Category Archives: News

Materials and Metallurgical Alumni to be Recognized at Reunion Dinner

Alumni Reunion 2016

Outstanding alumni and friends will be recognized at the Alumni Reunion Awards Dinner on August 5, 2016. Among those with degrees related to materials science and engineering or metallurgy are:

Outstanding Young Alumni Awards

Benjamin Almquist ’04 Materials Science and Engineering, London, England

Presented to alumni under the age of 35 who have distinguished themselves in their careers. The award recognizes the achievement of a position or some distinction noteworthy for one so recently graduated.

Outstanding Service Award

Joshua ’03 and Jana Fogarty ’05 Materials Science and Engineering, Plymouth, Wisconsin

Presented to alumni and friends making significant contributions to the success of the Association and/or the University.

Distinguished Alumni Award

William Bernard, Jr. ’69 Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Perrysburg, Ohio

This award recognizes alumni who have made outstanding contributions both in their careers and to Michigan Tech over a number of years.

Read more at Tech Today, by Brenda Rudiger.

Pearce on Feeding Billions

Cover Feeding EveryoneJoshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) work on alternative foods during global catastrophes was covered in Science.

From Tech Today.

Here’s how the world could end—and what we can do about it

In the end, no amount of research can do much to prevent or mitigate supervolcanoes, or other freak events such as nearby supernova explosions and cosmic blasts of gamma rays. Our only hope of surviving them is a fallback plan. And the bottom line in that plan is food.

At least two scientists have already sketched out a blueprint. In their 2015 book Feeding Everyone No Matter What, David Denkenberger and Joshua Pearce propose several ways to feed billions of people without the help of the sun.

Read more at Science, by Julia Rosen.

Pearce Publishes on Scoring University VPs for Research

Joshua Pearce
Joshua Pearce

The Times of London’s Higher Education Section ran an article about a paper by Joshua Pearce (MSE) published in the journal Tertiary Education and Management, scoring university vice presidents for research and other senior university executives on their own research productivity.

From Tech Today.

Research scores of US top brass fail to shine

Many university leaders would struggle to get even a junior academic job in their own institution if they were judged on their research record alone, a study has claimed.

The paper, titled “Are you overpaying your academic executive team? A method for detecting unmerited academic executive compensation”, was written by Joshua Pearce, associate professor in material science and engineering at Michigan Technological University, who compared the h-index scores of vice-presidents for research at America’s 10 largest universities against their remuneration.

Read more at Times Higher Education, by Jack Grove.

Office of Naval Research Funding for Paul Sanders

Paul G. Sanders
Paul Sanders

Paul Sanders (MSE/IMP) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $170,042 research and development grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research.

Erik Herbert (MSE) and Stephen Hackney (MSE) are Co-PIs on the project “High Temperature Plasticity of Microalloyed Aluminum: Influence of Rapid Solidification and Wrought Processing on Precipitation Strengthening and Deformation Mechanisms.”

This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $502,467.

From Tech Today.

ASM Foundation’s Materials Camp for Teachers

Approximately 25 science teachers from across the state will be on the Michigan Tech campus today (June 20, 2016) to June 24 to participate in the ASM Foundation’s Materials Camp for Teachers. The Materials Science and Engineering Department at Tech will host the event on ASM’s behalf. ASM Teachers Camps are idea-generating workshops that show educators new ways to make teaching math and core science principles more exciting and accessible to students and provides a way to show students how science links to careers in engineering. ASM has found that teachers are effective mentors and counselors for students with interests in STEM-based careers.

Represented will be science teachers of all K-12 grades representing subjects including chemistry, physics, earth science, biology, environmental sciences and math. The curriculum includes hands-on modules in topics such as materials chemistry and physics, the science of metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites, materials processing strategies and applications of materials.

The ASM Foundation provides the instructors, curriculum and supplies for the camp and subsidizes most of the expenses for the teachers’ attendance, travel and lodging. Teachers are eligible to earn graduate level credits. The Michigan Tech camp is one of 43 workshops that are offered nationally each summer and one of nine residential experiences.

From Tech Today, by Materials Science and Engineering.

Photovoltaics and Solar-Hybrid Energy

Solar PanelA new study focused on solar-hybrid energy systems using cogeneration, photovoltaics and battery technology and its potential impact in the Upper Peninsula was picked up by several media outlets including Solar Thermal MagazinePhys.org and e! Science News.

