Category: Alumni

Changing with the Times: The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering

Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is now officially the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.

The name change reflects the inclusion of two degrees in the department: the Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Engineering (formerly Surveying Engineering) and the Master of Science in Integrated Geospatial Technology. Additionally, the department welcomed faculty primarily associated with those degrees — Jeffery Hollingsworth, Joseph Foster and Eugene Levin — two years ago when the programs moved from the School of Technology to the department.

“The undergraduate and graduate geospatial programs and associated faculty bring together the essential knowledge and skills needed by our graduates to design and create the world we live in,” said Morse. “The inclusion of ‘geospatial’ in the department name is a symbol of the integrated relationship that will benefit our students’ education and the research we conduct now and in the future.” – Department Chair, Audra Morse

The name change process was initiated by faculty members and included student, staff and alumni stakeholders.


Congratulations Spring and Summer 2021 Graduates

CEE Logo

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering would like to congratulate our spring and summer graduates. While the current world events are keeping us from celebrating your accomplishments in a traditional way, we still want to raise you up for all to see. We are proud of you and want to wish you the best of luck in your next chapter.

Below is a listing of our spring and summer 2021 graduates:


Seth Baar

Seth Baar

Seth is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. Seth says he will miss Mont Ripley and the outdoor adventures that Michigan Tech offers.


Madeline Bach

Madeline Bach

Madeline is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. After graduation, she will begin working for Atwell Group in metro Detroit. She says she will miss Captain Wednesdays with the crew and is thankful to Michigan Tech for introducing her to the best friends and support system she could ever have. Madeline says “I’d like to recognize Dr. Lyz Reblin-Renshaw for taking me under her wing and constantly standing by me through the years. I’d also like to thank David Doll and the rest of my bar customers that have became family. Thank you for teaching me to not forget to have fun along the way, and that it truly does take a village” I’d also like to thank everyone I met through being Blizzard over the years, including Avery, Henry, Joel, Gary, Andre the Zamboni man, and those that I can’t yet name. You gave me a unique experience that very few tech students get to experience, and for that I am grateful. Rest in peace, Maneet Singh, you are very missed”.


Maddie Barrie

Maddie Barrie

Maddie is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. She will begin working as a Biological Science Technician at Isle Royle National Park after graduation. Maddie would like to thank Tom and Sally Bauer from Otter River Sled Dogs for all of their support while she has been at Tech, as well as her team (Gwen, Agate, Lassie, Mari, Heather, Ladina, Ruth and Pearl) for all of the miles, hours and adventures that they have traveled with her. She says “This degree is in honor of my grandpa, Randy Raymond. He truly loved this school and encouraged me to experience Tech every single day”.


Emily Berkompas

Emily Berkompas

Emily is graduating with a BS in civil engineering and will continue on at Michigan Tech to pursue a Master’s degree in civil engineering. Emily is thankful to Michigan Tech for pushing her to her full potential.


Jacob Breckler

Jacob Breckler

Jacob is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he will star as a Project Engineer at Kapur & Associates. Jacob is will miss all the people he has met at Michigan Tech since he came to Houghton and is thankful to Michigan Tech for giving him the opportunity to pursue his passions.


Kyle Callaway

Kyle Callaway

Kyle is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. Kyle will begin working a full-time position at OHM after graduating. He will miss the friends that he has made while at Michigan Tech. Kyle is thankful to Michigan Tech for being given the opportunity at internships (and a full-time position) through Career Fair. He would like to recognize Dr. Kris Mattila as someone who has made a difference while at Michigan Tech.


Dani Cummins

Dani Cummins

Dani is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. She plans to take some much-needed rest and study for the F.E. after graduation. Dani will miss having such easy access to the gorgeous landscape at Michigan Tech. She says she is thankful to Michigan Tech for the wonderful friends she has made and loves so much.


Kelton Czyzio and his mom

Kelton Czyzio

Kelton is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. After graduation, he will continue on at Michigan Tech in the Accelerated Master’s program.


Chiarra Elkort-Wickboldt

Chiarra Elkort-Wickboldt

Chiarra is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. She will continue on at Michigan Tech after graduation in the Accelerated Master’s Program as an environmental engineering graduate student.


Mallory Fichera

Mallory Fichera

Mallory is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. After graduation, she will be a Bioenvironmental Engineering in the Air Force. Mallory will miss the community that he has at Tech and all of the outdoor opportunities that are readily available. She is thankful for the hands-on experience and the application of academic material to real-world scenarios that she received throughout her time at Michigan Tech.


Amanda Freele

Amanda Freele

Amanda is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. She will continue on in the Accelerated Master’s program at Michigan Tech after graduation.


Sam Genter

Sam Genter

Sam is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. After graduation, Sam will be working full-time at Strand Associates under their municipal discipline in Columbus, Indiana. He says he will miss being in the Keweenaw as it is easily one of the prettiest places in the country. Sam is thankful to Michigan Tech as it was the perfect place for him to broaden his horizons, figure out what he wanted to do with his life, and create lasting friendships with like-minded people. He says: “The only reason I am graduating this spring is because of the unconditional love and support of my parents- thanks, mom and dad!”


Ali Gering

Ali Gering

Ali is graduating with a BS in civil engineering with a minor in economics. She will be moving to North Carolina to work for RS&H as a Transportation Technician and will be starting at the end of May. Ali says she will miss all of her friends and the amazing people she has met at Michigan Tech. She says she is thankful for all the opportunities given to her at Michigan Tech and the friends she has made for a lifetime. Ali says “I would like to recognize Dr. Kris Mattila who made a huge difference to me in my life even if he may not know it. He reached out and helped me when I was having a very difficult time and did everything he possibly could“. She would also like to thank her family and friends who have helped her throughout her years at Tech, saying she could definitely not have done it without a support system.


Rachel Golisch

Rachel Golisch

Rachel is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. She will be moving to Wisconsin with her boyfriend and cat to work full-time after graduation. Rachel says she will miss the Portage Canal – “it’s so pretty and not stinky” and she will miss dearly the jalapeno cheese curds from the cafe. She would like to recognize Dr. Tess Ahlborn for getting her hyped up about structural engineering and for being great at teaching, nice and very helpful. She also says “MTU greek life is great, I feel like my sorority really made a difference in my life and I am thankful for all of my wonderful sisters, they are all absolute queens”.


Gabe Halonen

Gabe Halonen

Gabe is graduating with a BS in construction management. After graduation, he will work as a Field Engineer for a general contracting company. Gabe says he will miss the great outdoors this area has to offer and is thankful for how Tech has prepared him for his career and the tools it has installed in him. John Daavettila is someone Gabe recognizes as a person who has made a difference to him during his time here.


JP Harron

JP Harron

JP is graduating with an MS in environmental engineering. After graduation, he will be working at Pace Analytical as an Associate Scientist. JP says he will miss the adventures – “Hiking, ice fishing, snowboarding, camping, mountain biking…there are so many opportunities I had at MTU that I would not have had anywhere else”. He says that he is thankful for the friendships he has made with students, faculty, and locals. JP says, “I met Ryan Kibler my second year at Tech and he is the brother I never had. Grad school isn’t always easy and he has been a great influence during my tenure at MTU“.


Colton Heikkinen

Colton Heikkinen

Colton is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. Colton will continue on to attend graduate school at Michigan Tech after graduation. Once gone from Tech he will miss the hockey games and Winter Carnival. Colton is thankful to Michigan Tech for providing him with a quality education and would like to recognize Jamie Sertich for being there for him and helping him in any way she could.


Brittany Hubbard

Brittany is graduating with an MS in civil engineering – water resources. After graduation, she plans on doing consulting work. Brittany says will miss the Tech community, classes and campus buried in snow. She is thankful to Michigan Tech for the diverse education, skill development, support and inclusive community. Brittany specifically recognizes Dr. Veronica Webster, Dr. Brian Barkdoll, Dr. Mike Hyslop, Dr. Bill Bulleit, Dr. Alex Mayer, Rob Fritz, Angela Keranen, Dr. Qingli Dai and Dr. Gretchen Hein as people who made a difference to her while at Michigan Tech.


Maria Huber

Maria Huber

Maria is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, she will be working full-time with ROWE Professional Services out of Mt. Pleasant. Maria says she will miss making memories with friends and all of the adventures they have had throughout the Keweenaw area. She says she is thankful for all the help that the faculty and staff have offered her throughout her four years at Michigan Tech. Not only with her academics, but will her personal life and professional career as well.


Carly Huggins

Carly Huggins

Carly is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. She will attend graduate school after graduation. Carly says she will miss Lake Superior and would like to recognize Dr. Noel Urban as someone who has made a difference to her while at Michigan Tech.


