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Interesting stories about and for our students.


Fall 2017 Finishing Fellowship 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)

Fall 2017 Recipients

Atmospheric Sciences
Pei Hou

Biological Sciences
Kavitha Satish Kumar

Chemical Engineering
Rui Shi

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ting Bao
Amaneh Eslami Kenarsari
Shuaicheng Guo

Electrical Engineering
Navid Pourramzan Gandji
Xu Zhang

Materials Science and Engineering
Liang Chang

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Brandon Jackson

Physics
Shiva Bhandari
Teresa Wilson


Portage Health Foundation Fall 2017 Kevin Sunderland

Kevin Sunderland
Biomedical Engineering

Kevin Sunderland            The sciences have been an interest of mine ever since my high-school years, but it was studying how the human body functions (and its numerous dysfunctions) that I found the most fascinating. This interest might be contributed to my (rather unfortunate) exposure to a variety of health problems that have impacted a number of my family and friends over the years. While people close to me have suffered from a variety of health concerns, but it was having to watch a family member struggle with neurological damage that I found the hardest to deal with. It wasn’t just how neurological damage can forever change a person, but it was also seeing how much the person’s family and friends also suffer when these conditions strike a loved one.

I pursued a degree in biology in college, and knew that after my undergraduate education I wanted to focus on health research. I was fortunate enough after college to begin working alongside a multidisciplinary research group that brought together talent from clinicians, nurse scientists, and engineers to study a variety of complex health issues. It was during this time that I was able to see just how much advances in technology lead the way in researching medical conditions and impacting the next generation of health. This drove me to pursue my graduate education and research in a place where I could combine my academic interests in health with current advances in technology. I have been lucky enough to find such an ideal place with the community here at Michigan Tech.  Continue reading


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Teresa Wilson

Teresa Wilson
Physics

Teresa WilsonBefore entering graduate school, I earned my BA in Mathematics at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA and taught middle and high school STEM classes at an all-girls school in Post Falls, ID. I began my graduate studies here at Michigan Tech in Fall 2012. I am currently a PhD Candidate in Physics working with Dr. Robert Nemiroff. I research and develop new methods to predict sunrise and sunset times, specifically looking at how to better implement atmospheric refraction into the currently used sunrise/set algorithms. During my studies at Michigan Tech, I have been able to create a collaboration with the Astronomical Applications Department at the US Naval Observatory with the help of Dr. Jennifer Bartlett, their Software Division Chief. This collaboration has led to three successful summers of research on the development of a new sunrise/set algorithm at their facilities in Washington, DC as part of the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program.

Michigan Tech has provided me an environment in which I was able to take the initiative to follow my research interests and create an outside network to achieve my goals. I am grateful to the Graduate School and the Dean’s Advisory Panel for providing me with the support of the Finishing Fellowship. This fellowship allows me the opportunity to focus on writing my dissertation and complete it in a timely manner.

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Portage Health Foundation Fall 2017 Ashok Khanal

Ashok Khanal
Chemistry
Ashok Khanal

I received my Master degree in organic chemistry from Nepal. The final touch that shaped my interest in organic chemistry came after studying different iconic organic reactions and synthesis that had pushed the limit of human endeavors to synthesize molecules to catch up with the escalating need for the drug, and brought new avenues in the field of chemistry. I began my PhD at Michigan Tech in Jan 2012. I published different papers in peer-reviewed journal.  My research focuses on stepwise solid phase synthesis of PEGs and measurement of mechanical force of single covalent bond.

This Portage Health Foundation fellowship helps me to write my dissertation. I would like to thank my advisor, graduate school and Portage Health Foundation for the achievement.


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.