The research was conducted by Abhilash Katamneni (CS), Richelle Winkler (SS), Joshua Pearce (ECE/MSE) and Lucia Gauchia (ECE/ME).

From Tech Today.

Net metering changes could drive people off grid, Michigan researchers say

“The results imply that economic circumstances could spur a positive feedback loop whereby grid electricity prices continue to rise and increasing numbers of customers choose alternatives,” the report says.

Read more at Midwest Energy News, by Andy Balaskovitz.

Research by Abhi Katamneni (CS), Richelle Winkler (SS), Joshua Pearce (MSE, ECE), and Lucia Gauchia (MEEM, ECE) about the economic feasibility of going off grid in the Upper Peninsula continues to get media coverage. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) News put the study’s Michigan case study into a national power grid context. See the article here.

Smart Grid News also covered the story.

From Tech Today.

In Print

Energy EconomicsMichigan Tech alumni Edward Louie and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored “Retraining Investment for U.S. Transition from Coal to Solar Photovoltaic Employment,” published in Energy Economics.

doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2016.05.016

From Tech Today.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in several articles in the latest Consumer Reports about purchasing solar photovoltaic systems including “Shedding Light on Solar Power” and “The Real Cost of Leasing vs. Buying Solar Panels.” He was also quoted in other news agencies on solar power issues including Yahoo News.

From Tech Today.

Pearce on Open-Sourcing and 3D Printing

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in an article “Can Open-Sourcing Transform Electronics Hardware?” in IEEE’s Electronics 360.

*****
3DPrint.com published an article covering the work of seven Michigan Tech students including Cedric Kennedy, Aubrey Woern, Josh Krugh, Amber Varacalli, Ryan Oshe, John Klotz and Natalie Pohlman supported by Andre Laplume (SBE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE). “There are an ever-increasing number of universities and other higher educational institutions that currently have the goal to enhance and educate students on the state of 3D printing, but only a select few have disrupted the industry as much as the Michigan Technological University.”

From Tech Today.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in an article in Network World where Michigan Tech is highlighted as one of six colleges turning out open source talent.

Pearce’s article on how to calculate the ROI for open hardware made the Editor’s picks for must-read articles at OpenSource.

From Tech Today.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and MSE PhD candidate Bas Wijnen are quoted in the story “Michigan Tech and America Makes Release Free Open Source 3D Printing Software” on 3D Print.

From Tech Today.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) has been named editor-in-chief of HardwareX a new Elsevier journal dedicated to open source scientific hardware development.

From Tech Today.

In Print

Advanced Manufacturing TechnologyAndre Laplume (SBE), Jerry Anzalone (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored “Open-source, self-replicating 3-D printer factory for small-business manufacturing” in The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

doi:10.1007/s00170-015-7970-9

From Tech Today.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and Michigan Tech were highlighted for research innovations in Wohlers Report 2016: 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing State of the Industry Annual Worldwide Progress Report.

PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE) and Pearce (MSE/ECE) were covered in anarticle in Design News.

Materials Today ran an article on HardwareX, edited by Pearce  (MSE/ECE).

In Print

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), Caryn Heldt (ChE) and undergraduate Nick Anzalone co-authored: “Open-source Wax RepRap 3-D Printer for Rapid Prototyping Paper-Based Microfluidics” for the Journal of Laboratory Automation 

Pearce co-authored a paper with PhD students Chenlong Zhang (MSE) and Bas Wijnen (MSE) titled “Open-source 3-D Platform for Low-cost Scientific Instrument Ecosystem” for the Journal of Laboratory Automation.

From Tech Today.

Drelich Presents at From Lab to Marketplace

How do discoveries in university labs turn into commercially available—and potentially lifesaving—products?

This Wednesday, May 25, 2016, teams of Michigan Tech scientists and engineers will present their innovative technologies to a state funding review committee. The reviewers, officially designated an Oversight Committee, will be making decisions on grants from the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) program, a $6 million state-funded program developed and managed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to help commercialize university translational research.

An example of a team that will present on Wednesday afternoon is Professor Jarek Drelich (MSE) and Associate Professor Jeremy Goldman (BME). They are working on developing a metal alloy that would perform well as a biodegradable stent for heart surgery and other uses where a biodegradable material is desirable. They have been working for some time to find a material with all the necessary properties that will biodegrade harmlessly in the body over a set period of time.

