Author: ehgroth

Systems Control Announces Expansion

image16619-persFrom Tech Today by Systems Control

An Upper Peninsula company with ties to Michigan Tech has announced a major expansion. Systems Control has begun a 70,000 sqare foot addition that will bring the total footprint of the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Iron Mt. to more than 315,000 square feet. This expansion comes on the heels of a 127,000 square foot expansion that was completed in 2012.

Systems Control is owned by Michigan Tech alumnus Dave Brule, Sr., ’72, who also served for several years as a member of the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees, culminating in a term as chairman in 2004.

In announcing his most recent investment in the Upper Peninsula economy, Brule stated, “Given our markets, we could have expanded our manufacturing capabilities anywhere in the country. I prefer to leverage the strong work ethic and technical expertise of residents in the Upper Peninsula. Quality and innovation are hallmarks of our success. Engineers and workers in the U.P. embody these traits.”

The additional space will be devoted primarily to the manufacture of equipment enclosures used in the electrical transmission, energy storage and oil and gas distribution industries.

Accompanying the investment in plant and equipment, Systems Control has embarked on a substantial program to develop and grow the human resource side of the business. In order to achieve its strategic goals, the company plans to add 70 to 150 people per year for the foreseeable future, possibly doubling its workforce by 2020. Immediate needs include electrical engineers, manufacturing engineers, project managers, CAD designers and many tradesmen.

In May, Systems Control established an engineering office in Houghton located in Michigan Tech’s Lakeshore Center, home of the MTEC SmartZone, on the Houghton waterfront. To learn more, visit the Systems Control website.


Seminars: “What is a Systems Engineer?” and “A Focus on the Entry Level Engineer”

ECE Speaker: Two seminars: What is a Systems Engineering and A Focus on the Entry Level Engineer

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, with sponsorship from the IEEE Student Chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, will host two presentations by guest speaker Steven Lien on Tuesday.

Steven Lien, Southwestern Missouri IEEE Section Chapter Boeing Associate Technical Fellow (retired), will deliver an afternoon presentation, primarly for faculty, titled “A Discussion On: What is a Systems Engineering?” It will be held from 2:05 to 2:55 p.m in MEEM 111. Visit here for more information.

The evening presentation and pizza reception, primarily for students will be held from 6:05 to 6:55 p.m in EERC L100. The title is, “A Focus on the Entry Level Engineer.” The pizza reception will follow the presentation in EERC 515. Visit here for more information.


ECE News Briefs

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Tim Havens (ECE) co-authored two articles, “Data-informed Fuzzy Measures for Fuzzy Integration of Intervals and Fuzzy Numbers” and “Quadratic Program-based Modularity Maximization for Fuzzy Community Detection in Social Networks,” in the latest issue of IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems. The second article was written with former graduate student, Jianhai Su, who is now at McAfee.

Wayne Weaver (ECE) has received $97,460 from Sandia National Labs under contract for a research and development project titled, “Unstable and Pulse Load Control Designs for Naval Electrical Systems.”

Laura Brown (CS/AIM) is the principal investigator on the research and development project, “Collaborative Research: CRISP Type 2: Revolution through Evolution: A Controls Approach to Improve How Society Interacts with Electricity” that has received a $699,796 grant from the National Science Foundation. Also working on the project are co-pi’s Chee WooiTen (ECE) and Wayne Weaver (ECE). This is a three-year project.

Durdu Guney (ECE) has received a $131,305 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research for the research and development project titled, “Full Compensation and Control of Losses in Metamaterial Devices without Gain Medium.” This is the first year of a three-year project, totaling $374,027.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published an article “Overcoming the North’s Diesel Dependence With Renewable Energy” in Circle, the magazine of the World Wildlife Federation’s Global Arctic Program and was posted on their arctic blog, Thin Ice Blog. Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) research showing a high ROI for open source scientific hardware development was the top story on NSF’s Science 360. It was also covered by others including ECN Magazine and 3Ders.

Graduate students Tony Pinar (ECE) and Bas Wijnen (MSE) collaborated with Jerry Anzalone (MSE), Tim Havens(ECE), Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua. Pearce (MSE) on a paper titled: Low-cost Open-Source Voltage and Current Monitor for Gas Metal Arc Weld 3-D Printing published in the Journal of Sensors.

Graduate students Wyatt Adams (ECE), Ankit Vora (ECE) and Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and Durdu Guney (ECE). Controlling optical absorption in metamaterial absorbers for plasmonic solar cells, for the SPIE Proceedings on Active Photonic Materials. Graduate student Bas Wijnen (MSE) co-authored a paper with Jerry Anzalone (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on Multi-material additive and subtractive prosumer digital fabrication with a free and open-source convertible delta RepRap 3-D printer published in the Rapid Prototyping Journal.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted on the performance of solar in the Richmond Times Dispatch and Tulsa World.
The Pearce group solar-powered 3-D printers made the Tech.Mic top 6 list for Here Are the Big Ways 3-D Printing Is Creating the Future of Renewable Energy. 3D Printing Industry reports that copies of Pearce’s book The Open Source Lab are prizes inthe Second Great Big Gigabot Giveaway.

