Michigan Space Grant Funding

msgcby Pavlis Honors College

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium, of which Michigan Tech is a member, will host its annual conference at the University of Michigan on Oct. 31. MSGC supports student work in space-related science and technology—as well as STEM disciplines—in Michigan.

There is currently a call for lecture and poster presentations. Registration is free but required for planning purposes. The registration deadline date is Oct. 19 and travel assistance is available for students. To register and for more information, please visit Michigan Space Grant

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium announces funding opportunities in the following categories: Undergraduate Fellowship, Graduate Fellowship, Pre-College Education, Public Outreach, Teacher Training and Research Seed Grant. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for fellowship grants. The internal Michigan Tech deadline is noon on Nov. 11. Specific information regarding Michigan Tech’s requirements and submission procedures can be found here.

Note: Proposals must be submitted electronically to MSGC only after being reviewed by the Pavlis Honors College and Michigan Tech’s Sponsored Programs Office

For more information contact Paige Hackney, phackney@mtu.edu or 7-4371 in the Pavlis Honors College.

To read announcements, submission requirements and to submit a proposal following an internal review, visit the MSGC website.

I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators


The Pavlis Honors College and the Office of Innovation and Industry Engagement held a workshop for faculty, staff and students to consider participating in an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) workshop, offered through the NSF funded I-Corps Sites Program. This workshop offered a valuable opportunity to advance technology-focused business start-up ideas towards commercialization and follow up on funding through SBIR, STTR and private investment. The program is also open to community innovators.

The workshop was conducted in August over a four-week period. Participants also worked on customer discovery. The team-based program structure is similar to the national program that NSF has developed with the help of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs for early-stage technology start-ups. This was a great opportunity for teams to determine and document the commercial potential of their technology through customer discovery using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Start-up technique.

Graduates of this I-Corps Site Program workshop will be better positioned to successfully apply to the National I-Corps program, and graduates of the national program have gone on to achieve higher rates of SBIR/STTR awards than the general population. The program is transformative based on how they approach their research, teaching and other projects they engage in.

The teaching team included Jim Baker, John Diebel and Mary Raber, all of whom have been involved as leaders of technology startups, have participated in the NSF I-Corps training as mentors and who have been trained in the Lean Start-up methodology. Also a team of mentors experienced in the start-up process were available to help navigate the customer discovery process.

I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators
I-Corps Workshop Opportunity For Innovators

Supermileage Systems Enterprise takes 4th place at 2015 SAE Supermileage Competition

10346051_1657269987837336_7341870775525437069_nby Rick Berkey

The Michigan Tech Supermileage Systems Enterprise took fourth place at the SAE Supermileage Challenge. Rick Berkey, advisor of the Supermileage Systems Enterprise says, “I wanted to share our competition results as many of you have had a hand in the team’s success, whether it’s providing administrative support, help with fundraising, shop and lab support, technical guidance on projects, etc. I’m very proud of this team for what they accomplished and HOW they accomplished it…demonstrating excellent teamwork, integrity, and resourcefulness. Like many competitions, we were challenged on a few safety issues the judges had concerns about, working late into the evening to address them successfully. Of course we also had a lot of fun!”

Berkey says the vehicle was completely new that took two years to design, build, and test. Nothing from the 2013 vehicle was reused and thus it was a major design effort, with the team logging over 5,000 hours (yes 5,000) over two years!

29 teams competed in this year’s event, including teams from Canada and the US. Of those 29, 23 made it successfully through technical inspection, and 18 were able to make qualifying fuel economy runs
We were one of only 3 teams eligible for the Endurance Award, which requires a minimum of 4 qualifying fuel runs…BYU earned the award based on higher mpg We were one of only 2 teams with throttle by wire…made possible due in large part to our multidisciplinary team of EE, CpE, CS, and ME majors Our combined verbal/written design report score was 360 out of 450 possible…in the top 1/3, and we know what to do to improve further Tech placed 4th overall with a top mileage of 793 mpg, improving on our 2013 performance of 758 mpg. Check out the official results. We also had the opportunity to be part of a local alumni event on Thursday evening (thanks Kay!) and presented our vehicle to about 12 MTU alumni, including two Supermileage alumni from 2013.

