Better Safe than Sorry: Swine Flu Preparation at Michigan Tech

Tech Today

Over a million Americans contracted swine flu between April and June 2009, most with no serious consequences, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. But because the illness, caused by the H1N1 virus, is contagious and children and young adults have a higher hospitalization rate than adults (2.1 per 100,000 people for ages 5 to 24), schools and universities across the country are taking precautions in the event of an outbreak.

Here are some of the steps that are being taken at Michigan Tech:

* Hand sanitizer dispensers are being installed at the entrances to computer labs and other high-traffic locations. Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands regularly and have their own sanitizer for regular use.

* A hand washing and hygiene education plan is in place in the residence halls and will be expanded to include the rest of the campus.

* An H1N1 webpage is available with advice to prevent catching the flu, and what to do if you have the flu.

* A swine flu vaccination clinic is planned for fall semester, depending on the availability of the vaccine. It should occur in mid-October.

* As with any contagious illness, students and employees with flu-like symptoms are encouraged to isolate themselves as much as possible, either by staying home or in their residence hall room, until they feel better.

* Supervisors and faculty are being encouraged to be flexible in administering their absenteeism/excuse policy in the event of an outbreak.

The University communicates regularly with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and receives weekly updates on swine flu in the area. In addition, the University has a pandemic plan that will be activated in the event of an outbreak of H1N1 or other communicable diseases.

For more information about H1N1 and preparing for swine flu, visit any of the following sites:

CDC
Flu.gov
WHO
MDCH


International Graduate Student Applications Continue to Rise at Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech News

By Jennifer Donovan

August 26, 2009—

Unlike graduate schools nationwide, Michigan Technological University attracted more international graduate students this year than last. Numbers of applicants and accepted graduate students from India and South Korea—which dropped dramatically at graduate schools nationwide—also rose at Michigan Tech.

Last week, the Council of Graduate Schools issued a report showing that nationwide, admissions of international students to graduate schools dropped 3 percent, while admissions of students from India and South Korea dropped 16 percent   Applications for graduate school from international students rose only 4 percent nationwide, a lower rate of growth than in 2008.  Applications from India dropped 12 percent and from South Korea, 9 percent.

At Michigan Tech, applications from international graduate students rose 13 percent and admissions jumped 23 percent. Applications and admissions of graduate students from India and South Korea also rose at Tech.

“This is in part due to the fact that we offer STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics) plus business, which draw students,” said Graduate School Dean Jacqueline Huntoon.  “It is also because Michigan Tech’s Graduate School staff work hard to recruit students, and the departments are helping out by responding to applications quickly. It’s really a team effort.”

Graduate school applications from US citizens and permanent residents also increased 28 percent from 2008 to 2009 at Michigan Tech. Nationally they also increased, but only by 6 percent. Admissions of US citizens and permanent residents increased 4 percent nationwide this year and 32 percent at Michigan Tech.

“Growing our Graduate School, both in numbers and in quality, is one of the goals in our Strategic Plan,” said President Glenn D. Mroz. “It’s an important way to increase our stature as a technological research university. This is also part of an effort to bring some of the best minds in the world to Michigan. That is critical for Michigan to be a player in the creative economy.”

The Council of Graduate Schools’ report was based on survey data submitted by 253 graduate schools, including Michigan Tech.

Michigan Technological University is a leading public research university, conducting research, developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, forestry and environmental sciences, computing, technology, business and economics, natural and physical sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences.


Summer Graduates – August 31st deadline

To graduate in the summer session 2009, graduate students must have all final paperwork submitted and approved no later than August 31st by 4pm.  All forms are online with a detailed list for each degree type.  Final items typically include:

  • A final thesis, report, or dissertation
  • Binding order form (TD-Bindery, theses and dissertations)
  • Life After Michigan Tech form
  • Report on Final Oral Examination (M6/D8)
  • Survey of Earned Doctorates (for PhD students only)

Students should contact Nancy Byers Sprague for questions related to degree auditing, and Debra Charlesworth for questions related to theses and dissertations.



Graduate Student Organized Workshop in Haiti

Published in Tech Today

Doctoral student Fredline Ilorme (CEE) organized a free one-week workshop, along with Fulbright scholars representing universities across the globe, for students at the State University of Haiti, Faculty of Sciences, during her two-week visit to Haiti this month. The workshop covered topics including the Fulbright scholarship and Haitian Fulbright Alumni Association, Geographic Information Systems with ArcGIS, remote sensing with Erdas Imagine, hydrology with HEC-HMS, hydraulics with HEC-RAS, statistics with R software, erosion measuring techniques and cohesive soil in Haiti.


Pandey Group Models Molecular Transistor

Published in Tech Today

by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

Electronic gadgetry gets tinier and more powerful all the time, but at some point, the transistors and myriad other component parts will get so little they won’t work. That’s because when things get really small, the regular rules of Newtonian physics quit and the weird rules of quantum mechanics kick in. When that happens, as physics professor and chair Ravindra Pandey puts it, “everything goes haywire.”