The Physical Review Letter paper underlying the perfect lens research of Durdu Guney (ECE) ranked in the top 5 percent of all articles scored by Altmetric, received “high score” compared to articles of the same age (96th percentile) and is listed as the second top trending article on Physical Review Letters in the month it’s published.
The research received media coverage in R&D Magazine, Technology.Org, Nanowerk, Phys.Org, Newswise, among others and was picked up by NSF’s website.

Graduate students Kunal Shah (ECE) and Conway Fellow Aishwarya Mundada (ECE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), “Performance of U.S. Hybrid Distributed Energy Systems: Solar Photovoltaic, Battery and Combined Heat and Power” published in the journal Energy Conversion and Management.

Tim Havens (ECE/CS) presented two papers at the IEEE Int. Conference on Fuzzy Systems in Istanbul, Turkey. The first paper was entitled, “Feature and Decision Level Fusion Using Multiple Kernel Learning and Fuzzy Integrals,” authored by ECE PhD student Anthony Pinar and coauthored by Havens and Derek Anderson and Lequn Hu from Mississippi State University. The second paper was authored by Titilope Adeyeba (Miss. State), Anderson and Havens, entitled, “Insights and Characterization of L1-Norm Based Sparsity Learning of a Lexicographically Encoded Capacity Vector for the Choquet Integral.” Havens also served as an Area Chair and Session Chair at the conference.

Several news outlets, including Chem Europe and Hackaday, have picked up a recent story about Joshua Pearce and NECi collaborating on developing an open source nitrate test kit.

The Chicago Tribune published an article from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, quoting Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on the use of solar panels in cold northern climates.

Tech Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on Professor Durdu Guney’s (ECE) metamaterials work to create the “perfect” lens. Read the article.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) wrote “Win a Giant 3-D Printer for Making a Positive Social Impact” in ELSEVIER SciTech Connect.

Seyed Zekavat (ECE) has received $24,954 from the National Science Foundation for the project titled, Workshop on Challenges for Space Solar Power.

Graduate students Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) and Ankit Vora (ECE) co-authored a paper with Durdu Guney (ECE), Paul Bergstrom (ECE) , Anand Kulkarni (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE); Limitations of Ultra-Thin Transparent Conducting Oxides for Integration into Plasmonic-Enhanced Thin Film Solar Photovoltaic Devices, in Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Technology Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on a visit by ESD executives to Michigan Tech and plans to establish a student chapter of the ESD at Michigan Tech.

Student Tayler Sly (Computer Engineering) shows off a circuit board and some of his co-op work at Extreme Engineering Solutions in an on-line article published by Corp Magazine. Corp also published an article on the future of the high-tech jobs market in Michigan, quoting Jim Baker, executive director of Innovation and Industry Engagement, and Steve Patchin, director of Career Services. The article also features several photos of Michigan Tech students and interns.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was the keynote speaker for the Shared Resource Laboratories: Driving Innovation and Discovery joint Mid-Atlantic Directors and Staff of Scientific Cores (MAD SSCi) and Southeastern Association of Shared Resources (SEASR) meeting in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia. Pearce was also quoted in “5 upcoming developments in 3D printing” in the Business Reporter distributed with the Daily Telegraph (UK). Pearce and MSE PhD student Amberlee Haselhuhn coauthored “Intellectual Property as a Strategic National Industrial Weapon: the Case of 3D Printing.” in the May-August issue of Engineer: the Professional Bulletin of Army Engineers. Read the article.

Joshua Pearce, (MSE/ECE) is quoted in the article “Money-Smart Reasons to Install Solar Panels at Your Home Now,” on Kiplinger.com and in the August 2015 edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Pearce’s research on low-cost heat exchanger technology was featured in the Mumbai Mirror (daily circulation of about 700,000).

Wisconsin STEM Pathways, a publication of Wisconsin Project Lead the Way, published a feature article in its Winter issue about a Michigan Tech computer engineering student, Eric Johnson, from Appleton, Wis.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) made Red Hat‘s list of 21 open hardware enthusiasts to follow on Twitter. Red Hat is a $1.5 billion/year multinational open source company. Pearce explains the 3D printing revolution in a podcast on Japan’s Corbett Report. The Corbett Report is an independent, listener-supported alternative news source, operating on the principle of open source intelligence.

