Category Archives: News

Students win Shapeways 3D Printing Campus Battle Grand Prize

Michigan Tech beat out over 200 universities—including second-place Princeton—to win the Shapeways 3D Printing Campus Battle Grand Prize. Each student that participated receives the following:

  • A $75 Shapeways 3-D print credit, which is particularly useful to students without access to a campus makerspace.
  • A three-month trial of General Assembly’s Front Row Learning platform with unlimited access to both live and on-demand streaming classes across a number of topics in tech, business and design.
  • A three-month scholarship. Skillshare is an online learning community to master real-world skills through project-based classes.
  • A Tinkercad T-shirt from Autodesk
  • A Shapeways print

The physical prizes are en route and will be distributed by Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE).

MSE News Briefs


Yun Hang Hu, Charles and Carroll McArthur Professor in MSE, has been elected president of the Hydrogen Storage Division of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE).

Chelsea Schelly (SocSci), Gerald Anzalone (MSE), Bas Wijnen (MSE), Joshua M. Pearce (MSE/ECE). Open-source 3-D printing technologies for education: Bringing additive manufacturing to the classroom. Journal of Visual Language and Computing.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in a story “Can Open Source Really Work in Scientific Research?” published in 3D Printing Industry. Pearce co-authored – “A novel synthesis of tin oxide thin films by the sol-gel process for optoelectronic applications” for AIP Advances.
Pearce was quoted in the Washington Diplomat article “World of 3-D Printing Brings Medical Breakthroughs to Life,” pages 25–28 and also quoted in “Design and Tech Communities Confront Ethical Conundrum” in SXSWorld Magazine.

The research of Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and his group was highlighted in the article “Can We 3D Print Our Way to Sustainability,” in the Earth Island Journal.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) coauthored “Effect of ambient combinations of argon, oxygen, and hydrogen on the properties of DC magnetron sputtered indium tin oxide films” in AIP Advances.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published “Quantifying the Value of Open Source Hardware Development” in Modern Economy.
Amberlee Haselhuhn (MSE) and Bas Wijnen (MSE) and undergraduate students Eli Gooding (MSE) and Alexandra Glover (MSE) and collaborators Gerald Anzalone (MSE), Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published Substrate Release Mechanisms for Gas Metal Arc 3-D Aluminum Metal Printing. in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published How to make a customizable 3D-printed corn sheller in Engineering for the Change.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was interviewed by Nautilus magazine for What to Eat After the Apocalypse.

Pearce was quoted by Accuweather in Are Solar Panels Usable in Snowy Climates?

Graduate students Jephias Gwamuri and Ben Wittbrodt (MSE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Reversing the Trend of Large Scale and Centralization in Manufacturing: The Case of Distributed Manufacturing of Customizable 3-D-Printable Self-Adjustable Glasses,” which was published in the journal Challenges in Sustainability.

An article that was co-authored by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “10 Ways to Feed Ourselves After a Global Agricultural Collapse” was the top-rated article on Elsevier Connect.

Professor Lawrence Sutter (MSE) has received $40,828 from Iowa State University for a three-year research and development project titled “Technology Transfer for Jointed Concrete Pavements.”

Associate Professor Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) new book, “Feeding Everyone No Matter What: Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe,” was covered by Science Daily, CNN Money, Nature World News, the Food Processing Magazine and others, including “10 Foods You Could Eat After a Global Catastrophe” by Discovery News. It was also covered extensively in the international press, including in MSN Nieuws (Dutch), N-TV (German affiliate of CNN) and Huffington Post Deutschland.

Research by PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE) and his collaborators Jerry Anzalone (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was highlighted in Make Magazine and covered by 3D Print.

Michigan Tech’s open-source 3D printer was recently covered extensively by the international technical press, as an Australian company released a commercial metal printer based on Michigan Tech concepts, noted in the article “Metal Printing For the Consumer–The S1 From Aurora Labs“, in 3D Printer World. TU Delft University (Netherlands) also made a derivative printer using an open-source Prusa i3 RepRap, described in the article “Printing In Metal with a MIG Welder,” in Hackaday. Gizmodo, 3Ders and others have also covered this technology, and the Michigan Tech 3D printer remains on “Malaysia’s 6 Trends That Will Dominate in 2014.”

TechGen Magazine published an article about Associate Professor Joshua Pearce’s (MSE) study on what families could save by 3D printing common household objects.

The work of Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and his group was featured in “How 3D Printers Are Boosting Off-the-Grid, Underdeveloped Communities” in Motherboard.

PhD students Chenlong Zhang and Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) coauthored an article with Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Design of Multijunction Photovoltaic Cells Optimized for Varied Atmospheric Conditions” published in the International Journal of Photoenergy.

Technology Century, an online and print publication of the Engineering Society of Detroit, featured editor Matt Roush’s interviews with faculty and graduate students from the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech, the first stop on his annual Tech Tour of university campuses in Michigan.

The work of PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE), research scientist Jerry Anzalone (MSE) and Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on their open-source water-quality tester was featured by Hack A Day.

Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in an article, Solar 3D Printer Technology to Revolutionise Developing Countries, by BBC Capital.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in news stories about his group’s solar-powered 3D printers, which were covered extensively in the 3D printing press, 3D Print, and by technical news outlets such as CNET.

The work of PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on fair trade filament has been covered in the technology and international media, including 3D Printing Industry “Fair Trade Filament for 3D Printing, Here We Come!” and the German DRUPA in “3D Printing at Home Could Be a Green and Socially Responsible Choice.”

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in “The Road Ahead for 3-D Printers” by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) from an extensive interview they also published.

