Tag Archives: EF

Engineering Fundamentals

Safe Winter Roads, Explained by a Michigan Tech Snow Scientist

It’s the first week of March and so far we’ve had 175 inches of snow in Houghton County, with another couple of feet expected before the spring thaw. Despite all the snow, we manage to get around pretty well (most of the time). Snow scientist Russ Alger ’80, ’81 explains just what goes into the UP’s ‘secret sauce’ for safe winter roads.

Russ Alger, Chief Snow Scientist, Keweenaw Research Center

Russ Alger knows about snow. The head of Michigan Tech’s Institute of Snow Research is one of the world’s go-to guys for research on cold climate driving issues, with more than 25 years of experience and counting. Since earning his BS and MS in Civil and Environmental engineering Michigan Tech, Alger has developed a snow grader that can “pave” snow trails in Antarctica, and a product called SafeLane, an epoxy-aggregate mixture that is applied to roads, bridge decks, walkways and parking lots to give the surfaces better traction by reducing snow and ice. SafeLane is now marketed by Cargill and used widely, saving untold lives.

You are a snow scientist. How did you come to choose this path, or did it choose you?  My father, George Alger, was a civil engineering professor at Michigan Tech for many years. His expertise was in ice-covered rivers and cold regions engineering in general. Growing up in Dollar Bay and working with him on outdoor projects, as well as being an outdoorsman myself, pointed me down that path at a young age.  In 1976, my Dad, along with Michigan Tech civil engineering professors Ralph Hodek and Henry Sanford established a curriculum on Cold Regions Engineering. I started with them that very first year.

Are there best practices for using salt on roadways in winter? Road supervisors and crews rely heavily on the weather forecast.  Air temp, pavement temp, temperature trends, precipitation rates and total amounts, wind, time of day, and more all play into the decision making process. For example, if it is going to be below 15o F, it is likely that crews would consider adding something like calcium chloride to the mix since it is better at colder temps. They might just use sodium chloride above that temp since it works well and is much cheaper.  The amount of deicer needed also increases as temperature decreases and there is a point where it doesn’t pay to use deicer at all except for maybe as a “kicker” for sand applications.

Combining salt and stamp sands seems to work pretty well to help us get around amid all the snowfall here in the UP.  What all goes into it? Each maintenance entity uses a sand that is easiest in their operation. It depends on availability, and cost—where cost is actual material cost and transportation to the central staging areas. As it turns out, in most of Houghton County, stamp sand is used. It’s abundant, and the County owns some stamp sand property. On top of that, stamp sand is actually a pretty good ‘grit’ for this purpose. The grain size is right to result in traction, which is the purpose of sand. It isn’t too dusty, and most importantly, it is crushed rock, so it is angular. That means it has sharp edges that help it dig into icy pavements and grip tires. The addition of a small amount of deicer, mainly NaCl and CaCl2 liquid helps the sand piles from freezing up, but is also very effective at helping the sand particles to stick on the ice surface. A small amount of deicer makes the sand particles melt into the surface and stick, making a layer that acts like a piece of sand paper. This is a pretty effective way to increase grip of tires on the surface, which is the end goal of this operation.

 “Winter road maintenance is a science in itself, a very complicated undertaking. Each geographic location has its own challenges and ways of doing things that have evolved over the years. That said, there really is no miracle method.”

Are any elements of winter road prep unique to this area? As you drive across the UP and into Wisconsin and Lower Michigan it is evident that each entity has its own way of doing things.  Driving west through Twin Lakes and into Ontonagon County this is also quite evident. Each group has its own way of using deicers and each has a unique type of friction course (sand) that they use. The northern UP is also quite unique, as we get so much snow. Heavy snow areas are sometimes difficult areas in which to use deicers, since it takes so much chemical to keep up with the amounts of snow.

Within Houghton County a number of different entities perform our snow removal operations. MDOT takes care of the State and Federal trunklines, Houghton County takes care of all secondary roads, and some of the larger cities in the area take care of their own streets. Each of these entities have their own way of doing things. In fact, across the UP, there are counties that even take care of their own State and Federal Roads. There are some major difference in operations as you drive across the UP in a storm event.

Do you see any room for improvement?  There are always ways to improve, but in my experience traveling across the US and Canada through numerous storm events, our local entities have gotten really good at dealing with the extreme amounts of snow that we get. It always amazes me how well we can move around the Copper Country during and very shortly after a snow event. Hats off!!

