Category Archives: News

Interesting stories about and for our students.

Portage Health Foundation Fall 2017 Wenkai Jia

Wenkai Jia
Biomedical Engineering
Wenkai Kia

My name is Wenkai (Vicky) Jia, and I am from a seaside city located in northeast China. My interests are in biology and chemistry and I chose Bio-functional Materials as my undergraduate major in Beijing University of Chemical Technology. I joined Dr. Feng Zhao’s lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and kept working in the area of tissue engineering from 2015. My current research is applying stem cells as regenerative medicine to treat lymphedema and investigating the mechanism underneath. We anticipate that stem cell therapy could cure lymphedema and it would perform better and be more promising than conventional treatments.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Liang Chang

Liang Chang
Materials Science and Engineering
Liang Chang

Liang Chang received her BS and MS degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Wuhan University of Technology in China. Now, she is pursuing her PhD degree in MTU from 2013 under the instruction of Prof. Yun Hang Hu. Currently, her research focuses on electrode materials for supercapacitors, carbon electrodes for CDI water treatment, and 2D transition metal dichalcogenides for devices. After 4 years systematic training, she is confident and looks forward to fulfilling her career in contributing to energy storage area.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Xu Zhang

Xu Zhang
Electrical Engineering
Xu Zhang

My name is Xu Zhang. I was born in the northeast of China, the weather in my hometown is just like here. I received my BS and MS from Harbin Institute of Technology and began my doctoral study in Electrical Engineering at Michigan Tech. My research area is related to modeling, design, and simulation of metamaterial structures for previously unthought-of applications such as diffraction-unlimited imaging and stopped light. The five years of training and research broadens my horizons, expands my knowledge and develops my insight. It is a great honor to receive the finishing fellowship at the final stage of my doctoral study. After graduation, I will continue working in metamaterial area and live my life with all the experience I got at Michigan Tech.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Amaneh Eslami Kenarsari

Amaneh Eslami Kenarsari
Civil Engineering
Amaneh Eslami KenarsariI’m a PhD candidate in Civil Engineering working on a joint project with the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department. I began my studies at Michigan Tech in Fall 2013 and will be finishing in Fall 2017.

The focus of our research is in developing techniques to accurately assess soil compaction from agricultural tires. A key factor in agricultural productivity is minimizing soil compaction. To meet the world’s food production needs by 2050, the world’s food production must increase at a rate of 2.4% per year. Current food production rates, however, are only increasing at 1.2% per year. In an attempt to minimize soil compaction, tractor tire manufacturers are developing “low aspect ratio” tires designed to minimize soil compaction. A major issue in assessing the effectiveness of these tires, however, is in accurately measuring the amount of soil compaction caused by the tires which is investigated in our research.

Receiving the finishing fellowship from Graduate School is a great honor and helps me focus on finishing my research and dissertation.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Brandon Jackson

Brandon Jackson
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Brandon_Jackson_2My name is Brandon Jackson and I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan Technological University studying Mechanical Engineering. I received my B.S. degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering in 2012 and a M.S. from Michigan Technological University in 2014, both in Mechanical Engineering. My research is conducted within the Ion Space Propulsion Lab at Michigan Tech under the advisement of Dr. Brad King. The focus of my research is on electrospray of ferrofluids. Electrospray is a process by which a jet of electrically charged fluid is ejected from a liquid surface using an electric field. Electrospray has received considerable attention recently as a potential means to provide on-orbit propulsion for very small satellites.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Shiva Bhandari

Shiva Bhandari

Shiva Bhandari

Before starting my PhD program at Michigan Tech in Fall 2012, I completed my Bachelors and Master’s degree in Physics from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. My research focuses on synthesis and functionalization of Boron Nitride based nanomaterials for their electronic applications. With miniaturization of electronic devices, the size of silicon-based transistors are getting smaller. Insulating boron nitride nanomaterials functionalized with metallic nanoparticles or carbon-based nanomaterials could be the new class of transistors for future electronics.

