All posts by Sue Hill

Outstanding Alumni and Friends to be Recognized at Alumni Reunion Dinner August 2019

Reunion DinnerEngineering alumni will be among those recognized at the Alumni Reunion Awards Dinner on campus August 2, 2019.

Outstanding Young Alumni

Distinguished in their careers before the age of 35; achieved a position or some distinction noteworthy for one so recently graduated

Outstanding Service

Significant contributions to the success of the Board of Directors and/or the University

Distinguished Alumni

Outstanding contributions in both their careers and to Michigan Tech

Humanitarian Award

Volunteer leadership or service that has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity, and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on or bring honor to their Alma Mater


Collaborative Research Funding for Extreme Hydrometeorological Events

 

Landslide El Salvador terrain map
El Salvador’s Volcán San Vicente showing landslide scars from 2009 torrential rains. NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, based on data from the NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.

John Gierke (GMES/EPSSI) is Principal Investigator on a project that has received a $582,752 grant from the National Science Foundation. This is a potential three-year project.

Luke Bowman (GMES), Alex Mayer (CEE), Fengjing Liu (Forestry), and Angie Carter (SS) are Co-PI’s on the project titled “IRES Track III: Collaborative Research: Coupling Participatory and Hydrological Research for Adapting to Extreme Hydrometeorological Events in Agricultural Communities, El Salvador.”

Extract

In this project, graduate students from US universities obtain international research experience in social and hydrological sciences while working on a scientific problem with real-world implications.

Changes in climate cause communities to adapt to enhance resiliency and foster practices that are more appropriate for new conditions. In regions where dry seasons are increasingly long, the shorter rainy seasons experience more severe storms.

Rural and agricultural communities are especially vulnerable to new seasonal conditions and their resources for adaptation are limited.

The Dry Corridor of Central America (spanning parts of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) is an important region for agriculture and needs adaptation strategies. The project location is ideal because of its many-decades history of changing climate.

The project participants work with local farmers and agricultural stakeholders to gain experience in adapting to climate change. The interdisciplinary scientists and development professionals work together in participatory research in communities experiencing water scarcity and extreme rainfall events.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


Engineering Alumni Activity Summer 2019

Amy Trahey
Amy Trahey

Civil engineering ’94 alumna, Amy (Grisdale) Trahey, P.E. was recently honored as the ASCE of MI Outstanding Civil Engineer of the Year for 2019. Amy has had 25 years of bridge engineering experience and is the president and founder of Great Lakes Engineering Group. Amy’s ongoing curiosity with bridges has taken her to different levels–above and underwater–to make sure that Michigan bridges are safe.

Denise M. Rizzo
Denise M. Rizzo

Alumna Denise M. Rizzo ’14 made national news for earning for receiving SAE International’s Rodica Baranescu Award for Technical and Leadership Excellence for her technical contributions to industry and her key leadership achievements. Dr. Rizzo received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Technological University in 2014. She currently holds the role of a Senior Research Mechanical Engineer for the Powertrain Modeling & Simulation Team at US Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center. She specializes in modeling, simulation and control of propulsion systems of ground vehicles.

Reagan May
Reagan May

The last time Reagan May raced weekly on Thursday nights at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna she was a teenager bouncing around in a Wisconsin sport truck on the track’s bumpy quarter-mile. That was in 2008. Fast forward to 2019. Now graduated from college (Michigan Tech) and working full time at Oshkosh Truck Corporation as a rotational engineer, May is putting good use to the mechanical engineering degree she earned up in snowy Houghton. May is also racing full time on Thursday nights in the late model class, wheeling a car owned by the Devine family and Mackville Motorsports

Craig Allen Pollock
Craig Allen Pollock

Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Craig Allen Pollock with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the automotive and manufacturing industries. Earning a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, summa cum laude, from Michigan Technological University in 1980, he soon after completed a Master of Business Administration, summa cum laude, at the University of Michigan in 1983. He is a registered professional engineer in Michigan.

John Uhrie
John Uhrie

The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) is pleased to announce that John Uhrie, PE, Ph.D., QP, has joined the company as vice president – exploration, research and technical development. Dr. Uhrie earned a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from Michigan Technological University, a master’s in geology from the University of Wyoming, and a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Wayne Bergstrom
Wayne Bergstrom

Wayne Bergstrom, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, has agreed to serve as the Chair of the Civil Engineering Program Criteria Task Committee at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. His current role is as Assistant Chief Engineer with Bechtel Infrastructure and Power. Bergstrom received a BS in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech in 1976.

