Category: Students

Be a part of the civil and environmental CommUNITY at Michigan Tech

At Michigan Tech, the faculty know my name. 

No matter which undergraduate degree they pursue in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech, students value the Michigan Tech commUNITY

“We know that the shared experience and valuing differences make us stronger,” says Audra Morse, department chair. “At Michigan Tech we believe in commUNITY, with an emphasis on unity,” adds Morse. “Community is one of the top reasons our students pursue their education at Michigan Tech. Our students, faculty and staff make this a commUNITY where students feel safe and motivated to excel in their studies.”

Kaitlyn Wehner, a junior majoring in civil engineering, says she feels comfortable talking with faculty about coursework, her future, and her campus involvement. 

Support of peers within the department is awesome, too, says Wehner. “I feel at ease talking with fellow students in my classes about coursework even if I barely know them. Everyone supports each other and is always willing to help!”

Kelton Czyzio echo’s Wehner’s praise of the program’s built-in support system. Czyzio cites personal growth as a result of the many positive interactions with his classmates and professors. “There are so many unique people on campus and the mixture of these people leads to some cool experiences,” he says.

A senior majoring in civil engineering, Czyzio says he values those times when his views have been challenged by another student. “It’s a great experience, as I walk away with a different outlook on a policy, subject, law–whatever it happens to be.” Along with that, adds Czyzio, “it’s great that there’s a group of people for every incoming student to be around.”  

Michigan Tech, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
CEE Intramural Soccer Team

Environmental engineering PhD student Kenny Larsen, agrees. “What I like best about Michigan Tech are the other students,” he says. “I like being part of a larger community. Students ask difficult questions and become involved in finding solutions. Students are part of the community and the experience is more than just a classroom.”

Additionally, Larsen notes “My advisor and the faculty/staff is one of the best parts of getting a degree at Michigan Tech. Getting a graduate degree is difficult and takes hard work. It is made a lot easier when you know that everyone wants to see you succeed as a student and person.”

What Dongzhao Jin–who goes by Kobe in honor of his favorite basketball player–loves best about Michigan Tech are its “friendly and patient faculty, staff and students.” Originally from China, Jin is pursuing a PhD in civil engineering. He enjoys the “sense of community” in the civil and environmental engineering department, a feeling he attributes to the “positive energy and comfortable and supportive learning environment.” 

He recalls a specific time that made him feel welcome as an international student new to the U.S. “The first time I ate lunch at Memorial Union Building, and I do not know where the trash can was. I asked for help from an undergraduate student and he patiently led me to a trash can.”  

Jin is now leading others by serving as a Civil and Environmental Engineering representative in Graduate Student Government.  As a GSG representative, Jin shares the interests of CEE graduate students with other GSG representatives to influence policies and programs impacting graduate students. More importantly, GSG hosts professional development opportunities such as the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, grant writing session, and fun activities, such as volleyball tournaments and hiking excursions in the Keweenaw, to provide value to the graduate student commUNITY.

Jin also values the research commUNITY his advisor Dr. Zhanping You creates for students in his research group. Jin notes “I am very happy to be a student and work with my advisor Dr. You.  His humor, lifestyle, rigorous academic attitude, and profound understanding of the asphalt pavement field impact me a lot.”

In addition to a unifying spirit embodying the educational experience at Michigan Tech, students each create their own unique commUNITY experiences that support their personal educational mission. 

Czyzio’s community includes participation in the Steel Bridge Team, a student team that participates in AISC Steel Design Competition. Wehner participates in the Built World Enterprise, a student organization turned classroom experience. Both groups allow students to plan, design and build their future by honing knowledge gained in their classwork through hands-on design experiences.  

To participate in the AISC Steel Bridge Competition, student teams from all over the US design, construct, and build a steel bridge on campus, which is then built all over again under time constraints at regional competitions and depending on the outcome of the regional competition, again at the national competition. Bridges are evaluated using criteria such as aesthetics, construction speed, lightness, stiffness, and construction economy. The Michigan Tech team takes this competition very seriously: they’ve placed among the top 15 in this national competition three times in the last three years.

Czyzio highlights he was treasurer of the team in his second year, and his favorite part of Steel Bridge is the time spent in the shop. “I love welding and the fabrication process in general.” Czyzio adds “Another great part of the steel bridge team is meeting other civil engineering students. Many of the students I do homework with are members of Steel Bridge.”

