Tag Archives: EF

Engineering Fundamentals

Sheryl Sorby: Visualizing Success

portrait of Sheryl Sorby
Michigan Tech Professor Emerita Sheryl Sorby

Michigan Tech Professor Emerita Sheryl Sorby, now a professor of engineering education at the University of Cincinnati, was recently elected President-Elect of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), a term she will hold one year before assuming the presidency in 2020.

Sheryl Sorby graduated from Hastings High School in downstate Michigan. “My dad was a teacher and my mom was the school nurse, so we spent every summer in the Upper Peninsula, in Iron River where we have a family cottage on a lake.” Just a few hours away was Michigan Tech, where Sorby earned a BS in Civil Engineering, an MS in Engineering Mechanics, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

Dr. Sorby became a longtime faculty member at Michigan Tech, where she was first a professor of civil and environmental engineering and then of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, associate dean of engineering for academic programs, and founding chair of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals, responsible for the development and delivery of Michigan Tech’s First-Year Engineering Program.

For nearly three years, Sorby served as a program director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education. From 2013-2014 she was a Fulbright Scholar conducting engineering education research at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Sorby has been a member of ASEE since 1991 and has served the Society in various capacities. In 2009 she was inducted as a Fellow of ASEE, and in 2011 she received the Society’s Sharon Keillor award as outstanding female engineering educator.

“All information ever conceived is available instantaneously on the Web. There’s no sitting around wondering what the answer to a question is—just Google it. And we can Google it on our phones, any time, any place. Rote learning can be done at home or on the beach. To survive, we have to provide students with a reason to come to campus and to provide funders with a reason to support transformational educational research that will move us ever forward. ASEE is the professional society that is poised to help faculty as they rethink engineering and engineering technology education to provide experiences that prepare our students for a lifetime of learning and intellectual engagement.” – Dr. Sheryl Sorby, in her candidate statement for ASEE president

Sorby received her first grant in 1993 to develop a course for helping engineering students develop their 3-D spatial skills and has received numerous follow-up grants from NSF and the Department of Education to further the work. Examples of spatial skills include the ability to translate 2-D patterns to 3-D objects or to mentally rotate 3-D objects.  “Although these skills are used across many disciplines including engineering, architecture, geology, medicine and computer science, not everyone has good spatial skills,” says Sorby. “Many people who have poor spatial skills believe it is something ‘they are just not good at’.  Even good students can have poor spatial skills that can be barriers to learning,” she adds.

“Engineering has many ‘gateway’ courses. Typically, these are thought to be calculus, chemistry, and physics. But it seems that for women and for some men, engineering graphics may be a more significant gateway,” Sorby explains. “By helping students improve their ability to visualize in three dimensions, we are able to improve retention rates in engineering, particularly for female students.”

Her research shows that with training, women and men achieve consistent and large gains in tests of spatial skills. “First year engineering students, undergraduate students outside engineering, high school students and middle school students have all shown improvement,” she says. “Spatial skills can indeed be developed through practice.”

Sorby created a small business, Higher Education Services (HES), an educational consulting firm that works to advance spatial research and training worldwide, empowering students to be successful in their studies and ultimately their careers. HES provides training, speaking, coaching and consulting services to academics and non-profits on topics such as spatial training, cognitive learning, self-efficacy, career coaching, research opportunities for students and concept inventories. In addition, she has founded a small business in Ireland to distribute her curriculum throughout Europe and is working with colleagues in the Irish Ministry of Education to implement spatial skills training in secondary schools on a large scale.

Sorby has been the principal investigator or co-PI on more than $14 million in grant funding, mostly for educational projects. The author of seven textbooks and more than 150 papers, she received the Betty Vetter award for Research on Women in Engineering through the Women in Engineering Pro-Active Network (WEPAN) for her work in improving the 3-D spatial skills of engineering students.

“We are very proud of Dr. Sorby’s election as the future president of the American Society for Engineering Education,” remarked Janet Callahan, Dean of Engineering at Michigan Tech. “Her long-standing leadership and contributions in the area of teaching spatial visualization have changed how we ‘visualize’ success.”

