Category: News

Noel Urban Named 2021 Best Associate Editor

Noel Urban
Noel Urban

The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering (CEGE) congratulates Noel Urban for being named the Best Journal of Great Lakes Research Associate Editor for 2021.

The Journal of Great Lakes Research is the official journal of the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR). Urban is a member of its editorial board, which includes many associate editors with a wide range of expertise.

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.


Geospatial Escape Trailer Visiting Area Schools

During the month of May, a team from the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering (CEGE) is visiting area middle schools to introduce students to geospatial engineering with a grant funded by the Engineering Information Foundation.

The purpose of the grant is to enhance interest and increase students’ awareness of geospatial engineering by providing hands-on experiences that mimic the work of geospatial engineers while interacting with female role models in engineering. By the end of the month, the program will reach over 1,000 middle school students in Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton and Ontonagon counties.

The Geospatial Escape Trailer is the centerpiece of the outreach event, and was made possible with gifts from Atwell LLC, R.A. Smith, Seiler Instrument Geospatial, and Spalding DeDecker. The grant was written by PhD student Jess Alger and CEGE faculty: Audra Morse, Joan Chadde, Melanie Kueber Watkins, Joseph Foster, and Jeffery Hollingsworth.

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.


Reuss and Lenard Receive GLRC Spring 2022 Student Awards

Benjamin Reuss
Benjamin Reuss
Carleigh Lenard
Carleigh Lenard

Please join the Great Lakes Research Center in congratulating the Spring 2022 GLRC Student Research and Travel Grant recipients.

The GLRC student grants are intended to provide undergraduate and graduate students advised by GLRC members an opportunity to gain experience in writing competitive grants, to perform research they would not be able to attempt due to funding limitations or to travel to a professional conference to present a poster or paper about their research.

Student grants also provide seed research data for advisors to use in pursuing externally funded research support, and travel grants help amplify areas of research expertise at Michigan Tech. Funded students are expected to participate/volunteer for at least one GLRC activity during the grant period.

  • Michelle Kelly, Ph.D. student — Biological Sciences
    GLRC member advisor: Amy Marcarelli
    Research proposal: “Quantifying whole-stream denitrification and nitrogen fixation with integrated modeling of N2 and O2 fluxes”
  • John McCall, M.S. student — Biological Sciences
    GLRC member advisor: Gordon Paterson
    Research proposal: “Evaluating genotoxicity of mine tailings (“Stamp Sands”) on two game fish in a spawning reef in Lake Superior (MI)”
  • Benjamin Reuss, M.S. student — Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
    GLRC member advisor: Cory McDonald
    Research proposal: “Effects of Climate Change on Polymictic Lakes: A Case Study of Goose Lake, Marquette Co. MI”
  • Laura Schaerer, Ph.D. student — Biological Sciences
    GLRC member advisor: Stephen Techtmann
    Research proposal: “Impact of Diversity on Resistance to Invasion in Plastic Degrading Microbial Communities”
  • Gary Swain, M.S. student — Biological Sciences
    GLRC member advisor: Charles Kerfoot
    Research proposal: “Stamp Sand Toxicity LD50 Test using Daphnia”
  • Tessa Tormoen, B.S. student — Biological Sciences
    GLRC member advisor: Jill Olin
    Research proposal: “Using DNA Metabarcoding to Evaluate Resource Partitioning Among Two Sympatric Tilefish”
  • Aritra Chakrabarty, Ph.D. student — Social Sciences
    GLRC member advisor: Richelle Winkler
    Event: International Public Policy Association: Third Workshop on Public Policy
    Presentation: “Decentralized Climate Policy: Role of Community in Policy Making”
  • Carleigh Lenard, B.S. student — Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
    GLRC member advisor: John Lenters
    Event: Advancing Earth and Space Science, ASLO, The Oceanography Society
    Presentation: “Assessing the Accuracy of Wave-Derived Wind Velocity Data Collected by Spotter Buoys on the Great Lakes”
  • Julia Petersen, Ph.D. student — Social Sciences
    GLRC member advisors: Nancy Langston and Richelle Winkler
    Event: Population Association of America Annual Meeting 2022
    Paper: “Pandemic Migration in Rural America” co-authored with Winkler, 
    who will present it at an oral session titled “Covid-19 in Rural America.”

GLRC Student Travel Grant applications are accepted anytime and reviewed on the last Friday of each month. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks in advance of travel.

GLRC Student Research Grant applications are accepted three times each year: November 1, March 1 and July 1.

By the Great Lakes Research Center.


Audra Morse Joins NSF International Joint Committee

Audra Morse
Audra Morse

Audra Morse (CEGE) has joined the NSF International Joint Committee on Wastewater Technology.

