Congratulations Sarah Rajala ’74 – Recipient of the 2016 AAES National Engineering Award!

Sarah-Rajala-March2014Dr. Sarah Rajala, Dean of the Iowa State University College of Engineering, has earned the National Engineering Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) – representing 17 multidisciplinary engineering societies from industry, government and academia. Rajala received the award on April 18 at a ceremony in Washington D.C. Rajala earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan Technological University in 1974 and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University.

The AAES National Engineering Award recognizes Rajala’s outstanding service in three key areas: 1) inspirational leadership at the institutional, national and international levels; 2) innovations in engineering education and assessment; and 3) her tireless efforts to promote diversity in the engineering field.

“It is indeed appropriate that Sarah Rajala receive the AAES National Engineering Award,” said Joseph J. Rencis, president of the American Society for Engineering Education, one of the AAES member societies. “She is a trailblazer and embodies the criteria of inspirational leadership and devotion to engineering education, advancement of the engineering profession and promotion of public policies.” Rencis also praised Rajala’s diversity efforts, adding “Sarah has recognized the engineering profession cannot achieve full success without full participation of the rich diversity of talent in our global population.”

From Michigan Tech, Rajala received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008; was inducted into the Electrical and Computer Engineering Academy in 1997; became a charter member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae in 1997; and earned the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 1986.

Rajala joined Iowa State in 2013, after having served as the first female dean of the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. Before she became dean, Rajala was the first female tenure-track professor in the engineering department at North Carolina State University, where she organized networking activities for the college of engineering women faculty and helped create a maternity leave policy for tenure-track faculty members where none had existed.

In the classroom and through professional organizations, Rajala has worked to improve engineering education for students. She has received numerous teaching awards, provided key leadership related to reform engineering education, and was elected president of the American Society for Engineering Education [ASEE] in 2008-09.

The focus of Rajala’s research is the analysis and processing of images and image sequences and engineering educational assessment. She has directed numerous master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, authored and co-authored nearly 200 publications, and secured a patent on image sequence compression.

Greenhouse gas emissions vary by region – GE alumnae Deborah Huntzinger

 

Dr. Deborah Huntzinger
Dr. Deborah Huntzinger

Deborah Huntzinger, who earned her BS and PhD in Geological Engineering at Michigan Tech, is now an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ.

During her post-doc at the University of Michigan, Huntzinger was involved in research recently published in the journal Nature, “The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.”  Huntzinger is a coauthor in the research, which for the first time ever quantifies how greenhouse gas emissions vary by source sector and region.

“The comprehensive approach used to compile, synthesize, and interpret the data has led to results that bolster the understanding of human contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and point to regions where more attention is needed to manage emissions,” notes John Gierke, Huntzinger’s graduate advisor and chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Tech.

The group’s research suggests that a reduction in agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions, particularly in Southern Asia, may help mitigate climate change.

Read more at Eurekalert.org: “Greenhouse gas bookkeeping turns on its head”, and Nature: “The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere”.

Huntzinger’s research interests focus on improving the understanding of complex environmental systems and our ability to forecast their future variability. Her current research interests are in the integration and comparison of environmental remote sensing products, model estimates, and in situ data to advance the understanding of biospheric contributions, both spatially and temporally, to land-atmosphere carbon exchange.

 

 

Remembering Dr. Michael R. Neuman

MichaelNeumanhonorsDr. Michael Neuman, physician, engineer, researcher and educator, passed away on February 17, from complications due to heart and kidney failure. He was 77.

Dr. Neuman was born and raised in Milwaukee and went to Cleveland to study at Case Western Reserve University. He earned his undergraduate degree, as well as a PhD in electrical engineering in 1966 and an MD in 1974, all from Case.

In his 50-year academic career he initially taught at his alma mater before teaching at Duke, Memphis and finally at Michigan Tech, where he arrived in 2003 as Professor and Chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He continued to teach after he stepped down as Chair in 2010.

