Author: Mia Kemppainen

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Jared Edwards

Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula, I started my journey in Manistique, MI and since then have slowly migrated an hour and a half northwest every handful of years. The first time was after high school where I then attended undergraduate studies at NMU and discovered I enjoyed research under some wonderful professors. The second time was to come here to MTU and conduct my doctoral research under Dr. Tarun Dam in the Lab of Mechanistic Glycobiology. We perform biochemical studies on therapeutically promising plant biomolecules as well as human proteins associated with diseases. We carry out fundamental investigations into the behavior of molecules in living systems. This has led me to learn a multitude of incredible techniques and instrumentation skills, foremost being electron microscopy here on campus which is now a passion of mine. I believe we do fascinating work while striving to always put our best foot forward. I would like to thank Michigan Tech and our graduate school for awarding me with the Finishing Fellowship, it is a great assistance to myself and our lab.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Pradeep Bhat

I started as a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics in 2017. Before coming to MTU, I was working in Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai, India as an Engineer. I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mumbai University, India. I had a desire and curiosity to participate in academic research which led to me looking for graduate study opportunities. The goal of my proposed research is to advance eco-driving research for energy savings considering connected and automated environment. Enhancements in the transportation sector can be brought by Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) as they improve traffic throughout and automobile efficiency. Every vehicle in a connected environment can communicate and share its travel behavior, local traffic information, energy consumption, nearby traffic congestion, and road accidents. The advancement of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and traffic monitoring systems provides opportunities to share short-term future information. The emerging ITS technologies include but are not limited to the Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC), on-board vehicle receivers, e-horizon solutions, detailed offline and/or online maps, and real-time communication with service providers/government agencies. These improvements create opportunities for the innovation, research and development of connected and automated vehicles.

I am fortunate to be able to learn and work in the interdisciplinary area of research. I would like to express gratitude to the Department and Graduate school for accepting my application. Thereby, giving me an opportunity to join MTU as a student. Also, sincere thanks to graduate school for the fellowship award.  My special thanks to Dr. Bo Chen my advisor for accepting me as her student and guiding me during the research. Also, to all the committee members (Dr. Jeffery D Naber, Dr. Darrell L Robinette, and Dr. Stephen A Hackney) for their time and guidance.

DeVlieg Graduate Summer 2022 Research Recipient – Emily Shaw

I am a settler scholar living and working within the Anishinaabe Ojibwe homelands of Northern Michigan. Currently, I am a PhD candidate, at Michigan Technological University, in environmental engineering doing research that bridges knowledge systems to understand mixture toxicity. As an indiginist researcher, my work rebuilds systems of accountability and responsibility between humans and the environment that are aligned to Anishinaabe philosophies. Prior to graduate school, I earned a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. For four years, I was the Education and Volunteer Coordinator at Inland Seas Education Association, a non-profit in Suttons Bay, MI with a mission to inspire a lifetime of Great Lakes curiosity, stewardship, and passion in people of all ages. In the two years leading up to graduate school I spent most of my time in Antarctica, washing dishes at the South Pole research station and hiking and sailing throughout New Zealand. Now I enjoy exploring Houghton, playing roller derby, and gardening.

Michigan Tech gratefully acknowledges support from The DeVlieg Foundation for the DeVlieg Summer Research Award.

DeVlieg Graduate Summer 2022 Research Recipient – Brennan Vogl

I am a second-year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department. I started my undergraduate degree at Michigan Tech in 2016, I enjoyed my time here so much I decided to come back to become a PhD student in the Biofluids lab in 2021. My field of research is cardiovascular hemodynamics, the study of how blood flows through the cardiovascular system. I work with physicians to investigate how cardiovascular diseases (aortic stenosis, hypertension, mitral regurgitation, etc.) can alter the blood flow of the heart.

I am immensely grateful for the support provided by the DeVlieg Foundation and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory panel. With their help, I will be able to spend the summer investigating changes to left atrial flow dynamics in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and who have received treatment for AF. I am hopeful that this research will provide a basic engineering framework to conduct computational simulations of AF and improve the clinical knowledge to provide the best therapy possible for patients with AF.

