Category Archives: outreach

Eisele, Chaterjee Appointed to State Mining Council

Snehamoy Chatterjee
Snehamoy Chatterjee

Two Michigan Tech faculty members have been appointed to a state panel on mining. On Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the members of the new Committee on Michigan’s Mining Future. The formation of the committee was initiated by legislation introduced by State Rep. Sara Cambensy of Marquette.

Among those appointed by Whitmer were Snehamoy Chatterjee (GMES) and Timothy Eisele (ChE). Chatterjee was chosen to represent current or former research faculty members who hold a master’s or doctorate degree in mining or geology at a university in Michigan. Chatterjee said he’s “Overwhelmed and very excited” to serve on the committee.

Eisele, appointed as the designee of Cambensy, teaches minerals processing and metals extraction at Michigan Tech. He said the establishment of the Committee on Michigan’s Mining Future makes perfect sense. “Michigan is a major mining state, ranking in the top 10 states for mining activity, with an annual value of approximately $2.7 billion. Much of this material is used in-state for construction and industrial purposes, and it takes a prominent place in the economy of the state.”

Timothy C. Eisele
Timothy C. Eisele

Michigan Tech, which was created as a mining school, suspended the mining engineering program in 2004. This summer the major returned to the University with a new multidisciplinary mining engineering degree program. Chatterjee said the committee appointments will help the mining engineering program. “This appointment will not only help me professionally but also it will improve the visibility of our reinstated mining engineering program both to the potential employers and prospective students.

Eisele said it is important the University be represented on the state’s new mining panel. “Michigan Tech has a long history of working with the Michigan mining industry, and many of our students are employed by them. This committee will provide advice to the state legislature to ensure that the industry can not only operate in the state, but also find ways to utilize wastes constructively, and work with universities like Michigan Tech to develop and adopt new technologies that will reduce their environmental impact.”

The committee is charged with evaluating government policies that affect the mining and minerals industry, recommend public policy strategies to enhance the growth of the mining and minerals industry, and advise on the development of partnerships between industries, institutions, environmental groups, funding groups, and state and federal resources.

By Mark Wilcox.


SWE Evening with Industry

Honor Sheard
Honor Sheard

Last Tuesday (Sept. 24, 2019), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) section at Michigan Tech hosted its annual Evening with Industry. The event is an opportunity for students to network and establish connections with company representatives the night before Career Fair.

This year, more than 20 companies, with about 60 representatives, dined with more than 110 students. The evening began with Janet Callahan, professor and dean of the College of Engineering. She spoke about how diversity within the SWE section and the university, has increased since the section started in the 1970’s. In fact, this year’s entering class of students is the most diverse in the history of Michigan Tech.

After dinner, the keynote speaker was Honor Sheard, Environment, Safety and Security Manager at the Michigan Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company, LP. She discussed her professional pathway focusing on how she has made decisions to not only benefit her career but also to balance her personal life expectations with her work at Marathon.

Overall, the event was a huge success and the members of SWE are looking forward to hosting it again next year. SWE would like to thank our keynote sponsor, Marathon Petroleum, and our other sponsors Gentex, Mercury Marine and Whirlpool Corporation.

Our sponsors, in conjunction with our other company attendees, helped make this event free for Michigan Tech students.

By Zoe Ketola and Gretchen Hein.


Outreach in Natural Resources and Engineering

Natural Resource and Engineering career activityEighteen high school students from Detroit and across the lower peninsula are spending six days at Michigan Tech from July 22-27, 2019, to explore Natural Resources and Engineering majors and consider attending Michigan Technological University. This is the 5th year that the program has been conducted.

Students will investigate drinking water treatment, autonomous vehicles, forest management, and more, with Michigan Tech faculty from Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM), Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Electrical and Computing Engineering (ECE), as well as natural resource agencies, such as the US Forest Service. Students will participate in hands-on engineering explorations and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, from kayaking to mountain biking and hiking at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Some of the engineering-related explorations include:

  • Value of STEM Careers, with Dr. Janet Callahan, Dean of the College of Engineering
  • Water Use and Cleaning Wastewater, with Joan Chadde, Center for Science and Environmental Outreach (CSEO)
  • Water Treatment and the Flint Water Crisis, with Brian Doughty, CSEO
  • Water Treatment Technologies, with Ryan Kibler, Benjamin Cerrados, Dr. Daisuke Minakata, CEE
  • Demo of acoustic triangulation and underwater autonomous vehicles, with Dr. Andrew Barnard and Miles Penhale, ME-EM
  • Stream Lab and Green Land and Water Management Practices, with Dr. Brian Barkdoll, CEE
  • Tour of Flood Damage in Houghton (and Detroit): Why does flooding occur and how can it be mitigated? with Dr. Alex Mayer, CEE, and Mike Reed, Detroit Zoological Society
  • Self-Driving Vehicles, with Dr. Jeremy P. Bos, ECE

The program is coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, with funding from: Michigan Space Grant Consortium, Michigan Tech School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, College of Engineering, Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, Admissions, Housing and Residential Life, Great Lakes Research Center, and the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

For more information, contact: Joan Chadde at 906-487-3341/906-369-1121 or jchadde@mtu.edu.


