Author: ehgroth

Western U.P. Science and Engineering Festival & Fair

The 14th Annual Western Upper Peninsula Science Fair AND Science & Engineering Festival was held Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at the Memorial Union Building on Michigan Tech’s campus. Three hundred fifty students in grades 4-8 have entered projects into the Western UP Science Fair.

The Science & Engineering Festival showcased more than two dozen fun, hands-on activities conducted by more than one hundred Michigan Tech and Finlandia University students and local organizations, in the MUB Commons area. The Festival is open to ALL elementary students, accompanied by an adult.

See the results of the judging of projects at the Western U.P. Center Science Fair Website

2011-2012 Awards Convocation

The Annual Chemical Engineering Department Awards Convocation was held in the Rozsa Center on April 11, 2012. This is an opportunity to thank the faculty, staff and students for their hard work and dedication.  The department recognized the support of Mrs. Karen Hubbard, Kimberly-Clark, Dow Chemical, and UOP for their donations and services, which made this year’s Awards Convocation possible.

The guest speaker was Linda McInally, who joined Dow Corning in 1981 after having worked 2 years with IBM following her graduation from MTU as a chemical engineer. Her career at Dow Corning was centered on operations, with positions in process engineering, product development, finance and most recently, several roles in manufacturing leadership. Linda was named Vice President of Manufacturing for the Specialty Chemicals Business in 2008, where she was responsible for manufacturing plants across Asia, Europe and North and South America. Linda was recognized for her deep knowledge of the people and processes around the world, enabling strong leadership for contributing significant financial contribution and quality improvements for the business. Linda was also leading the Global Manufacturing Automation Group, responsible for implementing a vision for improving productivity through automation.Linda was awarded membership to the MTU Presidential Council of Alumnae in 2008 and inducted into the Chemical Engineering Distinguished Academy in 2010. She retired from Dow Corning in early 2012.

The  Interim Chair, Dr. Tony Roger opened the event.  The Convocation Master of Ceremonies was Dr. Faith Morrison, Associate Professor. Awards were presented by Mr. David Caspary, Lab Facilities Manager for Prevent Accidents With Safety (PAWS) Awards. The Dow Chemical Marriott W. Bredekamp Award was presented by Dr. John Sandell, Associate Professor. The Kimberly-Clark Communication Award and Kimberly-Clark Professional Ethics Award was presented by Mr. Robert VanDen Heuvel, Senior Process Engineer, Kimberly-Clark Corporation. The UOP Davis W. Hubbard Plant Design Team Award was presented by Dr. Caryn Heldt, Assistant Professor.  Student Reports were given for the   AIChE Chapter President by Ms. Kelly-Anne Zayan, Omega Chi Epsilon (OCE) President by Ms. Ellesse Bess, the Consumer Products Manufacturing (CPM) President by Mr. Robert Parker and the Alternative Fuels Group (AFG) President by Mr. Jacob Boes Student Research Recognition was presented by Dr. Caryn Heldt, Assistant Professor, the Faculty Awards, Teacher of the Year was presented to Dr. Faith Morrison  by AIChE Chapter President  Ms. Kelly-Anne, and  the Special Recognition of Graduating Seniors, by Dr. Faith Morrison, Associate Professor.

Photos for 2011-2012 Awards Convocation April 11, 2011

Students Earn Awards for Research

Several Chemical Engineering students have recently won awards for their research presentations and posters.

At the eighth annual Ecosystem Science Center and Biotechnology Research Center ESC/BRC Student Research Forum, held March 30, for the graduate students, four Grand Prize Awards and six Merit Awards were presented. They were selected from among 59 posters and abstracts submitted by graduate students conducting research related to ecology, the environment and biotechnology. Each center also awarded a Grand Prize to an undergraduate researcher in a separate division of 17 undergraduate submissions. Posters will be on display in the atrium of the Forestry building through Friday, April 13 See the complete article

From the Biotechnology Research Center:

$500 Grand Prize Winner: Maria Tafur (Chemical Engineering)
“Reduction of Virus Infectivity in the Presence of Osmolytes”
Advisor: Caryn Heldt