Why does it seem that so many places elsewhere in the country are unprepared and shut down when even a few inches of snow falls? In areas that don’t get much snow, and not very often, it is hard to justify spending a lot on winter equipment and supplies. That has been a big problem this year since so much of the country is getting record snows.  On the other side of the coin, some areas, including some wealthier Detroit suburbs, the public has pushed for roads to be bare pavement at all times. These areas spend a lot of money on snow removal.

Could our method(s) be replicated and shared with other cities and towns? As researchers we always want to share or work and ideas with others. I’ve done a lot of deicer research over the years, some of which is public domain and some is for private companies.  We have also done a lot of work on methods over the years such as when to put deicers out, how to put them out, how much, how often, how to predict, and more.

 


Design Expo 2019 – Enterprise and Senior Design Team Projects


All are welcome at Michigan Tech’s 19th annual Design Expo, coming up on Thursday, April 19 in the Memorial Union Ballroom, from 8 am – 3 pm.

At Design Expo, you can explore the breadth and depth of undergraduate innovation, from more than 1,000 students from Michigan Tech’s Enterprise and Senior Design programs. More than 100 projects will be on display, judged throughout the day by a panel of corporate representatives, invited guests, and University faculty, staff, and graduate students. Many projects are sponsored by industry.

Below, check out the entire list of Senior Design and Enterprise teams competing.

SENIOR DESIGN TEAM PROJECTS, ADVISORS, AND SPONSORS
(listed by team number assigned by Design Expo for judging purposes)

201
Remote Switching Station Power
Advisor: John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: ITC Holding Corp. 

202
Automated Functional Testing Device for Logic Devices
Advisors: Aref Majdara and Tony Pinar, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

203
Boat HUD
Advisor: Trever Hassell, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) 

204
Automated Functional Testing Device for Operational Amplifiers
Advisor: Aref Majdara, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

205
Mobile Active Threat Emergency System (MATES)
Advisor: Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Air Force Research Labs 

206
Electrostatic Precipitator Inspection Device
Advisor: Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: DTE Energy

207
Hydro Generating Plant Black Start
Advisor: School of Technology
Sponsor:  FDS Engineering & Electrical Services 

208
Cobalt Reduction in Tribaloy T-400
Advisors: Paul Sanders and Walt Milligan, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor: Winsert Inc. 

209
Assembly Cell Changeover
Advisor: William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: MacLean-Fogg 

210
Cancer Detection
Advisor: Tony Pinar, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Barzin Moridian 

211
Rapid Prototyping of Ultrasound Elastography Breast Phantom for Ductile Carcinoma Diagnosis
Advisor: Jingfeng Jiang, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Materialise 

212
Sorting of Bar Ends and Slugs from Hot-Formed Parts
Advisor: Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor:  MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions

213
Ballnut and Ballscrew Inspection Data Post-Processing
Advisor: Steven Ma, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor:  Nexteer Automotive 

214
Peripheral Tool Simulation for an Ultrasonic Aspirator Console
Advisor: Orhan Soykan, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Stryker 

215
Air Cooled Inverter Heatsink
Advisor:  Jeremy Worm, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor:  US Army TARDEC 

216
EPS ball screw lash measurement
Advisors: William Endres and James DeClerck, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor:  Nexteer 

217
SERC MARSOC Improved Life Support for Casualties at Point of Injury
Advisors:  Feng Zhao and Rupak Rajachar, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsors:  Layne Lewis 

218
Nodule Reduction on Steel Reheat Furnace Refractory
Advisor:  Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor:  ArcelorMittal 

219
Tinker Omega Sand Delivery System
Advisor:  David Labyak, School of Technology
Sponsor: Department of Materials Science and Engineering

220
Automatic Case Sealer
Advisor: Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor:  Fapco, Inc. 

221
Gerdau Inclusion Solidification Prevention
Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor: Gerdau – Monroe Mill 

222
Fuel Economy Impact Tool
Advisor:  Steven Ma, Mechanical Engineering
Sponsor:  Maclean Fogg Component Solutions 

223
Full Flexion Knee
Advisors: Jeremy Goldman and Keat Ghee Ong, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Department of Biomedical Engineering 

