Author: Sue Hill

Summer Youth Program and Women in Engineering

Madelyn Hachenski in front of UO Lab.
Madelyn Hachenski is interviewed in front of the Unit Operations Lab, an educational facility managed by the Department of Chemical Engineering.

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – Since 1972, Michigan Tech University has held its Summer Youth Program, giving kids finishing sixth to eleventh grade an opportunity to take courses, ranging from Engineering to Computer Science.

“We have classes on everything,” said Jannah Tumey, the Assistant Director of MTU’s Center for Educational Outreach, “from Aviation to Forensic Science to Michigan Species of Concern and other ecology-type classes and Chemistry.”

Read more and watch the video at WLUC TV6, by Matt Price.


ACMAL: New Remote Teaching and Research Capabilities

The Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory (ACMAL) is a shared facility located in the Minerals and Materials building on Michigan Tech’s campus. ACMAL has a wide range of electron microscope and x-ray analysis instruments available to the Michigan Tech community and guest researchers.

Over the past year, several ACMAL labs have been equipped with new software and cameras for improved remote teaching and research! These new remote capabilities allow for live/recorded demonstrations to be shared with large classes or for research clients and to view live data collection. 

Below are descriptions of these instruments and laboratories affected:

FEI 200kV Titan Themis Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM)

The STEM is Michigan Tech’s newest electron microscope addition that has atomic resolution imaging capabilities. The instrument has the following capabilities and modes: conventional TEM mode, scanning TEM mode, electron energy loss spectroscopy, energy filter TEM, high angle annular dark field, ChemiSTEM, Super-X Energy Dispersive X-Ray, and nanometer scale tomography. 

New remote capabilities include:

  • Zoom screen-share from both the TEM laboratory web camera and instrument control monitors
  • Huskycast (Panopto) recording of lab space, TEM lab camera, and instrument control monitors

Learn more about the STEM: ACMAL – FEI 200kV Titan Themis STEM

Contact Elizabeth Miller (eafraki@mtu.edu) for more information.

FEI Philips XL 40 Environmental Scanning Microscope (ESEM)

The ESEM can be used to image a wide range of material types at a microscale including hydrated, contaminated, organic, or inorganic samples. This microscope itself has several modes and features that make it a flexible instrument for any research needs: SE/BSE imaging, thin window EDAX EDS, electron backscatter diffraction, high and low vacuum modes, and hot or cold stage options.

New remote capabilities include:

  • New laboratory web camera
  • Zoom screen-share abilities from both the microscope control and AzTEC analysis computers
  • Remote technical assistance with Raritan DKX4-101 KVM-over-IP
  • Remote operation with Raritan DKX4-101 KVM-over-IP

Learn more about the ESEM: ACMAL – FEI Philips XL 40 ESEM

Contact Elizabeth Miller (eafraki@mtu.edu) for more information.

X-Ray Facilities: Scintag XDS2000 Powder Diffractometer and Scintag XDS-2000 PTS

ACMAL’s X-ray facilities (XRF) has instruments capable of performing x-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses on both powder and solid samples. Sample data such as present phases, lattice parameter, percent crystallinity, and texture analysis can all be found using MTU’s Scintag XDS2000 Powder Diffractometer and Scintag XDS-2000 PTS XRD instruments. These instruments have the following features to expand the types of samples that can be analyzed: zero background sample holder, custom powder sample holders, custom irregular shaped solid holder, custom liquid holder, ICDD-JCPDS database, and Anton-Paar high temperature stage.

New remote capabilities include:

  • New cameras installed in both the instrument lab and sample preparation lab.
  • Huskycast (Panopto) recording for both cameras and lab computer monitors.
  • Zoom sharing available in both labs and computer monitors.

Learn more about X-ray facilities: ACMAL – X-Ray Facilities

Contact Dr. Edward Laitila (ealaitil@mtu.edu) for more information.


Portage Health Foundation Research Excellence Fund Awards Spring 2021

Trisha Sain
Trisha Sain
Hyeun Joong Yoon
Hyeun Joong Yoon

The Health Research Institute is pleased to announce the Spring 2021 Portage Health Foundation Research Excellence Fund (PHF-REF) awards.

