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ECE Academy, Class of 2014 Induction

ECE Academy, Class of 2014 inductees H. Paul Gay '70, Barry Van Veen '83, Michael Whitens '85, Lyman Morikawa '71
ECE Academy, Class of 2014 inductees H. Paul Gay ’70, Barry Van Veen ’83, Michael Whitens ’85, Lyman Morikawa ’71

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering welcomed five of its outstanding alumni to the ECE Academy, Class of 2014, at an induction ceremony held on Wednesday evening, August 6, in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom on the Michigan Tech campus. Inductees for the Class of 2014 are H. Paul Gay ’70, Lawrence Laurich ’65, Lyman Morikawa ’71, Barry Van Veen ’83, and Michael Whitens ’85. Mr. Laurich was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness and will be presented his induction plaque next week during a visit from Department Chair Dan Fuhrmann.

The inductees and guests also enjoyed a special message from guest speaker George Swenson, Jr. ’44. Dr. Swenson’s father was the founding chairman of the EE Department in 1928.

The purpose of the Academy is to honor outstanding graduates of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Election to the Academy is made by the Executive Committee of the faculty, and recognizes excellence and leadership in the engineering profession and civic affairs. This induction honors some of the most successful of the over 8,800 ECE alumni of Michigan Tech. Portraits of the new Academy members will be added to the prominent display in the lobby of the EERC building, to inspire and motivate future generations of students in electrical and computer engineering.

For more information see ECE Academy.

 


ECE Anounces 2014 Department Awards

Maria Damiani, ECE 2014 Departmental Scholar

The 2014 ECE Department Awards banquet was held on Thursday, April 17, 2014 in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom on the Michigan Tech campus. The banquet is held each spring to honor ECE students and senior design and enterprise teams. It is also a time to recognize those who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to academics and the community. This year the ECE department was proud to present the following student awards.

– ECE Departmental Scholar: Maria Damiani

– ECE Woman of Promise: Myder Vang

– Carl J. Schjonberg Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Chen Li

– Jonathan Bara Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant: Marco La Manna

As part of the ECE’s External Advisory Committee (EAC) Spring 2014 agenda, the members observed the department’s senior design and enterprise team presentations and poster displays to select a team from each group that best meets or exceeds their specific criteria related to today’s industry needs. This year’s EAC Industry Innovation Award went to Senior Design Team 1 for their project “Transmission System Guidelines for Line Commutated Motor Starting” sponsored by American Transmission Company (ATC), advisor Trever Hassell. SD-1 team members: Connor Dziubinski, Jon Hohol, Andrew Martin, and Daniel Parent. Blue Marble Security team “Blood Typing Device”, sponsored by Dr. Adrienne Minerick, Chemical Engineering, advisor Dr. Glen Archer, was selected from the enterprise teams. BMS-1 team members: Korbin Bickel, Gerry Chan, Matthew Gruber, Eman Jazayeri, and Mike Switala.

For more details see ECE Student Awards.

For the second consecutive year, Prof. Kit Cischke was named Professor of the Year by the Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Honor Society.

Myder Vang, ECE 2014 Woman of Promise
Chen Li, Carl J. Schjonberg Outstanding ECE Undergraduate Student
Marco La Manna, Jonathan Bara Outstanding ECE Graduate Teaching Assistant
EAC Industry Innovation Award: Senior Design Team 1: Connor Dziubinski, Jon Hohol, Andrew Martin, and Daniel Parent
EAC Industry Innovation Award: Blue Marble Security Team "Blood Typing Device": Korbin Bickel, Gerri Chan, Matthew Gruber, Eman Jazayeri, and Mike Switala
Prof. Kit Cischke, HKN Professor of the Year, presented by Adam Funkenbusch

Michigan Tech Students Head to Detroit for Alternative Spring Break

Students from the Michigan Tech National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) visited seven middle and high schools in Detroit over their Spring Break, March 11-14, 2014, to promote college and engineering to K-12 students. Two ECE students were in the team, Sam Adegun and Darlene Eppes. In the evenings, they conducted Family Engineering Night events at three K-8 schools. NSBE’s Alternative Spring Break is conducted in collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools Office of Science and the Detroit Math & Science Center, and funded in part, with a grant from John Deere.

