Category Archives: News

Robotics Machining Workshop for High School Students This Week at Tech

Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics is hosting high school students from Houghton, Calumet and Lake Linden at a Robotics Machining Workshop during the week of June 19, 2017. The students are members of FIRST Robotics Competition teams.

Workshop developers are Marty Toth and Michael Goldsworthy (ME-EM). They will teach the students machining skills and safety practices. During the workshop, the students will machine all the components to construct a working Stirling Engine.

Building a competition robot is a complex undertaking requiring electro-mechanical design, computer modeling, creating machining prints, prototyping and lots of machining.

Michigan Tech connects with FIRST Robotics in many ways. Like many universities, Tech recruits FIRST Robotics high school students with scholarship opportunities. Tech faculty and staff volunteer with the teams during the six-week building season and during the off-season with special projects such as a robot that was created for this year’s Bridgefest Parade, which helped students develop skills for the next building season, which begins early in 2018.

FIRST Robotics


Tech Students Awarded at Noise Control Conferences

NOISE-CON 2017

A total of 14 Michigan Tech students, 13 graduate students and one undergrad, are in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the joint SAE Noise and Vibration Conference and the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA (NOISE-CON 2017). They are students of Jason Blough (ME-EM) and Andrew Barnard (ME-EM).

On Wednesday, Michigan Tech students won 11 awards between the two conferences:

  • SAE NVC Best Student Paper—First place: Troy Bouman, Second Place: Mahsa Asgarisabet
  • INCE-USA NoiseCon Best Student Paper—Micaela Theiry and Trinoy Dutta
  • INCE-USA Hallberg Foundation Travel Award—Theiry, Miles Penhale, Siddharth Parmar, Suraj Prabhu and Asgarisabet
  • Beranek Gold Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control Engineering for an Undergraduate Student—Stephania Vaglica
  • Beranek Pewter Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control Engineering for a Graduate Student—Asgarisabet

The students also had a booth in the expo where they showed off some of their work and it was busy with visitors for two straight days.

By Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

The event took place on June 12-14, 2017.


ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet April 20, 2017

The ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet and Order of the Engineer Program was held on April 20, 2017.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Robin Johnson-Cash, Technical Training Manager, Ford Motor Company. Cash is a 2015 alumna with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

WATCH THE KEYNOTE ADDRESS. Closed captioning is available.

Robin Johnson-Cash
Keynote Speaker Robin Johnson-Cash

Spring 2017 Outstanding Student Awards

From time to time we observe exemplary and outstanding performance of an individual or group of individuals in Senior Capstone Design or Enterprise, and when that happens we recognize those students with an Outstanding Student Performance Award.

Isabella Kesler
Isabella Kesler and William Endres

Isabella Kesler, FSAE

Bella joined Formula SAE early in her college career. Bella’s first year on the team marked the beginning of transforming Michigan Tech FSAE from a Monster Garage operation to a race team with a purpose, a plan, and a return to yearly competition. As a new member, Bella learned that building a successful race car requires hard work and dedication. As an FSAE Leader, Bella demonstrated this to her to her teammates. Bella finds out what needs to be accomplished and gets it done. She has a can-do attitude as a team member, SAE Board member, and electrical and controls leader. As President this year, Bella made sure that the team met every competition deliverable on time. Bella was always at the shop working on the cars, preparing competition documents, and occasionally doing homework. Her degrees show mechanical and electrical engineering, but her dedication has been to Formula. Isabella Kesler is the model Outstanding FSAE Member.

Jacob Kendziorski, Erica Huhta
Jacob Kendziorski, Erica Huhta, and William Endres

Erica Huhta and Jacob Kendziorski, SCD 4

Erica and Jake have gone above and beyond within Team 4, which was already a great team to work with as an Advisor. One of the most outstanding qualities of Jake and Erica is their level of professionalism and work ethics. From the first day to the very last one, they have been the driving force and have striven for success and perfection throughout the project. Jake has delivered an outstanding performance and beyond his profound contributions to the team in motion simulation and manufacturing he has shown exceptional leadership skills. Erica, beyond her responsibilities as communication liaison and technical contributions to the team, has kept the team on track and has shown exceptional leadership and professionalism.