224
Data Analysis Methods to Improve Treatment of Chronic Pain
Advisor: Keat Ghee Ong, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Medtronic 

225
Transcatheter Single Ventricle Device
Advisors: Smitha Rao and Jeremy Goldman, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor:  Spectrum Health Innovations—Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital 

226
SERC AFRL 05 Personnel Recovery – Power
Advisor: John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Systems Engineering Research Center 

227
Micro-Pistoning Immobilization
Advisors:  Bruce Lee and Feng Zhao, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor:  3M 

228
Load Sensor and Calibrator for Crane Control
Advisor:  Fei Long, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

229
Temperature Sensing of Implanted Medical Device Shields
Advisor: Keat Ghee Ong, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Medtronic 

230
Universal Driver Gear Train
Advisor: Smitha Rao, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Stryker 

231
Hard Surface Disinfectant Innovation
Advisor: Trever Hassell, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor:  Leading Disinfectant Wipes Producer 

232
AFRL – MATES
Advisor: Cam Hadden, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor:  Air Force Research Labs 

233
Flow Meter for Power Plant Water Quality Analysis Equipment
Advisors: John Irwin and Sunil Mehendale, School of Technology
Sponsor: Sentry Equipment

234
Deposition System GUI
Advisor:  Tony Pinar, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Chito Kendrick 

235
TRIP Steel Additive Manufacturing
Advisor:  Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor: ArcelorMittal 

236
Gypsum Water Extraction
Advisor: Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Michigan Tech’s MINE Enterprise 

237
Laser Safety Proposal for Minerals & Materials Engineering Bldg. Room 329
Advisors: John Irwin, School of Technology, and Russell Stein and Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor: Department Materials Science and Engineering

238
Effects of Scandium on Cast Iron
Advisor: Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor:  CleanTeQ 

239
Clean TeQ Aluminum-Scandium Additive Manufacturing Alloy Development
Advisor: Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor: Clean TeQ 

240
Thermal & Mechanical Effects of Power Modalities on Surrounding Tissue
Advisors: Sean Kirkpatrick and Orhan Soykan, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor:  Stryker 

241
Disposable Cranial Perforator System
Advisors: Jingfeng Jiang and Bruce Lee, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Stryker 

242
EPS Belt Drive Analytical Method to Predict Thrust Forces
Advisor: Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Nexteer Automotive 

243
FCA Advanced Hood Architecture – Structural and Attachment Team
Advisor: Cam Hadden, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 

244
Catheter Hydrophilic Lubricious Coating Measurement Challenge
Advisor: Sean Kirkpatrick, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Boston Scientific 

245
Development of a Blubber-Only Whale Tag Anchoring System
Advisor: Rupak Rajachar, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Dr. Alexandre Zerbini 

246
Advanced Vehicle Hood Architecture and Design
Advisor: Jeremy Worm, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 

247
Automatic Rotary Indexer with Visual Feedback System for Fine Finish Tooling
Advisor: Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Endres Machining Innovations LLC 

248
Pneumatic Flow Totalizer
Advisor: Jeremy Worm, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Donald Engineering 

249
Sand Point Tower and Boardwalk
Advisor: Steven Ma, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Keweenaw Bay Indian Community 

250
John Deere Gator XUV835 Exhaust Redesign
Advisor: James DeClerck, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: John Deere 

251
Red Laser Inspection Device Improvement
Advisor: Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions 

252
Mobile Active Threat Emergency System
Advisor: William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor:  Air Force Research Labs 

253
Eddy Current Inspection In-line Integration
Advisor: William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions — Metform 

ENTERPRISE TEAMS, ADVISORS, AND SPONSORS
(listed by team number assigned by Design Expo for judging purposes)

101
Blizzard Baja 
Advisor: Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering Technology
Sponsors: Aramco, Denso, General Motors, FCA, Magna, 3M, Altair, Ford Motor Company, Halla Mechatronics, Henkel, IPETRONIK, John Deere, Meritor, Nexteer, Michigan Scientific Corporation, Milwaukee Tool, ArcelorMittal, Cummins, Oshkosh Corporation