Learn more: Recruiting women for science, technology, engineering and math: Sheryl Sorby at TEDxFulbrightDublin

 

 


2019 Student Leadership Award Recipients

Andrew Baker '11 '14
Andrew Baker ’11 ’14

Outstanding students, staff, and a special alumni were honored April 19, 2019, for Michigan Tech’s 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony.

Keynote speaker Andrew H. Baker ’11 ’14 (MS, PhD MSE), won the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. He is currently working for Boeing Company and active in his professional organization The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society.

Congratulations to all of the 2019 winners:

  • President’s Award for Leadership: Jack Hendrick
  • Dean of Students Award for Service: Elise Cheney-Makens
  • Exceptional Leadership in Student Governance Award: Apurva Baruah
  • Exceptional Enthusiasm as Student Leader Award: Ben Metzger
  • Student Employee of the Year: Jessika Rogers
  • Rising Star of the Year: Logan Alger.
  • Outstanding Future Alumni: Magann Dykema
  • Exceptional Program of the Year: Economics Club’s 2018 KHOB Economic Outlook
  • Most Improved Student Organization: Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society
  • Exceptional Community Service Project: Elise Cheney-Makens, Science Fair Mentoring Program
  • Claire M. Donovan Award: Joel Isaacson
  • Student Organization of the Year: Inter-Residence Housing Council
  • Percy Julian Award: Ron Kyllonen
  • Student Organization Advisors of the Year: James DeClerck, Delta Upsilon and Jean DeClerck, Alpha Sigma Tau
  • The Provost’s Award for Scholarship: Tessa Steenwinkel, Biological Sciences
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Leader: Karina Eyre, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar: Miles Penhale, ME-EM
  • Exceptional Graduate Mentor: Melissa F. Baird, Social Sciences
  • Exceptional Staff Member: Brittany Buschell, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Sorority Woman of the Year – Greta Colford, Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Fraternity Man of the Year – Trevor Peffley, Sigma Rho
  • Sorority of the Year – Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Fraternity of the Year – Phi Kappa Tau

By Student Activities.

Related:

Pavlis Students Shine at 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards

View the Medallion Ceremony Photo Gallery


Michigan Tech Design Expo Award Winners for 2019

More than 1,000 students in Enterprise and Senior Design showcased their work last Thursday, April 18 at Design Expo and competed for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives, community members and Michigan Tech staff and faculty, critiqued the projects. The College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College are pleased to announce the following winners:

Gypsum Water Extraction team members
Gypsum Water Extraction from the ME-EM department took first place for Senior Design in the 2019 Expo.

Senior Design Awards (based on poster/video)

1st place: ME-EM – Gypsum Water Extraction

2nd place: ME-EM – Assembly Cell Changeover

3rd place: MSE – Gerdau Inclusion Solidification Prevention

Senior Design Honorable Mention

ME-EM – FCA Advanced Hood Architecture – Structural and Attachment Team

MSE – Cobalt Reduction in Tribaloy T-400

BME – Transcatheter Single Ventricle Device

Aerospace Enterprise team members
Aerospace placed first for Enterprise based on their poster and presentation scores.

Enterprise Awards (based on poster and presentation)

1st place: Aerospace Enterprise

2nd place: Alternative Energy Enterprise

3rd place: General and Expedition Adventure Research (GEAR)

Enterprise Honorable Mention

Innovative Global Solutions

Consumer Product Manufacturing

Blue Marble Security

Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship Innovation Award

1st place: Alternative Energy Enterprise for Renewable Energy Mission Module (REMM)

2nd place: Universal Driver Gear Train (BME)

3rd place: Transcatheter Single Ventricle Device (BME)

Design Expo Image Contest Winners

1st place: Blizzard Baja

Blizzard Baja's Comp Car, "Hornet" jumps over dirt track on the Tech Trails
Meet our 2019 Comp Car “Hornet”

 

2nd place: Full Flexion Knee

3D scan of tibial insert on a computer screen, with the actual tibial insert set in front of the screen in a vise, while being scanned
3D Scanning of Tibial Insert

