Category Archives: News

EET Student Award Recipient: Sean Hayes

2014 MAB Foundation Scholarship Recipients:


Front Row (l-r) Kelsey O’Brien, Hope College (MAB Foundation Scholarship); Joshua Nagy, Oakland University (MAB Foundation and Alan W. Frank Scholarship); Mike Kidd, Michigan State University (MAB Foundation and James H. Quello Scholarship); Melina Fuentes, Eastern Michigan University (MAB Foundation Scholarship); Alison Bloom, University of Michigan (MAB Foundation and Nancy Waters and Mark Waters Scholarship); Charlie Anel, Grand Valley State University (MAB Foundation and Jerry P. Colvin Scholarship); Rose Cassatta, Specs Howard School of Media Arts (MAB Foundation and Charles D. Mefford Scholarship); Sean Hayes, Michigan Technological University (MAB Foundation and WBKP-TV/WBUP-TV/WBKB-TV/WOLV-FM/WCCY-AM/WHKB-FM and The Marks Foundation, Inc. Scholarship); Daniel Lidman, Ferris State University (MAB Foundation Scholarship);David Lyden, Central Michigan University (MAB Foundation and Dr. Peter Orlik Broadcasting Scholarship); and Victoria Perez, Delta College (MAB Foundation Scholarship). Back Row (l-r): Luke Schwarzweller, Michigan State University (MAB Foundation and Gary A. Reid Scholarship); Devin Inbody, Spring Arbor University (MAB Foundation Scholarship); Orbri Barnett, Henry Ford Community College (MAB Foundation and Charles D. Fritz Scholarship); Matthew Kearney, Central Michigan University (MAB Foundation and Dr. Peter Orlik Broadcasting Scholarship); Craig Jones, Lansing Community College (MAB Foundation Scholarship); David DiFalco, Western Michigan University (MAB Foundation and Carl E. Lee Scholarship); Maxwell White, Wayne State University (WXYZ-TV Broadcasting Scholarship); and Alex Scharg, Michigan State University (MAB Foundation and Leicinger-Biederman Scholarship). 

Not picturedShawn Bednard, Davison High School (MAB Foundation High School Scholarship);Kathryn Havrilla, Central Michigan University (MAB Foundation and Dr. Peter Orlik Broadcasting Scholarship); Jamilah Jackson, Wayne State University (MAB Foundation Scholarship); Chloe Kosinski, Imlay City High School (MAB Foundation High School Scholarship); Patricia Larkin, Northern Michigan University (U.P. Broadcasters Scholarship); Spencer Simmons, Adrian College (MAB Foundation Scholarship); Erin Woirol, Central Michigan University (MAB Foundation and Dr. Peter Orlik Broadcasting Scholarship); and Daniel Zini, Northern Michigan University (MAB Foundation and WBKP-TV/WBUP-TV/WBKB-TV/WOLV-FM/WCCY-AM/WHKB-FM and The Marks Foundation, Inc. Scholarship).

The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America by Outside Magazine, Sept. 2014

A dip in Lake Superior.   Photo: Aaron Peterson
A dip in Lake Superior. Photo: Aaron Peterson


—–Houghton was rated number 15 out of 16 greatest places to live in America. —–

—– The article says —–

Yes, Houghton (pop. 7,700) is out there. It’s about as far north as you can get in the state, on the far point of a peninsula (the Keweenaw) that’s already on a remote peninsula (the Upper). And yes, the winters are eight months long. But that means that your neighbors and the students at Michigan Tech—who double the population during the school year—are not only your friends but your adventure partners, too. And there’s plenty to do, even in winter.

More than 28 miles of World Cup-caliber nordic trails track the outskirts of town (Michigan Tech will host the National XC Skiing Championships in 2015 and 2016), and nearby Mount Bohemia claims the best powder east of the Rockies, with an annual average of 273 inches and 900 feet of vertical. Come summer there’s boating, surfing, and kiting on Lake Superior and the 23.5-mile Portage Canal, weekly outdoor concerts downtown, and some of the country’s most underappreciated mountain-bike trails at Copper Harbor. “There’s not one outdoor sport you can’t do here,” says Caleb Wendel, an avid mountain biker and owner of Houghton’s Rhythm Bike and Board.

Climbers head to Cliff Drive, to scale Shit Hooks and some 70 other routes rated to 5.11d, or ice-climb Horsetail Falls at Red Ridge, where 40-to-80-foot cliffs overlook Lake Superior. Anglers aim for Pilgrim River to fish for trout or catch spring steelhead on the Elm and Misery Rivers south of town. To refuel, grab a Widow Maker black ale at Keweenaw Brewing Company, and don’t miss the pork and beef pasty at Roy’s Pasties and Bakery.
—Nick Davidson

Make the Move
Any house in town is well situated, but look for one in the $100,000 range close to Portage Canal for the best access to local restaurants, Lake Superior, and trails (citywide median: $130,000). The largest employers include Michigan Tech and Portage Health (median household income: $23,912).

