Stories about Electrical and Computer Engineering.
College Factual, a website that provides ranking, academics and outcomes information on colleges and universities, has ranked six Michigan Tech degree programs top picks for veterans.
The website ranked Tech’s mechanical engineering and environmental engineering in the top 10 nationwide, listing chemical engineering, civil engineering and computer engineering in the top 20. Electrical engineering was ranked in the top 40 in the nation.
By Jenn Donovan.
Rebecca Ong joins Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. Ong received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University.
She has worked as an instructor in chemical engineering at Tech and as a research assistant professor at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Ong is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
Lei Pan joins the Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. Pan received a PhD in mining engineering at Virginia Tech and also worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies there.
He received the Pratt Research Fellowship award at Virginia Tech, as well as the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the Mining Department there. He worked as a reviewer for Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review and Minerals Engineering and as a lecturer at Virginia Tech.
Jeana Collins joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering as a lecturer. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech and has worked at Tech as a graduate teaching assistant as well as a mentor for current undergraduate researchers. Collins is a recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student teaching award.
She is a member of Omega Chi Epsilon, a chemical engineering honor society, as well as Tau Beta Phi engineering honor society, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Alumni Association and Order of the Engineer. Collins also coaches Tech’s dance team and mentors students in time management, coursework and prioritization.
Hyungchul Yoon joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor. He earned his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received his certificate in foundation of teaching at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning there.
Yoon has been a mentor at the Smart Structure Technology Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has had numerous publications in journals such as the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. He has also given oral presentations in Osaka, Japan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Stanford, California.
Christian Wagner, PhD
Christian Wagner joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as a visiting professor.
Wagner earned his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. He has served as the director of digital economy in the Digital Catapult Researcher in Residence Programme in London, UK. He also was an associate professor at the University of Nottingham and a consultant for Unilever Data Analysis.
Zhi Zheng, PhD
Zhi Zheng joins the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Tech as a research assistant professor. She earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she also obtained her certification in college teaching.
Zheng received the Best Paper Award at the 9th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction.
Sajjad Bigham joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. Bigham earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida and has worked as a research assistant in nanostructure energy systems there.
Bigham has multiple patents and journal publications. He was the recipient of an outstanding honor student award for academic achievements.
Susanta Ghosh joins the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as a research assistant professor. Ghosh received a PhD in Civil Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, in 2008.
Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, Ghosh worked for the Department of Materials Science Engineering at the University of Michigan as a visiting research investigator. He also worked for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. He has multiple journal publications and is the recipient of awards and fellowships.
Darrell L. Robinette joins Michigan Tech as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Robinette received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Tech in 2007.
Prior to joining the Michigan Tech faculty, Robinette worked for General Motors as an advanced hybrid and electrification architecture engineer. He volunteers with FIRST Robotics and has received many awards and recognitions. He was the SAE Foundation Stefan Pischinger Young Industry Leadership Award nominee.
Trisha Sain joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. She earned her PhD in the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore India.
Prior to coming to Tech, she worked as an assistant professor at North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She was a reviewer of grant proposals for the US Army Research Office and a consultant in the mechanics division of Honeywell Technology Solutions lab in Bangalore, India.
Zequn Wang joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. He earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering at Wichita State University in Kansas and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Integrated DEsign Automation Laboratory (IDEAL) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University.
Before coming to Tech, Wang was an instructor for the engineering design optimization iSIGHT lab at Northwestern. He has presented at the Ford Research and Development Center on validating dynamic engineering models under uncertainty.
Michigan Tech Research Forum
Faculty Research on Speed Dial
The Michigan Tech Research Forum is a new University presentation series showcasing the work of Michigan Tech faculty, postdocs, and researchers.