102
Clean Snowmobile Challenge
Advisor: Jason Blough, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsors: Aramco, Denso, General Motors, FCA, Magna, 3M, Altair, Ford Motor Company, Halla Mechatronics, Henkel, IPETRONIK, John Deere, Meritor, Nexteer, Michigan Scientific Corporation, Milwaukee Tool, ArcelorMittal, Yamaha, Kohler, Arctic Cat, Camso, V-Converter, Bosch, PCB Piezotronics, TE Connectivity, Simscale

103
Formula SAE 
Advisor: James DeClerck, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsors: Aramco, Denso, General Motors, FCA, Magna, 3M, Altair, Ford Motor Company, Halla Mechatronics, Henkel, IPETRONIK, John Deere, Meritor, Nexteer, Michigan Scientific Corporation, Milwaukee Tool, Simscale, TE Connectivity, Mercury, SKF USA, PartSolutions, ArcelorMittal, McLaren, AVL

104
Supermileage Systems 
Advisor: Rick Berkey, Pavlis Honors College
Sponsors: Aramco, Denso, General Motors, FCA, Magna, 3M, Altair, Ford Motor Company, Halla Mechatronics, Henkel, IPETRONIK, John Deere, Meritor, Nexteer, Michigan Scientific Corporation, Milwaukee Tool, ArcelorMittal, Saginaw Controls & Engineering

105
Advanced Metalworks Enterprise (AME)
Advisor: Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Eck, ArcelorMittal, Gerdau, Clean TeQ, AIST 

106
Aerospace Enterprise
Advisor: L. Brad King, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsors: NASA, Air Force Research Laboratory

107
Alternative Energy Enterprise (AEE)
Advisor: Jay Meldrum, Keweenaw Research Center
Sponsors: Keweenaw Research Center, Oshkosh, and Traverse Solar

108
Blue Marble Security
Advisor: Glen Archer, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsors: General Motors, Oshkosh Corporation, ArcelorMittal, Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC)

109
BoardSport Technologies
Advisor: Ibrahim Miskioglu, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsors: ArcelorMittal, Enterprise Manufacturing Initiative funded by General Motors, Pavlis Honors College

110
Built World 
Advisor: Audra Morse, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sponsors: Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition

111
Cin/Optic Communication and Media
Advisor: Erin Smith, Humanities
Sponsors: International Research Experience for Students (IRES), Michigan Tech Dept. of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Tech School of Technology, Community Solar

112
Consumer Product Manufacturing
Advisors: Tony Rogers and Sean Clancy, Chemical Engineering
Sponsors: Avery Wilson, General Motors, Kohler Company, Libbey Inc., Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, Robert Carnahan, Schmohz Brewing Company, Keweenaw Brewing Company, ArcelorMittal

113
General Expedition and Adventure Research (GEAR)
Advisor: Brett Hamlin, Engineering Fundamentals
Sponsors: Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), Enterprise Manufacturing Initiative funded by General Motors

114
Green Campus 
Advisor: Christopher Wojick, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sponsor: Michigan Technological University

115
Humane Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE)
Advisor: Robert Pastel, Computer Science
Sponsor:

116
Husky Game Development
Advisor: Scott Kuhl, Computer Science
Sponsor: 

117
Innovative Global Solutions
Advisor: Radheshyam Tewari, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Pavlis Honors College, the Enterprise Manufacturing Initiative funded by General Motors 

118
ITOxygen
Advisor: Russell Louks, School of Business and Economics
Sponsors: Microsoft, 24G, Denso, Pavlis Honors College 

119
Mining Innovation Enterprise (MINE)
Advisor: Paulus Van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: NASA

120
Open Source Hardware
Advisor: Joshua Pearce, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsors: Enterprise Manufacturing Initiative funded by General Motors, ArcelorMittal

121
Robotic Systems 
Advisor: Jeremy Bos, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsors: General Motors, SAE International, Continental, Intel, MathWorks, Velodyne 

122
Strategic Education through Naval Systems Experiences (SENSE)
Advisor: Andrew Barnard, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsors: Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC), Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), Office of Naval Research (ONR)

123
Velovations
Advisor: Steve Lehmann, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsors: Ak Tube LLC, ArcelorMittal, Boss Snow Plow, Churning Rapids Snow Bike Trail, Pavlis Honors College 

124
Wireless Communication Enterprise (WCE)
Advisor: Christopher Cischke, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsors: Ford Motor Company, Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), Michigan Tech Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Michigan Tech Dept. of Visual and Performing Arts 

125
High School Enterprise—Dollar Bay School SOAR
Advisor: Joshua Pearce, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsors: DBTC Area Schools, Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative


2019 ME-EM Department Scholar Award for Amanda Kautzer

Amanda Kautzer
Amanda Kautzer

In recognition of her scholarly achievements, the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics has selected Amanda Kautzer for the 2019 Department Scholar Award. She was selected from eight strong candidates nominated by ME-EM faculty. Kautzer will be recognized at the 25th Annual Student Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 19.

