Stories about Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

Iver Anderson Inducted into 2017 Inventors Hall of Fame

Iver Anderson
Iver Anderson

Iver Anderson ’75, a Tech alumnus (Metallurgical and Materials Engineering) whose lead-free solder is used in virtually all cell phones, has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is the son of the late Jean Anderson, a retired Michigan Tech mechanical engineering faculty member.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame, partnering with the US Patent and Trademark Office, honors the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place and works to ensure American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations. Their mission is to recognize inventors and inventions, celebrate the country’s rich, innovative history, inspire creativity and advance the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.

By Jenn Donovan.

Six Engineering Programs Ranked Top Picks for Vets

Campus and Husky Outdoor SceneCollege Factual, a website that provides ranking, academics and outcomes information on colleges and universities, has ranked six Michigan Tech degree programs top picks for veterans.

The website ranked Tech’s mechanical engineering and environmental engineering in the top 10 nationwide, listing chemical engineering, civil engineering and computer engineering in the top 20. Electrical engineering was ranked in the top 40 in the nation.

By Jenn Donovan.

New Engineering Faculty for Spring 2017

Six new faculty members joined Michigan Tech on December 26, 2016. Two tenure-track faculty have joined the College of Engineering.

Daniel Dowden, PhD, PE, SE

Daniel Dowden joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor. He earned a PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Buffalo, an MS in Civil Engineering at the University of Wyoming and a BS in Civil Engineering at Washington State University. He worked as a structural and test engineer, a graduate research assistant, adjunct instructor and teaching assistant at the University of Buffalo. His professional project experience includes structural design of the Central Washington University music building and assisted living facilities in San Diego and Studio City, California.

Umesh Korde
Umesh Korde

Umesh Korde, PhD

Umesh Korde joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as a tenured professor. He earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Engineering from the University of Tokyo and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India. He comes to Michigan Tech from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where he was a professor who held the Pearson Chair in Mechanical Engineering. Korde is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. His research interests involve dynamics and control.

By Jenn Donovan.

New Engineering Faculty Fall 2016

Rebecca Ong

Chemical Engineering

Rebecca Ong, PhD

Rebecca Ong joins Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. Ong received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University.

She has worked as an instructor in chemical engineering at Tech and as a research assistant professor at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Ong is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Lei Pan, PhD

Lei Pan joins the Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. Pan received a PhD in mining engineering at Virginia Tech and also worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies there.

He received the Pratt Research Fellowship award at Virginia Tech, as well as the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the Mining Department there. He worked as a reviewer for Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review and Minerals Engineering and as a lecturer at Virginia Tech.

Jeana Collins, PhD

Jeana Collins joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering as a lecturer. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech and has worked at Tech as a graduate teaching assistant as well as a mentor for current undergraduate researchers. Collins is a recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student teaching award.

She is a member of Omega Chi Epsilon, a chemical engineering honor society, as well as Tau Beta Phi engineering honor society, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Alumni Association and Order of the Engineer. Collins also coaches Tech’s dance team and mentors students in time management, coursework and prioritization.

Hyungchul YoonCivil and Environmental Engineering

Hyungchul Yoon, PhD

Hyungchul Yoon joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor. He earned his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received his certificate in foundation of teaching at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning there.

Yoon has been a mentor at the Smart Structure Technology Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has had numerous publications in journals such as the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. He has also given oral presentations in Osaka, Japan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Stanford, California.

Christian WagnerElectrical and Computer Engineering

Christian Wagner, PhD

Christian Wagner joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as a visiting professor.

Wagner earned his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. He has served as the director of digital economy in the Digital Catapult Researcher in Residence Programme in London, UK. He also was an associate professor at the University of Nottingham and a consultant for Unilever Data Analysis.

Zhi Zheng, PhD

Zhi Zheng joins the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Tech as a research assistant professor. She earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she also obtained her certification in college teaching.

Zheng received the Best Paper Award at the 9th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction.

Sajjad BighamMechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sajjad Bigham, PhD

Sajjad Bigham joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. Bigham earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida and has worked as a research assistant in nanostructure energy systems there.

Bigham has multiple patents and journal publications. He was the recipient of an outstanding honor student award for academic achievements.

Susanta GhoshSusanta Ghosh, PhD

Susanta Ghosh joins the Department of  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as a research assistant professor. Ghosh received a PhD in Civil Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, in 2008.

Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, Ghosh worked for the Department of Materials Science Engineering at the University of Michigan as a visiting research investigator. He also worked for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. He has multiple journal publications and is the recipient of awards and fellowships.

Darrell RobinetteDarrell L. Robinette, PhD, P.E.

Darrell L. Robinette joins Michigan Tech as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Robinette received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Tech in 2007.