Roselyn Ignacio

Roselyn Ignacio

Roselyn is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. After graduating, she plans on completing the FE exam and going on a job hunt for work in the SE Michigan area. She plans on working for a few years while she prepares for graduate school for a Master’s degree in either civil or environmental engineering.


Miraj Kayastha

Miraj Kayastha

Miraj is graduating with an MS in civil engineering. He will continue on at Michigan Tech to pursue his PhD. Miraj is thankful to Michigan Tech for the countless opportunities he has received and recognizes his advisor, Dr. Pengfei Xue, as someone who has made a difference to him during his master’s work.


Nicholas Kippenhan

Nicolas Kippenhan

Nicholas is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he will be working for a general contractor. Nicholas says that will miss the outdoors and is thankful that Michigan Tech has provided a wonderful academic opportunity that has helped him grow into the person he is today. He says it would not have been possible without all of the professors who challenged him throughout his education as well as all of his colleagues who also encouraged him. Nicholas recognizes Dr. Kris Mattila as being an outstanding professor as well as a mentor he is thankful to have gotten to know over his last four years at Tech.


Jenna Koenig

Jenna Koenig

Jenna is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. She has accepted a full-time position with Barr in Minneapolis that will begin after graduation. Jenna says she will miss the warm winters and is thankful to Michigan Tech for introducing her to some amazing people.


Corrina

Corrina Kostrzewa

Corrina is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. She will begin working with the US Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit, MI after graduation. Corrina will miss all the winter activities (cross country skiing, Broomball, snowshoeing, and snowboarding), the beautiful nature of the Keweenaw, and the Fall soccer games with the MTU Women’s Soccer Club. She is thankful for how Michigan Tech has prepared her for her internships and study abroad experiences and would also like to thank her family and friends for the endless support she has received throughout her time at Michigan Tech.


Garrett Kraut

Garrett is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he will be working for SME in Plymouth.


Carolyn LaDuke

Carolyn LaDuke

Carolyn is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. She will be moving to Neenah, Wisconsin to start her career at McMahon with her fiance after graduation. Carolyn will miss a lot about Houghton, but will miss the friends she has made here most, especially since a lot of them are scattering throughout the Midwest to begin their careers. She wants to say “Thanks to all the friends I have made in my years at Tech, they are what made my college experience fun and memorable”.


Dava Lakatos

Dava Lakatos

Dava is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, she will begin working at DLZ. Dava says she will miss being close to so many beautiful hikes and is thankful for the friends that she was introduced to through the opportunities Tech provided. Dava says “Participate on campus! You won’t regret making memories“!


Kate Lawson

Kate Lawson

Kate is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. She will be working in Ann Arbor as a Staff Engineer for G2 Consulting Group after graduation and hoping to work towards an MS in geotechnical engineering in the future.


Luc Lishinski

Luc Lishinski

Luc is graduating with a BS in construction management. After graduation, he will be working for Veterans Electric back home in the Milwaukee area. Luc says he will definitely miss all the friends that he made here. He will also miss being in the Keweenaw and enjoying everything it has to offer on a daily basis. He will miss all of the hockey, broomball, and other various activities that he participated in throughout his time here that he won’t be able to experience on the same level after he leaves. Luc is really thankful for getting the opportunity to be President of the Puck Club at Michigan Tech, saying he took a lot of pride running the club, especially through the difficulties caused by the pandemic – “It was challenging at times, but I feel that I learned a lot more from the experience than I expected to going into it. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of my fellow e-board members, a group of people that I hope to stay in touch with after I leave here“. When asked if he would like to recognize someone who made a difference Luc says “I made some really good friends up here that I am really grateful to have been able to be around over the years, they made my time here much more enjoyable; especially my best friend Sonja, who has been there for me through thick and thin. I also want to recognize the faculty here, specifically the Construction Management staff, who really helped make an impact on me throughout my time here. They were very down-to-earth and helped make the classes enjoyable, while also making sure that I understood the material. They showed that they truly cared about me and my success. I just wanted to say thank you to my friends and family, especially my parents (Daryl and Terry), that all helped me along the way to get to where I am now. I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without all of their support.”


Julia Manzano

Julia Manzano

Julia is graduating with an MS in civil engineering. She will begin working as a Water Engineer at Arcadis in Buffalo, NY after graduation. Julia will miss being on the Cross Country and Track teams and would like to thank all of her dedicated professors that she has had during her time at Michigan Tech.


Erik Oshaben

Erik Oshaben

Erik is graduating with his BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he will be working as an EIT at SME in Shelby Charter Township, MI. Erik will miss the snow, the people and the late nights studying with friends. He is thankful to Michigan Tech for not failing him for skipping school on powder days at Mount Bohemia. Erik would like to recognize Dr. Amlan Mukherjee as someone who made a difference to him while at Michigan Tech.


Clinton Ottman

Clinton Ottman

Clinton is graduating with his BS in environmental engineering and a Minor in Law & Society. After graduation, he will continue on at MTU to complete his MS degree in environmental engineering as part of the Accelerated Master’s Program but will be an Environmental Engineering Intern at Neenah Foundry in the summer before returning to Houghton. Something that Clinton will miss once he is done with his degrees is the sense of community that is always at MTU – “There is a sense of comraderies throughout the campus especially in our department that I miss when I am not on campus already.” He is thankful to Michigan Tech for pushing him both academically and in extracurriculars. He was able to grow and become the best version of himself through being pushed and learned to apply himself in different areas. Clinton would like to recognize all of the faculty and staff of the CEE department. “Every professor that I had always was passionate about what they taught and were willing to help whenever I needed it. I would especially like to recognize Julie Ross who helped with scheduling conflicts, overall questions I had about the program and running the CEE SSC. Dr. Audra Morse also helped me in running the CEE SSC and was someone that I could talk to. Finally, Dr. Gretchen Hein allowed me to have the opportunity to be a TA for her and I am grateful for having that experience to help others. I am glad I chose to go to MTU as it was a great experience and I will not forget the memories and relationships I had for the rest of my life. I will be glad to call myself an alumnus of MTU and the CEE department.”


Taylor Poprawski

Taylor Poprawski

Taylor is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. She will begin working as a Design Engineer for Spicer Group, helping with wastewater treatment plant design, after graduation. Taylor says she will miss pretty much everything about Michigan Tech, but will especially miss the Keweenaw area and campus. She is thankful for all the career search help, resume help and interview help that is offered to students. When asked if she would like to recognize someone who made a difference, Taylor says “Gloria from the McNair Dining Hall. She was so sweet and always happy to see me. Talking to her genuinely brightened my day”.


Bret Pugliese

Bret Pugliese

Bret is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he plans to go to work for an aviation consultant building airports. Bret says he will miss all the winter and snow and is thankful to Michigan Tech for giving him the opportunity to meet new people and challenging him to be the pest person and engineer he can be. He would like to recognize Dr. Kris Mattila who always made class interesting and fun while making sure every student learned something to help them in their careers.


Riley Saldana

Riley Saldana

Riley is graduating with a BS in civil engineering with a minor in municipal engineering. Riley will move to Panama City, Florida where he will be working for RS&H. He will miss the warming and inclusive environment that was always present at MTU – “Anywhere I went I felt that I belonged. I am thankful that Michigan Tech always gave me knowledge guidance throughout the duration of my stay”.


Joel Schramm

Joel Schramm

Joel is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, Joel will be moving to Kalispell, Montana to begin working for Jackola Engineering & Architecture as a Structural Engineer in Training. He says he will miss the instructors at Michigan Tech as they have been helpful for course questions as well as after graduation advice and mentorship. Joel is thankful to be able to tell people he has an education from Michigan Tech as it earns him instant respect. He wants to recognize Dr. Tess Ahlborn as someone who has made a difference for him at Tech and says “I had a great experience with the coursework. As a transfer student, I did not stay in the dorms. I wish I did stay in the dorms for a semester or a year to make more friends.”


Amanda Singer

Amanda Singer

Amanda is graduating with an MS in environmental engineering. She will be attending Ohio State University to pursue a Ph.D. in Engineering Education after graduation. Amanda will miss the people and all the adventures in the Keweenaw. She is thankful to Michigan Tech for its commitment to seeing students succeed and would like to thank her advisors Dr. Michelle Jarvie Eggart and Dr. Judith Perlinger for all of their guidance over the last two years!


Mohammad Anas Taeb

Mohammad Anas Taeb

Mohammad is graduating with an MS in civil engineering. After graduation, he will return to his country, Afghanistan, and is already excited to share the knowledge and experience he has gained as an exchange student here at Michigan Tech. Mohammad will miss the U.P.’s beautiful greenery and fresh air in the summer. He would like to thank the CEE Department for making sure that a quality learning experience is provided despite the hard times everyone has been going through.


