Category Archives: News

Alex Mayer appointed Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor

image56405-persMichigan Tech has appointed Alex Mayer as the Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor. Mayer, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, is recognized for his outstanding efforts to bring water-related research, education and outreach to the forefront at Michigan Tech.

“Charlie and Pat were staunch supporters of Michigan Tech and spent a lifetime working with managers of natural resources,” said President Glenn Mroz. “Alex’s career accomplishments and appointment are a fitting tribute to their memory.”

Mayer holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Brown University and master’s and PhD degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He joined the Michigan Tech faculty in 1992 and has been a full professor since 2001. Between 2005 and 2011, he also served as the director of the Center for Water and Society.

“Alex is one of the most active researchers on campus, an accomplished scholar, an outstanding teacher and caring adviser, and a highly valued University and department citizen. He is truly one of Michigan Tech’s best,” said Dave Hand, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

John Gierke, chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, added, “Throughout my career here as a colleague of Alex’s, I have been so impressed by his record of scholarship and collaborative nature, especially his propensity to involve a diverse group of faculty in large research efforts. This appointment is both fitting and long overdue.”

As principal investigator, Mayer has secured $8.5 million in federal funding and $1.3 million from other sources during his time at Tech. His teaching interests include groundwater flow and transport and subsurface remediation. His current research projects include “A Research Coordination Network on Pan-American Biofuels and Bioenergy Sustainability”; “Environmental CyberCitizens: Engaging Citizen Scientists in Global Environmental Change through Crowdsensing and Visualization”; and “Virtual Water Accounting: A New Paradigm for the Adaptive Management of Great Lakes Water.”

In 2009, Mayer was recognized with the Rudolf Hering Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers. In the same year, he also received Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award. The Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation recognized him in 2010 with the Manierre Award.

Article in Tech Today by Max Seel, provost and vice president for academic affairs

One of Greatest Places to Live in America: Houghton

IMG_9635bOutside magazine named Houghton among the 16 best places to live in America, mentioning that Michigan Tech students double the town’s population during the school year. The article also notes Tech as one of the largest employers, praises the Nordic ski trails and mentions that Tech will host the National Cross-Country Skiing Championships in 2015 and 2016. See The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America.

“Wings of Angels” Film Includes Michigan Tech Capstone Design Team

Wings of Angels1bThe documentary film Wings of Angels” will be Shown During Alumni Reunion.
The public can view “Wings of Angels,” a documentary film featuring Michigan Tech mechanical engineering students, in the lobby of the MEEM building during Alumni Reunion. The movie will be shown on the hour, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 7-9.

Recently the original opening screening and reception of “The Wings of Angels” documentary film was held at the U.S. Navy Memorial & Naval Heritage Center, in Washington, DC. The film is about Michigan Tech’s ME student capstone design teams working with wounded veterans to design a competitive handcycle so these vets can compete in marathons.

Invitees included Achilles athletes (wounded veterans), Michigan Tech ME students, GM Executives, DC policymakers, DC-based military representatives, veteran’s organizations, select media, about 200 invitees. Dr. William Predebon was there representing Michigan Tech and the ME-EM Department.

It was an evening about how Michigan Tech ME students in the senior capstone design program worked hand-in-hand with the wounded veterans to design and build a competitive handcycle so these wounded veterans can complete in the Achilles sponsored marathons (Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Vets: achillesinternational.org).

Predebon said “It is a heart-moving film about our students and how they made a difference in the lives of our courageous wounded veterans. Although it started as their senior capstone design project it became much more for them- it became their passion.”

Several GM Executives spoke at the screening including former Chairman and CEO, Dan Ackerson. Featured speakers included Travis Wood, wounded veteran, Chad Zunich, student member of the first handcysle senior capstone design team. Travis is one of two wounded veterans featured in the film and worked closely with the senior capstone design teams. He also rode the student designed prototype handcycle in the Detroit marathon, which is featured in the film.

Watch the Video

Watch the Video
The video can be seen at http://vimeo.com/99873340

Former GM Chairman and CEO Dan Ackerson
Former GM Chairman and CEO Dan Ackerson
Chad Zunich, Travis Wood, Achllies Coordinator Chad was an ME student, who was on the first handcycle senior capstone design team and now   works at General Motors
Chad Zunich, Travis Wood, Achllies Coordinator
Chad was an ME student, who was on the first handcycle senior capstone design team and now works at General Motors
Handcycle at screening
Handcycle at screening
Chad Zunich and Joe Traum (Achilles Director)
Chad Zunich and Joe Traum (Achilles Director)

Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program

IMG_8027 (1280x853)Great Lakes Research Vessel NOAA RV 5501 at Michigan Tech: Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program July 2014

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided the boat and crew and Michigan Tech provides the people who do the sampling as part of NOAA’s Great Lakes Monitoring program. Michigan Tech and NOAA share in the analysis and discovery.