Mike Olosky
Mike Olosky

Henkel, the company behind well-known brands such as Loctite®, Dial®, Right Guard®, Schwarzkopf®, and Persil® has appointed Mike Olosky as its regional President in North America and Regional Head of Adhesive Technologies for North America and Latin America. Additionally, he will continue to serve in a global leadership role in the company’s Adhesive Technologies business. Olosky graduated from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering in 1991. He also holds an MBA from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business.

Brett Belan
Brett Belan

Brett Belan made news in Ashland, Oregon, for selling an electric solar-powered home-on-wheels that he and his wife, Kira, engineered. It sports a dozen 245-watt solar panels on two leaves that slide out sideways to capture the sun’s energy, which goes into batteries that drive its electric motor for about 100 miles. With plug-in charging, it can travel up to 600 miles a day, says Brett. Belan is a mechanical engineering graduate of Michigan Tech and went on to work for Ford Motor Co. in Detroit and Jaguar in England.

Todd Wodzinski
Todd Wodzinski

Tooling Tech Group (TTG), a leading provider of highly engineered tools and assembly equipment to a wide range of industries, has announced that it has hired Todd Wodzinski as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). Wodzinski will be responsible for leading the sales and marketing activities for the company including sales team management, market planning and business development. Prior to entering the private sector, Wodzinski was an operations officer in the United States Navy. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s in marketing and supply chain management from Michigan State University.


INCE-USA Beranek Medals

Leo Beranek MedalAndrew Barnard (ME-EM) presented students with the Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control through The Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA (INCE-USA). Barnard is the Vice President – Student Activities and Education for INCE-USA.

Sunit Girdhar (ME) won the graduate pewter medal for his work on IIC test method improvement and Josh Langlois (EE) won the undergraduate gold medal for his work on real-time signal processing for CNT speakers.

INCE-USA allows universities to award the INCE-USA Beranek Medal for Excellence in Noise Control Engineering. Congratulations to Sunit and Josh for their excellent research in Noise Control Engineering over the past year.

By Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.


2019 Faculty and Staff Service Recognition

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, faculty and staff members, along with their guests, gathered at the Memorial Union Ballroom for an awards dinner recognizing 25, 30, 35, 40 and 50 years of service to Michigan Tech. Within the College of Engineering, the following employees were recognized:

25 Years

Jeffrey Burl, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Tony Rogers, Chemical Engineering

David Shonnard, Chemical Engineering

30 Years

Mary Crane, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Michael Mullins, Chemical Engineering

35 Years

Jiann-Yang Hwang, Materials Science and Engineering

Michael Pionke, Civil & Environmental Engineering

40 Years

Ashok Ambardar, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Congratulations to all of our honorees and thank you for your service to Michigan Tech.

Jeffrey Burl
Jeffrey Burl
Tony Rogers
Tony Rogers
David Shonnard
David Shonnard
Mary Crane
Mary Crane
Michael Mullins
Michael Mullins
Jiann-Yang Hwang
Jiann-Yang Hwang
Michael Pionke
Michael Pionke
Ashok Ambardar
Ashok Ambardar

Engineering Graduates on What Makes a Husky

Commencement Spring 2019One of more than 1,000 students who walked across the stage during Saturday’s ceremony was student commencement speaker Monica Brechting of Grand Rapids, who is the 12th member of her family to attend Tech.

The mechanical engineering major was active on campus, being part of St. Albert the Great University Parish, playing piccolo in the Huskies Pep Band, was team lead of Robotics System Enterprise and president of Tech’s chapter of Silver Swings, a national community service organization.

Brechting’s speech, “What Makes a Husky?” took fellow graduates through a host of common experiences.

Rebecca Spencer, a mechanical engineering major, got her first exposure to Tech through the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), which brought students up for the Summer Youth Program.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

View the Photo Gallery


Former President Ray Smith Included in Oral History Collection

Raymond Smith
Raymond Smith

Former Michigan Tech president, the late Raymond L. Smith is among 15 oral histories included in a collection by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME).

The section on Smith, who passed away last September at the age of 101, includes a written biography, a 50 minute interview video and the interview transcript.

Smith, Michigan Tech’s president from 1965 to 1979, is a recipient of the TMS/ASM Joint Distinguished Leadership in Materials and Society Award (1983) and the TMS Fellow Award (1973).


Williams Seed Grant Funds Underwater Acoustic Communications Research

Zhaohui Wang
Zhaohui Wang

Underwater acoustic communication has been in use for decades, but primarily for military applications. In recent years, private sectors such as environmental monitoring, off-shore oil and gas exploration, and aquaculture have become interested in its possibilities.