Before going to medical school Neuman taught electronics in Case’s electrical engineering department. He developed a strong interest in medical electronics, which was a new field at the time. He was particularly intrigued by fetal monitoring, but he knew nothing about obstetrics. “My colleagues encouraged me, and asked me why I didn’t go to medical school. So I did,” he once recalled.

Neuman joined Michigan Tech at a point in his career when some faculty might be considering retirement. Instead he seized the opportunity to do more teaching, and to help young faculty develop their individual research programs.

“Mike has, and will always be, a transformative force in my life and my family, says Associate Professor Keat Ghee Ong. He brought me to Michigan Tech, essentially gave me my first “real” job and helped me grow my career. I know he helped a lot of faculty members and their families the same way, too.”

“Mike had a keen eye for hiring faculty who were strong in both scientific ability and collegiality,” adds Associate Professor Jeremy Goldman. “As the faculty grew in size and capability, it retained the friendly camaraderie more typically found in smaller departments.”

Assistant Professor Smitha Rao joined the biomedical engineering department about a year ago. “I was fortunate to have met Dr. Neuman and received guidance from him in the very short time that I knew him,” says Rao. “It was amazing how he remembered experiments and details from a long time ago as well as what is currently being used. I feel I only saw a glimpse of the great scientist and wonderful human being that he was.”

As an engineer, Dr. Neuman had a very strong background in physics and materials, as well as in electrical circuits, and a vast knowledge of medicine, all of which allowed him to develop novel biomedical sensors constructed using micro-fabrication techniques and accessed by wireless technologies.

“Not only he was able to envision these concepts before anyone else, he was able to utilize the tools of the semiconductor industry that were available at the time to construct these devices,” says Michigan Tech Professor of Practice Orhan Soykan. The two first met when Neuman was Soykan’s PhD advisor at Case.

Writing on behalf of Neuman’s students, Soykan adds: “Those of us who were fortunate enough to meet and work with him all know just how easy he was to be approached, how willing he was to help others and how he did his very best to mentor all his students, ranging from three-year-olds to graduate students to new assistant professors.”

Neuman continued to teach after he stepped down as Chair in 2010. Soykan says Neuman wouldn’t miss an opportunity to teach, “whether it be the properties of metal-to-metal bonds, flow rate of lymph fluids or the best way to feed goats without being bumped from behind.”

Dr. Neuman’s daughter Elizabeth Rose wrote, “No memory of my dad can be complete without mentioning his goats. An engineer working in his lab at Case introduced him to his first goat; a large floppy eared goat named Sam I Am. Sam was quickly followed by a group of other goats that became my dad’s favorite hobby. He spent many happy hours in his barn with his goats (and later miniature horses) taking care of them and listening to classical music with them.” He truly loved showing them off to many faculty, staff, and especially their children.

Professor Martyn Smith worked with Neuman on many senior design projects over the years. “Whenever we needed ideas or background Mike would always provide insight and guidance to the project. He had a wonderful mind with superb recall on the topics needed. He was truly a gentleman and a scholar. I miss his wisdom.”

Toward the end, even while his health was failing, he was still trying to share his joy with others around him by writing limericks to introduce various topics to his students.

When one of his students learned Neuman was ill, he wrote a limerick and asked Smith to read it to him:

There once was a man named Mike

And engineering he very much did like

I’ve only known him for a year

But his teachings I hold dear

And my inspiration he truly did spike

Dr. Neuman is survived by his wife of 43 years, Judith Borton Neuman, his daughter Elizabeth Neuman (Joshua) Rose, grandchildren Emma Kathryn and Christopher Michael Rose, and a sister Bonnie Neuman.

A remembrance of the life of Dr. Michael Neuman was held last week at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. A second memorial gathering will take place in Cleveland with details to be announced. More information and a guestbook is available here.

Dr. Neuman will always be remembered as a devoted father and husband, a wonderful person with a subtle and ironic sense of humor, and a committed professor and scientist.

Mike, we are already missing you.

