Category Archives: Education

Joshua Pearce on At-home Manufacturing

3D PrintingAn article written by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) for The Conversation, Trade wars will boost digital manufacturing – at consumers’ own homes with personal 3D printers, was picked up by the Associated Press and published widely in several newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, San Antonio Express, Times Union in New York and others. The story was covered on WTOP radio in Washington, D.C. and on TEGNA Broadcast Media (46 television stations covering 50 million people).

Pearce is quoted in an article regarding the Michigan Tech student developed recycling system: Equipment spotlight: Boost for at-home filament extrusion, in Plastics Recycling Update.


DENSO STEM Grant for Michigan Tech

DENSO sign outside the facilityMichigan Tech was listed among the 25 institutions of higher learning that shared in nearly $1 million in funding from DENSO International America, Inc.

DENSO Awards $1 Million in STEM Grants to 25 North American Colleges

DENSO, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers of technology and components, announced that its philanthropic arm will donate nearly $1 million in overall funding to 25 institutions of higher learning across North America to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational programming.

“Manufacturing and automotive companies need technically-minded associates now more than ever,” said David Cole, DENSO North American Foundation board member.

Read more at Fleet News Daily.


Alex Mayer is the First University Professor

Alex S. Mayer
University Professor Alex S. Mayer

Last September, University President Glenn Mroz and Jackie Huntoon, provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced the establishment of two new titles created to recognize outstanding faculty: Distinguished Professor and University Professor.

The University Professor title recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding scholarly contributions to the University and their discipline over a substantial period of time.

Alex Mayer was selected as the first University Professor.

Mayer is the Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been at Michigan Tech since 1991 with a joint appointment in the Department of Geological Engineering and Sciences. Mayer was the co-founder and first director of the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society. He teaches about environmental resources engineering and management. Recent research activity on collaborative solutions to water scarcity in semi-arid environments, hydro-economic modeling for watershed management, sea level rise impacts on island nations has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture.

Mayer is frequently recognized for his outstanding efforts to bring water-related research, education and outreach to the forefront at Michigan Tech. For his dedication to studying water quality and scarcity—and his unique approach to these complex problems—Mayer won Michigan Tech’s 2015 Research Award. In 2009, Mayer was recognized with the Rudolf Hering Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers. In the same year, he also received Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award. Collaboration is a hallmark of Mayer’s research methods. He works across disciplines with academics, government, non-governmental organizations, and community stakeholders.

The confidential process for selecting recipients spans the academic year and recipients for each award were notified in May. A University Professor is recognized for their exemplary research, major invited lectures, prestigious awards, significant contributions to the advancement of their field, and other criteria. They are nominated by faculty members, departments, programs, or schools. University Professors will not exceed two percent of the total number of tenured and tenure-track faculty at Michigan Tech at any time.


Jarek Drelich and David Watkins are Distinguished Professors

Last September, University President Glenn Mroz and Jackie Huntoon, provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced the establishment of two new titles created to recognize outstanding faculty: Distinguished Professor and University Professor.

Jarek Drelich
Distinguished Professor Jarek Drelich

The title of Distinguished Professor recognizes outstanding faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the University as well as their discipline but are not presently recognized through an endowed position or faculty fellowship.

Jaroslaw (Jarek) Drelich and David Watkins are among the recipients in the inaugural group of Distinguished Professors.

Drelich is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Adhesion of fine particles, biodegradable implants, surface wetting, and colloidal properties are among his research interests. Drelich leads SURFI, Surface Innovations at Michigan Tech. The SURFI research team recently reviewed the properties of fish scales in Advanced Biosystems, identifying many promising qualities that could be beneficial to material and surface innovators. Drelich also spearheaded the acquisition of a new atomic force microscope for looking at single molecules on a surface.

David Watkins
Distinguished Professor David Watkins

Watkins is a professional engineer and professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been at Michigan Tech since 1999, teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in fluid mechanics, engineering hydrology, water resources management, and others. He directs an international capstone design program, co-directed a Peace Corps Master’s International program, and advises a student chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA. Watkins maintains an active research program in water resources systems engineering, hydroclimatic forecasting, and climate change adaptation. His current research projects include robust water resources decision making in south Florida and understanding the climate impacts of food, energy, and water consumption.

The confidential process for selecting recipients spans the academic year and recipients for each award were notified in May. A Distinguished Professor is recognized for their noteworthy research, invited lectures, external awards, citations, continuing contributions to the advancement of their field, and other criteria. They are nominated by faculty members, departments, programs, or schools. Distinguished Professors will not exceed 10 percent of the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty in a specific college or school at any time.


Joshua Pearce on Higher Education in Finland

Aalto University Microfab
Aalto University Microfab

Finland is actually a relatively new country but has already built up a solid international reputation in education. When I first arrived in Finland, they were celebrating a century of independence.

Finnish universities are all public and among the top 2 percent of international rankings. For example, Aalto University ranks 137th globally. For perspective that puts it several spots above of Michigan State at 149th.

Finnish universities are actively recruiting foreign students. By making education free for their own students and low-cost for the top international students, Finland is clearly gaining a competitive advantage.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Joshua Pearce.

Editor’s Note: Michigan Tech professor Joshua Pearce is spending his sabbatical in Finland at Aalto University on a Fulbright Fellowship. In this first-person narrative series, he shares some of personal observations and insights on Finland’s educational system.


Four New Biomedical Engineering Minors for Fall 2018

Biomedical Engineering MinorsBiomedical engineering is a rapidly growing and evolving field. The need to have a well trained workforce with the ability to integrate life sciences, engineering, and the practices of modern medicine is a pressing issue.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering is offering four new minors related to biomedical engineering beginning Fall 2018:

  • Biomaterials Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medical Devices and Instrumentation
  • Tissue and Stem Cell Engineering

The minor programs will help to prepare students for careers in the medical device or related industry sectors. They may pursue graduate study at the interface of life science and engineering. The minors also help prepare students for professional careers, such as medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.

Michigan Tech invites students from all disciplines to learn the fundamental concepts of biomedical engineering. The minors are structured in such a manner that they are accessible to a broad range of majors, such as materials science and engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, general engineering, and mechanical engineering. Science majors can take these minors if the pre-requisite math and engineering courses are met.

Students will broadly understand key concepts and principles of biomedical engineering. They will develop the beginnings of an understanding of how the life sciences and other engineering disciplines can be integrated to solve biomedical engineering problems.


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.