Category Archives: Research

MSE News Briefs


Professor Yun Hang Hu and his doctoral student Bing Han have had extensive media coverage on their research focused on hydrogen production using light and water. Their method is currently the most efficient artificial photosynthesis process developed. Read more on e Science News, Kurzweil AI, Red Orbit, World Industry Reporter,,, Laboratory Equipment, Pune Mirror, Mumbai Mirror and Fuel Cell Works.
Yun Hang Hu and his doctoral student Bing Han have developed an efficient method for hydrogen production using light and water. The research was covered by Industrial Safety and Security Source, Lab Manager, Space Daily, News R, Michigan Ag Connection and One News Page. Additionally, the Kurzweil AI story was reblogged on the Alex Torex Blog, CJC in 484 and several other blogs.

Erik Herbet (MSE/IMP) has received $81,342 from UT-Battelle, LLC per contract for a research project titled, Mechanical Properties at the Protected Lithium Interface. This is a two-year project totaling $236,806.

Several news outlets, including Chem Europe and Hackaday, have picked up a recent story about Joshua Pearce and NECi collaborating on developing an open source nitrate test kit. The online website Environmental Research Web picked up the story of Joshua Pearce’s collaboration with NECi and the open source nitrate test kit they developed.

The Chicago Tribune published an article from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, quoting Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on the use of solar panels in cold northern climates.

Technology Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, ran an article about Associate Professor Joshua Pearce’s (MSE) research on a 3-D printed device that measures nitrates in soil and water. The device is smaller, less costly and more effective than traditional measuring techniques.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) wrote “Win a Giant 3-D Printer for Making a Positive Social Impact” in ELSEVIER SciTech Connect.

Graduate students Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) and Ankit Vora (ECE) co-authored a paper with Durdu Guney (ECE), Paul Bergstrom (ECE) , Anand Kulkarni (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE); Limitations of Ultra-Thin Transparent Conducting Oxides for Integration into Plasmonic-Enhanced Thin Film Solar Photovoltaic Devices, in Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Graduate students Amber Haselhuhn (MSE) and Bas Wijnen (MSE) co-authored a paper with Jerry Anzalone (MSE), Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE); In Situ Formation of Substrate Release Mechanisms for Gas Metal Arc Weld Metal 3-D Printing. Published in the Journal of Materials Processing.
Research on reusable substrates for 3D printing by PhD students Amber Haselhuhn and Bas Wijnen along with Jerry Anzalone (MSE), Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was covered 3D Printing Industry and by

Michigan Tech Materials Science & Engineering Department now has a 550 Ton Extrusion Press for Materials Research, donated by ALCOA, see photos and a video clip “Michigan Tech Material Research: 550 Ton Extrusion Press

Amberlee Haselhuhn, a PhD candidate in MSE, received the Silver Quill Award from Brigadier General Anthony Funkhouser, commander of the Northwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Michigan Tech is the lead research partner with Grede working on thin-walled iron casting for automobile transmissions. The collaboration was highlighted in Foundry Management and Technology and has received support from the LIFT (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow) program.

Technology Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on a visit by ESD executives to Michigan Tech and plans to establish a student chapter of the ESD at Michigan Tech.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was the keynote speaker for the Shared Resource Laboratories: Driving Innovation and Discovery joint Mid-Atlantic Directors and Staff of Scientific Cores (MAD SSCi) and Southeastern Association of Shared Resources (SEASR) meeting in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia. Pearce was also quoted in “5 upcoming developments in 3D printing” in the Business Reporter distributed with the Daily Telegraph (UK). Pearce and MSE PhD student Amberlee Haselhuhn coauthored “Intellectual Property as a Strategic National Industrial Weapon: the Case of 3D Printing.” in the May-August issue of Engineer: the Professional Bulletin of Army Engineers. Read the article.
Pearce is quoted in the article “Money-Smart Reasons to Install Solar Panels at Your Home Now,” on and in the August 2015 edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Pearce’s research on low-cost heat exchanger technology was featured in the Mumbai Mirror (daily circulation of about 700,000). Pearce also published an article in Gaceta Sanitaria, the official journal of the Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration. The translated title of the piece is “Maximizing Return on Investment for Public Health with Open-source Medical Hardware.”

