Tag: MEEM

Stories about Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

Tau Beta Pi Honor Society at Michigan Tech Initiates 13 New Members

Congratulations to our Fall 2022 Tau Beta Pi Initiates! (Not pictured here: Yifan Zhang and Nathan Machiorlatti.)

The College of Engineering inducted 11 students and two eminent engineers into the Michigan Tech chapter of Tau Beta Pi at the end of the Fall 2022 semester.

Tau Beta Pi is a nationally recognized engineering honor society and is the only one that recognizes all engineering professions. Students who join are the top 1/8th of their junior class, top 1/5th of their senior class, or the top 1/5th of graduate students who have completed 50% of their coursework. The society celebrates those who have distinguished scholarship and exemplary character, and members strive to maintain integrity and excellence in engineering.

Fall 2022 Initiates

Undergraduate Students:

Brodey Bevins, Civil Engineering
David Bradbury, Biomedical Engineering
Erin Ganschow, Environmental Engineering
Heather Goetz, Mechanical Engineering
Madison Ide, Biomedical Engineering
Samuel Kuipers, Civil Engineering
Michael Loucks, Mechanical Engineering

Graduate Students:

Anna Li Holey, MS Environmental Engineering
Nathan Machiorlatti, MS Civil Engineering
North Yates, PhD Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Yifan Zhang, MS Environmental Engineering

Eminent Engineers

Dr. Jin Choi, Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Jason Blough, Interim Chair and Distinguished Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Jeff Thompson: Making Skis

Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis are custom designed and built in Michigan, using classic craftsmanship and the most modern technology. 

Jeff Thompson, mechanical engineering alum and partner/engineer/cofounder of Shaggy’s Skis, joins Dean Janet Callahan on Husky Bites, a free, interactive Zoom webinar Monday, 1/30 at 6 pm ET. Learn something new in just 30 minutes or so, with time after for Q&A! Get the full scoop and register at mtu.edu/huskybites.

Jeff Thompson and his family named Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis for their great-uncle Shaggy, and for the former mining region of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where Thompson attended Michigan Tech.

What are you doing for supper Monday night 1/30 at 6 ET? Grab a bite with Jeff Thompson, Michigan Tech alum and cofounder of Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis. Joining will be Dr. Iver Anderson, senior metallurgist at Ames Lab. He’s an inventor, and fellow Michigan Tech alum.

During Husky Bites, Thompson will share how he started making skis as a kid, continued while still a student at Michigan Tech, and where he is now—creating custom skis for a living.

headshot of Iver
Iver Anderson

Thompson and his brother Jonathon started building skis as a hobby in 2005. Three years later the Thompson family released the first line of Shaggy’s Skis to the public.

Today they still handcraft every pair of skis in their own small factory in Boyne City, Michigan. Each pair of Shaggy’s Skis are custom designed and built with a passion for skiing and craftsmanship combined. At least 80 processes go into making a ski, and Jeff will share much more about them during Husky Bites.

Thompson grew up in South Lyon, Michigan in a family of “makers”—his father was a carpenter. Growing up he and his brother were fortunate to have a workshop to build many things, “from toys to go-carts, and everything in between,” he says.

Testing new skis!

“We were also a ski racing family,” Thompson recalls. “One day after a race, my dad thought it would be cool to put skis on my bike and take it downhill. A few weeks later, he gave me some old skis to cut apart and use for my bike. When I cut them down, I immediately observed how each piece was put together. I thought, ‘Hey, I can make this!’ From that point on, I lured in my brother, Jonathon, and together we started building the tools we needed to start building skis.”

Thompson’s grandparents were from Kearsarge, so he spent a lot of time in the Keweenaw growing up. “I knew from fourth grade on that I would attend Michigan Tech for mechanical engineering,” he says. He now lives in Petoskey, Michigan with his wife, Stephanie Thompson. She earned her BS in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech in 2013.

We combine our passion for skiing and craftsmanship so you can make the most out of every day on the snow; whether you’re ripping down perfect corduroy, chasing morning powder, or slashing in the trees.”

Jeffrey Thompson ’12, Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis
Shaggy Skis are known for their fine craftsmanship

Joining Thompson during the Husky Bites session will be fellow MTU alumnus Iver Anderson ’75, a lifelong skier with a keen interest in the making of skis from a materials standpoint. Anderson grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in a city located just across the Portage Canal from Michigan Tech, Hancock.

