Oberloier and Forney Celebrate Maker Fest 2024

Shane Oberloier (ECE), Ian Raymond (HU) and undergraduate student William Forney (robotics engineering) were quoted by the Daily Mining Gazette in a story about the 2024 Maker Fest, held March 23 at Houghton High School. This was the second year for the event, put on by Superior Fab Lab.

“It’s the chance to show off the tools we use in the enterprise, show how they can be used and generate interest in it that way.”

William Forney, robotics engineering undergraduate

The event celebrated the process of making and offered nearly 30 hands-on activities. Raymond let visitors engage in stop-motion filmmaking. Forney, an Open Source Hardware Enterprise member, offered 360-degree 3D scans of people’s heads. Also mentioned was the Society of Women Engineers, which ran a booth on building paper circuits.

Read more at the Daily Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

Group of people in an auditorium engaging in activities.
Students and families attend Maker Fest 2024.
Presenter in front of screen with large group in the background.
Dr. Shane Oberloier gives a presentation on YouTube methods.

Aurenice Oliveira Receives IEEE Outstanding Branch Counselor Award

Aurenice Oliveira working in the mobility lab.
Aurenice Oliveira working in the mobility lab.

The IEEE Outstanding Branch Counselor and Branch Chapter Advisor Award is for the exceptional and dedicated efforts of Student Branch Counsellors and Branch Chapter Advisors.

This is an international award since the counselors are chosen from all the branches within all the IEEE regions within and outside the USA. The following is Dr. Aurenice Oliveira’s dedication:

“Dear Dr. Aurenice Oliveira,
It is with immense pleasure and great pride that I extend my heartfelt congratulations to you on being selected as a winner of the prestigious IEEE Outstanding Branch Counselor and Branch Chapter Advisor Award for 2023. Your exemplary leadership, dedication, and significant contributions to your Student Branch have been recognized and celebrated.”

IEEE Member and Geographic Activities and Technical Activities Boards

The primary criteria for selection are the enthusiastic support of the Branch Counselor, or Branch Advisor, by his or her students, and the commitment he or she has made to the engineering profession by the fostering of activities that encourage the development of IEEE Student members. The award recipient receives a certificate and other items.

The Member and Geographic Activities and Technical Activities Boards sponsor the cash award to maximum of 20 Outstanding Counsellors and Advisors around the world. Winners are those individuals who, through their work as Counsellors and Advisors, exemplify the Institute’s commitment to the educational, personal, professional, and technical development of students in IEEE related fields of interest.

Durdu Güney on Superlensing

Durdu Güney in the lab.
Durdu Güney in the lab, captured with an optical lensing effect.

Durdu Güney (ECE) was quoted by IEEE Spectrum in a story about a study investigating a new method for “superlensing,” or seeing things smaller than the wavelength of light.

Australian researchers Boris Kuhlmey and coauthor Alessandro Tuniz used numerical calculations to regain high-resolution information needed to amplify a dim signal. The method was used instead of a physical superlens to image objects smaller than the wavelength of light.

The postprocessing central to the Australian approach is similar to techniques routinely used in other areas of microscopy, according to Durdu Güney who studies superlensing at Michigan Tech.

Although the application to imaging is new, Guney says, “conceptually, I think the idea is not very novel.”

His research has used similar techniques in higher optical frequencies, for which superlensing is more advanced. Güney also questions whether the approach will be effective for more complicated objects, some of the features of which may be overwhelmed by noise.

Durdu Güney is an associate professor in Electrical and Computing Engineering. His current research activities include photonic quantum computing, quantum manipulation of light with metamaterials and metasurfaces, magneto-optical metamaterials, and novel noise mitigation techniques for optical imaging. He is on the editorial boards of Opto-Electronic Advances, Journal of Quantum Information Science, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, Applied Sciences, and Photonics.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum, by Gwendolyn Rak.

My Story: Carter Dugan, MTUengineer

Carter Dugan ’25, Computer Engineering

Carter Dugan is a computer engineering student. He’s also a member of WCE, the Wireless Communications Enterprise team, part of Michigan Tech’s award-winning Enterprise Program. WCE is focused on technology—wireless, optical, renewable energy and biomedical. The student-run enterprise works as a think-tank for companies looking to push their product lines to a higher level. WCE members also work as entrepreneurs, taking their own ideas to a level where they can be useful for industry and consumers alike. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

Similar to my degree, I have a hardware side and a software side. I write a lot of code in my free time, mainly using either the C or Python programming languages. Outside of those two languages, I know Java and a small amount of C++. My main areas of interest in computer science are artificial intelligence, data science, systems programming, and CS education.