Prior to joining the Michigan Tech faculty, Robinette worked for General Motors as an advanced hybrid and electrification architecture engineer. He volunteers with FIRST Robotics and has received many awards and recognitions. He was the SAE Foundation Stefan Pischinger Young Industry Leadership Award nominee.

Trisha SainTrisha Sain, PhD

Trisha Sain joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. She earned her PhD in the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore India.

Prior to coming to Tech, she worked as an assistant professor at North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She was a reviewer of grant proposals for the US Army Research Office and a consultant in the mechanics division of Honeywell Technology Solutions lab in Bangalore, India.

Zequn WangZequn Wang, PhD

Zequn Wang joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. He earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering at Wichita State University in Kansas and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Integrated DEsign Automation Laboratory (IDEAL) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University.

Before coming to Tech, Wang was an instructor for the engineering design optimization iSIGHT lab at Northwestern. He has presented at the Ford Research and Development Center on validating dynamic engineering models under uncertainty.

Engineering Researchers Participate in TechTalks 2016

Kazuya Tajiri Tweet
Kazuya Tajiri Tweet

TechTalks 2016

Michigan Tech Research Forum
Faculty Research on Speed Dial


The Michigan Tech Research Forum is a new University presentation series showcasing the work of Michigan Tech faculty, postdocs, and researchers.

On Thursday, November 10, 2016, several researchers gave two minute presentations for the inaugural TechTalks session of the Michigan Tech Research Forum. Five of the 13 researchers presented work from engineering disciplines:

  • Andrew Barnard– Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: “Solid State Sound—A Hot Topic”
  • Paul Sanders– Materials Science and Engineering: “Rapid Metal Design”
  • Kazuya Tajiri– Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: “Two-Phase Transport in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells”
  • Hector Moncada-Hernandez- Biomedical Engineering: “Point-of-Care Microfluidic Device for Blood Typing”
  • Ye Sarah Sun– Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: “Wearable Electronics, Human-Centered Monitoring”

Michigan Tech Research Forum events are presented by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in coordination with the Office of the Vice President of Research.

Additional TechTalks sessions are coming up in Spring 2017. Interested in nominating yourself or others? Use this online form.

Browse the Twitter conversations in “TechTalks 2016: Take One,” by Allison Mills.

On Thursday, December 1, 2016, the second set of presentations included the following from engineering research faculty:

Jeff Naber
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
APS LABS (Advanced Power Systems Research Center)

Michael Mullins
Department of Chemical Engineering
Electrospun Nanofibers as Neural Guidance Scaffolds

Feng Zhao
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Research

Chad Deering
Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
Ignimbrites to Batholiths

Darrell Robinette
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Gearing for Future Connectivity

Trisha Sain
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Mechanics of Soft Polymers

Browse the Twitter conversations in “TechTalks 2016: Take Two,” by Allison Mills.

Reagan May Drives for Diversity at NASCAR

Fourth year mechanical engineering student Reagan May did a Snapchat Takeover with Michigan Tech for three days starting October 17, 2016. The event was the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine at Daytona International Speedway. The D4D program aims to attract minority and female individuals to the sport. There were 17 people competing for the available spots.

Learn more about the event in Reagan May Racing in her Twitter feed and Facebook feed, as well as the Twitter feed of Rev Racing, which is the home of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.

Reagan May has distinguished herself on the racetrack many times. She sees herself as an automotive designer some day, in addition to making it as a NASCAR driver or car engineer.

VIDEO: Reagan May at NASCAR Drive for Diversity
VIDEO: Reagan May Thanks Sponsors at NASCAR Drive for Diversity

Closed captioning available.

Humans of Tech—Reagan

I started racing go-karts when I was 10, and I fell in love with the sport. I race super-late models throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. I have always loved working on cars, and what I learn in the classroom helps me understand how the car suspension works.

Read more on Facebook Notes, by Michigan Tech.

Reagan May
Reagan May
Reagan May's Racecar
Reagan May’s Racecar
NASCAR Driving for Diversity Combine 2016
NASCAR Driving for Diversity Combine 2016

SWE Team Shines at WE16

WE 16WE16 is the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology, with more than 9,000 women at all stages of their engineering careers.