Anderson appreciates all the craftsmanship that goes into Shaggy’s Skis. “My father was observant and very particular, for instance, about making furniture and cabinetry. He taught me how to look for quality, the mark of a craftsman, how to sense a thousandth of an inch. I carry that with me today.”

Anderson is a Michigan Tech alum and senior metallurgical engineer at Ames Lab, a US Department of Energy National Lab. A few years ago, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, for inventing a successful lead-free solder alloy, a revolutionary alternative to traditional tin/lead solder used for joining less fusible metals such as electric wires or other metal parts, and in circuit boards. As a result, nearly 20,000 tons of lead are no longer released into the environment worldwide.

Jeff Thompson (R) and his brother Jonathan Thompson (L)

Jeff, what do you like to in your spare time?

I obviously love to ski! Stephanie and I are currently teaching our two year old daughter to ski (on her own custom skis).

I also love to build things. I just finished building our house with my dad this past summer, from pouring the footings, to setting trusses, and finishing. We did it all.

Iver Anderson skiing up on Mammoth Mountain, California.

Dr. Anderson, when did you first get into engineering? What sparked your interest?

I grew up in Hancock, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula. Right out my back door was a 40 acre wood that all the kids played in. The world is a beautiful place, especially nature. That was the kind of impression I grew up with. 

Iver enjoys quality time with his grandson in Columbus, Ohio

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering in 1975 from Michigan Tech. It laid the foundation of my network of classmates and professors, which I have continued to expand.

I went on to earn my MS and PhD in Metallurgical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the joined the Metallurgy Branch of the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC.

One of my goals was to return to the Midwest, so later I took a position at Ames Lab in 1987. I’ve spent the balance of my research career there, and at Iowa State, ever since.

Engineering Ambassadors and SWE Host Engineering Day on MLK Day 2023

MLK Day of Service graphic.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Engineering Ambassadors (EA) hosted an Engineering Day at Barkell Elementary in Hancock, Michigan. Students from SWE, EA, Tau Beta Pi and Circle K “made it a day on, not a day off” through introducing kindergarten through fifth grade students to engineering.

Kindergarten and first grade students learned about buoyancy and stability through designing a constructing a foil boat to hold a load. Second and third grade students learned about potential and kinetic energy as they designed and constructed roller coasters for marbles. The fourth and fifth graders were introduced to series circuits as they constructed a BouncyBot.

We thank the Tech students for volunteering and the Barkell Elementary students for their enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

By Jaclyn Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Gretchen Hein, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony December 17

Spring 2019 commencement ceremony with cadets on stage.

The Air Force and Army ROTC invite you to the Fall 2022 Commissioning Ceremony on Saturday (Dec. 17) at 7:30 a.m. at the Rozsa Center.

This semester we have three Air Force cadets and five Army cadets commissioning.

Those commissioning are from the following programs:

Civil Engineering | Environmental Engineering | Mathematics | Mechanical Engineering

We will also be streaming the ceremony if you prefer to watch it live on YouTube.

SWE Section Establishes Endowed Scholarship

Congratulations to Michigan Tech’s SWE Section as they announce the creation of a new endowed scholarship!

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Section at Michigan Tech is excited to announce the creation of a new endowed scholarship.

“The scholarship is in honor of our alumnae and alumni who have been part of our section since 1976,” says SWE advisor, Associate Teaching Professor Gretchen Hein.

“Eight years ago, in 2014, we hosted the SWE Region H Conference,” Hein explains. “With the funds received from SWE, we began saving with the goal of establishing an endowed scholarship. At long last, we have met our goal and will begin awarding an annual $1,000 endowed scholarship in 2026 to an active SWE section member.”

The new scholarship is in addition to the current section scholarships being awarded annually, notes Hein.

Michigan Tech SWE logo with gear

“As the President of SWE at Michigan Tech, I am excited that our section can provide an additional scholarship opportunity for our members,” said Aerith Cruz, a third year Management Information Systems student. “Our mission is threefold: ‘to stimulate women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.’ The establishment of our endowed scholarship demonstrates our dedication to support the future of SWE at Michigan Tech.”

Details regarding the scholarship application process will be announced in 2026. The process will mirror SWE’s current scholarship application where students complete a short essay, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and provide a copy of their resume and a letter of recommendation.

Adds Hein: “Members of Michigan Tech’s SWE section greatly appreciate the guidance and assistance received from Jim Desrochers, director for corporate relations at Michigan Tech, and also Michigan Tech SWE advisor Elizabeth Hoy, director of business and program development at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. And we thank the University and our current and alumni members for their support!”