On Thursday, November 10, 2016, several researchers gave two minute presentations for the inaugural TechTalks session of the Michigan Tech Research Forum. Five of the 13 researchers presented work from engineering disciplines:
- Andrew Barnard– Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: “Solid State Sound—A Hot Topic”
- Paul Sanders– Materials Science and Engineering: “Rapid Metal Design”
- Kazuya Tajiri– Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: “Two-Phase Transport in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells”
- Hector Moncada-Hernandez- Biomedical Engineering: “Point-of-Care Microfluidic Device for Blood Typing”
- Ye Sarah Sun– Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: “Wearable Electronics, Human-Centered Monitoring”
Michigan Tech Research Forum events are presented by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in coordination with the Office of the Vice President of Research.
On Thursday, December 1, 2016, the second set of presentations included the following from engineering research faculty:
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
APS LABS (Advanced Power Systems Research Center)
Department of Chemical Engineering
Electrospun Nanofibers as Neural Guidance Scaffolds
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Research
Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
Ignimbrites to Batholiths
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Gearing for Future Connectivity
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Mechanics of Soft Polymers
WE16 is the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology, with more than 9,000 women at all stages of their engineering careers.
Michigan Tech’s Society of Women Engineers Collegiate Section has historically been very active at the National Conference. At this year’s WE16, it was no different. The students who traveled with us were:
- Leah Bectel, Environmental Engineering
- Mackenzie Brunet, SWE Section First-Year Student Travel Grant Recipient, Mechanical Engineering
- Romana Carden, Environmental Engineering
- Erica Coscarelli, Environmental Engineering
- Hannah Cunningham, Biomedical Engineering
- Jocelyne Denhof, Mechanical Engineering
- Jessica Geroux, Mechanical Engineering
- Carly Gloudemans, Environmental Engineering
- Akhila Reddy Gorantla, Materials Engineering
- Madison Mroczynski, Civil Engineering
- Stephanie Peterson, Environmental Engineering
- Laura Schimmel, Mechanical Engineering
- Lauren Sandy, Biomedical Engineering
- Karsyn Van Laanen, Chemical Engineering
- Lily Williams, Mechanical Engineering
- Baileigh Zimmerman, Chemical Engineering
Advisers Gretchen Hein and Beth Hoy also travelled with the group. The section received the Silver Collegiate Section Award, which is based on the section’s involvement in SWE.
Team Tech Competition
Michigan Tech and Caterpillar Inc. were both rookies in the SWE Team Tech competition, a design contest sponsored by Boeing which was launched in 1992 as a way to emphasize the key role of teamwork and industry interface in the engineering educational process. An innovative approach to an interesting engineering problem proved to be a successful partnership when the team won first place at WE16, the world’s largest conference for women in engineering and technology. The winning project is entitled “Wheel Tractor Scraper Bowl Optimization System.”
Team Tech calls for collegiate teams of 4-12 members from at least three different engineering disciplines to work with an industry partner in order to solve an engineering design problem. The team submitted progress reports and design documents to Boeing, ultimately qualifying them to present at the SWE annual conference held on Friday, October 28, 2016, in Philadelphia.
Michigan Tech’s team partnered with Caterpillar Inc. to create a solution to the issue of inefficient filling on Caterpillar’s wheel tractor scraper (WTS) machines. To solve this engineering challenge, the team conceived, designed, prototyped, and tested an ultrasonic sensing system that can accurately determine the height of dirt within the WTS bowl. The team also conceived a method to relay that information to the operator, along with a video feed looking into the bowl. Perhaps most importantly, the team designed and developed a scale-model test rig that provides proof of concept of the system without costly on-machine testing.
During the competition, 11 teams presented their design ideas to the judges, and results were announced at Celebrate SWE, a dinner event on Saturday night of the conference. Third place was awarded to University of Wisconsin- Madison working with Xymox Technologies, Inc., and second place was awarded to California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo working with St. Jude Medical.
The Team Tech team was composed of members from two different Enterprise programs within the Pavlis Honors College—Blue Marble Security and Consumer Product Manufacturing. The advisors were Dr. Archer (Electrical & Computer Engineering) & Dr. Rogers (Chemical Engineering). The student team members submitting the final proposal were: Team leader Ester Buhl, Electrical Engineering, Brianne Anderson, Mechanical Engineering, Derek Chopp, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Sandra Cvetanovic, Electrical Engineering, Alexis Dani, Computer Engineering, Jennifer Dzurka, Mechanical Engineering, Anna Marchesano, Chemical Engineering, and Jonathan Quinn, Mechanical Engineering.
