Category Archives: News

I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators


The Pavlis Honors College and the Office of Innovation and Industry Engagement held a workshop for faculty, staff and students to consider participating in an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) workshop, offered through the NSF funded I-Corps Sites Program. This workshop offered a valuable opportunity to advance technology-focused business start-up ideas towards commercialization and follow up on funding through SBIR, STTR and private investment. The program is also open to community innovators.

The workshop was conducted in August over a four-week period. Participants also worked on customer discovery. The team-based program structure is similar to the national program that NSF has developed with the help of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs for early-stage technology start-ups. This was a great opportunity for teams to determine and document the commercial potential of their technology through customer discovery using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Start-up technique.

Graduates of this I-Corps Site Program workshop will be better positioned to successfully apply to the National I-Corps program, and graduates of the national program have gone on to achieve higher rates of SBIR/STTR awards than the general population. The program is transformative based on how they approach their research, teaching and other projects they engage in.

The teaching team included Jim Baker, John Diebel and Mary Raber, all of whom have been involved as leaders of technology startups, have participated in the NSF I-Corps training as mentors and who have been trained in the Lean Start-up methodology. Also a team of mentors experienced in the start-up process were available to help navigate the customer discovery process.

I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators
I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators

NSF Research Center RFP Networking/Pitch Social Session

ERCThe National Science Foundation just released their RFP for Engineering Research Centers with a Letter of Intent deadline of Sept. 25. Teams are already discussing ideas, so an open networking/pitch social session is to be hosted to get the wider campus community involved. Join the session from 4:30-6 p.m. on Aug. 26 in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

According to the NSF, the goal of the ERC Program is to integrate engineering research and education with technological innovation to transform national prosperity, health and security. ERCs create an innovative, inclusive culture in engineering to cultivate new ideas and pursue engineering discovery that achieves a significant science, technology and societal outcome within the 10-year timeframe of NSF support.

For more information, visit the National Science Foundation or the Engineering Research Centers. Contact Adrienne Minerick, associate dean of research and innovation, College of Engineering at with any questions.

Invitation Flyer: RFPERC PDF

Connecting People and Geology on Volcanoes

image124601-horizIn October 2011, heavy rainfall poured down the sides of El Salvador’s San Vicente Volcano, nearly four feet of water in 12 days. Coffee plantation employees, working high up on the volcano’s slope began noticing surface cracks forming on steep slopes and in coffee plantations. Cracks herald landslides—places where the wet, heavy upper layers, saturated with water, slide over the less-permeable rocky layers underneath. The workers radioed downslope, keeping close tabs on the rainfall gauge network.
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Bringing Back the Magic in Metamaterials

image124459-horizA single drop of blood is teeming with microorganisms—imagine if we could see them, and even nanometer-sized viruses, with the naked eye. That’s a real possibility with what scientists call a “perfect lens.” The lens hasn’t been created yet, but it is a theoretical perfected optical lens made out of metamaterials, which are engineered to change the way the materials interact with light.
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Students Doing Summer Undergraduate Research at Michigan Tech

IMG_1174The Center for Diversity and Inclusion sponsored this year’s MiCUP/MI-LSAMP Research Gallery Poster Session held on Thursday, June 20, at the Ballroom Michigan Tech Memorial Union.

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.

Michigan Tech has for many years partnered with MI-LSAMP to continue the shared goal of increasing the number of underrepresented minority and first-generation students in STEM and non-STEM fields. The College of Engineering and Engineering departments participate in the program with several faculty and graduate students, labs and facilities.

A few examples of the research work:

  • “Patient Specific Computer Fluid Models for the Study of Aneurysms”; Crystal Juarez and Dr. Jingfeng Jiang, Biomedical Engineering;
  • “Monitoring Suture Load Post Rotator Cuff Repair”; Paige Raad, Andrew DeRouin (graduate student mentor), and Dr. Keat Ghee Ong, Biomedical Engineering;
  • “Prosthetic Limbs Controlled by Electromyography”; Adam Patrick, Guilherme Ribeiro (graduate student mentor) and Dr. Mo Rastgaar Mechanical Engineering
  • “Improving Glider for Underwater Problem-solving and Promotion of Interest in Engineering”; Duy Nguyen, Donna Fard (graduate student mentor) and Dr. Nina Mahmoudian, Mechanical Engineering

See several more examples and pictures in the Photo Gallery

See Michigan Tech Expo Channel on YouTube for Videos of 2015 Summer Research Students at Michigan Tech

Photo Gallery in Flickr: 2015 Summer Research Students at Michigan Tech

Poster Session
Poster Session
Poster Session
Poster Session

Poster Session
Poster Session

Nina Mahmoudian Receives a Young Investigator Program Award from Office of Naval Research

image123120-horizOnly 36 faculty across the US were invited to join the Young Investigator Program (YIP) from the Office of Naval Research this year; additionally, only a small percent of faculty receive the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Nina Mahmoudian, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics at Michigan Technological University, is one of a select few to receive both in the same year.

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Detroit High School Students Visit Michigan Tech

CIMG58895-Day Trip to Visit Michigan Technological University for 20 Detroit High School Students: June 15-19, 2015

Monday June 15th started an adventure for 20 Detroit high school students who want to explore careers in natural resources, environmental science and engineering—forestry; wildlife; water quality; Great Lakes; environmental, civil and mechanical engineering, and more! Thanks to donations by numerous Michigan Tech departments and offices, students have FREE transportation, food, lodging and an exciting program!

Students had a full schedule while at Michigan Tech where they would identify trees, measure forest plots, inventory invasive earthworms, visit the underground rhizotron, participate in a 4-hour Great Lakes investigation aboard MTU’s Agassiz research vessel in Lake Superior, assess the health of local streams; manipulate underwater autonomous remotely operated vehicles, visit labs, conduct insect and wetland inventories, and explore nearby state and county parks to enjoy the beautiful Keweenaw and Upper Peninsula. Students experienced college life staying and eating at Wadsworth Residence Hall.

These twenty students successfully applied for this program (first of its kind) and were eager to visit Michigan Tech’s campus, explore future careers, and have new experiences. The students are in grades 9-12, and come from eight different Detroit high schools. Many people have helped to make this possible, from help with recruitment in Detroit, to the more than a eighteen experts volunteering their time to present to these youth.

The Program is coordinated by Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, in collaboration with Detroit colleagues at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, Mike Reed, Curator of Education – Informal Programs, Detroit Zoological Society and U.S. Forest Service Urban Connections Program.

Generous funding from the following have made this program possible:
MTU School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science, Michigan Tech College of Engineering, Michigan Tech Housing & Residential Life, MTU Admissions, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Pre-College Outreach Initiative, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, and the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

View a YouTube Video Clip of “Detroit High School Students Visit Michigan Tech”

View Pictures on the College of Engineering Photo Gallery Flickr

See the WLUC TV 6 Television News article “Detroit students visit the Keweenaw at Michigan Tech University “

Daily Mining Gazette article “Tech Tour” (cannot be seen without subscription)

Michigan Tech Dean of Engineering Wayne Pennington has lunch with visiting students.
Michigan Tech Dean of Engineering Wayne Pennington has lunch with visiting students.