Crew: Beau Braymer, Captain of RV5501; Bob Harvey, Mate of RV5501; Dr. Gary Fahnenstiel, Senior Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center and Michigan Tech Research Institute; Dr. Foad Yousef, Post doctoral research Michigan Tech and Erin Cafferty Michigan Tech Research Institute, research in freshwater biology phycology.

Other projects that will using the research vessel include Marcel Dijkstra (CEE), North Entry offshore transect with water samples; Colleen Mouw (GMES), NASA Optical Propertiesa and Transects from North Entry and Keweenaw; Mike Aboott (GLRC), buoy maintenance; and Amy Marcarelli (BioSci), Coast Sediment Exchange and the River mouths around Keweenaw.

RV 5501 is a vessel of the NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL); The Boat Engineering Branch of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Engineering Logistics Center designed the 55′ ANB (Aids to Navigation Boat). The Coast Guard Yard completed the detailed design and contracted the initial production of 55′ ANB. The 55′ ANB is designed primarily to service aids to navigation within the inland waters, bays, sounds and harbors of the United States. It is capable and equipped to support multi-mission operations.

View more Photos or slide show

View the Video Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program at the Great Lakes Research Channel

Great Lakes Research Vessel NOAA RV 5501 at Michigan Tech: Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program July 2014
Great Lakes Research Vessel NOAA RV 5501 at Michigan Tech: Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program July 2014

Summer Youth Engineering Programs

Several Summer Youth engineering programs are held at Michigan Tech Engineering Dpartments. The Engineering Scholars Program (ESP) and Women in Engineering (WIE) are weeklong competitive scholarship programs to introduce engineering careers in areas like mechanical, computer, environmental, electrical, chemical, biomedical, civil, geological, and materials.
Some of the activities may include:
• Explore engineering by constructing a building strong enough to withstand an earthquake, create an artificial intelligence army, and much more.
• Get inside info from role models working in engineering fields.
• Work in teams to tackle awesome group projects.
• Learn about the college application process and tips for succeeding in university engineering programs.
• Experience college life-stay in a residence hall, explore campus, and meet others with similar interests.
• Enjoy team competitions, a variety show, and tons of outdoor activities in Michigan’s beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula.

Photo Gallery Summer Youth Program in Engineering: Women in Engineering and Engineering Scholars Program

News article from UpperMichigan Source WLUC TV6High School students learn about engineering at Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech’s National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) is a two-week residential program that allows you to explore today’s transportation industry. Find out more these and other programs:

Engineering Scholars Program

• Women in Engineering
• National Summer Transportation Institute
• Rail and Intermodal Transportation
• Women in Computer Science

Keweenaw Geoheritage Tours

Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is known as a place of natural beauty with a fascinating mining history. Join local expert Bill Rose to learn how to read this landscape and how it came to be the way it is today. The Copper Country has a strong geoheritage comprised of five major events in Earth’s history. Rose has designed several two-day field trips that address each of these specific themes. Participants can look forward to covering lots of ground and being outside all the time with travel by boat, van and short walks.

UPDATE:

1 Lavas, July 21-22: This trip focuses on the Keweenaw’s black rocks and its deep earth volcanic past; the site of Earth’s largest lava outpourings. We will visit massive lava flows and learn how they shape and influence the Keweenaw Peninsula.
2. The Keweenaw Fault, July 23-24: This trip focuses on the magnificent Keweenaw Fault, a massive thrust fault which split the peninsula lengthwise and uplifted rocks, including native copper, to a place where people could find it. This feature has shaped and beautified the Keweenaw but is no longer an active hazard.
3. Jacobsville Sandstone, July 25-26: The red rocks of the Keweenaw originate from the ancient, and once massive, Huron Mountains that eroded and filled the great valley of the Keweenaw rift. We will visit important fossils in the area, an ancient window to the origins of life on Earth.

Each two-day trip costs $325 and includes lunch. Full more information, trip highlights and registration please visit: Geoheritage Tours.

For specific questions email: keweenawgeology@gmail.com

A story about Faculty Emeritus Bill Rose’s summer geoheritage program was picked up by the Associated Press and shared with the San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, San Antonio Express, Washington Times, and other media outlets.

Center for Diversity and Inclusion Hosts Research Gallery

Center for Diversity and Inclusion invites the campus community to this year’s MiCUP/MI-LSAMP Research Gallery Walk, held on Thursday, June 19, from 3-5 p.m. in the Rozsa Center Lobby.
The event recognizes the research of students participating in the seven-week Michigan College/University Partnership Program (MiCUP) and the Michigan Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MI-LSAMP) Program here at Michigan Tech.

