All posts by Sue Hill

Bryant Weathers New CoE Director of Advancement

Bryant Weathers
Bryant Weathers

The College of Engineering welcomes Bryant Weathers to the dean’s office staff as director of advancement. As advancement liaison for the eight departments within the College of Engineering, Weathers’ primary role will be to connect alumni and friends in furthering Michigan Tech’s mission and programs, while achieving individual charitable goals in a variety of ways.

His previous experience at Michigan Tech includes advancement officer and gift planning and donor communications specialist in the Office of Advancement. Weathers is an alumnus, and earned his BS in Science and Technical Communication in 2010.


Deans’ Teaching Showcase: Daisuke Minakata

Daisuke Minakat
Daisuke Minakat

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.


Judges Needed for Design Expo 2019

Design Expo students by their posterWe invite you to register to be a judge at the 2019 Design Expo on Thursday, April 18. The Expo highlights hands-on projects from more than 1000 students on Enterprise and Senior Design teams.

Although special expertise is appreciated, judges are not required to be technological specialists or engineers. If you like engaging with students and learning more about the exciting projects they are working on, please consider judging.

Who should judge?

  • Community members
  • Michigan Tech faculty and staff
  • Alumni interested in seeing what today’s students are accomplishing as undergrads
  • Those looking to network with Michigan Tech faculty and students
  • Industry representatives interested in sponsoring a future project

Design Expo is co-hosted by the College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College.

If you would like to serve as a judge at this year’s Design Expo, register as soon as possible to let us know you’re coming. Thank you for your continued support.

By Pavlis Honors College and the College of Engineering.


Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Paul VanSusante

Paul van Susante
Paul van Susante

Each spring semester the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning works to recognize and reward contributions to teaching that may not be noticed or appreciated by students through the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

Each Friday, the six academic Deans; Janet Callahan (CoE), Adrienne Minerick (SoT), David Hemmer (CSA), Dean Johnson (SBE), Lorelle Meadows (Pavlis Honors College) and Andrew Storer (SFRES) will take turns recognizing a total of 13 Michigan Tech instructors who have revised curriculum, created new courses and programs, assessed student work, helped meet accreditation requirements or provided exceptional instruction that’s innovative or foundational.

College of Engineering Dean Janet Callahan provides our first Deans’ Teaching Showcase member for spring 2019: Paul VanSusante, senior lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) Department. She chose VanSusante, simply because he has “worked hard to develop and use active learning strategies in his classes, and his students have benefited greatly. His dedication to his student’s learning is an inspiration to us all.”

Callahan’s choice to recognize VanSusante spans several criteria; he has contributed significantly to curriculum development, but also provides innovative teaching in a foundational context. According to Bill Predebon, ME-EM chair, VanSusante has been “instrumental in the development and coordination of Mechanical Engineering Practice 1 (MEP 1) in our newly revised ME curriculum. In MEP 1 Paul included reverse engineering, in which they take apart a consumer product or toy, go to the internet for buyers’ comments, take it apart, redesign it based on comments with the manufacturing process in mind.”

But as Callahan noted, VanSusante’s exceptional contributions don’t stop at curriculum development. Predebon continues: “Paul is also an innovative teacher. He really cares about student learning. His teaching style uses active learning and includes practical insight from his experience and research. He pushes his students to go beyond what is the topic of the day. He has them work in teams whenever possible, so that they can learn from each other. Everyone’s input is important and valued, no matter what their background.”

As part of the nomination, Associate Dean of Engineering Leonard Bohmann also highlighted VanSusante’s innovative teaching in his extensive involvement with MINE (the Mining Innovation Enterprise). According to Bohmann, VanSusante’s work there includes an “out of this world” NASA project that involves the extraction of water from gypsum on Mars.