Alex Waypa

Alex Waypa

Alex is graduating with an MS in environmental engineering. She will stay in the UP for the summer and will continue looking for and applying for jobs. Alex says she will miss the outdoor opportunities Michigan Tech and its campus offers year-round. She is thankful for the people that she has met while going to school here. Alex says “Dr. Seagren and Dr. Melanie Watkins have made a big difference while I’ve been at MTU. They have both pushed me to continue my education as well as providing advice for my future”.


Kaitlyn Wehner

Kaitlyn Wehner

Kaitlyn is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. She will be joining Westwood Professional Services in Appleton, WI. Kaitlyn will miss the people and the area as everyone is very hardworking and supportive of one another and the Houghton area is an ideal place to explore. She is thankful to Michigan Tech for all of the opportunities she was granted to explore her interests. Kaitlyn would like to recognize the Built World Enterprise team and advisor, Dr. Audra Morse, for all of the support and fun she had with being involved in projects and leadership positions.


Cayla Woods

Cayla Woods

Cayla is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. After graduation, she will move to Shelby Township for a job with SME and is looking in different options for her master’s. Cayla says “The community aspect at Michigan Tech is something that I will be missed due to the fact that everyone knows each other and always willing to help out. ” She is thankful that she has grown so much, in not just knowledge, but also as a human being. She states Michigan Tech has prepared her to go out in the real world and be successful, which is huge. Cayla thanks her family who have stuck beside her and encouraged her through all of college all the way from Texas. She says she could not have done it without them.


AJ Yokie

AJ is graduating with a BS in geospatial engineering. He plans on full-time employment after graduation. AJ will miss the professors at Michigan Tech and would especially like to recognize Joe Foster and Jeff Hollingsworth. He is thankful to Michigan Tech for his degree.


Graduates Not Pictured Above

BS in Civil Engineering

Brandon Angel

Tyler Boyle

Sierra Braun

Daryn Carter

Caitlin Cerza

Charlie Gotta

Karl Heindlmeyer

Thomas Hundt

Ian Meeder

Seth Miatech

Steve Mosby

Sydney Mukavetz

Garrett Muonio

Samuel Rose

Cooper Ryan

Eric Sabourin

Taylor Shane

Alex Spears

Eric Tracy

Alec Weitermann

Kamilla Yesmukhanova

BS in Environmental Engineering

Brittany Bradley

Elizabeth Esmacher

Zach Gogulski

Anna Johnson

Andrea Rake

Logan Schmultzer

BS in Construction Management

Avery Bartlett

Jacob Lechner

Ryan Nelson 

Tanner Nicholas

Darren Nordstrom

MS in Civil Engineering

Christopher Almquist

Alexander Baker

Joshua Borth

Matthew Fox

Robyn Holmes

Tristan Odekirk

Sarah Peterson

Caleb Schmeltzer

MS in Environmental Engineering

Emily Byrd

Garion Johnson

Karleigh Krieg

MS in Integrated Geospatial Technology

William Roland

Samuel Schumaker

PhD in Civil Engineering

Jessica Daignault

Xiaodong Zhou

PhD in Environmental Engineering

Chenfu Huang



Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program Awards Scholarships

BoFa Saldana
BoFa Saldana, ECE
Stanton Schmitz
Stanton Schmitz, CEE
Justin Micillo
Justin Micillo, CEE

The Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP) and the Rail Transportation Advisory Board (RTAB) are proud to announce the winners of the 2020-2021 scholarships to support students with their studies at Michigan Tech.

We had several great applications that complicated the work of our selection committee. In addition to the two scholarships funded through a generous endowment by CN Railway, RTP awarded one scholarship funded by the RTP Alum/Friends for the first time in the program’s history.

CN Railway Scholarship winners ($1,500 each) are:

  • Justin Micillo, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Stanton Schmitz, Civil and Environmental Engineering RTP

Alumni/Friends winner ($1,500) is:

  • BoFa Saldana, Electrical and Computer Engineering

“I would like to thank you all for selecting me as a recipient of the 2021 Rail Transportation Program Scholarship. I was thrilled to find out that I had been picked to receive this award. I am grateful and extremely appreciative of this support. This is something that will help me complete many goals as a student here at Michigan Tech as well as in my future career in the rail industry. This scholarship gives me that much more motivation to complete these goals! Again, thank you for this generous contribution” Saldana said.

Congratulations to the winners. Browse the current and past RTP scholarship winners and RTP Scholarships. Learn how to donate to the program/scholarships.

Rail Industry Scholarships

By Pasi Lautala.


Michigan Tech: Tradition, innovation and an extraordinary Winter Carnival

Michigan Tech snow sculpture

“We set out as the Michigan Mining School in 1885 to train mining engineers on the Keweenaw Peninsula to better operate copper mines,” says Audra Morse, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “Today, our students and curriculum embrace the spirit of hard work and fortitude our founders once had.”

Traditions run deep at Michigan Technological University as does preparing students for future challenges.

Every January, students are busy upholding one of Michigan Tech’s fondest traditions: Winter Carnival. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, referred to around here as the UP and home of Michigan Tech, receives a seasonal thick blanket of snow. It’s a lake-effect from nearby Lake Superior and serves as the inspiration for the annual Winter Carnival. What started in 1922 has grown into one of the biggest annual winter celebrations in the nation. “Not even COVID can cancel this event,” says Morse. “The students at Michigan Tech work around challenges so that our tremendous ‘ode to snow’ can go on.”

The special highlight of Winter Carnival: larger-than-life snow statues —spectacular, elaborate displays of snow and ice. This year, the Winter Carnival theme is “Our Favorite Cartoons for Snow Afternoons.” Student organizations all across campus will hear the call to design and construct a snowy sculpture, with the winner receiving bragging rights for a year.

Ice sculptures and a Michigan Tech education have a lot more in common than meets the eye. Constructing snow sculptures is both a civil engineering and artistic feat. Snow is thought of as a building material, just as civil engineers think of concrete, wood, asphalt and steel as building materials. “Constructing the sculptures requires developing retaining walls to hold the show in place until the shape and size of the sculpture is maintained,” Morse explains. “While some artists shape clay, engineers at Michigan Tech shape snow — into buildings, Earth, superheroes, airplanes and so much more — depending on that year’s Winter Carnival theme.”

Only at Michigan Tech can the love of snow be demonstrated through civil engineering and construction management disciplines — creating unique learning experiences that prepare students for the vagaries of their future workplaces. To take the love of Winter Carnival a step even further, Michigan Tech geospatial engineering students in the Douglass Houghton Student Chapter (DHSC) of the National Society of Professional Surveyors use LIDAR to scan Winter Carnival snow statues, with help from Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.

LIDAR measures distances of a target using a laser and measures the reflection with a sensor. The time required for the laser to return, together wavelength data are used to make a 3-D representation of the target.

students at Michigan Tech working on sculptures during the Winter Carnival All-Nighter

“Geospatial students work with Michigan Tech snow statue builders, using LIDAR to scan and observe a point cloud of their snow statue, recording it far better than a simple photograph could,” says Joe Foster, a professor of practice in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “LIDAR data collected from this endeavor, literally millions of points, enables us to 3D-print an entire snow creation as a trophy, given to each of the prize-winning snow sculpture teams.”

Foster issues an invitation to all: “If you happen to find yourself in the Copper Country during Winter Carnival, come check out all the Michigan Tech geospatial engineering students hard at work using our FARO LIDAR scanner. It’s their goal to capture these amazing snow sculptures to enjoy long after the snow melts.”

At Michigan Tech we have a tradition of working hard and playing hard,” adds Morse. “It’s our nature to keep pace with the changing needs of technology.” Dr. Melanie Kueber Watkins, an instructor for a civil and environmental engineering course on river and floodplain hydraulics, uses remote sensing and LIDAR to digitally collect river bathymetry and satellite data. Bathymetry is the measurement of depth of water in oceans, seas, or lakes. “These new methods have changed how I think about civil and environmental engineering because of the unlimited data and possibilities they provide,” she says. Kueber Watkins gives her students a cutting-edge experience with big data, just as the industry is emerging. “The endless collection of ground elevation data we can collect via LIDAR using a drone or remote sensing, and bathymetry we can accomplish with an autonomous underwater vehicle, give us much more data than we ever hoped for in engineering.”