How did you decide to come to Michigan Tech?

I visited many schools in Indiana (my home state) and none of them stood out to me. I was considering not going to college at all after struggling to find a school and community that seemed to suit me. I don’t remember how I heard about Michigan Tech, but I remember visiting in January of 2020 on a Husky Host visit. I watched Broomball, spent time with a group of 10 or so students, and instantly fell in love with the community, the culture and the weather. That night I knew Michigan Tech was the school for me.

Any recipes, formulas, or tips for success?

My first year was during lockdown, so I can’t speak on the average first year experience. However, I know that many students struggle with adjusting to university life and workload regardless of their background, because many are not used to having to work hard for good grades. My number one piece of advice is to be patient with yourself. It took me until this year to get into a comfortable routine and schedule for success, and many who had similar experiences did not make it this far. It is all about having confidence in both your present self and your future self, and trusting in the process of being knocked over and getting back up to try again. If you follow this advice, you will be very successful, even when you falter academically.

“Similar to my degree, I have a hardware side and a software side,” says Carter.

What WCE projects are you working on right now? 

I am very interested in radio technology and joined to learn more about wireless comms. I’m on a team working on a drone that can use a cell tower as a middle man when communicating with the user, something that gives drones a much larger range of control. It is a very interesting and ambitious project, and the time I have spent working on it with my incredibly intelligent teammates has been invaluable and has taught me a lot.

What are the greatest challenges and benefits?

We haven’t run into many challenges, as we have an enthusiastic mentor and a good amount of freedom with the project. WCE itself has a particularly low member count at the moment. We’re taking that challenge by the horns by getting the word out about the enterprise and trying to get younger students into the lab to show them what we’re about. It is going very well, and we believe we’ll  have a very strong group of students of various backgrounds joining in the coming semesters.

The best part about WCE has been working with my team. Like I said, they are all very smart and hard working. Having a team that keeps each other in check and focused has resulted in maintaining a high work ethic. We have a good amount of momentum, and I have enjoyed every second I’ve spent with these people. I have learned so much from them already and look forward to continuing the learning experience.

Do you attend the MTU Career Fair?

My own experience at the MTU Career Fair has been very positive. I have networked with many people from different organizations and companies, resulting in a fantastic internship in the summer of 2023—a telecommunications company in Iron Mountain, Michigan, called CCI Systems. During my time there I gained valuable experience working with AI. It was an experience I’m confident will greatly pay off in the future. The MTU Career Fair has its reputation for a reason. Many companies love Michigan Tech students and grads—that’s because they know the work that goes into being a student at this university.

How did you find your major? 

I originally chose computer engineering because I always loved computer science and electrical engineering, and this degree is a hybrid of the two. However, I have recently discovered that I want to pursue a career in electronic control systems. I am currently taking my first class in that area and I love the content. I hope to secure a job in that field and will do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Have you tried undergraduate research at Tech?

I haven’t done undergraduate research outside of personal projects, but I have many friends who are doing various research projects in their undergrad, from EEs researching quantum computing and photonics to Biochem students doing research on environmental impacts on human cell structure and health.

“This is my club (WMTU) after our first broomball game of 2022-2023.”

How would you change the world if you could?

Making information and education freely available to anyone interested in any field of STEM. Information is more accessible than ever with the internet and now AI, yet so many people do not have access or the know-how to take advantage of it. If we can change this, it would greatly benefit us as individuals and as a species.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I’ve been given is to learn to learn instead of learning how to be taught. Relying on others (even professors!) to teach you the content will only get you so far. Almost all of learning is reliant on your self-discipline and passion for the education you are pursuing. Seize every opportunity and trust in the process. Failure is the most vital part of success and you won’t learn anything without it. 

Your advice for first year students? 

Many people will tell you to be your own number one supporter, and many others will tell you that you need to be your own number one critic. You need to be both if you want to succeed to your fullest potential.

“Above all else, be patient with yourself and give yourself time to improve.”

