Category Archives: Alumni

Tampa Alumni Event

 

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, in collaboration with the Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, held an alumni event at Maloney’s Pub and Bar to watch the Red Wings battle the Tampa Bay Lightnings.  The event brought together almost 30 alumni and rekindled that ol’ Michigan Tech feeling. Chuck Laurila (BSCE ’59), accompanied by his wife Phyllis, received a hearty round of applause as the most senior MTU graduate in attendance .  Dennis Luoto (‘68 BSCE grad) and his wife Randi, traveling from The Villages, were recognized for traveling the furthest to attend the event. BSCE ‘82 graduate Bill Matkin (or Capt. William Matkin) reunited with two former Army ROTC cadets, Renee Mintz and Rhonda Mintz, both BSME ‘95.  Bill, Renee and Rhonda had not seen each other in over 20 years. No matter how long it had been since they last stepped foot on campus, the Michigan Tech experience brought this new group of friends together. The night fostered good times and good laughs. If you are interested in hosting a Michigan Tech alumni event please contact alumni engagement at 906-487-2400 or go to the following alumni chapter website here Alumni Chapters.

 

While visiting Tech alumni in Florida, Audra Morse, Department Chair, and Marney Kloote, Director of Advancement for the School of Business and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, met with Doug Geiger, P.E.  (BSCE ‘83), Nick Everson, P.E. (BSCE ‘06), and Bill Downey, P.E. (BSCE ’96) of RS&H at the Wakiva Parkway SR 429 project.  The new 6 mile stretch of elevated divided highway replacing SR 46 and CR 46A just north of Orlando, includes 3 CIP segmental bridge river crossings and 9 conventional bridge wildlife crossings. While easing traffic demands on the existing one lane county road, the project seeks to reduce the number of car accidents involving black bears, who call the Seminole State Forest home.  The project also includes a multi-use trail along CR 46A, nearly 22,000 lineal feet of MSE wall, and a vegetative buffer along a portion of the roadway to reduce drainage, lighting and visibility.

 

The CEE Department is grateful to RS&H for their generous $10,000 gift for three years to support the instruction of the materials lab class.  Many alumni know this class by the name of “smash lab”.


Sara Schooley ’03 on Family Biking

Sara SchooleyMichigan Tech Alumna Sara Schooley was the subject of the feature article “Family biking profile: Sara Schooley is sure you’ll like e-bikes too,” in BikePortland.org. Schooley graduated 2003 with a BS in Environmental Engineering.

Family biking profile: Sara Schooley is sure you’ll like e-bikes too

Tell us a little about yourself and your family:

I’m mom in a family of four and we live in the Overlook Neighborhood. We have two kiddos – Tobin (2) and Holly (4). Jonathan (dad) works in Vancouver for the Forest Service. I work as a part-time bike and pedestrian planner for Toole Design Group downtown. Both of our kids are in daycare downtown near my work and are off with me on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Have you biked in other cities and how did it compare?

I started biking in college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, at Michigan Tech. We were covered in snow for much of the year, but they sanded the roads, so we found that biking with zip-ties on our tires worked well. It was also a super-safe place theft-wise, so we could leave our bikes wherever all over the town without a lock. I routinely leaned mine against a random tree near campus (but a little bit off campus, so I didn’t have to bike up a hill on my way home). The only time it got moved was when my parents were visiting and thought that somebody stole it, so put it in the back of their car. Getting your bike stolen it just a horrible feeling (it’s happened to me a couple of times since), and I miss this sense of security so much!

Read the full article at BikePortland.org, by Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist).


Raine Gardner ’05 is a 2018 Young Professional of the Year

Raine Gardner
Raine Gardner ’05

MSA is proud to announce that Raine Gardner, senior project engineer for the firm, has been awarded with a Young Professional of the Year Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

The award recognizes the accomplishments of young Professional Engineers (PEs) who have made significant contributions to the industry and to the greater society. Gardner was recommended by the ACEC Wisconsin chapter and is the first from the state to be recognized.

Raine holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Read more at MSA Professional Services.


Scott Conners ’92 to Serve as the President of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers

Scott Conners
Scott Conners ’92

1992 alumnus Scott Conners, PE, will serve as the President of NSPE-MI, the National Society of Professional Engineers in Michigan.

Conners has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and holds many certifications related to municipal government. He has been the city engineer in Walker for the last 20 years, after having worked as a consultant for eight years with a variety of clients and projects across west Michigan. Scott previously served as Western Regional Vice President for MSPE and Western Chapter President, and currently serves as the chairman of the Professional Engineers in Government statewide committee.

Conners is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Grand Valley Metro Council, the Grand Rapids Charter Township Planning Commission and Site Plan Review Committee, and many other organizations. In addition to the bachelor of science degree, he holds a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.

In 2017 Conners won the Michigan Engineer of the Year Award from NSPE-MI. Scott is described as a dedicated, hardworking engineer, outstanding in professional abilities and endless willingness to volunteer. He is well respected among his peers with esteemed reputation for leadership.


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).