Category: Students

These are posts that feed into the COE Student Stories page.

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.


2018 SURF Award Recipients in Engineering

SURF graphicThe Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will fund 25 students from across the University with funds from the office of the Pavlis Honors College and the Vice President for Research.

Previous SURF award recipients have included Goldwater Scholarship and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients. Since 2002, SURF students have co-authored 78 peer reviewed publications.

This year’s recipients, project titles, and advisors are listed online.

Honorable Mention went to Kiaya Caspers, Travis Durgan, Elisha Earley and Ashley Lingle.

By Will Cantrell.

Biomedical Engineering Majors

Stephanie Jewell
Biomedical Engineering / Mechanical
William Cook / KIP
Controlled Breathing and Automatic Cardiovascular Control

Kaylee Meyers
Rupak Rajachar / Biomedical Engineering
Evaluating the Influence of Matrix Stiffness on the Activation of MMPs in Tendinopathy

Alexander Oliver
Jeremy Goldman / Biomedical Engineering
Characterizing the Inflammatory Response to Zinc Stent Materials

Brennan Vogl
Smitha Rao / Biomedical Engineering
Monitoring migration of cancer cells using a microfluidic device

Chemical Engineering Major

Satyen Dhamankar
Chemical Engineering / Mathematics
Benjamin Ong / Mathematical Sciences
Accelerated Boundary Integral Methods

Civil Engineering Major

Timothy Stone
Don Lafreniere / Social Sciences
Exploring the Social Determinants of health and Disease Outbreak Patterns in Children in Early Twentieth Century Calumet

Geological Engineering Major

Katelyn Kring
Snehamoy Chatterjee / GMES
Spatial Interpolation of Rock Quality Designation to Design Underground Support System for Eagle Mine

Mechanical Engineering Majors

Dennis J Byard
Joshua Pearce / Materials Science
Increasing Maker Manufacturing through 3D Printing with Reclaimed Plastic & Direct Drive Pellet Extrusion

Aaron Dean
Pasi Lautala / Civil and Environmental Engineering
Using Naturalistic Driving Data and Machine Learning to Predict Accident Risk at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings

Eric Houck
Mo Rastgaar / Mechanical Engineering
Magneto-Rheological Fluids Create a Natural Walking Gait in Ankle-Foot Prostheses


David Ross and Alex Baker Place in Undergraduate Research Symposium 2018

URS logoThe Pavlis Honors College (PHC) announces the winners of the sixth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The students that presented this year represented a wide array of scientific and engineering disciplines from across campus and highlighted the diversity of research areas being explored. Judges from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines volunteered their time to evaluate participant posters and presentations. The results were as follows:

First Place: Erinn Smith, Chemistry
Second Place: David Ross, Biomedical Engineering
Third Place: Alex Baker, Civil and Environmental Engineering

David Ross presented Bioactive polydimethylsiloxane surface for optimal human
mesenchymal stem cell sheet culture
. Ross’ advisor is Feng Zhao.

Alex Baker presented Multiobjective Optimization of Cost and Strength for Various
Lengths of Doubly Reinforced Concrete T-beams. Baker’s advisor is Amlan Mukherjee.

PHC would also like to recognize three students in the Honorable Mention category: Benjamin Miller, SFRES, Rose Turner, Environmental Engineering and Hannah Cunningham, Molecular Biology and Genetics.

The research presented here is sponsored in part by the Office of the Vice President of
Research, the Portage Health Foundation (PHFoundation), the Pavlis Honors College, and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.

Congratulations to all of our winners and honorable mentions. Thank you to all of the faculty, staff and students that judged and attended the Symposium this year.

Original story by Pavlis Honors College.


SWE Students Travel to WE Local, Milwaukee

WE LocalMichigan Tech students Katie Buchalski (Environmental Engineering), Emily Crombez (Computer Science Graduate Student), Hannah Daavettila (Mechanical Engineering), Veronica Lynch (Civil Engineering), Jocelyne Denhof (Mechanical Engineering), and Erin Murdoch (Mechanical Engineering Technology), and faculty adviser, Gretchen Hein (Engineering Fundamentals) attended the Society of Women Engineers WE Local Conference in Milwaukee from Friday through Sunday, March 9 through 11, 2018.

They participated in the conference career fair, and attended professional development sessions and networking activities. Gretchen Hein and Rebecca Reck, Kettering University, as part of the SWE Women in Academia Committee, presented on the various career paths available in academia. The students and adviser were especially moved to hear about the challenges and accomplishments of Sonia Sanchez, professor of Physiology and Biomedical Sciences and assistant dean of Research at the Creighton University School of Dentistry. She spoke about her life journey from a small town in Brazil to her career in Nebraska. The group left her talk inspired and ready to work towards their goals regardless of obstacles.

The group thanks the College of Engineering for their support, and their departments for allowing them to leave early for Spring Break to participate in the SWE WE Local Conference.


