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Michigan Tech at Earth and Space 2018

2018 ASCE Earth and Space banner

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Earth and Space 2018 conference was held in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 9-12. Michigan Tech was well represented by several talks. Paul van Susante (MEEM) is the current chair of ASCE’s Aerospace Division that organized the conference and he gave two talks: “Minerals from Space: Terrestrial and Extra-terrestrial Perspectives” and “Robotic Mars and Lunar Landing Pad Construction Using In-Situ Rocks.” He also chaired two sessions, served as a student paper judge and handed out division awards as well as the Columbia medal to Paul Wooster from SpaceX on behalf of Elon Musk.

In addition, Gregory Odegard (MEEM) presented at the pre-conference shortcourse: “Design and Analysis of Composite Materials for Aerospace Structures.” Two of his students, Hashim Al Mahmud and Will Pisani, attended the shortcourse and each presented a paper. The papers titles were: “Multiscale Modeling of PEEK Using Reactive Molecular Dynamics Modeling and Micromechanics” and “Predicting the Effective Mechanical Properties of Graphene Nanoplatelet-Carbon Fiber-Epoxy Hybrid Composites Using ReaxFF: A Multiscale Modeling Approach”.

Wind Turbine Blade diagram with parts labeled.The 2017 best paper award for the Journal of Aerospace Engineering (published by ASCE by the Aerospace Division) was awarded to “Design and Simulation of Active External Trailing-Edge Flaps for Wind Turbine Blades on Load Reduction” by Xiao Sun, Qingli Dai, Muraleekrishnan Menon and Fernando Ponta in the September 2017 issue.

https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)AS.1943-5525.0000771

Kristina Swallow, ASCE President, attended the entire conference which concluded with a tour of NASA Glenn Research Center. For more information, visit the ASCE Earth and Space website.


2018 Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Recognize Faculty and Staff

Cameron Hadden
Cameron Hadden

More than 300 Michigan Tech students gathered for the 12th Annual Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Ceremony Sunday in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

In addition to the many student awards presented, Order of Omega, the Greek Life Honor Society that coordinates the awards, took the time to recognize some exceptional faculty and staff members. There are more than 560 students in fraternities and sororities at Michigan Tech, and Order of Omega wanted to emphasize that these awards were coming directly from the students.

When writing a nomination for the Outstanding Faculty Award, students were asked to consider faculty who:

  • Are dedicated to supporting students and helping them succeed academically
  • Demonstrate a passion for teaching and/or research
  • Utilize innovative teaching methods and promote academic integrity among students

When writing a nomination for the Outstanding Staff Award, students were asked to consider staff who:

  • Are dedicated to supporting students and helping them succeed both inside and outside the classroom
  • Demonstrate a passion for working with students
  • Promote and inspire the Michigan Tech values of Community, Scholarship, Possibilities, Accountability and Tenacity.

When writing a nomination for the Outstanding Advisor Award, students were asked to consider staff/faculty who:

  • Are dedicated to promoting the Michigan Tech Greek community values and chapter values
  • Are dedicated to developing leaders within the chapter; are dedicated to promoting a values-based organization
  • Promotes and role models ethical leadership and promotes academic success among members and the chapter as a whole.

The following faculty and staff members were nominated by members of the Greek community and were recognized at the 2018 Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Ceremony

Faculty—Sean Clancey (ChE), Cameron Hadden (MEEM). Staff—Joseph Cooper (Student Financial Services), Scott Wendt (ChE). Advisors—Laura Bunzendahl-Bulleit (Dean of Students Office), Bobbie Dalquist (Financial Information Systems), James DeClerck (MEEM), Alyssa Fredin (Financial Aid).

Scott Wendt
Scott Wendt

These nominations were written by individual students and were supported by an entire fraternity or sorority. In the end, the Outstanding Faculty Award was presented to Cameron Hadden and the Outstanding Staff Award went to Scott Wendt. Advisor of the Year was awarded to Bobbie Dalquist.

Congratulations to all of these faculty and staff members who were nominated and thank you for inspiring and motivating students.

