All posts by mjsteven

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship – Spring 2018 Recipients

Congratulations! Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship Award Spring 2018 Recipients

Shadi Ahmadi Darani (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Ting Bao (Civil Engineering PhD)
Kishan Bellur (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Liang Chang (Materials Science and Engineering PhD)
Joshua Davis (Accounting MS)
Wenping Deng (Forest Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology PhD)
Jennifer Dunn (Environmental and Energy Policy PhD)
Brandon Jackson (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Meghnath Jaishi (Physics PhD)
Zhaoxiang Jin (Computer Science  PhD)
Steven Landry (Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors PhD)
Xiaoyu Liang (Mathematical Sciences PhD)
Ameya Narkar (Biomedical Engineering PhD)
Kimberly Tweedale (Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture PhD)
Le Zhao (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Saeedeh Ziaeefard (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)


Graduate Research Opportunities at DOE National Laboratories

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is pleased to announce that the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2018 Solicitation 1.  Applications are due 5:00pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

Detailed information about the program, including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system, can be found at:

The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory/facility in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission. Continue reading

Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award Fall 2017 Recipients

Congratulations! Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award Fall 2017 Recipients

Mahsa Asgarisabet (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Briana Bettin (Computer Science PhD)
Jianheng Bi (Chemistry PhD)
David Falish (Civil and Environmental Engineering MS)
Sean Gohman (Industrial Heritage and Achaeology PhD)
Ian Greenlund (Biological Sciences MS)
Nancy Henaku (Rhetoric, Theory & Culture PHD)
Ashley Hendricks (Mechanical Engineering MS)
Melinda Kleczynski (Mathematical Sciences MS)
Miles Penhale (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Julie Tomasi (Chemical Engineering PhD)
Saeedeh Ziaeefard (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship – Fall 2017 Recipients

Congratulations! Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship Award Fall 2017 Recipients

Ala Mahmood Nahar Al Zaalig (Mathematical Sciences PhD)
John Arnold (Industrial Heritage & Archaeology PhD)
Andrew Chapp (Biological Sciences PhD)
Sorayot Chinkanjanarot (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Shuaicheng Guo (Civil Engineering PhD)
Ashok Khanal (Chemistry PhD)
Vinaykumar Konduru (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Vincent Manzie (Rhetoric, Theory & Culture PHD)
Sathya Prasad Potham (Mechanical Engineering MS)
Sandesh Subhaschandra Rao (Mechanical Engineering MS)
Nicholas Steffey (Business Administration MS)
Mohammad Hosain Teimourpour (Physics PhD)
Brenna Thompson (Accounting MS)


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2018 – Xiucheng (Sheldon) Zhu

Xiucheng (Sheldon) Zhu
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Xiucheng Sheldon Zhu
The story is about the final successful experiments after two weeks happened in 2014 summer. I was doing spark ignition of propane in CV. It was the first time we test with propane mixture. We only had experience with methane before that. We need to prepare fuel mixture (usually 800 bar in a 10 L mixing vessel) before testing and put the mixture into CV for ignition. The mixture preparation could take up to 1 hour. After making a new propane mixture, the first several ignitions were failed, then we got ignition. However, the peak pressure after combustion kept increasing which indicates the mixture composition were varying. We checked the literature, some say that it is due to the stratification of the mixture, some say that there is no stratification at all. For about two weeks, we didn’t get any normal combustion events as expected. We tried almost every method we could think of. Finally, Tejas and I tried
201801 Xiucheng Zhuto make less mixture (about 400 bar in a 10 L mixing vessel) and moved the mixing vessel piston up and down to help mix the mixture better. It was very a simple solution, but it did work. We got consistent combustion with this method, and we confirmed the stratification issue of propane mixture. That was the moment, we kept our fingers crossed, and felt vast joy. It feels like that you walked in the dark for a long journal and finally reach your destination. After that, we were keeping improving the mixing procedure by changing filling orders.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2018 – Marine Foucher

Marine Foucher

Marine FoucherMy interested towards volcanoes, rocks, and natural phenomena led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Geosciences at Paris South XI University and, later, at a master’s level at New Mexico Highlands University. As part of my master’s degree I conducted research investigating fossil magma flow direction within an extinct volcano in New Mexico, to improve our understanding of volcanic eruptions. This research provided me with a fundamental understanding of the study of the Earth Magnetic field and the magnetic properties of rocks. The skills I acquired during my master’s degree provided a solid basis for the work I have undertaken as part of my PhD at Michigan Tech. Continue reading

Spring Commencement details – order your regalia and request tickets!