View thew 2013 Research Gallery

Seminar: Combined Heat and Power At Michigan State University Using Torrefied Biomass to Reduce Fossil Fuels and Green House Gas Emissions

Seminar: “Combined Heat and Power at Michigan State University Using Wood and Other Renewable Biofuels”
Speaker: Nate Verhanovitz, Performance Engineer, Power and Water Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, Michigan State University

One way MSU plans to achieve its renewable resource goals is to decrease its dependence on coal through the combustion of wood, grasses, and agricultural residue at the T.B. Simon plant in East Lansing. The plant is one of the few operating facilities in North America to test burn torrefied biomass. This presentation will focus on the results and lessons learned from the first two co-firings of near-torrefied wood with coal in a pulverized coal boiler. The seminar took place in 402 Mechanical Engineering Engineering Mechanics Building on June 9, 2014.

Michigan Tech will be a supplier to MSU and the T.B. Simon power plant of torrefied biomass pellets produced at the pilot plant of Michigan Tech’s APS Labs. The pellets will be used in the next phase of biocoal test burns at the T.B. Simon power plant. The Michigan Tech connection in the biofuel research includes Dr. Ezra Bar Ziv (professor, ME‐EM), John Diebel (assistant director, Technical Commercialization) and Jordan Klinger (PhD candidate, ME‐EM). They were members of a team that was awarded the top team designation by the NSF Innovation Corps (I‐Corps), a new public–private partnership to help develop scientific and engineering discoveries into useful technologies. The program connects academic researchers with the technological, entrepreneurial, and business communities. Ezra Bar Ziv (ME-EM) has received a $50,000 research grant from NSF for “I-Corps: Feasibility of a Novel Concept to Produce Biocoal for Power and Enhanced Bio-Oil.”

Jordan Klinger (PhD candidate, ME‐EM), John Diebel ( Asst. Director of Technology Commercialization) both of Michigan Technological University and Nate Verhanovitz, Performance Engineer, Power and Water Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, Michigan State University, and Dr. Ezra Bar Ziv (professor, ME‐EM), Michigan Technological University

Seminar about Wood and Other Renewable Biofuels


Seminar Video

Governor Visits Michigan Tech at Construction Career Days

Last week the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the School of Technology participated in the Michigan Construction Career Days in Howell MI. This is an event sponsored by FHWA, MDOT, Mita, Operating Engineers Union Local 324 as well as others. According to the event web site , “MICCD is Michigan’s premiere construction career exploration event. Based on the National Career Day model, MICCD provides Michigan’s young people a chance to experience construction up-close, getting the chance to use real tools, materials and heavy equipment under the direct guidance of construction professionals from all sectors of the industry.”

On Thursday morning Governor Snyder visited the event and had his picture taken with our MTU students that were meeting with the high school students attending the event.

Governor Snyder with Michigan Tech students at Construction Career Days
Governor Snyder with Michigan Tech students at Construction Career Days

Design Expo 2014 Awards

The Design Expo highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning at Michigan Tech. More than 600 students in Enterprise and Senior Design teams showcase their work and compete for awards. A panel of judges, made up of corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty members, critique the projects. Many of them are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience through competition at the Expo, as well as direct exposure to real industrial problems. The fourteenth annual Expo is a combined effort of the College of Engineering and the Institute for Leadership and Innovation. The event was held in the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library Third Floor exhibit area on Thursday April 17, 2014.

The Design Expo highlights the core foundations of a Michigan Tech education: experiential learning; teamwork; application of theory, design, and innovation; leadership and communication; and multidisciplinary solutions to problems. The Enterprise and Senior Design students showcasing their projects today have embraced these foundations. We take tremendous pride in their accomplishments
and hard work.

Michigan Tech’s innovative Enterprise Program enables interdisciplinary learning, leadership development, and team-based work. Teams of first- through fourth-year students from diverse disciplines operate much like real companies to develop products, processes, and services within their market space. Faculty advisors serve as coaches and mentors, with industry leaders playing a
supporting role as collaborators and clients.

Senior Design enables small teams of highly dedicated students to explore and solve real industry challenges throughout their senior year. Our program connects students and industry through openended projects, which enable teams to experience and follow the complete design process—from ideation to realization.