The full list of award winners and nominees can be found on the student activities website.

By Student Activities.


Ye Sun Develops Convenient Heart Monitor

Ye Sun
Ye Sun

HOUGHTON — According to one study, more than 90 percent of U.S. medical expenses are spent on patients with chronic diseases. According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, $190 billion are spent on cardiovascular disease that in many cases, patients are required to wear a heart monitor day and night. For those patients, heart monitoring will soon become easier, more comfortable, and more convenient, thanks to Michigan Technological University Researcher Ye (Sarah) Sun.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.


Biomedical Engineering Students Win at Stryker Engineering Challenge

BME StudentsA team of biomedical engineering students from Michigan Tech took first place in the Eighth Annual Stryker Engineering Challenge competition in Kalamazoo, March 22/23, 2018.

Each team member will receive a $1,000 scholarship and an interview for a Summer 2019 Internship with Stryker Corporation, a medical technology company. Each year Stryker invites engineering student teams to its global headquarters to show off their engineering prowess while competing against rival schools.

During overnight competition, teams spent 12 hours planning, designing, prototyping and testing to prepare for a robotics challenge created by Stryker engineers.

This year, six universities competed. In addition to Tech, teams came from Notre Dame, Western Michigan University, Michigan College Alliance, Purdue and Miami of Ohio.

Michigan Tech was the only biomedical engineering team in the competition. All other teams were comprised of mechanical and electrical engineering students. Undergraduates Becky Daniels, Melanie Thomas, Emil Johnson and Nicholas Turowski made up the Michigan Tech team.

 Joe Thompson, associate director, industry engagement in Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College traveled with the students and served as mentor. Biomedical Engineering Associate Department Chair and Professor Keat Ghee Ong is the team’s advisor.

Biomedical Engineering Department Chair Sean Kirkpatrick said “Last year was BME’s first year in the Stryker competition and we took second place. This year’s first-place finish shows last year wasn’t a fluke—Michigan Tech BME students are very capable engineering students who can handily solve classical engineering problems.”

Thompson adds, “The event organizers at Stryker made a point of highlighting the professionalism displayed by Michigan Tech team. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and collectively persevere contributed to the team’s success this year.”

Michigan Tech's robot at the 2018 Stryker Engineering Challenge
Michigan Tech’s robot at the Eighth Annual Stryker Engineering Challenge in Kalamazoo, Michigan

The first half of the competition involved picking up small Lego people with the robot and transporting them to the team’s ‘pit stop’. The team was able to deliver a ‘VIP passenger’ to gain extra points, but then their robot arm malfunctioned, sinking them from 1st place to 4th place as a result. The second half of the competition involved an actual race throughout the course. Michigan Tech’s robot had the fastest time.

“It was exciting to see how our ideas came to life, and how prototypes became the actual parts that contributed to our victory,” says Thomas. “It was a constant reminder of why we chose to pursue engineering.”

“The best feelings came whenever a team member was stuck with a particular problem and another team member’s suggestion turned out to be the working solution. During the competition we learned how to work with nearly complete strangers. We adapted once we figured out each other’s strengths,” says Johnson.

“Throughout the challenge we all provided whatever insight we could if we noticed someone struggling with a task, and it was always without judgement,” adds Daniels.

“Every employee at Stryker seemed to love their job,” notes Turowski. “One told about how during his first year at Stryker he was put on a team of ‘vets’ and asked to complete a task that had never before been done. I think that shows how much confidence Stryker has in its employees.”

“You don’t have to know the people you’re working with for a very long time in order to be an effective team. You just need to set your eyes on a collective goal and work to successfully complete it.

– Melanie Thomas

Stryker Corporation, active in more than 100 countries, is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, offering products and services to help improve patient and hospital outcomes.

Michigan Tech BME students Emil Johnson, Nicholas Turowski, Melanie Thomas, and Becky Daniels along with mentor Joe Thompson at the 2018 Stryker Engineering Challenge, where they took first place.
Michigan Tech BME students Emil Johnson, Nicholas Turowski, Melanie Thomas, and Becky Daniels along with mentor Joe Thompson at the 8th Annual Stryker Engineering Challenge, where they took first place.