Michigan Tech, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
First-place winners for the ACRP Design Competition – Skylar Callis, Katitlyn Wehner, and Lindsey Anderson

Wehner has a passion for aviation and airport planning. Through Built World Enterprise, she pursues her passion by participating in the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP). It’s sponsored by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to prepare the next generation of aviation planning professionals.  Wehner and her team took first place this past summer at the 2020 ACRP student design competition in the Airport Runway Safety/ Runway Incursion/Runway Excursions category. She is preparing and excited for the chance to win again in 2021. 

To take her passion for civil engineering and aviation even further, Wehner is Secretary of the Aviation Club at Michigan Tech, a new student organization she helped establish. The Aviation Club hosts events such as drone certifications.  Drones are an important tool used in the civil, environmental and construction industry.  Geospatial engineers also use drones routinely in their work.  Wehner’s extracurricular activities are another example of the possibilities and flexibility to pursue passions at Michigan Tech.  

As President of Michigan Tech’s student chapter of the Society of African American Men, Jemel Thompson participates in extracurriculars to support his own character development and that of his classmates. The Society of African American Men promotes cultural diversity, inclusion, and  awareness throughout the Michigan Tech community. 

Other students, like Avery Barlett, a construction management major, find community within the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula, where Michigan Tech calls home. The Keweenaw Peninsula is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, surrounded by beautiful Lake Superior. 

Barlett participates in extracurricular activities– snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, paintball club, and the Piston Bike Racers club, where he and his friends race bicycles modified with 2-cycle motors. “The Upper Peninsula offers students the ability to explore other passions, too, in addition to their studies,” he says. “This leads to some stellar experiences that friends of mine at other institutions do not have.”

Michigan Tech, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Larsen adds “ I have learned how to downhill and cross country ski, as well as sail.” Larsen is an avid road biker and kayaker and he notes all of those activities are easily accessible at Michigan Tech.

Larsen believes the best part about all of these activities is that he is able to include his partner and daughter in these activities. “I often take my family hiking and rockhounding, as well as visiting the many great beaches in the area.”

Barlett knows a Michigan Tech education creates a community that extends beyond the Keweenaw. Creating friendships and networks enables him to leverage the rest of his career. “I especially value the connections our instructors have with industry,” he says. “ I appreciate their efforts to make the students aware of these opportunities and help us build our own connections, too.”

“I love the fact that companies love Michigan Tech students” he adds. “We have many internship and job opportunities and there’s a lot of choice.”

In addition to network connections sparked by faculty and staff in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, students are encouraged to check out Michigan Tech’s Career Services programming as well as attend the University’s Career Fair, offered each fall and spring semester.

Thompson likes that Michigan Tech is a “blank canvas” for your experience. “There are so many different opportunities and resources available to students. If you’re looking for any type of experience, you can find it.” 

What does he like best about the curriculum? “That great mix of engineering and social sciences, combined with real-world application,” he says.  “At Michigan Tech, I learned what it meant to be an engineer.” 

As a first year student pursuing a bachelor of science in environmental engineering, Thompson had the choice to study civil engineering, geospatial engineering or construction management. However, he found his passion for environmental engineering, which was cemented in a first-year environmental engineering seminar course.  His passion for environmental engineering is affirmed each day and Jemel is now a third year student considering his options of graduating and entering industry or going to graduate school.

Thompson adds “Michigan Tech truly offers a different experience, unlike anything I’ve ever heard of. The campus is in a location where it is easy to focus on your education, but still have the opportunity to have a college experience full of new things and adventure.” 

“Community has a distinct meaning in the students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Department,” adds Morse.  “We welcome you to be part of our commUNITY.”


Senior Design to Present Project to Houghton Planning Commission

Photo by Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette

The students of Dr. Dan Dowden‘s Senior Design class will be presenting their project to the Houghton Planning Commission on Tuesday, November 17 at the commission’s monthly public (virtual) meeting. The meeting will start at 5:30.

The students’ project involves two replacement parking garages (replacing the existing “Vault” and “Ambassador” parking structures downtown) with larger more modern parking structures. This project came about with a conversation with Bill Leder over the summer. Bill and Eric Waara have been the students’ client contacts over the semester. Bill is Vice-Chair of the Houghton Planning Commission. If you are unable to attend the commission meeting, there will be a second opportunity during finals week where all the CEE4905 sections will be presenting their projects.