For next year, we’ll be entering the Shell Ecomarathon Americas competition for the first time…a bigger event that will give Michigan Tech more exposure, and an opportunity to demonstrate our new battery electric vehicle (BEV) architecture which is not allowed in the SAE competition. But for now, I think we’re all ready for a nice break over the summer!

SSE Website

SSE Facebook & Photos

FIRST Robotics Scholarship Recipients Announced

by Mark Wilcox, Tech Today

11 of this spring’s high school graduates, five from Michigan and six from Wisconsin or Minnesota, are the inaugural recipients of FIRST Robotics Scholarships to Michigan Tech. These exceptional students have actively competed on a FIRST Robotics Competition or FIRST Tech Challenge during high school.

The FIRST Robotics website calls its competitions “The Varsity Sport for the Mind,” combining the competition and thrill of interscholastic athletics with the rigors and discipline of science and technology.

William Roberts, director of student financial services at Michigan Tech, says the first-ever scholarship program is a collaboration between the University and FIRST Robotics. He says with these scholarships, Michigan Tech has an additional tool to attract exceptional students.

Describing the first class of FIRST Robotics Scholarship winners, Roberts says, “These are world-class students who will make an immediate impact here at Michigan Tech.” Roberts says the 11 scholarship winners were chosen from more than 80 applicants. He says students who compete in FIRST Robotics are typically students who thrive at Michigan Tech.

“These students come with experience in hands-on experiential learning. They are precisely what we are looking for at Michigan Tech,” Roberts says.

Five Michigan students have been awarded $5,000 Michigan Tech FRIST Robotics Scholarships. These annual scholarships are renewable for four years of full-time undergraduate study, based on renewal criteria. Among the in-state recipients is Houghton High School’s Peter Lund who competed in the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis.

Four students from Wisconsin and two from Minnesota have been awarded scholarships valued at $14,000 per year.

Formula SAE Car Team finished 23rd out of 110

11243461_948304381867568_1670157093017189994_oThe Michigan Tech Formula SAE Car Team finished 23rd out of 110 teams at the 2015 Society of Automotive Engineers International Competition at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The Team took 25th in Acceleration, 26th in Endurance, 31st in Design and 31st in Business Presentation. They also won the 2015 MacLean-Fogg Fastening Challenge earning them a trophy and $1000. Way to go!!

Dow Corning Donates 1,000+ Tubes of Caulk to Tech Enterprise, HEET

From Tech Today May 12, 2015

Dozens if not hundreds of area homes can be made cozier, thanks to a gift from Dow Corning.

The Midland-based company has donated 1,200 tubes of clear silicone sealant to the Efficiency Through Engineering and Construction Enterprise (ETEC) at Michigan Tech. The gift will be used to weatherize area homes as part of the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) effort.

“We did it because we’ve always had strong ties to Michigan Tech, and because it’s an excellent program,” says Bob Schroeder, global procurement director for Dow Corning.

ETEC advisor Lynn Artman, a lecturer in Michigan Tech’s School of Technology and a HEET member, says the gift would be put to good use sealing leaks that let cold air into houses. “We focus on weatherizing homes for low-income residents,” she says. “That not only makes their homes more comfortable, it slashes their utility bills. I’m so grateful to Dow Corning for their support.”

HEET is a local volunteer group dedicated to helping Houghton County residents reduce their utility bills and to compete for the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize challenges communities to rethink their energy use and implement creative strategies to increase energy efficiency.

2015 Design Expo Awards and Summary

IMG_9577 (1280x853)Award Winners of the 2015 Design Expo at Michigan Tech have been announced and are listed below. A summary of links to photos, videos and news articles is also included.

The Design Expo highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning at Michigan Tech. More than 600 students in Enterprise and Senior Design teams showcase their work and compete for awards. A panel of judges, made up of corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty members, critique the projects.

