Category Archives: Alumni

Michelle Banonis ’99 Helps Shape Future of California Water

Michelle Banonis
Michelle Banonis

Michelle Banonis was appointed Assistant Chief Deputy Director of DWR (California Department of Water Resources) on May 8. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) Mid-Pacific Region where she spent eight years working on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Upper San Joaquin River.

We are shaping the future of California’s water environment.Michelle Banonis

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Banonis spent most of her early years in Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering in 1999 from Michigan Technological University and in 2015 earned a Juris Doctor degree from Humphreys College, Laurence Drivon School of Law.

Read more at “Banonis Appointed Chief Deputy Director,” DWR Winter 2017-18, p. 29.


Sean Kelley ’86 is President of ACEC of Michigan

Sean J. Kelley, PE
Sean J. Kelley, PE

Michigan Tech alumnus Sean Kelly was recently selected as president of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M). the story, “ACEC Of Michigan Elects New President And Board Of Directors,” appeared on the Detroit Regional Chamber website.

He received his BSCE from Michigan Technological University and his MBA from Eastern Michigan University and is a registered professional engineer in Michigan and Ohio.


Breanna Cornell to receive STEP Ahead award from National Manufacturing Institute

Breanna Cornell
Breanna Cornell, EnvE BS 2014
Process Engineer
Essity

Essity Bellemont’s Breanna Cornell to Receive Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Award from The Manufacturing Institute

Cornell to be recognized for contributions as an emerging leader in manufacturing

Bellemont, Arizona – March 7, 2018: The Manufacturing Institute announced that Breanna Cornell, Process Engineer at the Essity (formerly SCA) Bellemont, AZ paper converting site, is a recipient of the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Emerging Leader Award. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C suite.

Upon her graduation from Michigan Tech University (BS, Environmental Engineering), Breanna was accepted into Essity’s Graduate Onboarding (GO!) Engineer program, which is an 18-month-long rotational employment opportunity in which the GO! candidates are exposed to multiple parts of the business. Following her experience as a GO! Engineer, Essity hired Breanna as a process engineer on the Napkin Resource Support Team.

In her role as a Process Engineer, Breanna is responsible for working with operators, maintenance, and others to develop standards, centerlines, and processes to improve the efficiency and lower the waste on the napkin machines in her group. During her nearly three years in this role, Breanna has already made a positive impact. She has become instrumental in creating a training program for machine operators. Her communications skills serve her well as a liaison for the operators, as well as in her other responsibility of onboarding machine operators on her team, using the training program that she developed. Breanna also serves as a GO! program mentor, as she herself is an alumna of the program.

According to Breanna, “I am honored to not only have been nominated for, but to be a recipient of, the Emerging Leader Award from the Manufacturing Institute. Since my arrival at Essity, it was clear that there are numerous opportunities for women in manufacturing to succeed here, and I am grateful for the contributions I’ve been able to make in training and mentoring. I am excited to be a part of the award event in April, to be among other women leaders, and learn as much as I can to bring back and share with my colleagues at Essity.”

“Breanna is a terrific role model for other women in engineering and manufacturing, both within Essity and as a representative outside of the company,” said Essity Operations Manager Dan Edwards. “She is motivated and goal-oriented, and well deserving of this award.”

“Companies across the U.S. agree there is a talent shortage in manufacturing. Through the STEP Ahead Awards, we hope to take another step toward closing this gap by highlighting the stories of successful women in manufacturing and giving them a platform to encourage other women to join the industry and be role models for the next generation,” said Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute. “The women being honored demonstrate what modern manufacturing careers are all about: making an impact in their communities with meaningful careers that offer significant opportunities for growth.”

The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent. In five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals — from peers in the industry to school-aged children.

Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women totaled about 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. Not only does the STEP Ahead initiative bolster manufacturing’s attractiveness to women, it also plays an important role in improving the perception of careers in the industry among younger generations.

On April 10, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.

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About Essity

Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company dedicated to improving well-being through our products and solutions, essentials for everyday life. The name Essity stems from the words essentials and necessities. Our sustainable business model creates value for people and nature. Sales are conducted in approximately 150 countries under the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and other strong brands, such as Jobst, Leukoplast, Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo, Vinda and Zewa. Essity has about 48,000 employees and net sales in 2017 amounted to approximately $12.8 billion. The headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. More information at www.essity.com.

