“Leadership and Engineering Education—Thursday, Sept. 27. I invite you to join us as we learn from and celebrate the legacy of our two inaugural inductees to the Academy for Engineering Education Leadership. All are welcome.”
All are welcome at the inaugural induction of the Academy for Engineering Education Leadership, hosted by the College of Engineering. The induction and reception will take place this Thursday, September 27, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the East Reading Room of the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library. Sarah A. Rajala, PhD, and Karl A. Smith, PhD are the new academy’s first distinguished inductees. Both are outstanding Michigan Tech alumni.
Dr. Sarah Rajala is the James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering at Iowa State University and a Michigan Tech alumna. She is an internationally known leader, past president of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and past chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council. She earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech, and an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.
Dr. Karl A. Smith is Cooperative Learning Professor in the School of Engineering Education, College of Engineering, at Purdue University. He is also the Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor and Executive Co-Director of the STEM Education Center, Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Smith is a world expert in discipline-based engineering education research. He earned both a BS and an MS in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Tech, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
More events are offered in connection with the new Academy for Engineering Education Leadership. All events will take place this Thursday, September 27. Members of the campus community—faculty, staff and students—are all encouraged and welcome to attend.
Teaching at Tech: Breakfast Roundtable, “Learning Opportunities, Pitfalls, and Impacts on Students and the Institution,” with Dr. Karl Smith and Dr. Sarah Rajala. This event, for all who teach here on campus, takes place from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Van Pelt and Opie Library East Reading Room. No registration needed, and breakfast is included. Each will each offer short position statements and then lead an active question and answer session over breakfast. Dr. Smith’s experience as a STEM education researcher will be balanced by Dr. Rajala’s experience as an administrator with an exceptional track record. View the event. | Print the flyer.
Teaching at Tech: STEM Education Research Workshop with Dr. Karl Smith. This event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Please register online. This session is designed both for those who have some experience and those just looking to get started. Dr. Smith brings over 30 years’ experience working with faculty to redesign courses to improve student learning, with a focus on cooperative learning, problem formulation, modeling, and knowledge engineering. View the event. | Print the flyer.
“Leadership Lessons from the Antarctic,” presented by Dr. Sarah Rajala, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Fisher 135. This event is free and open to the public. One hundred and four years ago, under the leadership of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Endurance set sail for the Antarctic. Shackleton had established a potentially history-making goal: to be the first to walk across the continent of Antarctica. Even though he never led a crew of more than twenty-seven men, and failed to reach most of the goals he set, Shackleton is still recognized as one of the world’s greatest leaders. In this presentation, Dr. Rajala will explore what made Shackleton a great leader–and how his leadership traits have influenced her own career. View the event. | Print the flyer.
More About the Inductees
Dr. Sarah A. Rajala consistently breaks new ground for women in engineering and serves as a role model for young women. She is passionate about diversity of thought and culture, especially as it relates to the college environment. Among her many honors, she received the national Harriett B. Rigas Award honoring outstanding female faculty from the Education Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2015. Dr. Rajala was also named National Engineer of the Year by the American Association of Engineering Societies in 2016.
In addition to serving as Iowa State’s Dean of Engineering since 2013, Dr. Rajala served as dean and department chair in the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. At North Carolina State University College of Engineering, she was associate dean for research and graduate programs and associate dean for academic affairs.
Prior to moving into administrative positions, Dr. Rajala had a distinguished career as a professor and center director. She conducted research on the analysis and process of images and image sequences and on engineering educational assessment. She has authored and co-authored more than 100 refereed papers, and made contributions to 13 books. She is a fellow of ASEE, IEEE, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Dr. Karl A. Smith has over 30 years of experience working with faculty to redesign their courses and programs to enhance student learning.
Dr. Smith adapted the cooperative learning model to engineering education, and in the past 15 years has focused on high-performance teamwork through his workshops and book, Teamwork and Project Management (McGraw-Hill Education, 2014).