Mike Fischer, Lauren Tetzloff
Mike Fischer, Lauren Tetzloff, and William Endres

Mike Fischer and Lauren Tetzloff, SCD 7

Mike Fisher and Lauren Tetzloff have both been exceptional and integral members of Team 7. For both semesters Mike usually ran the meetings, and has been involved with all aspects of the project from brainstorming all the way to testing. In the first semester Lauren did most of the CAD layout and kinematics work. She carried a large part of the work-load and played a key role in every aspect of the project. During the project both Mike and Lauren have been very professional and hard working. The team would not have been as successful without them.

Rachel Pohlod, Cayman Berg-Morales
Rachel Pohlod, Cayman Berg-Morales, and William Endres

Rachel Pohlod and Cayman Berg-Morales, SCD Team 11

As many of you are aware, the ME undergraduate curriculum has undergone a major change recently. That change has challenged students to learn more about implementing modern model-based simulation and analysis tools. This pair of students stood out in taking what they learned in ME Practice, engaging on their own knowledgeable faculty, and taking MotionView far beyond what they had previously learned to simulate sliding, impact, contact and settling (and not tipping over) of gear blanks working their way through the automated handling and inspection system for MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions. For this work, we recognize Rachel Pohlod and Cayman Berg-Morales.

Miller, Tetzloff, Raboin, Johnson
Matthew Miller, Thomas Tetzloff, Kyle Raboin, Dean Thomas Johnson, and William Endres

Thomas Tetzloff, Dean Johnson, and Kyle Raboin and Matt Miller, SCD Team 20

As a team, they did a great job, a fully integrated ME and EE team, and represented MTU extremely well at a national venue in the Air Force Research Labs University Design Challenge. On that team there were a few individuals who really stood out in the spirit of what the Outstanding Student Performance Award is here to recognize. For their extreme dedication from design through prototyping to making it work (more than once), this award goes to MEs Thomas Tetzloff, Dean Johnson, and Kyle Raboin and Electrical and Computer Engineer Matt Miller.

ME-EM Teachers of the Year Award

Radheshyam Tewari
Lecturer Radheshyam Tewari

Radheshyam Tewari is a lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics department at Michigan Technological University since 2014.

Jaclyn Johnson
Lecturer Jaclyn Johnson

Dr. Jaclyn Johnson is a lecturer in the ME-EM department at Michigan Tech, since 2014.

Photo Galleries

View the MEEM Spring 2017 Ceremonies Photo Gallery

View the MEEM Spring 2017 Capstone Senior Design Poster Session Photo Gallery


First-Time Supermileage Driver Makes Tech Shine

Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise, part of Tech’s Advanced Motorsports, took first place for innovation solutions at SAE International’s Collegiate Design Supermileage Competition in Marshall, Michigan. The $1,000 award was sponsored by Top 1 Oil.

Michigan Tech’s team was one of 23 teams from the US and Canada who participated in the competition and one of 14 who passed the technical inspection. The Tech team placed 5th overall based their design report, presentation and fuel economy results, winning another $500 prize. They also won awards for best design execution and best overall team attitude, adding another $400 to their winnings.

But the hero of the day was Claire Sullivan, who was driving in her first Supermileage competition. Rick Berkey, Enterprise director, said: “I am giving our driver Claire Sullivan the ‘Coolest Driver under Pressure’ Award for her on-track performance.”

Berkey explained. “We were the last team on the track, and our final run was going very well. All this changed on lap 5 of 6, when the chain came off. We thought we were done and even stopped timing our laps. BUT, our driver Claire exited the vehicle (which is allowed) and got the chain back on without assistance.

“Here is where the excitement comes in,” Berkey continued. “In order to post a successful run and comply with the minimum and maximum speed constraints, we needed to complete the final lap somewhere between 3:50 and about 4:10 minutes—only a 20-second window to hit and about 2 minutes faster than our optimal lap times, all without any feedback on speed/time.

“As Claire accelerated, the engine cover blew off; it is normally secured by tape. Then, the cockpit cover blew off. It is not really designed for the driver to reinstall unassisted while sitting (or rather lying) in the car.

“To make matters worse, the cover bumped one of the kill switches in the process and shut the car off. Claire figured this out and reached up to turn the switch to the run position (all while strapped in a six-point safety harness).

“At this point we literally told Claire over the radio to ‘trust her gut.’ And she did. Her final lap was 3:57–not too fast, not too slow, but just right. The timing judges were impressed; we were in awe, and Claire was clearly our hero of the day.”