Christopher Middlebrook (ECE), has received a $348,268 research and development contract for the project, Highly Linear Electro-optic Modulator for Microwave Photonic Links Department/Center/Institute: Electrical & Computer from the US Department of Defense, Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) article on Michigan Tech’s course to build your own 3D printer, which was supported by a William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning grant, was the editor’s pick and most read story on OpenSource.com last week.

Alumnus/Winn Fellow Joseph Rozario (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published “Optimization of annealing cycles for electric output in outdoor conditions for amorphous silicon photovoltaic–thermal systems,” in Applied Energy. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.03.073.

Joshua Pearce’s MSE/ECE cross-listed course was covered by OpenSource, 3D Print (Unchained with Open Source: Michigan Tech 3D Printing Course Teaches Students to Build 3D Printers) and 3D Printing Industry (Michigan Tech’s Open Source Course – The Future of 3D Printing Education). Pearce was quoted in the Examiner story What ever you need, chances are a 3D printer can print it and in a Science News story about a new method to 3D print.
The research of Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and his group was highlighted in the article “Can We 3D Print Our Way to Sustainability,” in the Earth Island Journal.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) coauthored “Effect of ambient combinations of argon, oxygen, and hydrogen on the properties of DC magnetron sputtered indium tin oxide films” in AIP Advances.

R&D, an online magazine, published a story about Associate Professor Shiyan Hu’s (ECE) work on smart home cybersecurity.

The work of Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and his group was featured in “How 3D Printers Are Boosting Off-the-Grid, Underdeveloped Communities” in Motherboard.

PhD students Chenlong Zhang and Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) coauthored an article with Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Design of Multijunction Photovoltaic Cells Optimized for Varied Atmospheric Conditions” published in the International Journal of Photoenergy.

Technology Century, an online and print publication of the Engineering Society of Detroit, featured editor Matt Roush’s interviews with faculty and graduate students from the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech, the first stop on his annual Tech Tour of university campuses in Michigan.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) coauthored an article, “Innovation Through Collaboration: Scaling up Technological Solutions for Sustainable Development,” published in the journal Environment, Development and Sustainability.

Elena Semouchkina (ECE) has received $83,837 of $257,412 from the National Science Foundation for the first year of a three-year research and development project titled “Collaborative Research: IDBR: Type A: Unconventional Antenna Probes for Ultra-High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging.”

Zhaohui Wang (ECE) received $100,000 from the University of Connecticut for a research project titled “Collaborative Research: Underwater Distributed Antenna Systems: Fundamental Limits and Practical Designs.”

PhD students Ankit Vora (ECE) and Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), Paul Bergstrom (ECE) and Durdu Guney (ECE) titled “Multi-resonant Silver Nano-disk Patterned Thin Film Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells For Staebler-Wronski Effect Compensation,” in the “Journal of Applied Physics.”

PluggedIn, an internal newsletter published by American Transmission Company (ATC), featured an article about a Michigan Tech Senior Design team that worked with ATC to create a tool that can be used to determine whether it is safe to use ATC transmission lines to start a motor, something that the company’s customers often want to know if they can do. The student team won the Michigan Tech Electrical and Computer Engineering External Advisory Committee’s Industry Innovation Award for their work. See their work.

Graduate School Announces Award Recipients for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014; The Graduate School is pleased to announce that the following students have earned: Fang Chen, PhD candidate in electrical engineering; Xiaohui Wang, PhD candidate in electrical engineering

Outstanding Alumni and Friends Recognized: Please join us in congratulating the following recipients of the 2014 Alumni Association awards:Honorary Alumna: Martha Sloan, professor emerita, electrical and computer engineering. Sloan’s profile is available online.

Assistant Professor Zhaohui Wang (ECE) was honored at 2013 Connecticut Women of Innovation Awards ceremonies, receiving the Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award for exceptional achievements in the area of underwater acoustic communications and networking. The awards are sponsored by the Connecticut Technology Council, Boehringer Ingelheim USA, Covidien, Day Pitney and United Technologies. She was honored for her work on underwater acoustic communications. Wang has also received a 2014 Outstanding Senior Women Academic Achievement Award from the Graduate School of the University of Connecticut.
The awards honor outstanding graduating women from each of the university’s schools and colleges and are sponsored by the The Provost’s Office, the Alumni Association and the Women’s Center at the University of Connecticut. With her advisor, Wang has also coauthored the book, “OFDM for Underwater Acoustic Communications,” published by John Wiley & Sons and available here and on Amazon.

A story on Associate Professor Shiyan Hu’s (ECE) research, “A Lab in
Your Pocket
,” was published on the eHealthserver website. It can be viewed online.


