Category Archives: Outreach and Alumni

Professor Daavettila and the Nuke Program

Don Daavettila
Don Daavettila

Physics Faculty Emeritus Don Daavettila fondly recalls the days of the nuclear engineering master’s program at Michigan Tech. And the fact that nuclear power seems to be coming back in vogue after nearly fifty years doesn’t surprise him.

“Nuclear is the way to go,” says the former chemistry and physics professor. “It’s a solid 20 percent of where we get our power today.”

Read more at TechAlum Newsletter, by Don Daavettila.

Professor Daavettila

Physics alumni Kim Bylund (Warner), Ken Kok, and Marty Vonk share experiences with Professor Daavettila in From the Email Bag.

Read more at TechAlum Newsletter.

Perry Martin and California Chrome

Perry and Denise Martin, along with Steve and Carolyn Coburn, are co-owners of Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome. Perry Martin earned a degree in applied physics from Michigan Tech in 1978. Perry is President of Materials Technology Labs in McClellan, California.

Extra points: Kentucky Derby winner (partially) made in Michigan

His name may be California Chrome, but you can trace the Kentucky Derby-winning horse owner’s roots to Michigan.

Perry Martin, one of the co-owners, graduated from Michigan Tech in 1978. Catherine, his 83-year-old mother, is from Iron Mountain but now lives in Dickinson County.

Read more at Detroit Free Press.

Kentucky Derby hopeful has Tech connections

Perry Martin grew up in Chicago, developed a love for horses there, but did find his way to the U.P. He recalls with pleasure his many happy summers with his grandparents and their beagle “Duke” in Iron Mountain.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Burt Angeli.

Teresa Wilson on Dark Skies

dark skyIt’s International Dark Sky Week: Take Back the Night

The Lyrid meteor shower peaked earlier this week, and here in the Upper Peninsula it would not have been difficult to see from pretty much anywhere. For the best view, one might drive out of town a little ways, maybe to the Breakers or McLain parks, but a short drive is all it takes.

The International Dark Sky Association tries to raise awareness to these affects and more. Information can be found at the IDSA website.

Read more at Tech Today, by Teresa Wilson, physics PhD candidate.

Nanotechnology Workshop for Pre-College Girls

High School Girls Come to Michigan Tech to Explore Nanotechnology

Michigan Tech’s GEAR UP, a Pre-College Innovative Outreach Institute, and the physics department sponsored a workshop on nanotechnology to help spark the interest of pre-college girls on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at Michigan Tech. The workshop is funded by the outreach component of a National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant. Yoke Khin Yap, a physics professor, talked about the subject, and the students had the opportunity to build model molecules.

Read more at Tech Today, by Monica Lester.

View the Nanotechnology Day! Photo Album in the Facebook Page of Michigan Tech GEAR UP.

Mr. Charnawskas Goes to Washington

Joe Charnawskas
Joe Charnawskas (left) and other SPS representatives meet with Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (center).

Physics major Joe Charnawskas attended the the 2014 Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (SETCVD), which took place on March 25 and 26 in Washington D. C., Capitol Hill.

Joe is the President of the Michigan Tech Chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and and an Associate Zone Councilor for the national SPS.

SPS is part of AIP, the American Institute of Physics, which was represented at the event, along with hundreds of scientists, engineers, educators, and other participants. Five students from across the country were there to represent SPS. They attended several talks and workshops focused on the budget and funding.

On the second day of the event, the SPS representatives met with a staff member of their Congressman or Senator. They discussed funding for STEM fields, especially funding at the undergraduate level. The students emphasized that undergraduate research is a very important part of their education, setting them ahead of those who do not have research experience.

Joe met with a staff member of the following people: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D), Rep. Dan Benishek (R) (MIchigan), Sen. Robert Menendez (D), Sen. Carl Levin (D) (Michigan), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) (Michigan), and Sen. Edward Markey (D). He also personally met Rep. Dan Benishek (Michigan), Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (Michigan), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Rush Holt, and Rep. Bill Foster. Representatives Holt and Foster are both physicists.

Joe considers the Washington trip to be amazing. View the PHOTO GALLERY at Joe’s Facebook page.

Shaw Interview on Cloud Chamber Forecasting

Michigan Tech posted a video in Facebook with a statement by Dr. Raymond Shaw on the recent storm and cloud chamber forecasting.

Watch the video at the Michigan Technological University Facebook page.

Cloud Chamber Forecasting

Cloud Chamber Forecasting

Cloud Chamber Forecasting

Getting their heads in the clouds
Tech purchases large cloud chamber

Scientists and researchers at Michigan Technological University and beyond will be going to the cloud to find answers – the cloud chamber that is.

“Basically this is a chamber that allows us to simulate the atmosphere all the way up to altitudes that airplanes fly at, so 10 to 15 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, where it’s very, very cold and very low pressure,” said Raymond Shaw, physics professor and director of the atmospheric sciences Ph.D. program at Michigan Tech.

The scientists at Michigan Tech are currently testing the machine before starting their research projects. Shaw expects that within a few months the machine will be fully functional and available to professors, students and visiting scholars.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Meagan Stilp.