$100 Merit Award Winner: Tayloria Adams (Chemical Engineering)
“Characterizing the Dielectric Behavior of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells”
Advisor: Adrienne Minerick

$100 Merit Award Winner: Ran An (Chemical Engineering)
“Micron-scale Ion Concentration Gradients in Nonuniform AC Electric Fields”
Advisor: Adrienne Minerick

Photos and more details Biotechnology Research Center

Chemical Engineering Grain Processing Lecture April 5th:

April 5th: Chemical Engineering Grain Processing Corporation 2011-12 Graduate Lecture Series
Tarun K. Dam, Michigan Tech, Department of Chemistry;
Thursday, April 5, 2012, 1:00-2:00 P.M., Chem. Sci. & Engineering
Room 102

Topic: Glycan biding proteins in health and disease

More than half of the proteins in our body possess
covalently attached glycan or carbohydrate molecules. These
glycan molecules are recognized by a special group of proteins
known as glycan binding proteins (GBP) or lectins. Lectins play
important roles in numerous biological processes including
immune defense and pathogen invasion. Lectins interact with
their glycan ligands through a unique recognition process.
Specific examples of lectin-glycan interactions in cancer and
bio-detection and their clinical significance will be discussed.

Michigan Tech Students Head to Detroit for Alternative Spring Break

Members of Michigan Tech’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) are in Detroit to participate in an alternative spring break 2012 week. Eight members of the Michigan Tech student chapter of the NSBE will visit six middle schools and one high school to talk with students. They will also conduct Family Engineering events at three schools. Family Engineering includes fun, hands-on activities for the whole family, such as “Mining For Chocolate” and “Glue Is The Clue.” The program, developed at Michigan Tech and now available across Michigan and nationwide, is designed to engage and inspire young people and their families to consider careers in engineering and science. Read More

Chemical engineering students showcase their latest research

Graduate students in the chemical engineering department went to the 2012 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) annual meeting held Feb. 11-16 in Seattle, Wash., to showcase their latest research. This year graduate students, with Professor S. Komar Kawatra as their adviser, took first and third place in the minerals processing division.

The posters and presentations were judged by SME members working in the mining industry.

PhD candidate Brett Spigarelli took first place with a poster, “An Equilibrium Analysis of Carbon Dioxide Absorption in Alkali Solutions.”

PhD candidate Howard Haselhuhn took third place with a poster, “Water Chemistry Effects on Zeta Potential of Concentrated Hematite Ore.”

Dr. Bruce Lee: Mussel-Inspired Adhesives and Coatings

Chemical Engineering Grain Processing Corporation 2011-12 Lecture Series:
Friday, February 24, 2012; 10:00 a.m. Chem. Sci. & Engineering Room 102;
Dr. Bruce P. Lee, Michigan Tech Department of Biomedical Engineering; Title: “Mussel-Inspired Adhesives and Coatings”

Abstract: Mussel-Inspired Adhesives and Coatings

Bioadhesives have a wide range of important applications in the biomedical field.  Tissue adhesives simplify complex surgical procedures to achieve effective wound closure and surgical repair. Despite these important functions, currently available adhesives seldom meet the basic requirements for because of possible disease transmission, poor adhesive quality, or toxicity concerns. Thus, there is an ongoing need for the development of tissue adhesives with improved characteristics. Nature provides many outstanding examples of adhesive strategies from which chemists and materials scientists can draw inspiration in their pursuit of new biomaterials. Of particular interest is the mussel adhesive protein (MAP) secreted by marine mussels. MAP is initially secreted as a proteinaceous fluid, and then subsequently harden which allow mussels to bind tenaciously to various types of surfaces underwater. One of the unique structural features of MAP is the presence of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), an amino acid post-translationally modified from tyrosine, which is believed to fulfill the dual role as the adhesive moiety and the crosslinking precursor. My research had focused on the incorporation of DOPA and its derivatives in creating synthetic mimics of MAPs for various medical applications. In this seminar, I will discuss the design and application of these biomimetic adhesive materials.