Michigan Tech’s Society of Women Engineers Collegiate Section has historically been very active at the National Conference. At this year’s WE16, it was no different. The students who traveled with us were:

  • Leah Bectel, Environmental Engineering
  • Mackenzie Brunet, SWE Section First-Year Student Travel Grant Recipient, Mechanical Engineering
  • Romana Carden, Environmental Engineering
  • Erica Coscarelli, Environmental Engineering
  • Hannah Cunningham, Biomedical Engineering
  • Jocelyne Denhof, Mechanical Engineering
  • Jessica Geroux, Mechanical Engineering
  • Carly Gloudemans, Environmental Engineering
  • Akhila Reddy Gorantla, Materials Engineering
  • Madison Mroczynski, Civil Engineering
  • Stephanie Peterson, Environmental Engineering
  • Laura Schimmel, Mechanical Engineering
  • Lauren Sandy, Biomedical Engineering
  • Karsyn Van Laanen, Chemical Engineering
  • Lily Williams, Mechanical Engineering
  • Baileigh Zimmerman, Chemical Engineering

Collegiate Section

Advisers Gretchen Hein and Beth Hoy also travelled with the group. The section received the Silver Collegiate Section Award, which is based on the section’s involvement in SWE.

Team Tech Competition

Michigan Tech and Caterpillar Inc. were both rookies in the SWE Team Tech competition, a design contest sponsored by Boeing which was launched in 1992 as a way to emphasize the key role of teamwork and industry interface in the engineering educational process. An innovative approach to an interesting engineering problem proved to be a successful partnership when the team won first place at WE16, the world’s largest conference for women in engineering and technology. The winning project is entitled “Wheel Tractor Scraper Bowl Optimization System.”

Team Tech calls for collegiate teams of 4-12 members from at least three different engineering disciplines to work with an industry partner in order to solve an engineering design problem. The team submitted progress reports and design documents to Boeing, ultimately qualifying them to present at the SWE annual conference held on Friday, October 28, 2016, in Philadelphia.

Michigan Tech’s team partnered with Caterpillar Inc. to create a solution to the issue of inefficient filling on Caterpillar’s wheel tractor scraper (WTS) machines. To solve this engineering challenge, the team conceived, designed, prototyped, and tested an ultrasonic sensing system that can accurately determine the height of dirt within the WTS bowl. The team also conceived a method to relay that information to the operator, along with a video feed looking into the bowl. Perhaps most importantly, the team designed and developed a scale-model test rig that provides proof of concept of the system without costly on-machine testing.

During the competition, 11 teams presented their design ideas to the judges, and results were announced at Celebrate SWE, a dinner event on Saturday night of the conference. Third place was awarded to University of Wisconsin- Madison working with Xymox Technologies, Inc., and second place was awarded to California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo working with St. Jude Medical.

The Team Tech team was composed of members from two different Enterprise programs within the Pavlis Honors College—Blue Marble Security and Consumer Product Manufacturing. The advisors were Dr. Archer (Electrical & Computer Engineering) & Dr. Rogers (Chemical Engineering). The student team members submitting the final proposal were: Team leader Ester Buhl, Electrical Engineering, Brianne Anderson, Mechanical Engineering, Derek Chopp, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Sandra Cvetanovic, Electrical Engineering, Alexis Dani, Computer Engineering, Jennifer Dzurka, Mechanical Engineering, Anna Marchesano, Chemical Engineering, and Jonathan Quinn, Mechanical Engineering.

Buhl, Marchesano, and Chopp represented the team at the competition. Caterpillar engineers and Michigan Tech alums Brent Woodard (’11 BSME) and Britta Jost (’02 BS Mathematics, ’04 MSME) mentored the team and provided technical advice.

Collegiate Leadership Institute

Three students, Stephanie Peterson, Romana Carden, and Jocelyne Denhof participated in the Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI). The program’s overall goal is to prepare women engineering and technology students to gain employment within the engineering sector and become leaders in their field. CLI attendees are provided resources to jumpstart their professional development, broaden their networking opportunities, and help facilitate their eventual transition into the workforce. Stephanie found that:

I really liked the variety of topics that were covered which ranged from networking to managing money. As somebody who is looking for a full-time job, I feel like I was able to obtain a lot of great advice that will help me to both land a job and build meaningful professional relationships.

Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering

Renee Oats, PhD student in Civil Engineering, and Tayloria Adams, PhD in Chemical Engineering, Michigan Tech, 2014, participated in Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering (ALWE) Program. This NSF funded program is designed to provide best practices to advance in academia while creating opportunities and mechanisms to network across institutions.

Graduate Student Poster Competition

Renee Oats and Patricia Thompson, Michigan Tech Civil Engineering alumna, were selected to participate in the WE16 annual graduate student poster competition. The poster competition was organized by Kaitlyn Bunker, PhD Electrical Engineering 2014 from Michigan Tech.

eCYBERMISSION Presentations

Gretchen Hein, Engineering Fundamentals, presented on two topics: “eCYBERMISSION: A Great Way to Explore Science and Engineering”, and “How do Faculty Ensure Student Competency at Course Completion?”. The first presentation was done with Erin Lester, eCYBERMISSION Volunteer Manager, and Siona Beaudoin, Lake Linden-Hubbell eighth grader and eCYBERMISSION participant. The second presentation was on work completed in the first-year engineering program with Mary Fraley, Amber Kemppainen, and AJ Hamlin. Gretchen is currently the Women in Academia Chair for SWE.