Essity has nearly 140 employees in the area at its converting plant in Bellemont. In addition to Arizona, Essity has U.S. operations in Alabama, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

ABOUT THE MANUFACTURING INSTITUTE

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.


Professor Emeritus George Alger Passes Away

George R. Alger
George R. Alger

A visitation is scheduled tomorrow (March 3, 2018) for Professor Emeritus George Alger, who passed away Tuesday (Feb. 27), at Garden View Assisted Living in Calumet. He was 84.

He was born in Saginaw and attended Midland High School, graduating in 1952. He served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged with the rank of First Lieutenant.

Alger earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from what was then the Michigan School of Mining and Technology (now Michigan Technological University) in 1956. He received a master’s from South Dakota State and his PhD from Colorado State University.

Following four years as an associate professor at South Dakota State, he returned to Michigan Tech in 1968. Alger served as a tenured professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department until his retirement in 2002.

Over the course of his more than 30 years at Tech, Alger pursued research in water resources, hydrology, sedimentation, erosion, snow and ice engineering, structures, dam design and mining.

Thoughout his career, he served as a consultant on these matters to several Federal agencies including the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Great Lakes Basin Commission.

Whatever the subject, Alger loved teaching. His son Russell, project manager and research leader at Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center, said his father’s direct and to-the-point teaching style earned him the nickname “Easy-A Alger,” from his students.

“It wasn’t that he was easy at all,” Russ Alger says. “He just laid it all out there. He told you exactly what you needed to do to get an A in his class. If you did what he told you, you got an A. If you didn’t do it, then you didn’t get an A.”

In addition to teaching and consulting, Alger served for years on the faculty committee. “When he felt strongly about something he didn’t back down,” his son says. “He had a reputation among some faculty as being a bit obstinate, but it was that he stood by his beliefs.”

Alger is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elsmarie, sons Russ and Peter, daughter Christine, 10 grandchildren, 15 great-grand children and two great-great-grandchildren.

A visitation will take place from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow (March 3) at the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet.

By Mark Wilcox.


Alumna Kristen Mariuzza on Mining Operations

Kristen Mariuzza
Kristen Mariuzza

HOUGHTON — Kristen Mariuzza, Michigan Technological University alumna and Eagle Mine general manager, visited campus Monday to discuss mining and the company’s operations and case studies.

Mariuzza spoke to members of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s students, staff and faculty, as well as community members.

Professor Eric Seagren said the purpose of the seminar was to showcase the kind of opportunities that are available for students.

“It shows that you’re not just limited to the environmental field,” he said. “There are other opportunities as well.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Katrice Perkins.


2017 Best Paper Award of ASCE Journal of Aerospace Engineering Goes to Michigan Tech Collaborators

dai-personnel
Dr. Qingli Dai, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Xiao 2
Xiao Sun, graduated PhD, Civil Engineering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Qingli (Barbara) Dai and her former PhD student, Xiao Sun (first author) along with Mechanical Engineering faculty, Dr. Fernando Ponta and Mechanical Engineering graduate student, Muraleekrishnan Menom have been selected to receive the 2017 Best Paper Award of ASCE Journal of Aerospace Engineering (JAE).

The award will be received at the awards banquet of the 2018 Earth and Space Conference, held in Cleveland, Ohio in April for their paper “Design and Simulation of Active External Trailing-Edge Flaps for Wind Turbine Blades on Load Reduction” by Xiao Sun, Qingli Dai, Muraleekrishnan Menon and Fernando Ponta –  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)AS.1943-5525.0000771.  The research done for this paper was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).


Humanitarian Award for Nick Schreiner

Nicholas H. Schreiner
Kari Henquinet, John Gierke, Blair Orr, Nicholas H. Schreiner and his parents, and Dave Watkins

Eight individuals were recognized by the Michigan Technological University Alumni Board of Directors at its annual Alumni Dinner and Awards Ceremony Friday evening. The event was the centerpiece of the Alumni Reunion, which took place August 3-5, 2017.

Nicholas H. Schreiner is a recipient of the Humanitarian Award. The award honors alumni who, through their outstanding involvement and dedication, have made a significant contribution of volunteer leadership or service that has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity, and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on or bring honor to their alma mater.

Schreiner, who earned a master’s in environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, has served as a water and sanitation engineer with Medecins Sans Frontieres (also known as Doctors Without Borders). He was part of a team that responded to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.