Paul Sanders (MSE/IMP) is the principal investigator on a research project that received a Co-op/Joint Agreement-Cost of $362,000 from the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The project is titled Melt-5a – Developing and Deploying Thin Wall Ductile Iron Castings for High Volume Production. Also involved with the project are Gregory Odegard (MEEM) and Stephen Kampe (MSE).

Ben Wittbrodt (MSE masters student) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored the article “Total U.S. cost evaluation of low-weight tension-based photovoltaic flat-roof mounted racking” published in Solar Energy. Pearce also published, Buckle up for fast-tracked science thanks to open-source hardware in Engineering for Change.

Continue reading

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.

ACMAL is a Core Facility

The Vice President for Research Office has deemed the following facilities University Core Facilities:

*Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory (ACMAL)
* Animal Care Facility
* Microfabrication Facility
* Marine Assets Facility

From Tech Today.

Formerly operated at the departmental level, ACMAL will now have access to funding opportunities available to officially recognized Core Facilities. It should allow for more expensive equipment repairs, the purchase of small equipment, and the matching of funds for major instrumentation proposals.

Learn more about the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory.

SURF Award for Morgan

This summer, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will fund 23 students from across the University with funds from the Vice President for Research and the Honors Institute. The total funding for the program this year is $80,500.

Among the recipients is Materials Science and Engineering / Mechanical Engineering major Zachary Morgan, working with Yongmei Jin on “Optimizing damping capabilities of metal matrix composites with ferroelectric barium titanate inclusions through modeling and computer simulation.”

From Tech Today.

3D Printers in April News

PlasticIn the News

Michigan Tech research in 3D printing was covered by Reason in the article “The 3D Economy.”

From Tech Today.

The 3D Economy
Forget guns, what happens when everyone prints their own shoes?

Already, according to a study authored by Michigan Technological University engineering professor Joshua Pearce and six others, there are significant economic incentives for consumers to pursue 3D printing. According to Pearce’s calculations, a person who constructs an open-source 3D printer called the RepRap at a cost of around $575 for parts can theoretically avoid paying between $290 and $1,920 a year to retailers simply by using the device to print 20 common items (iPhone case, shower curtain rings, shoe orthotics, etc.).

Read more at The 3D Economy, by Greg Beato.

UP 3DIn Print

John Irwin (SoT), Pearce (MSE/ECE) and Jerry Anzalone (MSE) coauthored “Implementing Self-Replicating Rapid Prototypers (RepRaps) into a Mechanical/Manufacturing Program,” which was published in The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) 2013 Conference Proceedings. pp. 387-406.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Pearce is quoted in Italy’s Scienze Naturali in an article about the environmental benefits of 3D printing and in 3D Printer World on how recycling milk jugs into 3D printer filament saves money and the environment.

From Tech Today.

Recycling Milk Jugs into 3D Printer Filament Saves Money and the Environment

The energy savings is only about 3 percent in urban areas, where the plastic has to travel less during the collection and recycling process.

“Where it really shows substantial savings is in smaller towns like Houghton (where Michigan Tech. is located), where you have to transport the plastic to be collected, then again to be recycled, and a third time to be made into products,” Pearce said. The energy savings is as much as 80 percent in small towns and rural areas.

Read more at 3D Printer World, by John Graber.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in the UK’s Business Reporter in an article about supply chain disruption, which is distributed with the Daily Telegraph.

Pearce was interviewed on the John and Kane Show of Indio Radio discussing open source hardware which is available online.

From Tech Today.

Will 3D printing transform the supply chain?

Joshua Pearce, a materials science and engineering professor at Michigan Technology University in the US has produced research based on the idea of a colourimeter for water testing.According to his estimates, the printable version would cost just $50, instead of $2000, and it worked just as well with raw materials that can be easily sourced in developing countries.

