Author: Sue Hill

Engineering Students Sweep the 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium

URS 2019The 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) was held on Friday, March 29th, in the lobby of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts from 1-5 p.m. The URS highlighted the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students.

The Pavlis Honors College hosts undergraduate researchers and scholars from all departments, schools and programs to present abstracts for presentation at the URS.

VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY

The winners of this year’s symposium, based on the assessment of faculty and staff judges from across campus, ARE:

First Place: Ceily Fessel Doan, Environmental Engineering, “Comparison of Nannochloropsis and Chlorelle Vulgaris Algae to Energy Efficiency in the Rio Grande Watershed” working with Alex Mayer

Second Place: Jacob LeBarre, Chemical Engineering, “Improvement of Virus Purification Method using Cation Exchange Chromatography” working with Caryn Heldt

Third Place: Kaylee Meyers, Biomedical Engineering, “Nitric Oxide Releasing Composite Hydrogels for Tendon Repair Via Matrix Metalloproteinase Controlled Pathways” working with Rupak Rajachar

Honorable Mention: Brenna Rosso, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, “Assessing the Expression and Purification of Arg-Tagged MS2 Coat Protein by Cation Exchange Chromatography” working with Ebenezer Tumban

Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Polega, Biomedical Engineering “Antibacterial Properties of Mussel-Inspired Polydopamine Coatings Prepared by Simple Two-Step Shaking-Assisted Method” working with Bruce Lee

Ceily Fessel Doan, CEE, First Place
Ceily Fessel Doan, CEE, First Place
Jacob LeBarre, CHE, Second Place
Jacob LeBarre, CHE, Second Place
Kaylee Meyers, BME, Third Place
Kaylee Meyers, BME, Third Place
Elizabeth Polega, BME, Honorable Mention
Elizabeth Polega, BME, Honorable Mention

LIFT Partners with Michigan Tech

Advanced Metalworks team in the labA partnership between Michigan Tech and Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) was featured in the story “LIFT Partners with Michigan Technological University to Support Students in Advanced Manufacturing,” in Lift Technology.

LIFT Partners With Michigan Technological University To Support Students In Advanced Manufacturing

DETROIT – LIFT—Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, a national manufacturing innovation institute operated by the American Lightweight Materials Innovation Institute (ALMMII), today announced it has partnered with Michigan Technological University (MTU) on two programs – an Advanced Metalworks research project, currently underway, and Materials Science Summer Youth Program, on campus later this summer – to support student engagement in advanced manufacturing.

“The industry needs greater resolution when using welding machines,” said Russ Stein, MTU research engineer and lead program manager. “Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – isn’t a new technology, but we are working on making it more effective, accessible and affordable.” More information on the MTU Enterprise Program can be found at https://www.mtu.edu/enterprise/

Read more at LIFT.


World Water Day 2019 Addresses Human Rights

Monica Lewis-Patrick
Monica Lewis-Patrick

HOUGHTON — Water should be considered a basic human right, said Monica Lewis-Patrick. But in many cases, its commodification has made reliable access out of reach of struggling households.

Lewis-Patrick, the co-founder, president and chief executive officer of We the People of Detroit, delivered the keynote address Monday, March 25, 2019, as part of Michigan Technological University’s celebration of World Water Day.

Addressing the prospective engineers in the room, Lewis-Patrick urged them to move beyond mere equations and schematics.

“What we know, is that if you will serve humanity, and you begin your conversations for solving those problems with talking to the most impacted community first, I think we can get to these solutions much quicker and with fewer casualties,” she said.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.


Deans’ Teaching Showcase: Faith Morrison

Faith Morrison
Faith Morrison

This week, the Deans’ Teaching Showcase returns to the College of Engineering where Dean Janet Callahan has selected Faith Morrison, professor of chemical engineering and associate dean.

Callahan chose Morrison not only for her excellent and innovative teaching, but also for extensive historical involvement in academic advising and planning for assessment, especially for Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Callahan’s words, “Professor Morrison has been focused on improving the Chemical Engineering undergraduate program throughout her career. She has been heavily involved in academic advising, assessment activities, and implementing new pedagogy to enrich her students’ learning experience. Dr. Morrison’s continuous drive to improve student learning is an inspiration to us all.”

In his nominating letter, Chemical Engineering Chair Pradeep Agrawal focused mostly on Morrison’s unique and deeply-considered teaching philosophy. He especially emphasized her willingness to continually be “flexible in developing her teaching approach to match the learning style of a younger generation.”

One such contribution that has clearly been well received is a series of YouTube videos published by Morrison on rheology and momentum transport, several of which have more than 100,000 views.

Morrison believes her fundamental purpose is to teach students how to learn, and that keeping them active in the classroom is important to this end. In her words, she gives students a chance to “attempt solutions and see how their ideas work—I allow them to lead the problem‐solving, since I believe they benefit from following where their ideas lead.”

This does not mean she allows them complete freedom. Morrison carefully chooses activities and scaffolds discussions, taking “great care to identify and organize classroom topics and to keep the conversation going.”