ENTERPRISE AWARDS

First Place:  Team 222 Consumer Product Manufacturing

First Place: Team 222 Consumer Product Manufacturing

Second Place: Team 209 Alternative Energy Enterprise

Third Place: Team 204 Husky Game Development

(See other team pictures in the Photo Gallery from Design Expo 2014)

BLACK & VEATCH BUILDING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® SENIOR CAPSTONE DESIGN AWARDS

First Place: Teams 144/147, RAM Tailgate Structure & Accessory

First Place: Teams 144/147, RAM Tailgate Structure & Accessory Team Members: Christian Vreeland, Thomas Gruber, Evan Rosemore, Taylor Erva, Kraig Kadletz, Andrew Pospychala, Chad Dickenscheid, and Greg Reed, Mechanical Engineering Advisor: Gregory Odegard, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Sponsor: Chrysler Group LL

Team Members: Christian Vreeland, Thomas Gruber, Evan Rosemore, Taylor Erva, Kraig Kadletz, Andrew Pospychala, Chad Dickenscheid, and Greg Reed,  Mechanical Engineering

Advisor: Gregory Odegard, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor: Chrysler Group LLC

Second Place: Team 120, Automated Aircraft Sealant System

Team Members: Alison Hilditch, Andrew Reed, Nicole Maggi, and William Yahr, Mechanical Engineering; Matthew Courchaine and Patrick Harris, Electrical Engineering

Advisor: Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor: HGS Aerospace

Third Place: Team 127: Rotary Cartridge Assembly System

Team Members: Benjamin Abraham, Sarah Daniels, and Kristi Ross, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor: Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor: Lendrex

Honorable Mention 1: Team 105, Lightweight POP Rivet Gun

Team Members: Eric Phillips, Caleb Walk, Justin Osterhout, Daniel Carpenter, and Anthony Carley, Mechanical Engineering

Advisors: William Endres and Gregory Odegard, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor: Chrysler Group LLC

Honorable Mention 2: Team 146, Delivery Tool for a Leadless Pacemaker

Team Members: Emily Helminen, Samantha Hilliger, Daniel Leppek, Cody Mingo, Tyler Myers, and Anna Ylitalo, Biomedical Engineering

Advisor: Rupak Rajachar, Biomedical Engineering

Sponsor: Medtronic Inc.

Honorable Mention 3: Team 148, Personal Ultraviolet Radiation Monitor

Team Members: Neil Momsen, Nicole Westphal, Michael Ramalia, Joseph Frontera, and Bradley Cassiday, Biomedical Engineering

Advisors: Megan Frost and Sean Kirkpatrick, Biomedical Engineering

Sponsor: Department of Biomedical Engineering


DESIGN EXPO IMAGE CONTEST

First Place: Team 205, Velovations Enterprise

First Place: Team 205, Velovations Enterprise Team Leaders: Jay Woodbeck and Derek Turner, Mechanical Engineering Advisor: Paulus Van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Sponsors: Specialized Bicycles, Cane Creek Cycling Components, Thomson Bike Products

Team Leaders: Jay Woodbeck and Derek Turner, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor: Paulus Van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsors: Specialized Bicycles, Cane Creek Cycling Components, Thomson Bike Products

Second Place (Tie): Team 215 Formula SAE

Team Leaders: Alisha Clark and Chais Eliason, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor: James DeClerck, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsors: Autodesk, Polaris, GM, 3M, Ford, DENSO, Meritor, Cummins, John Deere, Alcoa, Chrysler, A&P Technology, ArcelorMittal, TeamTech, Mitsubishi Electric, Plascore, Continental

Second Place (Tie): Team 109, Balise and RFID Use in Rail Systems

Team Members: Frank Kampe, Marketing; Kevin Heras and Daniel Holmerg, Management; Min Li, Operations and Systems Management

Advisor: Saurav Pathak, School of Business and Economics

Sponsor: Technical Expert Network


Design Expo 2014 Images submitted for Image Contest

INVENTION DISCLOSURE COMPETITION 2014

Best Overall: Stair Climbing Cane

Best Overall: 128 Stair Climbing Cane Team Members: Melissa Mack, Travis Neu, Alyssa Hynnek, Caitlyn Privette, and David Rosen, Biomedical Engineering

Team Members: Melissa Mack, Travis Neu, Alyssa Hynnek, Caitlyn Privette, and David Rosen, Biomedical Engineering

Best Technical Specification:  Martyboard – Portable Assisted Mobility Device

Ashley Kerschen, Jacob Pederson, and Jacob Liimatta, Mechanical Engineering

Best Prior Art Review and Competitive Analysis:  Synthetic Drug Detection Platform

Team Members: Tylor Rathsack, Michael Oates, Jacob Pleshe, Corey Thiel, Mechanical Engineering

There are more pictures of the Enterprise and Senior Capstone Design Teams and the Design Expo event:
Photo Gallery from Design Expo 2014

Design Expo 2014 Images submitted for Image Contest

Design Expo Website

Video clips from Expo 2014 will be able as the are processed.