Category Archives: Alumni

Dr.-Ing. Rudolf “Rudy” Greuer Passes Away

RudolfGreuerDr.-Ing. Rudolf “Rudy” Greuer of Houghton, Professor Emeritus of Mining Engineering at Michigan Tech, passed away on Sunday, January 18th, 2015 in Michigan’s Copper Country. Rudy was born on April 6th, 1927, in Guetzlaffshagen, German Pomerania. Rudy was a veteran of World War II, serving in the German armed forces prior to spending a period of Soviet captivity as a prisoner of war. After his military service and during his studies, Rudy worked as a miner in metal, coal, and potash mines in Germany and the United Kingdom. He attended the School of Mines in Freiberg, East Germany from 1948 to 1950. He later graduated with a Diplom (Masters) of Engineering in Mining Engineering from the Technical University at Clausthal, West Germany in 1953. He was granted the Doctor of Engineering in 1955 from the Technical University in Mining Engineering.

After receiving his doctorate, Rudy spent time on a fellowship through the Government of South Africa performing advanced studies and research on ventilation at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa. His next appointment was as Lecturer at the Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey, before accepting a position as a Senior Engineer at the West German Coal Mining Research Center in Essen, where he was also German representative to the European Community’s Committees on Mine Fires and Mine Ventilation. After ten years in this role, Rudy came to Michigan Tech’s Department of Mining Engineering in 1967 as an Associate Professor. He was later promoted to full Professor and held the position of Head of the Mining Engineering Department from 1980 to 1989.

Beginning in the 1950’s, Rudy pioneered the use of electronic digital computers for mine ventilation planning and is best known for a series of computer programs used for transient state simulation of ventilation and fire protection systems for underground mines and high rise buildings. Some of Rudy’s awards have included the Michigan Tech Faculty Research Award; a Special Achievement Award by the U.S. Bureau of Mines; the Performance Award from the U.S. Bureau of Mines; and the Society for Mining and Exploration (SME) Howard L. Hartman Award at the 1999 U.S. Mine Ventilation Symposium. Rudy has worked as an international consultant for the United States government and in the private sector, and participated in notable forensic investigations such as the 1972 Sunshine Mine disaster in Idaho’s Silver Valley and the 1980 MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas. During his tenure at Michigan Tech and while under contract with the U.S. Bureau of Mines, Rudy was instrumental in the development of MFIRE, a groundbreaking simulation program for mine ventilation and fire modelling which lent the source code to current industry-standard simulation programming. In 1998 he retired from Michigan Tech. Rudy was also a longtime member of the Upper Peninsula section of Society of Mining and Exploration (SME) of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME).

Rudy was an enthusiastic traveler and who particularly enjoyed working and spending time in China, and tied his travels throughout the Middle East together with his passions for ancient history, having once boasted that he has visited every single place mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. He was married to Adelheid “Heidi” Greuer (Teichman) for 51 years, and is survived by wife Heidi of Houghton, daughter Friederike (Gast) of Chassell, son Wilhelm of Marquette, and grand-daughter Lilli Gast.

Service Information:

When: Friday, January 23rd, 2015, 1:00pm
Officiating: Rev. Bucky Beach
Location: Memorial Chapel Funeral Home
Address: 1017 W. Quincy St., Hancock, MI
Obituary Webpage

Elisa Piispa Wins at AGU

GMES PhD student, Elisa Piispa, has won an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting. The title of Elisa’s presentation was “Paleomagnetism of the 1.1 Ga Baraga-Marquette dykes (Michigan, USA)”. The AGU Annual meeting was held in San Francisco, CA, December 15-19, 2014. Piispa’s PhD advisor is Aleksey Smirnov.

Gari Mayberry Featured in Washington Post

image86273-lthumbMichigan Tech 1999 MS Geology Alum Gari Mayberry was featured in the Washington Post article “Gari Mayberry: Lessening the impact of natural disasters worldwide” She is employed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) while working at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). wHer work involves the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) where she is leading and coordinating the U.S. government’s response to disasters overseas and mitigation of geological hazards.

Read her Alumni Profile: Gari Mayberry

GMES Representation at IAVCEI Conference

The International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) Cities on Volcanoes 8 Conference was held September 9-13, 2014 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Nine students, alumni, and faculty/staff presented at the conference.

Those in attendance are pictured (left – right) below:  Jennifer Telling, post-doc; Verity Flower, PhD candidate; Christine Sealing, MS graduate – INVOGE program; Kathleen McKee, MS graduate; Lauren Schaefer, PhD candidate; Anieri Morales Rivera, MS graduate; John “Jay” Wellik, MS graduate – PCMI program; Simon Carn, Associate Professor; and Lizzette Rodriguez, PhD graduateIAVCEI-Conference-914

GMES Department celebrates visit of distinguished earth science educator

This wednesday October 1, Prof Emeritus Hank Woodard of Beloit College will visit friends in Houghton, Pete and Carol Ekstrom. Woodard has been a forceful leader of earth sciences education for more than 50 years, at Beloit College. Geosciences are absent or under emphasized in US schools so most professionals in the field do not discover its advantages until they come to college. And even then, many colleges either do not offer the field or they underfund it, perceiving it to have limited interest. In view of the importance of earth science in environmental and sustainability issues this is bad for the country. Beloit, with Woodard’s vision and energy, has shown the way for others by developing an exemplary and high visibility undergraduate geosciences program that has fed many students who were headed elsewhere into academic and industrial careers in earth science. He was an early leader of the Keck Geology Consortium–an association of undergraduate earth science programs and a major source of excellent graduate students for the world.
A reception celebrating Woodard’s visit will take place this wednesday October 1 at 5 pm —in the 6th floor Atrium of the Dow Building. Woodard will be accompanied by two other Beloit associates: Prof Emeritus Richard Stenstrom and Mary-Margaret Coates (now at Colorado School of Mines). Wine and beer can be purchased onsite with refreshments. There will be a brief recognition of the visitor at 5:30 pm. Come and toast this national educational leader!