We would like to thank the reviewers, deans, department chairs and applicants for their efforts on this internal award process. The following are the faculty award recipients in engineering programs.

PHF-REF Research Seed Grant (PHF-REF-RS) Recipients

Trisha Sain (ME-EM)  
Hyeun Joong Yoon (BioMed) 

More information about REF awards and the application process can be found on the Research Excellence Fund page.


Graduate School Announces Summer 2021 Award Recipients

The Graduate School proudly announces the recipients of the Doctoral Finishing Fellowships for the summer 2021 semester. The following are award recipients in engineering graduate programs.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award Recipients in Engineering

Sri Ram Kumar ValluriChemical Engineering
Rajput OudumbarMechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Nathan D. SpikeMechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Congratulations to all nominees and recipients. Read more information on the awardees who provided bios on the Graduate School Newsblog.


Engineering Alumni Activity Summer 2021

Kimberly Zimmer
Kimberly Zimmer

Congratulations to Kimberly Zimmer, a 1995 Michigan Technological University alumna in civil engineering, for receiving the 2021 Michigan Department of Transportation Director’s Award. This is MDOT’s highest employee honor for outstanding service. Zimmer, honored in the officials and administrators category, played a critical role in MDOT’s successful response to last year’s historic flooding in Midland and Gladwin counties as well as excelling at other services.

Sheryl Sorby
Sheryl Sorby

Congratulations to professor emerita Sheryl Sorby for being named the ABET 2021 Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity and Inclusion recipient. Sheryl received her BS in Civil Engineering, MS in Engineering Mechanics, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech. Sorby is a professor of Engineering Education at the University of Cincinnati.

Meredith LaBeau
Meredith LaBeau

WLUC TV6 covered the appointment of Husky alumna Meredith LaBeau as chief technology officer at Calumet Electronics. LaBeau earned a master’s degree and PhD in environmental engineering and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Michigan Tech.

Amanda DeCesare
Amanda DeCesare

Alumna Amanda DeCesare (Civil Eng Tech ’05, Construction Management ’07) has been named a Rising Star by Progressive Railroading. DeCesare is project manager of public projects at CSX. She is responsible for new at-grade crossing warning device installations, at-grade crossing consolidations and facilitating any type of construction project impacting operating right-of-way.

Sanjal Gavande
Sanjal Gavande

Michigan Tech alumna Sanjal Gavande is receiving media attention as a member of the team that built New Shepherd, the space rocket scheduled to launch Jeff Bezos into space on July 20. Profiles of Gavande ran in The Times of India and other international outlets. Gavande has an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech. She worked in marine and racing car companies before helping to build a spacecraft.

Julie Marinucci
Julie Marinucci

Michigan Tech alumna Julie Marinucci was named the new land commissioner and director of the St. Louis County Land and Minerals Department. As director, Marinucci will lead a staff of 52 responsible for managing approximately 900,000 acres of tax-forfeited trust lands. Marinucci holds a BS in Mining Engineering from Michigan Tech.

Jacob Soter
Jacob Soter

A pilot program for the Swimsmart Warning System, an automated warning light system for beachgoers developed by Michigan Tech graduate Jacob Soter and his advisor Andrew Barnard (ME-EM), was covered by 9&10 News. Soter has degrees in computer engineering, electrical engineering, and business administration.

Husky alumnae Meredith LaBeau and Audra Thurston were the focus of a feature article that ran in Printed Circuit Design & Fab. The article described LaBeau and Thurston’s participation in an upcoming Women in Aerospace virtual event intended to inspire K-12 students to pursue STEM careers. LaBeau holds a PhD degree from Michigan Tech in Environmental Engineering focusing on the integrated assessment of anthropogenic, climate and policy-induced changes on phosphorus export in the United States Laurentian Great Lakes watersheds, as well as an MS degree in environmental engineering and a BS degree in biomedical engineering from Michigan Tech. Thurston has a degree in chemical engineering.

