Category Archives: Announcements

2017 SURF Awards to Eight Engineering Undergraduates

SURF StudentsThe Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will fund 20 students from across the University with funds from the office of the Vice President for Research. Previous SURF award recipients have included Goldwater Scholarship and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients. Since 2002, SURF students have co-authored 71 peer-reviewed publications. This year’s recipients, project titles and advisors are listed on the SURF webpage.

Kaylie Butts, Rachel Schlicker and Quelyn Bekkering received Honorable Mention.

By Will Cantrell.

2017 Award Recipients in Engineering Programs

Student Name Student’s Major Advisor/Department Project Title
Jessica Benson Biomedical Engineering Jeremy Goldman / Biomedical Eng. Evaluating Biodegradeable Zinc Stent Materials
James Gooding Chemical Engineering Shiyue Fang / Chemistry Digital History of Historic Mineralogical Instruments at the A.E. Seaman Museum
Amanda Kautzer Biomedical Engineering/Eng. Management Rupak Rajachar / Biomedical Eng. Multi-arm PEG-based Hydrogels for Tendon and Ligament Repair
Darian Reed Civil Engineering Pasi Latula / Civil & Environmental Eng. Evaluation of Methods to Record Head Orientation in Driving Simulator and In-Vehicle Study Environments
Marissa Schorr Geology Chad Deering / Geological & Mining Eng. Filling in the Gaps: Finding the Missing Detrital Zircon Puzzle Pieces to the Magmatic Evolution of the Mt. Princeton Batholith, Colorado
Luke Weidner Geological Engineering Thomas Oommen / Geological and Mining Eng. Validation of a Landslide Susceptibility Model Using Ground Movement Image Correlation in Parwan Province, Afghanistan
Travis Wigstrom Chemical Engineering Shiyue Fang / Chemistry A Novel Carboxylic Acid Protecting Group Deprotectable Under Mild Neural Conditions
Aubrey Woern Mechanical Engineering Joshua Pearce / Materials Science Techno-Economic Analysis of Flexible Filaments Used in 3D Printing vs. Traditional Manufacturing

Sutter, Ahlborn Honored by ACI

Lawrence Sutter
Lawrence Sutter

Two Michigan Tech faculty will be honored by the American Concrete Institute at its Spring Concrete Convention and Exposition, Saturday through Wednesday (March 25-29) in Detroit.

At the convention, Larry Sutter (MSE) will be inducted as a Fellow of ACI. According to the Institute’s website, Fellows are those who have made outstanding contributions to the production or use of concrete materials, products and structures in the areas of education, research, development, design, construction or management.

Theresa M. Ahlborn
Theresa M. Ahlborn

Also at the convention, Tess Ahlborn (CEE), who was inducted as a Fellow in 2015, will receive the Delmar L. Bloem Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes exceptional service on ACI technical committees.

Alborn is being recognized because she established and led the first ACI Technical Committee on Ultra-High Performance Concrete. Learn more here.

Wayne Pennington, dean of the College of Engineering says recognition by professional organizations is important to the University.

Michigan Tech prides itself in attention to real-world applications and solutions. Awards like these, to two outstanding researchers, contribute to the foundation of that pride, and we are pleased that Doctors Ahlborn and Sutter are being recognized for their contributions.

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) is a leading authority and resource worldwide for the development and distribution of consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational programs and proven expertise for individuals and organizations involved in concrete design, construction and materials, who share a commitment to pursuing the best use of concrete.

Michigan Space Grants for Guadagno and Oppliger

Marcello Guadagno
Marcello Guadagno

Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards tallying $30,000 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the 2017-18 funding cycle. Award recipients within the College of Engineering include:

Undergraduate Marcello Guadagno (ME-EM) received a $2,500 research fellowship for “Stratus Meteorological CubeSat: Payload Integration and Mission Level Design” with Lyon Brad King (ME-EM).

