Author: smcrisma

2013 Summer Internship Opportunity with MISNER

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium announces the Michigan Initiative on Student NASA Exploration Research (MISNER) program. The MISNER program will give undergraduate and/or graduate students the opportunity to work in Exploration Systems Mission Directorate-related industries with the state of Michigan during summer 2013.

* 10-week internship program (within the May-August 2013 time frame)
* Total award: $6,000
* US Citizens Only

Deadline date is Monday, April 15, 2013

Underrepresented minority, women and disabled students are strongly encouraged to apply.

To read the full announcement and application form, visit

Published in TechToday

Peace Corps Informational Meeting Thursday

Brett Heimann, the regional recruiting representative for the Peace Corps, will hold an informational meeting at Michigan Tech at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 21, in Fisher Hall 125. He will talk about the Peace Corps overall and the Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) program. The session is free, and everyone is welcome.

Michigan Tech has eight PCMI programs in four different Colleges and Schools. Graduate students earn a master’s degree with a combination of classes and Peace Corps service overseas. For more information, contact PCMI campus director Kari Henquinet (SS),, 7-1843.

Published in TechToday

2013 TOEFL® Scholarship Program

A TOEFL® scholarship can help you study at any of the 8,500+ institutions listed in the TOEFL® Destinations Directory (PDF).  The scholarship program is designed to award TOEFL test takers for achieving academic excellence, exhibiting leadership skills, performing extracurricular activities and demonstrating English-communication proficiency.

Test takers applying for the scholarship must currently be living in China, India, Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

The TOEFL Scholarship Program rewards students who have high academic achievement as well as:

  • ability to communicate in English
  • demonstrated leadership skills
  • participation in extracurricular activities, such as community service
  • innovative ideas as reflected in essays

To be eligible to win a TOEFL scholarship, you must:

  • Currently be living in the country from where you are applying.
  • Beginning undergraduate or graduate study in 2013 at a college or university listed in the TOEFL® Destinations Directory (PDF).
  • Hold a grade point average of at least 80 or higher on a 100-point scale or a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  For high school students in Korea, you must have a level of 1–3 on a 9-level scale in any three subjects in your last semester.
  • Have a valid TOEFL test score used as a requirement for admissions into your undergraduate or graduate program.
  • Complete the application form online and upload your transcripts.

The deadline is April 30, 2013. Apply for a scholarship today!

Scholarship award funds for students who will be studying abroad are applied to their tuition fees only after the student has registered with the institution and arrived on campus.

If you have questions email us at

Administered by ETS Scholarship & Recognition Programs.

Michigan Tech Graduate Engineering Programs Climb in US News Rankings

By Jennifer Donovan

Four Michigan Technological University graduate engineering programs rose in the latest US News & World Report graduate school rankings, released today.

Chemical engineering’s graduate program moved up to 60th in the nation, from 91st last year.  Electrical engineering’s ranking rose from 102nd to 89th.  Computer engineering was ranked 80th this year, compared to 91st last year.  And Materials engineering rose to 50th from 51st.

“Chemical engineering is definitely a program on the rise and it’s nice to get the external recognition we deserve,” said Komar Kawatra, chair of chemical engineering.

Dan Fuhrmann, chair of electrical and computer engineering was pleased with the higher rankings of both his programs. “We are delighted to see that our graduate programs in electrical and computer engineering are receiving this recognition,” he said. ” It is a reflection of our deliberate efforts over the past decade to increase the size and improve the quality and visibility of our graduate and research activity.  In particular, we are seeing renewed interest at the master’s degree level in our power programs, which have always been excellent.”

The new graduate school rankings place Michigan Technological University’s graduate engineering programs overall in the top 100 nationwide. The magazine’s latest rankings, released today, list Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering graduate programs at 89th

“This year’s rankings of Michigan Tech’s programs will help some of our programs get the national attention and recognition they deserve,” said Jackie Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School. “The increased ranking of chemical engineering and electrical and computer engineering are particularly notable. These rankings, while dismissed by some as highly imperfect measures of quality, are important because students and their families use the rankings to estimate the potential return on an investment in a Michigan Tech education.“

Michigan Tech’s other engineering programs are ranked as follows in the new report:

Tech’s Biomedical engineering graduate program was not ranked.

“We’ve seen some success in the short time that I’ve been here, and I’m glad for that,” said Bill Worek, dean of the College of Engineering. “The increase in some of the disciplines is encouraging, but there is more work to be done to further enhance the visibility of our graduate programs.”

US News says its rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical measures of the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. Graduate programs are reviewed annually in engineering, business, law, medicine and the sciences. This year, 199 engineering schools that offer graduate degrees were evaluated.