Can Engineers Save the Word?

Rose Turner by the solar panels on the Michigan Tech campus

“At Michigan Tech, we don’t just talk about sustainability, we incorporate sustainability in all aspects of the educational experience,” said Audra Morse, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University.

Morse points to environmental engineering student Rose Turner, who followed her passion for sustainability by joining Michigan Tech’s Alternative Energy Enterprise soon after she joined the university.

There are 24 Enterprise teams on campus, each working on real projects for real clients.

“They invent products, provide services, and pioneer solutions. It’s an award-winning program entirely unique to Michigan Tech, and it provides an absolutely invaluable experience for our students,” said Morse.

Self-sustaining homes and solar farms: Student projects that make a real-world difference

Turner and fellow team members retrofitted an existing 5,000 square foot house on Michigan Tech’s campus, turning it into a net-zero energy, self-sustaining home.

Named the Michigan Tech Sustainability Demonstration House, it now provides students with first-hand experience in designing systems to reduce the use of energy, water and water in homes.

Due to her hard work and dedication, Turner was selected to live there, serving as house coordinator. Her role was to identify and launch internal projects, plan public outreach events, and seek donations and sponsorships from companies.

Michigan Tech
Rose Turner in front of the Sustainability Demonstration House

“Michigan Tech equipped me with tools, resources, and knowledge,” she said. “I was able to design and construct an aquaponics indoor gardening system, a raised-bed outdoor garden, and a smart rainwater collection and distribution system — all for the house.”

Taking her environmental engineering education further, Turner won a summer internship at Westwood Professional Services, an environmental engineering consulting firm. As an intern, she designed multi-megawatt commercial solar and wind farms across the US, including a 15 MW solar farm in Ulupalakua, Hawaii.

“It was incredibly rewarding to have an opportunity to design clean energy systems to help power our country,” said Turner.

Turner learned about the internship through Michigan Tech Career Services, meeting up with representatives from Westwood for an interview right on campus. Her internship also led to a full-time role there, working on Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy permits for a 300 MW wind farm design for Isabella County, Michigan.

“Michigan Tech’s Career Services does more than help students find a job, they help us find and launch our careers,” said Turner.

She recently returned to campus to earn an MS in Environmental Engineering. Her goal is to pursue a PhD or work in industry. “Either way, I am looking forward to using my sustainability knowledge to make a difference,” she said.

Where sustainability is central to your studies

The “Sustainability and Civil Engineering Practice” course is essential to Michigan Tech’s civil engineering program.

This course introduces students to the tools that engineers use in sustainable design such as “LEED” and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Envision “rating tool,” as well as state-of-the art sustainability practices in design and construction.

Sustainability also serves as the cornerstone of Michigan Tech’s environmental engineering degree program. Professor Judith Perlinger teaches “Sustainable Engineering,” another course that plays a vital role in the curriculum.

“Students learn about the triple bottom line, the consideration of profit, people, and the planet, and essential tools they’ll use to advance sustainability from a systems approach,” said Perlinger.

Dr. Judith Perlinger

All courses in both programs include important sustainability components, Morse added.

“But the true strength of a Michigan Tech education is the solid foundation in engineering and science. This knowledge is what allows for the incorporation of sustainability in design.”

Sierra Braun, a senior completing her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, jumped at the opportunity to make sustainability in design come to life.

She joined the Green Campus Enterprise, which focuses on reducing the university’s carbon footprint, when she heard they were planning planned to design and build a tiny house.

“Not only has it allowed me to explore my passion of design and construction, I am able to build a tangible example of sustainability right on our campus through the Tiny House Build project.”

Braun and her fellow team members analyzed sustainable design practices for maximizing thermal performance during the design phase of the Tiny Build project. In construction, they’ll optimize materials to reduce global warming potential. They also seek to increase longevity and minimize environmental impact.

Undergraduate research opportunities like no other

Undergraduate research is another learning opportunity at Michigan Tech.

In the Sustainable Pavement Lab, directed by Professor Zhanping You, students conduct research to find out if traditional asphalt mixed with rubber from scrap tires could make better roads.

