Category: Alumni

Engineering Alumni as New Alumni Board Directors

The following alumni will begin their six year Director terms at the Reunion meeting Thursday and Friday (Aug. 4-5).

  • Daniel Batten ’88, ’90 Mechanical Design Engineering Technology and Business Administration from Jenison, Michigan
  • Derek Chapel ’05 Electrical Engineering from Petoskey, Michigan
  • Joseph Gallo ’11 Mechanical Engineering / Electrical Engineering from Midland, Michigan
  • Jenna Joestgen ’10 Biomedical Engineering from Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Kristin Kolodge ’95 Mechanical Engineering from Harrison Township, Michigan
  • Emily McDonald ’12 Environmental Engineering from Ferndale, Michigan
  • Dennis Sage ’86 Scientific and Technical Communication, Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Andrew Burton ’97 (SFRES)-new faculty representative

Read more at Tech Today, by Brenda Rudiger.


Family Engineering Day and Other KSEF Events

Family Engineering
Family Engineering

Great Lakes Research Center Hosts Alumni and KSEF

Faculty, staff and students at the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) are hosting and participating in a number of events during Alumni Reunion and in partnership with the Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival (KSEF). The campus community is invited to join alumni and KSEF attendees at the following GLRC led activities:

  • “Layers of Superior,” an art show featuring work created by Hancock High School art students and inspired by Lake Superior, is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3-Friday, Aug. 5. The exhibit is located in the first floor lobby of the GLRC.
  • Join Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Kestner Waterfront Park for the Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival’s Family Engineering Day from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday.
  • On Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m., the new donor wall will be dedicated in the first floor lobby of the GRLC. All are invited to the dedication launching the GLRC’s Buy a Fish campaign. Funds raised will support student opportunities, research and facilities improvements. Dedication remarks are scheduled for 3:15 p.m. in the GLRC’s first floor lobby.
  • Come on down to the GLRC from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday for the GLRC’s Water Festival. Tour a 47 foot Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat, drive an underwater robot, see zooplankton up close, listen to Lake Superior while learning about underwater acoustics research and learn how faculty collect and use data to make predictions on the spread of invasive aquatic species. Visit this link for a full schedule of the Water Festival activities.

From Tech Today, by Elizabeth Hoy.

Science and Engineering Festival begins

The 2nd Annual Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival has begun, featuring three days of hands-on activities based on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Most of the events all families to participate with their children, like the Family Engineering Day put on by Michigan Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

Read more and watch the video at ABC 10 UP, by Rick Allen.

New slide shows feature Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival, alumni visitors, Science Fair winners, Lake Superior Celebration

Keweenaw Now captured some of the highlights of these events with photos we have now posted in our new slide show format. We also have added a slide show on the Western UP Science Fair winners and the April 26 Lake Superior Celebration at the GLRC. (See Slide Show announcement and links in our right-hand column).

Read more and watch a video presentation by Pengfei Xue at Keweenaw Now by Michele Bourdieu.


Congratulations Sarah Rajala ’74 – Recipient of the 2016 AAES National Engineering Award!

Sarah-Rajala-March2014Dr. Sarah Rajala, Dean of the Iowa State University College of Engineering, has earned the National Engineering Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) – representing 17 multidisciplinary engineering societies from industry, government and academia. Rajala received the award on April 18 at a ceremony in Washington D.C. Rajala earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan Technological University in 1974 and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University.

The AAES National Engineering Award recognizes Rajala’s outstanding service in three key areas: 1) inspirational leadership at the institutional, national and international levels; 2) innovations in engineering education and assessment; and 3) her tireless efforts to promote diversity in the engineering field.

“It is indeed appropriate that Sarah Rajala receive the AAES National Engineering Award,” said Joseph J. Rencis, president of the American Society for Engineering Education, one of the AAES member societies. “She is a trailblazer and embodies the criteria of inspirational leadership and devotion to engineering education, advancement of the engineering profession and promotion of public policies.” Rencis also praised Rajala’s diversity efforts, adding “Sarah has recognized the engineering profession cannot achieve full success without full participation of the rich diversity of talent in our global population.”

