Day: May 9, 2024

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2024 Recipient – Nithin Allwayin

Nithin Allwayin outdoors in a shady wooded area
Nithin Allwayin – Physics

My journey at Michigan Technological University began in 2019 when I joined the Ph.D. program in the Physics department. My research focuses on the physics of clouds, where I work on understanding processes happening at the individual droplet scales. These processes play an important role in determining the observable properties of clouds and their inadequate representation contributes substantially to the uncertainties in global climate model predictions. To do this, I’ve utilized data from our novel holographic cloud imaging instrument developed at Michigan Technological University. My research spans computational, field, and laboratory studies. Our work highlights the importance of local small-scale processes and could potentially open new ways to represent clouds in global climate models.

I extend my since gratitude to the Graduate School and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship. A special acknowledgment goes to my advisor, Prof. Raymond Shaw, for his motivation, guidance, and support throughout my journey. Additionally, I am grateful to the Elizabeth and Richard Henes Center for Quantum Phenomena for their support, enabling me to share my research findings at multiple conferences. I would also like to express my gratitude to, Dr. Gowtham and the High-Performance Computing facilities at MTU, my collaborators and colleagues, and faculty and staff at the Department of Physics for their support and assistance. This fellowship will play a crucial role in helping me to complete my dissertation and publish my research findings.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2024 Recipient – Tiffany DeGroot

Tiff DeGroot standing on a tree branch overlooking a wooded area below
Tiff DeGroot – Forest Science

Tiff DeGroot is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Brzeski and Wolfe Laboratories at MTU, where she investigates mammal diversity and distribution across Equatorial Guinea in central Africa. Her research leverages noninvasive techniques such as remote trail cameras, known as “camera trapping,” and DNA metabarcoding of carrion flies to study environmental DNA (eDNA). Carrion flies consume tissue from various mammals, providing a window into local biodiversity. This can be especially effective at detecting rare or arboreal species not typically captured by camera traps.

Tiff focuses on how human activities influence wildlife, with a particular interest in developing and applying conservation measures to mitigate negative interactions between humans and wildlife. Her work helps researchers and local wildlife managers to understand mammal populations in Equatorial Guinea, informing conservation efforts that aim to preserve the region’s unique biodiversity. Her research along with other work has led to the designation of a new protected area in Equatorial Guinea.

Tiff earned a B.S. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of New Hampshire in 2015, and has worked in the global wildlife conservation nonprofit space since 2017. When she is not coding or in the lab, she enjoys hiking with her rescue dog and creating ceramic art.

Matt Beals Receives NSF GRFP Honorable Mention

Matt Beals ’22 ’24 (B.S. M.S. Mechanical Engineering), a Michigan Tech graduate student, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention.

The oldest STEM-related fellowship program in the United States, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is a prestigious award that recognizes exceptional graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines early in their career and supports them through graduate education. NSF-GRFP fellows are an exceptional group; 42 fellows have become Nobel Laureates and about 450 fellows are members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The fellowship provides three years of financial support, including a $37,000 stipend for each fellow and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for the fellow’s institution. Besides financial support for fellows, the GRFP provides opportunities for research in national laboratories and international research.