Tag: MEEM

Stories about Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

Engineering Students Interviewed About Design Expo 2023

Two students seating outside near the waterfront next to an off-road vehicle.
Mechanical engineering students in the Blizzard Baja Enterprise.

Michigan Technological University opens Design Expo to underclassmen

Briana Tucker and Nagesh Hatti (Enterprise) were quoted by WZMQ 19 News in coverage of Michigan Tech’s 2023 Design Expo, held Tuesday (April 18) at the Van Pelt and Opie Library and Memorial Union Building.

The Michigan Tech Baja Racing Team showcased their new car at the expo as well. This year they’ve been mandated to build a four-wheel car in order to compete and the team says they use the tools from class in every cylinder of their project.

Read more at WZMQ 19 News, by Mitchell Rife.

Michigan Tech University holds 23rd annual Design Expo with wide project variety

Tucker, senior Ryan Peckham (electrical engineering) and first-year engineering student Andrew Brenner were interviewed for a WLUC TV6 broadcast segment, and first-year chemical engineering students Ethan LeGrave, Veronica North, and Bailey Wright were mentioned in the accompanying story.

The Wireless Communications Enterprise (WCE) team showcased several of their projects.

Read more at WLUC TV6, by Colin Jackson.

Feats of innovation

The Daily Mining Gazette also covered Expo, mentioning students Breanna Gorman and Cade Meyer.

Breanna Gorman, president of the Enterprise team and fourth-year electrical engineering major showcased a portable battery pack intended for military backpacks.

Cade Meyer, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student was part of the Velovations Enterprise team. They focus on bicycle design projects.

Read more at the Daily Mining Gazette, by Aidan Reilly.

2023 Student Leadership Award Recipients Announced

Outstanding students, staff and alumni were honored Friday (April 14) during Michigan Tech’s 29th annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom. Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating their achievements!

Congratulations to all of the 2023 winners:

Cayton Scholz
Cayton Scholz

Keynote speaker Jessica L. Thompson ’12 (BS, Biological Sciences) was also recognized as the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

More information about the awards and the recipients can be found on the Student Leadership Awards webpage. We also invite the campus community to save the date for the 30th annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony, which will be held April 12, 2024, in the MUB Ballroom.

By Student Leadership and Involvement.

Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Radheshyam Tewari

Radheshyam Tewari
Radheshyam Tewari

Radheshyam Tewari, associate teaching professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) has been selected as the featured instructor this week in the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

Tewari will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members and is a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series.

Tewari is an extremely versatile instructor, excelling in teaching many different ME-EM courses that vary by type, size and level. He contributes significantly to developing, revising and improving courses, curricula and programs. Examples include developing and substantially revising several senior elective and graduate-level face-to-face and online courses, such as ME4695/5695 Additive Manufacturing, ME4650/5650 Quality Engineering, ME5670 Experimental Design in Engineering, ME4665/5655 Lean Manufacturing, and ME4655/5656 Production Planning.

These courses are very popular and highly subscribed, which reflects Tewari’s passion for continuously improving courses. To make his courses more applied and the student learning more active, he incorporates industry-based projects in ME5650, research-based projects in ME5670, and hands-on manufacturing process simulation-based projects in ME5655.

“Radheshyam has always done a great job in the classroom,” said Jason Blough, chair of ME-EM. “Because of this, many of his courses are at capacity every time he teaches them. Students are drawn in due to his reputation, passion and commitment. He is completely committed to the students and does a great job each and every day.”

Tewari’s teaching has led to students’ increased interest in the minor in manufacturing. Since 2014, the number of students completing the minor have quadrupled. His dedication and efforts in developing and improving curricula and programs also led to the creation of the Graduate Certificate in Quality Engineering. This has become the most popular certificate among those offered by ME-EM and is one of the five programs across campus selected by the Michigan Tech Global Campus to highlight.

Dean Janet Callahan is grateful for Tewari’s work. “I want to thank Radheshyam for being so passionate about the quality of his instruction and the associated student learning,” said Callahan. “The online offerings are strong additions to what our graduates learn and then apply in their workplace, which in turn advances the company’s competitiveness. It’s a win for everyone.”

