Category Archives: Research

Caryn Heldt Collaborates on Awarded Paper

Caryn Heldt
Caryn Heldt

Caryn Heldt (ChE) and her collaborators Christian Nwamba and Barbara Radecki from Wayne County Community College were awarded second place in the Best Paper Competition at the 2018 ASEE North Central Section Conference at the University of Akron on March 24. This work was based on Heldt’s NSF CAREER Educational Plan.

Heldt’s group presented “Environmental research to engage community college students.”

Extract: In order to better serve the students that desire a four-year degree and to increase their knowledge of job opportunities with different four-year degrees, a research project was created between a university and a community college. The community college students take weekly water samples over the course of a summer project and test the water for biological and chemical components. This is the first time these students have been exposed to an open-ended laboratory without known results.

Award Presentation
Award Presentation

NSF REU Site at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago

REU Site: An Interdisciplinary Research Experience for Undergraduates in Food Safety, Food Engineering, and Nutrition
June 4, 2018 to August 10, 2018, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

Are you an undergraduate student interested in exploring myriad opportunities in food safety, food engineering and nutrition? Food science is a STEM area which produces far fewer graduates than the job opportunities. Would you like to undergo a rigorous mentoring and professional development training along with a paid research internship to fine-tune your skill sets required to become successful scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs? Wait no further and apply for this paid internship program. You will be trained by eight mentors from Illinois Institute of Technology and Food and Drug Administration for a 10 week period. The selected students will be given a stipend totaling $8,900 by this program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (Award # 1757989).

The goals of the REU program are
1) to provide hands on research experiences to undergraduate students in food safety, food engineering and nutrition to provide exposure to the field (special emphasis will be given to students without previous experience, minority students and students from community colleges)
2) to systematically train the students in transforming basic research ideas into practical applications aimed at solving real world problems for improving the safety and nutrition of our food supply through interactive seminars and discussions
3) to systematically mentor the undergraduate students to hone their research and professional skills through mentoring workshops, student presentations/discussions, interaction with graduate students, and K-12 outreach
4) to expose the students to broader fields of food science to enhance their knowledge in this field (with special emphasis on food safety, food engineering, and nutrition) through seminars and tours, and
5) to train the students on research and professional ethics.

Projects (major focus of the project is given within the brackets)
1) Energy-efficient design of sterilization of foods using pressure assisted thermal sterilization using COMSOL (modeling and simulation)
2) Low moisture food safety of legacy technologies (microbiology)
3) Shedding light on food safety: Application of a novel pulsed light treatment for inactivation of pathogens (engineering and microbiology)
4) Physiological chemistry of plant bioactives in humans (nutrition)
5) Application of cold plasma for enhancing safety of sprout seeds (engineering and microbiology)
6) Understanding transport processes in food processing using COMSOL (modeling and simulation)
7) Affordable nutrition through kinetic hydroponics (engineering design and microbiology)
8) Repurposing food ingredients for controlling biofilms of food-borne pathogens (microbiology)

Requirements
• Be a U.S. Citizen or green card holder currently enrolled in an UNDERGRADUATE program in a science or engineering discipline within the United States
• Available for the entire duration (June 4, 2018 to August 10, 2018) in Chicago for the training
• GPA ≥ 3.00 (if proper justification is provided, a GPA of 2.75 will be considered)

Application procedures
Send the following documents to Kathiravan Krishnamurthy (kkrishn2@iit.edu) by 5:00 PM CST on Monday, April 30, 2018.
• Completed REU application form
• Transcript (unofficial transcript)
• Resume
• Two letters of recommendation (at least one of them should be from a faculty)
• An essay detailing i) why are you interested in this REU program?, ii) what are your goals in participating in this training program?, and iii) what are your career goals and how does this training program will help you in achieving your career goals
• List the projects you are interested in

REU Application Form

Name

Academic year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)
Name of the current institution

GPA

Anticipated graduation date

Date of birth

Citizenship status (US citizen, Green card holder)

Address

Telephone

Email

Gender identity (optional)

Ethnicity (optional)

Race (optional)

Do you have disability? (optional)

Preferred REU project(s) – if you do not list any specific projects, you will be considered for all the projects

Would you like to be considered for other projects if your preferred REU project is not available (yes or no)


EPA Funding for Lei Pan

Lei Pan
Lei Pan

Lei Pan (ChE/ASISC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $15,000 research and development grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The project is “Separation and Recovery of Battery Components.”

This is a one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.


Tech Faculty to Participate in Kraft Lignin Forum

Verso QuinnesecSeveral Michigan Tech faculty members will be on hand this week at a forum in Iron Mountain to discuss the future of the paper industry.