Statistical data considered includes the ratio of students to faculty, acceptance rate, average Graduate Record Exam score, the school’s total research expenditure and research expenditure per faculty member, graduate enrollment and number of PhDs granted.

Peer assessment data comes from deans of engineering schools, program directors and senior engineering faculty.

Puff the Magic Sledder: PhD Student Races Snowmobiles Professionally

By Dennis Walikainen

Michigan Technological University PhD candidate Jennifer Fuller grew up dabbling in snowmobiling in her native Saginaw, where they have just a few inches of snowfall per year. So when she got to Houghton and Michigan Tech, she was hooked.

“I started with a local hill climb, found the Sledheads student organization and eventually moved on to the Midwest pro circuit,” she says.

Whether in a hill climb or endurance run (100—and sometimes 500—miles), her Polaris sled can be found battling other women on the USXC Cross Country Snowmobile Circuit.

“The endurance races are true to the original terrain that snowmobiles were designed for,” she says. “We cross ditches, lakes, roadsides, woods, you name it. They are typically 10-20 mile laps that we run numerous times with fuel stops.”

In a separate Pro Women’s Class, she’s finished as high as second in the endurance runs. She is sponsored by Polaris.

“They spotted me at the World Championships in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,” she says. “The team owner, Gabe Bunke, and his family were there and invited me to race for Bunke Racing.”

“Jen has been fun to work with the last two years,” Gabe Bunke says. “She’s got a real good attitude and somehow manages to get though situations that may be over her head. And she never gives up. We call her ‘Puff,’ from the old Powder Puff female racing days.”

Bunke Racing fixes, prepares and moves her Polaris IQR 600CC sled to the eight different sites on the Midwest circuit. That’s a big bonus for a PhD candidate.

“Depending on my workload, I can be driving off to a location at the last minute,” Fuller says. “Sometimes, I’m getting in at 2 a.m. for a 9 a.m. start. It’s huge that the sled is there ready for me.”

They also keep the sled so Fuller isn’t tempted to bring it back to Houghton, where she has been known to break it.

“It’s better that I focus on school,” she says.

Polaris is one of the four big sponsors in snowmobile racing, with Ski-Doo, Yamaha and Arctic Cat.

It was in the hometown of Arctic Cat, Thief River Falls, Minn., that Fuller’s 500-mile race took place this February. She made it through 430 miles of the three-day race before crashing and heading to the hospital with a concussion. She also missed Winter Carnival at Tech.

The differences between the endurance events and hill climbs are many, including the time they take: one minute versus two hours (for the 100-mile version).

“And that’s with no lunch breaks or bathroom breaks,” Fuller adds.

And what does her family think about all this?

“They think I’m crazy, but they always support my decisions” she says.

Whether or not she sticks with snowmobile racing depends on where the PhD leads, she explains. “I’d like to keep racing, but I just don’t know where my career will take me.”

But Bunke says, “I know, when she’s trying to figure out the next step in her life, she’s always looking at staying connected with Bunke Racing and being able to snowmobile. Jen is a top notch gal, and we love having her at the races. So do the young female fans. She’s big on Facebook, too.”

She’s already had to turn down offers to work for Polaris, in both snowmobile design and the purchasing department.

“They hire engineers, even civil engineers, for everything, they said.”

Instead, she’s studying civil and environmental engineering on an NSF fellowship and charting a much different course in life.

“I actually have some entrepreneurship goals that I will be pursuing,” Fuller says. “But I love teaching and research, so if I could combine them all, that is my ideal career.

Fuller’s race year is wrapping up March 9-10 in Warroad, Minn. Then she gets to enjoy Spring Break.

Library announces EndNote workshops on March 20th

The J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library is offering another round of its EndNote Workshops.

EndNote is a citation management software that helps you easily create and manage bibliographic information and incorporate references into your writing.  In other words, EndNote streamlines the research and reporting process.

Seating for these workshops is limited and registration is required. To register please visit: EndNote LibGuide

March 20th 2013 sessions:

EndNote Basic I: Creating and Organizing an EndNote Library

  • 11:00 AM room 242
  • 1 hour introductory workshop on creating and managing references using the citation management software, EndNote.  EndNote allows you to easily collect, organize and use your research references.
  • No prior knowledge of EndNote is necessary

EndNote Basic II: Cite While You Write (CWYW)

  • 12:15 PM in room 242
  • 1 hour EndNote Workshop on how to incorporate your EndNote Library citations into a written document (MS Word).
  • Attendance to EndNote Basic I, or prior knowledge of building and managing an EndNote library, is recommended.