Theorists in the field of molecular electronics hope to get around the problem by designing components out of a single molecule. Pandey’s group has done just that–theoretically–by modeling a single-molecule field-effect transistor on a computer.

“Transistor” has been an oft-used but rarely understood household word since cheap Japanese radios flooded the US market back in the 1960s. Field-effect transistors form the basis of all integrated circuits, which in turn are the foundation of all modern electronics.

A simple switch either diverts current or shuts it off. Transistors can also amplify the current by applying voltage to it (that’s how amplifiers work).

A diagram of Pandey’s three-terminal single-molecule transistor looks like an elaborate necklace and pendant, made up of six-sided rings of carbon atoms bedecked with hydrogen and nitrogen atoms. His group demonstrated that the electrical current running from the source to the drain (through the necklace) rises dramatically when voltage applied at the gate (through the pendant) reaches a certain level.

This happens when electrons in the current suddenly move from one orbital path around their atoms to another. Or, as Pandey says, “Molecular orbital energies appear to contribute to the enhancement of the source-drain current.”

Their virtual molecule may soon exist outside a computer. “Several experimental groups are working to make real our theoretical results,” says Pandey.

An article on the molecular transistor, “Electronic Conduction in a Model Three-Terminal Molecular Transistor,” was published in 2008 in the journal Nanotechnology, volume 19. Coauthors are physics graduate student Haiying He and Sashi Karna of the Army Research Lab.


Mich Tech, AVL, ESD Provide Free Training for Michigan’s Auto Engineers

See full ESD article for more information

The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD), Michigan Technological University (MTU), and AVL are reaching out to help Michigan’s automotive engineers prepare for the industry’s movement into sustainable hybrid vehicle technology. The semester-long course, Advanced Propulsion for Hybrid Vehicles with Concentration in Battery Engineering, will be offered this fall.

The graduate-level, three-credit class will focus on engineering skills that apply to next-generation hybrid and electric vehicles with an emphasis on battery design and hands-on learning. The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth as well as the Michigan Academy for Green Mobility are sponsoring the course.

This course will take place September 3 through December 10, 2009, and be held at ESD’s headquarters in Southfield on Thursdays from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.  It will be taught by a group of MTU faculty and staff from the College of Engineering and key experts in industry providing guest lectures with Associate Professor Jeffrey D. Nabor being the lead instructor.


Michigan Tech Receives $3 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds

Tech Today

by Jennifer Donovan, public relations director

Michigan Tech will receive nearly $3 million in federal stimulus funds to develop an interdisciplinary educational program to train engineers and technicians to design and build the next generation of hybrid electric vehicles.

The $2.98-million grant is part of $2.4 billion in awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, announced Thursday by President Barack Obama. Vice President Joe Biden was in Detroit to announce that more than $1 billion of the grants will go to companies and universities in Michigan, more than any other state.

Michigan Tech is one of three state universities in Michigan to receive education and training awards. The other two are Wayne State University and the University of Michigan.

“This is great news for Michigan Tech,” said Carl Anderson, associate dean for research and graduate programs in the College of Engineering and principal investigator for the new program. “We have had a strength in liquid-fueled vehicles and active partnerships with their manufacturers for a long time. Now we have the opportunity to take advantage of a broader array of our strengths and establish a similar leadership role in the development of a new generation of electric-powered vehicles.”

Michigan Tech will work with Argonne National Laboratory and a number of industrial partners including AVL, General Motors, Eaton, Horiba, MathWorks, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Woodward. The University and its partners will develop undergraduate and graduate curricula, including a certificate program in hybrid electric vehicles.

“We’ll be training and retraining the next generation of engineers to produce vehicles that reduce fuel consumption and emissions,” said Jeff Naber, lead faculty member of the multidisciplinary program.

The electric hybrid curriculum will be modeled after the groundbreaking course in advanced propulsion for hybrid vehicles that Michigan Tech taught in Detroit for displaced automotive engineers last spring. The course was offered in cooperation with the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) and General Motors, with GM providing laboratory facilities.

Another free, three-credit course will be offered in Detroit this fall, in cooperation with AVL, a developer of powertrains and vehicle simulation and test systems based in Plymouth, and with ESD. AVL will provide lab space, and GM is donating three hybrid vehicles. Ford and Lotus are also supporting the course.

Under the new grant, plans are to develop a mobile lab that could enable engineers anywhere to take the courses, Naber said.


2009 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Solicitation

NSF GRFP

Eligibility and How To Apply

The National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering approximately 1,654 graduate fellowships in this competition pending availability of funds. The Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees and is intended for students who are in the early stages of their graduate study. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) invests in graduate education for a cadre of diverse individuals who demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of the National Science Foundation.

Application Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter’s local time):

November 02, 2009

Interdisciplinary Fields of Study

November 04, 2009

Mathematical Sciences; Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering

November 05, 2009

Social Sciences; Psychology; Geosciences

November 06, 2009

Life Sciences

November 10, 2009

Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy

November 12, 2009

Engineering

Contact Jodi Lehman in the Graduate School (jglehman@mtu.edu or 487-3513) for