Article By: THE EDITORS at Outside Magazine

Original URL:

Nucor Funds New Industrial Control and Automation Lab

May 7, 2014—

Nucor Corporation, the largest manufacturer of steel products in North America, has given Michigan Technological University $255,000 to establish the Nucor Industrial Control and Automation Laboratory at Michigan Tech.

The lab is a collaborative effort of the program in Electrical Engineering Technology in the School of Technology and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering.  It will be located in the Electrical Energy Resources Center.

Industrial control and automation is a system of computer hardware and software used to monitor and control the operation of industrial processes ranging from small manufacturing facilities to large steel or paper mills.  Industrial control and automation systems include programmable logic controllers, supervisory control and data acquisition, distributed control systems and robotics.

Programmable logic controllers (PLC) are an integral part of nearly all industrial processes today.  A PLC is a digital computer used for the automation of a variety of electromechanical processes, including temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise and resistance to vibration and impact. PLCs are often integrated with robotic technology.

“Graduates who will be employed in industries utilizing these systems must not only have basic knowledge of PLCs and robotics, but also the skills to integrate these systems,” said Jim Frendewey, dean of Michigan Tech’s School of Technology.

The new funding from Nucor will enable Tech to update its PLC lab with state-of-the-art equipment, providing students with the best training possible.  “The knowledge and experience students receive will produce well-educated graduates with practical, hands-on experience designing, configuring and troubleshooting industrial control systems,” Frendewey went on to say.   “That will be an obvious benefit to the employers of these graduates.”

Nucor has an established relationship with Michigan Tech that began in 2008,  when the company sent two representatives to a Career Fair.  They were so impressed that they asked Career Services how Nucor could help Michigan Tech help its students.  Since then, the company has become a Career Services Gold Partner, providing financial support and sending several representatives to campus before each Career Fair to work directly with students.

Now Nucor wants to strengthen that relationship to help prepare engineers and technologists who have the knowledge and skills that industry needs.

“Knowledge and experience in control systems has been the single most sought-after skill set from our corporate recruiters looking to hire electrical engineering graduates, for the past several years,” said Dan Fuhrmann, chair of electrical and computer engineering.

“Nucor recruits technical talent and future leaders at Michigan Tech because Tech graduates have proven to be successful Nucor teammates,” said Dave Davolt, electrical supervisor at the company. “Nucor’s relationship and involvement with Michigan Tech has grown stronger over the years. This is evident with Nucor’s investment in technology relevant to today’s manufacturing industry. With these investments and partnerships, Nucor hopes to better equip students for post-graduation opportunities, opportunities we hope they seek with Nucor. “

Aleksandr Sergeyev, an associate professor in the School of Technology with a special interest in robotics, will head the new laboratory, with faculty from both Electrical Engineering Technology and Electrical and Computer Engineering teaching there. Hundreds of students each year will participate in laboratory activities, and those numbers are expected to grow with future development of new advanced courses made possible by the capabilities of the lab.

Michigan Technological University ( is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

Original URL:

Nasser Alaraje Receives Fulbright to Teach in Qatar

Nasser Alaraje will be spending the spring semester halfway around the world.  He is bringing his expertise in reconfigurable computing to Qatar University as a Fulbright Scholar.

Alaraje is an associate professor in the School of Technology and program chair of electrical engineering technology.

“Qatar is a technology hub, and despite its small size it has become a major player in the Middle East,” Alaraje said, in large part because it actively promotes higher education.  Qatar University is the country’s only national university, but in its Education City, Qatar also hosts branch campuses of eight universities from the US, the UK, and France.

This will be Alaraje’s first trip to Qatar, where he will teach reconfigurable computing (in English) both to students and to educators. Reconfigurable computing, a computer architecture combining the flexibility of software with the high performance of hardware, is essential for designing and building high-end electronics.

“I will be training them in the latest technology,” he said, “but the way I see the Fulbright, it’s not only about the impact I can make on the host country, it’s also about what I’ll be able to bring back here.” Ultimately, he hopes to promote faculty and student exchanges and research cooperation between Michigan Tech and Qatar.

Alaraje will be blogging about his trip while he is visiting Qatar. “I expect it will be a remarkable experience,” he said.

The Fulbright US Scholar Program sends approximately 1,100 American scholars and professionals per year to approximately 125 countries, where they lecture and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. It was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between people of the United States and the rest of the world.

Surveying Engineering Accredited

Published in “American Surveyor”
Thursday, 10 October 2013
Houghton, MI — Michigan Technological University’s bachelor’s degree program in Surveying Engineering has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering & Technology (ABET).

The program has always been accredited in some capacity since its beginning in the School of Technology in 1984; however, the program’s curriculum redevelopment in 2006 required an update because bachelor’s degree engineering courses replaced associate degree courses.

As the field continues to advance, the faculty members in the Surveying Engineering program provide students with cutting-edge technology throughout their coursework. By developing partnerships with industry representatives, students are prepared to work in industry from day one because of their experience with equipment ranging from Robotic Total Stations to GPS to LiDAR scanners. Students also have access to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Kite Image Acquisition Systems to map small- to medium-sized areas or locations that are hard to reach on foot.

