Category: Awards

Jake Maxon Receives 2022 Department Scholar Award

Jake Maxon pictured at Adventure Mine

Congratulations to Jake Maxon (BS Mining Engineering), who received a 2022 GMES Department Scholar Award to recognize his scholarly achievements! This award, presented to a student entering their senior year, recognizes one who best represents student scholarship in the department by participating in research or scholarly activities, demonstrating a high level of intellectual curiosity and creativity, and showing excellent communication skills. Jacob participates in research led by Associate Professor Dr. Snehamoy Chatterjee on fire size and fire location optimization in an underground mine using machine learning. Jacob is also involved in multiple mining-related activities within the campus and the community, including community-based research to map historical documents, including mining documents.

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship Awarded to Emmeline Wolowiec

Emmeline Wolowiec Emmeline, pictured with Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica, thinks that her travel to Costa Rica and Switzerland for research has been a highlight of her time at Michigan Tech.

Emmeline Wolowiec, MS geology student, is recognized for her academic accomplishments, receiving the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences Department. A certificate of recognition for this award will be presented to Emmeline at the Graduate Research Colloquium Banquet held this spring. 

Emmeline, advised by  Dr. Chad Deering, is working to look at the generation of high silica magmas in Costa Rica. They’re looking at the connection between plutonic and volcanic rocks to see what that can tell about where in the crust the volcanic rocks formed in relation to the plutonic rocks and what the possible magma chamber structure looked like. Hopefully, this will give insight into how the volcanic rocks formed, whether through fractional crystallization, magma mixing, or other processes.

Emilie Pray Wins AIPG Poster Competition

Emilie Pray, a geology senior in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES), won first place in the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) Michigan Section Annual Student Poster Contest.

Pray’s poster was titled “The Exhumation History of the Bell Creek Batholith.” Her research has been advised by Chad Deering (GMES).

The Institute on Lake Superior Geology Awards Geology MS Student $1k

Katherine Langfield, a geology master’s student, received a research grant from the Institute on Lake Superior Geology (ILSG). The $1,000 award will help defray the research costs for her proposed work on the Hancock Fault. A portion of the work will be conducted in the Quincy Mine adit in West Hancock. Katherine is advised by Research Professor, James DeGraff.

The ILSG Student Research Fund is available for undergraduate or graduate students conducting research on the geology of the Lake Superior region.

PC: U.S. Geological Survey

Mining Engineering MS Student Poorva Kadrolli Selected as SRK Scholar

Poorva Kadrolli, a Master’s student in Mining Engineering in the Department of GMES, has won a highly competitive SRK scholarship!

SRK is a global consulting firm in mining and exploration geology and provides scholarships in Australia and North America to encourage and support students undertaking graduate studies and help them complete master’s and doctoral degrees in fields related to the mining industry.

The scholarship selection process is very thorough and includes writing a research proposal by the student. Poorva’s research is in joint simulation of material-type and mineral grade using multiple-point simulation and machine learning.

Poorva is advised by Dr. Snehamoy Chaterjee, an Associate Professor and the Witte Family Faculty Fellow at the Department of GMES.

Poorva Kadrolli

Jeremy Shannon Named Carl G. Schwenk Endowed Faculty Fellow in Applied Geophysics

Michigan Tech Principal Lecturer Jeremy Shannon is the Carl G. Schwenk Endowed Faculty Fellow in Applied Geophysics

Jeremy Shannon is the Carl G. Schwenk Endowed Faculty Fellow in Applied Geophysics, named in July 2021. 

“For more than a decade Dr. Jeremy Shannon has been a key faculty in field geophysics at Michigan Tech,” said Aleksey Smirnov, chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences. 

“Dr. Shannon provides vital contributions to GMES instruction and advising, especially through the summer Field Geophysics course and specialized courses in the application of near-surface geophysics methods,” added Janet Callahan, Dean of the College of Engineering. 