At Michigan Tech, students in her capstone senior design class use surface models with LIDAR to design roads and bridges. In other senior design projects focused on river and floodplain hydraulics, students model rivers for new bridges and floodway inundation mapping. Kueber Watkins is excited about a new elective course she teaches, “Water Resources Modelling and Design,” where she and the students use LIDAR. This class evolved from one of her research projects funded by the National Academies of Science, “Highway Hydraulic Engineering State of Practice.” For that projectKueber Watkins partnered with a hydraulic engineer at the Federal Highway Association. “They helped by demonstrating hydraulic modelling using LIDAR, enabling me to bring modelling and big data use into the classroom,” she says. “So far, the response has been excellent, and students have been enthusiastic about using LIDAR for models and design.”

Last fall, Julia Manzano was a student in the River and Floodplain Hydraulics course. “Dr. Watkins introduced students in the class to the kind of modeling software commonly used in industry,” she says. “The models we created in class were relatively complex and utilized various tools and programs.” As Manzano began interviewing for a job just prior to graduation from Michigan Tech, she found employers were very happy to hear she’d already learned new software programs and methods, some even more technical than those they were currently using. “As an entry-level engineer, it’s very valuable to be able to bring new skills to the engineering team you’ll be working with,” she says.

Manzano had a summer internship with a consulting firm in their Hydraulics & Hydrology group, where she applied the modelling skills and theories she learned at Michigan Tech, making a sizable contribution to the hydraulic modelling project. “I knew I wanted a full-time job in water resources engineering after graduation,” says Manzano. “Having this internship on my resume, along with all of the experience from it, made me a much stronger candidate. I was able to get the job I wanted.”

Manzano, now a recent graduate of the Environmental Engineering program, is pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech to continue to advance her hydrology and hydraulics knowledge. “Traditions and new advances in technology help Michigan Tech’s civil, environmental, and geospatial engineering graduates prepare for work in the 4th Industrial Revolution,” says Morse. “But it’s more than knowing how to model and use the latest software. The key is understanding the problem you are solving and how it affects those around you.”

Distinguished Professor Dave Watkins teaches an international design class for students who have a strong desire to apply their engineering skills to benefit society. Students travel to different parts of the world, to work with underserved communities on their basic infrastructure, often a highly pressing need. “It’s very rewarding for students to gain an appreciation of other cultures and awareness of different standards of living, he says. “They are highly motivated to complete their project as a service to the community. And although there are often parts of any trip that do not go as planned, it’s always an adventure!”

In addition to applying technical design skills, students in international senior design develop teamwork, communication, and project management skills. “Open-ended design projects require students to ‘plan the work and work the plan’—and that gives them a sense of industry expectations,” says Watkins.

students in Michigan Tech IDesign on location

Many projects also require taking government and regulatory perspectives into account, and for international community projects, students often engage with non-profit organizations as well. “Of course, community-based projects also require ethical considerations, such as finding a balance between the merits of a design, and  a community’s technical and financial capacity—vital in order to ensure project benefits will be sustained over time,” he notes. “Last but not least, we emphasize the importance of lifelong learning, because students must learn new skills and apply new tools to address a problem they haven’t seen before, both during the projects and throughout their future careers.”

Traditions and civil and environmental engineering projects at Michigan Tech are deeply influenced by the area surrounding where we live in. Professor Stan Vitton, a geotechnical engineer and faculty member in the CEE department proudly shares the accomplishments of his most notable senior design class. In that class, students focused on the Redridge Dam, located in Stanton Township, Michigan. “The township board was considering removing both the Redridge timber crib dam, constructed in 1894, and the steel dam, constructed in 1900. The main issue was the timber crib dam. It had been deemed unstable by a previous professional engineering inspection. But during the students’ first field trip to the site, they found that the original engineering inspection missed an important underwater element of the dam.”

The Michigan Tech students determined that a large, stable rock fill in front of the timber crib dam served as the main support element of the dam. Later, stability analysis conducted by the students showed the dam actually had a very large factor of safety. The students presented their findings to the township board. Based on the students’ work the board decided to keep the dam — and gave each student a certificate of appreciation.

Redridge Dam

“In hindsight, there were two very positive results of this particular senior design project,” Vitton shares. “First, a study by the US Fish & Wildlife Service found that the Redridge Dam was a barrier to an invasive species, sea lamprey, making the Salmon Trout River the only river system on the Great Lakes without sea lampreySecond, the Redridge Steel dam provided significant flood retention capacity during a major flood that occurred on June 18, 2018 Father’s Day. The dam prevented the loss of Freda Road just downstream of the steel dam. In 2019, a Michigan Tech senior design team determined that the dam held back about three-quarters of a billion gallons of water that would have overtopped the Freda Road if the dam had been removed,” adds Vitton.

“Our traditions prepare us for the future — for opportunities such as Industry 4.0 and also the inevitable social, environmental, and economic constraints,” concludes Morse. “Traditions are customs passed on from one generation to the next, and in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech, traditions ground the education we provide.”

Apply now to launch your undergraduate degree or graduate degree so that you can be part of Michigan Tech’s traditions.


Sustainability Film Series begins 11th Year!

The True Cost film cover

The Sustainability Film Series and facilitated discussion will begin its 11th year with the showing of True Cost, a film about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. This 2015 documentary film investigates who really pays the price for our clothing? The discussion facilitator will be Dr. Soonkwan Hong, Associate Professor of Marketing, MTU College of Business.

“This seemed like an appropriate film for January, after the consumption spree of the holidays!” explained Joan Chadde, film series coordinator, and Director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach. “Dr. Hong is the perfect discussion facilitator for this film, given his interests in marketing ethics, sustainable lifestyles, and consumer behavior.”

With the pandemic restrictions and not being able to show films on campus, participants need to register HERE and information will be emailed regarding viewing each month’s film, and a zoom link for the facilitated discussion.

Participation is free, but a $5 suggested donation per film is appreciated. Make donation online and put Sustainability Film Series in the comment box. 

“Purchasing public film screening rights can cost $100 to $300 for just one film, so donations are welcomed,” adds Joan Chadde.

Films are selected by a committee comprised of representatives from the sponsoring organizations: Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Keweenaw Land Trust, MTU Departments of Social Sciences and Civil & Environmental Engineering, MTU College of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences, and the MTU Sustainable Futures Institute.

The list of films can be viewed here and on the MTU events calendar.  All are invited to attend– MTU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members.


It’s never been easier to attend the Sustainable Film Series hosted at Michigan Tech!!

The True Cost

It’s that time of year…. No, not for Santa, but to kick off the 11th year of the Sustainable Film Series! The 2021 Sustainability Film Series (formerly Green Film Series) will allow you to participate, no matter where you hang your hat!! There are a few silver linings to the pandemic—you can pretend you’re back on campus with your friends! Once you pre-register on Eventbrite to view a particular month’s film (over the span of a week), you’ll receive a Zoom link to the discussion that will take place on the 3rd Thursday of each month from January to May 2021, led by a discussion facilitator or panel, knowledgeable about the film topic. You will participate in engaging dialogue from 7-8 pm.   See the film line-up below and save these dates in your calendar.

Date & Time: 7:00-8:00 pm, 3rd Thursdays of each month, Jan-May, 2021

Cost:  FREE, donations appreciated (Michigan Tech Fund 1368 EO)

Location: Online (register on Eventbrite and zoom link will be sent via email)

Jan. 21 – True Cost (92 min.)

This is a story about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. This documentary film pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? (2015)

Feb. 18Minimalism (78 min.)

How might your life be better with less? The film examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life — families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker — all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less. (2016)

March 18 – Brave Blue World (50 min.) Michigan Tech  World Water Day Event

From reuse to energy generation, new innovations across five continents are explored in this documentary about building a future for sustainable water. (2020)

April 15 – Plastic Ocean (102 min.)                                                  

In the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre, researchers found more plastic than plankton. Plastic Ocean documents the newest science, how plastics, once they enter the oceans, break up into small particulates that enter the food chain where thy attract toxins like a magnet. These toxins are stored in seafood’s fatty tissues, and eventually consumed by us. What can we do?

May 20 – 2040 (92 min.)

What would the world look like in 2040 if we actually implement the solutions for climate change that already exist in 2019? It’s a story that’s less often told than that of future catastrophe, and it’s the premise of a new documentary from Australian filmmaker Damon Gameau, who tells the story by introducing us to his 4-year-old daughter, then visualizing in detail how technology could change by the time she’s 25. “I’m calling it an exercise in fact-based dreaming,” he says in the film.

The films are selected by our cosponsors listed below, along with Jessica Daignault, a PhD student in Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Ande Myers, a PhD student in the College of Forest Resources & Environmental Science.

