85 parents and their PreK children from the Miigiziinsag Little Eagles Pre-School, KBIC pre-primary , KBIC early headstart, and BHK pre-school attended the first Family Engineering Fun Night held November 13th, 2019, at KBOCC. A pizza dinner was available at 5:30 pm with hands-on engineering activities from 6:00-7:00 pm. The event was conducted by Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, with help from Michigan Tech students with the Chemical Engineering Honors Society Omega Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society student chapters, and funding from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium and the “For the Wisdom of the Children Grant from the American Indian College Fund.”
Ten members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) went to the 2019 national conference, WE19, November 7-9, in Anaheim, California. Advisor Gretchen Hein (EF) accompanied the delegation of eight undergraduates and two graduate students.
The WE19 conference was attended by more than 16,000 SWE members, both collegiate and professional, from across the nation, who enjoyed professional development breakout sessions, inspirational keynotes, a career fair, and multiple opportunities for networking.
Romana Carden, a 5th year student in engineering management, participated in the SWE Future Leaders (SWEFL) program. Along with Mackenzie Brunet, Carden went to the SWE Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI), a day-long leadership development event. Both programs, led by female engineers working in industry and academia, help college students gain leadership skills.
Full list of students who attended:
- Mackenzie Brunet, 4th year, Engineering Management (College of Business)
- Romana Carden, 5th year, Engineering Management (College of Business)
- Amber Ronsman, 3rd year, Civil Engineering
- Erika Carne, 4th year, Mechanical Engineering
- Josie Edick, 2nd year, Chemical Engineering
- Natalie Green, 4th year, Systems Engineering
- Claire Langfoss, Masters student, Biomedical Engineering
- Katy Pioch, 2nd year, Mechanical Engineering
- Lauren Sandy, Masters student, Biomedical Engineering
- Sheridan Waldack, 2nd year, Chemical Engineering
The Health Research Institute hosted its first Research Slam Student forum Nov. 8, 2019. The event was divided into three categories: Two-Minute Introduction, Three-Minute Thesis, and Eight-Minute Talks.
Presenters from the Three-Minute Thesis and Eight-Minute Talk categories were judged on comprehension, content, audience engagement and ability to communicate their work and findings clearly.
The winners are:
Three Minute Thesis
- 1st – Rashi Yadav, Biological Sciences
- 2nd – Dylan Turpeinen, Chemical Engineering
- 3rd – Ami Kling, Biomedical Engineering
Eight Minute Talk
- 1st – Ariana Tyo, Biomedical Engineering
- 2nd – Dhavan Sharma, Biomedical Engineering
- 3rd – Wenkai Jia, Biomedical Engineering
Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all of the presenters for sharing your research with the HRI community. We would also like to give special thanks to our faculty judges: Tatyana Karabencheva-Christova (Chem), Sangyoon Han (BioMed), Samantha Smith (CLS), Jingfeng Jiang (BioMed), Marina Tanasova (Chem), Rupak Rajachar (BioMed), Traci Yu (BioSci), and Shiyue Fang (Chem).
Saturday afternoon, nearly 90 Girl Scouts learned what it means to be an engineer. It came through trying and failing. Then trying again and failing. Then eventually, trying and succeeding. “Seeing that look on their face when they finally get something to work, that’s the most rewarding part of it — to see them say, ‘Yes, I did this. I can do it even though it was hard to do,’” said Zoe Wahr, outreach director for Michigan Tech’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter, which organized the event. Read more about the event in the Daily Mining Gazette.
The Girl Scouts, from kindergartners through 10th grade, arrived at Michigan Tech from across the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin. The event, called “Think like an engineer” encouraged attendees to think about careers in science, engineering, technology and math. Read more at TV6 Upper Michigan Source.
The scouts first enjoyed brunch at Michigan Tech’s Wadsworth Residence Hall before breaking out into activity groups by age. Kindergarten (Daisies); 2-3 grade (Brownies); 4-5 grade (Juniors); and 6-10 grade (Cadettes and Seniors). The younger groups made paper circuits, “squishy” circuits made out of dough, and mini wiggling “bots.” Older students visited Blue Marble Security Enterprise headquarters in the EERC building, where they learned to solder holiday-themed LED circuit boards.
At the end of the activities, all of the students gathered for a Q&A panel of SWE members. The scouts also developed a”Take-Action Plan” based on all they learned in their workshops.
“We’re excited to be a partner and to share the fields of electrical and computer engineering with these bright young people,” said Liz Fujita, ECE academic advisor and outreach specialist, who helped coordinate the event.
“The vast majority were from out of the area – only 14 girls are from Houghton County,” said SWE faculty advisor Gretchen Hein, a senior lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals. “The furthest away is Green Bay, Wisconsin.”