Advice for incoming students, from Carter Dugan

New Faculty Spotlight: Anna Stuhlmacher

Dr. Anna Stuhlmacher

Assistant Professor Anna Stuhlmacher comes to Michigan Tech from the University of Michigan. She earned a BS at Boston University and an MS and PhD at the University of Michigan, all in electrical engineering. She interned at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and grew up in the Chicago area. Welcome, Dr. Stuhlmacher!

What drew you to Michigan Tech?

There’s a lot to like about Michigan Tech! It has a great engineering and electric power systems program. Besides that, I was really drawn to the nature and outdoor recreation opportunities close to Michigan Tech’s campus. I am hoping to get more into cross country skiing this winter.

What is your primary area of research and what led you to it?

In my research, I focus on the electric power grid. I was led to the power systems area by doing undergraduate research. Between my junior and senior year, I did a summer research opportunity program at the University of Michigan. Over the span of two months, I focused on the impact of load control on power distribution networks and found this research area to be really neat. When I returned to Boston University for my senior year, I took as many of the power and energy courses as I could and applied to PhD programs with a focus on power systems.

“Consider getting involved in research as an undergraduate student.”

Dr. Anna Stuhlmacher’s advice for incoming students.

Can you share a little more about your research and what you like about it?

Broadly, my research explores optimizing and controlling distributed energy resources (like solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles) in the power grid to provide flexibility. Flexibility is important in the transition to more sustainable and reliable energy systems. I am particularly interested in modeling and optimizing the inherent flexibility and uncertainty propagation between power systems and other infrastructure systems, such as drinking water and agricultural systems, as well as ensuring that the power grid is resilient to natural hazards.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to hike, mountain bike, rock climb, and read.

Any favorite spots on campus, in Houghton, or in the UP?

I moved here earlier in the summer and I have really been enjoying the Tech Trails and the Maasto Hiihto Trails in nearby Hancock. If anyone has any hiking or mountain biking recommendations, please let me know.

Any advice for incoming students?

Consider getting involved in research as an undergraduate student. It can be such a valuable experience to have, especially at a time when you are figuring out what interests you and exploring different career paths.

Matt Kouba Wins Excellence in Presentation Award at URSS 2023

Winners Announced: Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium

The Pavlis Honors College hosted the Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium (URSS) last Friday (March 24) in conjunction with the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC). The event featured a panel discussion in which participants discussed how undergraduate research impacted their present work, two poster sessions and a networking social event that culminated with the announcement of the award winners. In addition to Michigan Tech students, students from the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College shared their work during this year’s URSS.

Thanks to the Portage Health Foundation and the DeVlieg Foundation for supporting the Undergraduate Research Internship Program as well as to the faculty, staff and graduate students who served as judges for the event.

The winners of the 2023 Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium include computer engineering student Matt Kouba for his poster “Low Cost CAN FD and Automotive Ethernet Development Boards.” Kouba was selected for Excellence in Presentation. Kouba’s faculty advisor was Aurenice Oliveira, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

By the Pavlis Honors College.

Extract from the URSS Booklet 2023:

Low Cost CAN FD and Automotive Ethernet Development Boards

Student Presenter: Matt Kouba, Computer Engineering
Faculty Advisor: Aurenice Oliveira, Electrical and Computer Engineering

CAN FD is currently used in nearly every new vehicle, but at Michigan Tech we do not yet have any resources that can be used in a teaching environment.

To design these teaching systems I have used Altium Designer to design the circuit and Printed Circuit Board layout.

When both the CAN FD and Automotive Ethernet learning systems are completed Michigan Tech will have the first low cost Automotive Ethernet development system for use in a classroom.

MTU RedTeam Places Third in CyberSEED CTF

The MTU RedTeam competed in the 2023 CyberSEED Capture the Flag (CTF) competition, held virtually March 4. The highly competitive seven-hour collegiate CTF engaged 333 students and 118 teams from universities across the country.

Placing third, RedTeam Team 1 earned 2,390 points with 93.41% accuracy. Team members were undergraduates Ryan Klemm (computer science), Audrey LaCost (chem informatics), Joshua Stiebel (computer engineering) and Noah Holland (cybersecurity). The team was awarded a $2,000 prize.