NSF, founded in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation, develops public health standards and certification programs that help protect the world’s food, water, consumer products and environment. NSF joint committees propose and vote to approve NSF standards consistent with NSF’s mission; ensure standards properly address public health, safety and environmental issues; and respond to requests for interpretations of NSF standards.

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.


CEGE Students Are Winners in Waste to Base Materials Challenge

NASA Tournament Lab logo.
NASA Tournament Lab

Students from Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering (CEGE) were recently selected as a winning team in the Waste to Base Materials Challenge, sponsored by HeroX and NASA.

Competing against teams from around the country, the CEGE students proposed a process to treat and repurpose human waste on a crewed mission to Mars. Over many iterations, they developed a resource recovery loop that integrated anaerobic digestion and harvesting microbe-produced plastic to generate a continuous material stream from onboard resources.

The MTU team includes two undergraduate students, Kathryn Krieger and Corbin Sullivan, and two graduate students, Azmat Naseem and Brian Rivers. The team was assembled and mentored by Audra Morse (CEGE).

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.


Jakob Christiansen Wins Two-Minute Pitch

MTU Teams Win at CMU’s New Venture Challenge

Central Michigan University (CMU) and Michigan Tech collaborate each year to offer Michigan Tech students a chance to compete in CMU’s New Venture Challenge (NVC). This showcase event provides an opportunity for students at both universities to present their businesses and network with prospective investors, mentors and partners. Student participants also compete for a total of $60,000 in prizes and in-kind services.

On Friday (April 22, 2022), four Michigan Tech teams pitched their ideas and businesses in person on CMU’s campus in Mount Pleasant. Husky Innovate team members Jim Baker (associate vice president, research administration and Husky Innovate co-director) and Lisa Casper (Husky Innovate program manager) attended to support teams and strengthen innovation/entrepreneurship connections.

Students had an opportunity to compete in either the two-minute pitch competition or the seven-minute business model competition, as well as a gallery competition where teams had tables with individual displays and took questions from attendees.

In preparing for the NVC, the students participated in a number of Husky Innovate workshops and review sessions. The students also benefited from resources and expertise available within MTEC SmartZone, the local state-funded technology business incubator, and the Upper Peninsula Regional Small Business Development Center, which is hosted by the Office of Innovation and Commercialization in collaboration with the College of Business. The results below speak to the tireless efforts of our students and the impact of the programs provided by Husky Innovate and its partners.

NVC award winners are as follows:

Two-Minute Pitch Competition

  • Jakob Christiansen (construction management) won first place and received $4,000. Christiansen pitched “ProBoard,” an e-commerce platform to solve issues in the construction material supply chain.

Seven-Minute Pitch Competition

  • Bayle Golden (engineering management) won first place in the Social Mission category and received $10,000. Golden pitched “SafeRow,” an innovative wearable device designed to keep children safe when every second counts.
  • Rourke Sylvain and Ali Dabas (both biomedical engineering) won second place in the High Tech High Growth category, receiving $5,000. Their pitch was “imi (integrated molecular innovations),” an electrochemical biosensor for T4 detection.
  • Jordan Craven (management information systems, minoring in computer science) won third place in the High Tech High Growth category and received $2,000. Craven pitched “Tall and Small Designs,” a technology company that provides software as a service to retailers who sell clothes online.

Congratulations to our Husky Innovate student teams for all their hard work! We are proud of your grit during the last week of the semester. Your ideas are innovative and have the potential to change the world.

Thanks go out to our distributed team of mentors and our sponsors (Pavlis Honors College, Office of Innovation and Commercialization, College of Business, College of Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Civil Engineering) for their commitment to our students. We also thank CMU and especially Julie Messing, director of the Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship, for the collaboration and congenial hospitality.

By Husky Innovate, Pavlis Honors College.


BWE Team Places at WERC Environmental Competition

A group of three undergraduate environmental engineering students from Built World Enterprise (BWE) — Francine Rosinski, Jake McDowell and Morgan Hallberg — competed in the 32nd annual Waste Management Education Research Consortium (WERC) Design Contest. For WERC, they had to prepare a written report, oral presentation, poster presentation and bench scale demonstration. At the competition, they placed first overall in their task for the bench scale demonstration, second overall in their task, and second for the flash talk presentation.

Morgan Hallberg, Jake McDowell, and Francine Rosinski
Morgan Hallberg, Jake McDowell, and Francine Rosinski

Task 3: Value-added Use of Copper Smelter Slag

They focused their research experiment on value-added copper smelting slag use. They were asked to recover an economically valuable material from the copper slag and/or produce a useful product from copper smelting slag that makes use of its unique properties. In the theoretical business plan, the team extracted the high content of iron from the copper slag and used the remaining material to replace sand with copper slag in ceramic tiles. This, overall, increased the sustainability and strength of ceramic tiles.

Way to represent Michigan Technological University, BWE WERC team!

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.