Tag: MSE

Stories about Materials Science and Engineering.

We Reject Racism.

Michigan Tech stands together as a community to reject any actions steeped in racism, hatred and fear. These actions are repugnant to the College of Engineering. They have no place in our classrooms, labs or offices, nor in our society.

The College of Engineering believes that diversity in an inclusive environment is essential for the development of creative solutions to address the world’s challenges. 

Our faculty, staff and students are fully committed to diversity and inclusiveness. There is much work to be done and we all have a part to play in order for meaningful change to occur.

  • Janet Callahan, Dean, College of Engineering
  • Leonard Bohmann, Associate Dean, College of Engineering
  • Larry Sutter, Assistant Dean, College of Engineering
  • Sean Kirkpatrick, Chair, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
  • Pradeep Agrawal, Chair, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
  • Audra Morse, Chair, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Glen Archer, Chair, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Jon Sticklen, Chair, Dept. of Engineering Fundamentals
  • John Gierke, Chair, Dept. of Geological and Mining Engineering and Science
  • Steve Kampe, Chair, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Bill Predebon, Chair, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
  • Walt Milligan, Interim Chair, Dept. of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology

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Everything has to be made out of something. The question is out of what—and how do we make it?

Ferrosilicon inoculant is added to a stream of liquid iron. Sparks fly as the inoculant reacts with the liquid iron.

These are the questions engineers at Michigan Tech have been asking since the university’s founding in 1885. It’s the task that graduates from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) have excelled at since its inception as one of the two founding departments at the Michigan School of Mines in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in 1885. Back then, the department was known as Metallurgy, and its focus was on ways to extract valuable metals, such as copper or iron, from their naturally occurring states within minerals and underground deposits.  

Today the discipline of Materials Science and Engineering finds ways to use the fundamental physical origins of material behavior—the science of materials—to optimize properties through structure modification and processing, to design and invent new and better materials, and to understand why some materials unexpectedly fail. In other words, the engineering of materials.  

The Michigan Tech campus is located on the Portage Canal near Lake Superior.

Contemporary materials engineers (aka MSEs) work with metals and alloys, ceramics and glasses, polymers and elastomers; electronic, magnetic, and optical materials; composites, and many other emerging materials. That includes materials such as 2-D graphene, nanomaterials and biomaterials, materials that have been 3D printed or additively manufactured, smart materials, and specialized sensors.

Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) connects and collaborates with many other disciplines. The products and processes developed by MSEs are used by others to make new or improved products.

Materials Science and Engineering is inherently interdisciplinary—students interact and collaborate with students and scientists in other engineering disciplines, and also science disciplines, including chemistry and physics. 

Despite its legacy and historical central importance to all engineering endeavors, the materials discipline is relatively small compared to other engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, civil, and chemical engineering. In fact, many universities do not have stand-alone materials departments.

“But this is one of the best aspects of being an MSE,” says Michigan Tech MSE Department Chair Steve Kampe, “Class sizes are small, and students build strong networks with classmates, the faculty and staff, and with likeminded colleagues from other universities from around the world,” he says. “It enables strong learning and collaborative environments with lots of personalized interaction and one-on-one mentoring.”

Not only is Kampe a member of the Michigan Tech faculty, he is also an alumnus, earning a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD in Metallurgical Engineering, all from Michigan Tech. He joined academia after working in the corporate research laboratory for a major aerospace company, where scientists and engineers developed new products and technologies for the company’s future.

Examining material structure using the scanning electron microscope.

At Michigan Tech, the MSE department manages the university’s suite of scanning electron and transmission electron microscopes, including a unique, high resolution scanning transmission FEI Titan Themis. The facility also maintains excellent X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Auger electron spectroscopy capabilities. In the university’s Institute of Material Processing (IMP), also led by MSE faculty, processing capabilities include melt processing, deformation processing, microelectronic fabrication, and particulate (powder)-based processing capabilities. All students use these world-class facilities—even as undergraduates.

Students at Michigan Tech can join one of 24 Enterprise teams on campus to work on real projects, for real clients. Students invent products, provide services, and pioneer solutions. Advanced Metalworks Enterprise (AME) is a popular enterprise among MSE students. Small groups within the AME team take ownership of metallurgical manufacturing projects, working closely with industry sponsors.