I learned about integrity from my parents, and from my teachers. I do remember a young-age incident, around first or second grade. My older sister and I broke into a locked room in our rented house (Olinbury House in Sussex, England) which held a treasure of books that we wanted to read. We knew we should not enter that room. However, we could see through the keyhole more books, in the very same enchanting series we loved. This was around 1968. Books still ruled the day—and we were already spending 100 percent of our allowance on books to read. So that was the temptation, more books.
In the scullery, we noticed a set of keys that we tried against this locked room. In the bathtub, while reading this book, as my mother could not tear me away from it, somehow the truth came out. Later that evening, I was punished a multiple factor more than I would have been, because of not being truthful about where I had “found” the book. My poor older sister was punished even more than me, “as she should have known better.” She was 9, and I was 7.
I strongly remember another incident, in sixth grade. We were a set of students at different levels, all “learning” math (without actual instruction). I had fallen behind, and so I faked my homework, copying the answers from the back of the book. Mercifully, I was caught by the teacher, checking my work. I found this incident profoundly disturbing, and I remember feeling ashamed of myself. It was then, about age 11, that I fully realized it was my own decision what sort of integrity I would possess, across my life. In that moment, I believe, my character was set.
Fast forward. Throughout this past year, I’ve been in frequent correspondence with one of our engineering alumni. He lives in California and regularly sends me clippings from the LA Times concerning the admissions scandals at USC. While I do understand parents being concerned about their child’s education, I do not understand how a parent would compromise not only their own, but also their child’s integrity, out of a desire to have them be admitted to a university on a basis other than their own merit.
At Michigan Tech—of course, as you know—no one can earn a degree except through their own work. With this comes character. Along with character comes confidence, courage, and conviction in the knowledge that with enough time and resources—you can do pretty much anything.
The picture below is from our Department of Mechanical Engineering’s senior dinner, where soon-to-be-graduates make an obligation to themselves to uphold the standards of the engineering profession, known as The Order of The Engineer.
That evening, in my first year as Dean of Engineering at Michigan Tech, I participated as well:
“As an Engineer, I, Janet Callahan, pledge to practice integrity and fair dealing, tolerance and respect; and to uphold devotion to the standards and the dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making the best use of the Earth’s precious wealth. As an Engineer, I shall participate in none but honest enterprises. When needed, my skill and knowledge shall be given without reservation for the public good. In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession, I shall give my utmost.”
Now, if you’re interested in taking this oath (if you haven’t already) and you want to know more, please let me know—Callahan@mtu.edu.
Janet Callahan, Dean
College of Engineering
The construction of any large infrastructure project requires a strong foundation, especially one with the longest main span of any cable-stayed bridge in North America—namely, the Gordie Howe International Bridge over the Detroit River. More than a decade before ground was broken, careful siting of the bridge began to take place. By 2006 the list of possible crossings had been narrowed down to just two options.
Historical records from the early 1900s indicated that solution mining for salt had taken place on both sides of the river close to where the bridge was to be built. On the Michigan side, collapsed salt cavities caused sink holes located on nearby Grosse Isle. It was imperative that any salt cavities in the bridge construction area be found and avoided.
Seismologists Roger Turpening and Carol Asiala at Michigan Technological University were tasked by American and Canadian bridge contractors to select the best seismic method for searching for any cavities in the two proposed crossings—referred to at the time as “Crossing B” and “Crossing C”—and to interpret all resulting seismic images.
“Given the task to image a small target deep in the Earth, a seismologist will quickly ask two important questions: How small is ‘small?’ and How deep is ‘deep’? That’s because these two parameters conflict in seismic imaging,“ Turpening says.
“Seismic waves—vibrations of the Earth—are attenuated severely as they propagate through the Earth,” he explains. “Imaging small targets requires the use of high-frequency, seismic energy. When seismic sources and receivers are confined to the Earth’s surface, which is the usual case, waves must propagate downward through the Earth, reflect off of the target, and return to the surface. Soil, sand, and gravel in the surface layer overwhelmingly cause the greatest harm to image resolution, and the ray paths must pass through this zone twice.”
Turpening was one of the early developers of a technique called vertical seismic profiling, or VSP. “Seismic receivers are placed inside a vertical hole near the target. With the seismic source placed on the surface some distance from the hole, it’s possible to explore a region around the hole with ray paths that need to pass through the surface layer only once,” he says. “If the target is very important, we can drill a second hole and place the seismic source in it. Now we have even higher resolution because all of the ray paths are in the rock formations with low attenuation.”