Students test recycled asphalt materials to maximize the recyclability of materials, work with  biomass to produce variations of a new asphalt-like material called bio asphalt, and use recycled waste — plastics and glass— in other road applications.

They work in labs and in the field at road construction sites in Michigan collecting data and evaluating material field performance.

Many graduates continue their work in Dr. You’s lab while earning their graduate degree at Michigan Tech or other institutions. Others go on to work in the transportation industry, applying sustainability practices in their job each day.

“Working in Dr. You’s lab has allowed me to understand the bigger picture, and be part of it, too,” said civil engineering major Kagan Griffith.

“This applies to the natural world and the engineered materials we combine to advance society. As we move forward in time, I’ve learned the importance of using new technology —and new understanding — to construct the built world in a safe and sustainable way.”

As for Turner, she is now working to create an even greater shift towards sustainability on campus:

“I have a very strong desire to reduce the production of waste, so one of things I’ve been doing lately is to work with a group of fellow students to establish a full recycling programme for our residence halls.”

Michigan Tech
Results of the Waste Reduction Drive

So, do engineers save the world?

“Absolutely,” said Turner, “Michigan Tech has truly helped to cultivate my love for the earth and my passion for educating others on the importance of sustainability in daily life.

“I will forever be grateful for the plethora of sustainability-related opportunities I’ve experienced at Michigan Tech — as well as the freedom the university has given me to make my dreams a reality.”

Michigan Tech is taking all precautions necessary to keep their community safe from the threat of COVID-19.

For the latest updates, please visit the MTU Flex website.

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Built World Enterprise Team Wins National Competition

Built World Enterprise logo.

A Michigan Tech team, Built World Enterprise (BWE), earned first place in the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) student design competition. The team’s winning submission in the Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions design category was “Runway Intersection Marking.” 

In making the announcement, the ACRP said “The students’ innovative design brought many technologies together in an affordable system for mid-size and general aviation airports.”

The selection was made from 63 entries by a panel of industry, FAA and academic experts. For its winning entry, BWE will receive a $3,000 award which will be divided among the student team members.

First-place teams will receive their awards and present their work at the Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC, October 19, 2020. The students will also present their designs at the Airport Consultant Council’s Airport Technical Workshop as a keynote presentation. In addition, they will be given the opportunity to present their winning proposal at an industry professional conference or workshop in fall 2020.

Additionally, Michigan Tech received a second-place award in the Airport Environmental Interactions Challenge, with a $2,000 prize. A list of all winners can be seen on the ACRP website.

BWE addresses challenges typically solved by civil and environmental engineers, including designing infrastructure and solving waste management problems. The team’s advisor is the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair Audra Morse.

Morse said the win was a strong start for the new Enterprise team and for the University

“All BWE teams strove to create realistic design alternatives to address airport issues; however, this team excelled in understanding the true root causes of runway incursions. The winning team members, Lindsey Anderson, Skylar Callis and Kaitlyn Wehner, moved beyond purely technical to incorporate human factors into their design, which is why I believe their design was so well received. Thanks to Bill Sproule, Kelly Steelman, and Brett Hamlin for assisting the team on their win. They could not have done it without their help.”

The Transportation Research Board is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine.


New Specialty Area for Civil Engineering MS Degree – Intelligent Infrastructure Design

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The specialty area encompasses the design of robust, resilient, digitally interconnected civil infrastructure for smart community design. Students will develop holistic design approaches to streamline the incorporation (monitoring, feedback) of all things digital into structures, transportation, geotechnical, water and waste management with a focus on minimizing environmental impact and the advancement in sustainability and resiliency.  This is one possible pathway for students to attain an MS in Civil Engineering, while bridging the traditional “silos” identified within the profession.

Specialty Area Description:

The Intelligent Community Design specialty area is intended to offer training for applying technology to make our communities work more sustainably and efficiently.  The pathway consists of courses that provide necessary knowledge of the engineering design and analysis of infrastructure systems (e.g., transportation, water resources/environmental, structural, and geotechnical), data collection techniques (from traditional surveying to more advanced sensor and sensing techniques), and computing (machine learning, optimization, numerical simulation, and big data as it relates to infrastructure/geospatial information). Graduates of this specialty area will be able to meet emerging and rapidly-growing needs for engineers to build more intelligent communities.