The Advanced MetalWorks Enterprise team, AME, at Michigan Technological University

“Being on an Enterprise team helps students build a résumé, develop teamwork skills, form professional relationships, and learn what to expect in the workforce,” says Kampe. “We’re grateful for our corporate sponsors’ help in offering students an opportunity to take textbook skills from the classroom and apply them in practical ways, to experiment, and get results.”

MSE students also get involved in Materials United (MU), a student professional organization that exposes them to all aspects of Materials Science and Engineering—learning about industry, sharing research, developing personal skills, participating in professional societies, and traveling to international conferences. 

As one example of student success, MSE students from Michigan Tech won first place in ASM International’s Undergraduate Design Competition the last two years in a row, based on entries from their capstone senior design projects. Last year, the winning entry was based on a project entitled “Cobalt reduction in Tribaloy T-400” sponsored by Winsert, Inc. of Marinette, Wisconsin.

Microstructure of Tribaloy T-400 containing a Co solid solution, a C14 Laves phase, and a Co solid solution-C14 Laves eutectic phase.

“Winsert currently uses an alloy similar to Tribaloy T-400, a cobalt-based alloy, in the production of internal combustion engine valve seats,” Kampe explains. “Cobalt is an expensive element with a rapidly fluctuating price, due to political instability in the supplier countries. The alloy contains approximately 60 wt. percent cobalt, contributing significantly to its price. There are also serious sustainability and environmental implications associated with the use of cobalt—both positive and negative,” he says. “Cobalt is one of the elements used as an anode material for lithium ion batteries that are now under heavy development for electric vehicles.” 

The student team investigated the replacement of cobalt with other transition elements such as iron, nickel, and aluminum using thermodynamic modeling. “All MSE senior design projects at Michigan Tech use advanced simulation and modeling tools, experimental calibration, and statistical-based analyses of the results,” notes Kampe. “The Winsert project utilized software called CALPHAD (Pandat) with a form of machine learning —Bayesian Optimization—to identify new and promising alloy substitutions. Such advanced techniques are rarely introduced at the undergraduate level in most other MSE programs.”

“Our department’s small size allows meaningful student involvement in hands-on laboratory activities, personal access to facilities, real participation in leading-edge projects, and close networking with peers, faculty and staff, alumni, and prospective employers,” adds Kampe. “The benefits of being a part of a strong professional network continues after graduation. Our strong learning community becomes our students’ first professional network after they graduate. It gives them a strong early foundation for a great career.”

A metal matrix composite created by infiltrating magnesium into a carbonized wood lattice. In this senior design project, the MSE team collaborated with Michigan Tech’s College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

Due to the importance of materials to the success of nearly all engineered products, MSEs enjoy employment opportunities in a wide range of industries and in a variety of functions. For example, MSEs are prominent within the automotive, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, and defense industries, performing duties such as new material design, material substitution and optimization, manufacturing science, and material forensics, such as material identification and failure analyses. 

MSE undergraduate students Kiaya Caspers, Jared Harper, Jonah Jarczewski, and Pierce Mayville.

“There are also rich opportunities in corporate and government research and development, since new products and functionalities often start with advancements in our understanding of materials, or in our ability to process them,” says Kampe. “MSE graduates from Michigan Tech enjoy nearly 100 percent placement at graduation due not only to the reputation of the department, but also due to the fact that just about all engineering-oriented companies rely on materials for their products.”

Michigan Tech Engineering Alumni: By the Numbers

“Tenacious problem solving and critical thinking skills distinguish our alumni,” says Janet Callahan, Dean of the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech.

“And yes, there must be something about the relentless snow in Houghton that contributes to tenacity,” adds Callahan. “Like tea steeping in hot water, our alumni were soaked in snow, emerging with the flavor of tenacity.”

QUICK FACTS:

  • Engineering Alumni Total: 47,359
  • Engineering Alumni in Michigan: 17,000+
  • Engineering Alumni Abroad: 1,200+ in 88 countries
  • U.S. employers hiring our engineering graduates in 2018: 500+
  • Average engineering graduate starting salary: over $61,000/year
  • High Alumni Salaries: second highest in the state
  • Engineering Alumni by Academic Department:
  • Biomedical Engineering: 838
  • Chemical Engineering: 4,491
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering: 9,132
  • Engineering: 71
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering: 10,112
  • Engineering Fundamentals: 194
  • Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences: 3,984
  • Materials Science and Engineering: 3,246
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: 15,291

Check out all the Michigan Tech Facts and Figures here.

Have some alumni facts to share? Reach out to us at engineering@mtu.edu.

