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Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Le (Emma) Zhao

Le (Emma) Zhao
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Emma Le Zhao

Emma’s main Ph.D. research involves computational fluid dynamics and high-performance computing. The highly configurable combustion vessel provides researchers the opportunities to explore the spray and combustion activities. The experimental data will be used to validate the physics and mechanisms of spray/combustion in Internal Combustion Engines.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Mohammad Hosain Teimourpour

Mohammad Hosain Teimourpour
Physics
Mohammad Teimourpour

Mohammad Hosain Teimourpour was born in Kermanshah Iran. He received his BS degree in Solid State Physics from Razi University, Kermanshah, in 2004, and MSc in Photonics from ICST, in 2007, Kerman, Iran. In 2013, he joined the Optics and Photonics group of Prof. R. El-Ganainy at the Department of Physics at Michigan Tech. Mohammad has already published ten papers in reputable international journals such as Nature Scientific Reports (IF 5.2), Phys. Rev. A (IF 2.8), Optics Letters (IF 3.2), Journal of Optics (IF 2.1), Phys. Rev. Applied (IF 4.1), and Phys. Rev. B (IF 3.7). His research interests include: Semiconductor lasers, Linear and Nonlinear Integrated Photonics, Non-Hermitian Optics, Topological Photonics, Plasmonics and Quantum Optics. He is currently, writing a chapter of a book in collaboration with Prof. El-Gananiy, titled “Higher order exceptional points in PT symmetric systems”. He is a reviewer of several prestigious journals in Optics and Photonics such as Optics Express (Optical Society of America, OSA), JOSA B (OSA), New Journal of Physics (IOP) and Chinese Optics Letter (OSA). He is honored to receive a Finishing PhD Fellowship from Michigan Tech in Summer 2017.

 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Zilong Hu

Zilong Hu
Computational Science and Engineering

Zilong HuMy name is Zilong Hu, I was born in China, and received my BS in Electrical and Automation Engineering from Tianjin University in 2011, and my MS in Medical Informatics from Michigan Tech in 2014. I am continuting at MTU with my Ph.D. in Computational Science & Engineering. My research interests include medical image processing, pattern recognition, and machine learning. My current research project is developing a system for identification of bruised fruit from 3-D surface information obtained through an infrared imaging system using deep learning technology.  This is the first and the only work to implement bruise detection using 3-D infrared imaging, and it is expected to affect the fruit industry in the near future. I have met many obstacles during the research, and I have managed to overcome those problems by reading a large amount of reference papers, communicating with other experts, and working hard. Each challenge I have dealt with strengthens my learning skill, improves my insight, as well as improving my programming skill. I really enjoy being a graduate student and doing research at MTU, and I believe these experiences will guide me to become an outstanding and creative researcher in my future career.

 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Wentao Yao

Wentao Yao
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Wentao Yao

My name is Wentao Yao. I was born in Xinyang, a small city in the middle of China. My father is a carpenter, who inspired me a lot with his astonishing handcraft skills when I was young. These memories eventually brought me into the world of engineering.

Currently, my research project is to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries by facet engineering of the electrode materials. Instead of searching for new materials, we fabricated the commercialized electrode materials through different methods to bring them special structures and improve the battery capacity, life cycle, and charge-discharge rate. These techniques will help recycling of used battery materials, reducing the cost of fabrication, as well as improving the performance of rechargeable batteries.

It is a great honor and motivation for me to receive this finishing fellowship support to devote my full time to the final stage of my Ph.D.,  to write my dissertation and summarize my experimental studies for publishing in high-impact journals.

 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Haiping Liu

Haiping Liu
Biological Science
Haiping Liu

Haiping Liu is earning her  PhD in Guiliang Tang’s lab (link) from the Department of Biological Science at Michigan Tech. Her work is focused on dissecting the functions of conserved and non-conserved micro-RNAs (miRNAs) in tomato plants using short target tandem mimic (STTM) and artificial miRNA (amiRNA) technologies. Her work focuses on fruit productivity, flavor and nutrition which attract great attention to the public. The finishing fellowship Liu received this last spring will allow her an extra semester to enable her research to goer, and be more integrated..   By collaborating with researchers from USDA, tremendous efforts are putting on tomato flavor study which might bring huge economic and applicable significance to the production and consumption of tomatoes. In addition, all the transgenic STTM lines will be shared through a common database for community research to accelerate functional study of miRNAs in tomato.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Colin Phifer