Buhl, Marchesano, and Chopp represented the team at the competition. Caterpillar engineers and Michigan Tech alums Brent Woodard (’11 BSME) and Britta Jost (’02 BS Mathematics, ’04 MSME) mentored the team and provided technical advice.
Collegiate Leadership Institute
Three students, Stephanie Peterson, Romana Carden, and Jocelyne Denhof participated in the Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI). The program’s overall goal is to prepare women engineering and technology students to gain employment within the engineering sector and become leaders in their field. CLI attendees are provided resources to jumpstart their professional development, broaden their networking opportunities, and help facilitate their eventual transition into the workforce. Stephanie found that:
I really liked the variety of topics that were covered which ranged from networking to managing money. As somebody who is looking for a full-time job, I feel like I was able to obtain a lot of great advice that will help me to both land a job and build meaningful professional relationships.
Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering
Renee Oats, PhD student in Civil Engineering, and Tayloria Adams, PhD in Chemical Engineering, Michigan Tech, 2014, participated in Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering (ALWE) Program. This NSF funded program is designed to provide best practices to advance in academia while creating opportunities and mechanisms to network across institutions.
Graduate Student Poster Competition
Renee Oats and Patricia Thompson, Michigan Tech Civil Engineering alumna, were selected to participate in the WE16 annual graduate student poster competition. The poster competition was organized by Kaitlyn Bunker, PhD Electrical Engineering 2014 from Michigan Tech.
Gretchen Hein, Engineering Fundamentals, presented on two topics: “eCYBERMISSION: A Great Way to Explore Science and Engineering”, and “How do Faculty Ensure Student Competency at Course Completion?”. The first presentation was done with Erin Lester, eCYBERMISSION Volunteer Manager, and Siona Beaudoin, Lake Linden-Hubbell eighth grader and eCYBERMISSION participant. The second presentation was on work completed in the first-year engineering program with Mary Fraley, Amber Kemppainen, and AJ Hamlin. Gretchen is currently the Women in Academia Chair for SWE.
Invent It. Build It.
Invent It. Build It. is an annual SWE conference activity for middle and high school girls. The purpose is to introduce girls and their families to the field of engineering. This year a record number of more than 1200 girls participated, including Siona. Hannah Cunningham volunteered at the day-long event.
Outstanding Collegiate Member
Tech alumna Liz Dreyer (BS Electrical Engineering, Michigan Tech, 2012) was awarded the Outstanding Collegiate Member award by the Society of Women Engineers on Saturday, October 29. Each year, the Society honors ten collegiate members who have made an outstanding contribution to SWE, the engineering community, and their campus. Dreyer was cited specifically
For leadership and innovative efforts to grow SWE’s presence on campus, particularly among graduate students, and for advancing the overall interests of women in STEM fields across the globe.
This acknowledges Dreyer’s role as Graduate Member Coordinator for SWE as well as her outreach efforts for women engineers in Liberia. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.
Cybersecurity in cars made several headlines last summer. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek’s carhacking research made for a viral WIRED article when they remotely took over a Jeep Cherokee on the highway; Bloomberg Business covered these vulnerabilities in a video interview at the Def Con hacking convention. At Michigan Tech, cybersecurity is an integral part of many researchers’ work. Steven Goldsmith, a research professor in mechanical engineering, started a new graduate course on automotive cybersecurity this fall and spoke with me about his work.
Undergraduate enrollment totaled 5,827. New first-year undergraduate enrollment rose 8 percent over last year with 1,580 students starting classes last week, 119 more than last year. This is the largest incoming undergraduate first-year class since 1983.
Majors in computer science, general engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering technology and forestry saw some of the biggest gains. The academic profile of the entering class has never been higher, with an average ACT composite score of 27.2, compared to 26.8 last year. And Michigan Tech has never had a more domestically diverse undergraduate entering class, with 9 percent of this year’s entering class composed of underrepresented populations.