The passion and motivation Tewari brings to his teaching is very evident to his students. Not only does he regularly receive strong course evaluations, but his teaching and mentoring frequently leave lasting impressions. As one student noted, “I want to let you know of the huge impact you have had on my life. You are a great teacher, and you made our basics strong and imprinted some great manufacturing knowledge in us. I’ve been in the manufacturing industry for the last two and a half years, and everywhere I go I share some of the knowledge I learned from you. Thank you for being an amazing coach and having such a significant impact in my life.”

SWE Section Congratulates Local FIRST State Championship Qualifiers

FIRST logo on abstract background.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Section at Michigan Tech would like to congratulate all the local students who will be attending the FIRST in Michigan State Championship presented by DTE Foundation 2023 at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) from April 6-8.

Qualifiers for the state championship event are Jenna Beaudoin of Lake Linden-Hubbell FIRST Robotics Team No. 5486, Robotic Turmoil, and the Houghton FIRST Robotics Team No. 857, Superior Roboworks.

Beaudoin was selected as a district championship semifinalist at the Lake Superior State University (LSSU) FIRST Robotics District Competition. At the FIRST in Michigan State Championship, she will be interviewed as a qualifier for the FIRST Dean’s List award.

Beaudoin, a junior at Lake Linden-Hubbell High School, was nominated by her team mentor Robert Stenger ’18 (B.S. Physics). “Jenna is one of the most helpful, energetic and outgoing members of Team 5486,” said Stenger. “She is consistently jumping in wherever she can possibly help, including helping other teams work on their robots when needed. She has taken on any and all tasks needed of her from the time she joined our team.”  

“Our section congratulates Jenna on her well-deserved honor and accomplishments,” said SWE Section President Aerith Cruz (management information systems). “Jenna embodies the core values of SWE and FIRST in everything she does, and exemplifies great leadership qualities.”

Houghton FIRST Robotics Team No. 857, Superior Roboworks, competed at district events at Escanaba High School and LSSU. They ranked first at Escanaba and won the event, and ranked second at LSSU and were event finalists. The team also earned the Engineering Inspiration Award at Escanaba and the Autonomous Award at LSSU.

Currently, Superior Roboworks is ranked sixth in the state out of 479 teams. Their performance qualified them for the FIRST in Michigan State Championship at SVSU. They will be among 160 of the best teams in the state competing for the 82 spots that will advance to the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas, from April 19-22. 

“As a former drive team member of No. 857, I recognize the hard work that was put into their excellent performance and would like to congratulate all of 857’s members on overcoming the small and large challenges that come with competing at multiple FRC events,” said Erik Lund ’18 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering), now a test systems engineer at General Motors. “I’m excited to see where this season takes them and will be watching intently from the sidelines.”

The SWE Section is thrilled that so many students from our area will be competing in both the Dean’s List and FIRST in Michigan State Championship. It is great to see our Tech alumni excited about FRC and continuing to support teams in our area. We look forward to seeing the competition results.

By Amanda West, President-Elect, Society of Women Engineers.

Follow the Webcast on Twitch.

Play Final Tiebreaker – 2023 FIM District Escanaba Event presented by Highline Fast video
Preview image for Final Tiebreaker - 2023 FIM District Escanaba Event presented by Highline Fast video

Final Tiebreaker – 2023 FIM District Escanaba Event presented by Highline Fast

Final Tiebreaker

View more matches by Team 857 – Superior Roboworks (2023).

Solar Energy in Cold Climates: Ana Dyreson

This single-axis solar photovoltaic system is located at a Michigan Tech’s APS Labs site near Calumet, Michigan.
Ana Dyreson

Ana Dyreson is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech. Her work centers on solar and alternative energy—and the impacts of climate change on those systems in the U.S. Great Lakes region through her Great Lakes Energy Group.

“In the last few decades, solar photovoltaics (PV) have become extremely cost-competitive,” she says. “This economic reality, combined with a push for decarbonization of the electric power sector in general, means that large-scale solar PV is growing—not only in traditional southern climates but also in the north where significant snow can reduce power output.”

Dyreson’s students at Michigan Tech, Ayush Chutani and Shelbie Davis are both involved in doctoral research on how to better understand just how solar PV systems shed snow, in particular, single-axis tracking systems, including modeling tto explore how widespread snow events might impact future power system operations.

“We are energy engineers who work in the context of a changing environment.”