Honorable Mention: Cin/Optic Communication and Media

Team photo

Enterprise Award Winners

Student Awards:

Outstanding Leadership: Oliver Schihl, Advanced Metalworks Enterprise

Rookie Award: Troy Maust, Aerospace Enterprise

Innovative Solutions: Paul Kamps, Alternative Energy Enterprise

Industry/Sponsor Relations: Romana Carden, Aerospace Enterprise

Faculty/Staff/Sponsor Awards:

Outstanding Enterprise Advisor: Jay Meldrum, Alternative Energy Enterprise

Behind the Scenes: Dr. Jennifer Becker, Civil and Environmental Engineering

 

Congratulations and thanks to ALL teams for a very successful Design Expo 2019!


The Earth Needs You!

Whales and birds
Partnering with NOAA, a Michigan Tech biomedical engineering senior design team advised by Dr. Rupak Rajachar developed a telemetry tag for tracking humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine. The tag enters only into a whale’s blubber layer and releases an adhesive hydrogel to help it stay in with less injury and infection.

Save Lives—and the Life of our Planet—as an Engineer
Today, on Earth Day 2019, I am keenly aware how much the Earth needs engineers. All around the world, people with a wide range of expertise are coming together to address pollution and climate change, to help mend the web of life. Engineers are essential members of those teams. The Earth needs engineers to help solve complex problems that ensure access to clean air and water, food, energy, shelter, health care, mobility, and protection from natural hazards.

Learn by doing at Michigan Tech
Through hands-on experiences in the classroom, the lab, in the field, and abroad, engineering students at Michigan Tech begin to contribute solutions to the world’s increasingly complex problems just as soon as they arrive on campus, in their first year.

Last week was Design Expo at Michigan Tech, an annual event here on campus where student inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs put their life-improving projects before judges and the public. More than 100 real-world undergraduate student projects were on display, presented by teams taking part in either Enterprise or Senior Design programs. As I toured around the event, talking with student teams, I was grateful for their efforts and all the heart and soul they invest in their work. Many of these students are preparing to graduate and are eager to share their ideas with the world.

Group of students
Green Campus Enterprise at Michigan Tech

Sustainability-oriented Engineering
There’s a lot of leading edge, ground-breaking, sustainability-oriented engineering going on at Michigan Tech.  I’d like to share with you a small sample of what students are doing to make a difference in the life of our planet. If you are interested in sustainability, and are a creative problem solver, read on.

Students of the Alternative Energy Enterprise are working on a Renewable Energy Mission Module (REMM) donated by Oshkosh Corporation, converting it from military to civilian use. It’s a transportable source of renewable energy fitted with a folding blade wind turbine, a folding solar panel array, a rechargeable battery pack, an integrated generator, and even a microbial fuel cell that uses microbes to breakdown wastewater and release electrons.

Humane Interface Design Enterprise is developing an easy, do-it-yourself temperature and climate sensor that can be used to track microclimates around the worldalong with a website to upload and log the data.

Consumer Products Manufacturing Enterprise is working with General Motors to investigate waste disposal of its auto paint sludge. CPM also works Kohler to research and develop resin recycling techniques, as well as new products that can be derived from resin waste streams.

Supermileage Systems Enterprise builds a single-seat, high-efficiency vehicle, and then competes in either the SAE Collegiate Design Series or the Shell Eco-marathon. Current fuel economy: 425 mpg. Goal: 1,000 mpg.

Green Campus Enterprise annually measures and works to reduce the carbon footprint of Michigan Tech. Right now the team is conducting feasibility studies and design work on tiny home communities for student housing, and wind turbines atop Mont Ripley, Michigan Tech’s downhill ski area.

Clean Snowmobile Enterprise works to reduce snowmobile emissions and noise, while increasing fuel economy and maintaining an enjoyable riding experience.

Students outside with their vehicle
Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise, at SAE International’s Collegiate Design Supermileage Competition in Marshall, Michigan.