Would you like to support the SWE Endowed Scholarship?

Donations are welcome! Contribute via check or credit card. Visit mtu.edu/givenow for online donations or to find the mail-in form.

Key points:

  1. Gift Type is “Make a one time gift”
  2. Enter your gift amount
  3. Gift Designation: Select “Other” and enter “SWE Endowed Scholarship #5471″

SWE Congratulates Our Graduating Seniors and Scholarship Recipients

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Section at Michigan Tech congratulates our graduating seniors: Sophie Stewart and Audrey Levanen (mechanical engineering) and Kiira Hadden (biomedical engineering). We look forward to hearing from them as alumnae!

The section awarded two scholarships to active upper-division students. We are so proud of the accomplishments of Natalie Hodges (dual major: electrical and computer engineering) and Alli Hummel (civil engineering).

We will be awarding two scholarships in the spring to first- and second-year active members and will be posting the application information during the spring semester.

By Gretchen Hein, Advisor, Society of Women Engineers.

NASA, Artemis and Beyond: Inside Michigan Tech’s Multiplanetary INnovation Enterprise (MINE)

Dr. Paul van Susante’s Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab (PSTDL) at Michigan Tech is home of the Dusty Thermal Vacuum Chamber. It’s about as close to moon conditions as one can get on Earth!
Paul van Susante

Paul van Susante, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics talks about MINE, the Multiplanetary INnovation Enterprise team at Michigan Tech, along with electrical engineering majors Brenda Wilson and Gabe Allis; and mechanical engineering major Parker Bradshaw.

Wilson, Allis and Bradshaw—along with about 50 other student members of the MINE team—design, test, and implement robotic technologies for extracting (and using) local resources in extreme environments. That includes Lunar and Martian surfaces, and flooded subterranean environments here on Earth. Prof. van Susante helped launch the team, and serves as MINE’s faculty advisor.

The award-winning Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech involves students—of any major—working in teams on real projects, with real clients. Michigan Tech currently has 26 different Enterprise teams on campus, working to pioneer solutions, invent products, and provide services.

“As an engineer, I’m an optimist. We can invent things that allow us to do things that now seem impossible.”

Paul van Susante
Students in the Huskyworks Lab at Michigan Tech work on the T-REX rover (Tethered permanently-shadowed Region Explorer). The T-REX lays down lightweight, superconducting cable connected to a lander, and it won NASA’s top prize—the Artemis Award.

MINE team members build and test robotic vehicles and technologies for clients in government and the private sector. They tackle construction and materials characterization, too. It all happens in van Susante’s Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab (PSTDL) at Michigan Tech, a place where science fiction becomes reality via prototyping, building, testing—and increasing the technology readiness and level of tech being developed for NASA missions. The PSTDL is also known as Huskyworks.

Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, Prof. van Susante earned his PhD and taught at the Colorado School of Mines, and also served as a NASA Faculty Fellow. He has been involved in research projects collaborating with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, SpaceX, TransAstra, DARPA, NASA Kennedy Space Center, JPL, Bechtel, Caterpillar, and many others.

Prof. van Susante created the Huskyworks Dusty Thermal Vacuum Chamber himself, using his new faculty startup funding. It’s a vacuum-sealed room, partially filled with a simulated lunar dust that can be cooled to minus 196 degrees Celsius and heated to 150 degrees Celsius—essentially, a simulated moon environment. In the chamber, researchers can test surface exploration systems (i.e., rovers) in a box containing up to 3,000 pounds of regolith simulant. It’s about as close to moon conditions as one can get on Earth.

Students in the PSTDL move a testbox into position for testing in the Dusty Thermal Vacuum Chamber.

The NASA Artemis program aims to send astronauts back to the moon by 2025 and establish a permanent human presence. Building the necessary infrastructure to complete this task potentially requires an abundance of resources because of the high cost of launching supplies from Earth. 

“An unavoidable obstacle of space travel is what NASA calls the ‘Space Gear Ratio’, where in order to send one package into space, you need nearly 450 times that package’s mass in expensive rocket fuel to send it into space,” notes van Susante. “In order to establish a long-term presence on other planets and moons, we need to be able to effectively acquire the resources around us, known as in-situ-resource utilization, or ISRU.”