The Kraft Lignin Innovation Forum takes place Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 11/12, 2017) at the Verso Quinnesec Mill, just outside of Iron Mountain.  The event is coordinated by the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute (MIFBI). Mark Rudnicki (SFRES), executive director of MIFBI, says the forum intends to bring researchers and companies from across Michigan, and beyond, to learn first hand the availability and opportunities surrounding residual black liquor from Michigan’s largest pulp producer.

Among the Tech faculty presenting are Rebecca Ong (ChE), David Shonnard (ChE), Michael Mullins (ChE), Xingeng Xie (SFRES) and Wen Zhou (ChE).

For more information and for a complete schedule of the conference, visit here.


Rebecca Ong and Newly Funded Bioenergy Research Centers

Rebecca G. Ong
Rebecca G. Ong

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Rebecca G. Ong is named in a proposal for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. The center is one of four to receive part of the estimated $40 million in Department of Energy awards.

DOE SELECTS GREAT LAKES BIOENERGY RESEARCH CENTER FOR NEXT-PHASE FUNDING

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) for an additional five years of funding to develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum. The past recipient of roughly $267 million in DOE funding, the GLBRC represents the largest federal grant ever awarded to UW–Madison.

Established by the Biological and Environmental Research program in DOE’s Office of Science in 2007, GLBRC is based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Wisconsin Energy Institute and includes a major partnership with Michigan State University (MSU).

Read more at GLBRC News, by Krista Eastman.

Department of Energy Provides $40 Million for 4 DOE Bioenergy Research Centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry today announced $40 million in Department of Energy awards for the establishment of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs), which will provide the scientific breakthroughs for a new generation of sustainable, cost-effective bioproducts and bioenergy.

The centers—each led by a DOE National Laboratory or a top university—are designed to lay the scientific groundwork for a new bio-based economy that promises to yield a range of important new products and fuels derived directly from nonfood biomass. Initial funding for the four centers will total $40 million for FY 2018, with plans for a total of five years of funding.

Read more at DOE News.



Local ACS Chapter Hosts 2017 Student Research Symposium

ACS SRS RoomThe Upper Peninsula Local Section of the American Chemistry Society invites you to the 2017 Student Research Symposium. This year’s research symposium will be held on Northern Michigan’s campus within the atrium of the New Science Facility on Saturday, March 25. The event starts at 9:30 a.m.

The purpose of the event is to provide a venue for students to present their research in chemistry, chemical engineering and related fields. This symposium is an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and the community at large to learn about the interesting research being conducted in the UP. More details can be found online.

You can also check out our Facebook page for more information.

All are welcome. There is no charge to attend. RSVP here.

By Robert Handler, Chemical Engineering.


Caryn Heldt Featured in SWE People

Caryn Heldt
Caryn Heldt

The Society of Women Engineers highlighted the teaching and research efforts of Caryn Heldt (ChE) in their Winter 2017 issue of SWE Magazine.

RECOGNIZED FOR TEACHING AND RESEARCH

Caryn L. Heldt, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University, was named the recipient of the James and Lorna Mack Endowed Chair in Bioengineering. Her endowed chair is named for James Mack, a Michigan Tech alumnus and retired president and CEO of Cambex Corp., a developer of specialty chemicals. His company has successfully combined biology with engineering — especially in the rapidly emerging field of tissue engineering and cell therapy and the development of small molecule therapeutics.

Read more at SWE People.


Michigan Tech Partners in Department of Energy Research Institute

REMADEMichigan Technological University is one of 85 partners in a US Department of Energy-funded $70 million energy-saving project called the REMADE (Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions) Institute.

The project’s goal is to drive down the cost of technologies needed to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste.  Ultimately REMADE hopes to achieve a 50 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.


Vitamins and Tears Make the News

TearsTechCentury, an engineering and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on research into vitamins and tears, by Maryam Khaksari and Adrienne Minerick (ChemEng). Read the story here.

In the News

Vitamins in tears may be an alternative to invasive bloodwork demonstrated by research led by Adrienne Minerick (ChE, CoE) and Maryam Khaksari (ChE, ChARM Lab).

Several science news outlets covered the story including Fit Pregnancy and Baby, TechCentury and Counsel & Heal. A number of science blogs also picked up the story: Bioscience Technology, BioSpace, Bionity.com and ScienMag.

Several more science news outlets covered the story including a Q&A on MedicalResearch.com, Lab Manager Magazine, NutraIngredients and an article in the French magazine Parents and Italian magazine Corrierre. A number of science blogs picked up the story in Italian, English and French.