Colin Pfifer
Forest Science

Colin Phifer2
What does interdisciplinary mean? For Colin Phifer, a PhD student at Michigan Technological University, it has meant working with the wildlife ecologists he is used to as well as learning the methods and terminology of social scientists, hydrologists, soil scientists and engineers all working on the same questions but from different angles. For the past 4 years, Colin has been one of the over 130 members of an international, interdisciplinary team studying the socio-ecological effects of bioenergy development in four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and United States). Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships in International Research and Education program (PIRE), Colin’s research focuses on how land-use change associated with bioenergy development influences native bees, birds and ecosystem services while other PIRE team members examine water, soil, and social and policy impacts. After surveying for both native bees and birds in three of the countries, he is now applying ecosystem service modeling to understand trade-offs with multiple ecosystem services and land-use change.

Colin completed his MSc at the University of Hawaii in conservation biology and his BS from Humboldt State University in California. From bats to birds, plants to pollinators, gibbons to whales, Colin has worked in the US and abroad to conserve biodiversity and provide for human well-being. He wants his work to lead to actionable, impactful science and informed decision-making.

The Finishing Fellowship granted by The Graduate School in spring of 2017 has supported Colin in completing his part of the larger project. When not working, he enjoys cooking, reading a good (science fiction) book, and playing hockey with his son.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Bryan Freyberg

Bryan Freyberg
Mathematical Sciences
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Bryan Freyberg and his wife left tenured teaching jobs in Northern Minnesota four years ago so that Bryan could continue his mathematics education at the highest level at Michigan Tech. His research is in the area of graph theory, the study of graphs used to model the relationships between objects. An example would be designing sporting tournaments in which the strengths and schedules of the teams have certain properties. You can use this information to construct handicap tournaments designed to help the underdog teams to make the odds more fair. As a Minnesotan, he feels obligated to specialize in these kind of tournaments.

Bryan and his wife are adventure seekers and have converted a local rural hunting camp to an off-grid “yurtstead.” They gather water from the creek, harness electricity from the sun, and heat the yurt with wood from their property. The Finishing Fellowship granted by the Graduate School will help Bryan not only to finish his dissertation this summer, but ensure that it meets the high standard he sets for himself. In addition, it will help the family with undertaking the next adventure: the addition if a new family member this summer!


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Chathura Gunasekara

Chathura Gunasekara, PhD Candidate in Computational Science and Engineering Program, School of Forest Resource and Environmental Science.

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Before Chathura started his Ph.D., he did his undergraduate degree in University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, majoring in Computational Physics. He has always been interested in interdisciplinary research, where computational techniques are used to solve tough scientific challenges. He discovered his lifelong career in Bioinformatics, when he joined the lab of Dr. Hairong Wei in 2013. His current research is in plant systems biology and bioinformatics, specifically, identifying genetic regulatory networks.

Plants will always be a vital component in every living species including humans. With the increasing human population, there is an increasing necessity to harness the limited resources to produce enough food from crop plants or timber from economical plants. The recent technological advances in genetics, genomics, and ergonomics have made promising discoveries that we can improve the yield but thanks to the advances in computing capabilities in terms of hardware and software. In recent years, the field of biology has transformed from data scarce discipline to a big data discipline and has become increasingly depended on computational approaches. In his research, he focused on several key areas of this computational challenge and developed solutions which were highly successful.

Being an international student, who worked as a research assistant to support his Ph.D. studies, the finishing fellowship awarded to him from the Graduate School will allow him to completely dedicate his final semester to writing his Ph.D. dissertation and prepare publications to share his research findings to the scientific community. Chathura plans the next phase of his career by joining a high impact research laboratory as a post-doctoral researcher.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Mohammad Reza Amini

Mohammad Reza Amini
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

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Mohammad Reza’s main Ph.D. research objective is to develop novel model-based control theories for nonlinear dynamic systems to improve the performance of the traditional controller design techniques against different sources of uncertainties. He is designing and applying these new controllers to different automotive applications in real-time, to improve the vehicle fuel economy and drivability, and minimize the engine-out emissions.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipients

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the awarding of Finishing Fellowships for doctoral candidates. Fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees.

(listed by nominating department)

Summer 2017 Recipients

Biological Sciences
Haiping Liu
Yiping Mao

Chemical Engineering
Rachel Martin

Computational Science and Engineering
Zilong Hu

Forest Science
Chathura Gunasekara
Colin Phifer

Mathematical Sciences
Bryan Freyberg

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Mohammad Reza Amini
Shuo Wang
Wentao Yao
Le Zhao

Physics
Mohammad Hosain Teimourpour