But existing research about underwater acoustic communication networks often relies on human-operated surface ships or cost-prohibitive autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). And these cost barriers can limit academic research evaluation to computer simulations, constraining research innovation towards practical applications.

Recognizing the above gap, Michigan Tech Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) researchers Zhaohui Wang, assistant professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Nina Mahmoudian, adjunct professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, saw an opportunity to combine their areas of expertise: for Wang, underwater acoustic communications, for Mahmoudian, low-cost marine robotics and AUVs.

Also part of the research team were PhD student Li Wei, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and post-doc research engineer Barzin Moridian, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. The team also collaborated with scientists at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.

With a $50K seed grant from Electrical and Computer Engineering alumnus Paul Williams ’61, the team took the research beneath the surface to develop a low-cost marine mobile infrastructure and investigate the challenges and possible solutions in engineering a leading-edge AUV communication network.

Download a summary of the research from the ICC website at icc.mtu.edu/downloads.

Read more at ICC News, by Karen Johnson, ICC Communications Director.

Related:

Zhaohui Wang Wins CAREER Award


Tour of Sustainability House

Meghan Schultz
Meghan Schultz

This 5,000 square foot residence was home to former Michigan Tech University presidents. But now, students have turned it into a new sustainability demonstration house.

“You know we have to care about our environment, we have to care about our future and just like you plan to put money into a retirement account, you should plan to live sustainably so that you can account for the future,” said Meghan Schultz, the house’s residential advisor.

Read more and watch the video at TV6 Fox UP, by Remi Murrey.

Sustainable Living: Tech students show ecological responsibility

House residents and members of the SDH enterprise team will be at the SDH to explain how to implement sustainable practices in any home and explain projects like the new plastic recycling project. Plastic refuse is going to be collected and reshaped into useful items. The first thing on the list is house numbers.

Warren Krettek
Warren Krettek

“Right now the house doesn’t have any,” Warren Krettek said.

Krettek is a graduating Michigan Tech student who has been leading the enterprise team as their project manager. The team designs and implements projects around the house like resource tracking, aquaponics and composting.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Joshua Vissers.

Meghan Schultz is a third-year geological engineering major.

Warren Krettek is a senior with a dual electrical and computer engineering major.

Related:

This Old House Teaches U.P. Residents, and an Appliance Manufacturer, New Tricks


2019 Student Leadership Award Recipients

Andrew Baker '11 '14
Andrew Baker ’11 ’14

Outstanding students, staff, and a special alumni were honored April 19, 2019, for Michigan Tech’s 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony.

Keynote speaker Andrew H. Baker ’11 ’14 (MS, PhD MSE), won the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. He is currently working for Boeing Company and active in his professional organization The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society.

Congratulations to all of the 2019 winners:

  • President’s Award for Leadership: Jack Hendrick
  • Dean of Students Award for Service: Elise Cheney-Makens
  • Exceptional Leadership in Student Governance Award: Apurva Baruah
  • Exceptional Enthusiasm as Student Leader Award: Ben Metzger
  • Student Employee of the Year: Jessika Rogers
  • Rising Star of the Year: Logan Alger.
  • Outstanding Future Alumni: Magann Dykema
  • Exceptional Program of the Year: Economics Club’s 2018 KHOB Economic Outlook
  • Most Improved Student Organization: Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society
  • Exceptional Community Service Project: Elise Cheney-Makens, Science Fair Mentoring Program
  • Claire M. Donovan Award: Joel Isaacson
  • Student Organization of the Year: Inter-Residence Housing Council
  • Percy Julian Award: Ron Kyllonen
  • Student Organization Advisors of the Year: James DeClerck, Delta Upsilon and Jean DeClerck, Alpha Sigma Tau
  • The Provost’s Award for Scholarship: Tessa Steenwinkel, Biological Sciences
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Leader: Karina Eyre, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar: Miles Penhale, ME-EM
  • Exceptional Graduate Mentor: Melissa F. Baird, Social Sciences
  • Exceptional Staff Member: Brittany Buschell, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Sorority Woman of the Year – Greta Colford, Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Fraternity Man of the Year – Trevor Peffley, Sigma Rho
  • Sorority of the Year – Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Fraternity of the Year – Phi Kappa Tau

By Student Activities.

Related:

Pavlis Students Shine at 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards

View the Medallion Ceremony Photo Gallery