His workshops on cooperative learning have helped thousands of faculty build knowledge, skills, and confidence for involving their students in more active, interactive, and cooperative learning both during class time and outside of class. The effects of the workshops are significant in terms of creating a sense of belonging and membership in a community, as well as much more engaged and deep learning.
Dr. Smith is a world expert in discipline-based engineering education research. His interests include building research and innovation capabilities in engineering education; faculty and graduate student professional development; the role of cooperation in learning and design; problem formulation, modeling, and knowledge engineering; and project and knowledge management.
He is the author of eight books and hundreds of published articles on engineering education, cooperative learning and structured controversy, knowledge representation and expert systems, and teamwork.
For more information about the new Michigan Tech Academy for Engineering Education Leadership, contact the College of Engineering.
Cancer cell metastasis. Stem cell differentiation. Atherosclerosis. All are strong mechanotransduction-related physiological and pathophysiological events. Just how do cells transduce mechanical force into biochemical signals?
“Cells are sensitive to mechanical forces outside the cell membrane,” says Sangyoon Han, who joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech as an assistant professor last fall. At their basal surface, however, cells are interfacing with something called the extracellular matrix (ECM), which supports the cell not only chemically but also mechanically.”
“Over the past 20 years, it has been revealed that the rigidity of the extracellular matrix can greatly influence the physiology and pathology of cells and tissues, including differentiation, survival, proliferation, altered drug response, and tumor progression,” adds Han. “In the case of a tumor, an increase in tissue stiffness—without any changes in genetic information and chemical environment—can cause tumor progression. There is also an evidence showing that cancer-targeting drugs do not work when cancer cells are highly contractile in a very tensed environment,” he says.
To investigate this, Han and his team established experimental and computational frameworks for force measurement and adhesion dynamics quantification. “We apply these frameworks, with cutting-edge computer vision techniques, on live-cell microscope images to find out the fundamental mechanisms underlying mechanosensation in normal cells, as well as the biomechanical signature in diseased cells whose signaling has gone awry.”
Using traction force microscopy, Han measures the force a cell transmits to the environment. “The force sensor, referred to as a focal adhesion, consists of a special receptor across the membrane and over 100 cytoskeletal adaptor proteins. These focal adhesion proteins have redundant and diverse roles in signaling and structural development of the adhesion,” Han says.
Using high-resolution imaging of living cells on a soft substrate, Han captures gel deformation and force-sensing protein trajectories at the same time. Han developed novel force-reconstruction software to convert the measured gel deformation into a force map over a cell footprint. Using time-series data extracted from the image data, Han is able to monitor feedback between the cellular structure and its mechanical forces.
Han shares his Matlab-based, open-source software with the mechanobiology community. In his Mechanobiology Lab at Michigan Tech, Han is also building a physical device using bioMEMS for active force application to cells and tissue. “I firmly believe that engineers can make significant contributions to not only the biomedical industry, but also fundamental biological science.”
Before coming to Michigan Tech, Han was a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard Medical School Lab of Computational Cell Biology, as well as the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He earned a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at University of Washington in the area of cell mechanics, multiphysics modeling, and bioMEMS, and BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering at Seoul National University.
The Graduate School announced the Summer and Fall 2018 award recipients. The following are award recipients in engineering graduate programs:
Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award
Ulises Gracida Alvarez, Chemical Engineering
Sanaz Habibi, Chemical Engineering
Long Zhang, Chemical Engineering
Shuaidong Zhao, Civil Engineering
Jingyuan Wang, Electrical Engineering
Zhimin Song, Environmental Engineering
Priscilla Addison, Geological Engineering
Hans Lechner, Geology
Huaguang Wang, Materials Science and Engineering
Shadi Darani, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Soroush Sepahyar, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship
Next week more than 1,200 first-year students at Michigan Tech will hear from MacArthur Fellow Brian Tucker, founder and president of Geohazards International.
Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Landslides. Storms.