Dr. Ana Dyreson’s Great Lakes Energy Group
Ayush Chutani

Dyreson and her team use energy analysis and grid-scale modeling to study the performance of renewable technologies.

“Our research links power plant-level thermodynamic models, climate models, hydrology models, and electricity grid operation models—all to understand how weather and climate change impact future power systems,” she explains.

In August 2022 Dyreson began conducting research at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Regional Test Center (RTC), a newly built Michigan Tech facility operated by the Advanced Power Systems Laboratory (APS LABS) at Michigan Tech. Her research on single-axis tracking systems is supported by Array Technologies, Inc., who supplied a ten-row, single-axis tracking solar system and continues to partner on research.

Under the technical oversight of Sandia National Labs, the RTC program represents a consortium of five outdoor solar research sites across the U.S. that evaluate the performance and reliability of emerging PV technologies. 

To learn more about earning a degree or graduate certificate online, Michigan Tech Global Campus is a good place to start. 
Shelbie Davis

The RTC program gives U.S. solar companies access to these sites and to the technical expertise of Sandia and its academic partners, to drive both product innovation and commercialization of new high-efficiency solar products.

Dyreson earned her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her MS in Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University. She conducted post-doctoral research in electricity grid modeling at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). She earned her BS in Engineering Mechanics from University of Wisconsin–Madison. She’s a registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin.

Shelbie took this photo at Michigan Tech’s new solar energy DOE Regional Test Center.

“I am lucky to work with talented PhD students including Ayush and Shelbie,” says Dyreson. “They each have unique professional backgrounds and personal interests in the work that they do, and it’s fun to see their work unfold.”

“Although we had never met, I sought Ana out as my faculty advisor before I even started at Michigan Tech,” says Davis. “I was fascinated by her work with alternative energy systems, specifically solar power. And Ayush has been a great PhD colleague and resource, as he is further in his PhD process and is also focusing on solar energy generation.”

Davis is earning her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech remotely, while working as a laboratory manager and instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington, near Olympia, the state capitol. At Michigan Tech, students can earn a PhD remotely in either Mechanical Engineering or Civil Engineering

Chutani took part in the 26th United Nations climate change summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland with the Michigan Tech delegation led by Chemistry Professor Sarah Green. Chutani traveled to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in 2022 to attend COP27, again with the delegation from Michigan Tech.

Ayush Chutani takes part in a discussion panel at COP27 (Ayush is third from the right).

“Energy is something you cannot taste, see, or touch, yet it powers our lives—what magic!” 

Ana Dyreson

Last December, Dyreson was awarded a grant just shy of $500,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for a project called “Electrification and Climate Resilience in the Rural North: Challenges and Opportunities.” She’ll be identifying social and technological challenges to resilient and equitable low-carbon electrification. That includes seeking answers on how to best electrify the energy sector, while at the same time adapting electric power systems to climate change. One primary question she plans to address: Which are the most technically feasible and socially acceptable system pathways?

Dr. Dyreson is passionate about teaching and improving the diversity of Mechanical Engineering as a discipline.

Prof. Dyreson, how did you first get into engineering? What sparked your interest?

From a young age I have been interested in how society manages energy. Following one of my older sisters into engineering was an obvious way to explore this passion, and lead me to mechanical engineering and work on renewable energy and electric power systems.

Hometown, family?

I am from Portage, Wisconsin. I grew up on a south central Wisconsin farm with my parents and three sisters.

Any hobbies? Pets? What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family, especially biking and camping together. I love to run in all weather conditions, by myself or in a group, on road or trail, for fun or for competition—I love to run!

Research note:

Dyreson’s research on single-axis tracking systems is part of a project led by Sandia National Laboratories and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies office Award Number 38527.

Read more:

MTU, Sandia to Cut Ribbon on New DOE Regional Test Center for Emerging Solar Technologies

Watch:

During Husky Bites, Dr Dyreson explains the impacts of snow on high solar-share power systems of the future, from the solar module to the power grid.

Check out the full session of Dr. Ana Dyreson’s Husky Bites webinar.

Michigan Space Grant Consortium Awards for 2023-24

NASA Lunabotics
By ProjectManager2015 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=121940844

A diverse, multitalented group of Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff members has been awarded fellowships and grants totaling an impressive $78,000 from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) for its 2023-24 cycle.

