Tag Archives: GMES

EPIC: A New Way to Observe Volcanic Eruptions from Space

America’s first operational deep space satellite orbits one million miles from Earth. Positioned between the sun and Earth, it is able to maintain a constant view of the sun and sun-lit side of Earth. This location is called Lagrange point 1. (Illustration is not to scale) Credit: NOAA
DSCOVR, America’s first operational deep space satellite, orbits one million miles from Earth. Positioned between the sun and Earth, it is able to maintain a constant view of the sun and sun-lit side of Earth. This location is called Lagrange point 1. (Illustration is not to scale) Credit: NOAA

Michigan Tech volcanologist, Professor Simon Carn (GMES/EPSSI), is principal investigator on a new project, “Exploiting High-Cadence Observations of Volcanic Eruptions from DSCOVR/EPIC,” funded by NASA.

Portrait of Volcanologist Simon Carn
Volcanologist Simon Carn

Carn and his team will use a satellite instrument, the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) onboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), which is parked in space a million miles from Earth.  EPIC provides global spectral images of the entire sunlit face of Earth, as viewed from an orbit around Lagrangian point 1 (L1)—the neutral gravity point between Earth and the sun.

“The unique feature of EPIC is that it can provide more satellite images per day of volcanic eruptions than other ultraviolet sensors we have used before,” Carn explains. “Our goal is to use this ‘high cadence’ imaging to improve understanding of volcanic eruption processes and impacts.”

Last Fall 2018, in an open-access article published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), Carn and his collaborators shared their first observations of volcanic eruption clouds from EPIC. The team developed and used an EPIC SO2 algorithm to detect every significant volcanic eruption since the DSCOVR launch in 2015.

“Although relatively small, these 16 eruptions, in places including Indonesia, Japan and Alaska (USA), have demonstrated EPIC’s sensitivity to moderate volcanic eruptions at a range of latitudes,” Carn noted. “EPIC should provide exceptional observations if still operational when the next major stratospheric volcanic eruption (VEI 4+) occurs.” VEI is short for Volcanic Explosivity Index. The team also demonstrated EPIC’s ability to track volcanic cloud transport on hourly timescales; a significant advance over low earth orbit UV sensors, such as the Ozone Monitoring Instrument, OMI—the visible and ultraviolet spectrometer aboard the NASA Aura spacecraft; and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) on the NOAA polar satellite system.

Gallery image from NASA DSCOVR: EPIC, Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera.
Gallery image from NASA DSCOVR: EPIC, Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera.

“It is clear that the EPIC observations have great potential to provide new insight into the short‐term evolution of volcanic SO2 clouds, and also to enable more timely detection of volcanic eruptions. The potential value of frequent UV observations of volcanic clouds has been noted in the past, and with EPIC this has become a reality,” adds Carn.

 

 

Simon Carn has received multiple research grants totaling more than $2.8 million from NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration, the Royal Society and the European Union. His research focus is the application of remote sensing data to studies of volcanic degassing, volcanic eruption clouds and anthropogenic pollution. His main focus: SO2, a precursor of sulfate aerosol, which plays an important role in the atmosphere through negative climate forcing and impacts on cloud microphysics.

See daily images of Earth from EPIC.

Read more about EPIC.


Michigan Tech—at the Intersection of Engineering and Medicine

Undergraduate research in the Biomedical Optics Laboratory at Michgan Tech
Undergraduate research in the Biomedical Optics Laboratory at Michgan Tech

There’s a lot of cutting-edge, health-focused research going on at Michigan Tech, in areas that engage undergraduates in hands-on research. This is because we care deeply about improving the human condition, and we teach this “first-hand.”

If you are interested in medicine, possess a desire to help others, and enjoy creative problem solving, read on. Michigan Tech researchers tackle genetics, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, just to name a few. Still more areas focus on improving health, fitness, clean water, sleep, medical imaging, and more.

In the College of Engineering alone, we have over 30 faculty—in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, environmental engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering—who engage in health-aligned research, engaging both undergraduates as well as graduate students in research.