Coursework:

The following breakdown of courses is meant to serve as a guide when crafting a degree schedule for students interested in focusing on Intelligent Community Design. Potential courses are provided below; however, alternative courses could be selected based on the student’s interests, goals and prior education. Consultation with a faculty advisor is required.

  1. 4-5 core courses that provide a foundation for designing different civil engineering infrastructure systems with a focus on the environment and sustainability.  Courses should be selected to provide adequate breadth across the areas of civil/environmental engineering, while also providing sufficient coursework focused on design vs. systems thinking.

Structures:

CEE 4244 Loads for Civil Structures

CEE 5730 Probabilistic Analysis and Reliability

Water Resources:

CEE 4507 Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Design

CEE 4640/5640 Stormwater Management and Low Impact Development

CEE 5630 Advanced Hydrology

CEE 5666 Water Resources Planning and Management

Environmental:

CEE 4502 Wastewater Treatment Principles and Design

CEE 4503 Drinking Water Treatment Principles and Design

CEE 4503 Air Quality Engineering and Science

CEE 4506 Sustainable Engineering

CEE 5501 Environmental Process Engineering

CEE 5502 Biological Treatment Processes

CEE 5503 Physical-Chemical Treatment Processes

CEE 4505/5505 Surface Water Quality Engineering

Transportation:

CEE 4020 Computer Applications: Visualizing and Communicating Design Information

CEE 5190 Sustainable Pavements

CEE 5401 Advanced Pavement Design

CEE 5402 Traffic Flow Theory

CEE 5404 Transportation Planning

CEE 5417 Transportation Design

Geotechnical:

CEE 4820 Foundation Engineering

CEE 4830 Geosynthetics Engineering

CEE 5810 Advanced Soil Mechanics

CEE 5811 Fundamentals of Soil Behavior and Engineering Laboratory

  • 3 courses should be selected to provide necessary computing skills.
    • Machine Learning

CS 4811 Artificial Intelligence

CS 5811 Advanced Artificial Intelligence

EE 5841 Machine Learning

GE 5950 Applied Remote Sensing and Machine Learning

UN 5550 Introduction to Data Science

  1. Database and Data Structures

CS 2321 Data Structures

CS 3425 Intro to Database Systems

CS 4321 Introduction to Algorithms

CS 5321 Advanced Algorithms

  1. Optimization

CEE 5760 Optimization Methods in Civil and Environmental Engineering

MA 5630 Numerical Optimization

  1. Computer Simulation

CEE 5710 Modeling and Simulation Applications for Decision Making in Complex Dynamic Systems

CEE 5740 Introduction to System Identification

CEE 5870 Multiphysics of Porous Materials

  • Regression/Data Mining

EC 4200 Econometrics

FW 5412 Regression in R

MA 4710 Regression Analysis

  • 1-2 courses related to data acquisition

FW 4540 Remote Sensing of the Environment

GE 4250 Fundamentals of Remote Sensing

SU 5010 Geospatial Concepts, Technologies, and Data

SU 5011 Cadaster and Land Information Systems

SU 5012 Geospatial Data Mining and Crowdsourcing

SU 5013 Hydrographic Mapping and Surveying

SU 5142 3D Surveying and Modeling with Laser Scanner Data

SU 5300 Geospatial Monitoring of Engineering Structures and Geodynamic Processes

SU 5540 Advanced Photogrammetry – Satellite Photogrammetry

SU 5541 Close-Range Photogrammetry

  • d)      1 course for coding:

SAT 5002 Application Programming Introduction

SU 5601 R for Geoinformatics

Note that selected courses would have to adhere to basic requirements of the Civil MS program. Namely, a minimum of 15 credits must be taken within the CEE Department. In addition, students must take one of the following courses: CEE 5710, CEE 5730, CEE 5740, or CEE 5760. A minimum of 18 5000-level credits must be taken; a maximum of 12 3000- or 4000-level courses can be used towards the 30 credit requirement. All MSCE degree requirements and rules set forth by the Department and the Graduate School must be met in order for a student to finish the program.