Many of them are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience through competition at the Expo, as well as direct exposure to real industrial problems. The fourteenth annual Expo is a combined effort of the College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College. The 2015 Expo was held in the Ballroom of the Memorial Union Building.

Meritor: Running Strong. Building Momentum. Looking Forward. Enterprise Awards
Based on poster and presentation

Enterprise –

1st - 215- IBV
1st – 215- IBV

1st Place Award – 215- IBV
Team Leaders: Leslie LaLonde and Andrew Clark, Biomedical Engineering
Advisors: Robert Warrington, Pavlis Honors College
Sponsor: Pavlis Honors College

Project Overview: The Infant Heart Annunciator is a small, BandAid-shaped device that detects an infant’s electrocardiogram, producing a visible flash and audible tone. Often in developing countries, those present at birth do not have the training or equipment needed to determine if an unresponsive infant is alive. Our goal is to eliminate this unnecessary loss of life. Our team is also designing a simple, yet reliable, ventilator that can be stockpiled by hospitals. Typically, hospitals maintain sufficient numbers of ventilators; however, an increase of patients resulting from a pandemic could create a shortage of ventilators. The current high cost of most ICU ventilators prevents hospitals from stockpiling these machines.

2nd - 212 - CPM
2nd – 212 – CPM

2nd Place Award – 212 – CPM
Team Leader: Paul Hagadone, Chemical Engineering
Advisors: Tony Rogers and Sean Clancey, Chemical Engineering
Sponsors: AFI, BASF Corporation, City of Midland, nanoMAG, Razor Edge Systems, Wisconsin and Southern

Project Overview: CPM aims to exceed the expectations of company sponsors, improve the lives of consumers through innovation, and develop students into highly marketable professionals. The project goals for our
team include improving runoff models to provide advanced flood warning in Midland, designing a kiln
for cleaner charcoal production in Benin, using food waste as an alternative energy source at Michigan
Tech, developing a water filtration system to cool industrial process streams, curing coatings at lower
temperatures using catalysts, integrating hightech materials into athletic equipment, designing
collapsible packaging for a large volume of liquid product, and conceiving and testing an innovative
product idea from within CPM.

3rd - 224 - Velovations
3rd – 224 – Velovations

3rd Place Award – 224 – Velovations
Team Leaders: Ian Connick, Mechanical Engineering and Kyle McGurk, Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Steve Lehmann and Paulus Van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsors: Specialized, Thomson, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Project Overview: Our team is dedicated to working on bicycle and bicycling industry related projects. For the 2014-2015 academic year, Velovations has more than twenty-five students from various majors divided
into four projects. The projects are: a pedal that offers the ability to transition from clipped in to
a platform and back at the push of a button; a system to allow tire pressure change on the fly;
an inexpensive winter commuting tire; and an innovative exercise system for wheelchair users that will allow further physical research. Velovations projects cover the complete product development
range, from idea conception, research, and development, to customer communication, testing, and ultimately manufacturing.

Black and Veatch: Building a World of Difference® Senior Design Awards: Based on poster

Senior Design –

1st - 145 - Aluminum Corrosion Study
1st – 145 – Aluminum Corrosion Study

1st Place Award – 145 – Aluminum Corrosion Study
Team Members: Annie LeSage, Jacob Gerdt, Kyle Myszka, and Alexandra Glover, Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Steve Kampe, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor: Yazaki North America

Project Overview: The switch from copper to aluminum in automotive electrical systems is advantageous to U.S automakers and automotive component suppliers because it has the potential to decrease vehicle weight and raw materials costs. This switch also poses several challenges. This senior design project characterizes the galvanic corrosion rate of an aluminum substrate with a metallic plating when exposed to an electrolytic solution. This mimics the exposure of electrical components to a fluid containing salts or automotive chemicals. The results of this testing are critical to the success of the copper-to-aluminum substitution in automotive electrical systems. This is because they inform automotive component designers about the expected lifetime of such systems when exposed to a corrosive environment.

2nd - 130 - Front End Protection for Data Aquisition
2nd – 130 – Front End Protection for Data Aquisition

2nd Place Award – 130 – Front End Protection for Data Aquisition
Team Members: Sylvia Ferragut, Caleb Wright, and Ben Veltman, Electrical Engineering; Matthew Zawisza, Computer Engineering
Advisor: Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project Overview: Often devices under test can behave in erratic ways, resulting in catastrophic damage to expensive test equipment. By designing specifications based on National Instruments’ limitations and typical automotive testing requirements, the team created a buffer box to protect from over-voltage and add layers of isolation. The buffer box, used in conjunction with the $50k–$500k tools being regularly used by the automotive industry, is a simple tool, which can be used by a wide range of people with varying levels of expertise to keep expenses down.

3rd Place Award - 110 - Design and Development of an Automated Stacker
3rd – 110 – Design and Development of an Automated Stacker

3rd Place Award – 110 – Design and Development of an Automated Stacker for Highway Products of Nucor Steel Corporation
Team Members: Logan Edwards, Sean Hayes, Stephen Penny, Electrical Engineering Technology; and Shashank
Lakshmikanth, Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Seyyedmohsen Azizi, School of Technology
Sponsor: Nucor Steel Corporation

Project Overview: In this project, a robotic stacker is designed to enable precise stacking of highway sign posts produced by Nucor Steel Corporation, while complying with the required stacking pattern as
well as time constraints. Currently this process relies heavily on a manual work force, introducing
many safety hazards as well as inefficiencies and inconsistencies. This project offers a robotic
stacker solution using Fanuc robot manipulators, custom-built end-effectors, and a programmable
logic controller (PLC) integrated with human machine interface (HMI). This will result in smaller
and organized stacks as compared to the current disorganized bundles and removal of a worker from
the hazardous position in the process. Organized stacks will also allow for further downstream
automation processes.

HM1 - 104 - Dynamometer Calibration Device
Honorable Mention 1 – 104 – Dynamometer Calibration Device

Honorable Mention 1 – 104 – Dynamometer Calibration Device
Team Members: Kristopher Benaglio, Christopher DeGroot, Adam Deibler, Kenneth Smith, Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: John Deere

Project Overview: This design team is working with John Deere to develop a new dynamometer torque meter calibration device. A dynamometer, commonly referred to as a dyno, is a popular test instrument used to measure variables such as torque, speed, and power output. The current calibration method used by John Deere utilizes a static weight stack attached to a moment arm. This design must be replaced because it exceeds the dynamometer test cell envelope, is difficult to transport from test cell to test cell, requires considerable time and effort for two workers to assemble and disassemble, and requires the repetitive lifting of 40 to 45 pound weights.

HM2 - 128 - Compliance Keweenaw..

Honorable Mention 2 – 128 – Compliance Keweenaw..

Honorable Mention 2 – 128 – Compliance Keweenaw: Aspirus Keweenaw Hand-washing Compliance System
Team Members: Anna Waller, Jannah Brandt, Drew Markel, Creighton Bradley, and Rebecca Manshaem, Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Bruce Lee, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Aspirus Keweenaw

Project Overview: Hand hygiene is of importance to hospitals not only for the safety and health of employees but also to reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections and protect patients. Aspirus Keweenaw recruited our team to create an automated system to track hand-washing compliance among employees to assist them in their goal of 100 percent compliance. We created a system using a microcontroller and
RFID readers to detect when a healthcare worker enters a patient’s room and reaches compliance
using the sanitizing foam dispenser. This system will be placed near the doorway and communicate with
a wristband that identifies the healthcare worker and vibrates as a reminder if compliance is not

 HM3 - 138 - Chrysler 300 Split Tailgate

Honorable Mention 3 – 138 – Chrysler 300 Split Tailgate

Honorable Mention 3 – 138 – Chrysler 300 Split Tailgate
Team Members: Kelly Shanahan, Joshua Yagley, Alex Bancroft, Jerad Marble, and Parry Ragland, Mechanical
Advisor: Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Project Overview: Our goal is to design, engineer, build, and test a split decklid adapted from the current Chrysler 300 architecture. This decklid system will provide the customer both the access required of typical decklids without the upswing of the lower waterfall area and the added feature of a tailgate style lower swing out panel which will provide a surface for tailgate functions. This feature is rare in the industry and provides an opportunity for segment differentiation creating a unique selling point.