Pioneers of Progress: Michigan Tech Celebrates EWeek 2020

This week, we’re celebrating National Engineers Week (Feb. 16-22). Everyone’s invited to special events on campus sponsored by Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society student chapter at Michigan Tech.

The week kicks off on Monday, Feb. 17. Ever wanted to see how molten Cast Iron is poured in the Foundry here on campus? Now’s your chance, today, in the M&M, during the lunch hour, hosted by the Department of Materials Science. If you can’t make it Monday – there are sessions this week on Tuesday and Friday, as well.)  

Safety glasses available (and required) at the door.

And there’s more. Feel free to stop by and check out Eweek events as your schedule allows:

Monday, February 17
● Pouring Cast Iron in the MSE Foundry ○ M&M 209 at 11:30AM – 1PM

Tuesday, February 18 
● Pouring Cast Iron in the MSE Foundry ○ M&M 209 at 2:30 – 4PM 

Wednesday, February 19
● E-Week Cake ○ Dillman 112B from 11AM – 2PM

Thursday, February 20
● Airport Planning & Design Activity ○ Dillman 204 at 5PM
● YES Drop That Thun Thun, with IGS Enterprise ○ Fisher Food Pantry from 5-6PM 

Friday February
● Pouring Cast Iron in the MSE Foundry ○ M&M 209 at 12:30 – 2PM

Yes, it’s buttercream!

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, Eweek is celebrated each February around the time of George Washington’s birthday, February 22, because Washington is considered by many to be the first U.S. engineer.

Eweek is a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. This year’s theme: Pioneers of Progress. Dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life, Eweek promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy, and motivates youth, to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.

Engineering Participates in the 2020 Bob Mark Business Pitch

Four minute timer display.

Husky Innovate’s 2020 Bob Mark Business Model Competition was held Wednesday (Jan. 29).  A total of 18 students making up 13 teams pitched business models to advance their innovation.

Community members and judges from across campus and the community selected the winners and provided the teams with feedback.

The Winners of the 2020 Bob Mark Business Model Competition were:

  • First Prize, $2,000—Kyra Pratley, POWERPENDANTS
  • Second Prize, $1,000—Jake Soter, SwimSmart Technologies
  • Third Prize, $500—J. Harrison Shields, Shields Technologies
  • Honorable Mention, $250—Samerender Hanumantharao & Stephanie Bule, Bio-Synt
  • Honorable Mention, $250—Allysa Meinburg, Haley Papineau, Sadat Yang, AAA Prosthetic Ankle
  • Audience Favorite, $250— Allysa Meinburg, Haley Papineau, Sadat Yang, AAA Prosthetic Ankle
  • MTEC SmartZone Breakout Innovation Award, ($1,000 Reimbursable expenses toward business development)—Ranit Karmakar

A special thanks to all those who lent their time and resources to make the evening a success including our contestants for their hard work and great presentations and our judges:

  • Dean Janet Callahan, College of Engineering
  • Brett Hamlin, Associate Department Chair, Engineering Fundamentals;
  • Nate Yenor, MTRSC Commercial Program Director
  • Patrick Visser, Chief Commercial Officer, MTEC-SmartZone;
  • Elham Asgari, Assistant Professor, College of Business
  • Josh Jay, Materials Science Engineering Student, University Innovation Fellow and Innovation House RA

A special thanks goes out to emcee Cameron Philo, Electrical Engineering and PHC New Venture Pathway Student, University Innovation Fellow and E-Club President; Lexi Steve, Mechanical Engineering and Pavlis Honors College Student, University Innovation Fellow and Husky Innovate Intern; and the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences for operations support and space and SLS & IT for production support.

This event is a tribute to the late Bob Mark, Professor of Practice within the College of Business who started the Elevator Pitch Competition at Michigan Tech. The competition recognizes his entrepreneurial spirit and its continuation at Michigan Tech.

The 2020 Bob Mark Business Model Competition was hosted by Husky Innovate, a collaboration between Pavlis Honors College, the College of Business and the Office of Innovation and Commercialization.

Husky Innovate is Michigan Tech’s resource hub for innovation & entrepreneurship and offers workshops, competitions, NSF I-Corps training, a Speaker Series, and cohosts the Silicon Valley Experience.

Making their pitch: MTU students take part in Bob Mark Pitch competition

HOUGHTON — In four minutes Wednesday, students had to summarize their product, the need for it, and how they would bring it to market. For two more minutes, they had to field whatever questions a panel of judges could throw at them.