Catching Viruses in the Lab
For example, in Chemical Engineering, students in Prof. Caryn Heldt’s lab “catch” viruses by understanding their sticky outer layers. The complex structures making the surface of a virus are small weaves of proteins that impact they way a virus interacts with cells and its environment. A slight change in protein sequence makes this surface slightly water-repelling, or hydrophobic, causing it to stick to other hydrophobic surfaces. Using this knowledge, they are finding new ways to detect and remove viruses before they make people sick, and also reduce cost and development time for new vaccines.

“I’m interested in how water around a virus can be controlled to decrease the cost of making vaccines and other medicines,” says Caryn Heldt. Her team conducts research using parvovirus because it’s small and chemically stable.

Accelerated Healing
In Biomedical Engineering, students in Prof. Rupak Rajachar’s lab are developing a minimally invasive, injectable hydrogel for achilles tendinitis, one of the most common and painful sports injuries. “To cells in the body, a wound must seem as if a bomb has gone off,” he says.  The team’s hydrogel formula allows tendon tissue to recover organization by restoring the initial cues that tendon cells need in order to function. Two commonly prescribed, simple therapies—range of motion exercises and applying cold or heat—boost the effectiveness of the hydrogel. Even a single injection can accelerate healing.

Prof. Rajachar and his team culture tendon cells with a bit of their injectable hydrogel in a petri dish, then watch under a microscope to see just how tendon cells respond over time. “In the presence of the hydrogel, cells of interest (called tenocytes) maintain their tendon cell behavior,” he says.

Human-Centered Monitoring
In Mechanical Engineering, students in Prof. Ye Sun’s Human Centered Monitoring Lab are turning embroidered logos into wearable electronics. Health monitoring devices like FitBit, apps on cell phones, and heart monitors are seemingly everywhere, but what if embroidery on clothing could replace these devices altogether? By using conductive thread and passive electronics‚ tiny semiconductors, resistors and capacitors‚ Prof. Sun and her team do it with stitching—lightweight, flexible, and beautiful embroidery. They’re also building a manufacturing network and cloud-based website for ordering.

Ye Sarah Suns hands are show holding a prototype of a flexible electronic circuit, where the stitches themselves become the circuit.
“I hope flexible, wearable electronics will interest a new generation of engineers by appealing to their artistic sides,” says Dr. Ye Sarah Sun. She is holding a prototype of a flexible electronic circuit, where the stitches themselves become the circuit.

Fighting Cancer with Fruit Flies
And in Biological Sciences, students in Prof. Thomas Werner’s lab perform transgenics, where they insert pieces of foreign DNA into fruit fly embryos, to determine the role genes play in the pigmentation of fruit flies. Biologists use fruit flies to study wing spots, metabolism, and aging. This is important because the same genes and major metabolic pathways in fruit flies affect cancer and other diseases in humans.

five fruit flies with striped bodies are shown. The genes that govern abdominal colors and patterns in fruit flies may provide insight into human cancer genes.
“There are a few hundred toolkit genes that all animals share and they build us as embryos and continue to help us as we develop,” says Prof. Werner. “But the differences in their regulation—when and where and how much they function—brings about the diversity of life.”

Engineers Go to Medical School
In case you are a student who is considering medical school, engineering majors stack up very well in acceptances to medical school, especially when considering research experiences and the associated research publications that our students co-author. In our Department of Biomedical Engineering alone, in 2017-18, BME majors had an 86% acceptance rate to med school.

I Followed My Heart
As a personal anecdote, my first university degree was a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. My curiosity about materials (especially metals) led me to a PhD in Materials Science. This multidisciplinary background led me to start a company with a cardiologist who needed my expertise. He had a vision for an improved angioplasty device to treat restenosis, which is when heart stents become narrow or blocked. Our company was based on my invention, related to applying tiny doses of radiation to a blockage to help in-stent restenosis. In all my career, this two years of work on this angioplasty device—it captured my imagination, my attention, and my heart (no pun intended). This intersection of engineering and medicine—it’s a life-changing experience to get personally engaged.