2018 Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship Recipients

Portage Health FoundationTwelve students have been awarded the Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship. The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health education. This year’s recipients have an average GPA of 3.87 and represent the breadth of health-related research happening on Michigan Tech’s campus.

The $8,000 scholarships went to:

  •    Bailey Poyhonen, Dollar Bay, medical laboratory science
  •    Brennah Wasie, Hancock, biochemistry and molecular biology
  •    Laura Lyons, Lake Linden, biomedical engineering
  •    Sarah Dix, L’Anse, exercise science

Receiving $1,000 scholarships were:

  •    Kierstyn Codere, Lake Linden, biological sciences
  •    Grace Liu, Houghton mechanical engineering
  •    Mara Hackman, Houghton, medical laboratory science.
  •    Jaden Janke, Dollar Bay, biological sciences
  •    Ally Fenton, Hancock, biomedical engineering
  •    Jada Markham, Houghton, exercise science
  •    Kellan Heikkila, Chassell, biomedical engineering
  •    Dawson Kero, Hancock, biological sciences

“The merit-based awards reflect the high caliber student talent we have locally, thanks to exceptional teachers, HOSA high school advisers, and Michigan Tech faculty and students who do outreach in the schools,” says Jodi Lehman, director of foundations at Michigan Tech.

At a dinner for finalists, the scholarship recipients had a chance to talk one-on-one with Michigan Tech researchers. Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics faculty Ye Sarah Sun shared with students how she develops new interfaces for heart monitoring that are reliable and won’t disturb a patient’s life at home, while driving or at work.

Biomedical engineer and health care entrepreneur, Megan Frost, shared  how she is working to improve wound care with a product designed to prevent infection and reduce the need for some post-acute care.

Scholarship recipients also heard from current students, Adison Cook, a 2016 Making a Difference scholar; Stephanie Bean and Maddie Morley, both PHF Undergraduate Research Interns; and Kelsey Saladin, a Portage Health Foundation and Randy Owsley Memorial Athletic trainer scholar.

 

“The Portage Health Foundation has also been very generous in granting need-based scholarships to students enrolling at Michigan Tech, Finlandia University, Gogebic College, Northern Michigan University, and Michigan State University in health-related degree programs,” says Joe Cooper, Director of Financial Aid at Michigan Tech, “These scholarships make a significant financial impact for students in our own local communities.  Thanks to the Portage Health Foundation, students from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties have extra support so they can attend college and focus on health related careers.”

Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship applications will open in the fall for incoming high school seniors and transfer students applying to Michigan Tech for fall 2019.  Questions about the scholarship can be directed to Rachel Connors, assistant director of admissions, 7-1880.

By Foundation Relations.


Judges Needed for Design Expo 2018

Judges and students mingle in front of posters.We invite you to register to be a judge at the 2018 Design Expo on Thursday, April 19. The Expo highlights hands-on projects from more than 600 students on Enterprise and Senior Design teams.

Although special expertise is appreciated, judges are not required to be technological specialists or engineers. If you like engaging with students and learning more about the exciting projects they are working on, please consider judging.

Who should judge?

  • Community members
  • Michigan Tech faculty and staff
  • Alumni interested in seeing what today’s students are accomplishing as undergrads
  • Those looking to network with Michigan Tech faculty and students
  • Industry representatives interested in sponsoring a future project

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, registeras soon as possible to let us know you’re coming. Thank you for your continued support.

By Pavlis Honors College.


Engineers Without Borders Band Benefit Sunday

Engineers Without Borders working on a ground pump with local people.Engineers Without Borders at Michigan Tech will host its annual Band Benefit from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday (April 8, 2018) in MUB Ballroom A. The Band Benefit raises funds for the organization’s current rural water improvement projects in Guatemala and Panama.

The lineup features Ben and the Bamboozlers, Momentum and the Naddy Daddies with sound provided by WMTU. Enjoy live music, dancing and prize drawings. There will be appetizers and a cash bar.