The gauntlet is part of Michigan Technological University’s annual Bob Mark Pitch Competition, named for the late Tech professor who founded the event. It was put on by Husky Innovate, which offers a series of extracurricular workshops and competitions for students to develop ideas.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

Michigan Tech holds annual Bob Mark Business Model Competition

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – Michigan Tech held their annual Bob Mark Business Model Competition Wednesday night.

The competition gives Michigan Tech students a chance to pitch their ideas to a group of judges who decide on the best pitch and give feedback after each presentation.

Read more at TV6 FOX UP.

Engineering Staff Recognized for 2019 Making a Difference Awards

Michigan Tech campus from Portage Canale.A total of 48 nominations have been submitted for the 2019 Making a Difference Awards. Everyone is invited to a reception honoring the nominees. The reception is scheduled for 2:00pm to 3:30 pm, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2019 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The recipients for each category will be announced at the reception.

In the College of Engineering, the following staff have been nominated:

Above and Beyond

Carol Asiala – Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Behind the Scenes

Taana Blom – Chemical Engineering
Cindy Wadaga – Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Legacy Award

Owen Mills – Materials Science and Engineering
Alexis Snell – Chemical Engineering

Rookie Award

Rachel Griffin – Materials Science and Engineering
Rachel Store – Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Laura Wiinikka – Chemical Engineering

Serving Others

Pam Hannon – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Katie Torrey – Chemical Engineering

Unsung Hero

Brian Eggart – Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Paul Fraley – Materials Science and Engineering
Shelle Sandell – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mark Sloat – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Stefan Wisniewski – Chemical Engineering

Michigan Tech Students Bring Home the Material Advantage Excellence Award

L to R: Michigan Tech seniors Emily Tom, Katie Kiser, Oliver Schihl, Brendan Treanore, and Josh Jay.

Michigan Tech students received a Material Advantage Chapter of Excellence Award at the recent Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) 2019 conference in Portland, Oregon. The award recognized the accomplishments of the Materials United (MU), Michigan Tech’s joint chapter of the American Foundry Society and Materials Advantage.

As a student professional society, Materials United was established on the Michigan Tech campus to promote among its members self-sought, increasing knowledge of metallurgy, materials science, engineering, and related fields. Materials United is advised by Dr. Walt Milligan, interim chair of the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology, and professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

The MS&T Chapter of Excellence Award reflects participation in events, member involvement, professional development, and more. Oliver Schihl, president of the Michigan Tech chapter of Material Advantage, accepted the award. Schil is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering technology.

In the photo, students featured from left to right are Emily Tom, Katie Kiser, Oliver Schihl, Brendan Treanore, and Josh Jay. Tom, Kiser, Treanore and Jay are all Michigan Tech seniors majoring in materials science and engineering. Each are members of  the Materials United E-board, and Material Advantage.

Now in its 17th year, the annual MS&T conference and exhibition hosts over 3,200 attendees, more than 2,000 presentations, a robust plenary speaker lineup, society-based special events, and a collaboration among four leading materials science societies.

NSF Funds Collaborative Study on Energy System Transitions

Michigan Satellite ViewKathleen Halvorsen (SS) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $1,012,875 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is entitled, “GCR: Collaborative Research: Socio-Technological System Transitions: Michigan Community & Anishinaabe Renewable Energy Systems.” Rebecca Ong, (Chem Eng) Chelsea Schelly, (SS) Joshua Pearce, (MSE/ECE) and Richelle WInkler (SS) are Co-PI’s on this project. This is the first year of a potential five year project totaling $2,723,647.

By Sponsored Programs.

Extract

The objective of this Growing Convergence Research project is to lay the foundations for a convergent, transdisciplinary field of study focused on understanding transitions in socio-technological systems. This project aims to converge social science theories of values and motivation with engineering and economics understandings of technological feasibility to develop a comprehensive understanding of how and why energy systems, in particular, are reconfigured to include renewable energy resources.

This project brings together scholars from resource management, chemical and materials engineering, electrical engineering, sociology, energy policy, philosophy of science, and regional planning to simultaneously explore the social, cultural, and technological dimensions of energy system transitions.

The project will investigate energy system transitions in eight case communities (two Anishinaabe Tribal Nations and six non-tribal Michigan communities) that vary along characteristics key to understanding energy transitions – including rural vs. urban, renewable energy sources, degree of transition, governance, and type of utility provider.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.