Kautzer has also been nominated for the Provost’s Award for Scholarship, with enthusiastic support from her enterprise adviser Brett Hamlin and her research supervisor Rupak Rajachar.

Kautzer’s achievements include:

  • Pursuing a dual major in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering
  • A 4.0 GPA
  • A varsity athlete, competing nationally and internationally with the Michigan Tech Nordic Ski Team, where she most recently won the 2019 Central Region Skiing Championship
  • Active in the GEAR Enterprise supervised by Brett Hamlin (ME-EM)
  • Actively engaged in research in the Biomaterials Engineering Lab supervised by Rupak Rajachar (BioMed)
  • Awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF); the results of which she presented at a poster session during the 2017 Annual Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations, we will consider the nominated students not selected for other student awards and recognitions.


Bryant Weathers New CoE Director of Advancement

Bryant Weathers
Bryant Weathers

The College of Engineering welcomes Bryant Weathers to the dean’s office staff as director of advancement. As advancement liaison for the eight departments within the College of Engineering, Weathers’ primary role will be to connect alumni and friends in furthering Michigan Tech’s mission and programs, while achieving individual charitable goals in a variety of ways.

His previous experience at Michigan Tech includes advancement officer and gift planning and donor communications specialist in the Office of Advancement. Weathers is an alumnus, and earned his BS in Science and Technical Communication in 2010.


Happy Engineers Week 2019!

Please join us in celebrating National Engineers Week (Eweek). All are welcome!

We’re celebrating Eweek this week with some special events on campus at Michigan Tech. Events are sponsored by the local Michigan Tech chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, and the College of Engineering.

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, Eweek is celebrated each February around the time of George Washington’s birthday, February 22, because Washington is considered by many to be the first US engineer. Eweek is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.

This evening (Monday, Feb. 18) the CPM Enterprise team will host an event featuring Mock Interviews and Career Fair Prep, from 6 to 8 p.m. in ChemSci 101. And there’s more. Feel free to stop by and check out Eweek events as your schedule allows:

  • Insulate an Ice Cube Race: Anyone can take part in this fun and challenging contest, hosted by the Innovative Global Solutions Enterprise, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in MEEM 404 on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
  • Engineers Week Cake: Enjoy a free and delicious piece of cake, courtesy of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals. Cake will be served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wednesday, (Feb. 20), in Dillman 112B.
  • Paper Airplane Competition (plus ice cream): Test your creativity and imagination alongside members of the newly-formed Built World Enterprise, 4-5 p.m. Thursday, in Fisher 131.
  • Build a Heart Rate Circuit Board. Come build your own heart-shaped, heart-rate monitoring circuit board with Blue Marble Security Enterprise, 4 – 6 p.m. Friday (Feb. 22) in EERC 622.

Over the weekend, Tau Beta Pi and the College of Engineering sponsored free Michigan Tech Film Board showings of the movie Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, a science fiction film set in a dystopian future where humanity is struggling to survive. The film follows a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole near Saturn in search of a new home for humanity.

Eweek is a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. Dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life, Eweek promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy, and motivates youth, to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce. Each year, Eweek reaches thousands of schools, businesses, and community groups across the US.


Judges Needed for Design Expo 2019

Design Expo students by their posterWe invite you to register to be a judge at the 2019 Design Expo on Thursday, April 18. The Expo highlights hands-on projects from more than 1000 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, register as soon as possible to let us know you’re coming. Thank you for your continued support.

By Pavlis Honors College and the College of Engineering.


Tech Faculty and Staff Participate in KEEN Conference and Workshop

KEEN logo Nancy Barr (ME-EM), Leonard Bohmann (CoE), Mary Fraley (EF), Thom Freeman (William G. Jackson CTL), Jonathon Leinonen (SBE), Amlan Mukherjee (CEE) and Mary Raber (Pavlis Honors College), attended the 2019 KEEN National Conference in Dallas, Texas.