By Engineers Without Borders.


2018 SURF Award Recipients in Engineering

SURF graphicThe Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will fund 25 students from across the University with funds from the office of the Pavlis Honors College and 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 78 peer reviewed publications.

This year’s recipients, project titles, and advisors are listed online.

Honorable Mention went to Kiaya Caspers, Travis Durgan, Elisha Earley and Ashley Lingle.

By Will Cantrell.

Biomedical Engineering Majors

Stephanie Jewell
Biomedical Engineering / Mechanical
William Cook / KIP
Controlled Breathing and Automatic Cardiovascular Control

Kaylee Meyers
Rupak Rajachar / Biomedical Engineering
Evaluating the Influence of Matrix Stiffness on the Activation of MMPs in Tendinopathy

Alexander Oliver
Jeremy Goldman / Biomedical Engineering
Characterizing the Inflammatory Response to Zinc Stent Materials

Brennan Vogl
Smitha Rao / Biomedical Engineering
Monitoring migration of cancer cells using a microfluidic device

Chemical Engineering Major

Satyen Dhamankar
Chemical Engineering / Mathematics
Benjamin Ong / Mathematical Sciences
Accelerated Boundary Integral Methods

Civil Engineering Major

Timothy Stone
Don Lafreniere / Social Sciences
Exploring the Social Determinants of health and Disease Outbreak Patterns in Children in Early Twentieth Century Calumet

Geological Engineering Major

Katelyn Kring
Snehamoy Chatterjee / GMES
Spatial Interpolation of Rock Quality Designation to Design Underground Support System for Eagle Mine

Mechanical Engineering Majors

Dennis J Byard
Joshua Pearce / Materials Science
Increasing Maker Manufacturing through 3D Printing with Reclaimed Plastic & Direct Drive Pellet Extrusion

Aaron Dean
Pasi Lautala / Civil and Environmental Engineering
Using Naturalistic Driving Data and Machine Learning to Predict Accident Risk at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings

Eric Houck
Mo Rastgaar / Mechanical Engineering
Magneto-Rheological Fluids Create a Natural Walking Gait in Ankle-Foot Prostheses


SWE Students Travel to WE Local, Milwaukee

WE LocalMichigan Tech students Katie Buchalski (Environmental Engineering), Emily Crombez (Computer Science Graduate Student), Hannah Daavettila (Mechanical Engineering), Veronica Lynch (Civil Engineering), Jocelyne Denhof (Mechanical Engineering), and Erin Murdoch (Mechanical Engineering Technology), and faculty adviser, Gretchen Hein (Engineering Fundamentals) attended the Society of Women Engineers WE Local Conference in Milwaukee from Friday through Sunday, March 9 through 11, 2018.

They participated in the conference career fair, and attended professional development sessions and networking activities. Gretchen Hein and Rebecca Reck, Kettering University, as part of the SWE Women in Academia Committee, presented on the various career paths available in academia. The students and adviser were especially moved to hear about the challenges and accomplishments of Sonia Sanchez, professor of Physiology and Biomedical Sciences and assistant dean of Research at the Creighton University School of Dentistry. She spoke about her life journey from a small town in Brazil to her career in Nebraska. The group left her talk inspired and ready to work towards their goals regardless of obstacles.

The group thanks the College of Engineering for their support, and their departments for allowing them to leave early for Spring Break to participate in the SWE WE Local Conference.


Michigan Tech Students at Road America

Autonomous Group by the VehiclELKHART LAKE, Wis. (WLUK) — Students at Michigan Technological University took to the grounds of Road America near Elkhart Lake Thursday to put the finishing touches on a car that literally drives itself.

The autonomous vehicle is part of a contest designed to move the technology forward.

“Well, I’m not driving. It’s an interesting feeling. I’ve been driving for 15 years. Now I get behind the wheel, and the wheel turns, and pedals move, and I don’t have to do anything,” said Spike, a graduate student at Michigan Tech.

Read more at FOX 11 News, by Eric Peterson

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