Steel Steals the Spotlight

Steel DaySteel companies take center stage today, September 20, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the CareerFEST tent. Companies on campus include Nucor, Caterpillar, Arcelor Mittal, Gerdau, Steel Dynamic and Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc.

The steel industry directly employs 2 million people worldwide and is the second largest industry in the world, next to oil and gas.

At today’s event, students can throw golf balls at steel and aluminum panels from Arcelor Mittal, take a virtual tour of the Nucor Hickman Facility, and see Caterpillar’s 938M wheel loader.

Tech’s Advanced Metalworks Enterprise and Materials United Student Organization will also be participating.

By Career Services.


Engineering Faculty on Managing Multigenerational Teams

Scientific teams are more diverse than ever and are often populated by people of varying ages. Understanding how to modify management styles according to the needs of different generations ensures enhanced group productivity, creativity, and collaboration.

Joshua Pearce
Joshua Pearce

Joshua Pearce

At 41, Joshua Pearce, professor of materials science and engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, is a member of Generation X. He leads the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Lab at the university, which includes a multigenerational team of visiting industrial scholars (whose children are older than Pearce), Baby Boomer research staff, and Millennial or Generation Y interns. Over the years, Pearce has gained insight into how to facilitate a more productive and creative ecosystem for everyone—and it starts with acknowledging the value that each generation brings to the team.

Adrienne Minerick
Adrienne Minerick

Adrienne Minerick

Adrienne R. Minerick, 41, associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering and assistant to the provost for faculty development at Michigan Tech, found that to coordinate a team with professors who are older than her—sometimes by over 30 years—she has to adapt and ensure effective communication.

Read more at Science, by Alaina G. Levine.


Tomorrow is Manufacturing Day

ManufacturingEleven innovative companies leading the market in product design, robotics and controls, advanced manufacturing, construction and building design, and sustainability are taking part in Michigan Tech’s Manufacturing Day tomorrow (Sept 19, 2017).

Miller Electric is bringing a 25-foot show trailer and will run live welding demonstrations throughout the event. Students will also have the opportunity to weld their own laser-cut souvenirs.

If students are curious about manufacturing machine controls, Kimberly Clark is bringing two electrical control displays that mimic those used to drive manufacturing machines in their company—one with physical controls, buttons and knobs, and one with touchscreen controls.

Whirlpool has a UR5 collaborative robot, a thermal IR camera and virtual reality goggles that illuminate in-plant technologies and the sustainability work being developed. Systems Control also plans to have augmented reality glasses available to try.

Additionally, students will get a firsthand look at what companies like 3M, Plexus, Georgia-Pacific and Greenheck are currently working on and developing.

In addition, there are five Enterprise Teams participating in Manufacturing Day; Velovations, Boardsport Technologies, Open Source Hardware Enterprise (OSHE) Wireless Communications and Innovative Global Solutions.

Manufacturing Day is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow (Sept 19) in the center of Michigan Tech’s campus.  It is the second largest industry-sponsored event hosted by the University during CareerFEST, a series of informal events leading up to Fall Career Fair, Wednesday Sept. 27.


Energy on Display and a Power Bus for Hands-on Play

Energy DayCareerFEST continues with Energy Day today, September 15, 2017. Eight companies representing electric, petroleum and alternative energy resources are here to greet students under the tent. CE Power brought their Power Bus, a traveling demo facility and a 6,000 pound, modified Ford Transit 350 for students to see and experience.

The Power Bus includes a retrofill breaker (MV), three LV circuit breakers, SEL relays, AC Pro trip units and GE Multilin Relay. Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) will display various distillation tray styles used at HSC and will also showcase their raw material and final products using acrylic suspension trays.

HDR is bringing a 3D Oculus Virtual Reality Viewer for students to experience.

Displays and representatives from Systems Control, ITC Holdings, Marathon Petroleum, Flint Hills Resources, Black & Veatch and Michigan Tech’s Alternative Energy Enterprise are also features of this year’s event.

By Career Services.


First-Year Engineering and First-Year Computer Science Lecture Fall 2017: Libby Titus

First Year Lecture

First year engineering and computer science students attended a lecture on September 17, 2017, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s speaker was Libby Titus, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist at Novo Nordisk. She is a ’96 Michigan Tech alumna, with a BS in Environmental Engineering and BS in Scientific and Technical Communication.

Her talk was entitled Secrets of Talking (and Writing) Nerdy. The talk was introduced by Jon Sticklen, Chair, Engineering Fundamentals, and Wayne D. Pennington, Dean, College of Engineering. There was a reception after the lecture.

Elizabeth (Libby) Titus is a licensed professional engineer who assists companies with identifying, understanding, and adhering to the environmental, health, and safety rules that apply to their operations. With 20 years of substantive experience, Libby knows that the key to moving projects forward is often effective communication of technical knowledge across the primary stakeholders. Solid engineering designs and high intelligence are irrelevant without good communication skills.