From Michigan Tech, Rajala received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008; was inducted into the Electrical and Computer Engineering Academy in 1997; became a charter member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae in 1997; and earned the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 1986.

Rajala joined Iowa State in 2013, after having served as the first female dean of the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. Before she became dean, Rajala was the first female tenure-track professor in the engineering department at North Carolina State University, where she organized networking activities for the college of engineering women faculty and helped create a maternity leave policy for tenure-track faculty members where none had existed.

In the classroom and through professional organizations, Rajala has worked to improve engineering education for students. She has received numerous teaching awards, provided key leadership related to reform engineering education, and was elected president of the American Society for Engineering Education [ASEE] in 2008-09.

The focus of Rajala’s research is the analysis and processing of images and image sequences and engineering educational assessment. She has directed numerous master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, authored and co-authored nearly 200 publications, and secured a patent on image sequence compression.


Greenhouse gas emissions vary by region – GE alumnae Deborah Huntzinger

Dr. Deborah Huntzinger
Dr. Deborah Huntzinger

Deborah Huntzinger, who earned her BS and PhD in Geological Engineering at Michigan Tech, is now an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ.

During her post-doc at the University of Michigan, Huntzinger was involved in research recently published in the journal Nature, “The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.”  Huntzinger is a coauthor in the research, which for the first time ever quantifies how greenhouse gas emissions vary by source sector and region.

“The comprehensive approach used to compile, synthesize, and interpret the data has led to results that bolster the understanding of human contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and point to regions where more attention is needed to manage emissions,” notes John Gierke, Huntzinger’s graduate advisor and chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Tech.

The group’s research suggests that a reduction in agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions, particularly in Southern Asia, may help mitigate climate change.

Read more at Eurekalert.org: “Greenhouse gas bookkeeping turns on its head”, and Nature: “The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere”.

Huntzinger’s research interests focus on improving the understanding of complex environmental systems and our ability to forecast their future variability. Her current research interests are in the integration and comparison of environmental remote sensing products, model estimates, and in situ data to advance the understanding of biospheric contributions, both spatially and temporally, to land-atmosphere carbon exchange.


Presentation: Dr. James H. Comfort, General Manager, Cloud Services, IBM Cloud Division

Mar31

The Chemical Engineering department presented a talk by Dr. James H. Comfort,  General Manager, Cloud Services, IBM Cloud Division. The title was “Crafting a Career in Uncharted Waters: A Journey from Chemical Engineering to Cloud Computing and Back.” The presentation was in Fisher 135 at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday March 31st. The university was invited to attend.

Dr. Comfort, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1983 and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988. His work at M.I.T. was multi-disciplinary in nature across Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Business Administration, and he was awarded a full Fellowship from the Semiconductor Research Corporation.

Dr. Comfort joined IBM Research in 1988 as a Research Staff Member where he was part of a team pioneering the demonstrations, development, and production of the first commercially viable, fully integrated SiGe semiconductor technologies. He held a series of management and executive roles from 1991 to 2003 encompassing SiGe technology, CMOS technology, three generations (0.22um, 0.20um, 0.18um) of DRAM technologies in a multi-national collaboration between Toshiba, Siemens and IBM, and Wireless ASIC technology development. From 2003-04, he was part of IBM’s Corporate Strategy team implementing structured business strategy development programs and from 2004-06 he was Vice President responsible for development and manufacturing of the IBM microprocessors that powered the XBOX 360 game consoles.

In 2008, he was part of the Enterprise Initiatives team that shaped IBM’s transformational Cloud Computing strategy, joining IBM’s Global Technology Services in 2010 as Vice President to help create IBM’s Cloud Services, and was then named General Manager, IBM SmartCloud Platform Development and Delivery in 2013. Over his 25 years at IBM, Dr. Comfort’s many roles have always involved collaboration across multiple groups or divisions, and constantly pushing the boundaries of what was believed possible, blending engineering, business and communication to build effective teams; all skills built on a foundation established at Michigan Tech.

