Help Students Win National Scholarships

Tech Today

The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development is conducting a workshop on helping students win national scholarships. The session will be from noon to 12:55 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24.

Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, Sept. 21.
The location of the session will be announced as people sign up.

Faculty members are encouraged to attend because they play a critical role in encouraging students to pursue these life-changing opportunities.

Presenting the seminar will be Mary Durfee, advisor for nationally competitive scholarships, and Jodi Lehman, advisor for NSF graduate fellowships.

Faculty will gain information they need to identify and effectively support their top candidates for a major fellowship opportunity.

To register for this workshop, contact the center at 487-2046 or on the registration website: http://www.admin.mtu.edu/ctlfd/workshops .

The deadline for registering is Monday, Sept. 21.

For more information, contact Nancy Seely at 487-2046 or at nsseely@mtu.edu .


NSF Awards Tech $4 Million

Tech Today

The National Science Foundation has awarded $4.1 million for eight research projects involving departments across the University.

The research includes sustainable fuel production from lactose; rural and global watershed research and education; using metal organic frameworks for hydrogen storage; high school study of hydrogen-based energy; using electronic and plastic waste to improve the mechanical properties of asphalt materials; developing a better approach to energy control and management; integrating computational models into volcano research; investigation of aerosols in climate models; and improvement of wireless networks.

For the full story, see http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2009/september/story19079.html .


Thanks–and Recruiting Begins Anew

Published in Tech Today

The Graduate School would like to thank everyone involved in achieving the strong fall enrollment numbers. With recruitment for fall 2010 underway, the school once again asks current graduate students and faculty to help in recruiting prospective students.

To view a list of recruitment events, visit the Graduate School Recruitment Calendar.

Events where we need someone to attend:

  • September 23–University of Wisconsin-Platteville
  • October 7-8–University of Illinois–Urbana and Chicago
  • October 13-14–University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Contact Jacque Smith (jacque@mtu.edu or 487-1434) if you are willing to represent the University at any of the recruitment events. The Graduate School offers travel funding and logistical assistance.


Enrollment Up Again

Published in Tech Today

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

Enrollment rose again this school year, topping last year’s number by 118 students. Fall enrollment figures tallied last night totaled 7,132.

A surge in Graduate School enrollment accounted for the increase, including increasing enrollment of international graduate students. The Graduate School reported 1,189 students, the most ever and a 21-percent increase over fall 2008. The number of international graduate students is up more than 17 percent.

“This is the highest headcount since 1983,” said President Glenn Mroz. “It shows that, increasingly, students see a Michigan Tech education as a high-return investment providing them with skills in great demand in our competitive world. Our strategic plan calls for increasing our graduate offerings while maintaining the size of undergraduate enrollment in high-demand science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. That is a critical way to provide the advanced training that will support the expansion of the entrepreneurial knowledge economy in Michigan.

“But to accomplish those goals,” Mroz continued, “something must be done about the issue of state funding. We are educating 40 percent more students than we did 40 years ago with the same level of state support.”

Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School, said she is extremely pleased to see such a large increase in graduate enrollment this year. “This shows that everyone at Michigan Tech is committed to increasing the size and quality of our graduate programs, in accordance with the University’s strategic plan,” she said. “It is because of our outstanding faculty, staff and current students that we are able to attract so many students from around the world.”

The record graduate student numbers include approximately 100 nondegree-seeking automotive engineers enrolled in a special advanced propulsion technology course offered in Detroit by Michigan Tech and the Engineering Society of Detroit.

Among undergraduates, the average ACT score of entering first-year students rose to 26.0 this year. The ACT score is one of Tech’s key indicators in achieving its strategic goal of attracting outstanding students, faculty and staff.

“We are attracting an academically more talented freshman class,” said John Lehman, assistant vice president for enrollment. “That indicates that our scholarship and financial aid programs are doing what they are supposed to do, enabling those who have need and are strong academically to attend Michigan Tech.”

The percentage of new female students at Tech also rose, from 23 percent last year to 26 percent this year. The University also saw a 9.8-percent increase in undergraduate transfer students, reflecting Michigan Tech’s enhanced efforts to reach out to community college students.