The MSGC, which consists of 52 consortia, is sponsored by NASA. The MSGC promotes awareness, research and education in “space-related science and technology in Michigan.” To achieve this goal, the organization not only funds fellowships and scholarships for students pursuing STEM careers but also financially supports curriculum enhancement and faculty development. 

Michigan Tech undergraduate students who received $4,000 for Faculty Led Fellowships are:

  • Elijah Sierra (mechanical engineering): “Investigation of static electricity effects on conveyance of MTU-LHT-1A through polycarbonate hoppers”
  • Abraham Stone (biological sciences): “Advancing Mycobiocontrol Techniques for Buckthorn Management”

Michigan Tech graduate students who received $5,000 Graduate Fellowships are:

  • Ian Norwood (Physics): “Constraining Frictional Charging on Coarse-Mode Atmospheric Dust Particles”
  • Jacob Novitch (CEGE): “Modeling of Lagoon Wastewater Treatment Systems in Small Communities”
  • Caitlyn Sutherlin (SS) “Understanding Community Connections with Nature in California, El Salvador”
  • Eli Paulen (CFRES): “Elucidating factors controlling stream temperatures in a seasonally snow-covered forested catchment in the Great Lakes Region”
  • Ben Jewell (ME-EM): “Experimental Characterization of Polymers and Polymer Composites Under High Temperature Oxidative Aging”
  • Enid Partika (CEGE): “Uncovering Causes Spatial Variability in Lake Superior Lake Trout PCB Concentrations”
  • Emilie Pray (GMES): “The role of crustal recycling in the evolution of the Bell Creek igneous complex, Marquette County, Michigan”
  • Kyle Wehmanen (KIP): “Human Powered Locomotion on Variable Terrain: Implications for how to Move on Mars”

Michigan Tech faculty and staff members who received $5,000 or more for Hands-On NASA-Oriented Experiences for Student Groups (HONES) and Research Seed Programs:

  • Paul van Susante (ME-EM): HONES — “NASA Lunabotics Competition”
  • Xin Xi (GMES): “The compound extreme climate and dust storms over the Northern Hemisphere midlatitude drylands”
  • Yinan Yuan (CFRES): “Genetic Engineering Novel Regulatory Antisense RNAs for Plant Adaption to Space Environment”

The Graduate School is proud of these students for their outstanding scholarship. These awards highlight the quality of students at Michigan Tech, their innovative work, their leadership potential and the incredible role faculty plays in students’ academic success.

Engineering Students Sweep the Oral Presentations at the 2023 Health Research Institute Forum

Gloved hand filling a tube from a pipette in a lab.

HRI Student Forum Winners Announced

by Health Research Institute

The Health Research Institute (HRI) held their 2023 Student Forum on February 24. The forum featured a poster session and an oral presentation session, which drew participation from 20 students in 10 departments. Judges selected the following winners from each category:

Poster Session

First Place: Gregory Miodonski, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
Second Place (tie): Bianca Velez, Biological Sciences
Second Place (tie): Chen Zhao, Applied Computing
Third Place (tie): Emily Washeleski, Biological Sciences
Third Place (tie): Sherry Chen, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Oral Presentations

First Place: Seth Kriz, Chemical Engineering
Second Place (tie): Brennan Vogl, Biomedical Engineering
Second Place (tie): Natalie Nold, Chemical Engineering
Third Place: Roya Bagheri, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Thank you to all of the participants and congratulations to the winners.

For more information on HRI’s student programs and resources, please visit the HRI Student Resources page.

SWE Attends WELocal Detroit Conference 2023

Conference room with stage and tables of attendees.

Five student members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) section at Michigan Tech and SWE advisor Gretchen Hein (MMET) attended the WELocal Detroit conference, held Saturday and Sunday (February 18–19).

The attending students were SWE President Aerith Cruz (junior, management information systems), seniors Lukas Pyryt (mechanical engineering) and Kathleen Pakenas (biomedical engineering), and second-year students Kathryn Krieger (environmental engineering) and Ella Merklein (biomedical engineering).

At the conference, Krieger and Merklein gave a presentation titled “SWE Section and Engineering Ambassadors Host K-5 Engineering Days.” Hein participated in a panel discussion titled “Journeys in Academia, The Perks and Challenges” with faculty from Kettering University.