“We prepare Surveying Engineers of the future here through hands-on experiences in geospatial science,” said Eugene Levin, program chair. “Our students’ combination of training and education makes us confident that they are not only prepared for successful work in the field, but are aware of modern trends in geospatial technology and industries.”

To gain a deeper understanding of the many areas of surveying, students can choose from one of four concentrations, including Geodesy, Cartography, Photogrammetry, and Geographic Information Systems. Students gain an even better understanding of the world of surveying by working through real-world problems in capstone senior design and Digital Mapping Enterprise projects with industry leaders.

Students can take their education a step further at Michigan Tech by completing a master’s degree in Integrated Geospatial Technology, where they will gain an in-depth knowledge of geospatial science, remote-sensing technology, earth observation systems, and the software used to interpret and visualize geospatial data.

“The profession of surveying engineering is changing and has been changing,” said James Frendewey, dean of the School of Technology. “As a result of the new equipment, surveyors are able to achieve higher rates of productivity. Upon graduation, our students are ready to take the Fundamentals of Surveying exam, their first step toward licensure as a professional surveyor.”

Computer Network & System Administration and Surveying Engineering Programs Receive Accreditation

The School of Technology is pleased to announce that the Computer Network & System Administration (CNSA) and Surveying Engineering programs have received accreditation.  The CNSA program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET,, and the Surveying Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

“Accreditation is an important component of building and maintaining quality programs, and it is always satisfying to have external validation of our work,” said School of Technology Dean Jim Frendewey. “It takes a great deal of time and effort to make this happen, from the faculty and staff of the School of Technology, and from others across the University. I am grateful for everyone’s support.”

All undergraduate programs (Computer Network and System Administration, Construction Management, Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Surveying Engineering) in the School of Technology are now accredited by a discipline appropriate commission/agency.

Teaching the Teachers the Latest Tools for Reconfigurable Computing

NSF Workshop 2013by Marcia Goodrich, magazine editor

Associate Professor Nasser Alaraje’s (SoT) workshops on reconfigurable computing are so popular that two hours after he announced that he’d be leading another one, he had to close the registration.

Alaraje, who is chair of the electrical engineering technology program, leads the project in cooperation with Associate Professor Aleksandr Sergeyev (SoT). Alaraje is also adept at VHDL and FPGA design, and that is why his fellow academics are beating a path to his door.

Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language (VHDL) and Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) are tools for reconfigurable computing, a computer architecture that combines some of the flexibility of software with the high performance of hardware, according to Wikipedia.

“Industrial use of FPGA-based logic design is increasing drastically, and the applications are widespread, from aerospace and defense to consumer electronics,” Alaraje said. These skills are essential for designing and building high-end electronics but are taught in only about 20 percent of the four-year electrical engineering technology programs in the US.

Funded by a $269,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Alaraje has led three workshops on VHDL and FPGA at Michigan Tech, the most recent on May 10-11. The workshops educate the educators from universities and community colleges. Faculty members from 12 institutions in 10 states attended the most recent event, which included hands-on learning in reconfigurable computing.

“We received overwhelmingly positive feedback,” said Alaraje. “So far, we have trained about 35 faculty members in the skills they will need to develop new courses when they return to their home institutions.”

Alaraje, who spent seven years as a FPGA designer in the private sector before coming to Michigan Tech, launched the workshops to help colleges and universities better meet the needs of employers. “When I came to academia, I didn’t see the curriculum needed by industry,” he said. “Technology moves faster than the curriculum; the goal is to always bridge the gap.”

The workshops have been so successful that NSF has awarded $899,686 to expand the program to reach more college-level faculty. Alaraje’s partners in this next chapter are the University of New Mexico, Drake State Technical College in Alabama, and Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Arizona

He expects that the upcoming workshops will be just as popular as the last three. “We know the demand is there,” he said.

Michigan Tech Receives High Marks for Graduate Earning Potential

Business Insider Gives Tech High Marks for Graduate Earning Potential
by Jenn Donovan, public relations director

More than ever, students choosing where to go to school review the future earning potential of a university’s graduates. But the well-known US News & World Report ranking of colleges and universities doesn’t give that factor much weight.

They should, says Business Insider, a business website that analyzes financial, media, technology and other industries. So Business Insider combined the US News & World Report rankings of best universities and the college salary report to develop rankings that reflect both reputation and the salaries earned by graduates.

Analyzing several hundred universities and colleges, Business Insider developed two lists of colleges and universities: “underrated” and “overrated.” The website termed schools with a lower US News college ranking and higher salary ranking “underrated.” These are schools whose graduates rank high on salaries earned but aren’t given due credit in the US News ranking.

Michigan Tech made Business Insider’s list of the top 25 “underrated” schools, coming in at 22.

Business Insider termed schools with a high US News ranking and low salary ranking as “overrated.” These are schools that show up very well in the Best Colleges ranking, but their graduates earn lower salaries than might be expected from their US News ranking.

“We found that most of the underrated schools were engineering and technology schools with relatively low US News rankings but outstanding salary performance,” Business Insider notes on its web site.

For the full story, see Business Insider.

For the Business Insider article: