Category Archives: Education

Tech’s Frozen Engineers to Compete in Make48 Competition this Summer

Frozen Engineers
The Frozen Engineers from left to right: Guyon, Gazdecki, Kolb, and Thompson

Michigan Tech’s Frozen Engineers were selected to represent Tech at the Make48: College vs. College competition this August in Baltimore, MD. Teams are given 48 hours to plan, prototype, and pitch an idea for prizes and licensing potential.

The Michigan Tech team consists of Mike Gazdecki (material science and engineering), Patrick Guyon (mechanical and electrical engineering), Rachel Kolb (mechanical engineering), and Ryan Thompson (mechanical engineering). The Frozen Engineers took fourth place in Michigan Tech’s 2018 Consumer Products Challenge for their single serve Margarita Machine.

Read more at the Pavlis Honors College Blog, by Amy Karagiannakis.


Design Expo and Enterprise 2018 Award Winners

Design Expo 2018 showing a person talking to a student at their poster

More than 1000 students in Enterprise and Senior Design showcased their work last Thursday, April 19 at Design Expo. Judges include corporate representatives, community members and Michigan Tech staff and faculty. The College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College are pleased to announce the award winners, below. Congratulations and thanks to ALL teams for a very successful Design Expo 2018!

VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY

First Place Senior Design Award

Performance and Protection Characterization of Plug and Play Solar Systems

Team Members
Lauren Clark, Erik Romanski, Gabe Simmering, and Jason Wesley, Electrical Engineering
Advisor
Sumit Paudyal, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor
Consumers Energy
Project Overview
Our team researched, tested, and evaluated “Plug and Play” solar systems. These systems consist of all-in-one packages of solar panels, inverters, and hardware that are advertised to produce power for homeowners by plugging into any 120V receptacle. We performed market research to determine overall demand and popularity, worked with standards and codes to determine the safety and legality of recommended installations, and tested products to ensure they meet Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards. We provided our findings and recommendations for future policies and actions regarding safe and responsible use to Consumers Energy so they can appropriately plan for the use of “Plug and Play” systems in their service territory.

First Place Enterprise Award

Cin/Optic Communication and Media

Team Leaders
Eric Smith, Audio Engineering and Nathan Shaiyen, Communication, Culture, and Media
Advisor
Erin Smith, Humanities
Sponsors
Michigan Tech Pavlis Honors College and William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning
Background
The Cin/Optic Communication and Media Enterprise enables students to develop skills in video design and production. By balancing the creative and technical aspects of video, the primary goal is to focus on client needs and expectations, while developing artistically engineered products. Capitalizing on team member creativity and technical strengths, Cin/Optic provides an opportunity for those involved to broaden their education in the media industry through real-world business experiences.
Overview
The project goal is to create a promotional video for an addition to NASA’s wildfire response online map platform, RECOVER, that would help wildfire responders plan for potential debris flows. Researchers at Michigan Tech, University of Arkansas, and Idaho State University have developed an addition to the RECOVER platform that will function as a map layer. This map layer indicates potential debris flow areas based on new modeling developed in the geological engineering department. The video will help the team communicate the new debris flow map layer’s usefulness to wildfire response groups so that they may request a debris flow analysis and map layer after future wildfire events.

First Place Design Expo Innovation Awards

Nerve Stimulation through Powered Surgical Instruments: Cerebral Ultrasonic Aspiration

Team Members
Peter Beach, Sterling Korstad, Ana-Lisia Powdhar, Matthew Sampson, and Rachel Stites, Biomedical Engineering
Advisor
Orhan Soykan, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor
Stryker Instruments
Project Overview
The objectives of our project are to conceptualize, design, prototype, and test a modification of Stryker Instruments’ Sonopet ultrasonic handpiece. Currently, one of the main uses for the handpiece is for the removal of malignant tissues in the brain. During these operations, the surgeon must periodically switch from the handpiece to a nerve monitoring probe that reports the proximity of the operation to the major cranial nerves. Our modification combines the functionality of these two devices, eliminating the need for surgeons to switch instruments mid-surgery, reducing the probability of injury from repeated insertion and removal of the devices.

Design Expo Image Contest

First Place: Formula SAE

Learn more about the awards at the Enterprise Blog, by Design Expo.

First Annual Enterprise Award Winners Announced

The Enterprise Program Office and the Enterprise Student Advisory Board are pleased to announce the first annual Enterprise Award winners. The Enterprise Awards were developed to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of Enterprise students, faculty, staff, and sponsors.