Cosponsors

Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center, Keweenaw Land Trust,

Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, MTU Sustainable Futures Institute, and MTU Dept. of Social Sciences,

Coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach

2021 schedule:  https://blogs.mtu.edu/cseo/  and  http://lakesuperiorstewardship.org/green_film.php

Sponsor logo
sponsors logo

Congratulations Fall 2020 Graduates

CEE Logo

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering would like to Congratulate our fall graduates. Even though the current world events are keeping us from celebrating your accomplishments all together, we still want to raise you up for all to see. We are proud of you and want to wish you the best of luck in your next chapter.

Below is a listing of our fall 2020 graduates:


Stephen Anderson

Stephen is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he will be working for MSA Professional Services in St. Paul, Minnesota. Stephen will miss living in the Keweenaw and is thankful for the memories and friendships he mad over the last four and a half years.


Chaitanya Ganesh Bhat

Chaitanya Ganesh Bhat

Chait will graduate with a Ph.D. in civil engineering. After graduation, he will be working as a Research Civil Engineer at the Turner Fairbanks Highway Research Centre. Chait will miss the warmth extended by faculty and staff at Michigan Tech and the Houghton community. He is thankful to Michigan Tech for proving an opportunity to advance both professionally and personally through peer interactions and various cultural activities. He would like to acknowledge all the faculty, staff, and peers at the Civil and Environmental Engineering department without whom the experience would have been incomplete. Chait congratulates all the peers who will graduate with him in the fall 2020 and wishes all the best to current students at Michigan Tech.


LeAnn Brinker

LeAnn will graduate with her BS in civil engineering. She will be working for UP Engineers & Architects in Marinette, WI after graduation. LeAnn says she will miss all of the friendly faces and the opportunities to get outside and try new things.


Carly Bulleit

Carly will graduate with her BS in civil engineering. After graduation, she will be moving to St. Louis, MO to work as a Construction Coordinator for Burns & McDonnell.


Clint Campbell

Clint will graduate with a BS in environmental engineering with a minor in law and society. After graduation Clint plans to: 1) PADI Open Water Scuba Training in Kralendijk, Bonaire, 2) Environmental consulting in San Diego, CA, and 3) Have fun, enjoy life and make a difference in the world :). He will miss exploring the UP and is thankful to Michigan Tech for meeting new friends while receiving a quality education. Clint wants to recognize Dr. Jennifer Becker for demonstrating the importance of hard work, professionalism, and communication.


Maria Carpita

Maria Carpita

Maria is graduating with her BS in civil engineering. She will be working as a full-time Civil Engineer 1 for Wightman & Associates in Kalamazoo, MI. When asked what she will miss about Michigan Tech, Maria says ” Something I will miss about Michigan Tech is living in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Before coming to Michigan Tech, I had never been to the UP. I am so happy that I decided to go on a campus tour of Michigan Tech in high school because ever since then, I knew that Michigan Tech was the school for me. I have loved spending time outdoors by hiking, snowshoeing, and exploring all of the nearby waterfalls. I even picked up a new hobby of photography. I would have never experienced these things had I stayed in my hometown. I will definitely be making trips back to the Keweenaw in the future. ” She says she is thankful to Michigan Tech for providing her with an amazing education, and for helping her grow professionally and personally. She says, ” In my time here, I have met many faculty who I know I could reach out to in my future if I ever needed advice. I would not be the person I am today without attending Michigan Tech. Thank you! ” Maria would like to thank her mom, dad, fiance and the rest of her immediate family for their continuous love and support over the last four and a half years.


Adam Cerney

Adam is graduating with a BS in civil engineering with a transportation focus. After graduation, he will return to Minnesota to work towards his PE. Adam will miss jamming away with the Pep Band at Hockey games and is thankful to Michigan Tech for accepting him for the student he was and also for the friends he made along the way. He would like to recognize Dr. Tess Ahlborn and Dr. Jake Hiller for making a difference to him while at Michigan Tech.


Maya Chappell

Maya will graduate with a BS in environmental Engineering. She will be working in EHS at Amazon or 3M after graduation and also plans on obtaining her EIT certification in January. Maya says she will miss the sense of community and is thankful to Michigan Tech for all the support she has received and all the opportunities she has been given.


Caroline Cotter

Caroline Cotter

Caroline will graduate with her BS in civil engineering with a water resources focus. She will be commissioned into the MN National Guard as a 2nd Lieutenant and hopes to accept a job working for a civil company that works in water body restoration or floodplain hydraulics. Caroline says she will miss all of the outdoor activities Tech has to offer. The biking trails, hiking the Porcupine Mountains, swimming in Lake Superior, the fall colors, and so much more. She is thankful to Michigan Tech for all of the friends she has made in both her classes and ROTC, saying ” They are my forever family.” Caroline would like to recognize and thank Ms. Christy Oslund in the Academic Office for being both a mentor and friend to her for several years and being there for her when she needed her most.


Kagen Griffith

Kagen is graduating with his BS in civil engineering. He plans on job hunting after graduation. Kagen says he will miss the opportunity Michigan Tech provided to live in the “best place on earth while advancing my life”. He is thankful to Michigan Tech for four years to mature and grow confidence in professionalism and knowledge.


Travis Havercamp

Travis Havercamp

Travis will graduate with a BS in civil engineering. He will begin working as a Design Engineer at Spicer Group Inc. after graduation. Travis says he will miss the community at Michigan Tech, in particular the St. Albert the Great University Parish. He is thankful for the quality of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty and recognizes Dr. Kris Mattila as someone who has mad a difference to him while at Michigan Tech.


Mary Jarvis

Mary Jarvis

Mary is graduating with her BS in environmental engineering. She says the thing she will miss most about Michigan Tech is the community, saying ” I’ve met so many incredible people here, including classmates, professors, teammates and friends. It’s a sad thought to be leaving, though I know this community exists beyond Tech’s campus”. Mary says she is thankful for the CEE Department’s faculty and staff and their dedication to giving students the best education possible. She says that she has had many great professors in the past four years who are passionate about what thy teach and truly care about their student’s success, in school and beyond.


Richard Juntunen

Richard Juntunen

Richard will graduate with a BS in construction management. He has a job lined up with Bacco Construction after he graduates. Richard says he will miss broomball and is thankful to Michigan Tech for being so active with companies that are recruiting, such as the career fair – saying that “Networking is very important”. He would like to recognize the CMG professors who, he says, were amazing and helpful in more ways than just teaching in the classroom – Lynn Artman, Ron Mauno, John Daavettila, and Mike Drewyor.


Austin Kerby

Austin Kerby

Austin will graduate with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he will work as a Construction Engineer at Spicer Group. Austin will miss the small-town atmosphere and friendly people at Michigan Tech and is thankful that the University encouraged getting out there and trying new things.


Cyle Kugelard

Cyle Kugelard

Cyle is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. He will start a full-time job in the Kalamazoo area after graduation. Cyle will miss the Keweenaw and is thankful to Michigan Tech for the opportunities he has received because of attending Tech specifically. He would like to recognize Gretchen Hein for the help she provided him in Thermo, saying “she is easily my favorite professor here.” Cyle says that “this place is really hard, but it’s what makes us special.”


Danielle Lautenbach

Danielle Lautenbach

Danielle will graduate with her BS in civil engineering. She will miss all of the friends that she has made, going to hockey games and the scenery at Michigan Tech.


Tyler LeMahieu

Tyler LeMahieu

Tyler is graduating with a BS in environmental engineering. After graduation, he plans to work for the US Forest Service temporarily before beginning a Masters program in hydrology. When asked what he will miss about Michigan Tech, he says ” I’ll miss the people the most when I leave obviously! Of course, I’ll also miss the skiing, broomball, camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, winter, summer, fall, spring, & non-exam seasons. I won’t miss the workload but will miss the learning and professors. I guess that’s what grad school is for!” Tyler is thankful to Michigan Tech for embracing student’s passions.


Sergio Miguel Lopez Ramirez

Sergio Miguel Lopez Ramirez

Sergio is graduating with his Ph.D. in civil engineering. He hopes to bein working in the industry or doing a postdoc after graduation. Sergio says he will miss his friends that he has made at Michigan Tech, saying “MTU creates a sense of community, where we all know each other.” He is thankful for the continuous support and flexibility and recognizes his advisor, Dr. Alex Mayer. Sergio says “I am happy and honored to be a Husky.”


Ronnie Lynch

Veronica Lynch

Ronnie will graduate with an MS in civil engineering. After graduation, she will be moving to Fredericksburg, VA to start her career with RS&H. Ronnie said she will miss the snow and would like to recognize all the professors she had during her undergrad and grad studies, saying ” Each one went above and beyond to make sure I excelled in my courses- from Dr. van Susante sitting in a room with me for two days straight so that I could ace the Statics final to Dr. Hein offering extra Thermo help sessions to those of us who asked.”