KEEN partners with colleges and universities across the United States who are dedicated to transforming their undergraduate engineering programs through the integration of opportunities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Michigan Tech applied to be included in the KEEN Engineering Unleashed Network in late 2018.

The conference was followed by the Integrating Curriculum with Entrepreneurial (ICE) Mindset Workshop where faculty can learn how to incorporate the entrepreneurial mindset into their courses. Thomas Freeman and Gretchen Hein (Engineering Fundamentals) participated in the workshop and will be developing materials for their courses and other educational resources around this topic.

By Gretchen Hein.


7th Graders Design a Backpack Reflector

Michigan Tech’s Blue Marble Security (BMS) Enterprise students have been working with a 7th grade eCYBERMISSION team from Lake Linden-Hubbell High School. The team members are Jenna Beaudoin, Chloe Daniels, Rebecca Lyons, and Olivia Shank.

Their project is to design and test a backpack reflector. The reflector design is being done using NX and is 3D printed. The reflector will have 4 lights that flicker on and off. With with the help of BMS students Tyler and John, they have designed a circuit with 2 IC chips and LED lights. Olivia worked with Tyler on the 3D design, while the other girls worked on their documentation of the circuit. Some of the girls learned how to solder.

eCYBERMISSION is a national science competition for grades 6-9 and is sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).

BMS is advised by Glen Archer, Principal Lecturer and Associate Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering. The eCYBERMISSION team is advised by Gretchen Hein, Senior Lecturer, Engineering Fundamentals and Faculty Adviser, Society of Women Engineers.

BMS eCYBERMISSION girls visit MDOT garage
Visit to Calumet MDOT Garage
BMS and eCYBERMISSION team members at the computer
BMS and eCYBERMISSION Team Members
BMS eCYBERMISSION building a circuit
Building a Circuit
BMS eCYBERMISSION soldering
Soldering

New Engineering Faculty Fall 2018

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Melanie Kueber Watkins
Melanie Kueber Watkins

Melanie Kueber-Watkins, PhD

Melanie Kueber-Watkins joins the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a research assistant professor. She earned a PhD in Civil Engineering/Concrete Chemistry from Michigan Tech where she received the Graduate Student of the Year – Danielle Ladwig Award for Graduate Excellence in Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

For the past three years she has taught civil engineering and concrete chemistry courses here at Michigan Tech. Kueber-Watkins has extensive civil engineering consulting experience with firms in the Upper Peninsula, Chicago and St. Louis.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Aref Majdara
Aref Majdara

Aref Majdara, PhD

Aref Majdara joins the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering as a lecturer. He earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech and a PhD in Management and Science Technology from Tohoku University in Japan. In addition, he received a master’s of science in Nuclear Engineering from Shiraz University in Iran.

As a graduate student at Michigan Tech, Majdara received a Doctoral Finishing Fellowship, the Jonathan Bara Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Engineering Fundamentals

Kenneth Thiemann
Kenneth Thiemann

Kenneth Thiemann

Kenneth Thiemann joins the faculty of Engineering Fundamentals as an Instructor. He is currently a PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech. He earned his MS in Environmental Engineering with a concentration in water resources from Michigan Tech and Delft University in the Netherlands.

Thiemann has worked as an engineer in Michigan and Minnesota.

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Nathan D. Manser
Nathan D. Manser

Nathan Manser, PhD

Nathan Manser joins the faculty of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences as a Lecturer. Manser earned his PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of South Florida. He has previously served as an instructor at Michigan Tech in Geological Engineering, in the Pavlis Honors College, and the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Engineering Fundamentals.

In industry, he has worked as a mine production and shipping systems supervisor for the Unimin Corporation in Minnesota and a mine systems engineer with Granate Construction Company in Arizona.

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Cameron Hadden
Cameron Hadden

Cameron Hadden, PhD

Cameron Hadden joins the faculty at Michigan Tech as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Hadden earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech. He has served as a lecturer in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Engineering Fundamentals and was a student advisor in Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan Tech.

Hadden’s research interests including molecular modeling, design and manufacturing of composite materials, mechanical behavior of composite materials, nanomaterials, biomechanics, and finite elements.