The endowment was established by Carl G. Schwenk, who obtained a BS in both Geological and Geophysical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1962 and 1965, respectively. He worked as a Field Geophysicist with Kennecott Copper Corporation and was instrumental in the discovery of the Flambeau copper-gold Mine in Wisconsin. Later, he worked with the  large iron company Vale do Rio Doce exploring for base metals in Brazil. After his return to the US he was hired as Great Lakes District Manager for Noranda Exploration where he led a successful State Supreme Court challenge to Wisconsin’s Geologic Disclosure Law. 

“Carl lives in Colorado and remains closely involved with our department, providing tremendous support to our students,” said Smirnov.

Shannon is also a Michigan Tech alumnus, and took the Field Geophysics class as an undergraduate in the summer of 1992. He was honored to take over the class in 2007 and has continued and built upon the legacy of applied geophysics education at GMES created by professors Lloyal Bacon, Jimmy Diehl, and Charles Young to deliver a unique field experience for students.

“I am humbled to receive this appointment and am extremely grateful to Mr. Schwenk and others who have made this possible,” said Shannon. “I look forward to using this gift to improve and advance educational opportunities in geophysics at Michigan Tech.”

“Shannon’s contribution to the department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences perfectly aligns with the purpose of the fellowship, which is to provide leadership in mentoring and teaching students at Michigan Tech in the practical use of geophysics for characterization and discovery of subsurface resources,” added Callahan.

In addition to instruction in the field of applied geophysics, which includes specialized courses in the application of near-surface geophysics methods, Shannon serves as the academic advisor for undergraduate students majoring in Geology and Applied Geophysics.

Shannon generously lends his expertise to students working on senior design projects, as well as graduate students whose research involves field work, notes Smirnov. “Dr. Shannon helps students develop both practical knowledge and intuition. As a result, they are able to find their own best academic and professional pathways, leading to impactful and rewarding careers.” 

In recognition of his contributions to teaching, Shannon was also recently honored in the Michigan Tech Deans’ Teaching Showcase

Chatterjee Wins $288,343 Research Grant from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Snehamoy Chatterjee, Associate Professor and the Witte Family Endowed Faculty Fellow in Mining Engineering in the Department of GMES, is the principal investigator on a two-year research project “Mine Health and Safety Big Data Analysis and Text Mining by Machine Learning Algorithms.” Now the project will be funded by a $288,343 research and development contract from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 

Snehamoy Chatterjee, Associate Professor in GMES

“Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) collects mine inspections, violations, and accidents/injuries data. States also collect the workers’ compensation data related to mining accidents,” Chatterjee explains. “These data are massive and complex, with many underlying risk factors for mining accidents. This research will identify the underlying risk factors of mining accidents and injuries by analyzing the complex datasets by exploiting state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithms. It will develop a web-based tool for visualizing the risk factors and run what-if scenarios to understand the potential risks for a mine.”

The research award will support both a PhD and an MS student in Mining Engineering. Aref Majdara (ECE/ICC) is co-PI on this two-year project.

Michigan Tech wins 2021 AIPG Student Chapter of the Year Award (again)

The 2021 American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) Student Chapter of the Year Award goes to Michigan Technological University for the second year running!

Each year, AIPG recognizes the most outstanding student chapter for its activities, achievements, and contributions to the Institute. Nationwide there are 55 student chapters at AIPG. The award letter states: “the Student Chapter at Michigan Tech stood out among the AIPG Student Chapters in the nation this past year, and are highly deserving of this distinction and honor.”

Currently, the chapter officers are Elana Barth (President, Geology), Olivia Salvaggio (Vice President, Geophysics), Emilie Pray (Treasurer, Geology), and Nolan Gamet (Secretary, Geology). The officers during the year of the award were Elana Barth (President, Geology), Breeanne Huesdens (Vice President, Geological Engineering), Emilie Pray (Treasurer, Geology), and Makala O’Donnell (Secretary, Geological Engineering).

Chad Deering, Associate Professor in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and David Adler, a Mannik & Smith Group Certified Professional Geologist (B.S. Geology ‘82), advise the Michigan Tech chapter.
Congratulations once again on a job well done. The GMES department is proud of your continued success!