Michigan Tech gratefully acknowledges support from The DeVlieg Foundation for the DeVlieg Summer Research Award.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Samuel Lopes Oliveira

I started my graduation in Forest Science at the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science in the fall of 2017. Before that, I completed my undergrad and Master’s in Brazil working with ecology and conservation of Neotropical birds. At Michigan Tech I was able to complete four fieldwork seasons to collect data about migratory birds that breed in North America and spend the winter in the tropics. This group has been declining at concerning rates, and recent data showed that the winter range can play an essential conservation role. Our broader objective is to determine the value of working landscapes as habitats for wintering birds. Some managed crops in the tropics (e.g., coffee and cacao) can provide good habitats for migratory birds to spend the winter and prepare for the demanding journey back. In Mexico, we assessed a recent agroecosystem in the Americas, oil palm plantations. This crop is rapidly expanding and not much data is available about how the declining migratory birds cope and how the plantations can be managed to improve their habitat quality. In Costa Rica, we worked with local partners and intend to determine if small forest fragments can provide good habitats for the Wood Thrush and develop a decision support tool to inform what sites should be prioritized when funding for protection is limited.

I intend to continue working with research and focus on applied conservation. My goal is to contribute to the development of our current understanding of migratory bird conservation during the winter, especially in working landscapes. Additionally, since I plan to focus my career on migratory bird conservation, especially on the wintering grounds, I aim to travel back to the countries where I collected data and offer courses in bird banding and migratory bird conservation. Capacitating local researchers to develop their own studies, which is an important step to collecting more information about the migrants on the wintering sites. As a Latin American researcher, I feel that most of the studies, especially with migratory birds, are developed by foreign institutions. Thus, offering capacitation opportunities will increase the local research body and address the lack of information on declining migratory birds in the tropics.

I’m thankful for all the support and opportunities received from the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Also grateful for the mentoring from my advisors, Dr. David Flaspohler and Dr. Jared Wolfe, and committee members Dr. Jessie Knowlton and Dr. Chris Webster.

Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship Summer 2022 – Lamia Alam

I come from Dhaka, the heart of beautiful Bangladesh where I obtained a BS in computer science and engineering from the Military Institute of Science and Technology. I was very keen to understand how to make human-system interaction more efficient, and therefore I started my journey for graduate studies in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences at Michigan Tech in the summer of 2018. I completed my master’s degree in Applied Cognitive Science and Human factors in 2020 and currently, I am pursuing my Ph.D. in the same department under the supervision of Dr. Shane T. Mueller. I recognize myself as a human factors researcher working closely in the interdisciplinary area of public health, artificial intelligence (AI), and cognitive psychology.

I am exploring the human factors issues in patient-AI interactions within the context of diagnostic healthcare. Working on my master’s thesis, I found the empathetic aspects are important in physician-patient communication and it may have some prospects within AI-patient communication as well. While it is very challenging to incorporate cognitive empathy elements within an artificial agent, I started thinking about how this issue can be addressed and chose these research questions to pursue my dissertation, I have extracted cognitive empathic elements of patient-physician communication by interviewing first-time mothers to understand their interactions with their physicians and midwives. Currently, I am examining the effectiveness of these elements within the context of patient-AI communication. My research objective is to bridge the gap between patient and AI using cognitive empathy elements, develop common ground in patient-AI communication, and help people trust the available AI resources.

I am extremely grateful to the Portage Health Foundation (PHF) for acknowledging my work with patient-physician communication by awarding me the graduate assistantship for Summer 2022. I would also like to express my gratitude to my advisor Dr. Shane T. Mueller for guiding me at every step in the last 4 years. I thank the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) for supporting my research, also each and everyone in the department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences for providing me with a wonderful and friendly environment to grow as a person and a researcher. With this assistantship, I believe I will make good contributions to the health research for the community by developing resources for expecting mothers based on my research so that they may build a rapport with their providers. The assistantship will also help me to exclusively focus on my dissertation and work towards achieving my goals.

Michigan Tech gratefully acknowledges support from the Portage Health Fountain for the PHF Graduate Assistantship.

DeVlieg Graduate Summer 2022 Research Recipient – Samuel Hervey

I am a PhD student in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and my main research interest is wildlife conservation and how we can utilize noninvasive methods to study and inform management of wildlife. For my PhD research, I am developing multiple noninvasive genetic methods to study the health of the recently introduced wolf population on Isle Royale.

Over the summer semester and with the support of the DeVlieg Foundation, I will be optimizing a set of molecular markers that will help us track the number of wolves occupying Isle Royale as well as the level of inbreeding within the population. With this information we can better understand the health of the wolf population through time and if interventions may be necessary. I cannot thank the DeVlieg Foundation and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Committee enough for their support.

Michigan Tech gratefully acknowledges support from The DeVlieg Foundation for the DeVlieg Summer Research Award.