Undergraduate enrollment fell by 90 students this fall, to 5,943, although the number of transfer students rose by almost 10 percent. “The decrease is relatively minor and mostly related to the economy,” Lehman said. “Our undergraduate enrollment still stands well above totals from 2004 to 2007.”


Nominations sought for MAGS Thesis Award

The Executive Committee of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) is soliciting nominations for the 2010 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.

Eligible students will have earned a master of science degree between October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009.

Please see our web page for complete details on eligibility and application procedures.  Nominations are due no later than 4pm, October 7th to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School.


Library Offers Web of Science Training Workshop

Published in Tech Today.

The Van Pelt and Opie Libary will offer a free workshop for electronic information resources from 12 to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 16, in the library instruction room (244).

Don Sechler, manager of customer education for Thomson Reuters, will cover basic and advanced functionality of the “Web of Science” information resource tool. The session will include information about end-user tools, such as personalization, alerting, ResearcherID and using EndNote Web to store references and track citation activity. The workshop will include live demos of the products and time for questions from participants.

Web of Science provides access to some of the world’s leading scholarly literature in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, including proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops and conventions. Web of Science comprises several key electronic tools, including Science Citation Index Expanded (1973-present), Social Sciences Citation Index (1973-present) and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-present).

Although time will be limited, the session will also touch on shared searching and citation aspects with the Medline life sciences database and Inspec, an index to journal and proceedings literature in physics, electrical/electronic engineering, computing, control engineering and information technology. Medline and Inspec are part of the larger Web of Knowledge resource package available from Thomson Reuters through the library.

Preregister at 487-2507 or at reflib@mtu.edu .


Young researcher and his mentor team up on lake inquiry

Published in Tech Today

by John Gagnon, promotional writer

Scientists at Tech are known for their expertise in lake restoration and management, much of it applied to pristine Lake Superior. Now two researchers, an old hand and a budding scholar, are working on a small UP lake that is nearly choked to death.

Iron Mountain’s Crystal Lake, once a place for swimming and fishing on the southwest side of the city, doesn’t live up to its name anymore. A beautiful little lake has become a blight.

“People didn’t know where to begin to address the situation,” says graduate researcher Jarron Hewitt, a master’s student in environmental engineering. As part of a Senior Design project when he was an undergraduate, he and his fellow students helped out.

This 50-acre lake is fed by groundwater and has no natural inlets or outlets; but it receives storm-water discharges, which have proved to be its nemesis.

Storm water often has high levels of coliform bacteria from fecal pollution originating from animal waste (dogs and geese) and, potentially, humans. Following storm-water discharges, coliform levels in the lake exceed public-health standards for swimming.

Storm water also carries phosphorous-rich lawn fertilizer that stimulates algae growth. In the winter, when the lake freezes over, algae die off, sink to the bottom, decompose and turn into muck. “The history of the lake is in the muck,” Hewitt says, and there’s a lot of it–11 feet and counting. Historically, the lake was 20 feet deep; now it is 9 feet deep. The difference is muck. Core samples show that almost all of it is dead algae and other plant material, which, in the process of decomposing, use up oxygen. Telltale, then: lots of dead fish–mostly perch, bullheads, and minnows–in the spring. “The lake can’t provide a healthy environment for fish in its current state,” Hewitt says.

The charge for him and his fellow Senior Design students was: assess the condition of the lake and propose ways to restore it to beauty and “beneficial uses”–like recreation. The students started their inquiry in January and came up with three recommendations:

* Divert storm water, the source of the coliforms and fertilizer, from the lake.

* Aerate the lake to make sure there’s more oxygen for fish.

* Dredge the lake to get rid of the muck that recyles phosphorous and consumes oxygen.

Hewitt, who works under the guidance of Professor Marty Auer, is now refining the project on his own and coming up with an engineering plan to restore the lake. The work will be the basis for what Auer calls “a shovel-ready” restoration plan. “You can’t look for money unless you have a plan,” Auer says. So Hewitt is addressing more design detail and estimating the cost of the three fixes.

Hewitt is getting a taste not only of research and engineering, but also the shaping of public policy. He outlines the issue for public discourse this way: how good do you want your lake to be? “What we would like them to do is a complete restoration of the lake,” Hewitt says.