“Attending the WELocal conference and presenting on our outreach programs was an empowering experience,” said Krieger. “It was a great opportunity to showcase the incredible work being done by our section and a reminder that by working together, we can make a meaningful impact on the next generation of engineers.”

“Being my first conference, I very much enjoyed attending the WELocal conference,” said Pyryt. “This was a chance for me to truly become an ally for SWE and learn more ways to support this organization. I am very thankful for all connections I gained at this conference, as well as new information gained in sessions helping push more to become a better engineer in the process.”

The section celebrated with the SWE-Wisconsin Professional Section the achievements of Andrea Falasco ’12 (BS mechanical engineering) who was selected as an Emerging Leader in Technology and Engineering (ELiTE). “It was great seeing my SWE friends again and meeting new ones at the conference,” said Falasco. “I am honored to be chosen for one of the New ELiTE awards and am grateful for those who nominated me. I learned a lot at the conference and hope to bring this insight back to work and home.”

The SWE section at MTU thanks our alumnae, corporate sponsors, and the College of Engineering for their support of our section and travel to conferences.

By Gretchen Hein, Advisor, Society of Women Engineers.

Ana Dyreson: Solar Energy in Cold Climates

This single-axis solar photovoltaic system is located at a Michigan Tech’s APS Labs site near Calumet, Michigan.

Ana Dyreson recently shared her knowledge on Husky Bites, a free, interactive Zoom webinar hosted by Dean Janet Callahan. Get the full scoop and register for future sessions of Husky Bites at mtu.edu/huskybites.

Ana Dyreson

Ana Dyreson is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech. Her work centers on solar and alternative energy—and the impacts of climate change on those systems in the U.S. Great Lakes region through her Great Lakes Energy Group.

“In the last few decades, solar photovoltaics (PV) have become extremely cost-competitive,” she says. “This economic reality, combined with a push for decarbonization of the electric power sector in general, means that large-scale solar PV is growing—not only in traditional southern climates but also in the north where significant snow can reduce power output.”

Joining in on the conversaton were two of Dr. Dyreson’s PhD students at Michigan Tech, Ayush Chutani and Shelbie Davis. Each presented their research on how to better understand just how solar PV systems shed snow, in particular, single-axis tracking systems. They also delved into some of the modeling they’ve done to explore how widespread snow events might impact future power system operations.

“We are energy engineers who work in the context of a changing environment.”

Dr. Ana Dyreson’s Great Lakes Energy Group
Ayush Chutani

Dyreson and her team use energy analysis and grid-scale modeling to study the performance of renewable technologies.

“Our research links power plant-level thermodynamic models, climate models, hydrology models, and electricity grid operation models—all to understand how weather and climate change impact future power systems,” she explains.

Starting last August, Dyreson began conducting research at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Regional Test Center (RTC), a newly built Michigan Tech facility operated by the Advanced Power Systems Laboratory (APS LABS) at Michigan Tech. Dyreson’s research on single-axis tracking systems is possible thanks to the support of Array Technologies, Inc., who supplied a ten-row, single-axis tracking solar system and continues to partner on research.

To learn more about earning a degree or graduate certificate online, Michigan Tech Global Campus is a good place to start. 

Under the technical oversight of Sandia National Laboratories, the RTC program represents a consortium of five outdoor solar research sites across the U.S. that evaluate the performance and reliability of emerging PV technologies. 

Shelbie Davis

The RTC program gives U.S. solar companies access to these sites and to the technical expertise of Sandia and its academic partners, to drive both product innovation and commercialization of new high-efficiency solar products.

Last December 2022, Dyreson was awarded a grant just shy of $500,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for a project called “Electrification and Climate Resilience in the Rural North: Challenges and Opportunities.” She’ll be identifying social and technological challenges to resilient and equitable low-carbon electrification. And she’ll be seeking answers to questions on how to best electrify the energy sector while adapting electric power systems to climate change, including this one: Which are the most technically feasible and socially acceptable system pathways?

Dr. Dyreson earned her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her MS in Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University. She conducted post-doctoral research in electricity grid modeling at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Dr. Dyreson holds a BS in Engineering Mechanics from University of Wisconsin–Madison, and she’s a registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin.