Read more at Business Reporter, by Natasha Clark.

John and Kane On Indio Radio- Monday 03-31-14

We talk to Dan Reus who you can find on Twitter @danreus and also at…. He has a guest who is Joshua Pearce on the phone who we will be talking to today…. Joshua is Professor at Michigan Tech and he specializes in open source technologies so we will talk to him more about that…. Very Interesting…. We also talk about 3D printing for those of you that don’t know what it is, this is so cool…. You can find Joshua at….or:

Indio Radio

Listen to the podcast interview with Joshua Pearce on Indio Radio. The segment runs from 06:18 to 26:33.

Lifting the Brakes on Fuel Efficiency

image105579-horizThe work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan’s Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi “Scott” Huang of Michigan Tech’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering helped Governor Rick Snyder promote Michigan’s automotive industry at China’s 2013 international auto parts expos. Huang’s research is the basis for his MTEC SmartZone company, LiteBrake Tech, which was one of eight companies chosen to represent Michigan automotive technology overseas.

3D Printers in March News

Open-source 3D printed parts often stronger than proprietary versions

A common criticism of home 3D printers is that whilst they can easily replicate any number of shapes and objects, and print parts that look identical to plastic prints from professional 3D printers, they can only print flimsy plastic trinkets. Are RepRap prints as strong as professional 3D printed parts using the same polymers?

“We were curious too. Our prints seemed strong, but we wanted to engineer robust scientific equipment and tools for the developing world, so we needed solid trustworthy numbers.” said Joshua Pearce, an associate professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering and Michigan Technological University.


Michigan Tech Study Suggests Some RepRap 3D Prints Are As Strong as Commercial 3D Printers

If you thought that plastic parts produced from your average RepRap desktop 3D printer were in any way weaker than those made with commercial 3D printers, you may be proven wrong. The research lab of Dr. Joshua Pearce at Michigan Technological University has once again put out a study in favour of low-cost 3D printing. After already establishing that such devices could create affordable open source lab equipment for universities, as well as save consumers $300 to $2,000 a year with the printing of common household items, Pearce’s lab has tried to demonstrate that low-cost 3D printers can print ABS and PLA parts with the same strength as those made with commercial printers.

Read more at 3D Printing Industry.

In Print

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored a paper “Photovoltaic system performance enhancement with non-tracking planar concentrators: Experimental results and BDRF based modelling,” published by the IEEE.

Graduate student Brennan Tymrak (ME), alumna Megan Kreiger (MSE) and Pearce (MSE/ECE) published Mechanical properties of components fabricated with open-source 3-D printers under realistic environmental conditions in the journal Materials and Design.

Pearce (MSE/ECE) also published Open source 3D printing allows you to print your own cheaper health devices in Conversation.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was interviewed in the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report, Feb 2014 on Modeling and Open Source World for 3D Printing.

From Tech Today.

On the Road

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) presented an invited talk on Open Source 3D Printing at Stacking Layers: A symposium on 3D printing technologies and applications in Tallahassee, Florida, recently.

Stacking Layers Presentation
Joshua Pearce presentation begins at 04:46:00. Click the image to launch the presentation page. Choose the Tuesday presentaton link.

From Tech Today.

3D printing with metal at Michigan Technological University

3D printing has become a useful tool, but so far has been limited in the materials it can use. Michigan Tech researchers are now developing a way to print 3D objects using metal.

View the YouTube Video, by Michigan Tech.

In the News

Research completed by graduate student Brennan Tymrak (ME), alumna Megan Kreiger (MSE) and Pearce (MSE/ECE) was highlighted by 3D Printing Industry in“Michigan Tech Study Suggests Some RepRap 3D Prints Are As Strong as Commercial 3D Printers.”