Lake Superior Agates Show at Denver

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum recently showed an exhibit, “Lake Superior Agates: Treasures on the Beaches,” at the 2014 Denver Gem and Mineral Show. The three-day show is the second largest event of its kind in the world and draws an international audience of over 10,000. Associate Curator Christopher Stefano participated in the show’s Meet the Curator event, an opportunity for members of the general public to meet and interact with curators from the major mineral museums that exhibit at the show.

Seaman Garden at Mineral Museum to Be Dedicated

John “Jack” Seaman, grandson of the namesake of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech, and his wife, Phyllis, have given a gift to support the museum’s endowment to further the work of Jack’s grandfather and enhance the museum experience for visitors long into the future. In recognition of their generosity, the Phyllis and John Seaman Garden will be dedicated this Thursday, Sept. 11, at 1 p.m. at the Mineral Museum on Sharon Ave.

The dedication ceremony is open to the campus and local communities.

Seaman calls it “Phyllis’s Garden” because his wife is an avid gardener. He will attend the celebration.

The Seamans are underwriting the museum’s endowment in memory of Jack’s grandfather, A. E. Seaman, and his father, Wyllys Seaman. Both A. E. and Wyllys Seaman served on the Michigan Tech faculty.

“The Mineral Museum is a jewel of Michigan Tech,” said Seaman. “We are lucky to have it on the campus.”

Jack Seaman grew up in Houghton, where his father, Wyllys, taught geology and minerology at Michigan Tech and was curator of the Mineral Museum until he retired in 1948. His grandfather, A. E. Seaman, chaired the Department of Geology and Minerology and founded the Mineral Museum named after him in 1902. Seamanite — a transparent yellowish-pink mineral that appears as needle-shaped crystals — was named in his honor.

Summer 2014 GSG Softball Champions

Congratulations to the geo/mining department’s softball team! They took home the traveling trophy by defeating the forestry department in the graduate student government’s (GSG) summer 2014 softball league. This is the first time since 1991 the team has captured the title.

GSG Summer 2014 Softball Champions
GSG Summer 2014 Softball Champions

Bornhorst Teaches Last Field Course

Dr. Ted Bornhorst has taught Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech for 31 years. This will be his last year and so we provide a photo gallery of the last field geology exam which was followed by a nice late day snack brought by Dr. John Gierke into the field for all to enjoy after a hard day’s work. Dr. Bornhorst surely has taught several hundred students in this essential field course over the years.

Bornhorst said “Field Geology at Michigan Tech has been going on for over 70 years. An important component of Michigan Tech field geology is mapping, I found over the years that students who take this class can be successful mapping anywhere in the world… This class is a great preparation for a life-long career in geology.”

If you are an alumnus of our department and graduated after 1982, then you likely were a field geology student of Professor Ted Bornhorst. He has taught Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech for the past 31 summers. Pictured here are snippets from his last field course roster on their culminating day at Big Eric’s Bridge in Baraga County. Dr. Bornhorst has been the director of the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum for the past 11 years and a professor in the department since 1981. Professor Chad Deering will be teaching field geology next year.

We are preparing for the next departmental newsletter a more thorough history of his leading field geology and placing it in the perspective of the department’s history of educating geologists (over 100 years), geological engineers (over 60 years) and geophysicists (over 40 years since geophysics moved into its current department). We wanted to share these pictures and the news now, since the next newsletter is several months away. If anyone has some old pictures from previous classes, please send them to the department (geo@mtu.edu; dates, places and names would be greatly appreciated!). Congratulations Ted!

Professor Bornhorst’s last full field class, 13 June 2014. First Row (l-r): Brittany Blood, Carly Siko, Ben Pletcher, Dr. Bornhorst, Emma Zellmer, Kara Donahue, Britteny Szabo; Second Row: Elizabeth Seiberlich, Joseph Lawinger, Jacob Tresnak, Audrey Hutton, Charlie Breithaupt, and Research Scientist/Engineer Bob Barron; Third Row: Laura O’Connor, Cara Hemmila, Kaitlyn Voet, and Austin Fisher; Back Row: Blake Joseph, Ronnie Knoll, Ben Kramka, Evan Birkett, and Chris Carefoot.

After the students turned in their maps of the complex geology, Dr. Bornhorst explains the geologic setting, including the implications for the presence of uranium minerals and the history of the formations.
Never one to pass up an opportunity for a party, Interim Chair and Professor John Gierke arrived at the conclusion of the day with provisions (sandwiches and sparkling grape juice and sodas) to toast Ted’s last class.
Dr. Bornhorst confirming (or correcting?) Austin’s rock/mineral identification.; Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech

More photos at Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech

Video Michigan Tech Engineer Channel on YouTube:
Michigan Tech Engineer·Dr. Ted Bornhorst taught Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech for 31 years. In this video clip he reflects on the history and the benefits on the program for students.