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.


Engineers Without Borders Band Benefit Sunday

Engineers Without Borders working on a ground pump with local people.Engineers Without Borders at Michigan Tech will host its annual Band Benefit from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday (April 8, 2018) in MUB Ballroom A. The Band Benefit raises funds for the organization’s current rural water improvement projects in Guatemala and Panama.

The lineup features Ben and the Bamboozlers, Momentum and the Naddy Daddies with sound provided by WMTU. Enjoy live music, dancing and prize drawings. There will be appetizers and a cash bar.

By Engineers Without Borders.


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


Mark Kulie Publishes on Global Distribution of Snow Precipitation

Journal of ClimateAssistant Professor Mark Kulie, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, co-authored “Global distribution of snow precipitation features and their properties from three years of GPM observations” with Abishek Adhikari and Chuntao Liu in the Journal of Climate.

https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0012.1

The goal of the research is to optimize global snowfall estimates using satellite-based radar. Seasonal and daily variations of snow features and their properties are analyzed over Northern and Southern hemispheric land and ocean separately. The study indicates that stronger variations are found in the Northern hemisphere.

Follow Mark Kulie on Twitter (@MTUsnow).


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.


Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Yongmei Jin

Yongmei M. Jin
Yongmei M. Jin

College of Engineering Dean Wayne Pennington has chosen to recognize Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Associate Professor Yongmei Jin as this week’s Deans’ Teaching Showcase member.

MSE Chair Steve Kampe nominated Jin because of her unique ability to help students through courses that provide obstacles for many students.  Kampe explains, “Yongmei teaches some of our more math-intensive courses within the MSE curriculum, and does so in a way that eliminates anxiety and the mental blocks that this typically presents for certain students.”

Jin provides exceptional teaching at all levels in the MSE curriculum.  At the sophomore level, she is lead instructor (team-taught by three faculty) in Intro to MSE.  In this course, she teaches a mathematical description of crystallography – content that typically does not appear in undergraduate materials curricula. Part of the motivation is to use this materials-based application to improve general math skills for students, and to support a curriculum thread in computational materials science skills.

Jin also teaches upper-division courses like Materials Processing II, where concepts of transport phenomena (heat, fluid, mass) involving calculus and differential equations are introduced, practiced, and solutions made routine.  Graduating seniors often identify Jin as one of the most effective instructors in the department during exit interviews with the chair.

Finally, she teaches a graduate level core (required) course in material properties where students learn how to mathematical describe properties that obey tensor mathematics.  Kampe summarizes by saying, “Yongmei quietly and adeptly leads the instruction of these several critical courses in a way that is effective for student learning and success. Students describe her classroom as enabling and a confidence-building experience.”

Pennington, for his part, emphasizes that he chose Jin because he sees a tremendous need for instructors to get the level right with regard to mathematics. “We frequently hear that students are frustrated by not understanding how mathematics is incorporated into their specific discipline—this often comes about because instructors find it difficult to use higher math in their lectures without confusing or alienating students. Not so in Dr Yongmei Jin’s classes, thank goodness. She is known for incorporating math in the classroom in ways that make it straightforward for students to see the connections without getting lost in the details, and to have confidence in their ability to master and make use of the math required in their field.  We all have something to learn from her approach.”

Jin will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and 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.

By Michael R. Meyer Director – William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.


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.


Bill Jackson ’58, Provided Lasting Impact to Michigan Tech

William Jackson
William Jackson

Michigan Tech is mourning William G. “Bill”  Jackson, who passed away peacefully March 1, 2018, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jackson graduated from Michigan Tech in 1958 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. His generosity is a perfect example of the impact a single individual can have. Jackson made multiple transformational gifts that continue to make a lasting and dramatic positive impact on campus.

Jackson’s first gift to Tech was made in July of 1973. He and his wife, Gloria, continued supporting the University with numerous gifts over the years. These gifts supported departments and initiatives including the Annual Fund, the Class of ’58 Endowed Scholarship, the Industrial Archeology Program and the Rozsa Center.

The couple made their first major gift when they established the William and Gloria Jackson Endowed Scholarship in 1998. This provided scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in electrical engineering, with preference given to graduates of Calumet High School, which provided Jackson, who remembered his roots, with a start in life that he continued to value.

In 2006 Jackson was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Alumni Board of Director’s highest honor, for his professional achievements, for being a model of the entrepreneurial spirit, for being a champion of higher education and for bringing distinction to Michigan Technological University.