Michigan Tech Students Earn First place in ASM International Undergraduate Design Competition

L to R: Advisor Dr. Walt Milligan; student Kyle Hrubecky; William Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of ASM International; student Erin VanDusen; and advisor Dr. Paul Sanders. Not pictured: students Lucas Itchue and Jacob Thompson.

A team of Michigan Technological University students won first place in ASM International’s 2019 Undergraduate Design Competition. Their capstone senior design project, “Cobalt reduction in Tribaloy T-400,” was sponsored by Winsert, Inc. of Marinette, Wisconsin.

Team members Lucas Itchue, Kyle Hrubecky, Jacob Thompson, and Erin VanDusen—all MSE majors at Michigan Tech—were recognized at a student awards banquet on Monday, September 30 during the Materials Science and Technology (MS&T) Conference in Portland, Oregon.

Winsert currently uses an alloy similar to Tribaloy T-400, a cobalt based alloy, in the production of internal combustion engine valve seats. Cobalt is an expensive element with a rapidly fluctuating price, due to political instability in the primary supplier country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tribaloy T-400 contains approximately 60 wt. percent cobalt, contributing significantly to its price. The student team investigated the replacement of cobalt with other transition elements such as iron, nickel, and aluminum using thermodynamic modeling.

The Michigan Tech undergraduate team’s micrograph of Tribaloy T-400. “Using compositions from literature, we cast this alloy at Michigan Tech. We then examined the microstructure to see if it matched that in literature. That way we knew our casting process was valid and acceptable,” said student Erin VanDusen. “All the casting and imaging was done at Michigan Tech.”

“Michigan Tech was allowed one entry in the competition,” says Michigan Tech MSE Department Chair Stephen Kampe. “The ‘LoCo’ team project was selected by MSE’s External Advisory Board following final student presentations last April. All of our senior design projects use advanced simulation and modeling tools, experimental calibration, and statistical-based analyses of the results,” he explains. “This project utilized CALPHAD (Pandat) with machine learning (Bayesian Optimization) to identify new and promising alloy substitutions. These are very advanced techniques that are rarely introduced at the undergraduate level in most other MSE programs.”

MSE Professor Walt Milligan, Interim Chair of the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Paul Sanders, Patrick Horvath Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, served as team co-advisors.

This isn’t the first time, we’ve won!
According to Kampe, an MSE student team from Michigan Tech team won first place in the ASM International Undergraduate Design Competition last year, too, for their aluminum brake rotor project. Phil Staublin, Josh Dorn, Mark Ilenich, and Aaron Cook developed a new, castable, lightweight high temperature aluminum alloy for project sponsor Ford. “Developmental aluminum rotors have passed every test at Ford Motor Company—all except the extreme ‘Auto Motor and Sport’ test, which subjects the rotors to temperatures above 500 degrees Celsius,” said advisor Paul Sanders. “The team introduced thermally-stable intermetallic phases with high volume fractions that enabled the alloy to provide modest strength for short times at extreme temperatures.” Dr. Tom Wood, Michigan Tech MSE research engineer, also advised the team.

“Michigan Tech’s entry has placed in the top three all but once over the past 8 years at the ASM International Undergraduate Design Competition,” adds Kampe.

“We’re very proud of the world-class senior design projects our students experience,”said Janet Callahan, Dean of the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech. “Where else do teams win first place two years in a row, for alloy design, in an era where it isn’t about randomly mixing elements, but rather, about predictive modeling based on known materials parameters? These projects⁠—they’re centered on fundamentally interesting questions, coupled with faculty and industry expertise. No wonder we’re still the go-to place for materials engineers!”

LIFT Team Launches Fast Forge Project

LIFT building signDETROIT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT), a national manufacturing innovation institute operated by the American Lightweight Materials Innovation Institute, has joined with Michigan Upper Peninsula-based startup Loukus Technologies to launch a “Fast Forge” project exploring the use of ductile magnesium-based alloys for extrusions used in automotive, defense and consumer applications.

The project team, which includes LIFT, Loukus Technologies, Eck Industries and Michigan Technological University, aims to extrude magnesium alloys with high room temperature ductility (>25%). In turn, this process will lead to a roadmap of magnesium alloy design and development, and a materials properties database of how they can be used in future applications.

Read more at LIFT Technology in LIFT Launches Project With Michigan Startup To Advance Automotive and Warfighter Safety.