Shelbie took this photo at Michigan Tech’s new solar energy DOE Regional Test Center.

“I am lucky to work with talented PhD students including Ayush and Shelbie,” says Dyreson. “They each have unique professional backgrounds and personal interests in the work that they do, and it’s fun to see their work unfold.”

“Although we had never met, I sought Ana out as my faculty advisor before I even started at Michigan Tech,” says Shelbie. “I was fascinated by her work with alternative energy systems, specifically solar power. And Ayush has been a great PhD colleague and resource, as he is further in his PhD process and is also focusing on solar energy generation.”

Shelbie is earning her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech remotely, while working as a laboratory manager and instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington, near Olympia, the state capitol. Within the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech, students can earn a PhD remotely in either Mechanical Engineering or Civil Engineering

“I have not yet met Shelbie in person yet but we meet over Zoom calls on a regular basis to share our research progress and goals,” notes Ayush. “ I hope to meet her sometime soon!” 

In November 2021, Ayush was one of a Michigan Tech delegation at the 26th United Nations climate change summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland. In fact, Ayush was previously a guest on Husky Bites to share his experiences at COP26, along with Sarah Green, professor of chemistry at Michigan Tech. 

Then, last November Chutani traveled to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt to attend COP27 again with Dr. Green and the Michigan Tech delegation.

Ayush Chutani takes part in a discussion panel at COP27 (Ayush is third from the right).

“Energy is something you cannot taste, see, or touch, yet it powers our lives—what magic!” 

Ana Dyreson
Dr. Dyreson is passionate about teaching and improving the diversity of Mechanical Engineering as a discipline.

Prof. Dyreson, how did you first get into engineering? What sparked your interest?

From a young age I have been interested in how society manages energy. Following one of my older sisters into engineering was an obvious way to explore this passion, and lead me to mechanical engineering and work on renewable energy and electric power systems.

Hometown, family?

I am from Portage, Wisconsin. I grew up on a south central Wisconsin farm with my parents and three sisters.

Any hobbies? Pets? What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family, especially biking and camping together. I love to run in all weather conditions, by myself or in a group, on road or trail, for fun or for competition—I love to run!

Ayush, how did you first get into engineering? What sparked your interest?

Ayush and co-delegate at COP27

I first got into engineering after looking at my dad’s use of Auto CAD software to make plans for houses since he is a civil engineer and then also the shows on Nat Geo and Discovery channel played a big role in shaping me towards engineering. Also in India, if you are good at science then pretty much you dream to go into IITs which are the best engineering colleges in India so in a way, the path to engineering paved its own way.

Hometown, family?

I am from Faridabad city, which lies south of New Delhi, India, and is a part of NCR (National Capital Region). I have my mom and dad in my family, but no siblings.  

Any pets? What do you like to do in your spare time?

I do not have a pet—yet—but I am thinking of either adopting a cat that looks like a lion (Lion King, and name would be of course Simba) or a corgi, because the queen of England loved them. 

I am a decent cook so food dictates some of my spare time. I also draw and sketch, so as long as I am inspired I will create some art piece. During the rest of the time, I consume a lot of virtual media, like movies, TV shows, Anime, magazines, Reddit discussion forums and yes Youtube. 

Shelbie’s first visit to the shore of Lake Superior

Shelbie, how did you first get into engineering? What sparked your interest?

As a child, I loved puzzles. When the puzzles became too easy, I would flip them over and put them together without the pictures. As I grew up, I enjoyed knowing how things worked, which eventually led me to pursue mechanical engineering. After taking many sustainable engineering classes in college, I was hooked on understanding the complexities of energy generation and electric power systems.

Hometown, family?

I was born in Seattle, Washington. We moved when I was four to Manson, a small town in eastern Washington. At age ten, we moved back to Olympia, Washington where I spent my middle school and high school years with my mom, dad, and my dog. I am an only child.

What do you like to do for fun?

When I am not working at Saint Martin’s University or working on my PhD, I enjoy traveling with my husband and dog, Sunny. We love exploring new places by either doing day trips or weekend trips. I love to see new things and meet interesting people.

Research note:

Dyreson’s research on single-axis tracking systems is part of a project led by Sandia National Laboratories and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies office Award Number 38527.