Former President Ray Smith Included in Oral History Collection

Raymond Smith
Raymond Smith

Former Michigan Tech president, the late Raymond L. Smith is among 15 oral histories included in a collection by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME).

The section on Smith, who passed away last September at the age of 101, includes a written biography, a 50 minute interview video and the interview transcript.

Smith, Michigan Tech’s president from 1965 to 1979, is a recipient of the TMS/ASM Joint Distinguished Leadership in Materials and Society Award (1983) and the TMS Fellow Award (1973).


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

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.


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.


Western UP Science Fair this Tuesday at Tech: Free, fun, hands-on activities for K-8 students

Prepare to be amazed! Here, a member of Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers hand out samples of “shattered” graham crackers frozen with liquid nitrogen. Not pictured: the exciting result. Eat a small bite, exhale, and poof! You’ve got ‘dragon breath’!

The Western UP Science Fair and Science & Engineering Festival will be on campus at Michigan Tech, on Tuesday, March 19, from 4:30-7:30 pm.

All students in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan— kindergarten through the 8th grade, and their families—are invited to attend the Science & Engineering Festival from 4:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday, March 19 in the Memorial Union Building Commons (ground floor) at Michigan Tech. 

More than 60 Michigan Tech students from 15 Michigan Tech student organizations will engage participants in fun, hands-on engineering, physics, and chemistry activities, including Remotely Operated Vehicles, Fish Tank Fiber Optics, a K’NEX Wind-powered Water Lift, and Tracks & Trains. Design an egg package with toothpicks and marshmallows. Design and shoot a straw rocket! Make some Gel-o that mimics human tissue! Make art with glow in the dark paints! How about glitter slime and popsicle stick flashlights? More than 30 different fun things to try!

Schedule & Event Flyer

4:30-7:30 pm   Activity Stations open to the public (K-8 students and families)

5:00-6:00 pm    Public viewing of science fair projects in the Ballroom (2nd floor)

2019 STEM Festival-FLYER 031919

Don’t miss this super-fun event! The stellar list of Michigan Tech student organizations include:

  • FIRST Robotics Houghton Middle School
  • Society of Physics Student Chapter
  • Engineering Ambassadors                                         
  • Railroad Engineering Activities Club
  • Materials United – Materials Science Engineering
  • Women in Natural Resources
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • MTU Sustainability House
  • Dollar Bay SOAR
  • Mind Trekkers
  • Society of Environmental Engineering
  • Optics & Phototonics Society
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Keweenaw Rocket Range
  • Tau Beta Pi

For more information: Joan Chadde, 906-487-3341 or jchadde@mtu.edu

Michigan Tech Hosts STEM Festival & Science Fair

Hundreds of Keweenaw area students visited the campus of Michigan Tech Tuesday as they took part in all sorts of fun and games, and all in the name of “Science.”

“We have some new organizations: the Keweenaw Rocketry Club, Biomedical Engineering is here, the Society of Physics students always come out and they have a lot of fun,” said Chadde.

Read more at the Keweenaw Report.

Michigan Technological University hosts 21st Annual Western Upper Peninsula Science Fair and STEM Festival

“What we want the students to see is how much fun science, technology, engineering, and math are,” said MTU Center for Science and Environmental Outreach director Joan Chadde. “They’re also interacting with some great role models.”

Projects from the fair that earn enough points will receive gold, silver, or bronze ribbons. All ribbon winners will be able to present their project at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton this April.

Read more and watch the video at Upper Michigan’s Source, by Tyler J. Markle.

Science Fair: Michigan Tech hosts 21st annual festival

“At this event we want to get kids interested in rocketry. That’s actually one of our mission statements for the organization,” said Dan Faber, vice president of the Keweenaw Rocket Range.

Younger students who want to join an organization before college were welcome to talk to the FIRST Robotics team, a robotics group for K-12 students.

Read more at the Mining Gazette.


Acoustics—Michigan Tech is Listening!

I’ve been thinking about acoustics lately, after learning about some of the sound-focused interdisciplinary research and learning that engage Michigan Tech faculty.