Michigan Tech AIPG Student Chapter members while exploring the Eben Ice Caves. Photo courtesy of Dave Adler.

Two Faculty Named to Endowed Positions in GMES

Snehamoy Chatterjee and Jeremy Shannon have been appointed to two endowed faculty fellow positions in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES).

Witte Family Endowed Faculty Fellow in Mining Engineering

Snehamoy Chatterjee
Snehamoy Chatterjee

Chatterjee, associate professor in GMES, has been appointed the new Witte Family Endowed Faculty Fellow in Mining Engineering, a position created to retain and attract highly qualified faculty who are at the top of their profession, inspire students to think beyond the classroom material, and integrate their research into the classroom.

Chatterjee was instrumental in developing GMES’s new interdisciplinary program in mining engineering and now teaches several key courses for this program. He continuously updates his courses to adopt new teaching and technological approaches and incorporates research in his instruction. He is always looking out for students’ best interests by seeking ways for them to participate in research and design projects in order to enhance their learning and professional development.

Carl G. Schwenk Faculty Fellow in Applied Geophysics

Jeremy Shannon
Jeremy Shannon

Shannon, principal lecturer and undergraduate student advisor in GMES, is the new Carl G. Schwenk Faculty Fellow in Applied Geophysics, a position established to provide students with practical knowledge and intuition that, when combined with exceptional instruction, promotes mobility for an impactful and rewarding career in the field of applied geophysics.

Shannon provides instruction for nearly all courses in the field of applied geophysics and lends his expertise to Senior Design courses and graduate students whose research involves field geophysics. He also maintains GMES’s field geophysics equipment, and has been successful in obtaining funding to purchase new equipment. (During one of Carl Schwenk’s previous visits, Jeremy showed him both our current equipment as well as past equipment that had been in storage, which truly impressed Carl.)

As an academic advisor for GMES’s undergraduate majors, Shannon creates individual plans in order to offer the best academic and professional pathway for that student.

By the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Emily Street 2021 Copper Club Scholarship Recipient

Emily Street, a fourth-year majoring in mining engineering with a minor in mathematical sciences.

Emily Street, a fourth-year mining engineering student at the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, received the prestigious, highly competitive Copper Club Lord Bagri Scholarship. Her essay, ‘The Importance of Copper in the 21st Century,’ gives the reader a passionate viewpoint, written by an outstanding, hardworking student ancestrally connected to the industry. 

The Copper Club, Inc, formed in 1944, is the leading organization for networking, educational grants, and events for those who support the copper industry. The Copper Club Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to students majoring in geoscience or other fields related to the production of copper or copper products. A $15,000 award goes to one student who shows exceptional merit demonstrated by excellent grades, with a necessity for financial aid. In letters of recommendation, Michigan Tech faculty can quote praising,  “… she will be a role model for the next-generation mining and geosciences students”, and “…Ms. Street will have a transformative impact on the mining industry as she transitions from student to professional.” A well-deserving student to receive this award, indeed. 

Emily Street, pictured, receives the highly sought-after Copper Club Lord Bagri Scholarship with her essay, ‘The Importance of Copper in the 21st Century.’

I was honored to be nominated as MTU’s representative for the Copper Club Scholarship 2021-22, and I am humbled to represent the college as a recipient of The Lord Bagri Scholarship. I am thankful to be a part of the mining engineering program at MTU and to have the opportunity to be taught by such passionate and knowledgeable industry leaders. I am currently working as a summer mine engineering intern at LafargeHolcim in Presque Isle, Michigan; I hope to use the hands-on experience I gain at the quarry this summer to further my knowledge in my senior year in the program. Attending Michigan Tech’s newly resurrected mining engineering program, while a rigorous curriculum, has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I am proud to be a student here, at what was originally the Michigan Mining School, and to be able to work as a miner in the industry that brought my family to the Keweenaw nearly one hundred years ago! – Emily Street

https://www.copperclub.org/scholarships-awards/