Category Archives: News

Michigan Space Grant Consortium Conference

msgcThe Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), of which Michigan Tech is a member, will host its annual conference at the University of Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event will be held in the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building at 1320 Beal Ave. in Ann Arbor on the North Campus. MSGC supports student work in space-related science and technology—as well as STEM disciplines—in Michigan.

The conference offers students, faculty, instructors and researchers the opportunity to display their research through presentations and posters. Registration is free but required to allow for adequate planning for seating, meals and refreshments. The registration deadline date is Oct. 6, and travel assistance is available for students.

Non-MSGC individuals and groups from academia, industry and the local community are also invited to share their experience and knowledge in aerospace, space science and aeronautics.

To register and for more information, see online. The on-campus contact is Paige Hackney, in the Pavlis Honors College, she can be reached at phackney@mtu.edu or 7-4371.

Engineering Professor and Author Offers Fresh Perspective on Learning

sep10Barbara Oakley, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Oakland University and author of several books, will be at Michigan Tech Sept. 10-12 as part of the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series. She will give a public talk on “Learning How to Learn” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in Fisher 135. A presentation for the First Year Engineering Classes only will be at the Rozsa Center at 6 p.m. on Wednesday September 10.

Oakley’s latest book is “A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra).” She will give a presentation on Wednesday for first-year engineering students: “Engineering a Mind for Numbers: How to Start Your Education in a STEM Field.”

Thursday morning, Sept. 11, Oakley will present “Learning How to Learn” at Finlandia University. She will have lunch with Michigan Tech’s Engineering Fundamentals faculty and host a coffee chat at 3:30 p.m., Thursday in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. The coffee chat is sponsored by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.

On Friday morning, Sept.12, Oakley will participate in “Meet the Math Department,” organized by Ann Humes, senior lecturer and director of first-year math.

Oakley herself has learned from experience to apply the perspectives of many fields to learning and to life. Originally intending to become a linguist, she earned her bachelor’s degree in slavic languages and literature. After working for the Army as a signal officer, she returned to school to study engineering so that she could better understand the communications equipment that the Army used.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and worked as a translator on Russian trawlers in the Bering Sea. Oakley also spent a season as the radio operator at the South Pole Station in Antarctica, where she met her husband, Philip. They moved to the Detroit area, where she earned a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering and a doctorate in systems engineering. She has been teaching at Oakland University ever since.

The Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar series is supported by the President’s Office, the College of Engineering, the Dean of Students and a grant to Michigan Tech’s Office of Institutional Equity from the state of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

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