Category Archives: Research

CSA Researchers Participate in first TechTalks

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 11.55.24 AMOn Thursday, November 10, 2016, several researchers gave two minute presentations for the inaugural TechTalks session of the Michigan Tech Research Forum. Seven of the 13 researchers presented work from CSA disciplines, including the Distinguished Lecture:

  • Steven Elmer– Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, Exercise As a Form of Medicine
  • Yang Yang – Department of Mathematical Sciences, Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
  • Selin Philip – Department of Coginitive and Learning Sciences, Creating a Culture of Better Mental/Behavioral Health among the American Indians in the Keweenaw
  • Loredana Valenzano– Department of Chemistry, Molecules, Surfaces, Crystals: A Quantum Chemical Quest from Fundamentals to Applications.
  • Nabanita Saikia – Department of Physics, Emergent Frontiers in 2D Nanomaterials for Biomolecular Recongition and Self-Assembly.
  • Lynn Mazzoleni– Department of Chemistry, Introducing the New 2D-Liquid Chromatograph and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometer in the Chemical Advanced Resoulation Methods (ChARM) Core Facility at Michigan Tech.
  • Tarum Dam – Department of Chemistry, Enriching Health-Related Research Through Glycobiological Approaches.

Michigan Tech Research Forum events are presented by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in coordination with the Office of the Vice President of Research. Additional TechTalks sessions are coming up in Spring 2017. Interested in nominating yourself or others? Use this online form.

Browse the Twitter conversations in “TechTalks 2016: Take One,” by Allison Mills.


Distinguished Lecture –image151928-pers

Richelle Winkler gave the inaugural Michigan Tech Research Forum Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, October 13 at 4:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. She discussed Making Research Matter: Democratizing Science and Other Lofty Goals.

Professor Hugh Gorman nominated Winkler, an associate professor of sociology and demography, for “community engaged scholarship” that extends across the Michigan Tech campus. Examples of Winkler’s projects include examining the feasibility—social and technical—of using mine water for geothermal heating systems in Calumet and examining the social, economic, and technical aspects of improving recycling in Houghton County. Both projects involve students and community members, and both have real impact in the communities. Winkler also conducts research on the changing demographics of anglers and hunters—and the implications for policy. She presented on this subject at the Department of Biological Sciences last spring.


Syd Johnson Presents on Head Trauma

L. Syd M Johnson
L. Syd M Johnson

The final KIP Faculty and Graduate Student seminar was held on Friday Dec. 4, at 3pm in the ATDC Conference Room. Dr. Syd Johnson from the Department of Humanities presented on the ethical and legal implications surrounding concussions and CTE (chronic traumatic en​cephalopathy). This is timely as there is a new movie out this month called “Concussion” (features Will Smith) which highlights Dr. Bennet Omalu’s discovery of CTE in NFL athletes and how his scientific findings were challenged by the NFL. Below are a few background links that might be of interest. This should be a great talk to wrap up the fall seminar series!

Head trauma: Key questions on CTE lack answers

From the Department of Humanities.

HOUGHTON – Decades after the first research on concussions and chronic head trauma, there’s a widespread effort to mitigate their damage. But many of the most pressing questions still don’t have answers.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese (subscription required).


Kerfoot Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Charles Kerfoot
Charles Kerfoot

Professor Charles Kerfoot (BioSci) has received the 2015 IAGLR Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association for Great Lakes Research. The award recognizes important and continued contributions to the field of Great Lakes research for 20 years or more. In a letter notifying Kerfoot of the award, Douglas D. Kane, president of the IAGLR, congratulated him on an “incredibly productive and significant career.”

From Tech Today.


SURF Proposal Workshop

Will Cantrell, coordinator for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, will conduct a workshop for students on the SURF application process, including writing an effective SURF proposal. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in Fisher 127.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to notify students interested in applying for SURF funding to attend. For more information, see the SURF online information page.

The deadline for SURF applications is noon on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.

From Tech Today.


Interview on “Superior” Supercomputer

Computational StructureAny university involved in compute-intensive research would love to have a supercomputer at its disposal. Michigan Technological University is one of the fortunate ones to have a super-fast machine accessible by the entire research community on campus. The computer is known as “Superior” and we sat down with Gowtham S., Director of Research Computing at the University, to hear more about it.

insideHPC: The system’s installation just had its one year anniversary. What are some of the current projects that are harnessing all of this power?

Gowtham S.: Modeling the circulation and particle transport in the Great Lakes system, multi scale modeling of advanced materials and structures, nanostructured materials for electronics, biosensing and human health implications, and unsupervised learning in Big Data and social networks are some of the on going projects that use the power of Superior. Here is the complete listing of all 30 projects.

These projects have produced nearly two dozen publications as well, and several proposals are underway for even more projects. That makes us quite happy.