The last 5 years at Michigan Tech has been a wonderful learning experience. Michigan Tech has provided me great learning opportunity and helped me develop personally and professionally. Besides learning to troubleshoot complex research problems, it taught me how to be a strong and a confident individual, how to be a team player and work in a diverse environment. I hope my learning experience at Michigan Tech will help me pave the way to a successful career in materials research. I am grateful to the Graduate School and the Dean’s Advisory Panel for this fellowship support. This fellowship helps me spend my full time on dissertation writing without any distraction from other teaching duties.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Recipient Pei Hou

Pei Hou
Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Pei Hou

I am an Atmospheric Sciences PhD candidate in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences. I feel very lucky to have met my advisor Dr. Shiliang Wu, who gives me lots of help and guides me to clarify my abilities and interests. My research interests lie in data analysis and modeling about the atmospheric chemistry, more specifically, the impacts of extreme air pollution meteorological events on air quality and the related prediction. The extreme air pollution meteorological events include heat waves (extremely high temperature), temperature inversion (abnormal vertical temperature profile), atmospheric stagnation (low wind speed and precipitation rates), and so on. We try to figure out how the extreme air pollution meteorological events affect the concentrations and the high pollution episodes of ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We also make an attempt to predict the high pollution episodes with the occurrences of the extreme events. We hope our research could encourage environmental management to plan the emission regulation with the consideration of the changes in the extreme air pollution meteorological events in the context of climate change. I sincerely appreciate the help from the Finishing Fellowship supported by Graduate School, which would be a great help on both my research and dissertation.


Nominations sought for 2018 MAGS Thesis Award

The Executive Committee of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) is soliciting nominations for the 2018 MAGS Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards to recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.  Michigan Tech may nominate one candidate in each disciplinary category.

Eligible students:

  • will have earned a master of science degree between July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017 in the fields of
    • Biological/Life Sciences OR
    • Humanities
  • will have completed an original thesis that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline
  • will not have earned a PhD (or comparable research degree) in any discipline prior to the writing of the master’s thesis

The 2019 competition will seek nominees in the fields of Social Sciences or Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering.

Please see our web page for complete details on eligibility and application procedures.

Nomination packets are due by 4pm, October 10, 2017 to the Graduate School via e-mail ( or campus mail (address to Debra Charlesworth). Eligible students with a complete nomination packet will be evaluated by a panel of faculty from the University.

New Bus Routes—Nights and Saturdays, Commuting or Shopping

School is meant to be challenging—overcoming obstacles is all part of learning.  Sometimes, however, an obstacle is just an obstacle.  When the Graduate School asked students about their Michigan Tech experiences and offered to help, the students jumped at the chance to speak up:  it can be hard to get around town, they said.  Our students love the bus services provided by Michigan Tech Transportation Services and the City of Houghton, but, they ventured, would it be possible to have evening routes, Saturday routes to the west Houghton commercial strip, and vehicles that could accommodate families?

After considerable planning, Transportation Services, the Graduate School, and the Graduate Student Government are pleased to announce new bus routes to address these concerns.  Effective immediately, all three student issues, as well as the needs of the campus community at large, have been addressed by the schedules described below.  This free shuttle service is available to University students, staff, and faculty.

Services available:

  • Campus Parking Shuttle– a , oop connecting the MUB to commuter lots throughout campus, including the SDC; runs through business hours.
  • Daniell Heights Loop-a small loop connecting University Housing (Daniell Heights) to the MUB; also runs through business hours.
  • Michigan Tech-City Shuttle + Daniell Heights Loop-a larger, figure-8 loop providing a second Daniell Heights/MUB run every hour but including a trip through downtown Houghton up to the commercial strip in west Houghton (Econo/Shopko, Walmart, Aspirus, Razorback) returning through town via Houghton Avenue (starts 7:00am; every hour; last loop returns to MUB at 6:45pm; a great commuter route).
  • Michigan Tech-City Shuttle Evening Loop-combines a loop around the MUB/Heights route with a ride along Sharon Avenue to the west Houghton commercial district, returning back along Sharon avenue to the Heights and MUB (Wednesday through Friday; starts 6:45 pm from the Upper Heights to West Houghton with the last loop returning to the Heights at 8:45 pm).
  • Saturday Shuttle-New New New! The University has paired with Lamers Bus Lines to provide free bus service on Saturday, Sep 23rd and 30th from Daniell Heights to the west Houghton commercial district (starts noon from the Upper Heights to the west Houghton  commercial district approximately every hour with the last loop out at 3pm.  Please note, currently this service is for students and children over the age of 4.).

Questions?  Please contact GSG President Hossein Tavakoli, or Graduate School representative Shellie Crisman. Taking a bus is convenient, energy efficient, and can even be part of a wellness plan (if you walk one way!).   Route details may be found at these links:

Shuttle schedule:

Please visit for interactive Shuttle Maps or contact Transportation Services ( with any questions.

Professional Development Program 2017-18

The Graduate School is pleased to announce its Professional Development Program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  The series is coordinated through the Graduate School with funding from NSF.  The workshops are most appropriate for postdocs and 3rd and 4th year PhD students, but all interested people may attend, space permitting.