Schreiner came to Michigan Tech to learn and develop as an engineer but also to provide service to at-risk people and communities. He accepted the award on behalf of all of the people in need and serviced by Doctors without Borders.

The best decision I made was to come to Michigan Tech, in the out-of-the-way corner of the UP.Nick Schreiner

“And, I thank my parents for their unconditional love and support.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Sarah Williams.

Humanitarian Engineering

Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) alumnus Nick Schreiner ’11 is an example of someone using his engineering skills to make an impact in some of the most troubled spots on the planet: fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone, supporting displaced populations in a Protection of Civilian (POC) zone in South Sudan, and working with refugee populations in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR).

I found my former Peace Corps service in Mauritania and Mali had planted a seed calling me to do something more with my life.Nick Schreiner

In fall 2014 as the Ebola epidemic continued to spiral, Schreiner was asked to join a MSF team in Sierra Leone.

“This was a different kind of insecurity,” he says. “You can’t see Ebola. It is both everywhere and nowhere.”

Read more at Michigan Tech Magazine, by Kari Henquinet.


Remembering Harbans Singh

On August 27, 2016, our father and Michigan Tech grad from the Class of 1962, Harbans Singh, left this beautiful earth. Our father was a great man and a once in a generation business man.

He very fondly remembered his time in Houghton and made sure we remembered that he received a great education and wonderful experience at Michigan Tech. His dealings with the Deans and Presidents were great. He was the first man to graduate with a turban from your school. He was super proud of that.

In 1960, our father came from India to the U.S. with no money. From California, he ended up at Michigan Tech at a time when he was unhappy and unsure he would succeed in America. Michigan Tech was a great experience, and he met many wonderful friends and teachers. He completed his degree very confidently.

After his Civil Engineering degree in 1962, our father worked for the State of Illinois until he founded and created Eagle Grips, the world’s largest producer of custom hand gun grips.

Tej M. Singh, MD, MBA
Chief, Vascular Surgery
Director, Mitchell Vascular Center
Palo Alto Medical Foundation


Harbans Singh left India in 1960 to pursue a better life. He enrolled at Michigan Tech, graduating as the first Sikh at the school in 1962 with a BS in civil engineering. He married Ms. Indira Sodhi in 1965 and started Art Jewel Enterprises (aka Eagle Grips) in 1978. Eagle Grips became a large international leader in custom, handmade grip production. His family considered him to be a wonderful role model, ultimate doer, optimist, and advisor.

Harbans Singh

Harbans Singh


Portrait of Environmental Compliance Engineer Krissy Guzak

Krissy Guzak

Michigan Tech alumnus Krissy Guzak is helping Ford look toward an eco-conscious future through a variety of projects and nonprofit work. Guzak received both a BS and MS in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Tech. She is now an environmental compliance engineer in the Environmental Quality Office at Ford.

I work on a handful of things, but my two main responsibilities are acting as the plant waste subject matter expert and maintaining the paint emissions reporting system.

Read more and watch the video at Ford Go Further.


Steven Tomaszewski Appointed to Board of Trustees

Steven M. Tomaszewski
Steven M. Tomaszewski

LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Derhun Sanders of Redford Township and Steven Tomaszewski of Howell to the Michigan Technological University Board of Control.

The eight-member board is the governing body of the university.

“I thank Derhun and Steven for their commitment to serving on this board. I am confident they will help the university continue its success,” Snyder said.

Read more at WLUC TV6, by Alyssa Barker.

Steven Tomaszewski is a ’91 Tech graduate in Environmental Engineering.

Snyder makes appointments to university boards

Six Michigan universities will be getting new members of their governing boards after Gov. Rick Snyder announced appointments this afternoon.

Tomaszewski is the director of global facilities for General Motors. He is a board member of the Hartland Area Youth Athletic Association (HAYAA) and the MTU advisory boards for the College of Engineering and Environmental Engineering. He worked with MTU to establish the GM Rides the Waves program. Tomaszewski holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in hazardous waste management from Wayne State University. He will replace Paul Ollila.

Read more at the Detroit Free Press, by David Jesse.

Governor Appoints Two Tech Alumni to Board of Trustees

Governor Rick Snyder has announced the appointments of Derhun Sanders of Redford, Michigan and Steven Tomaszewski of Howell, Michigan to serve on the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees. The eight-person board is the governing body of the University. Both men are alumni of Michigan Tech.
Read more at Tech Today, by Mark Wilcox.