SFI Event Recognizes Scholars and Students

Published in Tech Today

The Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) held its fifth annual poster session and banquet in the Rozsa Lobby last Friday.

“The event offered SFI students, staff and faculty an opportunity to review some of the many successes throughout the year,” reports Denise Heikinen.

Professor Alex Mayer (GMES) and Professor Michael Mullins (Chemical Engineering) were recognized as 2009 distinguished fellows for their long-term leadership, scholarship and support in areas central to sustainability and to SFI.

Mayer, director of SFI’s Center for Water and Society, was honored for his passion and commitment to sustainability and water issues. Mullins, director of SFI’s Center for Fundamental and Applied Research into Nanostructured and Lightweight Materials, was recognized for his contributions to energy and human health.

The keynote speaker was Charles Kerfoot, professor in Biological Sciences and director of Lake Superior Ecosystem Research Center, who spoke about the new Great Lakes Research facility and how it will facilitate research and education about pressing issues in the Upper Great Lakes.

Seventeen graduate students and postdocs were inducted into the SFI’s Scholar Program. They are: Zeyad Ahmed, Felix Adom, Brandon Ellefson, Akhilesh Reddy Endurthy, Rabi Gyawali, Jiqing Fan, Robert Handler, Christopher Hohnholt, Meral Jackson, Azad Henareh Khalyani, Jennifer Lind, Jifei Liu, Xuhong Liu, Jarod Maggio, Jacob Midkiff, Ali Mirchi, and Fengli Zhang.

The Graduate Student Council announced the People’s Choice First Place Poster Award of $150. Actually there was a tie and two awards were made. One went to four physics graduate students for a poster, “Miniature Energy Sources: Biofuel Cells Based on Carbon Nanotube Arrays,” designed by Archana Pandey, Abhishek Prasad, Jason Moscatello and Abhay P. Singh. Their advisor is Associate Professor Yoke Khin Yap. The other award went to Craig Gossen and Stefan Marek (mechanical engineering), Ashley Thode (civil engineering), and Kim Landick, Krissy Guzak, and Cara Hanson (environmental engineering), for “Improving Airflow in Ventilated Improved Pit Toilets.” Their advisors are Assistant Professor Kurt Paterson and Associate Professor David Watkins (both CEE) and Associate Professor and Assistant Provost Donna Michalek (ME-EM).

SFI’s operations manager, Richard Donovan, awarded the Inaugural Operations Manager Award of $200 to the Efficiency Through Engineering and Construction Enterprise. Members are: Ashley Brown, Dianna Cacko, Stephen Chartier, Patrick Green, Jordan Huffman, Eric Kinonen, Markus Manderfield, Andrew Manty, Michael D. Powers, and Tyler Sutkowi. The ETEC team submitted three posters: “Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad”; “Habitat for Humanity”; and “Generations of Energy.” For some of their work, these students collaborated with Melissa Davis, an SFI staff member and director of a local nonprofit called New Power Tour. Davis also was recognized as a scholar of SFI. The advisor for ETEC is Lynn Artman of the School of Technology.

In keeping with the spirit of the event, sustainability, Chef Eric Karvonen prepared a dinner of fresh roasted trout from Lake Superior, vegetables from Chip Ransom’s organic farm on the Houghton Canal, grass-fed bison from northern Wisconsin and wild blueberries from Gay. Pictures of the event are available at the following URLs: http://www.doe.mtu.edu/news/2009/sfi_october2009/index.html .

http://www.doe.mtu.edu/news/2009/sfi_october2009/posters.html .