“NASA has several inter-university competitions that align with their goals for their up-and-coming Artemis Missions,” adds van Susante. 

Huskyworks and MINE have numerous Artemis irons in the fire, plus other research projects, too. We’ll learn a lot more about them during Husky Bites.

LUNABOTICS

A peek at the integrated system of MINE’s Lunabotics rover.
Six members of the Michigan Tech Astro-Huskies (plus Dr. van Susante) at NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center, during the 2021-22 Lunabotics competition

Electrical engineering undergraduate student Brenda Wilson serves as the hardware sub-team lead of the Astro-Huskies, a group of 25 students within MINE who work on an autonomous mining rover as part of NASA’s Lunabotics competition. It’s held every year in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center with 50 teams in attendance from universities across the nation. This is the Astro-Huskies’ third year participating in the competition, coming up in May 2023. 

This year the Astro-Huskies are designing, building, testing, and competing with an autonomous excavation rover. The rover must traverse around obstacles such as mounds, craters, rocks; excavate ice to be used for the production of rocket fuel, then return to the collection point. By demonstrating their rover, each team in the competition contributes ideas to NASA’s future missions to operate on and start producing consumables on the lunar surface. 

DIVER

Mechanical engineering undergraduate student Gabe Allis is manager of the MINE team’s DIVER project (Deep Investigation Vehicle for Energy Resources). The team is focused on building an untethered ROV capable of descending down into the Quincy mine to map the flooded tunnels and collect water samples. The team supports ongoing research at Michigan Tech that aims to convert flooded mine shafts into giant batteries, or Pumped Underground Storage for Hydropower (PUSH) facilities.

What it looks like beneath the Quincy Mine in Hancock, Michigan. Illustration courtesy of Michigan Tech’s Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.

“Before a mine can be converted into a PUSH facility it must be inspected, and most mines are far deeper than can be explored by a conventional diver,”Allis explains.

“This is where we come in, with a robust, deep-diving robot that’s designed for an environment more unforgiving than the expanse of outer space, and that includes enormous external pressure, no communication, and no recovery if something goes wrong,” he says.  

“Differences in water temperature at different depths cause currents that can pull our robot in changing directions,” adds Allis. “No GPS means that our robot may have to localize from its environment, which means more computing power, and more space, weight, energy consumption, and cooling requirements. These are the sort of problems that our team needs to tackle.”

TRENCHER

During Husky Bites, Bradshaw will tell us about the team’s Trencher project, which aims to provide proof-of-concept for extracting the lunar surface using a bucket ladder-style excavator. “Bucket ladders offer a continuous method of excavation that can transport a large amount of material with minimal electricity, an important consideration for operations on the moon,” Bradshaw says. “With bucket ladders NASA will be able to extract icy regolith to create rocket fuel on the moon and have a reliable method to shape the lunar surface.” Unlike soil, regolith is inorganic material that has weathered away from the bedrock or rock layer beneath.

Parker Bradshaw, also a mechanical engineering student, is both a member of MINE and member of van Susante’s lab, where he works as an undergraduate researcher. “Dr. van Susante is my boss, PI, and Enterprise advisor. I first worked with him on a MINE project last year, then got hired by his lab (the PSTDL) to do research over the summer.”

Bradshaw is preparing a research paper detailing data the team has gathered while excavating in the lab’s Dusty Thermal Vacuum Chamber, with a goal of sharing what was learned by publishing their results in an academic journal.

The PSTDL’s field-rover HOPLITE gets ready for field-test last winter.

“An unavoidable obstacle of space travel is what NASA calls the ‘Space Gear Ratio’, where in order to send one package into orbit around Earth, you need nearly 10 times that package’s mass in expensive rocket fuel to send it into space, and even more for further destinations,” van Susante explains. “So in order to establish a long-term presence on other planets and moons, we need to be able to effectively acquire the resources around us, known as in-situ-resource utilization, or ISRU.”

In the world-class Huskyworks lab (and in the field) van Susante and his team work on a wide variety of projects:

Paul van Susante served as a mining judge during the 2018 Regolith Mining Competition at the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center

NASA Lunar Surface Technology Research (LuSTR)—a “Percussive Hot Cone Penetrometer and Ground Penetrating Radar for Geotechnical and Volatiles Mapping.”

NASA Breakthrough Innovative and Game Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge 2020—a “Tethered permanently shaded Region EXplorer (T-REX)” delivers power and communication into a PSR, (also known as a Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer).