Douglas Oppliger
Douglas Oppliger

Douglas Oppliger (EF) received $5,000 or more for “Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles for Teaching STEM Concepts” (includes augmentation).

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.

As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College.

For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College at 7-4371 or visit the MSGC website.

Deans’ Teaching Showcase: Julie King

Julia King
Julia King

In week nine, the new Deans’ Teaching Showcase member is from the College of Engineering. Dean Wayne Pennington has selected Julie King, professor of chemical engineering based on recommendations from co-workers, students and her chair.

Adrienne Minerick (ChE), associate dean for research and innovation, who was Julie’s student as part of her bachelor’s degree and is now a colleague, calls King a “highly influential role model for me” as well as for many other students.

More specifically, Minerick says “Julie consistently is recognized by her students for her personal interest, advice and interactions. She stays invested in student success after they leave her classes, approaching those teaching subsequent classes with insights and advocacy strategies. I’ve never met a stronger advocate for students.”

S. Komar Kawatra, chemical engineering chair, praises King for her dedication, especially in the demanding Unit Operations Laboratory, saying “She spends a great deal of time with students, and always takes on additional teaching duties at the time of need.”

Kawatra calls King a “model professor,” and indicates that she has received similar praise from the Mack family as the Lorna and James Mack Chair Professor in Continuous Processing.

King’s current students confirm her great mentoring, but also appreciate her passion for excellent teaching and continuous improvement. One student comment read “She continuously asks students what she can do to improve their hands-on learning experiences or what areas she can provide more practical examples of chemical engineering applications to prepare them for full-time positions. She actively listens to her students and genuinely considers their feedback for future lessons or experiments.”

This same student believes that King is “part of the reason why chemical engineers from Michigan Tech are some of the best in the world.”

King will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

By Michael Meyer, Director, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.

Budget News on H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex

H-STEMGovernor Snyder mentioned the project during his Budget Proposal Speech on February 8, 2017.

The $39.6M complex would contribute to Human-centered research, development and education for its students by developing therapeutic devices, sensors, instruments, preventive strategies and a health technologies-related workforce.

Read more at WLUC TV6, by Alyssa Barker.

Michigan Tech Board of Trustees Approves 5-year Capital Outlay Plan

The complex will support Michigan Tech’s integrated educational programs that apply engineering and science to problems related to the human condition. The University’s unique technological niche places Tech in an ideal position to contribute to human-centered research, development and education for its students by developing therapeutic devices, sensors, instruments, preventive strategies and a health technologies-related workforce. The complex will permit teams of researchers and students from Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Computer Science, and Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology to work together in flexible lab spaces with shared equipment.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.

Judges Needed for Design Expo 2017

Design Expo JudgingDesign Expo 2017 will be held Thursday, April 13 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Save the date.

Design Expo highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning at Michigan Tech. More than 600 students on Enterprise and Senior Design teams showcase their work and compete for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty members, critique the projects. Many team projects are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience through competition, as well as direct exposure to real industrial problems. Design Expo is co-hosted by the College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College.

If you would like to serve as a judge at this year’s Design Expo, register as soon as possible to let us know you’re coming. Thank you for your continued support.

By Pavlis Honors College.

Six Engineering Programs Ranked Top Picks for Vets

Campus and Husky Outdoor SceneCollege Factual, a website that provides ranking, academics and outcomes information on colleges and universities, has ranked six Michigan Tech degree programs top picks for veterans.

The website ranked Tech’s mechanical engineering and environmental engineering in the top 10 nationwide, listing chemical engineering, civil engineering and computer engineering in the top 20. Electrical engineering was ranked in the top 40 in the nation.

By Jenn Donovan.

Design Expo 2017 Registration Now Open

Design Expo 2017Design Expo 2017 will be held Thursday, April 13, 2017, in the MUB Ballroom.

Design Expo highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning at Michigan Tech. More than 600 students on Enterprise and Senior Design teams showcase their work and compete for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty members, critique the projects. Many team projects are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience through competition, as well as direct exposure to real industrial problems. Design Expo is co-hosted by the College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College.