Shiyan Hu named as an ACM Distinguished Speaker

image25903-persThe Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world ‘s largest educational and scientific computing society, has named Associate Professor Shiyan Hu (ECE) as an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

ACM’s Distinguished Speaker Program identifies top computing technology leaders and innovators, and makes them available to speak at colleges and universities, corporations, events and conferences and ACM local chapters.

Each distinguished speaker serves a three-year term. Hu will be available to speak about computer aided design for VLSI circuits and cyber-physical systems.

Hu received a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has chaired more than 70 committees for IEEE conferences.

Hu’s ultra-fast slew buffering technique has been widely deployed in industry. For example, it became a default option in the IBM physical design flow used for designing more than fifty microprocessors and ASIC chips, including IBM flagship chips POWER 7 and 8.


ECE Senior Design Team Wins Expo Award

The 2nd Place Award for the 2015 Michigan Tech Design Expo was won by the ECE team: Front End Protection for Data Aquisition
Team Members: Sylvia Ferragut, Caleb Wright, and Ben Veltman, Electrical Engineering; Matthew Zawisza, Computer Engineering
Advisor: Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project Overview: Often devices under test can behave in erratic ways, resulting in catastrophic damage to expensive test equipment. By designing specifications based on National Instruments’ limitations and typical automotive testing requirements, the team created a buffer box to protect from over-voltage and add layers of isolation. The buffer box, used in conjunction with the $50k–$500k tools being regularly used by the automotive industry, is a simple tool, which can be used by a wide range of people with varying levels of expertise to keep expenses down.

Team Members Sylvia Ferragut, Caleb Wright, and Ben Veltman, Electrical Engineering; Matthew Zawisza, Computer Engineering Advisor Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering Sponsor Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Team Members: Sylvia Ferragut, Caleb Wright, and Ben Veltman, Electrical Engineering; Matthew Zawisza, Computer Engineering
Advisor: Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

View a Video about Michigan Tech: Front End Protection for Data Acquisition on Michigan Tech Expo Channel on Youtube

View a Video about the award winning ECE team on Michigan Tech Expo Channel on Youtube
View a Video about the award winning ECE team on Michigan Tech Expo Channel on Youtube

When the Design Expo 2015 Image Contest winners were announced, Robotics Systems Enterprise 216 team won second place for its image of ECE student Kealy Smith working on an Afraid-of-the-Dark bot. The team is sponsored by ArcelorMittal and 205 (Blue Marble Enterprise) team entry won 3rd Place.

See the Design Expo Summary Report with links to more articles and pictures


Design Expo 2015 Success: Winners, Senior Design and Enterprise Projects

IMG_2518One such team has worked on an automated parts counting system for MacLean-Fogg. The team’s machine uses fins, bars and bays to sift and sort metal parts. The bolts, pins, screws and other fastener parts fall down the chute, bounce off the fins and bars, which reorients them, and then they are separated out into bays equipped with sensors. The project required both electrical and mechanical engineering.

Read More


Hackers Could Make Smart Homes Stupid–or Worse

image25903-persImagine the smart home of the future. Thanks to a central controller and wi-fi, not only does the thermostat power up and warm or cool the house as you are heading home. Smart light bulbs come on low at dusk and brighten up as the sky gets darker; your washing machine starts a load of clothes when the electricity is cheapest; your smart refrigerator thaws the roast in one section, while another keeps your cheese ready to slice and yet another chills your beer. The doors lock automatically behind you and unlock as you—but no one else—approach. A 2-way nannycam lets you keep an eye on the kids while a sprinkler waters your lawn when water demand is lowest.
Read More


Michigan Tech Adds New Peace Corps Master’s International Programs in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, GIS

Michigan Technological University’s award-winning Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) program is offering new degree options for students in two departments: computer science and electrical and computer engineering (ECE). The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science is also expanding its PCMI programs to include a Master of Geographic Information Science.
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Dr. Dennis Wiitanen Honored with Legacy Marker

IMG_2575denniswiitanenThe unveiling of the first Legacy Marker for Alumni Way was held in front of the EERC. The Legacy Marker serves to honor someone associated with Michigan Tech, and it was unveiled and presented as a surprise to the Dennis O. Wiitanen, Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dennis O. Wiitanen received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Michigan Tech in 1963 and 1967 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1970, all in electrical engineering.

In 1970, he joined the electrical and computer engineering department at Michigan Tech, where his major research interests were in the areas of insulating materials and power systems. Dr. Wiitanen taught courses in both electric machines and power systems for over forty years. He is currently a Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Wiitanen is a member of the IEEE’s Power Engineering Society, Education Society, Industry Applications Society, and Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society, serving on several committees and subcommittees, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan.

See the Photo Gallery

See the Video from UpperMichiganSource

Dennis Wiitanen Legacy Monument
Dennis Wiitanen Legacy Monument