WXYZ Channel 7 news in Detroit aired a feature story about an interview with Michigan Tech NSBE student chapter members in Detroit, working to motivate middle and high school students in Detroit schools to see college in their futures and to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Read More about Michigan Tech Students Head to Detroit for Alternative Spring Break

Michigan Tech NSBE students Family Engineering session at classroom in Detroit shown here in a photo from 2014

Judy Donahue – Receives Faculty International Development Award

ECE Undergraduate Advisor Judy Donahue

Judy Donahue, an academic advisor for undergraduates in electrical and computer engineering, has been named the recipient of a Faculty International Development Award. The award–co-sponsored by the Provost’s Office, International Programs and Services (IPS) and USAC, a study-abroad provider–will enable Donahue to spend five weeks at a study-abroad site in Viterbo, Italy, next summer.

At Viterbo, Donahue will study Italian language and culture.

The aim of the award is to provide academic advisers with the opportunity to study abroad themselves, so that they can better advise students on the value of study-abroad experiences.

“I can’t think of a more deserving candidate to receive this award,” said IPS Director Thy Yang. “Judy has been one of our strongest champions for study abroad, and we trust that her experience will give her the first-hand knowledge she needs to do an even better job of convincing students of the value of gaining an overseas experience.

Yang said she also believes that Donahue’s time overseas will help her better understand the needs of Michigan Tech’s international students.

Associate Provost Christa Walck added: “One of our university student learning goals is global literacy and knowledge of human culture.” The best way to develop this literacy is study abroad, and relatively few Michigan Tech students do. Academic advisors are very important to encourage and guide students to take advantage of our many study-abroad opportunities. When Thy Yang told me about this opportunity for advisors, I was happy to support it. As a dedicated and enthusiastic advisor and a member of the Advising Council, Judy is so deserving of this opportunity to experience study abroad first-hand.”

As posted in Tech Today, 12/13/2013

http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/email/?issue=20131213


ECE wins GSG Co-ed softball championship

ECE championship softball team

The ECE team comprised of students and faculty powered past Physics by a score of 14-11 on Thursday evening, August 15 to win the 2013 Graduate Student Government (GSG) Co-ed softball championship in the competitive division. ECE team members: Nikoli Wiens, Jeff Burl, Warren Perger, Anthony Carley, Josh Wilson, Allen Klutts, Hillary Hamblin, Jace Fritzler, Courtney Rickard, Scott Blake, Jennifer Pilibosian, Alix Rugg, Kyle Hashman, Heather Hashman, Mandi Severn, Max Legatz, and KJ Thekan. For more information regarding the GSG Co-ed Softball League see  http://gsg.students.mtu.edu/softball.html 


Winikus receives NSF scholarship to 2013 Grace Hopper Celebration Conference

Jennifer Winikus, PhD Computer Engineering student

Jennifer Winikus, a PhD Computer Engineering student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Technological University, has been awarded a National Science Foundation scholarship to attend the 2013 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference to be held October 1-4, 2013, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Winikus was selected from a competitive pool of over 900 applicants. The scholarship award covers registration, meals, accommodations and travel support.

The annual conference, a program of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, is the largest gathering of women technologists in the world and is expected to attract approximately 4,000 participants from over 40 countries in industry, academia, and government. The results are collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for junior women, and increased visibility for the contributions of women on computing. Scholarship applications were based on this year’s theme “Think Big, Drive Forward”.

Winikus is very active in the ECE Department and the University. She currently serves as Treasurer for the Graduate Student Government and has created and delivered ECE Summer Youth Programs for Women in Engineering, the Engineering Scholars Program, and both the EE and CpE week long explorations. As a graduate teaching assistant (GTA), she has successfully instructed one of the more challenging EE labs, Electrical Design with Microprocessor, receiving high ratings from her students and earning the department’s 2013 Jonathan Bara Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant.  Jennifer’s PhD advisor is Dr. Laura Brown.


Bruce Mork Named Wiitanen Professor of Electric Power Systems

Bruce Mork, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named the Dennis Wiitanen Professor of Electric Power Systems.

The Wiitanen Professorship was established to honor longtime ECE faculty member Dennis Wiitanen, who retired in May 2012. Unlike most professorships, which are named for a single donor, the Wiitanen Professorship is supported by an endowment underwritten by a variety of industry, foundation, and alumni sources, including ITC Holdings, Consumers Energy Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation and electrical engineering alumnus David Brule.

Mork was named to the position after a yearlong selection process. He received high praise from leaders in the power industry and was unanimously supported by the major sponsors of the professorship.