Michigan Tech Students at Road America

Autonomous Group by the VehiclELKHART LAKE, Wis. (WLUK) — Students at Michigan Technological University took to the grounds of Road America near Elkhart Lake Thursday to put the finishing touches on a car that literally drives itself.

The autonomous vehicle is part of a contest designed to move the technology forward.

“Well, I’m not driving. It’s an interesting feeling. I’ve been driving for 15 years. Now I get behind the wheel, and the wheel turns, and pedals move, and I don’t have to do anything,” said Spike, a graduate student at Michigan Tech.

Read more at FOX 11 News, by Eric Peterson

Related:

Huskies Hit The Road


NSBE Spreads Message of STEM During Break

NSBE-PCINine members of the National Society of Black Engineers Pre-College Initiative (NSBE-PCI) chapter at Michigan Tech are spending spring break in Detroit, participating in the annual Alternative Spring Break. They will visit six middle and high schools to encourage students to consider college and a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) career.

During the day, the Tech students will make classroom presentations to middle and high school students encouraging them to continue their education after high school, consider going to college or community college and choose a STEM career path. The NSBE students will also conduct Family Engineering events at three K-8 schools for students and their families.

High school students will have the opportunity to apply to participate in a six-day Engineering and Environmental Science Exploration at Michigan Tech from July 21-28 with a $600 scholarship, or apply for a five-day summer STEM internship at Michigan Tech in July. Application information is available through school principals or here.

The goal of the NSBE classroom presentations and Family Engineering events are to engage, inspire and encourage students to learn about and consider careers in engineering and science through hands-on activities.

This outreach effort is funded by the John Deere Foundation and the Michigan Tech Office of Admissions and the College of Engineering, in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District, and coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

By Joan Chadde.


2018-19 Michigan Space Grant Consortium Awards

Michigan Space Grant Consortium logo

Michigan Tech faculty, staff and students received awards tallying $73,675 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by NASA for the 2018-19 funding cycle.

Engineering undergraduates receiving $2,500 research fellowships:

  • Alex Oliver (BME): “Evaluating Biodegradeable Zinc Stent Materials,” with Jeremy Goldman
  • Katie Bristol (Applied Geophysics): “Investigation of the Solar Nebula’s Magnetic Field Strength from the Allende Meteorite Chondrules,” with Aleksey Smirnov

Engineering graduate Students receiving $5,000 research fellowships:

  • Erica Coscarelli (CEE): “Reaction Mechanisms for the Degradation of Trace Organic Contaminants through Advanced Oxidation Processes,” with Daisuke Minakata
  • Sanna Mairet (GME): “Investigating the Relationship between Volcanic Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations and Human Population and Land Use Changes through Geographic Visualization,” with Simon Carn
  • Brandi Petryk (GME): “The Origin of an Archean Batholith – Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” with Chad Deering
  • Emily Shaw (CEE): “Mapping the Co-Distribution of Mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Lakes,” with Noel Urban

Engineering faculty and staff members receiving $5,000 or more for pre-college, public outreach, teacher training, faculty seed and/or augmentation programs include:

  • Joan Chadde (CEE): “STEM Career Explorations for Detroit High School Students” (includes augmentation) Pre-college program
  • Brian Doughty (CEE): “Technology and Outdoor Learning” Pre-college program
  • Adrienne Minerick (COE): “Microfluidic Dynamic Cell Concentration Tuner for Medical Diagnostics” Faculty Seed Program

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.

As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through MTU’s Pavlis Honors College. For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College, call 7-4371, or visit the MSGC website.

Original story by Pavlis Honors College.


Invent It Build It: Six Questions with Hannah Cunningham

Hannah Cunningham '18 BME, pictured here in the colored-glass walkway at the Aros Art Museum in Denmark. Credit: Taran Schatz
Hannah Cunningham ’18 BME, pictured here in the colored-glass walkway at the Aros Art Museum in Denmark. Credit: Taran Schatz

Hannah Cunningham, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering at Michigan Tech, has been working with kids since she was in high school. Volunteering several times at the Society of Women Engineers’ annual Invent it Build It event for middle school girls was a natural thing for her to do. She took part while attending SWE conferences in Nashville, Philadelphia, and most recently at the National SWE WE17 Conference in Austin, Texas.

Q: What’s it like to volunteer for Invent It Build It?
A: I’ve had a few different roles. I’ve worked directly with the girls as a table leader, I’ve staged materials during the event, and been a “floater” who simply fills in where help is needed with things like registration, grabbing forgotten supplies from the hotel, or pouring oil into cups.

I had the greatest interaction with the girls as a table leader. My primary job was to direct my table of four or five girls through the two activities during the day, while making sure they were thinking critically about the engineering challenge and developing their engineering skills. Luckily, they were middle schoolers, so it was easy to talk with them and learn more about them.

Q: Do you see yourself in any of the participants?
A: The girls who attend are local to the city where the conference is being held. For the most part they’re very similar. They don’t really have any idea what they want to do, but engineering could be their future. At the event they work together on engineering challenges with varying levels of teamwork, but all are capable of providing something to the challenge.

