STEM Career Exploration for Detroit High School Students

Joan Chadde-Schumaker

The national need for STEM-trained employees is growing. African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians’ percentage of degrees in science and engineering is low compared to the general population. The Detroit school system, which is >90% under-represented students, is a good place to start. This project aims to increase the interest of Detroit high school students in STEM college majors and future careers and maintain their interest through their high school years. The Michigan Space Grant Consortium has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach to bring 20 Detroit area students to participate in a 6-day STEM Career Exploration at Michigan Tech and in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, including visits to state and federal agencies that employ STEM professionals. Students who participate in the 6-day exploration are encouraged to apply for a one-week STEM summer internship at MTU and/or attend a summer youth STEM program to further their STEM interests the following summers. The program will take place next summer.

Shipping Transportation Film “Freightened!” Draws a Crowd

Feb. 15 - FREIGHTENED: The Real Price of Shipping Goods 90% of goods consumed in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The industry is a key player in world economy forming the basis of our modern civiliza-tion—without shipping, it would be impossible to fulfil the ever-increasing demands of our societies. The film reveals an invisible industry that supplies 7 billion humans and holds the key to our economy, our environment and our civilization.

Pasi Lautala

Dr. Pasi Lautala, Associate Professor, MTU Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Director, Rail Transportation Program and Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, was the discussion facilitator for FREIGHTENED: The Real Price of Shipping Goods (2016) on February 15. The film was part of the 8th annual Green Film Series coordinated by the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach in the Dept. of CEE. In addition, the refreshments for the evening were provided by the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute.


The 90-minute film describes how 90% of the goods we consume in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The cargo shipping industry is a key player in the world economy and forms the basis of our modern civilization. Yet the functioning of this global business remain largely obscure to many, and its hidden costs affect us all.  Taking us on a journey overseas and around the world, FREIGHTENED reveals an audacious investigation into world-wide freight shipping and its consequences.


About sixty faculty, staff, students and community members attended.

  • The film definitely expanded my interest of environmental engineering practices…
  • The discussion facilitator was very knowledgeable.
  • The movie was so captivating and inspiring!
  • The discussion was excellent!


The Green Film Series is cosponsored by Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Keweenaw Land Trust,  MTU Dept. of Social Sciences, MTU Sustainable Futures Institute, and Michigan Tech Transportation institute.


The schedule of monthly green films will be posted online:

Alumna Kristen Mariuzza on Mining Operations

Kristen Mariuzza
Kristen Mariuzza

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Katrice Perkins.

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

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










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

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

Kiran Udayakumar is the Braun Intertec 2017 Co-op of the Year

Kiran Udayakumar holding the Braun Intertec award.
Kiran Udayakumar holding the Braun Intertec award.

Environmental engineering graduate student Kiran Udayakumar has been selected as the Braun Intertec 2017 Co-op of the Year. In 2017, Udayakumar completed a six-month field testing co-op internship in the Braun Intertec Williston, North Dakota office. Operations Supervisor Jeremiah Gibson says, “Kiran’s performance exceeded all expectations and he exemplifies a well-educated engineer on his way to a successful career.”

Udayakumar quickly the learned the procedures and methods for testing constructions materials with an awareness to safety and best engineering practices. He was selected for OSHA 10 training so that he could work on Oilfield projects, like The Dakota Access Pipeline, and highway projects, such as the Lewis and Clark Bridge, Bureau of Indian Affairs Hwy 12.

I couldn’t have done this without the constant support of my advisor and mentor Martin Auer and my mentors Sarah Bird and Darnishia Slade who gave me constant support and motivation throughout the co op.Kiran Udayakumar

Environmental Engineering Freshman Accepted Into the Santa Fe Institute’s 2018 REU Summer Program


Maddie Barrie, a freshman in the Environmental Engineering Program at Michigan Tech, has recently been selected to participate in the Santa Fe Institute’s 2018 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer program.

The program provides students with a ten-week residential research opportunity where students, in collaboration with a mentor, develop a research project dealing with real-world complex systems.

In addition to the experience, Maddie’s housing, meals and a stipend will be provided to her during her time at the Santa Fe Institute.


Alex Mayer to Speak on Citizen Science and Climate Data

Several Michigan Tech faculty will deliver presentations during the 2017-18 Carnegie Museum Natural History Seminar Series: Citizen Science.

Citizen Science

Can citizens impact governance by collecting climate data?: A case from the tropical mountains in Veracruz state, Mexico

Alex Mayer
Alex Mayer

Dr. Alex S. Mayer
Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Carnegie Museum Community Room
6:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Social and introductions
7 p.m.-8 p.m. Lecture and discussion

Open to the public. Free admission.

Facebook Event

Rail Transportation Program Announces CN Scholarship Winners

Students on a train

The Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP) is delighted to announce three 2018 winners of the CN Railway Scholarship. CN Railway has been an industry partner of the RTP since 2010, and in 2013 established an endowed fellowship that provides support for the RTP and scholarships to students attending Michigan Tech and involved in the rail industry. Aaron Dean (4th year, MEEM), Clarice Hill (2nd year, MEEM) and Alex Christmas (2nd year, CEE) will all receive a $1000 scholarship from the CN Endowment fund. Scholarship winners are selected each year by RTP’s Rail Transportation Advisory Board.

Bulleit Speaks on the Mind of Engineer

William M. Bulleit
William M. Bulleit

Professor Bill Bulleit spoke on the thought processes of engineers for the Environmental Engineering Seminar last Monday, January 29, 2018. The talk was entitled
The Engineering Way of Thinking – An Introduction.

Tech prof offers inside look into engineer’s mind

Bulleit sees a distinction between engineering and science and other disciplines commonly grouped with it.

In engineering, you use rules of thumb, safety rules and approximations. Failure will occur and advances will come from those failures.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.

Ecker and Mustafa Help You Make the Most of the Latest AISC Manual

Steel Construction Manual book cover and interior

Civil engineering Master’s student Nathan Ecker has co-authored an article “Making the Most of the Manual” in the January 2018 issue of Modern Steel Construction. The second author, Muaaz Mustafa, recently graduated from from Bradley University with an MS in civil engineering. Both were American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) interns this past summer.

The article refers to the 15th Edition of the AISC Steel Construction Manual.


A bevy of resources will help optimize your use of the latest AISC Manual, thus helping you optimize your steel-framed projects.

IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T HEARD, the 15th Edition of the AISC Steel Construction Manual is here! Accompanying its release are some useful, free resources that are at available at These include the new Version 15.0 Design Examples, Shapes Database and Historical Shapes Database, Basic Design Values Cards and Interactive Reference list. These resources will help you make the most of the new 15th Edition Manual as well as the new 2016 AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/ AISC 360, available at

Read more at Modern Steel Construction, by Nathan Ecker and Muaaz Mustafa.