NASA Watts on the Moon Centennial Challenge—providing power to a water extraction plant PSR located 3 kilometers from the power plant. Michigan Tech is one of seven teams that advanced to Phase 2, Level 2 of the challenge.

NASA ESI Early Stage Innovation—obtaining water from rock gypsum on Mars.

NASA Break the Ice—the latest centennial challenge from NASA, to develop technologies aiding in the sustained presence on the Moon.

NASA NextSTEP BAA ISRU, track 3—”RedWater: Extraction of Water from Mars’ Ice Deposits” (subcontract from principal investigator Honeybee Robotics).

NASA GCD MRE—Providing a regolith feeder and transportation system for the MRE reactor

HOPLITE—a modular robotic system that enables the field testing of ISRU technologies.

Dr. van Susante met his wife, Kate, in Colorado.

Dr. van Susante, how did you first get into engineering? What sparked your interest?

Helping people and making the world a better place with technology and the dream of space exploration. My interest came from sci-fi books and movies and seeing what people can accomplish when they work together.

Hometown and Hobbies?

I grew up in The Netherlands and got my MS in Civil Engineering from TU-Delft before coming to the USA to continue grad school. I met my wife in Colorado and have one 8 year old son. The rest of my family is still in The Netherlands. Now I live in Houghton, Michigan, not too far from campus. I love downhill and x-country skiing, reading (mostly sci-fi/fantasy), computer and board games, and photography.

Dr. van Susante has been a huge help—not just with the technical work, but with the project management side of things. We’ve found it to be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome as a team this past year.

Brenda Wilson

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

My dad, who is a packaging engineer, would explain to me how different machines work and how different things are made. My interest in electrical engineering began with the realization that power is the backbone to today’s society. Nearly everything we use runs on electricity. I wanted to be able to understand the large complex system that we depend so heavily upon. Also, because I have a passion for the great outdoors, I want to take my degree in a direction where I can help push the power industry towards green energy and more efficient systems.

Hometown, family?

My hometown is Naperville, Illinois. I have one younger brother starting his first year at Illinois State in general business. My Dad is a retired packaging engineer with a degree from Michigan State, and my mom is an accountant with a masters degree from the University of Chicago.

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

I am an extremely active person and try to spend as much time as I can outside camping and on the trails. I also spend a good chunk of my time running along the portage waterfront, swing dancing, and just recently picked up mountain biking.

I got involved in the DIVER project in MINE, and have enjoyed working with Dr. van Susante. He’s a no nonsense kind of guy. He tells you what you need to improve on, and then helps you get there.

Gabe Allis
Gabe Allis

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

I first became interested in engineering when my great-uncle gave me a college text-book of his on engineering: Electric Circuits and Machines, by Eugene Lister. I must have been at most 13. To my own surprise, I began reading it and found it interesting. Ever since then I’ve been looking for ways to learn more.

Hometown, family?

I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan, the oldest of nine. First in my family to go to Tech, and probably not the last. 

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

I like to play guitar, read fiction, mountain bike, explore nature, and hang out/worship at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church.

“Doing both Enterprise work and research under Dr. van Susante has been a very valuable experience. I expect to continue working in his orbit through the rest of my undergrad degree.”

Parker Bradshaw
Parker Bradshaw

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

I was first introduced to engineering by my dad, who manufactured scientific equipment for the University of Michigan Psychology department. Hanging around in his machine shop at a young age made me really want to work with my hands. What I do as a member of MINE is actually very similar to what my dad did at the U of M. I create research equipment that we use to obtain the data we need for our research, just for me it’s space applications (instead of rodent brains).

Hometown, family?

I grew up in Ann Arbor Michigan, and both of my parents work for the University of Michigan Psychology department. My dad is now retired.

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

I have a variety of things to keep me busy when school isn’t too overbearing. I go to the Copper Country Community Art Center Clay Co-Op as often as I can to throw pottery on the wheel. I also enjoy watercolor painting animals in a scientific illustration style. Over the summer I was working on my V22 style RC plane project.

Michigan Tech MINE team photo (taken last year). The constraints of the pandemic complicated some of their efforts, yet brought out the best in all of them.

Read more

To the Moon—and Beyond

Watch

Mine Video for Michigan Tech 2022 Design Expo

GLRC Summer and Fall 2022 Student Awards

Please join the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) in congratulating the Summer and Fall 2022 GLRC Student Research and Travel Grant recipients.