EndNote Special Topics: Sharing EndNote Collections

  • 1:30 PM in room 242
  • 1 hour EndNote Workshop on how to share EndNote collections.
  • In this workshop participants will learn how sync their EndNote library with EndNote Web.  Participants will also learn how share EndNote citation collections with anyone else who also uses EndNote.
  • Attendance to EndNote Basic I & II workshops, or prior knowledge of creating an EndNote Library and using CWYW, is recommended.

Note: Our sessions use EndNote X6 on PCs. Laptop users are encouraged to update their versions of EndNote prior to the session. See the library’s EndNote Download page.

Archaeology for Everybody: Summer School at the Cliff Mine

Ever had an Indiana Jones fantasy? Now is your chance to indulge it.  During the first summer session, Tech students and those from other colleges and universities, high school students and community seniors are all being invited to apply for the Cliff Mine Project’s fourth field research season.  Participants will help the University’s industrial archaeologists document the historic copper mine found along the 200-foot greenstone bluff that runs up the spine of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The “Cliff Vein” produced more than 38 million pounds of refined copper over a 40 year period, paying dividends to its investors totaling $2.5 million.  People working in the mine and living in the town of Clifton transformed the social and technological practices of mining, starting America’s first successful industrial mining boom.

The field research project runs from May 13 through June 28, led by Associate Professors Timothy Scarlett and Samuel Sweitz (Social Sciences), working closely with project archaeologists Sean Gohman and Lee Presley.

“Learning archaeological fieldwork is an immersive experience where teamwork is essential,” Scarlett said.  “It takes weeks of work before a person can begin assembling the clues from each discovery into meaningful pictures of the past. Students should expect the work to be exacting, often slow and physically challenging.”  Those accepted into the course will be expected to work 8-hour days, 5 days a week throughout the 6-week course.

The course can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit, at the regular undergraduate or graduate cost per credit hour.  It can be audited as a lifelong learning experience at no fee for seniors.

Information about class registration and costs can be found at registration/costs.

Explore the Cliff Mine research blog, which archives information from several years of fieldwork and research, at blog.

Published in Tech Today by Jenn Donovan, public relations director

Kenneth L. Stevenson Biomedical Engineering Fellowship Program

The Department of Biomedical Engineering is now accepting applications for the Kenneth L. Stevenson Biomedical Engineering Summer Research Fellowship Program.

The primary goal of the program is to provide deserving undergraduate and beginning graduate students the opportunity to participate in meaningful Biomedical Engineering research at Michigan Tech.  Specifically:

a) Undergraduate students (two awards):  Undergraduates will receive undergraduate-to-graduate transitional research fellowships of $4,000 each. Students entering their junior and senior years will be considered.  The award is intended to introduce students to the rigors associated with graduate-level research in biomedical engineering.

b) Graduate students (two awards):  Students who have completed an undergraduate degree prior to the fellowship period and are beginning studies in Michigan Tech’s biomedical engineering graduate program (PhD or MS) will receive fellowships of $5,000 each in support of intensive summer research.  These awards will allow students to establish their research in the initial phase of their graduate studies.

The application process is now open.  For information regarding the application process and materials, contact the Biomedical Engineering Department Chair Sean J. Kirkpatrick at or in person in M&M 301.

Applications for these annual awards are due by noon, March 15. Fellowship recipients will conduct a research project under the guidance of a Michigan Tech Department of Biomedical Engineering faculty mentor during the summer term.

Published in TechToday

Graduate engineering students on Copper Country Today radio program

Graduate engineering students Jen Fuller and Kaye LaFond were interviewed on “Copper Country Today,” a radio program broadcast by WHKB-FM and WOLV-FM in Houghton. They were talking about the Parent-Daughter Engineering Exploration scheduled for next Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Great Lakes Research Center, and about career opportunities and their experiences as women in engineering.

Listen at Women Engineering

Published in TechToday

Ninth Annual Student Research Forum

Ninth Annual Student Research Forum to be Held March 27, 2013

The Ecosystem Science Center, the Biotechnology Research Center and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science invite graduate and undergraduate students conducting research related to ecology, the environment or biotechnology to submit titles and abstracts for poster presentations at the Ninth Annual ESC/BRC Student Research Forum.

Abstracts must be submitted by Feb. 27.

The event will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, Mar. 27, in the atrium of the Noblet Forestry Building.

The forum allows students working in these fields an opportunity to present their research to their peers and faculty members. Graduate and undergraduate researchers participate in separate divisions.

We invite student participants to present their advanced or preliminary research findings as a research poster. Cash prizes will include one grand prize and up to four merit awards for each center in the graduate student division and one grand prize for each center in the undergraduate student division. Each student may present only one paper but may be included as a coauthor on others.

For more information, contact Jill Fisher, program manager for the ESC, at, or Mary Tassava, program manager for the BRC, at

Published in Tech Today