Congratulations, Dr. Brett Hamlin!

image63428-persPlease join us in congratulating Dr. Brett Hamlin for his fall 2015 teaching performance. Dr. Hamlin was identified as one of only 91 instructors who received an ‘exceptional’ (average of 7 dimensions) student evaluation score. Brett’s score was in the top 10% of similarly sized sections across all courses/sections on campus; only 109 out of more than 1200 sections university-wide were rated as highly. This achievement reflects Brett’s dedication to teaching and service to Michigan Tech and the community.

Congratulations, Dr. Brett Hamlin!

National Engineers Week 2016 at Michigan Tech

scaffoldPOSTER4Time to celebrate the 65th annual National Engineers Week
February 21-27, 2016

Happy Eweek, everybody! National Engineers Week celebrates the positive contributions engineers make to society and is a catalyst for outreach. For the past 65 years, National Engineers Week (Eweek) has been celebrated each February around the time of George Washington’s birthday, February 22, because Washington is considered by many to be the first engineer in the US. This year Michigan Tech will celebrate Eweek with ten different engineering events on campus for all to enjoy. National Engineers Week at Michigan Tech is hosted by the Michigan Tech chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society.

Eweek 2016 events include a kick-off event on Monday Feb. 22 with Mind Trekkers in Fisher Lobby from 11 am – 1 pm.  Eweek cake will be served in Dillman 112 on Wednesday afternoon Feb. 24, courtesy of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals. Last but not least, on Thursday evening Feb. 25 at 8 pm, Tau Beta Pi will put on a high-tech music and light show at the Michigan Tech Husky Dog statue.

Please check out the full lineup of Eweek events below. Any questions? Contact Alex Reichanadter, Tau Beta Pi, amreicha@mtu.edu. Hope to see you there!

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22

Mind Trekkers
See electricity travel. Play a banana piano.
Create a tornado, and much more.
Fisher Lobby, 11 am – 1 pm

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23

Clean Snowmobile Challenge
Check out a zero emissions sled and more.
ME-EM Lobby, 10 am -11 am

Consumer Product Manufacturing
Quantify knife sharpness w/the CPM Enterprise.
Fisher Lobby, 11 am – 3 pm

Formula SAE
Take the 5-second seat harness challenge.
ME-EM Lobby, 1 pm – 3 pm

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24

Eweek Cake
You’re invited! All are welcome!
Dillman 112, 11 am – 3 pm

Am. Institute of Chemical Engineers
Try the “Minute to Win It” trivia contest.
Chem Sci Lobby, 12 noon – 1:30 pm

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25

SENSE
Check out the new Naval Systems Enterprise.
ME-EM Lobby, 10 am – 3 pm

Society for Environmental Engineering
Clean water via simple filtration.
Fisher Lobby, 12 noon – 3 pm

Tau Beta Pi
Enter the Rube Goldberg competition.
Wads Annex, 6 pm – 8 pm

Tau Beta Pi
Enjoy a technicolor light & music show.
Husky Statue, 8 pm

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS – Win a Free 6-day trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

1402949974ATTENTION ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

You Could Win A FREE 6-Day trip to explore environmental science & engineering majors at Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!!!

Monday – Saturday, June 20-25, 2016 (includes free transportation, meals, and lodging)

OPEN to all High School students in Detroit & Wayne County who want to explore environmental science careers: forestry, natural resources, wildlife, engineering, water quality, more!

Up to 20 high school students will be selected to participate. (This will be our 2nd annual trip!)

What YOU will do …

  • In the forest: identify and measure trees, and collect frog data;
  • On the water: sample aquatic life aboard a research vessel in Lake Superior;
  • In the lab: examine plankton, drive a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), and design a process to clean water
  • Tour a college campus, stay in a dorm, eat in dining hall;
  • Experience national and state parks, wildlife refuges, nature sanctuaries with experts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

TRIP LEADERS

Mike Reed, Curator of Education, Detroit Zoological Society
Lisa Perez, U.S. Forest Service ~ Detroit Urban Connections

TO APPLY

  • Complete online application form 2016 Michigan Tech-Upper Peninsula Trip Application
  • Write 500-word essay describing what you hope to gain from this experience;
  • Mail or email 2 letters of recommendation (both from non-family members; one from a teacher) to:

Joan Chadde
115 GLRC
Michigan Tech
1400 Townsend Dr.
Houghton, MI 49931

A selection team of teachers, university faculty, and resource specialists will review applications and announce winners by March 18th. A mandatory Parent Meeting and Student Outing will be scheduled in April & May.