Michigan Tech’s release of an open source syringe pump library was widley covered in the technical press including Gizmodo, Gizmodo India and Gizmodo Australia: Doctors Could 3D Print Their Own Tools For a Fraction of the Cost , Motherboard: 3D Printed Syringe Pumps are Perfect for Cash Strapped Scientists and Med Device: 3D Printable Syringe Pump Design Lowers Lab Costs.

Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) lab was featured in “Printing a Better Community,” published in Laboratory Equipment. It was was highlighted by Open Electronics in “Building your Science Lab with Open Source.”
Pearce was also interviewed on opportunities for mechanical engineers in the solar industry in “Have You Overlooked Photovoltaics?” for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE) coauthored a paper with Jerry Anzalone (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Open-source Mobile Water Quality Testing Platform” in the Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.

PhD students Ankit Vora (ECE) and Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), Paul Bergstrom (ECE) and Durdu Guney (ECE) titled “Multi-resonant Silver Nano-disk Patterned Thin Film Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells For Staebler-Wronski Effect Compensation,” in the “Journal of Applied Physics.”

PI Reza Shahbazian Yassar (ME-EM) and Co-PIs Yoke Kin Yap (Physics), Stephen Hackney (MSE), Tolou Shokuhfar (ME-EM) and Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics) were awarded $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation for “MRI: Acquisition of a High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope for In-Situ Microscopy Research and Education.”

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored an article “Simulations of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions from Low-Cost Hybrid Solar Photovoltaic and Cogeneration Systems for New Communities” in Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, Volume 8, pages 34-41. It is available>online

Pearce also co-authored “Towards Low-Cost Microchannel Heat Exchangers: Vehicle Heat Recovery Ventilator Prototype” in the Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics (HEFAT).

ArcelorMittal Sponsoring 7th Man Hockey T-shirts

IMG_0768Michigan Tech hockey is pleased to announce a partnership with ArcelorMittal in the 7th Man T-shirt Project. ArcelorMittal has purchased 850 T-shirts for Michigan Tech students to wear at the home-opening series against the University of Michigan on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

“I would like to thank ArcelorMittal and Joe Nowosad (MSE ’87) for sponsoring our 7th Man T-shirts,” Tech hockey coach Mel Pearson said. “Any time you host a team like the University of Michigan, it’s a big deal. It’s going to be an exciting weekend of hockey here at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena, and we’re happy our student section will be covered in gold.”

One hundred of the ArcelorMittal 7th Man T-shirts will be handed out at a live radio remote in the Van Pelt and Opie Library on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The hockey team and coaching staff will be on campus promoting the series against Michigan.

The remaining 750 7th Man T-shirts will be handed out at the Experience Tech student entrance at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena before Friday night’s game.

“We are honored with this opportunity to be the first company to sponsor the 7th Man at Michigan Tech,” Jake Haelfrisch, an engineer at ArcelorMittal said. “ArcelorMittal is very proud to work with such a great partner over the past eight years. The engineers that we’ve hired from Michigan Tech are at all levels of our corporation and this sponsorship is the least we could do to recognize this partnership. We hope that we see an arena filled with Husky Gold. Go Huskies.”

ArcelorMittal employs more than 60 Michigan Tech graduates, and is the world’s leading steel and mining company, with around 232,000 employees in more than 60 countries. They are the leader in all major global steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging. Underpinning all their operations is a philosophy to produce safe, sustainable steel. See the ArcelorMittal website for more information.

“It’s great to see all the Michigan Tech graduates that ArcelorMittal employs,” added Pearson. “They obviously see a value in our students, and we’re thankful that they’re now going to partner our department and team.”

Unplugged: 3D Printing Goes Solar

3D printing guru Joshua Pearce wants nothing more than to provide the means of production to everyone, especially people in developing regions who must get by on very little. But there has been a drawback.

3D printers make all manner of fun and useful things, but they do require electricity. And the grid is notoriously unreliable in many parts of the world. “What do you do if the power goes out while you are right in the middle of printing something?” says Pearce, an associate professor at Michigan Technological University. “It’s not good.”
Read More

Ethical Filament: Can Fair Trade Plastic Save People and the Planet?

It’s old news that open-source 3D printing is cheaper than conventional manufacturing, not to mention greener and incredibly useful for making everything from lab equipment to chess pieces. Now it’s time to add another star to the 3D printing constellation. It may help lift some of the world’s most destitute people from poverty while cleaning up a major blight on the earth and its oceans: plastic trash.
Read More

Science Just Got Cheaper (and Faster): Design Library Lets Researchers Print their Own Syringe Pumps

image113176-horizFurnishing a research lab can be pretty expensive. Now a team led by an engineer at Michigan Technological University has published an open-source library of designs that will let scientists slash the cost of one commonly used piece of equipment: the syringe pump. Syringe pumps are used to dispatch precise amounts of liquid, as for drug delivery or mixing chemicals in a reaction. They can also cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools

IMG_7840bTwenty-two high school teachers from all across Michigan–including two from Houghton High School–are building their own 3D printers at Michigan Tech this week. During the 3-day workshop, the teachers will build and learn to use open source 3-D printers, which they will take back to their schools. The program was developed Joshua M. Pearce, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering.

The printers are capable of printing most of their own parts–and just about anything their students can imagine.

This is the second year Michigan Tech has helped teachers build 3D printers for use in their own classrooms. Last year each 2-teacher team built one printer to share. At many of the schools, use was so high that one turned out not to be enough, so the printers were re-designed to reduce the time it takes to build them, improve printing and reliability and reduce cost. Now each teacher gets to build one of his/her own.

 Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools
Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools
Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools
Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools

Michigan Tech to Partner in American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute

Michigan Technological University is a partner in the newly formed $148 million American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII).
The new facility, to be headquartered in the metro-Detroit area, will be part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to help US manufacturers become more competitive and encourage investment in the United States.