To help track endangered whales, one senior design team developed a blubber-only implantable tag for NOAA, to increase retention and minimize tissue damage for use in conservation efforts.

Working with sponsor Winsert, another senior design team discovered ways to reduce the use of cobalt in metal alloys used to produce combustion engine valve seats. Cobalt is an expensive element with a rapidly fluctuating price due to political instability in the primary supplier country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Yet another senior design team designed a fuel economy impact software tool for sponsor MacLean-Fogg. The software instantaneously evaluates how the mass of a vehicle will impact fuel economy and energy usage. While the initial project scope focused on the additional mass of lug nuts, the program calculates the effects of various additional masses, stationary or rotating.

DTE Energy needed a way to inspect electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), which remove ash particulates from flue gasses. One senior design team invented a camera-equipped crawling robot able to identify the broken electrodes that reduce ESP efficiency.

Micrograph with micron scale marker
Microstructure of arc melted Tribaloy T-400, a cobalt-based alloy.

A Bit More about Enterprise and Senior Design
Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program is open to all majors. First year through graduate-level student teams develop products, processes, and services within their market space. Faculty advisors coach and guide, while industry sponsors serve both as clients and mentors. Students can choose among 24 existing Enterprise teams, or start up one of their own.

Senior Design at Michigan Tech challenges teams of highly dedicated senior-level engineering students to explore and address real-world design challenges in their final year. Teams work with an industry sponsor, following the complete design process from ideation to realization. It’s more like a first job than a last class.

Now, if sustainability is your passion, and you want to know more, please let me know—Callahan@mtu.edu

Janet Callahan, Dean
College of Engineering
Michigan Tech

Design Expo 2019 Photo Gallery


Support for MiSTEM Advisory Council

MiSTEM Networks in the UP colored map
MiSTEM Networks in the UP, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget

Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $385,136 grant from the State of Michigan, Department of Education.

Christopher Wojick (CEE), Stephanie Tubman (Provost Office), Douglas Oppliger (EF) and Amanda Gonczi (GLRC) are Co-PIs on the project “2018-19 MiSTEM Advisory Council Grant.”

This is a one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.


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

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


Making a Difference in Motor City: Alternative Spring Break

Michigan Tech Alumnus Bruce Brunson during NSBE Alternative Spring Break in Detroit last year. Brunson earned BS degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering in 2018. He now works as an associate design engineer for Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio.

While some students travel for adventure during spring break, others travel for the greater good. The Michigan Tech Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) will head to Motor City to spread the message of STEM.

Ten Michigan Tech engineering students will visit six middle and high schools to encourage students to consider college and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers as part of the chapter’s 8th Annual NSBE Alternative Spring Break trip to Detroit from March 11-13, 2019.

During the school day, the Michigan 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 evening Family Engineering events at three K-8 schools.

The goal of the NSBE classroom presentations and Family Engineering events are to engage, inspire, and encourage diverse students to learn about and consider careers in engineering and science through hands-on activities. These programs are designed to address our country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in STEM (math, science, technology, and engineering).

NSBE School Presentation Schedule ~ Monday-Wed, March 11-13, 2019
Morning High School Classroom Presentations (first 3 periods):
  • Western International High School
  • Communications and Media Arts HS
  • Ben Carson High School
Afternoon Middle School Classroom Presentations (2 periods after lunch) and K-8 Family Engineering Nights (3-5 pm):
  • Ronald Brown Academy
  • Thurgood Marshall K-8 School
  • Clippert Academy
This outreach effort is funded by General Motors, and the Michigan Tech Office of Admissions and College of Engineering, in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District. The effort is coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.
High school students at these schools will also be encouraged to apply to participate in a 6-day Engineering & Environmental Science Exploration at Michigan Tech from July 20-27, or a 5-day Summer STEM Internship at Michigan Tech from July 15-19. Each participating student will be supported by a $700 scholarship. Application information is available here.
For many other students at Michigan Tech, For Michigan Tech students, spring break is a time to take the dedication, innovation and tenacity they bring to the classroom to a different venue. Read more about the wide range of alternative spring breaks taking place this year.