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


Tech Faculty and Staff Participate in KEEN Conference and Workshop

KEEN logo Nancy Barr (ME-EM), Leonard Bohmann (CoE), Mary Fraley (EF), Thom Freeman (William G. Jackson CTL), Jonathon Leinonen (SBE), Amlan Mukherjee (CEE) and Mary Raber (Pavlis Honors College), attended the 2019 KEEN National Conference in Dallas, Texas.

KEEN partners with colleges and universities across the United States who are dedicated to transforming their undergraduate engineering programs through the integration of opportunities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Michigan Tech applied to be included in the KEEN Engineering Unleashed Network in late 2018.

The conference was followed by the Integrating Curriculum with Entrepreneurial (ICE) Mindset Workshop where faculty can learn how to incorporate the entrepreneurial mindset into their courses. Thomas Freeman and Gretchen Hein (Engineering Fundamentals) participated in the workshop and will be developing materials for their courses and other educational resources around this topic.

By Gretchen Hein.


Engineering Alumni Activity Spring 2019

Megan Krieger
Megan Krieger

Michigan Tech alumna Megan Krieger ’09, was featured in several articles nation wide. Krieger, a mechanical engineer in the U.S. Army, led a team that 3D printed a 32-foot-long reinforced concrete footbridge. Kreiger, who lives in Champaign, Illinois, became aware of 3D as a graduate student at Michigan Tech. The story was covered by Engineering News-Record3Dprint.com and 3Ders.org. She became aware of 3D printing at Michigan Tech, where she ran the 3D printing lab during graduate studies in material science and engineering. She joined the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in February 2015.

Jeff Stauffer
Jeff Stauffer

Michigan Tech alumnus Jeff Stauffer ’93, has been named a regional Utility Sales Director for Boarder States Electric. At Michigan Tech, Stauffer earned degrees in electrical engineering and business administration and served as the business manager for the Lode student newspaper. The story was covered in TED Magazine.

John O. Hallquist
John O. Hallquist

Michigan Tech alumnus John Hallquist, who received a master’s and PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics in 1971 and 1974 respectively, was featured in the article “John O. Hallquist, Ph.D., Celebrated for Innovations in Software Development,” in Business News Articlesand 24-7 press release.com. Hallquist was responsible for founding the Livermore Software Technology Corporation.

Kirk Fauri
Kirk Fauri

RS&H Vice President and Texas CEI Leader Kirk Fauri ’03 has been named to ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 20 Under 40 list, a recognition of the region’s top young professionals. Fauri holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech. He serves as the prime CEI consultant with TxDOT in 10 districts and four regional mobility authorities.

Mike Paddock
Mike Paddock

Mike Paddock ’87 volunteered with Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) to support volcano recovery in Guatemala. Mike, a 15-year veteran of EWB-USA, has spent the better part of six months in Guatemala responding to the Volcano Fuego disaster. He has a passion for Guatemala, and has contributed to the building of dozens of bridges, roads, schools and wastewater projects throughout the country, although volcano response is new territory for both Mike and EWB-USA. Paddock holds BS degrees in Surveying and Civil Engineering.


Design Expo 2019 Registration Now Open

Design Expo studentsDesign Expo 2019 will be held Thursday, April 18 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Please save the date.

Design Expo highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning at Michigan Tech. More than 1,000 students on Enterprise and Senior Design teams showcase their work and compete for awards.

A panel of judges made up of distinguished corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty will critique the projects.

Many team projects are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience through competition, as well as direct exposure to real industrial problems.

Design Expo is co-hosted by the College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College.

Registration is now open for Senior Design and Enterprise teams. Students should visit the Design Expo website to review important instructions, deadlines and poster criteria. All Senior Design and Enterprise teams must register by Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

By the College of Engineering and Pavlis Honors College.


7th Graders Design a Backpack Reflector

Michigan Tech’s Blue Marble Security (BMS) Enterprise students have been working with a 7th grade eCYBERMISSION team from Lake Linden-Hubbell High School. The team members are Jenna Beaudoin, Chloe Daniels, Rebecca Lyons, and Olivia Shank.