And still Jackson continued giving. Another major gift, given with his late wife Gloria in 2007, established the William and Gloria Jackson Professorship Endowed Fund which focused on bridging information technology and entrepreneurship. The gift arose from Gloria’s strong belief in the power of endowments and Bill’s strong respect and appreciation of the the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The generous gift both established and provided recruiting funds for the endowed professorship now held by Timothy Havens, associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science and director of the Data Sciences graduate program and ICC Center for Data Sciences.

Havens says the William and Gloria Jackson position is invaluable. “It provides funds for the Jackson Fellowship that I use to recruit exceptional graduate students. These students are able to work on higher risk/higher reward research, which is beneficial for both the student and also myself. Brian Flanagan, an accelerated master’s student, is the Jackson Fellow and is investigating how advanced data science can be used to predict maintenance in large fleets of vehicles.” This project has allowed Havens to build a new collaboration with Ford.

But Jackson wasn’t done yet. Another major gift made dramatic changes almost immediately and continues to support students and instructors. The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, on the Van Pelt and Opie Library’s second floor, was constructed. It includes spaces and equipment for faculty training on new teaching methods and technologies including assessment, recorded lectures and the Canvas learning management system. Though novelties at the time, all now enjoy widespread, effective use in Michigan Tech classes, and more than half of Michigan Tech instructors connect with the Jackson CTL annually for training and support.

In 2013, Jackson’s gift established a secure testing center that allowed local administration of the fundamentals of engineering and other commercial exams as well as support for accommodated exams. Demand for the use of this center has grown exponentially resulting in a summer 2016 expansion (also supported by the gift). In its first fall semester, about 70 exams were administered; today, it’s not uncommon for the center to give that number in a single day, with semester totals approaching 3,000.

Jackson’s gift helped to install lecture-capture capabilities in 20 University classrooms, another trend that has continued to grow. (There are now 38). During fall 2017, more than 5,000 hours of video was reviewed by students, with captures in over 100 different sections. The Jackson gift has provided much needed technology upgrades in several university classrooms, and fully supported the creation of the 60-seat Jackson Active Learning Center in the basement of Rekhi Hall which is tailored to the blended-learning classroom model.

Jackson believed the most important impact were the opportunities his gifts created for people. In addition to providing initial full support of the testing center coordinator position, the gift has funded more than 20 blended learning and online curriculum development grants for instructors in almost all Michigan Tech departments. His gift provided the basis for an equipment loan program, and the impetus to begin a program that helps instructors learn how to teach online.

When Jackson visited campus in July, 2014 to celebrate the opening of the Center that bore his name, Director Mike Meyer was especially struck by his humility, his desire to make a lasting difference and his people focus.

“Bill brought two of his grandchildren along to the open house event,” Meyer says. “It was clear that his family was of paramount importance to him, and he wanted the kids to see the Center and understand his legacy. After a tour of both the CTL and the Testing Center his gift had created and a chance to visit with many of the instructors supported through grants, I tried to thank Jackson formally for his gift. Bill’s humble response? ‘It’s just great to have good people to put the money to work.’”

Bill Jackson and his family can rest assured Michigan Tech will continue to treasure his legacy. His transformational gifts will help students and instructors at Michigan Tech for many years to come.

By Michael Meyer, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.


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


Minakata and Coscarelli Publish on the Use of UV for Breaking Down Contaminants

Mechanistic Insight Graphic of Molecular Orbitals

Dr. Daisuke Minakata and his graduate student, Erica Coscarelli, published an open access paper, Mechanistic Insight into the Degradation of Nitrosamines via Aqueous-Phase UV Photolysis or a UV-Based Advanced Oxidation Process: Quantum Mechanical Calculations, in Molecules. This paper addresses the presence of trace organics in water, focusing on potentially carcinogenic nitrogen-organic contaminants called nitrosamines. Dr. Minakata’s group applied ultraviolet (UV) photolysis and UV-based advanced oxidation technology to degrade these contaminants into a non-toxic form of transformation compounds while studying the degradation mechanisms.

Molecules 201823(3), 539; doi:10.3390/molecules23030539

Dr. Daisuke Minakata is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Erica Coscarelli is a graduate student in Environmental Engineering.

This work, supported by the National Science Foundation, has been published in the Molecules special issue “Radical Chemistry.” Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049; CODEN: MOLEFW) is the leading international, peer-reviewed open access journal of chemistry, published monthly online by MDPI.