CHECK OUT THIS FLYER FOR EVEN MORE INFORMATION: MTU-Detroit HS Visit_Flyer 02.09.16

QUESTIONS? CONTACT:

Mike Reed, Detroit Zoo
mreed@dzs.org
Cell: (313) 595-9729

Joan Chadde,
jchadde@mtu.edu
Michigan Tech
Office: (906) 487-3341

Coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, with funding from School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science, College of Engineering, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, Michigan Tech Admissions, Michigan Tech Housing & Residential Life, and the US Forest Service.

Michigan Tech Quoted on Earthquake in Chile

The Guardian Liberty Voice, an online newspaper, published an article about an earthquake that hit the coast of Chile on Monday, quoting Michigan Tech earthquake experts.

From Tech Today.

Earthquake Rocks Coastal Chile

In heavily populated areas, these magnitude earthquakes can cause extensive damage. According to Michigan Tech University, tremblors of a magnitude 6 or higher, occur about 100 times each year, throughout the world.

Read more at the Guardian Liberty Voice, by Bob Reinhard.

Junior Women in Engineering Scholarship Program

Junior Women in Engineering
Junior Women in Engineering

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) Ford Motor Company donated $10,000 to Michigan Tech.

The money is enabling middle school students to take part in the Junior Women in Engineering Scholarship program.

Eighth grade student Emma White from Indiana says she’s been interested in STEM fields for quite sometime.

“I really wanted to try it and see what the different engineering fields were because I didn’t know much about them,” White said.

Read more and watch the video at WLUC-TV6.

Volunteers Needed for KSEF

KSEF

The second annual Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival (KSEF) is Aug. 3-6, and we need your help to make it another success.

Volunteers are needed for various tasks over several days and all help is appreciated whether it is two hours or three days. Help us in our mission to spark a local interest in STEM by presenting the most compelling, exciting and educational festival in the Upper Peninsula.

Details for each event’s needs are listed below and lunch will be provided for volunteers. Visit us online for a complete schedule of events.

Thursday, August 4

A total of 20 volunteers are needed for Family Engineering Day, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m., at Houghton’s Kestner Waterfront Park and lunch is provided.

Volunteers are asked to contact Joan Chadde at jchadde@mtu.edu if they want to assist (provide: Name, Major, Email, Cell number, and whether you’ve presented before).

Read more at Tech Today, by the Center for Pre-College Outreach.

Science360: To Purify a Virus

Science360

NSF CAREER award winner Caryn Heldt studies technologies used to remove viruses as well as cleaning up vaccines. A Michigan Tech Unscripted story animation on the role of osmolytes in cells is featured in Science360. The Unscripted article, To Purify a Virus, features an interview with Heldt by story author Allison Mills and a captured live Twitter chat via Storify.

Learn more about Heldt’s research in Caryn Heldt Receives CAREER Award for Her Virus Removal Work, Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.

Lake Superior Day 2016

Lake Superior Day
Lake Superior Day in Copper Harbor

Celebrate the beauty and bounty of Lake Superior from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 24, 2016. Copper Harbor community volunteers, along with the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, are organizing the fourth annual Lake Superior Day Festival with lots of special activities at the 6th Street Dock along the Copper Harbor Boardwalk (near Isle Royale Queen boat dock).

The Agassiz will depart every 45 minutes from the Isle Royale Queen dock beginning at noon. Space is limited to 17 persons per excursion. Participants must be at least seven years old and children must be accompanied by an adult. All participants should wear closed-toe shoes. Interested participants may pre-register by calling 7-3341 or email Lloyd Wescoat at lwescoat@mtu.edu. Space will be available for on-site participants. For more information about the event contact lead organizer, Don Kilpela, Captain of the Isle Royale Queen, at 289-4735.