At that age it can be difficult to see your own contribution. It’s even more difficult to respect your own work without comparing it to everyone else’s. This event gives them a chance to build one thing as a team, with each participating in some way.

I try not to remember myself as a middle schooler, but some of the girls definitely remind me of myself. When faced with the project/challenge, they work at it, and work hard, until they’ve come to final product.

Hannah Cunningham '18 BMEQ: Are you involved in any other engineering outreach?
A: While at Michigan Tech I have taught various courses for first and second graders through the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach led by Joan Chadde-Schumaker. When I teach these classes, even if the topic is not related to engineering, such as wildlife exploration, I always make sure to develop a project to include engineering. I believe engineering projects challenge kids’ creativity, teamwork skills and technical skills. Engineering projects are fantastic for any classroom setting and the supplies can be simple, recyclable materials.

Q: What would you like to do when you graduate?
A: I am due to graduate with a BS in biomedical engineering this Spring (!). I plan to pursue an accelerated master’s degree in Kinesiology next year. I wan to finish my research and learn more about biomechanics. I’d like to become involved in a company or university that will allow me to develop and/or research products that can be beneficial for human health. I’m interested in biomechanics, so anything dealing with treating, modifying, or enhancing human movement is fair game.
Q: How has being involved with SWE impacted your life so far?
A: I’ve learned about the many different roles women can have in engineering. SWE has helped me develop my skills as a professional, by offering networking events with professionals and businesses. My own educational path has slowly directed me away from engineering, but I still feel strongly that I can still be involved even if my job title isn’t “engineer”.

Tech Students Learn Home Sustainability

From left, Cooper Mineheart, Hannah McKinnon, Mina Kukuk, Rose Turner and Thomas Richter.
From left, Cooper Mineheart, Hannah McKinnon, Mina Kukuk, Rose Turner and Thomas Richter.

HOUGHTON — For five Michigan Technological University students this year, their homework includes their actual home.

This is the first year for Tech’s Sustainability Demonstration Home, where the students are tracking their energy and waste, as well as carrying out projects on how to reduce energy use.

“This semester, we’re kind of working side by side,” said Rose Turner, a fourth-year environmental engineering student and the only of the house’s residents on the Enterprise team.

Cooper Mineheart, a second-year mechanical engineering student, has learned what he can and can’t recycle.

Thomas Richter, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, said his consciousness of how small changes add up will stick with him after he leaves the house.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

Related:

Ho Ho Home (Sustainably) for the Holidays


Three Enterprise Teams Compete in Fifth Annual Rekhi Innovation Challenge

BoardSport Color Gradient GraphicThe Fifth Annual Rekhi Innovation Challenge kicked off on Friday Nov. 10, 2017. Three Enterprise teams are competing for funding this year: Blue Marble Security, BoardSport Technologies and Velovations. The Rekhi Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to help promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through Michigan Tech’s crowdfunding site, Superior Ideas. The team that raises the most money will receive a monetary match of up to $5,000.

Monetary awards for total number of unique visitors, total number of unique funders, most social media engagement, most creative marketing plan and the first team to raise $1,000 will also be presented to teams at the conclusion of the competition.

Superior Ideas was established in 2012 to help bring university research and public service projects to life. The site uses crowdfunding to raise money and awareness for university research and public service projects that may not qualify for grant funding.

The Rekhi Innovation Challenge was developed in collaboration with the Enterprise Program Office and the Vice President for Research Office with support from Michigan Tech alumnus and longtime donor Kanwal Rekhi. The Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Tech in 1969.

Enterprise teams that have participated in past challenges include Innovative Global Solutions, Robotics Systems, Supermileage Systems, Aerospace, Blizzard Baja, GEAR and Open Source Hardware. Velovations took first place in the last competition with $2,550 in donations and a match of $2,550 from Rekhi, bringing the grand total to $5,100 in funding for their RENEW-U project.

RENEW-U is an ergometer for wheelchair users to exercise upper-extremity muscles in order to improve strength and mobility. Over the last four years, the Rekhi Innovation Challenge has provided more than $58,000 in support for 23 different student projects, attracting 267 unique donors.

For this year’s Rekhi Innovation Challenge, Blue Marble Security Enterprise is raising money to reach out to various community members and groups to increase interest in STEM fields among middle and high school students, particularly women.

BoardSport Technologies wants to develop a SmartBoard that will track snowboarders via GPS and REECO location to ensure a speedy rescue if caught in an avalanche or lost.

Velovations Enterprise is working with a local trails club to design and build a multi-purpose trail groomer with modular parts that can be swapped in the field to accommodate varying conditions.

If you’d like to learn more about any of these projects or donate, visit Superior Ideas. The Rekhi Innovation Challenge will run through March 31, 2018. Help support student innovation and entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech by making a donation today.