The GLRC student grants are intended to provide undergraduate and graduate students advised by GLRC members an opportunity to gain experience in writing competitive grants, to perform research they would not be able to attempt due to funding limitations, or to travel to a professional conference to present a poster or paper about their research.

Student grants also provide research seed data for advisors to use in pursuing externally funded research support and travel grants help amplify areas of research expertise at Michigan Tech. Funded students are expected to participate/volunteer for at least one GLRC activity during the grant period.

Student Research Grant recipient:

Student Travel Grant recipients:

  • Timothy Stone, M.S. student — Social Sciences
    • GLRC member advisor: Donald Lafreniere
    • Attending: 2022 Social Sciences History Association Annual Conference
    • Presentation: “Exploring the Built and Social Determinants of Health in a 20th Century Industrial City”
  • Mai Anh Tran, Ph.D. student — College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science 
    • GLRC member advisor: Valoree Gagnon
    • Attending: History of Science Society 2022 Annual Meeting – Sustainability, Regeneration, and Resiliency
    • Presentation: “Tracing the Resilience Concept Through the History of Science and the Lens of Indigenous Knowledge”
  • Tessa Tormoen, B.S. student — Biological Sciences
    • GLRC member advisor: Jill Olin
    • Attending: The Wildlife Society National Conference 2022
    • Presentation: “Using DNA Metabarcoding to Evaluate Dietary Resource Partitioning Among Two Sympatric Tilefish”
  • Emily Shaw, Ph.D. student — Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
    • GLRC member advisor: Noel Urban
    • Attended: 2022 American Chemical Society Fall Meeting – Sustainability in a Changing World
    • Presentation: “Toxicity in Fish Tissue: Redefining Our Understandings by Quantifying Mixture and Combined Toxicity”
  • Enid Partika, Ph.D. student — Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
    • GLRC member advisors: Judith Perlinger, Noel Urban 
    • Attending: Dioxin 22 – 42nd International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants 
    • Presentation: “Filling the Data Gap on Responses of Fish PCB Content to Remedial Actions in Torch Lake, Michigan”
  • James Juip, Ph.D. student — Social Sciences
    • GLRC member advisor: Donald Lafreniere 
    • Attending: Social Science History Association Annual Meeting – Reverberations of Empire: Histories, Legacies & Lineages 
    • Presentation: “Utilizing HSDIs to Support Community Engaged Interdisciplinary Education and Heritage Interpretation”
  • John McCall, M.S. student — Biological Sciences
    • GLRC member advisor: Gordon Paterson
    • Attending: The Wildlife Society Annual Conference
    • Presentation: “Evaluating Genotoxicity of Mine Tailings on Two Game Fish in a Spawning Reef in Lake Superior (Michigan)”

The GLRC awarded travel grants to the following students attending COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, with Sarah Green (Chem):

  • Rose Daily, Ph.D. student — Civil, Environmental and Geospatial Engineering, speaking on the U.S. Center Panel on the topic of “Climate Education in the US”
  • Ayush Chutani, Ph.D. student — Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, participating in U.N. side event “Climate Leadership Across Generations”
  • Katherine Huerta-Sanchez, M.S. student — Social Sciences, presenting “Voices and Visions: The Art and Science of Climate Action. Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education (YEAH ) and PEACE BOAT US”
  • Anna Kavanaugh, B.S. student — Social Sciences, presenting “From the Roots Up: Community Solutions for Reducing Food Waste”
  • Zachary Hough Solomon, M.S. student — Social Sciences, presenting “The Knowledge and Policy Disconnect: Using Local Knowledge to Inform Climate Science”

GLRC Student Travel Grant applications are accepted anytime and will be reviewed on the last Friday of each month. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks in advance of travel. GLRC Student Research Grant applications are accepted three times each year — Nov. 1, March 1 and July 1.

By the Great Lakes Research Center.

Educating the Next Generation of Climate Leaders with participating institution logos.
Panel of four people and host at the podium.
Climate action panel with Rose Daily speaking.
Rose Daily, Graduate Student, Michigan Technological University, speaking on stage.
Panel audience asking questions.
Climate Change Education panel of four people on stage.

Related

Engineering Day at Lake Linden Elementary

Lake Linden - Hubbell Elementary School exterior with bicycles.

WLUC TV6 and the Daily Mining Gazette covered Engineering Day at Lake Linden Elementary School. The event was hosted by Michigan Tech’s Society of Women Engineers and Engineering Ambassadors Program on October 28, 2022.