Steven Ma
Steven Ma

Steven Ma, PhD

Steven Ma Joins the faculty of Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as a professor of practice. He earned his PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a concentration in Structural Dynamics. Ma also has an Executive MBA from Tsinghua University in China.

Before coming to Michigan Tech, Ma was an adjunct professor for more than 10 years at the University of Texas in Arlington. In addition, he has worked as an engineer for several firms including Kobelco, Atlas Copco, Parker Hannifin and Caterpillar Inc.


Les Cayes, Haiti: Engineering World Health

Five engineering students from Michigan Tech’s chapter of Engineering World Health visited Les Cayes, Haiti in May 2018. Making the trip were electrical engineering student Megan Byrne, biomedical engineering students Gina Anderla and Kiaya Caspers, mechanical engineering student Brooke Breen, and materials science and engineering student Anna Isaacson.

Early last summer, five undergraduate engineering students from the Michigan Tech chapter of Engineering World Health took a trip to Les Cayes, Haiti. They were led by Megan Byrne, an electrical engineering undergraduate who organized the trip. They describe the experience as nothing short of life-changing.  

Engineering World Health inspires, educates and empowers young engineers, scientists and medical professionals to use their engineering skills to improve global health in the developing world.  The Michigan Tech chapter of EWH is now in its second year.

Along with Byrne on the trip were biomedical engineering students Gina Anderla and Kiaya Caspers, mechanical engineering students Lidia Johnson and Brooke Breen, and materials science and engineering student Anna Isaacson. To get to Haiti, the Michigan Tech engineering students bagged groceries, plus each spent $1,500 of their own to cover travel costs. A non-profit organization operating in Haiti, HUT Outreach, provided lodging for the Michigan Tech team during their stay, and invited them to help teach STEM subjects to a class of 7th graders in the new HUT Outreach secondary school.

Students in Haiti often drop out of school in the sixth grade, with a diminishing retention rate thereafter. HUT Outreach is trying to break that statistic. During their visit to Les Cayes, the Michigan Tech team tried to change how the high school students viewed education and experienced learning.

Kiaya Caspers teaches students about electrical circuits in Les Cayes, Haiti

“Project-based learning is a concept where students learn some theory, but also how to apply it outside the classroom, in the real world,” says Breen. “Our three day curriculum was focused around allowing Haitian students to think outside the box, being really inquisitive with hands-on learning projects. Our purpose was not only to expose them to a new way of thinking, but also to help HUT Outreach reform a new generation of Haitians who will be catalysts in creating a new way of approaching education in their country. Michigan Tech also gives us these tools and abilities—to be able to really hone in our leadership skills, and innovate ways to help create a better community around us, on a local-to-global spectrum.”

“Our EWH team wanted the students to learn the theory of series and parallel circuits, forces to build bridges, first aid, and how to build water filters,” says Byrne. “This was a challenge, because the students had not been exposed to any of these topics or hands-on learning, and they also spoke a different language.” Byrne is a peer mentor in the Learning with Academic Partners (LEAP) program for first-year engineering students in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Tech, which also provided support for the Haiti trip. Byrne was able put her LEAP experience to good use in Haiti.

“Thanks to our Haitian translator, Wesley, I was able to use a creative twist to help the students gain understanding of the difficult lessons in a way that would be impactful for them,” she says. “As a matter of fact, the lessons we taught in Haiti were very similar to LEAP sessions I have facilitated for first year engineering students at Michigan Tech.”

Using creativity, resourcefulness and critical thinking, EWH students from Michigan Tech repaired a broken oxygen concentrator, one of only two in the public hospital pediatric ward in Les Cayes, Haiti.

The Michigan Tech team also visited a local hospital, where they fixed a broken oxygen concentrator, one of only two in the hospital pediatric ward. They also discovered a potential fire hazard at the hospital—auto headlight bulbs used as replacement bulbs on medical lamps. And they noticed a lack of surge protectors to protect medical equipment during power outages.

The EWH team wants to return to Haiti this year to continue to help prepare the next generation of Haitian students, and provide support to the small community where we served. They also want to provide the woman’s center in Les Cayes with its first portable ultrasound machine.

“We really bonded with the community in Les Cayes,” says  Isaacson. “We want to help in any way possible to make their lives better. I think we can all agree that all the people of Haiti became our second family the minute we stepped into the country.”