Invent It. Build It.

Invent It. Build It. is an annual SWE conference activity for middle and high school girls. The purpose is to introduce girls and their families to the field of engineering. This year a record number of more than 1200 girls participated, including Siona. Hannah Cunningham volunteered at the day-long event.

Outstanding Collegiate Member

Tech alumna Liz Dreyer (BS Electrical Engineering, Michigan Tech, 2012) was awarded the Outstanding Collegiate Member award by the Society of Women Engineers on Saturday, October 29. Each year, the Society honors ten collegiate members who have made an outstanding contribution to SWE, the engineering community, and their campus. Dreyer was cited specifically

For leadership and innovative efforts to grow SWE’s presence on campus, particularly among graduate students, and for advancing the overall interests of women in STEM fields across the globe.

This acknowledges Dreyer’s role as Graduate Member Coordinator for SWE as well as her outreach efforts for women engineers in Liberia. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

SWE 2016 Section Students
SWE Section Students along with Beth Hoy, Adviser and Anna Marchesano, Michigan Tech alumna, May 2016.
SWE 2016 Team Tech
Michigan Tech’s Team Tech
SWE 16 Award
Ester Buhl, Derek Chopp and Anna Marchesano, Team Tech Representatives at WE16 receiving their award from SWE President, Jessica Rannow.

Michigan Tech Joins Nanovation Partners in a Commercialization Agreement on Nanotube Processes

Michigan Tech and NanovationIntellectual property from UCSD, WSU, UCF, Michigan Tech, N2 Biomedical, and Nanovation Partners represents the most comprehensive portfolio available to license with respect to implant nanotube surface treatment.

Nanovation Partners, LLC and Michigan Technological University today announced a partnership agreement for commercialization of processes to nano-texturize medical implants. These advanced processes can simultaneously increase bone ingrowth and provide an antimicrobial barrier. The collaboration agreement extends Nanovation Partner’s leadership in commercialization of nano-texturing technology.

Craig Friedrich, PhD, Director of Michigan Tech’s Multi-scale Technologies Institute, commented, “What we’re developing is a surface treatment that’s more straightforward and economical than other processes. It speeds healing and is applicable to a broad range of implants. With this process, in conjunction with the technologies developed at other leading nano-technology universities and companies already in partnership with Nanovation Partners, we can fight infection and reduce inflammation. Our partnership with Nanovation Partners will speed and broaden the transfer of this technology to provide a clinical benefit for a broad range of patients.”

The partnership with Michigan Tech builds on Nanovation Partners’ strategic collaborations with leaders in nanotexturing technology,” —Dan Justin, President and CEO of Nanovation Partners.

Read more at PRWeb, by Dan Justin, Nanovation Partners.

Meeting for the Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Material and Structures

GLRCME-EM to Host Advisory Board Meeting

NSF I/UCRC Industrial Advisory Board Meeting for the Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Material and Structures begins today.

Today and tomorrow, ME-EM is hosting the semi-annual NSF I/UCRC Industrial Advisory Board meeting for the Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures (HVT) at the Great Lakes Research Center. The meeting is organized by Site Director Greg Odegard (ME-EM) and Co-Directors Julie King (CHE) and Paul Sanders (MSE).

Expected at the meeting are 40 faculty, graduate students and Industrial Advisory Board members from Michigan Tech’s ME-EM, Chem Eng and MSE departments; University of Denver, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne; Bonneville Power Administration, CTC Global, General Cable, Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

The mission of the HVT Center is to develop and evaluate new materials and structures for a range of HVT technological applications, particularly for the power transmission and aerospace industries.

The HVT Center has entered its third year of operation; this meeting is focused on the review of the current projects, proposals for future research and discussions on directions for Center growth. The Center is jointly funded by NSF and the Industrial Advisory Board member companies.


Unscripted—Be Aware: Cybersecurity

CybersecurityCybersecurity in cars made several headlines last summer. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek’s carhacking research made for a viral WIRED article when they remotely took over a Jeep Cherokee on the highway; Bloomberg Business covered these vulnerabilities in a video interview at the Def Con hacking convention. At Michigan Tech, cybersecurity is an integral part of many researchers’ work. Steven Goldsmith, a research professor in mechanical engineering, started a new graduate course on automotive cybersecurity this fall and spoke with me about his work.

Read more at Unscripted: Science and Engineering Research, by Allison Mills.