Brian Tucker, founder global non-profit Geohazards International, takes on disasters before they happen. Tucker will present “Lessons Learned in Reducing Natural Disaster Risk in Poor Countries,” this Thursday, September 13 at 6 p.m. in the Rosza Center at Michigan Technological University.
Tucker is a seismologist and MacArthur Fellow whose work focuses on preventing readily avoidable disasters in the world’s poorest countries by using affordable civil engineering practices. He founded GeoHazards International (GHI) in 1991 after recognizing that multi-story residences, schools, hospitals, stores, and offices built from adobe, stone, or unreinforced masonry in many regions of the world are death traps when earthquakes strike.
A consulting professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Stanford University, Tucker is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Earthquake Engineering as well as the board of the World Seismic Safety Initiative. He is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.
In 2001 he was awarded the Gorakha Dakshin Bahu Award for service to the people of Nepal by the King of Nepal. He was named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2002. He received the George E. Brown, Jr. Award, from the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation for International Science and Technology Cooperation, in 2007.
Most recently, Tucker was given the Blaisdell Distinguished Alumni Award from Pomona College in 2017 and was named among the 100 Distinguished Alumni of University of California, San Diego. He has also won two “Hammers” from the 2016 and 2017 C.R.A.S.H-B’s World Indoor Rowing Competition.
Tucker received a BA from Pomona College, a PhD from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and an MA in Public Policy from Harvard University. Tucker served as Principal and Supervising Geologist at the California Division of Mines and Geology from 1982–1991. He founded Geohazards International in 1991.
Michigan Tech’s First-Year Engineering Lecture is a longtime annual tradition for freshmen in the College of Engineering, and now students from the School of Technology, and Department of Computer Science are joining the event.
Please note: space at the venue is at capacity, so the event is not open to the public this year.
Michigan Tech alumnus Tim Bohrer was recently named to the Packaging and Processing Hall of Fame by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute. Bohrer is founder of Pac Advantage Consulting LLC. Among his accomplishments, Bohrer led the team that developed the packaging used for microwave popcorn. The story was covered in Converting Guide and in Packaging World. After finishing his undergrad work in chemical engineering at Michigan Tech University, Bohrer got his Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.
Gosling Czubak Engineering Sciences, Inc. hired Brendan Ruppen as staff engineer in the company’s environmental department. Ruppen earned a bachelor of science degree in Geological Engineering from Michigan Technological University, where he completed a groundwater engineering project assisting a local fish hatchery with remediation of production wells.
The College of Engineering is offering seed funding of up to $50,000 for tackling a research problem that requires an interdisciplinary team to address. We wish to promote new collaborations between researchers with a focus on transdisciplinary initiatives that are aggressively forward-looking.
Stage 1 proposals of one page in length are due October 1 for up to $5,000 in support of travel and logistics.
Stage 2 proposals of five pages or fewer requesting up to $45,000 are due November 1. Stage 2 proposals should include a plan, budget justification, team qualifications, and funding track record.
Contact Leonard Bohmann (email@example.com) for submissions.
A trio of local students recently had a chance to explore an array of engineering careers through Michigan Technological University’s Women in Engineering program.
The Women in Engineering program is a weeklong look at engineering careers in areas such as mechanical, computer, environmental, electrical, biomedical, civil, geological and materials engineering, school officials said in a news release.
Students accepted into the program received a scholarship that covered room and board, tuition and supplies.
Here at Michigan Tech, Ketola is turning her innovative ideas into a reality with a BSE degree in systems engineering—an engineering degree she can customize to fit her interests. She wants to work on improving and overhauling the US electrical grid—facilitating the transition from traditional to clean energy sources.
Why did you decide to go to Iceland for your study abroad?
Iceland is what fell into my lap. It is considered the world’s renewable energy capital and renewable and clean energy are my passion. I never set out looking to go to Iceland (or anywhere, really) but when the department chair of Engineering Fundamentals, Professor Jon Sticklen, told me about the opportunity I couldn’t think of a better place to learn about what I love. Plus, have you seen pictures of the place? It’s a dream if you like the outdoors.