Gretchen Hein (MMET) and undergraduate students Audrey Levanen and Julia Westfall (both mechanical engineering) were quoted by TV6. 

Hein and undergraduate students Natalie Hodge (electrical and computer engineering) and Sam Jager and Robert Eckright (both mechanical engineering) were quoted by the Gazette.

Jaclyn Johnson (ME-EM) was mentioned in both stories.

The combined group engaged students with a variety of engineering activities. This included using tin foil boats to showcase buoyancy, making small-scale roller coasters, and even using batteries to make “robots” jump.

Academy for Engineering Education Leadership Inducts Three New Members

Sheryl Sorby, William Predebon, and Debra Larsen were inducted into the Michigan Tech Academy of Engineering Education Leadership on October 28, 2022.
Dr. Debra Larson

On Friday, October 28, the Michigan Tech community gathered to learn from, celebrate, and induct three outstanding educators into the Academy for Engineering Education Leadership. Janet Callahan, dean of the College of Engineering, hosted the induction ceremony.

Inductees were Debra Larson, PhD, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, California State University-Chico; William Predebon, PhD, ME-EM Emeritus, Michigan Technological University; and Sheryl Sorby, PhD, Professor of Engineering Education, University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Bill Predebon

Creating pathways for all students to succeed is a primary focus for Debra Larson. She is a highly effective problem solver and resilient leader who respects shared governance and the diversity of experiences. She is passionate about innovating and delivering high-quality and hands-on education that prepares each generation of graduates for success and well-being. Dr. Larson earned her BS and MS in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech, and her PhD in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.

Encouraging faculty, staff and students to innovate, push boundaries, take risks, and be entrepreneurial was a daily activity for Bill Predebon while serving as ME-EM department chair for 25 years. Under his watch, the ME-EM department made tremendous strides in conducting interdisciplinary research, growing the doctoral program, expanding research funding and labs, and advancing the curriculum. Dr. Predebon earned his BS in Engineering Science at University of Notre Dame, and his MS and PhD in Engineering Mechanics from Iowa State University.

Dr. Sheryl Sorby

Serving as founding chair of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Tech, Sheryl Sorby developed and delivered a highly supportive first-year program—a legacy effort that remains to this day. Her groundbreaking research and outreach, focused on helping people across age groups and cultures to develop their 3-D spatial skills, has enabled educators to develop the capacity of students worldwide. Her curriculum is used by nearly 30 engineering programs in the United States. Dr. Sorby earned her BS in Civil Engineering, MS in Mechanical Engineering, and PhD in Engineering Mechanics, all at Michigan Tech.

The Academy for Engineering Education Leadership was established in 2018 by the College of Engineering. Two alumni, Sarah Rajala and Karl Smith, were inaugural inductees.

Engineering Students Place High in Computing[MTU] Showcase 2022

Trevor and Dominika stand next to their poster.
Trevor Petrin (left) and Dominika Bobik (right).

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) is pleased to announce the winners of the Computing[MTU] Showcase Poster Session of October 10. Congratulations and thanks to all the graduate and undergraduate students who presented their research posters!

Please visit the showcase’s Research Poster Session page to view the poster abstracts and photos from the event.

Undergraduate Winners

  • First Place: Dominika Bobik (ECE, Computer Engineering) — “An Educational Modeling Software Tool That Teaches Computational Thinking Skills”
  • Second Place: Niccolo Jeanetta-Wark (MEEM, Mechanical Engineering) — “Performance Measurement of Trajectory Tracking Controllers for Wheeled Mobile Robots”
  • Third Place: Kristoffer Larsen — “A machine learning-based method for cardiac resynchronization therapy decision support”

Graduate Winners

  • First Place: Shashank Pathrudkar (MEEM, Mechanical Engineering) — “Interpretable machine learning model for the deformation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes”
  • Second Place: Nicholas Hamilton — “Enhancing Visualization and Explainability of Computer Vision Models with Local Interpretable Model-Agnostic Explanations (LIME)”
  • Third Place (Tie): Zonghan Lyu (BME, Biomedical Engineering) — “Automated Image Segmentation for Computational Analysis of Patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms”
  • Third Place (Tie): Tauseef Mamun — “When to be Aware of your Self-Driving Vehicle: Use of Social Media Posts to Understand Problems and Misconceptions about Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Mode”

Read more on the ICC Blog, by Karen Johnson.