Category Archives: Awards

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship Spring 2017

Recipients—Spring 2017

  • Yunana Ahmed (Rhetoric, Theory and Culture PhD)
  • Samer A. Alokaily (Mathematical Sciences PhD)
  • Shiva S. Bhandari (Physics PhD)
  • Sachin M. Bhosle (Mechanical Engineering PhD)
  • Nicholas W. Bolton (Forest Science PhD)
  • Kyle A.  Brill (Geophysics PhD)
  • Natasha I. Chopp (Data Science MS)
  • Mustafa Gezek (Mathematical Sciences PhD)
  • Pei Hou (Atmospheric Sciences PhD)
  • Caoyang Jiang (Electrical Engineering PhD)
  • Yiping Mao (Biological Sciences PhD)
  • Chelsea J. Nikula (Chemistry PhD)
  • Zichen Qian (Biomedical Sciences PhD)
  • Amir Rezaei (Electrical Engineering PhD)
  • Abbey J. Senczyszyn (Masters of Business Administration)
  • Ali Solouk (Mechanical Engineering PhD)
  • Shuo Wang (Mechanical Engineering PhD)
  • Dong Xia (Accounting MS)
  • Wentao Yao (Mechanical Engineering PhD)

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Yiping Mao

Yiping Mao
Biological Sciences 
Yiping Mao

My name is Yiping Mao, and I am from a small town in China. After finishing my bachelor’s degree at a medical college, I came over to the United States to start my graduate study on diabetes research. I did not have a clear, planned picture of my career goals, I truly just wanted to be my best in everything I was going to do. The five years of training and researching here at Michigan Tech has been a  very valuable and important part of my college experience. It not only gave me the ability  to identify scientific problems and strengthen my professional research, more importantly, it has taught me to think as an individual, be a  team player, be brave when having failures, persist on doing things even they are tough to do, be grateful to all the people and to always believe in myself.

Currently, I am pursuing a career in research and later plan to be a research physician. I will always remember the experience and lessons I got from the five years of study at Michigan Tech and I truly appreciate all the opportunities and help from everyone.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin
Chemical Engineering
Rachel Martin

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Carthage College in May 2013 and began my doctoral studies at Michigan Tech in Chemical Engineering in September 2013. My research involves materials design and manufacturing for scaffolding material that can be used to help regenerate neural tissue in the spinal cord after injury. I will finish up this summer. I have been a TA on campus for 3 years for junior level Chemical Engineering classes. I hope to find a job doing Research and Development in industry and will be getting married in 2018.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Shuo Wang

Shuo Wang
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Shuo Wang_Finishing Fellowship 2

I am a Ph.D candidate working with Dr. Chang Kyoung Choi in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. My research focuses on how to treat joint diseases, like osteoarthritis, from an engineering point of view. We attempt to solve one critical problem in cartilage tissue engineering: how to help chondrocytes (cartilage cells) to re-grow their pericellular matrix (PCM) to maintain their cellular stability in vitro (out of human body). PCM is a thin-layer structure surrounding the chondrocytes and has been proven to play many key roles on maintenance of cellular functions. Departing from current methods where cells are cultured in macroscale scaffolds, we are encapsulating single cells in hydrogel microbeads same scale as the cells to assistant the PCM regeneration with the National Institute of Health grant. We expect our new approach to impact and advance the current cartilage engineering by providing a better cell source, chondrocytes with regenerated PCM.

The Finishing Fellowship, supported by Graduate School, helps me to focus on my research so that I can expect to graduate much sooner. Please allow me on behalf of my family and my advisor to sincerely thank the Graduate School and the Dean’s Advisory Panel at Michigan Tech.

I came from Beijing, China in 2010, followed by my wife (girlfriend back then) in 2011. Now I am a father of two kids, who were born in Portage Health Hospital in Hancock in 2014 and 2016. For the long time we have been living here, we also proudly consider ourselves as Yoopers.

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
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 Phifer
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.