Their project is to design and test a backpack reflector. The reflector design is being done using NX and is 3D printed. The reflector will have 4 lights that flicker on and off. With with the help of BMS students Tyler and John, they have designed a circuit with 2 IC chips and LED lights. Olivia worked with Tyler on the 3D design, while the other girls worked on their documentation of the circuit. Some of the girls learned how to solder.

eCYBERMISSION is a national science competition for grades 6-9 and is sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).

BMS is advised by Glen Archer, Principal Lecturer and Associate Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering. The eCYBERMISSION team is advised by Gretchen Hein, Senior Lecturer, Engineering Fundamentals and Faculty Adviser, Society of Women Engineers.

BMS eCYBERMISSION girls visit MDOT garage
Visit to Calumet MDOT Garage
BMS and eCYBERMISSION team members at the computer
BMS and eCYBERMISSION Team Members
BMS eCYBERMISSION building a circuit
Building a Circuit
BMS eCYBERMISSION soldering
Soldering

New Engineering Faculty Fall 2018

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Melanie Kueber Watkins
Melanie Kueber Watkins

Melanie Kueber-Watkins, PhD

Melanie Kueber-Watkins joins the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a research assistant professor. She earned a PhD in Civil Engineering/Concrete Chemistry from Michigan Tech where she received the Graduate Student of the Year – Danielle Ladwig Award for Graduate Excellence in Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

For the past three years she has taught civil engineering and concrete chemistry courses here at Michigan Tech. Kueber-Watkins has extensive civil engineering consulting experience with firms in the Upper Peninsula, Chicago and St. Louis.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Aref Majdara
Aref Majdara

Aref Majdara, PhD

Aref Majdara joins the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering as a lecturer. He earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech and a PhD in Management and Science Technology from Tohoku University in Japan. In addition, he received a master’s of science in Nuclear Engineering from Shiraz University in Iran.

As a graduate student at Michigan Tech, Majdara received a Doctoral Finishing Fellowship, the Jonathan Bara Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Engineering Fundamentals

Kenneth Thiemann
Kenneth Thiemann

Kenneth Thiemann

Kenneth Thiemann joins the faculty of Engineering Fundamentals as an Instructor. He is currently a PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech. He earned his MS in Environmental Engineering with a concentration in water resources from Michigan Tech and Delft University in the Netherlands.

Thiemann has worked as an engineer in Michigan and Minnesota.

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Nathan D. Manser
Nathan D. Manser

Nathan Manser, PhD

Nathan Manser joins the faculty of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences as a Lecturer. Manser earned his PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of South Florida. He has previously served as an instructor at Michigan Tech in Geological Engineering, in the Pavlis Honors College, and the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Engineering Fundamentals.

In industry, he has worked as a mine production and shipping systems supervisor for the Unimin Corporation in Minnesota and a mine systems engineer with Granate Construction Company in Arizona.

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Cameron Hadden
Cameron Hadden

Cameron Hadden, PhD

Cameron Hadden joins the faculty at Michigan Tech as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Hadden earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech. He has served as a lecturer in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Engineering Fundamentals and was a student advisor in Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan Tech.

Hadden’s research interests including molecular modeling, design and manufacturing of composite materials, mechanical behavior of composite materials, nanomaterials, biomechanics, and finite elements.

Steven Ma
Steven Ma

Steven Ma, PhD

Steven Ma Joins the faculty of Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as a professor of practice. He earned his PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a concentration in Structural Dynamics. Ma also has an Executive MBA from Tsinghua University in China.

Before coming to Michigan Tech, Ma was an adjunct professor for more than 10 years at the University of Texas in Arlington. In addition, he has worked as an engineer for several firms including Kobelco, Atlas Copco, Parker Hannifin and Caterpillar Inc.


Graduate School Announces Spring 2019 Award Recipients

Graduate Student in the Lab

The Graduate School announced the Spring 2019 award recipients. The following are award recipients in engineering graduate programs:

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award

Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship