Category Archives: Uncategorized

Applied Physics student Kaelan Anderson in Undergrad Research Symposium

KaelanAKaelan Anderson’s research, Studying the Properties of Free Tropospheric Aerosols in the Mid Atlantic, was presented at Michigan Tech’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium this past week. With the assistance of Claudio Mazzoleni, Anderson looked at if the long term research of atmospheric aerosols is necessary to accurately understand and predict a variety of atmospheric phenomena. A relevant example is black carbon, and its forcing effects on the climate.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium highlights the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students.

The students showcasing their work today have spent a significant portion of the past year working alongside Michigan Tech faculty and graduate students to explore, discover and create new knowledge. They’ve spent long hours in the lab or out in the field designing experiments, gathering data, creating new models and testing hypotheses. They’ve applied their classroom knowledge in new and sometimes unexpected ways, and developed new skills that will propel them forward in their careers.



Pengfei Xue Interviewed on Lake Climate Projection

image98360-persHOUGHTON — A Michigan Technological University researcher is leading the effort to create a comprehensive model for the complicated and diverse climate of the Great Lakes region.

Pengfei Xue developed a model combining climate and water models with assistance from Loyola Marymount University, LimnoTech and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

When we have that component, the entire water cycle and surface water cycle would be complete. Then we could estimate the water level change over years.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.


Michigan Tech Ranks High in NSF Grants for Mechanical Engineering, Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science, Oceanography

In the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) latest rankings of universities by total research expenditures, Michigan Tech ranked 116th in the nation among public institutions and Tech’s atmospheric science and oceanography research ranked first in Michigan.

Nationally, atmospheric science research at Michigan Tech ranked 39th in research expenditures and oceanography ranked 53rd. Environmental science also ranked 53rd. Tech’s mechanical engineering research ranked 23rd in the nation, the highest ranking of all research fields at the University.

“Michigan Tech has been growing our capabilities in environmental science through our faculty hiring processes like the strategic faculty hiring initiative, our facility development efforts like the Great Lakes Research Center and in our equipment investments such as the cloud chamber in the Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute,” said Dave Reed, vice president for research. “NSF’s report reflects the impact of those investments and the significant research role that Michigan Tech is playing both nationally and within Michigan.”

The NSF report covered fiscal year 2015.

Other research areas at Tech that ranked in the top 100 nationwide include:

  • Biomedical engineering, 96th
  • Chemical engineering, 98th
  • Civil engineering, 92nd
  • Electrical engineering, 55th
  • Mechanical engineering, 23rd
  • Materials science and engineering, 61st
  • Mathematical sciences, 75th
  • Business and management, 73rd
  • Humanities, 98th
  • Visual and performing arts, 85th

The NSF report showed that research expenditures at Michigan Tech totaled $69.6 million for fiscal year 2015.


Great Lakes Climate Modeling in the News

image98360-persPengfei Xue (CEE) and his modeling work through the Great Lakes Research Center, which led to a more comprehensive climate and hydrodynamics model for the whole Great Lakes region, has been featured in several science media outlets including Science Daily, Phys.org, Terra Daily and Supercomputing Online News. The story was shared numerous times by collaborators and the science community on Twitter.

Weather the Storm: Improving Great Lakes Modeling

The collaborative work brought together researchers from Michigan Technological University, Loyola Marymount University, LimnoTech and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Pengfei Xue, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, led the study through his work at the Great Lakes Research Center on campus.

One of the important concepts in climate change, in addition to knowing the warming trend, is understanding that extreme events become more severe. That is both a challenge and an important focus in regional climate modeling. —Pengfei Xue

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.


Jaszczak Leads Discovery of New Mineral

image144299-persA team led by a physicist from Michigan Tech has discovered a new mineral, named for the region in Tanzania where it comes from.

John Jaszczak knew that something was very unusual about the mineral specimen he was examining under the microscope of a Raman spectrometer in the basement of Fisher Hall.

On a hunch, Jaszczak decided to look into it further. The diagnostic studies with Raman spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy showed a layered structure rich in molybdenum, lead and sulfur that may be a new mineral. Now, Jaszczak and the team he pulled together can confirm that gut feeling. The tiny, silvery, cylindrical whiskers are indeed a new mineral—merelaniite. The journal Minerals published the team’s findings last week.

Detailed chemical and physical analyses of merelaniite—a member of the cylindrite group—revealed a neatly stacked layered structure with sheets rolled in scrolls like tobacco in a cigar. These tiny whiskers, which to the naked eye look like very fine hairs on other larger crystals, have probably been regularly cleaned off their host rocks containing other more recognizable minerals that occur at the famous gem mines near Merelani, Tanzania.

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 8.39.44 AM“Minerals have a natural wow factor, and while we use many of them daily without thinking twice, some specimens are truly art,” Jaszczak says, adding that minerals like the gems tanzanite (a blue/purple variety of zoisite) and tsavorite (a green variety of grossular garnet), which come from the same mines as merelaniite, can be more eye-catching. But it doesn’t negate the value of less showy minerals.

Read the full story.

Lynn Mazzoleni Leads a Team to Bring a New High-Resolution Spectrometer to Campus

PicoAir is not just air. It’s not just a sterile, preset mix of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and other molecules. As an atmospheric chemist, Lynn Mazzoleni knows air is dynamic and full of soot, sulfates, dust and other particles. Now, with a new piece of equipment, she can analyze complex aerosol samples and how their chemistry affects cloud formation.

State-of-the-Art Science: Peatlands to Pharmaceuticals
Mazzoleni is an associate professor of chemistry at Michigan Technological University and a recent Fulbright Scholar awardee. She is also the lead researcher on a team that is bringing a high-resolution mass spectrometer to campus through a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The instrument is an analytical chemistry tool that identifies the type and amount of chemicals in a mixture.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.


Particle Fever

Particle Fever
Particle Fever

Particle Fever

2013 Film by Mark Levinson

Rozsa Center-Thursday, October 23, 7:00 pm (run time 99 min)
(Free Admission)
(5:30-6:30 pm Reception for Mark Levinson / Rozsa Gallery)

Director Mark Levinson, a physicist turned filmmaker, follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider.

View the Flyer