I worked on a project that detailed providing personal solar arrays to impoverished communities within the United States. My group focused on communities in West Virginia and we looked into providing the equipment, doing install, how we would run our company, etc. We did this outside of taking courses on hydropower, geothermal, biofuels, and icelandic culture/history.What did you learn about culture and society in Iceland?
The Icelandic people are very hearty. They are independent and they kind of do their own thing. The most interesting things to me included how independent the children are and just how important keeping their public places clean is. You don’t wear your shoes in homes or the public pools. The pools also have a monitor who makes sure you shower before swimming.
“Iceland changed my life. I know that sounds cliche but I felt like I was losing my fire to make things better. I met people who cared about the same things as me and wanted to save the world. Nothing felt better than that. I can never thank my professor enough for helping me to get there.”
How has studying abroad impacted or changed your outlook?
Well, I’m itching to go back to Iceland and have been since I landed back stateside. I’m now looking more seriously at pursuing a masters dealing with energy, maybe even in Iceland. Iceland reignited my passion to help the planet and to focus on improving the renewable/clean energy sector.
What was your most memorable experience?
I hiked a little over 10 miles at Fimmvörðuháls in the Icelandic highlands. When we got to the top of our hike, I couldn’t believe I was there. I was standing in between two glaciers with 20 fantastic people from all over the world and it was so surreal. The world is so big yet we all ended up there together.
What are your career goals?
I want to work on improving and overhauling the US electrical grid and facilitating the transition from traditional energy sources to clean energy sources. I don’t know what that means yet because it doesn’t look like anyone is doing exactly what I feel like needs to happen but I’ll figure it out along the way. If I quit every time I wasn’t sure of how to move forward I would never get anything done.
Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored the study, “Chemical Compatibility of Fused Filament Fabrication-based 3-D Printed Components with Solutions Commonly Used in Semiconductor Wet Processing,” which was published in Additive Manufacturing.
3-D printing shows great potential in laboratories for making customized labware and reaction vessels. In addition, affordable fused filament fabrication (FFF)-based 3-D printing has successfully produced high-quality and affordable scientific equipment, focusing on tools without strict chemical compatibility limitations.
The results show that 3-D printed plastics are potential materials for bespoke chemically resistant labware at less than 10% of the cost of such purchased tools.
ME students Aubrey Woern and DJ Byard coauthored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on Fused Particle Fabrication 3-D Printing: Recycled Materials’ Optimization and Mechanical Properties, which was published in Materials.
International industry leaders and research engineers from mining and mineral processing are on the Michigan Tech campus Thursday and Friday for the 7th annual meeting of the Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steelmaking Center (ASISC). The meeting features speakers from India, China, Chile, Brazil, United Kingdom, Sweden, South Africa, Columbia and the U.S., as well as Michigan Tech faculty and students.
A total of 25, 30-minute presentations will take place during the meeting. This year’s theme: “New Paradigms in Mineral Processing.”
ASISC members pool resources to address a diverse spectrum of interdisciplinary research questions. During the annual meeting, they share their work and experiences to further the development of a new generation of sustainable, economical mineral processing technologies.
The meeting kicked off with Komar Kawatra, professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech and founder and director of ASISC, welcoming participants. Todd Davis, area manager of Tilden Mine Plant Operations for Cleveland-Cliffs, delivered the first presentation. Following Davis, Anna Edigar, also of Cleveland Cliffs spoke about the role of government relations in the iron ore industry. She also shared an update on the Cliff iron ore operation.
Janet Callahan, dean of the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech, welcomed attendees at today’s lunch at 1 p.m.
Callahan holds a PhD in materials science, an MS in metallurgy, and a BS in chemical engineering, all from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Engineers. “Bringing together world experts to focus on sustainable ways to process iron and steel is important,” she remarked. “Each gain we make has a multiplying effect across the world.”
