Day: December 10, 2010

Andrew Willemsen to represent Michigan Tech in MAGS competition

Andrew Willemsen
Andrew Willemsen, Michigan Tech’s representative for the 2011 MAGS Distinguished Thesis Award
The Graduate School is pleased to announce that Andrew Willemsen is Michigan Tech’s nominee for the 2011 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Thesis Award.  Mr. Willemsen was nominated by his advisor, Dr. M. Rao of the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics.

His thesis, “Objective Metric for Assessing the Perceived Annoyance of Impulsive Sounds” developed a new method to objectively quantify the overall sound quality of electro-mechanical devices.  This method could improve the design process for these devices by replacing current subjective sound evaluation methods, which are typically expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to quantify.

Mr. Willemsen has presented two conference abstracts on this work (Noise-Con 2010 in Baltimore, MD and the 20th International Congress on Acoustics in Sydney, Australia) and a journal article is in preparation.  He is currently continuing his education as a doctoral student at Michigan Tech with Dr. Rao, and is funded by a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program fellowship.

Two other graduate students were also nominated for consideration.  Joshua Richardson was nominated by his advisor, Dr. G. Waite of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.  Max Henschell was nominated by his co-advisors, Dr. D. Flaspohler and Dr. C. Webster, both from the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.  All of the nominations were noteworthy, and the evaluation panel had a difficult task in selecting one nominee to represent Michigan Tech.

The Dean’s Advisory Panel, representing each college or school at Michigan Tech evaluated the nominees.  The faculty on this panel represent a broad range of graduate programs:  J. Keith (Chemical Engineering), S. Martin (Social Sciences), R. Froese (School of Forestry Resources & Environmental Science), X. Wang (School of Technology) and G. Campbell (School of Business and Economics).  Next year’s competition will consider applicants who have completed their degrees between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011.  An application consists of an abstract of the thesis, recommendation letter from the advisor, and an electronic copy of the thesis.  Please consider nominating your master’s students next year.

Previous nominees can be found on our web page.

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Professor, Alumni Receive High Honors at International Army Conference

Tech Alumnus Mark Griep, Mechanical Engineering PhD
2008 Tech Alumnus Mark Griep, Mechanical Engineering PhD
A Michigan Tech professor, two alumni and a research colleague have received the US Army’s highest award for research at the Army Science Conference in Orlando, Fla., last week.

The four won the best paper in the nanotechnology division, one of 18 categories, and the prestigious Paul A. Siple Award for the overall outstanding technical paper presented at the conference.

The lead author on the paper is Tech alumnus Mark Griep, who earned a PhD in mechanical engineering in 2008. Griep now works at the Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. The paper was based on research he did at Tech for his PhD and during summer research for the Army.

Griep’s advisor, Professor Craig Friedrich, who holds the Robbins Chair in Sustainable Design and Manufacturing, is a coauthor of the paper. Friedrich is also associate chair and director of graduate studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

Other coauthors include Shashi Karna, a senior scientist at the Army Research Laboratory and a member of the ME-EM External Advisory Board; and alumnus Eric Winder, who earned a PhD in biological sciences in 2010 and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory near Seattle. Winder was advised by Friedrich and retired professor John Adler.

The paper, which was singled out among more than 800 abstracts submitted, is titled “Nanoscale Bioelectronics for Real-Time Target Sensing.” It describes the integration of biological materials with electronics to create a sensor that could be up to three times more optically sensitive than current technology.  Such systems are envisioned for sensors small enough to be carried by a small projectile fired by a soldier or dropped from an unmanned aerial vehicle to determine the possible presence of chemical or biological materials.  Because protein can activate individual transistors, a small electronic chip containing thousands of transistors could sense multiple toxins.   A real-time, electronics-based biosensor will have a wide array of military and civilian applications, potentially leading to extremely sensitive, small, low-power, stand-alone, sensing arrays.

One potential application: They may also be useful for bio-solar cells.

These award-winning papers were selected for originality of subject matter, relevance to the scientific discipline and the Army, potential impact on current and future soldiers, soundness of scientific methodology, and clarity of the presentation.  The Siple Award recognizes the accomplishments of Army scientists and engineers. It is named after Paul A. Siple, a scientist, intellectual and scientific attaché.  The ASC conference attracted more than 1,500 representatives of government, academia and industry from the US and 25 countries.

For more information about the conference, visit: http://armyscienceconference.com/.

Published in Tech Today.

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International Student is Gazette Cookbook Finalist

The Daily Mining Gazette is publishing a cookbook, and it invited readers to submit recipes for consideration. A panel of judges at the newspaper has chosen finalists from more than 100 recipes submitted, and Tech international student Komal Tayal’s tandoori chicken was one of the top three selected. She and the other finalists will cook their dishes for a taste-off at the Gazette next week. Winners will have their recipes, photos and stories included in the cookbook.

Tayal is a graduate student in mechanical engineering. She cooked tandoori chicken for Khana Khazana last week.

Published in Tech Today.

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