Agrawal also emphasized this active and carefully customized approach, which Morrison applies even in larger classes. “Faith finds ways to engage students regardless of the class size. Her approach encourages all students to achieve a minimum level of proficiency in order to pass her course, but she also provides “stretch” assignments to students aspiring to earn top grades. These “stretch” assignments are harder problems, designed to challenge the top performing students. Her unorthodox approach allows the students to work at a level commensurate with their aspirations, but also ensures a minimum level of preparedness of the subject matter. ”

Finally, Morrison was selected because, according to Agrawal, she “earns the respect of her students, in spite of maintaining a rigorous work load and standards.” Faith carefully balances the ability to “meet students where they are” and setting a high—but still appropriate—level of challenge. In her words, she has “found that when I set expectations where I need them to be, the students are able to rise to the occasion.”

Morrison will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning 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 Center for Teaching and Learning.


A Day in the Life Video Competition Spring 2019

A Day in the Life of a Michigan Tech Student

A Day in the Life of a Michigan Tech Student

Student Video Competition Spring 2019

  • Submit your Day in the Life video by April 2!
  • Win cash prizes—up to $5,000 awarded!
  • 2-5 minutes in length.
  • Students in all majors are welcome to compete.
  • Competition is now open to Michigan Tech graduate students!

SUBMIT VIDEO

A Day in the Life Announcement Video
A Day in the Life Announcement Video

Enrolled Michigan Tech undergraduate students are invited to participate in a new campus-wide video competition. Give us a glimpse into your day as a Michigan Tech student. Create a short video with highlights and interesting moments that capture some of the essence of your activities in this unique environment.

  • Competition opens March 18, 2019.
  • Submission closes midnight April 2, 2019.

There will be multiple $300 and $100 prizes, up to $5,000 in total.

The aim is to generate a Day in the Life for all majors, reflecting a diversity of perspectives. Clean humor, tenacity, fun—the Tech experience!

Participants are asked to read the guidelines and follow the rules.

Rules

  1. The competition is open to full-time undergraduate students in all majors and to all full-time graduate students in all programs.
  2. Record your video March 18 – 29, 2019.
  3. Use only original footage which you own.
  4. Observe licensing requirements for audio effects.
  5. Videos should be 2-5 minutes in length.
  6. Videos must be in a standard format: MP4 or MOV.
  7. Use a horizontal or landscape orientation.
  8. Videos should be high definition: 720p or 1080p.
  9. Do not video people who request not to be in your video.
  10. Participants are responsible for arranging interviews or obtaining permission for in-class recording.
  11. Upload your video to your Michigan Tech Google Drive for proper sharing and authentication.
  12. Only one submission per student is allowed.
  13. The due date is April 2, 2019, by midnight.
  14. The University or College of Engineering may edit your winning video and use it in marketing platforms.
  15. Winning participants are asked to cooperate with follow-up clarifications on captioning or transcripts.

Guidelines

  1. Use your own video camera. A camera phone is fine.
  2. Introduce yourself in the video. First name only is OK.
  3. Use your own voice and style. If you are looking for guidance on tone and message, the Michigan Tech Brand Guide is available.
  4. The mood of the video should be light. Include humor and surprises!
  5. Participants can utilize a team or group for this video project, but only the focus student will be contacted or awarded.
  6. You can get help with video editing.
  7. Show student activities, dorm life, the local area, and campus.
  8. Be realistic and optimistic. Have clean fun.

Video Sharing

  1. To find Google Drive, login to your Michigan Tech gmail and go to https://drive.google.com/.
  2. Choose + New in the upper left corner and select File upload.
  3. Upload the video and select it.
  4. Choose the person + icon in the upper right corner (Share).
  5. Choose Get shareable link.
  6. Choose Copy link.
  7. Submit that as the Link to Video on Google Drive in the submission form.

Hosted by the College of Engineering with sponsorship from schools and departments across campus. Contact engineering@mtu.edu with questions.


2019 ME-EM Department Scholar Award for Amanda Kautzer

Amanda Kautzer
Amanda Kautzer

In recognition of her scholarly achievements, the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics has selected Amanda Kautzer for the 2019 Department Scholar Award. She was selected from eight strong candidates nominated by ME-EM faculty. Kautzer will be recognized at the 25th Annual Student Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 19.

Kautzer has also been nominated for the Provost’s Award for Scholarship, with enthusiastic support from her enterprise adviser Brett Hamlin and her research supervisor Rupak Rajachar.

Kautzer’s achievements include:

  • Pursuing a dual major in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering
  • A 4.0 GPA
  • A varsity athlete, competing nationally and internationally with the Michigan Tech Nordic Ski Team, where she most recently won the 2019 Central Region Skiing Championship
  • Active in the GEAR Enterprise supervised by Brett Hamlin (ME-EM)
  • Actively engaged in research in the Biomaterials Engineering Lab supervised by Rupak Rajachar (BioMed)
  • Awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF); the results of which she presented at a poster session during the 2017 Annual Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations, we will consider the nominated students not selected for other student awards and recognitions.


Pennington to Conduct Research in Australia

Wayne Pennington
Wayne Pennington

Professor Emeritus Wayne Pennington (GMES), has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to conduct research at Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals Energy and Chemical Engineering.

Pennington, a research professor of geophysical engineering, retired from his position as Dean of the College of Engineering last year. He was awarded the 2019 Fullbright Scholar Award in Resources and Energy.

His research at Curtin, where he is based until June, will aim to improve existing methods of observing and measuring the depletion of oil and gas fields and the storage of carbon after removal from the atmosphere.

Read the full story on Market Screener.


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 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.


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.