Read more:

MTU, Sandia to Cut Ribbon on New DOE Regional Test Center for Emerging Solar Technologies

Watch:

During Husky Bites, Dr Dyreson explains the impacts of snow on high solar-share power systems of the future, from the solar module to the power grid.

Check out the full session of Dr. Ana Dyreson’s Husky Bites webinar.

SAE Winter Baja Invitational: Driving Innovation from the Ground Up

Michigan Tech is the home of the Winter Baja Invitational, which recently brought 22 universities and 45 student-built off-road vehicles to campus on January 28, 2023.

Winter Baja is one of the most exciting invitational events in the SAE Collegiate Design Series. It also serves as a frozen dress rehearsal for the official SAE International Baja competitions, which take place each spring and summer in different locations across the country. Student engineers design and build their vehicles from scratch around an SAE-designated engine.

Blizzard Baja, a student-led team, part of Michigan Tech’s award-winning Enterprise program, organizes this event annually—on top of designing and building a new vehicle for entrance into one or more of the national SAE Baja events. 

This year, Winter Baja was held on Saturday, January 28, 2023, near the Student Development Complex at Michigan Technological University. It attracted 45 off-road vehicles from 22 universities, which raced around a one-mile snow/ice circuit course.

The day started with the pickled egg slalom race. This event requires drivers to reach the end of the course, hop out of their vehicle and eat a pickled egg. Then a new driver must jump in the vehicle and drive it back to the starting line. Next was the hill climb race, where vehicles drive as high as possible up the snow bank. 

Michigan Tech Blizzard Baja Enterprise team hosts the SAE Winter Baja Competition every year, and takes part in the competition, as well.

Finally, the main event—the endurance race—started at 10:30 AM as cars gridded up at the starting line. TV6 News reporter Tristan Hendrick covered the event: Michigan Tech hosted annual Baja race to give students work experience.

University of Iowa’s Iowa Baja came in first, with 55 laps around the course. Results of the endurance race are available here: https://winterbaja.enterprise.mtu.edu/downloads/WinterBaja2023FinalLapResults.pdf

Congratulations to The Iowa Baja, University of Iowa, which took first place in the endurance race, completing 55 laps around the course in 3:39:02.
Virginia Tech’s Baja Valkyrie took second, completing 51 laps in 3:39:27.

The Michigan Tech Blizzard Baja Enterprise team is advised by Kevin Johnson, assistant teach professor in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Steven Ma, professor of practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

Michigan Tech computer engineering student Rithik Sawant served as this year’s Winter Baja Coordinator. “The 42nd annual Winter Baja Race this year was one of the largest we have ever held,” he said.

“Winter Baja is the ultimate test for your vehicle—we don’t skimp on the difficulty of the track and size of the jumps.”

Rithik Sawant

Michigan Tech’s Baja team has a long history of success in SAE competitions since the 1970s. Students use modern engineering and manufacturing processes to enhance vehicle performance by focusing on reduction of vehicle mass, maximization of drivetrain efficiency, improvement of driver visibility and comfort, and optimization of off-road vehicle handling and maneuverability.

The 2023 SAE Winter Baja Competition events took place around the clock on January 28 at Michigan Tech.

The Winter Baja Invitational pays tribute to the roots of the Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series and began at Michigan Tech in 1981. Michigan Tech professors emeritus Bill Shapton and Larry Evers created the event to provide students with hands-on engineering experience. One of the first baja races led students through beaver dams and sand pits, from the abandoned Keweenaw town of Mandan up to Copper Harbor. It evolved into a global engineering series with annual official SAE collegiate Baja racing events taking place in North America, South Africa, Brazil, and South Korea.

The starting lineup for the endurance race.
MTU Blizzard Baja’s test vehicle, Hornet, competed with a new front suspension system for research and development.

SAE Winter Baja 2023 Event Sponsors

Special thanks to all SAE Winter Baja event sponsors: McLaren Engineering, Milwaukee Tool, TeamTech, Daimler Truck, Kohler, Caterpillar, Pratt Miller, Ford, Professional Fabricating, Extreme Canopy, and locally, Diamond House International, LevelUp, Keweenaw Petroleum Service, Houghton Powersports, Houghton Fire Department, and Superior Search and Rescue.

Winter Baja photography by: Andrew Erickson, Mackenzie Johnson, and Peter LaMantia.