ReadTeam Team 2 placed 73rd in the contest. Team members were undergraduates Noah Hansen, Riley Meeves and Mason Staedt (all cybersecurity) and master’s student Gary Tropp (cybersecurity).

RedTeam Team 3 finished 99th in the event. Team members were undergraduates Ava Gullitti (electrical engineering) and Joshua Stevens (cybersecurity) and master’s student Dev Sanghani (cybersecurity). 

The annual CyberSEED CTF event is hosted by the University of Connecticut. The competition’s cybersecurity challenges included a set of flags focusing on reverse engineering, web application security, network traffic analysis, cryptography and other challenges.

Read more on the Computing News Blog.

Aurenice Oliveira Leads IEEE Section to Membership Retention Award

IEEE Region 4 Northeastern Wisconsin Section Received the 2022 Membership Retention Award

Aurenice Oliveira, the IEEE Section Chair, accepted the award on behalf of the section during IEEE Region 4 RCom Meeting 2023. The meeting took place January 27–January 29 in Chicago. The geographic area of the section also includes Michigan Tech.

Oliveira is an associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the IEEE Region 4 Section 27 chair, an IEEE MTU Student Chapter advisor, an MTU Vice President for Research Faculty Fellow, an ELATES-Drexel Fellow, and an Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Honor Society Advisor.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. IEEE is the trusted voice for engineering, computing, and technology information around the globe.

Aurenice Olveira stands between two people while accepting an engraved plaque.
Aurenice Oliveira, the IEEE Section Chair, receiving the award on behalf of the Section.
Aurenice Oliveira is seated at a table next to Eduardo Palacio.
Aurenice Oliveira at dinner with the IEEE-USA President Eduardo Palacio.

Bos Group on Testing of Lidar for Autonomous Vehicles

Colorful lidar image of an outdoor area in one image, with a near vertical green line in the second image.
(a) The reference point cloud scan (gray) overlayed with point clouds collected by each of the DUT lidars (colors). (b) Side view of an initial alignment between the reference point cloud (green) and point clouds from the DUT lidars for the 10 m target. Notice that the target is tilted toward the test origin. See the open source article link below.

Jeremy Bos (ECE) was quoted and PhD student Zach Jeffries (electrical engineering) and Akhil Kurup ’22 (PhD, computer engineering) were mentioned by SPIEGreen Car CongressTech XploreBioengineering.org and SCIENMAG in a story about a three-year effort to develop tests and performance standards for lidars used in autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems.

Bos led the testing through its first year, with Jeffries’ assistance. The team’s findings are detailed in an open-access paper published this month in Optical Engineering.

Zach D. JeffriesJeremy P. BosPaul F. McManamon, Charles Kershner, Akhil M. Kurup
Optical Engineering, Vol. 62, Issue 3, 031211 (January 2023). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.62.3.031211


This paper describes the initial results from the first of 3 years of planned testing aimed at developing methods, metrics, and targets necessary to develop standardized tests for these instruments. Here, we evaluate range error accuracy and precision for eight automotive grade lidars; a survey grade lidar is used as a reference. These lidars are tasked with detecting a static, child-sized, target at ranges between 5 and 200 m.

Our purpose in this work is to motivate the development of test standards in this area and highlight variations in performance between lidars when stated specifications are similar.

Proposed additions to the testing include more complex targets, dynamic targets, placing corner cubes, or identical lidars on the test range, and weather effects.

Maurer, Brock, and Hilliker Present at Defense Manufacturing Conference

The Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC 2022), was held in Tampa, Florida, on December 5–8. DMC is the nation’s annual forum for enhancing and leveraging the efforts of engineers, managers, technology leaders, scientists, and policy makers across the defense manufacturing industrial base.

Developing Disruptive and Transformational Solutions

Three electrical and computing engineering students presenting their research were:

Michael Maurer (PhD Candidate)
Presentation Title: Periodically Poled Polymers as an Entangled Photon Source

Giard Brock (Undergraduate)
Presentation Title: Ultra-violet Liquid Crystal Display Resin Printer Exposure Method for Rapid Prototyping of Printed Circuit Boards

Austin Hilliker (Undergraduate)
Presentation Title: Utilization of a Commercial Off the Shelf Laser Engraver for Rapid Production of Printed Circuit Boards

Three students check in for the conference.
Giard Brock, Michael Maurer, and Austin Hilliker