A Pilot Scale Carbon Dioxide Scrubber for the Michigan Tech Steam Plant
Meanwhile at Michigan Tech, chemical engineering undergraduate Sam Root, along with Kawatra and chemical engineering PhD student Sriram Valluri are making plans to install a pilot scale carbon dioxide scrubbing column in the Michigan Tech steam plant.
“The new equipment will scrub carbon dioxide from a sample stream of less than one percent of the main exhaust from the steam plant,” Root explains. “This will allow us to study the effects of real flue gas on carbon dioxide capture. The findings of this research will be applied in the future when designing a full-scale scrubbing operation.”
“The Michigan Tech steam plant currently produces a flue gas that is 10 percent carbon dioxide by volume,” says Kawatra. “Our goal is to use the scrubber to reduce those emissions to zero.”
The steel industry currently produces a flue gas that is 16 percent carbon dioxide by volume, adds Kawatra. Carbon dioxide scrubbers are not yet widely used in the steel industry, at least not yet.
“Making our scrubber compatible with real flue gas is the biggest challenge we’ve faced on this project. Flue gas is released from the boiler at high temperatures. It contains particulates that may be harmful to the packing inside the column. The equipment used to filter and cool the flue gas must be carefully selected to ensure that all materials are chemically compatible with the flue gas,” Root explains.
“Carbon dioxide levels are increasing, and this contributes to climate change. Capturing carbon dioxide on a large scale would be a huge step forward in mitigating anthropogenic climate effect. I am excited to work on such an important project as a young engineering student.” – Sam Root, chemical engineering senior at Michigan Tech
Master Machinist Jerry Norkol and Research Associate Stefan Wisniewski, both staff in the Department of Chemical Engineering, worked with the students to design the new scrubbing column, and also built the experimental setup. Larry Hermanson, director of energy management for Michigan Tech Facilities, is also involved in project planning and installation. In just a few months, once the test pilot scrubber is installed on the steam plant, the team will begin to examine how impurities in flue gas, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, as well as depleted oxygen levels, affect its ability to absorb carbon dioxide.
A Long Time In the Making
Kawatra and his graduate students have spent the past 15-plus years developing the scrubbing column technology at Michigan Tech with support from Carbontec Energy Systems in Bismarck, North Dakota. Carbontec is a developer of technologies for the energy, oil and gas and iron and steel industries. John Simmons, chairman of Carbontec, earned a BS in metallurgical engineering at Michigan Tech in 1953. He is a member of the Chemical Engineering Academy at Michigan Tech, a native of Ironwood, Michigan, and a strong supporter of Michigan Tech.
Root and Valluri will present a poster on the pilot carbon dioxide scrubber project at the ASISC annual meeting poster session.
Speakers at the ASISC Annual Meeting
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
Dr. Komar Kawatra, Michigan Tech
Todd Davis, Tilden Mine, Cleveland Cliffs
Anna Ediger, Cleveland Cliffs
Dr. Sandra De Moraes, IPT, Brazil
Dr. Natasia Naude, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Samira Rashid, Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions
William Irani, Gaustec Magnetic Technology
Esau Arinwae, Solvay
Professor Yuexin Han, Northeastern University, Shenyang, P. R. China
Dr. Janet Callahan, Dean of Engineering, Michigan Tech
Professor Shaoxian Song, Wuhan University of Technology
Maria Bjorkvall, LKAB
Dean Connor, Metso Minerals Industries
John Simmons, Carbontec Energy
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10
Dr. Luis Cisternas Universidad de Antofagasta, Chile
Michael Archambo, Michigan Tech
Victor Claremboux, Michigan Tech
Sriram Valluri, Michigan Tech
Dr. Rajiv Ganguli, University of Alaska Fairbanks
John Carr, Solvay
Dr. Tathagata Ghosh, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dr. Latika Gupta, Michigan Tech
Scott Moffat, Solvay