meeting in Baltimore in October. In his letter to Morrison, SOR President Gregory B. McKenna said the awardees recognized at the Baltimore meeting are the “inaugural” class of fellows.

Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Adrienne Minerick (ChE), has received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a research project titled, EAGER: Therapeutic Protein Separations via Surface Isoelectric Focusing (SIEF).

Technology Century, a science and technology news website run by the Engineering Society of Detroit, published an article about the NSF-funded meeting of multidisciplinary bioenergy researchers from Canada, the US, Central and South America that was held at Michigan Tech last week. Read the article.

In an article about graphene, The Economist mentioned Michigan Tech’s research into graphene-based 3-D bioprinting to regenerate nerve cells in patients with spinal cord injuries.

Technology Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on a visit by ESD executives to Michigan Tech and plans to establish a student chapter of the ESD at Michigan Tech.

Tech Century, a science and technology news service published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, ran a comprehensive report and photo gallery on their tour of Michigan Tech engineering labs last week.

ScienceAroundMichigan, a science news website focusing on Michigan research, published an article on the international bioenergy conference held at Michigan Tech earlier this month.

Caryn Heldt (ChE) is the principal on a three-year research and development project that received a $349,250 grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled, GOALI: Graphene Paper Sensor for Disease Detection.
Also involved in the project are Adrienne Minerick (ChE), Julia King (ChE) and Warren Perger (ECE).

TV 6 and Fox UP, reported on Professor Adrienne Minerick’s (ChemEng) appointment as associate dean for research and innovation in Tech’s College of Engineering. You can view the story online.

Assistant Professor Caryn Heldt (ChE) has been awarded an Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship to conduct research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio on graphene biosensors.

Adrienne Minerick has been invited to serve on the Chemical Engineering Education (CEE) Journal Publications Board. Her three-year appointment will begin Fall 2015. CEE is the premier archival journal for chemical engineering educators.

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Chemical Engineering Professor Michael Mullins Wins Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award

image123334-horizThe Fulbright Scholarship Program is known throughout the world. Each year 8,000 Fulbright grants are awarded to graduate students, university faculty and researchers worldwide. Of those, just 40 recipients are chosen for Fulbright Distinguished Chair Awards, viewed as the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. For the first time, a Michigan Technological University professor has joined that elite group of eminent scholars.
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Minerick Named Associate Dean for Research and Innovation

image122968-horiz2Adrienne Minerick has been named the first associate dean for research and innovation in Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering. Dean of the College of Engineering Wayne Pennington said Minerick will coordinate faculty and staff engagement with each other and with agencies that fund research projects, ranging from single-investigator one-year projects to complex multi-disciplinary projects involving several institutions and spanning years.

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Pan American Researchers Gather in Houghton

by David Shonnard

About 40 biofuel and bioenergy researchers from many countries in the Pan American region (from Argentina to Canada) will attend a workshop hosted by the Sustainable Futures Institute at Michigan Tech tomorrow through Friday.

The goals of the workshop are to develop a research roadmap report (RRR) with diverse international perspectives and to recommend priority areas for future research. The RRR will be disseminated to funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and other federal research sponsors in the United States and their equivalents in other Pan American countries, as well as to industry and the general public.

This is the final workshop in the NSF-funded project “RCN-SEES: A Research Coordination Network on Pan American Biofuel and Bioenergy Sustainability”. The project is directed by David Shonnard (ChE) and with co-investigators Barry Solomon (SS), Kathy Halvorsen (SS), Sam Sweitz (SS) and Robert Handler (SF I).

Pan American Researchers Gather in Houghton
Pan American Researchers Gather in Houghton
Pan American Researchers Gather in Houghton
RCN Workshop on Pan American Biofuels & Bioenergy Sustainability Michigan Technological University

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)

Project efforts focus on woody bioenergy for heat and power, switchgrass used for cellulosic ethanol, and palm and jatropha oil for biodiesel in six case studies across Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Uruguay, Argentina, and the United States (US). This allows us to examine diverse socio-ecological systems in countries experiencing rapid bioenergy development. These systems’ complexity enables the development of new approaches to studying and assessing sustainability as it relates to dynamic systems in general, while focusing on bioenergy in particular.

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
PIRE Student Group
PIRE Student Group

More articles:

Bioenergy Across the Americas

ECNmag, an online energy magazine, reported on an international conference hosted by Michigan Tech, where 80 researchers from six countries including the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay met to discuss bioenergy.