“Bruce is the natural choice for the Wiitanen Professorship,” said Dan Fuhrmann, chair of electrical and computer engineering. “He has been a leader in teaching, research and curriculum development in the power and energy area within the ECE department and across campus for many years. He is a leading expert in power system protection, an area of critical need in the utility power industry as our infrastructure transitions to the smart grid. Plus, he was the driving force behind our online courses in power and energy, a model for the rest of the department and indeed the rest of the University.”

Dennis Wiitanen was also gratified by Mork’s appointment.

“I have had the pleasure of watching Bruce grow from a newly minted PhD assistant professor at Michigan Tech to an internationally recognized leader in the power field,” he said. “I am very pleased that he will be the first recipient of the professorship carrying my name.”

Bruce Mork was honored in his acceptance.

“It’s been a privilege to work with Dennis over the last 21 years of his outstanding 42 year career at Michigan Tech. He’s been an exemplary senior colleague and role model for us all. It’s an honor for me to be the first recipient of this prestigious Professorship. The resources provided will support ongoing developments in education and research which strategically address technology and work force needs of the Electric Power sector. We owe a lot to Dennis and this will greatly help us to maintain and advance our strong program.”

The professorship has a five-year renewable term and carries with it an annual discretionary stipend to support research equipment, graduate students and other expenses to build and maintain an active research program in the power area.


Endowed Professorships Announced for ECE & ME-EM

Two associate professors and one new assistant professor have been awarded named professorships in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

ECE faculty member Wayne Weaver has been named the Dave House Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering. Weaver is an expert in microgrids, electrical machines and control of power systems. He collaborates extensively with mechanical engineering faculty, in particular Gordon Parker, who holds the John and Cathi Drake Professorship.

Bo Chen has been named the Dave House Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. She is an expert in embedded sensor networks, multi-agent systems, and vehicle electronics and control.

Chen, who formerly held a sole appointment in the ME-EM department, will now hold a joint appointment in ME-EM and ECE, with the majority appointment in ME-EM.

Lucia Gauchia will join the Michigan Tech faculty this fall with a joint appointment in ECE and ME-EM, with the majority appointment in ECE. She has been named the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Assistant Professor of Energy Storage Systems. She is an expert in energy storage systems and state estimation for batteries and supercapacitors.

The awarding of two of these three professorships was the result of a cooperative agreement between the ECE and ME-EM departments, as it involved a “swap” of endowed positions. Dave House is an ECE alumnus, whereas Richard Henes is a ME-EM alumnus.

“I am delighted that ECE and ME-EM were able to work out this arrangement,” Fuhrmann said. “If Michigan Tech is to continue its success in energy systems, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and control and automation, it’s going to require the close cooperation of our two departments.”

ME-EM chair Bill Predebon agreed.

“I am very excited about the growth in collaboration between the ME-EM and ECE departments,” he said. “These joint appointments are significant step in that direction. Our vision to establish a leadership position in the energy systems area will require a continued strong cooperation between our two departments.”


BSEE Senior Ali Haidar Earns Daktronics Midwest All-Region First Team Honors

Michigan Tech men’s basketball player Ali Haidar has earned Daktronics Midwest All-Region first team honors. He was a second team selection in 2011-12.

Haidar, a BSEE senior in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was named GLIAC Player of the Year for the second straight year and has broken four GLIAC records and seven school records this season. The Windsor, Ont., native broke the league record for points (541) and field goals made (188) in a season. He also established season records for free throws made (158) and attempted (209).

His school records include season scoring (698) and rebounding (273), rebounds in a career (881), most 20+ point games in a season (22) and free throws made (18) and attempted (20) in a game.

Haidar, who ranks fifth in career scoring (1,927) at Michigan Tech, ranks third in the nation in scoring (24.9 ppg) and 16th in rebounding (9.8 rpg).

Original story by Ian Marks, assistant director, athletic communications and marketing posted in Tech Today, 3/18/13.

For more information regarding Ali Haidar see http://www.mtu.edu/umc/services/pr-news/magazine/winter1112/stories/star-east/


The Circuit – Newsletter 2011-2012

ECE 2011-2012 newsletter The Circuit is now available. The publication highlights recent activities in the department including: 

  • ECE Education in Tune with Industry – electrical and computer engineers in demand at Fall 2011 Career Fair 
  • The Changing Face of Engineering – Women in ECE
  • Establishment of the Dennis Wiitanen Professorship in Electric Energy Systems – “Doc” Wiitanen to be honored at May 4 retirement celebration
  • Paul and Susan Williams Center for Computer Systems Research Dedicated
  • Student’s Winning Satellite to be Launched into Orbit
  • Senior Design: A Renaissance Approach