Kim McGill
Kim McGill

Michigan Tech alumna Kim McGill, vice president of marketing at Lennox Residential, discussed the pandemic and indoor air quality on WFTX Fox 4, Fort Myers, Fla. Kim has a mechanical engineering degree from Michigan Technological University and an MBA in marketing from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.


Two Engineering Students Awarded DoD SMART Scholarships

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the Department of Defense (DoD) Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship awardees.

• Lauren Mancewicz, doctoral graduate student in environmental engineering, is a scholarship awardee. Mancewicz’s current research focuses on using a numerical variable-density groundwater flow and transport model to investigate the impacts of sea-level rise on island hydrology and freshwater resources.

• Casey Majhor, doctoral graduate student in electrical engineering, is a scholarship awardee. Majhor’s research focuses on improving and implementing autonomous ground vehicles and robotics. As a DoD SMART Scholar, Majhor plans to contribute to DoD project focus areas such as combat vehicle robotics and manned-unmanned teaming vehicle systems.

The Graduate School is proud of these students for their outstanding scholarship. These awards highlight the quality of students at Michigan Tech, the innovative work they have accomplished, the potential for leadership and impact in science and engineering that the country recognizes in these students, and the incredible role that faculty play in students’ academic success.

The DoD SMART Scholarship is part of the National Defense Education Program and its benefits include full tuition and education-related expenses payment, a stipend of $25,000-$38,000 per year, summer internships ranging from 8 to 12 weeks, health insurance, a miscellaneous allowance of $1,200 per year, mentorship at one of the DoD sponsoring facilities, and employment placement at a DoD facility upon degree completion.

By the Graduate School.


Award Results for Design Expo 2021

As we’ve come to expect, the judging for Design Expo 2021 was very close, but the official results are in. More than 1,000 students in Enterprise and Senior Design showcased their hard work on April 15 at Michigan Tech’s second-ever, fully virtual Design Expo.

Teams competed for cash awards totaling nearly $4,000. Judges for the event included corporate representatives, community members and Michigan Tech staff and faculty. The College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College announced the award winners below on April 15, just after the competition. Congratulations and a huge thanks to all the teams for a very successful Design Expo 2021.

Last but not least, to the distinguished judges who gave their time and talents to help make Design Expo a success, and to the faculty advisors who generously and richly support Enterprise and Senior Design—thank you for your phenomenal dedication to our students.

Please check out the Design Expo booklet and all the team videos.

ENTERPRISE AWARDS

(Based on video submissions)

  • First Place—Husky Game Development (Team 115) Advisor Scott Kuhl, (CC)
  • Second Place—Aerospace Enterprise (Team 106) Advisor L. Brad King, (ME-EM)
  • Third Place—Innovative Global Solutions (Team 116) Advisors Radheshyam Tewari (ME-EM) and Nathan Manser (GMES)
  • Honorable Mention—Consumer Product Manufacturing (Team 111) Advisor Tony Rogers (ChE)

SENIOR DESIGN AWARDS

(Based on video submissions)