The downside? “We can only make images of the region between the two holes. But if the target is extremely important in a limited area, we can use many boreholes and many images in the search. Given enough boreholes, a block of earth can be imaged with cross-well seismic reflection techniques.
To site the Gordon Howie bridge, Turpening and Asiala chose a frequency band of 100Hz to 2 KHz—much higher than could be used with surface sources and surface receivers—for surveys on both sides of the river. This yielded high resolution seismic images, crucial for detecting cavities—and indeed they found one—on the Canadian side.
“The high-resolution imaging made it easy for us to spot missing shale stringers in the B-Salt layer in that image,” says Turpening. “This made the final selection of the bridge location simple. We found the cavity between boreholes X11-3 and X11-4, thus forcing the Canadians to chose Crossing B. Obviously, the Michigan group had to, also, choose Crossing B.”
On the US side of the river geologist Jimmie Diehl, Michigan Tech professor emeritus, provided corroborating borehole gravity data.
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.”
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.
The project is entitled, “GCR: Collaborative Research: Socio-Technological System Transitions: Michigan Community & Anishinaabe Renewable Energy Systems.” Rebecca Ong, (Chem Eng) Chelsea Schelly, (SS) Joshua Pearce, (MSE/ECE) and Richelle WInkler (SS) are Co-PI’s on this project. This is the first year of a potential five year project totaling $2,723,647.
By Sponsored Programs.
The objective of this Growing Convergence Research project is to lay the foundations for a convergent, transdisciplinary field of study focused on understanding transitions in socio-technological systems. This project aims to converge social science theories of values and motivation with engineering and economics understandings of technological feasibility to develop a comprehensive understanding of how and why energy systems, in particular, are reconfigured to include renewable energy resources.
This project brings together scholars from resource management, chemical and materials engineering, electrical engineering, sociology, energy policy, philosophy of science, and regional planning to simultaneously explore the social, cultural, and technological dimensions of energy system transitions.
The project will investigate energy system transitions in eight case communities (two Anishinaabe Tribal Nations and six non-tribal Michigan communities) that vary along characteristics key to understanding energy transitions – including rural vs. urban, renewable energy sources, degree of transition, governance, and type of utility provider.
Michigan Tech welcomes to campus today inventor Edmond O. Schweitzer III, recognized as a pioneer in digital protection.
Dr. Schweitzer was recently inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for inventing the first-ever digital protective relay. Digital protective relays detect electrical faults that cause power outages.
The first protective relays relied on coils and were electromagnetic. Schweitzer’s microprocessor-based digital protective relay is multifunctional, protecting power systems, recording data and detecting faults in lines more effectively. “His first revolutionary ‘relays’ came on the market in the 1980s,” said Bruce Mork, electrical engineering professor at Michigan Tech. “The design has led to reduced costs, flexible operation options and increased reliability. The product lines have been enhanced with many patents and with the utilization of today’s smart grid technologies.”
Schweitzer Electronics Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) based in Pullman, Washington is a longtime partner of Michigan Tech—supporting the Power System Protection Lab at Michigan Tech since 1993, and hiring at least 40 Michigan Tech ECE graduates over the years, plus a dozen more students thus far in 2019.
Inventing runs in Schweitzer’s family, and while on campus he will present a lecture on Creativity and Innovation at 4:15 pm in EERC 103. Wednesday’s lecture is open to the public. All are welcome to attend. Schweitzer will also join a roundtable of power companies to discuss Cybersecurity.
Todd Brassard, VP Operations of Calumet Electronics, arranged Dr. Schweitzer’s visit to Michigan Tech. Calumet Electronics Corporation is a key supplier-partner of printed circuit boards (PCBs) to SEL. The company, based in Calumet, Michigan, is an American manufacturer, supplying PCBs for applications demanding zero failures, zero downtime, and requires a lifetime of performance. Celebrating 50 years, Calumet is a critical supplier to mission critical industries including power grid management, , medical device, aerospace, industrial controls, and defense. Calumet is one of the few PCB manufactures who have made a commitment to American manufacturing.
At Michigan Tech, “SEL has supported us for years, incrementally donating lab equipment since 1993 when I started the protection course and lab here on campus,” adds Mork. “I became aware of their new technology and product lines while working as a substation design engineer in Kansas City in the mid-1980s. As a PhD student at North Dakota State University, I facilitated getting it into the labs there, and again at Michigan Tech after I arrived in 1992. I first met Ed when he presented a paper at the American Power Conference in 1993—it’s a paper I still use today when introducing microprocessor-based protection to my students.”
Global Innovator Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, who comes from a family of inventors, will be on campus at Michigan Tech to deliver a lecture, “Creativity and Innovation,” this Wednesday, October 2 at 4:15PM in EERC 103. All are welcome.