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

Order your cap and gown: Orders must be placed by midnight on February 18, 2018. You can order your cap and gown online through the Campus Bookstore. Remember you may NOT use your undergraduate gown as the graduate gown is much different. If you’ll borrow a graduate gown, let me know. Please direct any questions regarding your order to

If you are a veteran and participating in commencement, contact Kathy Pintar in the Registrar’s Office at to receive your red, white, and blue cord.

Review the commencement website:  Review the website periodically during the term to keep up-to-date on all things commencement related such as rehearsal and tickets.

Request your tickets: You can request up to 3 tickets online through the Campus Bookstore.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2018 – Jeffrey Kiiskila

Jeffrey Kiiskila
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Jeffrey KiiskilaI’m a local and have been living in the UP for my entire life up to this point. My research focuses on the use of plants, mainly vetiver grass, for the treatment of metal impacted waters, where the plants use their roots for metal removal. I also do biochemical analyses on the plants to understand how they tolerate these types of environments. In addition to my research, I have been teaching classes at MTU and Gogebic Community College over the past four years, including first year biology and chemistry courses, microbiology, and botany. I have many interests outside of academia, which have included video games, bird watching, and music composition as a drummer.

The award will help me focus my time on finishing my lab work and writing without having to worry about work or finances.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2018 – Kishan Bellur

Kishan Bellur
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Kishan BellurI’m a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University working with Jeffrey Allen in the microfluidics and interfacial transport lab. After graduating with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering in 2013, I decided to work in industry until I secured admission into a graduate program of my choice. In a few months, I was accepted at Michigan Tech and I started graduate school shortly after. I first met my adviser in my second semester and he talked to me about a research opportunity in cryogenic propellant (rocket fuel) evaporation and condensation and thus began my 4 year-long research career.

The primary motivation for my work thus far is rocket fuel management in space. Commonly used fuels, liquid hydrogen and liquid methane, are stored in metallic containers at temperatures as low as -260° C. The liquid fuel vaporizes with even minute amounts of heat, and results in a liquid-vapor mixture. This increases the pressure in the container, requiring ventilation to avoid over-pressurization, resulting in significant fuel loss. Fuel storage/management is one of the limiting factors to long term space missions. My dissertation focuses on novel methods to visualize, investigate, and predict the behavior of these fuels and enable long term manned space travel.

I am grateful for the finishing fellowship awarded by the Graduate School. There is no doubt that the support provided will someday result in “a giant leap for mankind”.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2018 – Zhaoxiang Jin

Zhaoxiang Jin
Computer Science

Zhaoxiang JinI am a PhD student in Computer Science and work in Computer Architecture and Compiler Lab with my advisor, Dr. Soner Onder. Before I came to Michigan Tech, I was an ASIC engineer in industry. I still remembered the day I decided to come back to school and pursue a higher education. I prefer a life with new adventures and learning new technologies. Finally I am able to contribute my research and share it with the whole world. When I look back on my PhD career, I think that is the best decision I ever made in my life to get a PhD degree. We learned from the work previous researchers have completed and contributed our work for the future researchers. Now it is my last year in Michigan Tech. I will write my dissertation which includes all the work I have finished in these years. The finishing fellowship immensely helps my situation so that I do not need to worry too much and can focus on my dissertation. Here I want to sincerely thank for the sponsor of the fellowship and the panel. With the help been given from you, I believe I can finish my dissertation outstandingly and defend it on time.