Day: February 18, 2019

Happy Engineers Week 2019!

Please join us in celebrating National Engineers Week (Eweek). All are welcome!

We’re celebrating Eweek this week with some special events on campus at Michigan Tech. Events are sponsored by the local Michigan Tech chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, and the College of Engineering.

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, Eweek is celebrated each February around the time of George Washington’s birthday, February 22, because Washington is considered by many to be the first US engineer. Eweek is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.

This evening (Monday, Feb. 18) the CPM Enterprise team will host an event featuring Mock Interviews and Career Fair Prep, from 6 to 8 p.m. in ChemSci 101. And there’s more. Feel free to stop by and check out Eweek events as your schedule allows:

  • Insulate an Ice Cube Race: Anyone can take part in this fun and challenging contest, hosted by the Innovative Global Solutions Enterprise, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in MEEM 404 on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
  • Engineers Week Cake: Enjoy a free and delicious piece of cake, courtesy of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals. Cake will be served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wednesday, (Feb. 20), in Dillman 112B.
  • Paper Airplane Competition (plus ice cream): Test your creativity and imagination alongside members of the newly-formed Built World Enterprise, 4-5 p.m. Thursday, in Fisher 131.
  • Build a Heart Rate Circuit Board. Come build your own heart-shaped, heart-rate monitoring circuit board with Blue Marble Security Enterprise, 4 – 6 p.m. Friday (Feb. 22) in EERC 622.

Over the weekend, Tau Beta Pi and the College of Engineering sponsored free Michigan Tech Film Board showings of the movie Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, a science fiction film set in a dystopian future where humanity is struggling to survive. The film follows a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole near Saturn in search of a new home for humanity.

Eweek is a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. Dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life, Eweek promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy, and motivates youth, to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce. Each year, Eweek reaches thousands of schools, businesses, and community groups across the US.


Deans’ Teaching Showcase: Daisuke Minakata

Daisuke Minakat
Daisuke Minakata

Daisuke Minakata, (CEE), has been selected by College of Engineering Dean Janet Callahan as her second showcase member for spring semester 2019.

Callahan’s selection was driven by Minakata’s extensive involvement in undergraduate research. In the last four years, Minakata has supervised nine undergraduate research assistants supported either through their own research fellowships or his research grants. His involvement starts with developing a research idea and extends through written paper and poster presentations.

Callahan says, “By encouraging and enabling undergraduate students to pursue research, Dr. Minakata is helping to develop a vibrant intellectual community among the students in the College.”

Minakata’s passion for connecting students to research and professional life extends into his teaching and serves as an inspiration for students there.

A current graduate student, with history as an undergraduate in the department, marked his enthusiasm, even in an 8 a.m. class: “Inside and outside of the classroom, Dr. Minakata is enthusiastic and willing to help students comprehend new course materials and provide advice on career paths. He is always available to his students on a personal and professional level.”

CEE Chair Audra Morse confirms Minakata’s passion for teaching and placed him in key roles at all levels within the department. Minakata teaches CEE5510, the only required graduate course in Environmental Engineering, where he is known to be rigorous and demanding, but highly respected.

At the same time, he is routinely invited to CEE1501, the first-year environmental engineering overview course. In the that course, Minakata invited students to see him if they are interested in undergraduate research within “the first two minutes of his talk.”

In the reflection assignment associated with that visit, one student confirmed that early research opportunities are “a big reason why kids go to Michigan Tech” and that Minakata’s talk was a moment where their “dreams came true.”

Perhaps Morse summarizes Minakata’s unique integration of teaching and research best when she says, “Dr. Minakata successfully demonstrates the benefits of integrating undergraduate students in research activities. More importantly, he inspires the next generation of passionate and curious environmental engineers.”

Minakata will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is now a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series (to be determined this summer) recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.