Registration is now open for Senior Design and Enterprise teams. Students should visit the Design Expo website to register before the deadline, Monday, Feb. 6.

By Pavlis Honors College.

New Engineering Faculty Fall 2016

Rebecca Ong

Chemical Engineering

Rebecca Ong, PhD

Rebecca Ong joins Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. Ong received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University.

She has worked as an instructor in chemical engineering at Tech and as a research assistant professor at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Ong is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Lei Pan, PhD

Lei Pan joins the Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. Pan received a PhD in mining engineering at Virginia Tech and also worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies there.

He received the Pratt Research Fellowship award at Virginia Tech, as well as the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the Mining Department there. He worked as a reviewer for Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review and Minerals Engineering and as a lecturer at Virginia Tech.

Jeana Collins, PhD

Jeana Collins joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering as a lecturer. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech and has worked at Tech as a graduate teaching assistant as well as a mentor for current undergraduate researchers. Collins is a recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student teaching award.

She is a member of Omega Chi Epsilon, a chemical engineering honor society, as well as Tau Beta Phi engineering honor society, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Alumni Association and Order of the Engineer. Collins also coaches Tech’s dance team and mentors students in time management, coursework and prioritization.

Hyungchul YoonCivil and Environmental Engineering

Hyungchul Yoon, PhD

Hyungchul Yoon joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor. He earned his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received his certificate in foundation of teaching at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning there.

Yoon has been a mentor at the Smart Structure Technology Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has had numerous publications in journals such as the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. He has also given oral presentations in Osaka, Japan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Stanford, California.

Christian WagnerElectrical and Computer Engineering

Christian Wagner, PhD

Christian Wagner joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as a visiting professor.

Wagner earned his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. He has served as the director of digital economy in the Digital Catapult Researcher in Residence Programme in London, UK. He also was an associate professor at the University of Nottingham and a consultant for Unilever Data Analysis.

Zhi Zheng, PhD

Zhi Zheng joins the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Tech as a research assistant professor. She earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she also obtained her certification in college teaching.

Zheng received the Best Paper Award at the 9th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction.

Sajjad BighamMechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sajjad Bigham, PhD

Sajjad Bigham joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. Bigham earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida and has worked as a research assistant in nanostructure energy systems there.

Bigham has multiple patents and journal publications. He was the recipient of an outstanding honor student award for academic achievements.

Susanta GhoshSusanta Ghosh, PhD

Susanta Ghosh joins the Department of  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as a research assistant professor. Ghosh received a PhD in Civil Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, in 2008.

Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, Ghosh worked for the Department of Materials Science Engineering at the University of Michigan as a visiting research investigator. He also worked for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. He has multiple journal publications and is the recipient of awards and fellowships.

Darrell RobinetteDarrell L. Robinette, PhD, P.E.

Darrell L. Robinette joins Michigan Tech as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Robinette received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Tech in 2007.

Prior to joining the Michigan Tech faculty, Robinette worked for General Motors as an advanced hybrid and electrification architecture engineer. He volunteers with FIRST Robotics and has received many awards and recognitions. He was the SAE Foundation Stefan Pischinger Young Industry Leadership Award nominee.

Trisha SainTrisha Sain, PhD

Trisha Sain joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. She earned her PhD in the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore India.

Prior to coming to Tech, she worked as an assistant professor at North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She was a reviewer of grant proposals for the US Army Research Office and a consultant in the mechanics division of Honeywell Technology Solutions lab in Bangalore, India.

Zequn WangZequn Wang, PhD

Zequn Wang joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. He earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering at Wichita State University in Kansas and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Integrated DEsign Automation Laboratory (IDEAL) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University.

Before coming to Tech, Wang was an instructor for the engineering design optimization iSIGHT lab at Northwestern. He has presented at the Ford Research and Development Center on validating dynamic engineering models under uncertainty.