  • First Place —Advanced PPE Filtration System (Team 240) Team Members: Matthew Johnson, Electrical Engineering; Bryce Hudson, Mary Repp, Carter Slunick, Mike Stinchcomb, Braeden Anex, Brandon Howard, Josh Albrecht, and Hannah Bekkala, Mechanical Engineering Advised by: Jaclyn Johnson and Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Sponsored by: Stryker
  • Second Place—ITC Cell Signal Measurement Tool (Team 204) Team Members: Reed VandenBerg and Andrew Bratton, Electrical Engineering; Noah Guyette and Ben Kacynski, Computer Engineering Advised by: John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering Sponsored by: ITC Holdings Corp.
  • Third Place—Development of a Beta Brass Alloy for Co-Extrusion (Team 234) Team Members: Anna Isaacson, Sidney Feige, Lauren Bowling, and Maria Rochow, Materials Science and Engineering Advised by: Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering Sponsored by: College of Engineering
  • Honorable Mention—EPS Ball Nut Degrees of Freedom Optimization (Team 236) Team Members: Brad Halonen, Rocket Hefferan, Luke Pietila, Peadar Richards, and David Rozinka, Mechanical Engineering Advised by: James DeClerck, Mechanical Engineering- Engineering Mechanics Sponsored by: Nexteer
  • Honorable Mention—Electric Tongue Jack Redesign (Team 230) Team Members: Jack Redesign and Brandon Tolsma, Mechanical Engineering; Collin Jandreski, Christian Fallon, Warren Falicki, and Andrew Keskimaki, Electrical Engineering Advised by: Trever Hassell, Electrical and Computer Engineering Sponsored by: Stromberg Carlson
  • Honorable Mention—Bone Access and Bone Analog Characterization (Team 212) Team Members: Sarah Hirsch, Mechanical Engineering; Elisabeth Miller and Christiana Strong, Biomedical Engineering; Morgan Duley, Electrical Engineering; Katelyn Ramthun, Biomedical Engineering Advised by: Hyeun Joong Yoon and Orhan Soykan, Biomedical Engineering Sponsored by: Stryker Interventional Spine Team
  • Honorable Mention—Blubber Only Implantable Satellite Tag Anchoring System (Team 221) Team Members: Quinn Murphy, Lidia Johnson, Joshua Robles, Katy Beesley, and Kyle Pike, Biomedical Engineering Advised by: Bruce Lee, Biomedical Engineering; Sponsored by: NOAA

DESIGN EXPO IMAGE CONTEST

(Based on image submitted by the team)

  • First Place—Blizzard Baja (Team 101): “Our current vehicle, Hornet, after a race.” Credit: Blizzard Baja team member
  • Second Place—WAAM Die Components (Team 237): “MIG welding robot printing a steel part.” Credit: Mike Groeneveld
  • Third Place—Aerospace Enterprise (Team 106): “Team photo, pre-Covid.” Credit: Aerospace Enterprise team member

DESIGN EXPO INNOVATION AWARDS

(Based on application)

  • First Place—Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise, Shareable Air project (Team 101) Advised by: Tony Rogers, (ChE)
  • Second Place—ITC Cell Signal Measurement Tool (Team 204) Advised by: John Lukowski (ECE) 
  • Third Place—Hospital Washer Autosampler Implementation (Team 218) Advised by: Sang Yoon Han and Houda Hatoum (BioMed)

DESIGN EXPO PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

(Based on receiving most text-in voting during Design Expo)

ENTERPRISE STUDENT AWARDS

  • Rookie Award—Jack Block, CFO – Supermileage Systems Enterprise
  • Innovative Solutions—Cody Rorick, Alternative Energy Enterprise
  • Outstanding Enterprise Leadership—Andy Lambert, CEO – Supermileage Systems Enterprise and Daniel Prada, Spark Ignition (SI)
  • Team Lead—Clean Snowmobile Enterprise

ENTERPRISE FACULTY/STAFF AWARDS

  • Behind the Scenes Award—Kelly Steelman, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Dept. of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, nominated by Built World Enterprise.


Society of Women Engineers Attend the SWE-Wisconsin Spring Forward Professional Day 2021

On April 10, Katy Pioch (Mechanical Engineering, Junior), Sophie Stewart (Mechanical Engineering Junior), Aleah Hummel (Civil Engineering, Sophomore), Aerith Cruz (Management Information Systems, First-Year), and Gretchen Hein (SWE Advisor and MMET) attended the SWE-Wisconsion Spring Forward Professional Day virtually.

Pioch gave the introductory welcome address. Stewart and Cruz gave a presentation and workshop summarizing our outreach efforts where with support from a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Program Development Grant, the College of Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, the section has virtually met with over 500 local and regional youth.

During the Spring Forward Celebration, Hummel was awarded the Society of Women Engineers- Wisconsin Section Martha Maxwell Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

The goal of the scholarship program is “To honor Martha Maxwell’s memory and continue fostering her excitement about engineering, math, and science for young girls and women.” At the event, Hummel was recognized for her work as the Evening With Industry chair and her internship where she worked on various construction projects. Scholarships are important for all students; here is what this one means to Alli: “I am very honored and grateful to be the recipient of the Martha Maxwell Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Being a part of SWE helps me grow academically and professionally. I am excited to continue my involvement in SWE as I progress throughout my academic and professional career.”