However, he confronts a reality of all enterprise: money to do the job. The biggest job, dredging, would cost several million dollars. It’s not an all-or-nothing situation. One possibility is to dredge part of the lake to improve the beach area. Also, diverting storm water would start the fix.

Auer’s time in this effort is pro bono; Hewitt needs to find money. “He’s bootstrapping this,” Auer says. “He’s supporting himself by delivering pizzas.”

Tech got involved with this issue when a Tech alumnus, who is a consulting engineering working with the City of Iron Mountain, asked Auer for help. “They’re a neighbor,” Auer says. “They’re part of our regional community. So it’s appropriate that we help them.”

He likes the job of mentoring students like Hewitt. “It’s huge for me. It’s what keeps me in it. Bringing experience to bear in partnership with students is really exciting and rewarding. It’s a great part of my job.”

He deflects attention, though, and says Hewitt “is the face of this project” who has “carried a lot of the responsibility,” including working with the city council and other civic leaders.

For his part, Hewitt is excited to help the people of Iron Mountain perhaps improve their community. Back in his hometown of Gwinn, before he ever came to Tech, he never imagined such a “hands-on, real-world opportunity.”

“I feel like I’m giving something back,” he says.

In late August, Hewitt and Auer visited Fergus Falls, Minnesota, to assess another lake severely polluted by storm water.

Auer is energized by these opportunities—what he calls “the excitement of being in a chase and pursuing mysteries.” He likens them to Sherlock Holmes, who, on learning of a new mystery, said, “Come quickly, Watson, the game is afoot.”

These days, then, Auer is inclined to say, “Come quickly, Hewitt….”


Seminar: Submitting an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Proposal and other external funding tips and tricks

Are you planning on submitting a proposal to the NSF GRFP?  Are you looking for external funding opportunities?  If you answered yes to either of those questions, please join the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Council for a lunch and learn seminar on September 9th at noon.

Please register for the even at our online registration site:

http://www.gradschool2.mtu.edu/registration/events/

Once you register, you will receive confirmation with the location and a reminder of the date and time.  Space is limited, so register early!

If you are unable to join us, please see our online seminars presented on June 4th, 16th, and 18th.

Contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu) with any questions.


New theses and dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

Manoranjan Acharya
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Dissertation title: Development of Room Temperature Operating Single Electron Transistor using FIB Etching and Deposition Technology

Susan H Balint
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Federal and State Policy Influence on Woody Biomass Utilization

Genevieve M Borg
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Carol A MacLennan
Thesis title: EPA’s Council for Regulatory Environmental Modeling: A Case Study of Science Policy Implementation

Carmelo Davila
Master of Science in Industrial Archeology
Advisor: Samuel R Sweitz
Thesis title: A Space for Production and a Space for Communality: Socio-Historical Study of Central Aguirre and its Industrial Community, Salinas, Puerto Rico: 1949-1970

Seth C DePasqual
Master of Science in Industrial Archeology
Advisor: Patrick E Martin
Thesis title: Winning Coal at 78 Degrees North: Mining, Contingency and the Chaine Operatoire in Old Longyear City

Robert S Donofrio
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Susan T Bagley
Dissertation title: Development and Validation of Selective and Differential Enumeration Methods for Brevundimonas diminuta

Jason T Dreyer
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Co-advisors: Sudhakar M Pandit and Mohan D Rao
Dissertation title: Binaural Index for Speech Intelligibility via Bivariate Autoregressive Models

Ingrid D Fedde
Master of Science in Geology
Co-advisors: Jose Luis Palma Lizana and William I Rose
Thesis title: Application of Probabilistic Tools and Expert Elicitation for Hazard Assessment at Volcan de Colima, Mexico

Travis J Hansen
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Daniel A Crowl
Thesis title: Estimation of the Flammability Zone Boundaries with Thermodynamic and Empirical Equations

Daniel E Haskell
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: David J Flaspohler
Thesis title: `Restoration in Northern Wisconsin

