Author: College of Engineering

Sue Hill is the Digital Content Manager for the College of Engineering.

Steve Landry Quoted in Trains Magazine

FEB2015Steven Landry, MS student in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors, was quoted in the article “Despite drop in collisions, intersection of roads and rails still a dangerous place.” Landry noted that each year fewer and fewer people were killed in grade crossing incidents. He gave reasons which included studies of driver behavior at railroad crossings.

Read more at Trains Magazine, by Justin Franz. Subscription required.

PhD Students Learn to Communicate their Research

With a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Michigan Technological University is trying to help the next generation of PhDs learn to better communicate their research. Alex Mayer, the Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor at Michigan Tech, runs a fellowship program that teaches PhD students in a variety of fields to explain their research in K-12 classrooms and to write news releases to communicate with the public through the media. Others working with him on the grant are Nancy Auer, Biological Sciences; Brad Baltensperger, Cognitive and Learning Sciences; Kathleen Halvorsen, Social Sciences and School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science; Shawn Oppliger, Copper Country Intermediate School District; and Linda Nagel, formerly at Michigan Tech, now at the University of Minnesota.

Read more at Michigan Tech News.

Engineering Exploration Day for Girls Grades 7-12 on Feb. 21, 2015

An Engineering Exploration Day will be held for girls (grades 7-12) and their parents on Saturday, Feb. 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Great Lakes Research Center.

Celebrate Engineers Week and come find out what engineering is all about. Try some fun hands-on activities led by women engineering students at Michigan Tech and discover their love of engineering. Learn how engineers make a difference and why engineering is a great career choice, as well as the many career paths open to engineers.

Registration will be free to the first 40 girls and their parent(s) or chaperones. Lunch and all activities are included. The deadline to register is Thursday, Feb. 19. To register, call 7-3341 or fill out the electronic form.

For more information, contact Joan Chadde at 7-3341 or at

From Tech Today.

A day for the girls
Engineering Exploration Day

Read more at the Mining Gazette (subscription required).

William Kennedy Nominated for Distinguished Teaching Award

William KennedyThe William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning seeks input for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize outstanding contribution to the instructional mission of the University.

Based on more than 50,000 student rating of instruction responses, ten finalists have been identified for the 2015 awards. The selection committee is soliciting comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni to aid in its deliberation process.

Associate Professor William Kennedy is one of the finalists in the Associate Professor/Professor category.

Comments on the nominees are due by Friday, April 3, and can be completed online.

The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their classes. The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award will be formally announced in May 2015.

Read more at Tech Today.

Free Community Outdoor Nature Program Monday

Night SkyThe Community Outdoor Nature Programs are free events for families that focus on engaging parents and children in creative outdoor play and nature exploration. All families are welcome to attend the twice-monthly events that will be held at the Nara Nature Center and the Maasto Hiito Chalet in Hancock. Families will explore local trails and create take-home nature projects while learning about our local environment.

Programs will be held one Monday evening each month from 6:30-8 p.m. and one Saturday afternoon each month from 2-4 p.m, starting from either the Nara Nature Center or Maasto Hiito Chalet.

The next program is on Monday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to experience stargazing, sensory activities, owl-calling, nocturnal animals and snowshoeing.

During the winter, snowshoeing will be a part of all programs. Bring your own snowshoes if you have them. The Center will have 30 pairs of snowshoes on hand. Dress warmly as the program will be mostly outdoors.

The Jan-June schedule of programs is available.

Programs are led by the staff of the Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education and funded by the Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals. The Western UP Center, established in 2000, is a partnership of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, the Copper Country ISD and the Gogebic-Ontonagon ISD, offering a wide variety of K-12 education programs to enhance the teaching and learning of science and mathematics. Find out more by visiting the Center website or by calling the Center at 7-3341.

Joint Rail Conference Travel Scholarship for Fakhr Hosseini

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Rail Transportation Division (RTD) has awarded Maryam Fakhr Hosseini an ASME RTD Graduate Student Conference Scholarship for the 2015 ASME Joint Rail Conference (JRC). The scholarship, in the amount of $1,100.00, is intended to pay for transportation, lodging, and meals. The scholarship also covers reimbursement of the full student conference registration fee.

The ASME RTD scholarship gives graduate students the opportunity to network with rail industry professionals and to expand their knowledge of rail research, technical advancements, and industry needs.

Fakhr Hosseini is a PhD student in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors. Her advisor is Myounghoon “Philart” Jeon.

JRC 2015

Volunteers Needed for Annual Get WISE Workshop

The Center for Pre-College Outreach invites faculty and staff to volunteer at Get WISE (Get Women in Science and Engineering). 7th and 8th grade girls from the western Upper Peninsula are invited to spend the day at Michigan Tech, where they participate in a range of activities to reconnect them with the exciting, dynamic world of engineering. Participants compete in several​ challenges, which include projects like: building and testing a bridge with household materials, creating a device to travel across the room into target zones or designing a simple device that will stay airborne for as long as possible. The CPCO and WUP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education are excited to host this event once more for 250 young women.

Get WISE will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Wood Gym. Volunteers are needed to facilitate the activities, serve lunch and engage with the participants as role models. Please consider donating an hour or two of your time to make a difference in the lives of these young women. Everyone is welcome to volunteer regardless of department or engineering background and any amount of time is appreciated. For more information, contact Liz Fujita (

From Tech Today.

Human Research and Engineering Directorate Visit Thursday

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences and the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology are excited to host Laurel Allender, director of the Human Research and Engineering Directorate of the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Thursday, January 29, 2015.

Allender will be giving a presentation, titled “Human Sciences in the Army Research Laboratory: From the Bench to the Battlefield,” from 3 to 4 p.m. in the GLRC 202. Her presentation will include a glimpse into what it is like to be a scientist/engineer working in a DoD lab, and then proceed to discuss how researchers in the human sciences can contribute collaboratively to the important fundamental and applied work in human performance, human factors, simulation and training technology missions of the Human Research and Engineering Directorate. A social will follow the presentation from 4-5 p.m.

All faculty and graduate students who are interested in human sciences, particularly in those areas related to the mission of the Human Research and Engineering Directorate of the ARL, are encouraged to attend.

More information about Allender is available on the ARL website.

In addition to the presentation, we will be scheduling a few small group, lab meetings/tours. If you are interested in being considered for some one-on-one time with Allender, contact Susan Amato at

From Tech Today.

Track-n-Trail Family Hike at Nara Nature Center Saturday

Track n TrailTake a hike in the woods and look for signs of wildlife. Become a wildlife detective as you search for animal tracks and signs in the woods to discover “who goes there?”

The Community Outdoor Nature Program will be holding a track-n-trail family hike at the Nara Nature Center on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m.

There will be an indoor activity which will have families tracking identification and animal movements and an outdoor activity where families can go on a naturalist-led hike along the Nara Trails on snowshoes.

Families are encouraged to dress warmly and bring their own snowshoes if they have them. For more information, call the Center at 7-3341.

This program is funded by the Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals and coordinated by the Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education and the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

From Tech Today.