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  • Day: April 5, 2021

    Our Stories: Dr. Nathir Rawashdeh

    This is part of a series of short introductions about College students, faculty, and staff. Would you like to be featured? Send a photo and some background info about yourself to

    Dr. Nathir Rawashdeh, Assistant Professor, Applied Computing

    • Affiliated Assistant Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Years teaching at Michigan Tech: 2
    • Years teaching overall: 12
    • Member, Data Sciences research group, Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC)
    • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 2007
    • MS, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2003
    • Faculty Profile

    Classes Dr. Rawashdeh Teaches

    • Programmable Logic Control (PLC)
    • Digital Electronics
    • Analog Electronics
    • Image Processing
    • Automatic Control Systems
    • Instrumentation and Measurement

    The “coolest” class you teach, and why:

    Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), because every factory in the world is controlled by PLCs.

    The importance of your class topics to the overall understanding of Computing and your discipline: 

    Computing is the way of the future. And in all disciplines we rely more and more on sophisticated design, modeling, and control software. The Digital Electronics course is key to the overall understanding of computer systems. We discuss the building blocks of computers, and programmable logic controllers apply computing solutions for automation programming and industrial communication.

    Your teaching philosophy: 

    • I believe in the social connection between teacher and student because it enables them to learn from each other, and more than just technical material and information.
    • In today’s changing world, courses and delivery methods must be constantly updated to maximize learning in a wide sense. When teaching online, I always turn on my camera and teach from the classroom.
    • I interact actively with students, and when I see that they need a break I tell them a story from my professional or personal experience. In the labs, I am almost always engaged with students, helping them solve problems.

    Labs you direct and their general focus:

    • In the Programmable Logic Controllers labs (for introductory and advanced level courses), students learn how to program industrial controllers and interface with sensors and actuators.
    • In the Digital Electrics lab, students learn the building blocks of computers and program FPGA boards, which is the fastest programmable hardware possible.

    Research projects in which students are assisting: 

    • An ECE PhD student is working on sensor fusion for autonomous driving in the snow.
    • I plan to hire a graduate student this summer to implement indoor simultaneous location and mapping of a mobile robot.
    • Recently, an undergraduate EET student helped me build a virus sterilizing mobile robot that uses ultraviolet light. Read a news article, view photos and a YouTube video here.
    • In personal research, I also work on image analysis and industrial inspection research.

    Other cool things your students are doing:

    • Recent senior design projects include a gesture controlled robotic arm and a PID control system based on a levitating ball.
    • See more projects on my lab website:

    Interests beyond teaching and research:

    • I am married and have four children. The eldest is studying Environmental Engineering at Tech.
    • I like cars and ground robots, painting, swimming, and playing soccer.
    • I speak three languages and have lived in four countries, in each for over a decade.

    Lode Centennial Banquet Friday

    by Michigan Tech Lode

    Join the 2020-2021 staff of the Michigan Tech Lode as we celebrate one hundred years on Michigan Tech’s campus. We would not be here today without alumni, readers, and the support of staff. While we are restricted to Zoom, this allows us to invite many more people.

    We will begin the celebration with a history of The Lode, then move on to introductions of the current staff. After this, we would like to hear about your experience with The Lode, fun memories, and any other comments you’d like to share. Those who register will be entered into a raffle to win a Lode hat.

    We will be picking two winners. All members of the past and present Michigan Tech community are encouraged to attend, especially any Lode alumni. To register, click here. To view more information, visit our website.

    National Flash Drive Day

    by Van Pelt and Opie Library

    National Flash Drive Day occurs on April 5, the day the patent application for flash drives was filed in the U.S. In many years this coincides with National Library Week. To celebrate, the Van Pelt and Opie Library is handing out one free flash drive to the first 150 lucky patrons. Each flash drive contains a file directing users to an interactive patent that explores various parts of a patent document. Check it out for yourself at the library’s Patent & Trademark guide.

    National Flash Drive Day is a great opportunity to highlight the “first to file” concept that the United States moved to in 2013. We celebrate this invention on April 5 because this is the day that the patent for the USB flash drive was filed in the United States. Since 2013, a patent’s filing date has been recognized by the USPTO as the date an invention belongs to the inventors. Though this law wasn’t in effect when the patent for the flash drive was filed in 2000, this shines a light on the fascinating complexities of intellectual property (IP) law and the importance of learning its intricacies for entrepreneurs.

    If you have IP questions, Michigan Tech’s Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) is a great first stop for finding answers. The Van Pelt and Opie Library is home to the Upper Peninsula’s only PTRC. Each of the 83+ PTRCs in the nation is part of a nationwide network of public, state, and academic libraries designated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to support the public with trademark and patent assistance.

    For more information or to make an appointment, email and a representative will assist you remotely.