Summary: More information:

2015 Design Expo Photo Gallery

Video Playlist from Michigan Tech Expo Channel on YouTube

2015 Design Expo Image Contest Entries

The Design Expo 2015 Image Contest winners have been selected. Congratulations to MSE senior design team members Jordan Pontoni, Calvin Nitz, Shane Anderson and Austin DePottey for their first place image of a team member at work in the foundry. The image illustrates the team’s project, Casting 357 Aluminum, sponsored by Eck Industries. The team’s advisor is MSE engineer/scientist Thomas Wood.
Team 150, Title: “E357 Alloying to Increase Elongation and Maintain Mechanical Properties”, the foundry shot.

Robotics Systems Enterprise team won second place for its image of ECE student Kealy Smith working on an Afraid-of-the-Dark bot. The team is sponsored by ArcelorMittal.
then 216 (Robotics Systems Enterprise), and 205 (Blue Marble Enterprise).

2015 Design Expo Booklet
(4Mb PDF)

2015 Design Expo Weblog
(4Mb PDF)

Michigan Tech news article: Design Expo 2015 Success: Winners, Senior Design and Enterprise Projects

Pre-event news Michigan Tech article: Get Ready, Get Set: Design Expo 2015

2015 SAE Clean Snowmobile Summary Report

Michigan Tech Sled Handling1aThe Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech hosted the 2015 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge— from March 2-7, 2015 and have hosted it for the last 12 years. The mission of this challenge is to design a snowmobile that achieves reduced emissions and noise characteristics while keeping performance equal to or better than the performance of stock snowmobiles. Find out more at the 2015 SAE Clean Snowmobile Summary Report

2015 Michigan Tech
2015 Michigan Tech

Winter Baja 2015 Update Results

IMG_5650640The 2015 Winter Baja was held Saturday, Feb. 21, near the Student Development Complex at Michigan Technological University.

The University of Iowa car #48 came in first place, followed by Northern Michigan University car #40 at 2nd Place and Ferris State University car #76 at 3rd Place. Other standings are listed below showing the place and laps completed. In the dynamic event University of Michigan Car #1 came in first followed by University of Iowa Car # 68 at 2nd and University of Michigan Car #161 at 3rd.

The event was held during the National Engineers Week at Michigan Tech. This year there were 33 off-road vehicles from 18 universities. The event is an informal, but competitive Winter Baja race held on a motocross-style track made out of snow.

Here are some of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes  that came in First Place in Endurance  Contest
Here are some of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes that came in First Place in Endurance Contest

More photos of the The 2015 Winter Baja on Flickr Photo Sharing.

Video Clip from 2015 Winter Baja

The line up was at 1130 am and competition endurance race started at 12 Noon, and the action went till 4 pm.

The Endurance Race results:

Position School Car # Laps
1 UNIV OF IOWA 48 63
10 UNIV OF IOWA 68 50
28 UNIV OF IOWA 57 32

Dynamic Event
School and Car #
1 Univ of Michigan 1
2 Univ of Iowa 68
3 Univ of Michigan 161
4 Ferris State Univ. 22
5 Michigan Tech 906
6 Ferris State Univ. 76
7 Central Michigan Univ. 65
8 Michigan Tech 77
9 Univ. of Illinois Chicago 29
10 Northwestern Mich Coll 69

Others that competed
UW Stout 58
UW Milwaukee 43
Univ Of Illinois 37
Univ of Michigan 76
SCC 46
Southern Illinois 92
Michigan State 8
Western Michigan 61
Central Michigan 34
Michigan State 101
Lake Superior St 28
Ferris State 76
Western Michigan 61
Central Michigan 73
University off Illinois 49
Northwestern Mich Coll 69
Ferris State 22

ARCHIVES from the Past

A video playlist features scenes from past Winter Baja events.

Highlights from the 2013 Winter Baja