2020 STEM for ALL Video Showcase: Belle Isle Aquarium

Creating STEM Pathways in Detroit

For the past four years, the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach has collaborated with Wayne State University and the Belle Isle Conservancy to promote an interest in science and science careers among elementary and middle school students in Detroit Public Schools. The project includes a summer teacher institute, field trips to the Belle Isle Aquarium, and mini grants for teachers. Classes come to the Belle Isle Aquarium to see fish, turtles and frogs, and leave with knowledge and excitement about what they could do in the world of science.

View our entry in the 2020 STEM for ALL Video Showcase, a three-minute video about the Belle Isle Aquarium NSF ITEST project, and VOTE for the Belle Isle Aquarium video for the Public Choice Award. Take a look at some of the other videos, too!

Please also view the newly created Virtual Field Trip and Ecology Lesson at the Belle Isle Aquarium. Before COVID-19, every fifth grade student in the Detroit public school system could visit the aquarium during the school year. The new virtual field trip allows anyone in the world to visit the United States’ oldest aquarium — the Belle Isle Aquarium!

Article by Joan Chadde, a leader in the organization of our teacher professional development summer workshops, Joan is an expert at “educating our educators.” As Director of Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, Joan was recently (2020) named Informal Science Educator of the Year by the Michigan Science Teachers Association.

Dr. Ram’s ‘Creating STEM Pathways at Detroit’s Aquarium’ named an NSF Facilitators’ Choice Video

Jeffrey Ram, Ph.D., professor of Physiology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, in collaboration with Wayne State’s College of Education, the Belle Isle Conservancy and Michigan Technological University, leads a $1.2 million National Science Foundation-funded project that aims to promote the interest of Detroit children in science and science careers.

A video produced by Dr. Ram, “Creating STEM Pathways at Detroit’s Aquarium,” that describes the project, was selected as a Facilitators’ Choice video in the 2020 SEM for ALL Video Showcase. Only 10 of 171 videos entered in the showcase received the honor.

Read more at WSU School of Medicine News.


Michigan Tech Student Awarded Virtual Internship

A Michigan Tech second-year student whose summer plans were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been named one of six recipients worldwide of a scholarship for a prestigious online program.

Malina Gallmeyer, an environmental engineering major from White Lake, Michigan, is a winner of a fully funded program scholarship from Virtual Internships. The scholarships are designed to assist students who are unable to participate in study abroad or in-person internships this summer. Through offering these scholarships, Virtual Internships hopes to support students in accessing global professional experiences while navigating recent challenges.

Gallmeyer is one of only two scholarship winners from the United States. Three are from the U.K. and one recipient is from New Zealand.

This program was established to ensure that all students have access to important learning opportunities and can continue to boost their employability and global networks, even during the current circumstances.

All six scholarship winners will get full access to Virtual Internship programs and all inclusions. Virtual Internships aims to work with all students to identify their skills gained and apply the experience to their employment outcomes.

Gallmeyer said, “A remote internship through Virtual Internships will offer me the same chance to gain experience, which as an engineer, is vital to employability after graduation, but with the bonus of working with people from around the world. Additionally, it would not only allow me to gain experience in my field, but also to understand and participate in the global economy and to learn the best way to connect with people.”


2020 Student Award Recipients

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Each spring semester, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering honors students from our Department with an award ceremony/banquet for all nominees for various awards. Unfortunately, we were unable to recognize our extraordinary students in person this year but would like to give them a hearty Congratulations on their commitment to excellence!

Here is a listing of the award winners:

Undergraduate Department Service Award

This is one of our fairly new awards and it was created to recognize a CEE student that has shown exemplary service to the CEE Department through student organizations or other groups affiliated with the Department.  The award is accompanied by a $500 scholarship.

The 2020 Undergraduate Department Service Award will go to Maddie Barrie

Maddie Barrie

Maddie is serving in her second term as President of the Michigan Tech Student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA.  In this role, she has contributed a great deal to the student organization through a number of specific tasks and activities.  In addition to overseeing chapter operations, she has organized fund raising activities, recruiting events, and student participation in national and regional EWB-USA conferences.  She has also made notable contributions to both of the chapter’s ongoing international community programs.  She has been an active member of the Bolivia project team, and she served as the U.S. point of contact during the team’s assessment trip in May 2019.   She has also contributed to the Guatemala team’s work, serving as the lead for project monitoring, evaluation, and learning. In this role, she is responsible for collecting data on project performance and community outcomes, and reporting to the EWB-USA national office.  For her dedication to the success of the EWB-Michigan Tech student chapter and its partner communities, Maddie has been awarded the Department Service Award.