Read the full interview at insideHPC.

This interview refers to seven projects within the College of Sciences and Arts, with research faculty in the Departments of Computer Science, Chemistry and Physics.

  • CS, Laura Brown, Towards a reliable method for comparing large scale machine learning algorithms
  • CS, Ali Ebnenasir, Computational synthesis of self-stabilizing protocols
  • CS, Chaoli Wang, High-performance parallel analysis and visualization of Big Data
  • Chemistry, Loredana Valenzano, Investigations in computational chemistry
  • Physics, Johana Chirinos, Investigations in ultra-high-energy cosmic ray physics
  • Physics, Ranjit Pati, Computational study of charge and spin transport in nano-scale junctions from first-principles
  • Physics, Ravindra Pandey, Computational studies of nanostructured materials for electronics, biosensing and human health implications

Sue Bagley Honored by Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

Sue Bagley
Sue Bagley

Susan T. Bagley, professor professor emerita of environmental microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences, has received the Charles Porter Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB).

This award recognizes longtime members for outstanding, sustained service to the society for seven or more years. Bagley has over 35 years’ experience as an environmental microbiologist, working in academia and government on microbial-based treatment of air, waterborne and industrial organic wastes; microbial production of bio-based fuels; and mutagenicity and toxicity of environmental pollutants.

She has received research funding from a wide range of governmental, industrial and foundation sources and has coauthored more than 85 peer-reviewed articles, proceedings and reports. Most of these studies have involved multidisciplinary collaborations with faculty and students. She taught introductory courses in microbiology plus applied and industrial microbiology and microbial physiology for senior undergraduate and graduate students.

Bagley has been a SIMB member since 1997 and has served in a range of positions, including president, editor-in-chief of SIMB News, and chair of the Nominations, Planning, and Annual Meeting and Exposition Program Committees. In addition, she has been a member of the Finance, Publications, and other Annual Meeting and Exposition Program committees.

She is a senior editor and co-chair of the Presidential Committee on Diversity, working to establish a standing SIMB Diversity Committee. She has also chaired numerous Annual Meeting sessions. Outside of SIMB, she serves the American Society for Microbiology as editor-in-chief of the MicrobeLibrary, a member of the Education Board and the Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology and as coordinator of the new Speakers’ Bureau, encouraging undergraduates to consider careers industrial microbiology and biotechnology.

From Tech Today.



Kathleen Halvorsen Wins Research Award

Kathleen Halvorsen
Kathleen Halvorsen

Kathleen Halvorsen, whose scholarship bridges social and policy sciences relating to climate change, has been chosen to receive Michigan Technological University’s 2014 Research Award.

Professor Alex Mayer, who nominated Halvorsen for the award, called her “a major force in joining social science with natural science and engineering disciplines.” She is a professor in both the Department of Social Sciences and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

“[H]er most noteworthy contributions are advancing research into biologically derived fuels, fostering interdisciplinary research and spearheading Michigan Tech’s environmental and energy policy graduate programs,” Mayer said. “Professor Halvorsen has shown a remarkable ability to bring literally dozens of colleagues together to craft proposals and lead projects which advance science and international collaborations across continents.”

Read more at Tech Today, by Marcia Goodrich.


Tenth Annual ESC/BRC Research Forum Awards Announced

BRC ForumThe Ecosystem Science Center and the Biotechnology Research Center announce award recipients of the Tenth Annual ESC/BRC Student Research Forum held March 19.

Student award winners in the College of Sciences and Arts include:

Graduate Research

$100 Merit Awards

Biotechnology Research Center
Yiping Mao (Bio Sci) for “Overexpression of microRNA-30d increases insulin biosynthesis and protects against high-fat diet induced glucose intolerances,” Advisor Xiaoqing Tang

Mu Yang (Chemistry) for “Disulfide-Bond Scrambling Promotes Amorphous Aggregates in Hen Lysozyme and Bovine Serum Albumin,” Advisor: Ashutosh Tiwari

Ecosystem Science Center
Cameron Goble (Bio Sci) for “Assessment of Fish Communities in Tributary Streams of the Big Manistee,” Advisor: Nancy Auer

Read more at Tech Today.


New Faculty Fellowship for Yoke Khin Yap

Yoke Khin Yap
Yoke Khin Yap

Vice President for Research Announces Faculty Fellows Selections

The Office of the Vice President for Research has selected the 2014 recipients of the newly implemented Faculty Fellow Program. The first Faculty Fellows for 2014-2015 are: Larry Sutter (MSE), for Sponsored Program Administration, Adrienne Minerick (ChE) for Strategic Planning and Budget, and Yoke Khin Yap (Physics) for Economic Development and Technology Commercialization.

From Tech Today.

A Faculty Fellow in Economic Development and Technology Commercialization will be involved in areas such as IP commercialization and startup support.