Read more at Tech Today, by Lloyd Wescoat.

Michigan Tech Wins Awards for Diversity Efforts in Engineering Education

wepan-logoMichigan Tech’s efforts to increase the numbers and diversity of women in engineering have been recognized by Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), a national network of women engineers, engineering educators, universities, corporations and non-profits who are working together to develop a diverse and innovative engineering workforce.

Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics received the WEPAN President’s Award for what the organization described as “outstanding accomplishments” in the National Science Foundation-funded engineering diversity initiative, TECAID (Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity).

In addition, WEPAN recognized the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), which won the WEPAN Strategic Partner Award. ASEE was honored for its “Year of Action on Diversity,” a project conceived and designed by the ASEE Diversity Committee, led by Adrienne Minerick and Teri Reed. Minerick is associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering and a professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech. Reed is assistant vice president for research at the University of Cincinnati.

“These awards are a testament to the dedication, heart and trailblazing work our faculty and staff are doing to increase knowledge and awareness of the value of diversity and to cultivate environments that are inclusive of all individuals,” said Minerick. “These activities expand and strengthen the perspectives and education of all of our students such that they can engineer to present and future world demands and lead in a complex and changing society.”

President Glenn Mroz called the awards “a real honor for Mechanical Engineering and the entire university. We’ve been clear that it’s the responsibility of everyone at Michigan Tech to serve all students, regardless of gender or race, to have an impact on our world. This national recognition serves as evidence that people are taking that seriously, and it’s being noticed at the highest levels of our professions. The leadership that this team of people has shown is truly inspiring.”

Design a Sustainable Future Teacher Institute

Desiging a Sustainable FutureA total of eight elementary, middle and high school teachers from the UP, across Michigan and even one from Puerto Rico, are in Houghton this week to attend a five-day teacher institute on designing a sustainable future.

Topics range from building design, energy sources, transportation, vehicle design, food systems, product lifecycle and forest biomaterials.

Presenters include Michigan Tech faculty, community experts and educators. Teachers are participating in many hands-on activities including field trips to the Keweenaw Research Center, Low-impact development lab, sustainable buildings, examination of renewable energy systems including solar, wind and low-head Hydro and a community-supported agriculture farm near Greenland.

The Program is funded with a grant from Michigan Tech Sustainable Futures Institute and coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at the Great Lakes Research Center.

For more information, contact Joan Chadde at 369-1121 or by email. 

From Tech Today, by Joan Chadde.

Carnegie Museum to Host Guided Tours

Hockey ArenaFour Michigan Tech Professors will act as guides during three upcoming guided tours highlighting the history of the Keweenaw.

The tours are sponsored by Houghton’s Carnegie Museum, and begin with a wine and cheese social at the museum at 5 p.m. Following the social, participants will board the Red Jacket Trolley Company’s bus for a two-hour trip through time.

The first guided tour “Torch Lake Mining Waste,” is tomorrow (July 13). Geologists Bill Rose (GMES) and Erika Vye are the guides through a tour along the industrial corridor associated with milling of Quincy and Calumet mines along Torch Lake’s western shore. The tour takes a look at areas from Mason to Tamarack City, Hubbell and Lake Linden, viewing mill sites and stampsand areas while discussing the modern implications and environmental mitigation efforts.

Upcoming tours will explore “Trials and Trails of Huron Creek,” with Alex Mayer (CEE) and Carol MacLennan (SS), Wednesday Aug. 3 and “Hockey Arenas of the Copper Country,” with Bill Sproule (CEE), Thursday Sept. 8.

All tours begin with the social at 5 p.m. with the tours to follow at 5:30 p.m. and are expected to last two hours. The cost is $25 ($20 for museum members). Reservations are recommended and your seat is not guaranteed until payment is made.

Check out the museum’s Facebook page.

From Tech Today.