The David W. Hand Environmental Process Engineering Lab Award

This award recognizes a team of students from the CEE 4509 class for: outstanding technical skills in the laboratory, outstanding teamwork and professionalism, effective oral and written communications, and excellence in safety protocol as recognized by your peers and supported by the instructor.

The team members recognized for this honor are:

Devin Slavik, Savannah Fowler, and Brett Cianek

Devin Slavik, Savannah Fowler, Brett Cianek

Nicole Bloom Award for Environmental Sustainability

This award is made annually to an undergraduate civil or environmental engineering student who has demonstrated leadership, passion, and activism for effecting environmental sustainability at the local, national, or global level.

The Reddy Scholarship ($1000) is awarded annually in conjunction with the Nicole Bloom Award for Environmental Sustainability.

The Dr. Pati Damoder and Soumitri Reddy fellowships and scholarships are made available to the Department through the generosity of Dr. Pati Reddy and his wife, Soumitri.  Dr. Reddy is a 1962 graduate of our MS program.  He and his wife have been strong supporters of Michigan Tech’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

This year the Nicole Bloom Award for Environmental Sustainability will go to:  Sierra Braun

Sierra Braun

Sierra Braun has been a student in Green Campus Enterprise and has distinguished herself with outstanding leadership skills and her passion for work on sustainable building design and construction.  Green Campus Enterprise is developing a design for a prototype tiny house.  The tiny house will have a footprint of 200 square feet, follow passive house principles and be a net-zero energy building.  Dave Bach, a highly regarded design builder specializing in sustainable construction, is helping advise students on the tiny house project. He describes Sierra as “an aspiring and talented civil engineering student motivated by a strong environmental philosophy to learn and practice sustainable design and construction. Her enthusiasm, dedication and work ethic are infectious, motivating teammates to do their best work and to include an environmental perspective in their decisions. Her professional goal is to be an architect. If the design work and leadership skills she is exhibiting now are an indication of the future, I expect she will be widely recognized in advancing sustainable design nationally and globally.”

CEE Department Scholar

The CEE Department Scholar is accompanied by a $500 department scholarship.

Each year the Department selects one of our highest achieving students as the Department Scholar.  At the University level, one of the Department Scholars is then selected for the Provost’s Award for Scholarship.  This award is accompanied by a $500 scholarship.

 The criteria for selection is:

  • Representing the best of student scholarship in the department
  • Participating in research or scholarly activities
  • High level of intellectual curiosity
  • Intellectual creativity
  • Demonstrated communication skills

We are pleased to present Kaitlyn Wehner as the 2020 Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Scholar.    

Kaitlyn Wehner

Kaitlyn is a civil engineering junior-level student with a 4.0 GPA.  She is a founding member of the Built World Enterprise, a founding member of the MTU Aviation Club, a Head Leader in the Learning with Academic Partners (LEAP) program, a member of Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honor Society), and a member of the MTU Jazz Band.  Kaitlyn was selected as the Department Scholar because of her strong academic skills, her initiatives in exploring her chosen profession, her passion and leadership skills that she brings to all of her endeavors, and because of her eagerness to share her time, energy and skills with her peers and her profession.

The Wilbur Haas Graduate Research Excellence Award

The Graduate Research Excellence Award, is made annually to a graduate level student in civil or environmental engineering to recognize outstanding student scholarship and research contributions.  This award is accompanied by a $1000 departmental fellowship.

The nominees for this year’s award are the following and are all truly exceptional researchers:

  • Chaitanya Bhat, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering, nominated by advisor Amlan Mukherjee
  • Dongdong Ge, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering, nominated by advisor  Zhanping You
  • Jiaqing Wang, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering, nominated by advisor Qingli Dai

This year, Chaitanya Bhat has been selected for the Wilbur Haas Research Award. 