Due to venue capacity, the event was open only to first year engineering and computer science majors.

Sponsored by Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series (VWMLSS), Novo Nordisk, College of Engineering, Department of Engineering Fundamentals, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and the Department of Computer Science.

Funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY

Students in the audience at Rozsa
The lecture takes place in the James and Margaret Black Performance Hall of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.
Students in audience
Engineering and computer science students are in attendance.
Wayne Pennington
Wayne Pennington, Dean of the College of Engineering, introduces the speaker.
Libby Titus
Libby Titus is an EHS Specialist at Novo Nordisk.
Libby Titus Lecture
Libby Titus lectures on Secrets of Talking Nerdy.
Engineering Faculty
Engineering and CS faculty are among the attendees.

Interventional devices: Improving quality of life

A section of BSC’s drug-eluting Eluvia stent system, designed to restore blood flow in the peripheral arteries above the knee.
A section of Boston Scientific’s drug-eluting Eluvia stent system, designed to restore blood flow in the peripheral arteries above the knee.

As an R&D director at Boston Scientific Corporation, Heather Getty works with a cross-functional team of experts to develop products and solutions for treating diseases using minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Heather Getty '84, R&D Director, Boston Scientific, earned a BS in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech
Heather Getty, an R&D director at Boston Scientific, earned a BS in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech in 1984.

The scope of these medical devices includes catheters, stents, and other devices for patients with peripheral artery disease, or PAD, a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. PAD affects more than a quarter of a billion people worldwide. Patients with PAD can suffer significant health consequences, including gangrene, amputation, and triple the risk of heart attack and stroke. Boston Scientific is a market leader in less-invasive treatments for PAD.

“As a medical products company, we rely heavily on the experience and wisdom of the physicians who utilize our products,” says Getty. “A big part of my job is understanding the treatment of PAD from the physician’s perspective. We gain knowledge about customer needs by meeting with physicians, observing clinical cases, and having physicians use our products during development.”

Product development can be extremely challenging. “Taking an idea, and moving it from concept to commercialization while navigating through technical challenges as well as financial and time constraints can be daunting,” says Getty. “A product properly commercialized can stay in the market for over 30 years. Despite that realization and pressure, at the same time, it is also our job to recommend cancellation of any idea that can’t meet expectations.”

A critical part of her job: ensuring compliance with regulations across the globe. “We work very closely with our quality engineering department but it is also critical that everyone contributes to the quality and compliance of our products,” she says.

“ A big part of my job is understanding the treatment of PAD from the physician’s perspective.”

– Heather Getty

Getty graduated from Michigan Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, and immediately began working at Honeywell. While on the job she completed an MBA from St. Thomas University. After six years in manufacturing she moved into Honeywell’s Material Test and Analysis (MTAC) group, and later began working on the development of demilitarization concepts, including exploring options to reclaim materials from ammunition dumps around the world. After 11 years, she leapt at the chance to join the R&D group at Schneider, now part of Boston Scientific, to follow her passion of improving lives.

Now, with more than 21 years total at Boston Scientific, Getty leads a team of 60 managers, engineers, and technicians who develop new products for the company. “It’s rewarding to be with a company that offers opportunities to improve patient lives but that also manages to do so with integrity and a respect for work-life balance,” Getty asserts.

“Launching a product and having it do well in the market is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. I love that our products can help improve a person’s quality of life as well as make a physician’s job easier.”


Phosphorus eaters—Using bacteria to purify iron ore

eiseleresearchMany iron ore deposits around the world are extensive and easy to mine, but can’t be used because of their high phosphorus content. Phosphorus content in steel should generally be less than 0.02 percent. Any more and steel becomes brittle and difficult to work. 

Tim Eisele
Tim Eisele
Chemical Engineering

Beneficiation plant processing, which treats ore to make it more suitable for smelting, only works if the phosphorus mineral grains are bigger than a few micrometers in size. Often, phosphorus is so finely disseminated through iron ore that grinding and physically separating out the phosphorus minerals is impractical.

Tim Eisele is developing communities of live bacteria to inexpensively dissolve phosphorus from iron ore, allowing a low-phosphorus iron concentrate to be produced. “For finely dispersed phosphorus, until now, there really hasn’t been a technology for removing it,” he says.

Phosphorus is critical to all living organisms. Eisele’s experiments are designed so that organisms can survive only if they are carrying out phosphorus extraction. He uses phosphorus-free growth media.

“We’ve confirmed that when there is no iron ore added to the media, there is no available phosphorus and no bacterial growth.”

– Tim Eisele

Eisele is investigating two approaches, one using communities of aerobic organisms to specifically attack the phosphorus, and another using anaerobic organisms to chemically reduce and dissolve the iron while leaving the phosphorus behind. He obtained organisms from local sources—his own backyard, in fact, where natural conditions select for the types of organisms desired. Eisele originally got the idea for this approach as a result of the high iron content of his home well water, caused by naturally-occuring anaerobic iron-dissolving organisms.