Now, if you’re interested in health care or working in a research lab, and you want to know more, please let me know—Callahan@mtu.edu

Janet Callahan, Dean
College of Engineering
Michigan Tech


Eight Years of Awesome—NSBE Alternative Spring Break in Detroit

Portrait of the Michigan Tech NSBE students who traveled to Detroit
University students from the Michigan Tech NSBE chapter devoted their spring break to inspire, encourage and teach high school and middle school students in Detroit. From L to R: Christiana Strong, Jalen Vaughn, Andrea Smith, Bryce Stallworth, Kylynn Hodges, Stuart Liburd, Rebecca Spencer, Jemel Thompson. Not pictured: Logan Millen

In March, students from the Michigan Tech Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) traveled to the Motor City, visiting middle and high school classrooms as part of the chapter’s 8th Annual NSBE Alternative Spring Break trip in Detroit. Their goal—to engage, inspire, and encourage diverse students to consider careers in STEM—science, technology engineering and math.

Nine Michigan Tech engineering students participated: Christiana Strong (biomedical engineering); Jalen Vaughn (computer engineering); Andrea Smith (chemical engineering and pharmaceutical chemistry); Bryce Stallworth (mechanical engineering); Kylynn Hodges (computer science); Stuart Liburd (mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering); Rebecca Spencer (mechanical engineering); Jemel Thompson (environmental engineering); and Logan Millen (chemical engineering).

During the day, the NSBE students gave classroom presentations at middle and high schools. After school, they conducted Family Engineering events for K-8 students and their families with fun, hands-on activities.

“Having the NSBE Alternative Spring Break program at our school has sparked new conversations in classes and hallways about the reality of attending a university after graduation,” said Matthew Guyton, a robotics, coding, and math teacher at Communication and Media Arts High School, and a graduate of Michigan Tech’s Teacher Education Program (‘07).

“The high school students have a lot of questions specifically about applying to college,” said Stuart Liburd, president of Michigan Tech’s NSBE chapter. “We also share our own experiences as college students. For instance, while living in the Virgin Islands, I realized that I wanted to develop technology that would help people in their everyday life,” he said. “I applied to a lot of schools but settled on Michigan Tech because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. It was located in a place I’d never been, and I heard they got a lot of snow. I had never seen snow before coming to Michigan Tech!”

This was Liburd’s third alternative spring break in Detroit. “I want to make a positive impact,” he adds. “To put it simply, I want to live up to the NSBE motto—’to increase the number of responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.’”

“It was so great to have the NSBE members share their experience with our students. They opened up my students’ vision of possibilities for the future. Particularly in Detroit, engineering is typically discussed in the context of automotive so it was helpful that the broad scope of engineering was presented,” said Nicole Conaway, a science teacher at the Communication and Media Arts High School. “The students’ personal stories were especially important for our students to hear in order for them to see themselves as future engineers. A few weeks after the visit, one of my seniors proudly brought me his letter of acceptance from Michigan Tech—it was so exciting!”

“Each year, the NSBE Alternative Spring Break provides an opportunity for community-building between the Michigan Tech NSBE student chapter, and our school and parents,” said Tracy Ortiz, a middle school science teacher at Clippert Academy. “We appreciate their time and dedication. Families gain an appreciation of the STEM concepts required for engineering careers, and both parents and children engage in collaboration and teamwork to solve engineering challenges. It was awesome to have the NBSE students share their college experiences and have my students come away with the idea that engineering can be a career path for them,” added Ortiz.

“They helped me to see that you can do anything you want with your life,” said Tiara Carey, a student at Communication and Media Arts High School. “When Michigan Tech came to visit CMA, it opened my eyes to just how many different branches of engineering exist,” said fellow student Caleb Bailey.

“The students from Michigan Tech helped me understand more about myself by playing a game with all of us,” adds CMA high school student, Kayleon Anderson-Jordan. “They showed us how important it is to listen and to be very specific. They had us follow directions and understand how one small thing can mess up a larger goal, so be careful with planning.”