Cool Sound, Hot Speakers
For example, mechanical engineering Prof. Andrew Barnard (Sound Man) has students working on developing flexible and stretchable nanotube speakers—no moving parts, weighing next to nothing. His popular technical elective: Acoustics and Noise Control is a hands-on course where mechanical engineering seniors solve technical problems, such as designing noise suppression devices and systems.

“I was a musician, so I was into acoustics without even knowing it,” says Andrew Barnard.

Wireless Underwater Acoustic Communication
In electrical and computer engineering, Prof. Zhaohui Wang has her students investigating underwater (and under-ice) acoustic communication. They use machine learning principles to model, understand, and predict underwater dynamics in real time, node by node.

Zhaohui Wang lowers a node into Lake Superior to test acoustic signals under ice, working with Jamey Anderson of the Great Lakes Research Center.

Volcano Sounds
Seismic and acoustic signals are ways to monitor volcanic activity, and Prof. Greg Waite has his students taking the ‘pulse’ of shallow volcanic eruptions using a combination of sensing instruments and field observation. We have four BS majors focused on the Earth beneath us: Geological Engineering, Geology, Applied Geophysics, and Mining Engineering; all of these fields rely on remote sensing for real-time information.

Greg Waite and his team monitor Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala. It’s very active, with small explosions each day. It can also erupt violently, threatening thousands. With better monitoring, they hope to determine more accurate, and timely, evacuation plans.

Make Sound Amazing
Yet another major focused on sound at Michigan Tech is the BS in Audio Production and Technology degree, which has students producing a radio drama and mixing a new multi-track recording weekly, all in their first year. Prof. Christopher Plummer’s loudspeaker design class is another tech favorite—and students keep the speakers they designed and built.

Student built loudspeakers at Michigan Tech!

There’s no doubt about it—acoustics is a field where a person’s genuine interest in sound can lead to breakthrough ideas and accomplishments that inform the world around us.

Now, if acoustics sounds interesting, and you want to hear more, please let me know—Callahan@mtu.edu.

Janet Callahan, Dean
College of Engineering
Michigan Tech


Choosing Her Major Takes Two Years for this Dean of Engineering

Dean Janet Callahan (left) congratulates an engineering graduate during Fall Commencement at Michigan Tech.

Vague Notions

Like many students, when I started university, I had only a vague notion about what my major would be. So, I selected courses that would count in any major. That first semester I took a university required course, Calculus 1, an elective (choir), and Chemistry 1. In my second semester, I just kept going, with Calc 2, Chemistry 2, another university requirement, and an elective (keyboarding). Soon, that first year led to a second, and by then I had a vague notion of being “pre-med,” knowing that doctors made a good living.

Doing the Work

In my second year I kept taking math (Calc 3 and “Diffy-Qs”) and also took two semesters of Physics with Calculus. It turns out there are two levels of physics, and physics with calculus is the higher level. That year, I also took organic chemistry, which was required for the examination that pre-med students take, the MCAT. I thought Physics would be really hard; I hadn’t had it in high school, but I just kept doing all the homework. This was how I made it through all those math courses, and I did fine. I struggled a bit in Differential Equations but squeaked through that, earning my lowest grade ever (C).

A Revelation

In my fourth semester, I took biology, required for pre-meds, and Holy Cow—I suddenly knew I DIDN’T want to be a doctor. It was just mushy dead frog, and I had no interest in which organ was the kidney. Or actually any interest in frog organs. That precipitated a spate of research, as I needed a major that would yield a job in two more years. Back then—and I assure you this is true—there was no internet, so I headed off to the library. I had three constraints: First, I had to love the major, second, it had to pay well, and third—I needed to be able to finish it in my two remaining years.

Finding the Fit

At the highest range of salaries, I found a major I had never heard of before, “chemical engineering.” Flipping through the university catalog, I found I was actually on track for my junior year, if I could convince someone to override a first-year engineering course prerequisite. I headed over to the chemical engineering department office, and it turned out the person in charge of such things was the department chair. And so I found myself in a meeting with the chemical engineering chair, earnestly explaining why he should let me into two key courses, Unit Operations and Thermodynamics. I had taken all the chemistry and physics, I explained. I had to wear him down a bit, but he finally did let me in the junior year courses, and I was a chemical engineering major! And that is how I came to earn my Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, class of ’83.

If you are a student who is not quite sure what to major in—don’t sweat it. You’ll figure it out over time. And if I can be of help to you along your journey, please let me know—Callahan@mtu.edu

Janet Callahan, Dean
College of Engineering
Michigan Tech