Student Awards:
Outstanding Leadership: Tyler Miller, Supermileage Systems
Rookie Award: Ian Johnson, Advanced Metalworks Enterprise
Innovative Solutions: Rebecca Phipps, Consumer Product Manufacturing
Industry/Sponsor Relations: Team Oshkosh, Blue Marble Security

Faculty/Staff/Sponsor Awards:
Outstanding Enterprise Advisor: Tony Rogers, Consumer Product Manufacturing
Outstanding Sponsor: David Blondheim, Mercury Marine
Behind the Scenes: Jon Lund, Machine Shop Attendant, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Read more at the Enterprise Blog.

Related:

Get the full story, and follow two teams behind the scenes of Expo 2018 in upcoming stories on Michigan Tech News and Unscripted.


Student Leadership Awards Ceremony 2018

Percy Julian Award winners from 2016, 2017 and 2018. Left to right, Neffertia Tyner, Jimmie Cannon, and Logan McMillan
Percy Julian Award winners from 2016, 2017 and 2018. Left to right, Neffertia Tyner, Jimmie Cannon, and Logan McMillan

Outstanding students, staff and a special alumna were honored Friday, April 20, at Michigan Tech’s 24th Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. The event’s keynote speaker, Captain Amanda (Taylor) Nerg ’10, was also the winner of the 2018 Outstanding Young Alumna Award. Captain Nerg earned a bachelor’s in business administration at Michigan Tech and is currently the Chief of Contracting Office at Morón Air Base in Spain, where she supports multiple Air Force, Marine and NATO missions.

Nerg says Tech helped her discover who she wanted to be, “Everything you do and have done at this University has shaped you into who you are today. Aspire to be your best and do your job with integrity and passion,” she says.

The President’s Award for Leadership, perhaps the most prestigious undergraduate award, was presented to Sarah Jo Martens, who is pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering. Her nominators cited Martens’ numerous accomplishments including serving as President of Blue Key Honor Society, Campus Tour Guide, Orientation Team Leader and co-section Leader of the Huskies Pep Band. Martens has also played an important role in the Michigan Tech Theatre Company, having taken part in seven productions.

Gina Roose was the recipient of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Advancement Award for Service, Hossein Tavakoli received the Exceptional Leadership in Student Governance Award. The Exceptional Enthusiasm as Student Leader Award was presented to Nathan Shaiyen and the Student Employee of the Year was awarded to Madison Olmstead.

The Rising Star of the Year, presented to a first or second year student showing great potential for leadership, was awarded to Gi West. Erica Coscarelli was named Outstanding Future Alumna and Brendan Beecham was named Outstanding Future Alumnus. These awards are presented to a student living the Alumni Board of Director’s motto of “Celebrating Traditions, Creating Connections.”

Other awards handed out included:

  • Exceptional Program of the Year: Undergraduate Student Government’s Snowman Left Behind
  • Most Improved Student Organization: Indian Students’ Association
  • Exceptional Community Service Project: Order of Omega – Fall & Spring Blood Drives
  • Claire M. Donovan Award: Hossein Tavakoli
  • Student Organization of the Year: Mind Trekkers
  • Student Organization Advisor of the Year: Ellen Horsch, Alpha Gamma Delta
  • The Provost’s Award for Scholarship was selected from the Departmental Scholars. This year’s recipient was Dillon Babcock, Departmental Scholar from Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics.

Award recipients who received their awards at previous ceremonies were also recognized Friday. They include:

  • Percy Julian Award: Logan McMillan
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Leader: William Lytle, PhD Student, Social Sciences Department
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar: Haihang Ye, PhD Student, Chemistry
  • Exceptional Graduate Mentor: Chelsea Shelly, Associate Professor, Social Sciences Department and Kathleen E.

By Student Activities.

Related: 

Pavlis Students Recognized at 24th Annual Student Leadership Awards

 

 


Four Michigan Tech Teams Take Home Awards from the Central Michigan University New Venture Competition

CMU New Venture Competition people holding a big checkSix undergraduate student teams from Michigan Technological University traveled to Central Michigan University (CMU) to compete in the eighth annual New Venture Competition held Friday, April 13, 2018. The event was co-sponsored by Michigan Tech’s Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE). Student teams from Michigan Tech and CMU presented business plans and pitches to panels of experienced entrepreneurs. Four of Michigan Tech’s six competing teams, including those with engineering students, took home cash and in-kind awards.

Team Fitstop took first place in the pitch competition and was awarded $1,000. Fitstop founders, Gabe Giddings (computer science) and Jacob Carley (electrical engineering), participated in Michigan Tech’s I-Corps Site Program in January.

Pavlis Honors College student Kyle Ludwig won the $250 Audience Choice Award in the pitch component of the competition for his startup Looma. In addition, Looma was also awarded $1,500 in legal assistance from Foster Swift.

Michigan Tech’s Hinge was awarded second runner up in the pitch component of the competition and $250. Isaiah Pfund (mechanical engineering), Jack Horrigan (electrical engineering), and Tanner Sheahan (chemical engineering), of Hinge, participated in the Michigan Tech Consumer Products Challenge last January and are working on a self-sanitizing toilet as well as other consumer and industrial product ideas. Horrigan and Pfund were also winners of best elevator pitch at the Bob Mark competition last fall.

Read more at the Pavlis Honors College Blog, by Amy Karagiannakis.


Huntoon Selected for APLU’s Council on Academic Affairs Executive Committee

Jackie Huntoon
Jackie Huntoon

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jackie Huntoon has been selected to serve on the Council on Academic Affairs (CAA) executive committee for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).

Huntoon will be a member of the executive committee’s five-person class of 2021. APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. APLU serves 237 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations.

APLU’s agenda is built on three pillars: increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research and expanding engagement. The association’s advocacy arm works with Congress, the presidential administration and the media to advance policies that strengthen public universities and their students.

The CAA is composed of chief academic officers, typically provosts or senior vice presidents for academic affairs where they are a campus’s second-ranking officer.

The CAA provides a forum for discussing trends in higher education and the public mission; funding patterns and budget strategies; teaching and learning innovations; faculty roles and rewards; academic programs, planning and advising; research and publication; and service and engagement with other sectors. The CAA advises the Council of Presidents and the APLU Board of Directors regarding association priorities and agendas in these areas.


2018 Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Recognize Faculty and Staff

Cameron Hadden
Cameron Hadden

More than 300 Michigan Tech students gathered for the 12th Annual Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Ceremony Sunday in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

In addition to the many student awards presented, Order of Omega, the Greek Life Honor Society that coordinates the awards, took the time to recognize some exceptional faculty and staff members. There are more than 560 students in fraternities and sororities at Michigan Tech, and Order of Omega wanted to emphasize that these awards were coming directly from the students.

When writing a nomination for the Outstanding Faculty Award, students were asked to consider faculty who:

  • Are dedicated to supporting students and helping them succeed academically
  • Demonstrate a passion for teaching and/or research
  • Utilize innovative teaching methods and promote academic integrity among students

When writing a nomination for the Outstanding Staff Award, students were asked to consider staff who:

  • Are dedicated to supporting students and helping them succeed both inside and outside the classroom
  • Demonstrate a passion for working with students
  • Promote and inspire the Michigan Tech values of Community, Scholarship, Possibilities, Accountability and Tenacity.

When writing a nomination for the Outstanding Advisor Award, students were asked to consider staff/faculty who:

  • Are dedicated to promoting the Michigan Tech Greek community values and chapter values
  • Are dedicated to developing leaders within the chapter; are dedicated to promoting a values-based organization
  • Promotes and role models ethical leadership and promotes academic success among members and the chapter as a whole.

The following faculty and staff members were nominated by members of the Greek community and were recognized at the 2018 Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Ceremony

Faculty—Sean Clancey (ChE), Cameron Hadden (MEEM). Staff—Joseph Cooper (Student Financial Services), Scott Wendt (ChE). Advisors—Laura Bunzendahl-Bulleit (Dean of Students Office), Bobbie Dalquist (Financial Information Systems), James DeClerck (MEEM), Alyssa Fredin (Financial Aid).

Scott Wendt
Scott Wendt

These nominations were written by individual students and were supported by an entire fraternity or sorority. In the end, the Outstanding Faculty Award was presented to Cameron Hadden and the Outstanding Staff Award went to Scott Wendt. Advisor of the Year was awarded to Bobbie Dalquist.

Congratulations to all of these faculty and staff members who were nominated and thank you for inspiring and motivating students.

The full list of award winners and nominees can be found on the student activities website.

By Student Activities.


Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Tony Rogers

Tony Rogers
Tony Rogers

Our second-to-last Deans’ Teaching Showcase member for this spring is Tony Rogers, associate professor in Chemical Engineering and co-advisor of the Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise.

He was nominated by Chair Pradeep Agrawal and selected by College of Engineering Dean Wayne Pennington for his long and excellent history of teaching in three “real-world” aspects of the chemical engineering undergraduate curriculum: Enterprise, the Unit Operations Lab and the Capstone Design course.

Rogers has taught the capstone plant design course (Process Analysis & Design) for senior-year students since 1993. He draws on his industrial design experience at Research Triangle Institute (RTI, Durham, North Carolina) working under contract for industrial clients.

Agrawal comments on Rogers’ unique focus within this course, saying “While safety and environmental constraints are critical to chemical process design, all project investments are based on economic considerations. Professor Rogers sees to it that chemical engineering students graduate with this important perspective and speak the language of cash-flow analyses and profitability. Economics is the deciding factor when choosing between competing technical options.”

Rogers has also been advising Consumer Product Manufacturing (CPM) since the Enterprise program first began in 2000. His goal in this role is to give students further industry insight through internship-like experience with corporate sponsors during the regular academic semester. Rogers observes, “It is a fun challenge in all of my courses to keep the students engaged in an era of advancing computer technology and entertainment. The trick is to realize that there are no short-cuts for the hard work of mastering engineering concepts. I try to contribute to my department’s goal of turning out industry-ready graduates who are ready to work.”

Pennington himself echoes this same practical, balanced focus in summarizing his selection, but emphasizes Rogers’ work in a third area—the Unit Operations lab. In Pennington’s words, “Every visitor to the Chemical Engineering Department comes away impressed with the Unit Operations lab and the hands-on training that our students receive, in addition to the usual formal education in the discipline. This relationship to the ‘real world’ of industrial (or research) chemical engineering practice has been largely driven by the initiatives and perseverance of Dr. Tony Rogers over the years. His combination of practical considerations, including safety, environment and economics, with the goal of production on a schedule and within specifications, is unique among undergraduate educational practices. Tony helps make Michigan Tech the respected institution that it is.”

Rogers’ long and successful history will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members. He 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.


Biomedical Engineering Students Win at Stryker Engineering Challenge

BME StudentsA team of biomedical engineering students from Michigan Tech took first place in the Eighth Annual Stryker Engineering Challenge competition in Kalamazoo, March 22/23, 2018.

Each team member will receive a $1,000 scholarship and an interview for a Summer 2019 Internship with Stryker Corporation, a medical technology company. Each year Stryker invites engineering student teams to its global headquarters to show off their engineering prowess while competing against rival schools.

During overnight competition, teams spent 12 hours planning, designing, prototyping and testing to prepare for a robotics challenge created by Stryker engineers.

This year, six universities competed. In addition to Tech, teams came from Notre Dame, Western Michigan University, Michigan College Alliance, Purdue and Miami of Ohio.

Michigan Tech was the only biomedical engineering team in the competition. All other teams were comprised of mechanical and electrical engineering students. Undergraduates Becky Daniels, Melanie Thomas, Emil Johnson and Nicholas Turowski made up the Michigan Tech team.

 Joe Thompson, associate director, industry engagement in Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College traveled with the students and served as mentor. Biomedical Engineering Associate Department Chair and Professor Keat Ghee Ong is the team’s advisor.

Biomedical Engineering Department Chair Sean Kirkpatrick said “Last year was BME’s first year in the Stryker competition and we took second place. This year’s first-place finish shows last year wasn’t a fluke—Michigan Tech BME students are very capable engineering students who can handily solve classical engineering problems.”

Thompson adds, “The event organizers at Stryker made a point of highlighting the professionalism displayed by Michigan Tech team. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and collectively persevere contributed to the team’s success this year.”

Michigan Tech's robot at the 2018 Stryker Engineering Challenge
Michigan Tech’s robot at the Eighth Annual Stryker Engineering Challenge in Kalamazoo, Michigan

The first half of the competition involved picking up small Lego people with the robot and transporting them to the team’s ‘pit stop’. The team was able to deliver a ‘VIP passenger’ to gain extra points, but then their robot arm malfunctioned, sinking them from 1st place to 4th place as a result. The second half of the competition involved an actual race throughout the course. Michigan Tech’s robot had the fastest time.