“NSBE Alternative Spring Break provides an opportunity for our students to see people who look like them, studying for careers that they, too, can attain,” said Kwesi Matthews, a science teacher at Ben Carson High School. “Even if they don’t go into engineering or a STEM field, we have introduced them to a group of college students who are accessible to them, and like themselves.”

“I’d like to personally thank our Michigan Tech NSBE members for taking time in their spring break and investing it to help inspire, and encourage diverse students to consider STEM-intensive careers,” remarked Dr. Janet Callahan, Dean of Engineering at Michigan Tech. “When our middle and high school students hear directly from college students about the different majors in STEM, and about how they chose those majors, it’s inspirational.”

Additional comments from the students at Communication and Media Arts High School include:

“I learned about many kinds of engineering that I didn’t know existed until the Michigan Tech visit.”
Jada Williams

“They helped me understand how important and critical proper teamwork is—without good communication, errors can potentially result.”
Angel McLaurin

“I learned that there are more kinds of technology than I thought, such as the technology in the fashion industry associated with making jeans.”
Alexandria Johnson

“They expanded my knowledge of career choices in engineering and even in the field of engineering education. Engineering is one of my potential career choices, so it’s reassuring to know that colleges welcome all future engineers in every aspect.”
Davion Stinson

General Motors funded their effort, along with the Office of Admissions and College of Engineering at Michigan Tech, in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District. The effort was coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.


Former President Ray Smith Included in Oral History Collection

Raymond Smith
Raymond Smith

Former Michigan Tech president, the late Raymond L. Smith is among 15 oral histories included in a collection by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME).

The section on Smith, who passed away last September at the age of 101, includes a written biography, a 50 minute interview video and the interview transcript.

Smith, Michigan Tech’s president from 1965 to 1979, is a recipient of the TMS/ASM Joint Distinguished Leadership in Materials and Society Award (1983) and the TMS Fellow Award (1973).


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

 

 


Tour of Sustainability House

Meghan Schultz
Meghan Schultz

This 5,000 square foot residence was home to former Michigan Tech University presidents. But now, students have turned it into a new sustainability demonstration house.

“You know we have to care about our environment, we have to care about our future and just like you plan to put money into a retirement account, you should plan to live sustainably so that you can account for the future,” said Meghan Schultz, the house’s residential advisor.

Read more and watch the video at TV6 Fox UP, by Remi Murrey.

Sustainable Living: Tech students show ecological responsibility

House residents and members of the SDH enterprise team will be at the SDH to explain how to implement sustainable practices in any home and explain projects like the new plastic recycling project. Plastic refuse is going to be collected and reshaped into useful items. The first thing on the list is house numbers.

Warren Krettek
Warren Krettek

“Right now the house doesn’t have any,” Warren Krettek said.

Krettek is a graduating Michigan Tech student who has been leading the enterprise team as their project manager. The team designs and implements projects around the house like resource tracking, aquaponics and composting.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Joshua Vissers.

Meghan Schultz is a third-year geological engineering major.

Warren Krettek is a senior with a dual electrical and computer engineering major.

Related:

This Old House Teaches U.P. Residents, and an Appliance Manufacturer, New Tricks


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


Three Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Rose Turner
Rose Turner

Three students from Michigan Tech received fellowships from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP), one of the oldest and most prestigious programs in the nation. In addition, one student received Honorable Mention in the national program.

Rose Turner, Gabriela Shirkey and Helena Keller were named GRFP Fellows while Katelyn Kring received Honorable Mention.

Turner, from Berkley, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech in December with a bachelor’s in environmental engineering. She was the student speaker for Fall Commencement and is planning to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Engineering here at Michigan Tech

Kring graduated from Michigan Tech in December and is continuing as a first-year master’s student in Tech’s Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering.

Shirkey, from Manitou Beach, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech in the Fall of 2013 in scientific and technical communications and is currently studying geography at Michigan State University.

Keller, from Elk River Minnesota, graduated from Tech in Spring 2014 with a degree in Chemistry. She is currently studying macromolecular, supramolecular and nanochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

THE NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

By the Graduate School.


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