On the right, anaerobic bacteria dissolve iron in the ferrous state. On the left, recovered electrolytic iron.
In the beaker on the right, anaerobic bacteria dissolve iron in the ferrous state. On the left, recovered electrolytic iron.

Eisele cultivates anaerobic and aerobic organisms in the laboratory to fully adapt them to the ore. “We use mixed cultures of organisms that we have found to be more effective than pure cultures of a single species of organism. Using microorganism communities will also be more practical to implement on an industrial scale, where protecting the process from contamination by outside organisms may be impossible.”


Today’s Materials Day Features Working Foundry

Materials DayYou may think college students are too old for a sandbox, but this isn’t your average sandbox. Today (Sept. 12, 2017), a 12 x 24 foot sandbox will be constructed in the center of Michigan Tech’s campus.

The sandbox will be filled with two and a half tons of sand, for a pouring of liquid metal by Waupaca Foundry, Inc.

Tuesday is Career Services Materials Day formerly known as “Foundry Day,” where students are invited to explore careers in foundry, steel, biomaterials and ceramics.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., between labs and classes, students can design souvenir sand molds, engage with company reps and see innovative products and technologies.

The event is sponsored by Whirlpool, Neenah Enterprises, Winsert, Waupaca Foundry, Inc. and Roberts Sinto Corporation.

Materials Day is one of seven industry-related events hosted by Michigan Tech Career Services in the month of September that prepares students for the fall Career Fair.  Find out more about Career Fest online.

By Career Services.


Automotive Partners take over Campus Today

Automotive DayThirteen automotive manufacturing and supply companies embark on campus today and invite students to engage with them.

Eighty-six percent of college students find it easier to engage with company reps in an informal and interactive environment, as opposed to a formal Career Fair.

For this reason, Career Services developed CareerFEST, an interactive event series on campus that encourages students to explore industries, discover careers, ask questions and meet employers before the Fall Career Fair.

Automotive Day kicks off the first of seven industry-related events in September. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Sept. 7, 2017), in the center of campus, company reps showcase their latest innovations and technologies through live demonstrations.

This year’s Automotive Day theme is Autonomous. Nexteer Automotive has a simulator that allows students to experience what it will be like in an autonomous world. The Michigan Tech Autonomous program and Jeremy Bos (ECE) have partnered with General Motors to display their latest autonomous vehicle build called “Buck.”

Oshkosh Corporation is on hand with a JLG Scissor Lift, LATV (Baja Truck), Pierce 100ft Aerial Fire Truck and a HEMTT Wrecker.

A Grand Cherokee with Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist is on display from FCA. Other display vehicles include a Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus, Audi A8 and an QSK 10 L engine.

Automotive Days sponsors include: Ford, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Cooper Standard, General Motors, Cummins, Continental, Oshkosh, FCA, HUSCO International, ArcelorMittal, Yanfeng Global Automotive Interiors, Nexteer Automotive and Faurecia.

Representatives from the Advanced Power System Lab at Michigan Tech and additional Enterprise programs will also be on hand during the event. Last year, 68 percent of our students participated in CareerFEST events and 460 companies attended.

By Career Services.

Enterprise Team shows off product

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – Michigan Technological University students showed off their experience at Automotive Industry Day last week.

The Formula SAE Enterprise Team caught attention with their formula-style racecar.

MTU seniors choose between senior design class or one of five enterprise teams.

The formula team I knew I wanted to be a part of before I even got to Tech. Formula SAE Enterprise Team president Cora Taylor

Read more at TV 6 Upper Michigan’s Source, by Mariah Powell.


Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Labs Available to Harvey Displaced Researchers

March for ScienceFour Michigan Tech labs, so far, have responded to a request by scientific honor society Sigma Xi and the March for Science for researchers to open their labs to scientists displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Rudy Luck (Chem), David Shonnard (ChemEng), Paul Sanders (MSE) and the Great Lakes Research Center all have invited researchers and students impacted by Harvey to work in their labs.

In its call for lab space, Sigma Xi wrote, “some researchers in the storm’s path will be displaced from their laboratories for an extended period. These individuals may require extraordinary measures to continue their work. Sigma Xi is joining with March for Science to assemble a list of research laboratories nationwide that are willing to accommodate faculty, postdocs and students who need to temporarily relocate.”

Nationwide, 290 labs have signed up so far. To see the list of labs click here.

By Jenn Donovan.

Biofuels Conversion, Biochemical & Thermochemical

Shonnard Lab @ Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI
David Shonnard
drshonna@mtu.edu

Alloy Research

Sanders Alloy Research Lab @ Michigan Technical University
Houghton, MI
Paul Sanders
sanders@mtu.edu
Al, Fe, Ni, Cu, Mg alloy development; modeling, casting, thermo-mechanical processing, mechanical testing, SEM/TEM
may be able to provide basic housing (basement bed, bath)