Copyright Workshop for Graduate Students

by Van Pelt and Opie Library

What’s copyright and what does it have to do with your dissertation? Do you need permission to use someone else’s figure or image, or an article you wrote? Should you make your thesis open access? And what is a Creative Commons license? Get the answers to these and other questions at the library workshop: “Copyright and Your Dissertation, Thesis, or Master’s Report.”

In this workshop, you’ll learn the role U.S. copyright law plays in writing and publishing your report, thesis, or dissertation. We will explore the legal use of copyrighted material, publishing agreements, Creative Commons licensing and the role of Michigan Tech’s institutional repository, Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech. After this workshop, you will be prepared to make informed decisions about using copyrighted material and the publishing options for your dissertation, thesis, or master’s report.

Please join us in Library 244 at noon on Monday (March 21). Registration is required.

2022 Nominee for MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award – Parth Bhatt

“Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach,” is how Greek philosopher Aristotle put it.  My name is Parth Bhatt and I come from the western coast state of Gujarat in India. I came to Michigan Tech in the Fall of 2016 for a master’s in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES). Before coming to the states, I completed my master of science in the field of Environmental Science in India and was working as a trainee at the Space Application Center, Indian Space Research Organization. It was during my time at the space agency I got exposure to the field of Geographic Information Science and Remote Sensing and realized that I want to go abroad for higher education. When I got the admit letter from  Michigan Tech, I was assigned Dr. Ann Maclean as my advisor, and to be honest, the email conversations I had with her were the driving factors for making Michigan Tech and CFRES my choice. I should say choosing Michigan Tech, CFRES, and Ann as my advisor were some of the best decisions of my life. I completed my MS here at Tech in Fall 2018 and continued the journey further by joining Ph.D. under Dr. Maclean. My master’s and Ph.D. project involve working with the USDA Forest Service, mapping the Hiawatha National Forest at the Natural Habitat Community level. We use high-resolution UAV and airborne NAIP imagery coupled with machine learning algorithms to classify the forest. The project is significant for the USFS as the end products (i.e. classified maps) help the management authorities to protect and manage the forest and help in better decision making. I also work on a national level project of mapping and monitoring the Forest Health by ecoregions across the contiguous United States using Google Earth Engine with the USDA Forest Service. Along with research, I have been enjoying teaching GIS classes in CFRES since Spring 2017, I mainly teach the undergraduate and graduate-level GIS classes and labs. Since Fall 2020, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to be a Graduate Teaching Instructor (and thanks to my advisor Dr. Ann Maclean and my dean Dr. Andrew Storer, who trusted and motivated me) to take on this opportunity. I am thankful to my department who nominated me and grateful to the university for selecting me as a nominee for the Midwestern Association of Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award. It is an absolute honor to represent Michigan Tech at the MAGS 2022.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2022 Recipient – Chathura Adambarage

I joined the Department of Chemistry at Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Fall/2017 as a graduate student in chemistry. Before joining MTU, I obtained my BSc (Hons) in chemistry from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka and in parallel to that I completed my second BSc in chemistry at the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, Sri Lanka. I had a strong desire to follow a Ph.D. in physical chemistry therefore, I joined Dr. Kathryn Perrine’s surface science research group. The reason why I decided to select surface science to pursue my Ph.D. is, it is an interdisciplinary subject area that connects several disciplines such as chemistry, vacuum technology, physics, and engineering. My Ph.D. research mainly focused on studying the influence of the chemical environment on interfacial corrosion at air/electrolyte/iron interface using surface sensitive infrared spectroscopy. I was able to develop a method to investigate interfacial corrosion and mineral formation at air/liquid/solid interfaces with the guidance of my research advisor. Also, I completed MS in chemistry on the way to my Ph.D. I was fortunate to obtain a lot of experience in vacuum science and technology as a part of my Ph.D. career. Furthermore, I gained knowledge and experience in studying chemical reactions of simple halogenated gas molecules on single crystal metal surfaces under in situ and operando conditions.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Department of Chemistry and the Graduate College of Michigan Technological University for giving me an invaluable opportunity to join the MTU community as a graduate student and for their continuous support for achieving my Ph.D. goals. My special thank goes to my research advisor Dr. Kathryn A. Perrine and also to all the graduate committee members (Dr. Loredana Valenzano, Dr. Rudy Luck, and Dr. Lei Pan) for their invaluable guidance and mentorship extended for me throughout my journey to the Ph.D.