Lucas Marion

Lucus Marion

Lucus is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. He will begin working as a civil engineer at Hubbell, Roth & Clark in Grand Rapids after graduating.


Katie Palmcock

Katelyn Palmcook

Katie is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, she will be working for the Norfolk Southern Railroad as a track supervisor trainee. She will be in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for 6 months of training and will then relocate elsewhere. Katie says she will miss the community at Michigan Tech and the traditions, saying ” I have so many good memories here and its mainly due to all the people I’ve met and the friends I made while here. Also, our traditions are a part of what sets us apart from other universities and I’m going to miss taking part in them”. When asked what she is thankful for, Katie says ” I am thankful to Michigan Tech for helping me to be more realistic with myself. When I came in I was all about perfection, but after being here I’ve realized that not everything you do is going to be perfect and that’s ok. As long as you do you’re best that is something you can be proud of”.


Taylor Pelton

Taylor will graduate with a BS in construction management. After graduation, he will start his career with Granger Construction. Taylor says he will miss being around all his friends and is thankful to Michigan Tech for the opportunity he was given to further his education and continue to play football.


Tye Pennala

Tye Pennala

Tye is graduating with a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he will get a full-time job in a civil engineering firm somewhere in Michigan. Tye will miss all the activities that Michigan Tech has to offer – the golf course, Tech Trails, Ripley, etc. He is thankful for all the memories and activites and recognizes advisor Julie Ros as a great counselor who listens and helps determine the best path.


Derrick Sullivan

Derrick is graduating with his BS in civil engineering. He will work at Surveying Solutions, Inc. in Standish, MI after graduation.


Yifan Zhang

Yifan Zhang

Yifan will graduate with his BS in environmental engineering. After graduating he will stay at Michigan Tech to obtain his graduate degree. Yifan would like to thank everyone who helped him in his years at Michigan Tech.


Graduates Not Pictured Above

BS in Civil Engineering

Zachery Cole

James Huey

Daniel Jones

Sinwon Lee

Cole Ruohonen

Jared Thiele

Shelby VanAssche

Jack Williams

Meng Wu

BS in Environmental Engineering

William Bailey

Alexander Julson

Andrew Medaugh

Benjamin Reuss

Andrw Tyckoski

BS in Geospatial Engineering

BS in Construction Management

Derek Pietila 

MS in Civil Engineering

Tania Lopez

Qinjie Lyu

Brandi Rajala

MS in Environmental Engineering

JP Harron

Tristan Odekirk

Sarah Peterson

MS in Integrated Geospatial Technology

William Roland

PhD in Civil Engineering

Christopher VanArsdale



Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2020

CEE Logo

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering would like to Congratulate our spring and summer graduates. Even though the current world events are keeping us from celebrating your accomplishments all together, we still want to raise you up for all to see. We are proud of you and want to wish you the best of luck in your next chapter.

Below is a listing of our spring and summer 2020 graduates:


Zachary Bohrer

Zachary Bohrer

Zachary is graduating with his BS in Civil Engineering. After graduating he will begin working for MDOT. Zachary will miss being in Houghton and is thankful for the family environment that Michigan Tech has provided. He would like to recognize Dr. Kris Mattila.


Kayla Brei

Kayla Brei

Kayla is graduating with a MS in Civil Engineering. After graduation she will be working as a Project Manager at Rice Engineering in Luxemburg. Kayla will miss the friends that she has made at Tech.


Ray Brice

Raymond Brice

Raymond is graduating with his BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation he plans on joining professional hockey. Raymond will miss the Michigan Tech culture and is thankful for the hockey fans and community support.


Camille Carlson

Camille Carlson

Camille is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering and will be starting a full-time job in June. She will miss her friends at Michigan Tech, being able to ski whenever she wants and all the outdoor activities she could dream of. She is thank to Michigan Tech for a truly worthwhile education. Camille would like to recognize her family, especially her mom, for all the support and encouragement over the years.


Mason Chapman

Mason is graduating with his BS in Construction Management. He will be a Project Manager at Rieth-Riley Construction after graduation. Mason will miss the area and is thankful for those who have led him in the right direction to get the best out of himself and his career.


Alex Christmas

Alex Christmas

Alex is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation he will be working for Pacific Railroad. Alex will miss hockey, the Pep Band and the weather. He is thankful to Michigan Tech for being an awesome place to go to school and would like to recognize Dr. Kris Mattila as being someone who has made a difference to him during his time here.


Brett Cianek

Brett Cianek

Brett is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering. He will move to Virginia to start his career after graduation. Brett will miss the faculty in the CEE Department and is thankful for how helpful they were when he had problems. He would like to recognize Dr. Kris Mattila as someone who made a difference to him while he was at Tech.


Alexandra Constanzo

Alexandra Constanzo

Alexandra is graduating with a MS in Civil Engineering with a Geotechnical focus. She is moving to Lansing, MI to start her career at SME as a Senior Staff Engineer in the Geotechnical Group. Alexandra says: ” I will really miss the community up here! The Keweenaw has been my home for 5 years and I am going to miss the close knit community and the opportunities it gave me. I will also very much miss being a part of the Huskies Pep Band and the Memorial Union Board and creating or participating in the many events every year. I am beyond thankful to Michigan Tech for giving me some many opportunities to grow as a person, meet so many incredible people, and just being an amazing university. I have made life long friends up here and I will forever be grateful that they are now in my life. I would like to recognize a few individuals that made my experience at Michigan Tech that much better. First off, Dr. Thomas Oommen who is an excellent professor and really took the time to work with his students during the major changes this semester to make our classes a little bit less terrible. Second, Dr. Kris Mattila who I was lucky to take 4 different classes from. His classes not only teach important career skills, but life lessons as well. He has become not only a professor, but I would say a friend to me these last five years and someone I enjoy stopping by to enjoy a catch up/check in chat with. “


Kyle Danko

Kyle Danko

Kyle is graduating with his BS in Environmental Engineering.  After graduation he will begin work for MSA Professional Services in Rhinelander, WI as a design engineer.  Kyle says he is thankful to Michigan Tech for providing a bi-annual career fair that helped establish internships and foundations of a career.  He would like to recognize Dr. Jennifer Becker for all the hard work, the smiles, and the motherly attitude. 


Jake Dedering

Jake Dedering

Jake is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering.  After graduation he will be working at EMCS in Milwaukee, WI.  Jake will miss the natural beauty of the area and is thankful for the education that Michigan Tech has provided him.


Rachel Duffy

Rachel Duffy

Rachel is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. She says: ” I will miss the environment and community at Michigan Tech. I feel like its a really unique school that offers something special to students. Its a really close knit community where you can count on each other when you need to. I have met some really amazing people here and made life long friends, I’m going to miss being in the same town as all of them. I’m also going to miss being this close to Superior. I am thankful to Michigan Tech for providing me the atmosphere I needed to grow into the person I am today. I would, quite literally, be a completely different person if I had not come up to Tech for college. I feel like I found who I am supposed to be while here. Through perseverance, strength, and the help of my amazing professors and friends, I have become a stronger and more confident person who is ready for whatever challenges come next. “


Brooke Forseth

Brooke Forseth

Brooke is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation she will be moving back to Green Bay, WI to work for Jacobs Engineering. She will miss being in the U.P., where the gorgeous views, hikes and adventures are just a short drive from campus. Brooke is thankful for the community that Michigan Tech creates and for some of the most down-to-earth people she has met and made memories with over the past four years.


Savannah Fowler

Savannah Fowler

Savannah is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering.  After graduation she will be working full-time with General Motors in Bay City, MI.  She will miss the people at Michigan Tech: “Faculty really care about educating us and preparing us for the real world. I’ve made lifelong friendships at Tech that I wouldn’t have found elsewhere. I’ll also miss the Keweenaw and all the places to explore.”  Savannah is thankful to Tech fro providing all the resources that were needed to have the best chance of success when leaving.  She would like to recognize Mary Fraley and Gretchen Hein as they were instrumental in shaping her outlooks on life and who she wants to be.


Brendan Gardner

Brendan Gardner

Brendan is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering.  After graduation he will work for Sharpe Engineering in Oxford, MI.  He will miss his fraternity brothers and all the memories shared over the past 5 years.  He will also miss the professors who believed in him and always pushed him to be better.  Brendan is thankful to Michigan Tech for an amazing college experience and a quality education.  He will really miss going to the hockey games and skiing at Mt. Bohemia as well.  Brendan wanted to recognize two professors of his- Joe Foster and Kris Mattila: “I feel they were the most influential to me during my time here and helped me grow as a student. I never felt out of place or uncomfortable in their classes. They’re just all around great men.” 


