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


Space Solar Power Workshop a Success

Michigan Technological University, in collaboration with professionals from NASA, the Naval Research Laboratory, and the Space Solar Power Institute, hosted a Space Solar Power (SSP) workshop to clarify the challenges facing SSP implementation. The workshop was held in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments at Baltimore, MD, November 7 – 9, 2013. Researchers from Industry and Academia of many countries including India, Japan, UK and USA participated in this event. Continue reading

Silicon Valley Careers Panel

The Women in Computer Science presented a Silicon Valley Careers panel discussion about careers in Silicon Valley on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at the Memorial Union Ballroom B.

Devyani Kamdar, Executive Director at Palo Alto Institute and Stephen Kahng, Founder and former Chairman and CEO Power Computing Corp., a Michigan Tech ’72 Electrical Engineering alumnus speaking at the panel discussion about careers in Silicon Valley sponsored by the Women in Computer Science. Stephen “Steve” Kahng, a computer engineer best known for his design of the Leading Edge Model D, founded the company in November 1993. Most recently, Mr. Kahng has been devoting most of his time to philanthropy and non-profit work. He is currently on the Board of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. He is also an active Board member at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Continue reading

Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer 2013

Students in the Research Experience for Undergraduates REU summer 2013 programpresented posters on research projects they have worked on over the summer. The project topics include: measurement of diesel emission particulate matter, experimental hybrid vehicle fuel system, lithium ion battery characterization and SOC measurement, hybrid vehicle dynamometer test stand development, heavy duty truck driving simulation, and measuring temperature variations in combustion vessels.

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.