Hein notes that “Alli is a joy to have in class and is planning to continue her work with Evening with Industry in the fall. She is truly a person who exemplifies the goals of this scholarship”. Audra Morse, Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, stated that “The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is proud of Alli’s scholastic achievements and her involvement in SWE. Congratulations to Alli for receiving a SWE-WI scholarship!”

The SWE Section at Michigan Tech recognizes the contributions of our members who presented at the professional day, and members, like Alli, who are recognized for their academic and societal efforts. We thank everyone for their support of SWE at Michigan Tech.


Engineering Students Recognized in 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium

The Pavlis Honors College has announced the winners of the 2021 virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The students who presented this year represented a wide array of scientific and engineering disciplines and highlighted the diversity of research areas explored. Judges from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines volunteered their time to evaluate participant’s posters and video presentations. The results are:

Four students also received Honorable Mention:

Congratulations to all of the winners and honorable mentions and thank you to faculty, staff and students who judged and participated in the Symposium this year.

View the Engineering Research Presentations


Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Paul Sanders

Paul Sanders
Paul Sanders

College of Engineering Dean Janet Callahan has selected Professor Paul Sanders of the Materials Science and Engineering Department for this week’s Dean’s Teaching Showcase. Sanders coordinates MSE’s curriculum-critical capstone design course sequence, as well as the pre-capstone preparation course. Callahan notes, “Dr. Sanders has built MSE’s capstone program into a highly effective sequence that not only teaches critical design skills, but prepares his students to become highly sought-after employees.”

A six-sigma black belt engineer during his prior association with Ford Motor Co, Sanders has developed this sequence into a professionally-relevant, and sustaining experience for the department and its students. Subjects and approaches included in the MSE student preparatory course and later in capstone projects include hypothesis development, simulation and prediction, designed experiments, laboratory experiences, measurement system analysis, analysis of results, and communication skills. The amount of personal contact time and dedication that he provides the students far exceeds that which is normally expected or expended on coursework. He remains active and dedicated to its continuous improvement. In addition to and in support of these classroom duties, Sanders has been successful in securing 100% sponsorship of all capstone projects since he began leading these courses in 2010.

Sanders’ reputation as an effective and innovative educator is well known across the discipline and external to Michigan Tech. Michigan Tech’s MSE senior design teams have placed in the ASM International Undergraduate Design Competition in eight of the last nine years, taking first place in the last three; this level of success is unmatched by any other university nationwide in this international competition that began in 2008. Not surprisingly, yearly assessment and feedback from project sponsors and MSE’s external advisory board (EAB) underscore the relevance of his classroom activities to the duties of a practicing engineers, and the edge that these courses give our students. Tied to this success, Sanders delivered an invited presentation in the Materials Design Symposium at a TMS conference to summarize the successful implementation of the implementation of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME; aka the “digitalization” of MSE via the federally-advocated Materials Genome Initiative) into an undergraduate curriculum, for which Michigan Tech has been recognized as a leading example and model program.

To make his accomplishments in the classroom all the more significant and impressive, Dr. Sanders is one of Michigan Tech’s most prolific and creative researchers. He holds the Patrick Horvath Endowed Professorship of Materials Science and Engineering, and leads and supports a large, externally funded research team; typically comprised of about 8 graduate students, several undergraduate interns and co-op engineers, and four technical staff members. His research focuses on alloy development, and in particular on alloy design using computational simulation which is followed up with subsequent processing, calibration, and optimization in MSE’s materials processing facilities.

MSE Department Chair Steve Kampe said, “Paul is an amazingly dedicated teacher and an effective mentor to our students at this formative and defining time in their educational experience at Michigan Tech. He is really able to capture and nurture the essence of what makes Michigan Tech students unique and valued as engineers and scientists.”

Sanders will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members, and is also 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.

By Michael R. Meyer, Director William G. Jackson CTL.

Written by Stephen Kampe, Department Chair, Materials, Sciences and Engineering