Dongdong Ge

Dongdong Ge

Dongdong Ge is graduating with a PhD in Civil Engineering. He will continue on at Michigan Tech as a postdoc after graduation. He will miss the kind guidance from professors, the help from staff, and his friends. Dongdong wants to say thanks to everyone who helped him at Michigan Tech and express his appreciation for his advisor, Dr. Zhanping You.


Reid Grunewald

Reid Grunewald

Reid is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation he will begin an internship at Fire Tower Engineered Timber in Calumet. He will miss spring skiing at Mont Ripley and is thankful to Michigan Tech for giving him some grit.


Katy Gula

Katy Gula

Katy is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering. She still has some classes to take over the summer, so over the next few months she will be looking for jobs primarily in the Midwest. Katy says one of the things she will miss the most is the people she has had the chance to meet and build amazing friendships from all different backgrounds through different extracurricular activities, including theatre and sailing. When asked what she is thankful for, she says: ” I am thankful for my involvement in the arts. I got the chance to sing solos in Chamber Choir, get leads in the plays, and help do technical work on a few of the shows here. At many larger universities, you have to be an upperclassman or in the major to be considered for many of these positions, so it was nice to be able explore my passions and grow in my abilities through the VPA department. “


Brittany Hubbard

Brittany is graduating with a MS in Civil Engineering – Water Resources. After graduating she will be seeking employment in Stream Restoration. Brittany will miss being challenged to learn higher level concepts everyday, being around a science research community and all the access to resources – programs, journals, professors, the lab, enterprise. Brittany says: ” Thanks for working with my non-traditional background to make this degree a reality. Thanks to the staff and faculty for taking a personal interest in my academic growth and success. Thanks to the Michigan Tech, the graduate school, and my civil and environmental department for their communication efforts to keep me informed, safe, and on track. Thanks to my professors for their high standards, I now feel confident I have the foundation I need to make informed decisions of water resource engineering projects.” She also wanted to recognize the following people:

Dr. Veronica Webster – Best advisor ever. Thank you for your expertise and guidance. Thank you for your recommendation to be a graduate teaching assistant. Thank you for challenging me, encouraging me, and letting me ask a million curiosity questions – and reigning me in to keep me on track!

Mike Hyslop – Thank you for always being available to help whether in one of your classes or for all of the following semesters. Mike on many occasions would take the extra time to clarify concepts I was stuck on or just interested in. He also has continued to help me with GIS program troubleshooting issues I encounter outside of his class.

Brian Barkdoll – Thank you for challenging me to teach myself. I feel confident in my success post Michigan Tech because your teaching style encouraged me to take extra accountability in my ability to learn.

Rob Fritz – Thank you for your expertise in all of the lab sessions!! Without you labs would have not been so smooth!

Angela Keranen – Thanks for ALL your efforts : keeping me informed , knowing all the answers, helping me with paperwork, navigating my degree, supplies, snacks!

Mahta Naziri Saeed – Thank you for climbing over the row of seats and becoming my friend.


Garion Johnson

Garion Johnson

Garion is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. He will join the Navy after graduation. Garion will miss the “wonderful” snow and weather and is thankful to Michigan Tech for the opportunities to learn new things. He would like to recognize Dr. Brian Barkdoll for someone who made a difference to him while studying at Tech.


Zebadiah Jones

Zebadiah Jones

Zebadiah is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering. After graduating he is getting married, moving downstate and hopefully finding a job. Zebadiah will miss kayaking, friends, broomball and daily life in the Keweenaw. He said he is thankful to Michigan Tech for: ” Giving me so much time in copper country. I’ve truly loved every moment. From the picturesque views, awesome adventure, friendships, and a quality education in the perfect package.”


Achille Kagabo

Achille Kagabo

Achille is graduating with his MS in Civil Engineering – Geotechnical Engineering. After graduation he plans on working in the civil engineering industry. Achille will miss the quietness of the area. He is thankful to Michigan Tech for a quality education and would like to recognize Dr. Stan Vitton for making a difference to him during his time here.


Cole LaBarre

Cole is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation he will start his career with a great AE firm. He will miss the campus community, the campus itself, and the peaceful walking across campus in the summer and spring months. Cole is thankful for meeting his amazing friends he has made and would like to recognize Dr. Kris Mattila for being a great mentor and professor through his years at Michigan Tech.


Erin Lau

Erin Lau

Erin is graduating with her MS in Civil Engineering. She will be moving to Rochester, MN to work at SEH after graduation. Erin will miss Houghton, being able to explore new places all of the time within the community. Stating the community may be the biggest loss of all. She says she is thankful for all the opportunities Michigan Tech provides for leadership and hands-on experiences.


Mary Kinney

Mary is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation she will be working for HNTB in East Lansing, MI. Mary will miss being a part of the student organizations (Concrete Canoe & ASCE) and, of course, broomball. She is thankful for 4 years in the Keweenaw Peninsula and Mt. Ripley and would like to recognize Dr. Audra Morse, Dr. Tess Ahlborn, Dr. Kuilin Zhang, Dr. Kris Mattila, and Julie Ross for making a difference to her while at Michigan Tech.


Julia Manzano

Julia Manzano

Julia is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering. She plans on attending graduate school at Michigan Tech following graduation. She is thankful to Michigan Tech for creating an atmosphere for encouragement and success. She wanted to recognize Dr. Melanie Kueber: ” Dr. Melanie Kueber has been a very influential professor to me. The introductory water resources course sparked my interest in the subject so I continued onto more related courses, one of which Dr. Kueber taught, and she provided us with challenging real-world problems. I was fortunate to later have her as my senior design advisor, where she continued with this same level of instruction. I feel more prepared and confident to work as an engineer after having her as a professor and mentor.”


Jack Martzke

Jack is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. Jack will be joining MSA Professional Services in Madison, WI as a bridge engineer after graduation. He will miss snow and friends and is thankful for the awesome professors and hands-on classes that made learning challenging but fun. Jack says: ” Thanks to professors, such as Dr Mattila, Dr Dowden, and Dr Ahlborn who care about students and make classes relevant and fun. Thanks to the rest of the CEE faculty for providing quality courses. Also, thanks to Rob and Kiko for making dirty work tolerable and their willingness to work around our schedule. ”


Christa Meingast

Christa Meingast

Christa is graduating with a PhD in Environmental Engineering. Her plans after graduation are to find a teaching position at a college or university. She will miss Mt. Ripley, the Tech Trails and the SDC. Christa is thankful to Michigan Tech for the great mentors and would like to recognize Dr. Caryn Heldt and Dr. Veronica Webster for making a difference to her while at Tech.


Marjan Monfared

Marjan Monfared

Marjan is graduating with her MS in Civil Engineering. She is currently working in a consulting company as an Associate Civil Engineer with a focus on Dam Breach Analysis and Mud/debris flow estimation. Marjan says she will miss everything – beautiful people, sincere environment, Tech Trails, lifetime friends, kind-hearted staff and faculty members, the gorgeous view from the Dow 8th floor, the Portage Canal and Lake Superior. She says she is thankful to Michigan Tech for: ” My MTU family, my family in civil engineering, all great loving bonds we made with each other. Dr. Mayer, Dr. Webster, Dr. Watkins, Dr Morse, my dear Angela and Shelle. Thank you all for everything. I love you. “


Matthew Nordlund

Matthew Nordlund

Matthew is graduating with a BS in Construction Management. After graduation he will be a Field Engineer for the Boldt Company. Matthew will miss the friends he has made at Tech and is thankful for the career opportunities and educational diversity he received.


Conner Reid

Conner Reed

Conner is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering.  He will then begin his career working full-time with Ames Construction as a Project Engineer in their Midwest region.  Conner will miss his friends, the Keweenaw, and the work-hard play-hard culture that he was able to experience with everyone he became friends with.  He is thankful for the amazing staff in the Civil Engineering Department that helped him prepare for the workforce. Conner wanted to recognize Dr. Mattila “Dr. Mattila has been the most influential staff member that I’ve gotten to know over the last several years. He was always willing to lend an ear when I had questions or concerns.” about anything and everything from homework in his class to future job plans.


Stephen Rowley

Stephen Rowley

Stephen is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. After graduating he will be moving to Ann Arbor to work as a transmission line engineer at POWER Engineers. Stephen will miss the scenery and Mont Ripley (along with the rest of the beautiful Keweenaw). He says he is thankful for the awesome friends he has made who made earning an engineering degree as fun as possible!