“It was exciting to see how our ideas came to life, and how prototypes became the actual parts that contributed to our victory,” says Thomas. “It was a constant reminder of why we chose to pursue engineering.”

“The best feelings came whenever a team member was stuck with a particular problem and another team member’s suggestion turned out to be the working solution. During the competition we learned how to work with nearly complete strangers. We adapted once we figured out each other’s strengths,” says Johnson.

“Throughout the challenge we all provided whatever insight we could if we noticed someone struggling with a task, and it was always without judgement,” adds Daniels.

“Every employee at Stryker seemed to love their job,” notes Turowski. “One told about how during his first year at Stryker he was put on a team of ‘vets’ and asked to complete a task that had never before been done. I think that shows how much confidence Stryker has in its employees.”

“You don’t have to know the people you’re working with for a very long time in order to be an effective team. You just need to set your eyes on a collective goal and work to successfully complete it.

– Melanie Thomas

Stryker Corporation, active in more than 100 countries, is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, offering products and services to help improve patient and hospital outcomes.

Michigan Tech BME students Emil Johnson, Nicholas Turowski, Melanie Thomas, and Becky Daniels along with mentor Joe Thompson at the 2018 Stryker Engineering Challenge, where they took first place.
Michigan Tech BME students Emil Johnson, Nicholas Turowski, Melanie Thomas, and Becky Daniels along with mentor Joe Thompson at the 8th Annual Stryker Engineering Challenge, where they took first place.

2018 Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship Recipients

Portage Health FoundationTwelve students have been awarded the Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship. The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health education. This year’s recipients have an average GPA of 3.87 and represent the breadth of health-related research happening on Michigan Tech’s campus.

The $8,000 scholarships went to:

  •    Bailey Poyhonen, Dollar Bay, medical laboratory science
  •    Brennah Wasie, Hancock, biochemistry and molecular biology
  •    Laura Lyons, Lake Linden, biomedical engineering
  •    Sarah Dix, L’Anse, exercise science

Receiving $1,000 scholarships were:

  •    Kierstyn Codere, Lake Linden, biological sciences
  •    Grace Liu, Houghton mechanical engineering
  •    Mara Hackman, Houghton, medical laboratory science.
  •    Jaden Janke, Dollar Bay, biological sciences
  •    Ally Fenton, Hancock, biomedical engineering
  •    Jada Markham, Houghton, exercise science
  •    Kellan Heikkila, Chassell, biomedical engineering
  •    Dawson Kero, Hancock, biological sciences

“The merit-based awards reflect the high caliber student talent we have locally, thanks to exceptional teachers, HOSA high school advisers, and Michigan Tech faculty and students who do outreach in the schools,” says Jodi Lehman, director of foundations at Michigan Tech.

At a dinner for finalists, the scholarship recipients had a chance to talk one-on-one with Michigan Tech researchers. Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics faculty Ye Sarah Sun shared with students how she develops new interfaces for heart monitoring that are reliable and won’t disturb a patient’s life at home, while driving or at work.

Biomedical engineer and health care entrepreneur, Megan Frost, shared  how she is working to improve wound care with a product designed to prevent infection and reduce the need for some post-acute care.

Scholarship recipients also heard from current students, Adison Cook, a 2016 Making a Difference scholar; Stephanie Bean and Maddie Morley, both PHF Undergraduate Research Interns; and Kelsey Saladin, a Portage Health Foundation and Randy Owsley Memorial Athletic trainer scholar.

 

“The Portage Health Foundation has also been very generous in granting need-based scholarships to students enrolling at Michigan Tech, Finlandia University, Gogebic College, Northern Michigan University, and Michigan State University in health-related degree programs,” says Joe Cooper, Director of Financial Aid at Michigan Tech, “These scholarships make a significant financial impact for students in our own local communities.  Thanks to the Portage Health Foundation, students from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties have extra support so they can attend college and focus on health related careers.”

Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship applications will open in the fall for incoming high school seniors and transfer students applying to Michigan Tech for fall 2019.  Questions about the scholarship can be directed to Rachel Connors, assistant director of admissions, 7-1880.

By Foundation Relations.


Judges Needed for Design Expo 2018

Judges and students mingle in front of posters.We invite you to register to be a judge at the 2018 Design Expo on Thursday, April 19. The Expo highlights hands-on projects from more than 600 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, registeras soon as possible to let us know you’re coming. Thank you for your continued support.

By Pavlis Honors College.