PDF Flyer for Dr. James Comfort Talk on Tuesday March 31st

Watch the video on Engineering Michigan Tech Channel on Vimeo Crafting a Career in Uncharted Waters: Dr. James H. Comfort

Julia Zayan and Dr. James Comfort
Julia Zayan and Dr. James Comfort

One of Greatest Places to Live in America: Houghton

IMG_9635bOutside magazine named Houghton among the 16 best places to live in America, mentioning that Michigan Tech students double the town’s population during the school year. The article also notes Tech as one of the largest employers, praises the Nordic ski trails and mentions that Tech will host the National Cross-Country Skiing Championships in 2015 and 2016. See The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America.


Keweenaw Geoheritage Tours

Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is known as a place of natural beauty with a fascinating mining history. Join local expert Bill Rose to learn how to read this landscape and how it came to be the way it is today. The Copper Country has a strong geoheritage comprised of five major events in Earth’s history. Rose has designed several two-day field trips that address each of these specific themes. Participants can look forward to covering lots of ground and being outside all the time with travel by boat, van and short walks.  

UPDATE:

1 Lavas, July 21-22: This trip focuses on the Keweenaw’s black rocks and its deep earth volcanic past; the site of Earth’s largest lava outpourings. We will visit massive lava flows and learn how they shape and influence the Keweenaw Peninsula.
2. The Keweenaw Fault, July 23-24: This trip focuses on the magnificent Keweenaw Fault, a massive thrust fault which split the peninsula lengthwise and uplifted rocks, including native copper, to a place where people could find it. This feature has shaped and beautified the Keweenaw but is no longer an active hazard.
3. Jacobsville Sandstone, July 25-26: The red rocks of the Keweenaw originate from the ancient, and once massive, Huron Mountains that eroded and filled the great valley of the Keweenaw rift. We will visit important fossils in the area, an ancient window to the origins of life on Earth.

Each two-day trip costs $325 and includes lunch. Full more information, trip highlights and registration please visit: Geoheritage Tours.

For specific questions email: keweenawgeology@gmail.com

A story about Faculty Emeritus Bill Rose’s summer geoheritage program was picked up by the Associated Press and shared with the San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, San Antonio Express, Washington Times, and other media outlets.


Talk: “The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040”

William (Bill) M. Colton, Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning at Exxon Mobil, gave two presentations at Michigan Tech. Mr. Colton was born in Massachusetts and received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1975.

His first talk was about the future of energy, “The Outlook for Energy: the View to 2040,” on Thursday at 135 Fisher Hall and a second talk was titled “How to Move Up in Life: What I wish someone had told me when I was 21” on Friday at the Memorial Union Ballroom. Both programs attracted large audiences and were hosted by the Department of Chemical Engineering. After the second talk he met with students at the Alumni Lounge.

Mr. Colton joined Exxon Corporation in 1975 as a Project Engineer in Exxon Research and Engineering. His career of thirty-three years has been spent in both upstream and downstream businesses throughout ExxonMobil, including project development, refining, lubes, synthetic fuels and marketing. Mr. Colton also worked in finance and planning positions, including Exxon Mobil corporate headquarters. He spent eight years overseas, first as Director of Finance and Planning for Esso Sekiyu in Tokyo, and then in Bangkok, initially as Finance Director and later as the Chairman of Esso Thailand.

Mr. Colton returned to the U.S. in 2000 when he was appointed Treasurer of ExxonMobil Development Company in Houston. He became Vice President Asia Pacific in ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing Company on April 1, 2002. Mr. Colton returned to the Corporation as Assistant Treasurer of Exxon Mobil Corporation January 25, 2006 – January 31, 2009. He became Vice President-Strategic Planning of Exxon Mobil Corporation on February 1, 2009.

The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040
The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040