Archives—October 2017

Is It Gonna Blow? Measuring Volcanic Emissions from Space

DSC_0084 WEBCarbon dioxide measured by a NASA satellite pinpoints sources of the gas from human and volcanic activities, which may help monitor greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

Late last month, a stratovolcano in Bali named Mount Agung began to smoke. Little earthquakes trembled beneath the mountain. Officials have since evacuated thousands of people to prevent what happened when Agung erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,000 people.

Before volcanoes erupt, there are often warning signs. Tiny earthquakes rarely felt by humans but sensed by seismographs emanate from the volcano. Plumes of water vapor rise from the crater. When the volcano begins to emit gases like carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, eruption may be imminent.

But getting close to the top of a volcano is dangerous work. Using remote sensing to detect rising carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide emissions without endangering people or equipment would greatly increase human understanding of volcanoes. Remote sensing emissions could prevent humanitarian disasters—and false alarms. Read the full story on the Michigan Tech news website.

by Kelley Christensen




Yap Top Three Michigan Tech Startups among Accelerate Michigan Finalists

1507169170Three startup companies with Michigan Tech roots have been named semi-finalists in this year’s Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.

Goldstrike Data, a big data analytics firm founded and headed by Michigan Tech alumna Ashley Kern ’15, was selected as one of 36 semi-finalists, as were StabiLux Biosciences (Novolux Biosciences) and Orbion Space Technology. StabiLux Biosciences( Novolux Biosciences) was founded by Yoke Khin Yap, a professor of physics at Tech, and Orbion Space Technology was founded by L. Brad King, the Ron and Elaine Starr Professor in Space Systems in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

The semi-finalists are innovative startups from a variety of high-growth sectors including advanced materials, manufacturing, alternative energy, business services, consumer products, information technology, life sciences/healthcare, media, mobility and more. On Nov. 16, 10 finalists will be selected and the winner will be chosen from among the finalists that night at the Detroit Masonic Temple. Since the competition’s inception, participating companies have generated more than 1,000 jobs in Michigan and raised more than $550 million in capital.

“We are extremely impressed with the diverse and creative entries that came to us from across the state and we’re excited to unveil an outstanding new crop of competitors,” said Martin Dober, vice president of Invest Detroit and managing director of Invest Detroit Ventures. “This competition has the potential to be life changing for these businesses. It is truly rewarding to help put promising young startups on a trajectory toward success.”

Each year, the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition showcases the startup innovation throughout Michigan and provides startups with the exposure, funding and mentorship they need. The first place company will win $500,000. The total value of all prizes is almost $1 million.