By Jenn Donovan.

The event took place June 8-9, 2017, at the Eaton Corporation in Marshall, Michigan.

Supermileage 2017

Supermileage 2017


Robotic Ankle Research in Orthopedic Design & Technology

Robotic AnkleResearchers are developing an artificial vision system that can enable a robotic ankle to see where it is going to improve the wearer’s gait.

Mo Rastgaar, a Michigan Technological University mechanical engineer and his team have already developed a prototype of the prosthetic ankle that can provide a range of motion that rivals a natural gait. Next, they aim to give their robotic ankle something different: eyes.

The camera can identify the profile of the ground, while the computer knows where the next footstep will be, based on how the user is moving the leg. Mo Rastgaar

Read more at Orthopedic Design & Technology.

Related stories:

HIRoLab Featured in National Biomechanics Day Outreach

The Better to See You With: Prosthetic Leg Would Keep an Eye on the Path Ahead

Rastgaar Receives CAREER Award to Develop Ankle-Foot Prosthetic Robot


Future Transmission Development by Darrell Robinette

Triple ClutchUK Car Magazine, a European car enthusiast magazine and Lubrizol Additives 360, an online driveline news organization, have published articles featuring a new automatic transmission design developed by Darrell Robinette(ME-EM). The new transmission design was developed during his time at General Motors and was presented at CTI Ttransmission Symposium in Berlin, Germany last December. The articles can be found here and here.

Future engines will have more torque at low(er) engine speeds. It’s part of our job when designing transmissions to maximize that efficiency but, also, to ensure a pleasurable driving experience.Darrell Robinette


John Johnson Award for Outstanding Research in Diesel Engines

John H. Johnson
John H. Johnson

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other news outlets around the country reported on the winners of the John Johnson Award for Outstanding Research in Diesel Engines.

The award is funded through contributions from John H. Johnson (ME-EM), his colleagues and former students. Johnson is a Presidential Professor with Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical-Engineering Mechanics, a fellow of SAE International and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is a renowned expert in the field of diesel engines.

See the full story here.


Supermileage Enterprise Wins at Shell Eco-Marathon

SSE and ShellThe 33rd annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition took place over the weekend, April 27-30 in Detroit, MI. This year’s event was the second season that Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise team competed.  Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams from around the world to design, build, test and drive ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. More than 100 teams from universities and high schools across the country and abroad came to the heart of the Motor City to compete on the track located on the city streets surrounding the Cobo Convention Center.

Read more at Pavlis Honors College, by Amy Karagiannakis.


Abdelkhalik Team at Global Space Competition

GTOCA team of Michigan Tech and University of Michigan students placed 16th in the European Space Agency’s 9th Global Trajectory Optimization Competition. The online competition attracted 69 teams.

The competition challenge was: “It is the year 2060 and the commercial exploitation of Low Earth Orbits (LEOs) went well beyond the trillion of Euros market size. Following the unprecedented explosion of a Sun-synchronous satellite, the Kessler effect triggered further impacts, and the Sun-synchronous LEO environment was severely compromised.

Scientists from all main space agencies and private space companies isolated a set of 123 orbiting debris pieces that, if removed, would restore the possibility to operate in that precious orbital environment and prevent the Kessler effect from permanently compromising it. You are thus called to design a series of missions able to remove all critical debris pieces while minimizing the overall cumulative cost of such an endeavor. Each single mission cost (in EUR) will depend on how early the mission is submitted via this web-site (regardless of their actual launch epoch) and on the spacecraft initial mass.”

Michigan Tech’s team included Ossama Abdelkhalik (MEEM), four graduate students and one remote graduate student.

By Jenn Donovan.


Mobile Lab at TARDEC

Mobile Lab
Mobile Lab

The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab is currently at TARDEC (U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center) in Warren, Michigan, delivering six professional development short courses in Instrumentation and Experimentation, Hybrid Electric Vehicles and High Voltage Safety.

Classes involve a mix of direction instruction, hands on activities, demonstrations and lab exercises. Students will have a chance to operate a propulsion system dynamometer test cell, experience the differences between different HEV architectures, build their own signal conditioning circuits, as well as perform a high voltage battery removal.

The students are composed of design and test engineers and technical staff. Instructors include Jeremy Worm, Chris Morgan, Darrell Robinette, Lucia Gauchia, Wayne Weaver and Ron Butler.