Devin  Slavik

Devin Slavik

Devin is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering. After graduation he will be moving back to his family farm and starting work as an environmental engineer with General Motors.


Seneca Stairs

Seneca Stairs

Seneca is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering.  After graduating Seneca will begin a job at Westwood Professional Services in Madison, WI.  She will miss the winters and the hockey as well as the connections she has made on campus.  Seneca is thankful for the great education and the kind people as well as to Tech for pushing her to be her best self.  She would like to recognize Dr. Becker for always going out of her way to help her out and being a fantastic professor. 


Mike Summerfield

Mike Summerfield

Mike is graduating with a BS in Construction Management. After graduation he is moving to Idaho Falls, ID to start a career with Granite Construction. He will miss the small town hospitality of Houghton. Mike is thankful to Michigan Tech for their push to make every student feel important and ready for the industry in their major and he would like to recognize Lynn Artman for making a difference to him during his time here.


Tristan Tarsa

Tristan Tarsa

Tristan is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. He will begin working at AECOM Traverse City after graduation. Tristan will miss playing hockey, watching hockey, and the cool hiking places just a short drive away. He is thankful to Michigan Tech for providing him with unique opportunities that broadened his perspectives. Tristan would like to recognize too many people to list; however, notably Dr. Audra Morse, Dr. Kris Mattila, Dr. Gretchen Hein, Julie Ross and Jay Meldrum.


Zoe Wahr

Zoe Wahr

Zoe is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering.  Shortly after graduation she will begin working in Grand Rapids, MI as a Designer for Rowe Professional Services Company.  Zoe will miss the friendships, while she knows they will stay in touch with her Tech friends, she realizes they will never have the closeness they have now.  Zoe is thankful for the challenges that Tech has presented her with and the opportunities she has received through hard work and dedication.  She says “There is a community beyond campus that creates an instant bond with people that have graduated even 40 years ago that is really special.”  Zoe would like to recognize Dr. Gretchen Hein: “Dr. Gretchen Hein has been a mentor to me during my college career that changed my life for the better, in all respects. She challenged me to do things that I didn’t think I was capable of, but because of those things I have had amazing opportunity arise. She truly works FOR the student and never denies a person the chance to be better. Whether it was SWE (Society of Women Engineers), personal life, or professional life, I knew that Dr. Hein was in my corner and willing to do anything to help me reach my goals. I am forever grateful for the time she spent working with me to make me a better student, person, and engineer.”


Alex Waypa

Alex Waypa

Alex is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering. After graduation she will be moving back home to continue to look for a job. Alex will miss the community of Michigan Tech and all the outdoor activities of living in the Keweenaw. She is thankful for all the lifelong friends that she met here and wanted to recognize Dr. Eric Seagren and Dr. Jennifer Becker: ” Dr. Seagren and Dr. Becker, they’ve both connected with students on personal levels and made themselves available to help out the best they could. “


Noah Weichert

Noah Weichert

Noah is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering.  After graduation he plans on securing a full-time job and furthering his engineering licensing.  Noah will miss the surrounding area as well as the friends he made and the helpful faculty.  He says his is thankful for all the learning he was able to do and the opportunities he was able to have while being here.  Noah would like to recognize his mom and dad for cheering him on and being just awesome parents.  


Kendal Welling

Kendall Welling

Kendall is graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation she will be moving to Texas and working as a civil engineer. She may also enroll in an online civil engineering Master’s program with a focus on structures.


Drake Wilson

Drake Wilson

Drake is graduating with a BS in Mining Engineering and Civil Engineering.  He plans to have a full-time job after graduation.  He will miss the Houghton location and is thankful to Michigan Tech for Winter Carnival.  He would like to recognize Julie Ross for making a difference to him while at Michigan Tech.


Xiaodong Zhou

Xiaodong Zhou

Xiaodong Zhou is graduating with his PhD in Civil Engineering. After graduation he plans to find a postdoc position. He will miss the kind people and will miss the friendly community at Michigan Tech. Xiaodong Zhou wanted to recognize Dr. Zhanping You, Sydney Wilmot, and Julia Barnes.


Allie Zimmerman

Allie Zimmerman

Allie is graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering. After graduation she will be moving to Seattle, WA where she will start her full-time job as a Field Engineer for Mortenson Construction in June/July. She also plans on taking the FE Exam in hopes to be an Engineer in Training. She hopes to one day become a Project Manager for large, unique and sustainable projects. Katy will miss being in Houghton with her closest friends and impromptu adventures in the Keweenaw and the Long Islands at the Dog will always have a special place in her heart. She says: ” I am very thankful for all of the wonderful memories that I’ve made in Houghton. Being able to take part in long lasting traditions like cardboard boat racing, winter carnival statues, welcome week, and being crazy loud at hockey games, makes me feel apart of a greater family. I am also thankful for the wonderful faculty and staff that have helped guide me throughout my collegiate career. I would like to thank my parents, Mike and Melissa, for their unconditional love and support. They have driven 8 hours to see me for only a day or two, encouraged me on my first failed exam in Physics I, and always celebrated me in my successes throughout the years. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for them. I would also like to recognize the sisters of Alpha Gamma Delta. They have given me so much over the years from helping me build my leadership and communication skills to giving me resources and support throughout my education; from community service projects to fun and relaxing sisterhoods – I will forever be thankful for the countless unforgettable memories.”


Graduates Not Pictured Above

BS in Civil Engineering

Joshua Borth

Ryan Brown

Allison Dagesse

Zach Davis

Patrick Dowling

Matt Fox

Travel Hamel

Charlie Hill

Adeline Hummel

Jacob Kelly

Max Maloney

Jordan Negro

Niklas Niemi

Ben Rybicki

Cole Shilling

Caleb Schmeltzer

Erik Schults

John Seilsopour

Jared Stanford

Logan Stein

Pat Wagoner

BS in Environmental Engineering

Rachel Bouchey

Julia Boscarino

Emily Byrd

Justina Carver

Ceily Fessel Doan

Hannah Harmann

Elsie Jorgensen

Abigail Kanasty

MacAulay Peterson

Emily Rutledge

Devin Slavik

Cassidy Tieman

Conrad Truettner

Connor Weber

Tia Williams

Katelyn Zelinski

BS in Surveying Engineering

Steven Smendzuik

BS in Construction Management

John Ball

John Batkikouras

Rayni Brill

Wyatt Brown

Joe Harden

Connor Lafferty

Lars Pennala

MS in Civil Engineering

Alexander Baker

Christopher Blough

Julie Bouwens

Jacob Burch

Madeline Snyder

MS in Environmental Engineering

JP Harron

Ryan Kibler

Mahta Naziri Saeed

Sarah Peterson

MS in Environmental Engineering Science

Michael Foster

MS in Integrated Geospatial Technology

Greogory Putman

William Roland

Sanjay Shenoy

PhD in Civil Engineering

Jiaqing Wang

PhD in Environmental Engineering

Hossein Tavakoli



Audra Morse and Alumni Present at MITA 2020

Audra Morse
Audra Morse

Audra Morse, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, along with Michigan Tech alumni Taylor Rudlaff and Michael Prast, presented at the MITA 2020 Annual Conference about the Line 5 Tunnel.

The conference took place January 21-24 in Mount Pleasant. The Michigan Tech and Line 5 Tunnel Design session demonstrated Michigan Tech’s critical involvement regarding the feasibility of the Line 5 tunnel. It also provided insight regarding the role of the U.P. Energy Task Force in the process.

MITA is the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, a statewide construction trade association consisting of over 500 Michigan companies representing construction disciplines.

Read more at MITA Crossection. See page 14.


CEE Academy Member John Haro Passes Away

John Haro
John Haro

Noted architect John C. Haro, a Copper Country native who attended Michigan Tech, died April 9 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was 91.

Raised in Pelkie, Haro came to Michigan Tech in 1945 studying in the Civil Engineering Department for two years. After he left the area, he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Michigan, served in the Navy during the Korean War and went on to earn a Master of Architecture from Harvard.

During his 38 years as an architect in the Detroit area, Haro oversaw the construction of several buildings for the University of Michigan, the National Bank of Detroit, Avon Headquarters, the Eli Lilly Engineering Technolgy Center and the Washington Post Headquarters.

Following his retirement in 1990, Haro and his wife Betty, who preceded him in death in May 2019, split their time between Arizona and Houghton. He continued his architectural work in the Copper Country designing homes, churches and schools.

Haro was inducted into Michigan Tech’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Academy in 2011.