The following alumni will begin their six year Director terms at the Reunion meeting Thursday and Friday (Aug. 4-5).
- Daniel Batten ’88, ’90 Mechanical Design Engineering Technology and Business Administration from Jenison, Michigan
- Derek Chapel ’05 Electrical Engineering from Petoskey, Michigan
- Joseph Gallo ’11 Mechanical Engineering / Electrical Engineering from Midland, Michigan
- Jenna Joestgen ’10 Biomedical Engineering from Appleton, Wisconsin
- Kristin Kolodge ’95 Mechanical Engineering from Harrison Township, Michigan
- Emily McDonald ’12 Environmental Engineering from Ferndale, Michigan
- Dennis Sage ’86 Scientific and Technical Communication, Arlington Heights, Illinois
- Andrew Burton ’97 (SFRES)-new faculty representative
Dr. Sarah Rajala, Dean of the Iowa State University College of Engineering, has earned the National Engineering Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) – representing 17 multidisciplinary engineering societies from industry, government and academia. Rajala received the award on April 18 at a ceremony in Washington D.C. Rajala earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan Technological University in 1974 and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University.
The AAES National Engineering Award recognizes Rajala’s outstanding service in three key areas: 1) inspirational leadership at the institutional, national and international levels; 2) innovations in engineering education and assessment; and 3) her tireless efforts to promote diversity in the engineering field.
“It is indeed appropriate that Sarah Rajala receive the AAES National Engineering Award,” said Joseph J. Rencis, president of the American Society for Engineering Education, one of the AAES member societies. “She is a trailblazer and embodies the criteria of inspirational leadership and devotion to engineering education, advancement of the engineering profession and promotion of public policies.” Rencis also praised Rajala’s diversity efforts, adding “Sarah has recognized the engineering profession cannot achieve full success without full participation of the rich diversity of talent in our global population.”
From Michigan Tech, Rajala received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008; was inducted into the Electrical and Computer Engineering Academy in 1997; became a charter member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae in 1997; and earned the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 1986.
Rajala joined Iowa State in 2013, after having served as the first female dean of the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. Before she became dean, Rajala was the first female tenure-track professor in the engineering department at North Carolina State University, where she organized networking activities for the college of engineering women faculty and helped create a maternity leave policy for tenure-track faculty members where none had existed.
In the classroom and through professional organizations, Rajala has worked to improve engineering education for students. She has received numerous teaching awards, provided key leadership related to reform engineering education, and was elected president of the American Society for Engineering Education [ASEE] in 2008-09.
The focus of Rajala’s research is the analysis and processing of images and image sequences and engineering educational assessment. She has directed numerous master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, authored and co-authored nearly 200 publications, and secured a patent on image sequence compression.
Tech Century, an engineering and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, ran a lengthy article on editor Matt Roush’s Tech Tour interviews with Michigan Tech researchers and students. Michigan Tech sponsored this year’s Tech Tour.
Among the many people he talked to were: Adrienne Minerick, associate dean for research and innovation at MTU’s College of Engineering, Jodi Lehman, assistant director of research development, and Jason Carter, professor and chair of the department of kinesiology and integrative physiology, Feng Zhou, assistant professor in biomedical engineering, Guy Meadows, Great Lakes Research Center, Andrew Barnard, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Zhaohui Wang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, Dave House — Michigan native, Michigan Tech alumnus, Yun Hang Hu, Materials Science Engineering, Caryn Heldt, associate professor of chemical engineering, and Mary Raber, assistant dean of MTU’s new Paavlis Honors College.
New Chapter of Engineering Society of Detroit
The formation of a student chapter of the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) was reported on Tech Century, an engineering and technology news website published by the ESD. Undergraduates and graduate students in the College of Engineering were invited to join. For more information, visit the ESD website.
All Tech engineering students, undergrad and graduate, are invited to join ESD and gain the benefits of student chapter membership. The opportunity to network with professional engineers, successful alumni and other student chapters are among those benefits. Student ESD chapters also get an inside look at trends in engineering and a chance to participate in leadership and career-building events and programs.