Read more at Tech Today, by Jenn Donovan.

Professor Emeritus Duane Thayer Dies at 81

IMG_3514_3dArticle by Mark Wilcox

Michigan Tech Professor Emeritus Duane “Dewey” Thayer, a professor remembered by colleagues and alumni for his devotion to his students, has passed away. He died unexpectedly Friday at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain of an apparent heart attack. He was 81.

A native of Kingsford, Thayer came to Michigan Tech for a year, left and served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.

Following his service, he returned to Tech where he earned bachelor’s, ’59, and master’s, ’62, degrees in metallurgical engineering.

He spent his career at his alma mater and retired from Tech as a professor of Materials Sciences and Engineering in January of 1997 and became an emeritus professor in the fall of that year. He was inducted into the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Academy in 2008.

Stephen Kampe, chair of Materials Science and Engineering, called Thayer, “one of a kind.”

“He had a large personality in the classroom,” Kampe said. “With a style and humor that was very memorable and the subject of considerable lore among his students. To many, Dewey Thayer exemplified the Michigan Tech of his era.”

Kampe said colleagues enjoyed the sincerity of his friendship and the wisdom that he freely shared. “He will be missed,” Kampe said.

Komar Kawatra, chair of chemical engineering has fond memories of his long-time friend and colleague.

“Duane Thayer was one of the most unforgettable people I have met,” Kawatra said. He said Thayer cultivated an image of taking no nonsense and settling for nothing but the best from his students, but in reality he cared deeply about them and made them the focus of his life.

“He would give them money, food, advice, job leads and references and anything else they needed,” Kawatra said. “He was affectionately known by the students as ‘Dewey.’ Even years after graduating, our alumni still talk about him as one of the professors who had the greatest impact on their lives.”

One of those former students is Mike Gregory, ’69, a vice president at North American Coal. More than four and a half decades after his time at Tech, Gregory has vivid memories of the man who made a deep impact on his education, his career and his life.

“Dewey, was a hard-charging man, a task master who expected a lot out of his students. He expected us to perform, but treated us fairly, and that’s all you can really ask for.”

Gregory said, in addition to being an outstanding educator, Thayer was a forward thinker. “What most people don’t realize is that Dewey was way ahead of environmentalists. It was the 1960s, and he posed metal recycling concepts to his students, long before they became part of the conversation.”

Thayer’s impact was so significant on Gregory that in 1993, he and fellow alumni Ken Brunk, ’69 and Jim Graham, ’70, established a scholarship named in Thayer’s honor for students majoring in the earth science and resource engineering curriculum with a focus of study in mineral processing.

In addition to being an educator, Thayer was an innovator and engineer, serving as an international consultant in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy.

He was active in the Copper Country community serving on the Quincy Mine Hoist Association Board of Directors, the Society of Mining Engineers, the American Legion and the Vets Club.

His survivors include his wife Mary, and daughters Cecile Cloutier, Martha Thayer, Mary Hoffman, Therese Hunwick and Susan Liebau, who is director of Michigan Tech’s Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success.

Private funeral services will be held Saturday followed by a public wake from 4-6 p.m. at the Douglass House in downtown Houghton.

The family suggests memorial gifts be made to the Michigan Tech Fund, directed to the Duane Thayer Honorary Endowed Scholarship or to the Salvation Army. A complete obituary can be found at the O’Neill-Dennis Funeral Home’s website.

Michigan Tech wins Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grant

The Ford Motor Co. fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Co., is awarding $250,000 in Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grants for student-led projects.

The program is in its eighth year of supporting sustainable efforts to address urgent community needs focused on “Building Sustainable Communities.”

Ford C3 winners are required to present proposals for sustainable projects with significant student input, involvement and leadership. Water conservation, renewable energy, urban gardening, recycling and mobility are among the proposals submitted by these creative teams of students. Each of the winning projects will receive a $25,000 grant to support their project.

Michigan Technological University: Plastic Recycling to 3D Printer Filament. The MTU team will work with the local community to incorporate a wider variety of plastics into recycled filament, and upgrade machinery to use this recycled product to produce the filament. See the article “A Call to Change Recycling Standards as 3-D Printing Expands

Michigan State University, University of Michigan,a and Wayne State University won for other projecs.
Read the whole article