The life cycle analysis research of distributed recycling by alumnae Megan Kreiger (MSE) and Meredith Mulder (MSE), current MSE student Allie Glover, and Pearce (MSE/ECE) was covered extensively by the media including CNN/MoneyYahoo News and Ars Technica.

From Tech Today.

Michigan Tech Study Suggests Some RepRap 3D Prints Are As Strong as Commercial 3D Printers

If you thought that plastic parts produced from your average RepRap desktop 3D printer were in any way weaker than those made with commercial 3D printers, you may be proven wrong. The research lab of Dr. Joshua Pearce at Michigan Technological University has once again put out a study in favour of low-cost 3D printing.

There’s still a great deal of research ahead of the team, to further elucidate the properties of objects printed with low-cost 3D printers, such as the effects of chemical post-processing on the strength of a print. Pearce explains, “This study only looked at the tensile strength in the plane of the print bed, next we need to expand this study to look at interlayer adhesion.”

Read more at 3D Printing Industry, by Michael Molitch-Hou.

Milk Jug
Milk Jug

In the News

CBS Detroit and its Technology Report published an article about Associate Professor Joshua Pearce’s (MSE) work using recycled milk jugs for 3D printing material. See CBS Detroit.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Research completed by graduate student Brennan Tymrak (ME), alumna Megan Kreiger (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was highlighted in the EE Times article“Measuring Open Source Hardware 3D-Printed Material Strength.”

Pearce was also interviewed about how 3D printing is environmentally green on Living on Earth–PRI’s Environmental News Magazine.

Professor Paul Sanders (MSE) and Pearce were interviewed on ABC10.

From Tech Today.

3-D Printing is Green

CURWOOD: Back before the industrial revolution, if you needed some thing, you or someone else would make it by hand. Then along came the production line and big machines that could mass produce items quickly and cheaply. And now we are headed back to future with so-called 3D printing, where a fairly small machine can make just about any metal or plastic object simply by following precise instructions from a computer. A team at Michigan Technological University has studied the possible environmental and the financial benefits of 3D printing. Joshua Pearce led the research and explains the surprising results.

Read the transcript or listen to the audio stream/download at Living on Earth, with Steve Curwood and Joshua Pearce.

Michigan Tech creates 3-D printer

“What our group has done hear at Michigan Tech is radically pushed the cost of 3-D printers down. So commercial 3-D printers that could do plastic used to cost $20,000. Now with the Open Source project, that cost has come under $1,000 and the ones we are building with our students cost under $500,” Materials Science and Engineering Associate Professor Dr. Joshua Pearce said.

Assistant Professor Paul Sanders said when he heard about 3-D printing with plastic, he questioned if it could be done with metal.

“This is essentially welding but it’s different because instead of joining two big pieces of metal, we’re making everything out of the weld wire itself,” he said.

Read more and watch the video at ABC 10, WBUP | WBKP.

Paul Sanders ABC10 3D

In the News

Pearce was also interviewed by 3D Printing Industry in the article “3D Printing Plastic — Distributed Recycling and Distributing the Benefits.”

Michigan Tech’s 3D-printing program was highlighted in The Conversation article“Researchers can be ‘digital blacksmiths’ with 3D printers.”

From Tech Today.

America Makes – Michigan Tech Low Cost 3D Metal Printer

America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. They focused on 3D metal printing initiatives at Michigan Tech in the new video “America Makes Moment.” Several people from Michigan Tech were interviewed, including President Glenn Mroz, Associate Professor Joshua Pearce, and Mark Bonefant, Instructor of CAD & Woodworking, Calumet High School. Featured were several students, instructors, and researchers, including Assistant Professor Paul Sanders.

Watch the YouTube Video, hosted by Rob Gorham, Deputy Directory of Technology Development at America Makes.

Rob Gorham
Rob Gorham
Glenn Mroz
Glenn Mroz
Joshua Pearce
Joshua Pearce
3D Printer
3D Printer
PhD Student
PhD Student
Mark Bonefant
Mark Bonefant
Rob Gorham and Paul Sanders
Rob Gorham and Paul Sanders