Chaitanya Bhat

During his time at Michigan Tech Chait has demonstrated innovation in his thinking and the ability to independently lead research efforts. He has proven to be a crucial asset in our collaboration, because of the depth of knowledge that he has developed over the last 4 years, as well as his ability to interact with other researchers and synthesize new ideas. His diligence, sincerity and ethics has further contributed to his research productivity. In his major research effort, he has taken the lead in our FHWA funded collaboration to assess the reliability of background life cycle inventory data sets. In doing so he has  worked closely and independently with the Federal LCA Commons, an inter-agency collaboration, as well as our research collaborators at University of California, Davis. In addition, the asphalt industry supported him for a summer internship (2018), and one of his research products (a structured database) is likely to be directly applied to enhance their asphalt mixture Environmental Product Declaration program. During his time at Michigan Tech, Chait has also contributed to the departmental service – having volunteered to present at tours for prospective undergraduate students, presenting about his research to high school students locally, and also serving in supportive roles in Graduate Student Government. This Spring he helped with mentoring an undergraduate student write and win SURF proposal funding.

The Danielle Ladwig Award for Graduate Excellence

The Danielle Ladwig Award for Graduate Excellence, is made annually to a graduate level student in civil or environmental engineering in recognition of outstanding achievement in academics, research, and service, in memory of our friend and colleague, Danielle LadwigThis award is accompanied by the Pati and Soumitri Reddy $1000 endowed fellowship.

The nominees for this special award were:

  • Chaitanya Bhat, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering
  • Ryan Kibler, MS Candidate in Environmental Engineering
  • Kenny Larsen, PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering
  • Xiaodong Zhou, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering

The 2020 Danielle Ladwig Award will go to Ryan Kibler.

Ryan Kibler

Ryan has shown excellence in all aspects that this award was designed to recognize; academics, service, and research.  Among various accomplishments Ryan made for research, one noticeable achievement is his outstanding paper publication as a first author at Environmental Science and Technology, a premium journal in the field of environmental engineering (impact factor 7.1), for his membrane research.  The predictive model that was developed as part of his paper is very powerful and comprehensive. In the RO research field, this is the first and most comprehensive and impactful model that requires only structural information of organic contaminants. It is expected that this model will be used by many industries and utilities.  Ryan is a long-time volunteer in the Department’s Student Success Center which provides help to undergraduate students with civil and environmental engineering courses.  He has also displayed academic excellence by maintaining a 4.0 in his graduate studies.


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



Surveying Engineering Attends MSPS 2020

Clay Hildebrand, Steve Smendzuik, Sanjay Shenoy, Joseph Foster, Chad Holdwick, Alyx Thayer

February 18-21, 2020 marked the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) Convention held at the Radisson Plaza, Kalamazoo, Michigan that hosted over 400 Licensed Professional Surveyors from around the Great Lake states, as well as Michigan Tech’s Douglass Houghton Student Chapter (DHSC) of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS)…whew, quite a mouth full, but accurate!  An annual event, the Convention provides the opportunity to not only acquire continuing education credits, learn new and upcoming techniques, view and get “hands on” with cutting edge equipment, but also connect with fellow Licensed Professional Surveyors from throughout the region.  Not to be left out, our Surveying Engineering (BS) and Integrated Geospatial Technology (MS) students were invited to participate and exhibit throughout the entire event.

Chad Holdwick and Steve Smendzuik presenting their Senior Capstone Project.

Seminars given during the four-day event covered a myriad of topics including Railroad Rights-of-Way, Mapping the Great Lakes, Safe Excavation Practices, Analysis of Record Title Boundaries, preparing for the 2022 Datum, Collateral Evidence Analysis, Professional Ethics, and the list goes on…up to the Student Capstone Project presentations given by both Ferris State and Michigan Tech University.  Our own Steven Smendzuik and Chad Holdwick presented their project of going through the steps of a rather complicated boundary survey that included an abandoned railroad right-of-way, ambiguous legal descriptions, conflicting field evidence, as well as a forensic survey of a murder scene from the 1800’s, not to mention finishing in two feet of snow!  Needless to say, it was very intriguing and everyone that attended walked away with a new appreciation of what we do every day.

Vendors and equipment suppliers filled the exhibit hall with the latest and greatest in surveying, photogrammetric, imaging, scanning, and UAV instruments.  Every opportunity was given to learn about the new technology and how it can be integrated into day to day operations, increasing efficiency and productivity, while maintaining the precision and accuracy required of our Profession.  Finally, the stories and experiences shared by other Surveyors with our students sealed the deal…it was definitely worth the trip!