Stacie A Holmes
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Christopher R Webster
Dissertation title: The Influence of Concurrent Disturbances on Plant Community Dynamics in Northern Hemlock-Hardwood Forests

Ashwini S Kashelikar
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Veronica W Griffis
Thesis title: Identification of Teleconnections and Improved Flood Risk Forecasts using Bulletin 17B

Justin D Keske
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jason R Blough
Dissertation title: Investigation of a Semi-Active Muffler System with Implementation on a Snowmobile

Paul J Koll
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Martin F Jurgensen
Thesis title: Effects of Conifer Sawdust, Hardwood Sawdust, and Peat on Soil Properties and Bareroot Conifer Seedling Development

Andrew T Kozich
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Wetland Mitigation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Compliance with Site Monitoring and Invasive Plant Species Standards

Kateryna Lapina
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Co-advisors: Richard E Honrath and Judith A Perlinger
Dissertation title: Boreal Forest Fire Impacts on Lower Troposphere CO and Ozone Levels at the Regional to Hemispheric Scales

Joseph W Lechnyr
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Allen
Thesis title: Imaging of Fuel Cell Diffusion Media Under Compressive Strain

Angela K Lucas
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Jason R Carter
Thesis title: Effects of Pediatric Adiposity on Heart Rate Variability

Lawrence J Mailloux
Master of Science in Chemistry
Advisor: Dallas K Bates
Thesis title: A 1,2,4-Triazole to Thiazole Transformation

Meghan E McGee-Lawrence
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Seth W Donahue
Dissertation title: Skeletal Preservation by Hibernating Bears

Diane M Miller
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Patricia J Sotirin
Dissertation title: Speaking (of) Community: An Ethnographic Study of the Relationships Among Communication, Community, and Everyday Experience at an Organic Foods Cooperative

Min Nie
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Desheng Meng
Thesis title: Fabrication of Nanoparticles by Short-Distance Sputter Deposition

Brian A Ott
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Gerard T Caneba
Dissertation title: Fluid Phase Equilibrium as Modeled by the Statistical Associated Fluid Theory (SAFT) Equation of State

Robert C Owen
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Richard E Honrath
Dissertation title: Long-range Pollution Transport: Trans-Atlantic Mechanisms and Lagrangian Modeling Methods

Jeannie A Patrick
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Diane L Shoos
Dissertation title: Not Your Mother’s Latinas: Film Representations for a New Millennium

David M Pauken
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John W Sutherland
Thesis title: Statistical Modeling of the Ford Superduty Brake Pedal Feel Attribute

Melissa J Porter
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Andrew J Storer
Thesis title: Detection and Landing Behavior of Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, at Low Population Density

Mark D Rowe
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Judith A Perlinger
Thesis title: Modeling Contaminant Behavior in Lake Superior: A Comparison of PCBs, PBDEs, and Mercury

Ryan W Schweitzer
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: James R Mihelcic
Thesis title: Community Managed Rural Water Supply Systems in the Dominican Republic: Assessment of Sustainability of Systems Built by the National Institute of Potable Water and Peace

Xiaoning Shan
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey B Burl
Dissertation title: Time-Varying System Identification in the Transform Domain

Sarah E Stehn
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Christopher R Webster
Thesis title: Influence of Exogenous Disturbance on Bryophyte Community Assemblage and Tree Regeneration Dynamics in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests

Xiang Sun
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Jiann-Yang Hwang
Dissertation title: Charge Induced Enhancement of Adsorption for Hydrogen Storage Materials

Iltesham Z Syed
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Abhijit Mukherjee
Thesis title: Experimental Study of Forced Convection Heat Transfer to Water Flowing through a Short Micro Duct at the Tip of a Cutting Tool at Turbulent Reynolds Number

Jacob T Vermillion
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Lawrence L Sutter
Thesis title: Absorption Correction for the Determination of the Water Content of Fresh Concrete Using the Microwave-Oven Drying Method

Dennis K Walikainen
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Robert R Johnson
Dissertation title: What’s It Like There? Toward a Rhetoric of University Maps and Tours

Cheryl L Williams
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John W Sutherland
Thesis title: Optimization of Conversion of North American Left Hand Drive Vehicles for Importation into Right Hand Markets