Author: ssvairo

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Saeid Jamilan

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. From the beginning of my Ph.D. program at Michigan Tech, I started to perform research on developing novel electromagnetic and photonic devices. They include invisibility cloaks, collimators, and metasurfaces formed from low-loss all-dielectric photonic crystals and resonators. I performed theoretical calculations and analysis involving Maxwell’s equations, Transformation Optics, and Mie theories. In addition, I conducted numerical simulations and experimental measurements. This led to achieving promising results that appeared in publications, already cited by well-known research groups from different countries. These results allow for developing advanced applications in shielding the objects from harmful irradiations, sensing, imaging, holography, communications, and medicine. I also had opportunities to improve my teaching skills as a graduate teaching assistant for four semesters. Furthermore, I have frequently served as a reviewer for high-impact scientific journals during recent years.

I would like to thank the Graduate School, Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel, and dean for awarding me a Finishing Fellowship that allows me to finish my research. I am also grateful to my advisor, Dr. Elena Semouchkina, for her continuous guidance and support.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Zhihao Zhao

I am Zhihao, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. In Fall 2016, I decided to come to Michigan Tech as a master’s student but transferred to a Ph.D. student after my first semester. At the same time, I joined Dr. Seong-Young Lee’s group for spray and combustion studies during the past four years. I am also a Research Assistant of Combustion Science Exploration Lab (CSEL) Group especially in Alternative Energy Research Building (AERB). My research mainly focuses on Laser-Based combustion diagnostics, Spray-wall interactions, and Alternative fuel combustion characteristics. I have enjoyed my Ph.D. life at MTU and I hope I can continue my academic life after my graduation.

At last, I would like to thank the Graduate school for awarding me with the Doctoral finishing fellowship. Also, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Seong-Young Lee, for supporting me during the past four years.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Gabrial Edzordzi Agbozo


I am currently a PhD candidate on the interdisciplinary Rhetoric, Theory and Culture program in the Department of Humanities. Previously I obtained a Master of Philosophy degree in English Linguistics and Language Acquisition from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway, and a BA in English and Linguistics from the University of Ghana. My current research interests are located at the intersections of Technical Communication, Critical Discourse Studies, and Rhetoric. My dissertation contributes to international technical communication and technologies through analyzing how a locally developed geo-spatial technology was created to organize a digital addressing system in a Global South context. I demonstrate the consequences of such technological innovations and policies for developing countries. My work has been well received with at least seven awards for its importance in centering and theorizing technologies emerging from the complex transnational context. Additionally, I work within medical rhetoric, researching the rhetorical ethics of medical discourse, especially transnational Coronavirus vaccine trials, and how multinational pharmaceutical writing could be more audience-focused. I have developed a Multimodal Critical Discourse Pedagogy that emphasizes critical-rhetorical micro disciplinary and macro social contexts that address real-world exigencies and audiences beyond students’ familiar geographies. This Finishing Fellowship will help me totally concentrate on writing and revising my dissertation, defending it, and graduating as scheduled. I am grateful to the Michigan Tech Graduate School and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for this fellowship. I am also grateful to my advisor, Dr. Victoria L. Bergvall, for her guidance and support and to the Department of Humanities for supporting my graduate studies.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks announces the opening of applications for its 2021 Arctic Innovator Program.

Fairbanks, AK – The University of Alaska Fairbanks today announced the opening of applications for its 2021 Arctic Innovator Program.  The application deadline is January 8, 2021.  To learn more or apply, visit: https://orise.orau.gov/arctic-innovators/.

The Arctic Innovator program provides early career innovators and entrepreneurs the opportunity to spend up to two years developing their technology at a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory and University of Alaska Fairbanks pursuing commercialization.

The Arctic Innovator program is open to early career professionals:

  • who currently have or will have a graduate degree in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics related field before the program start date;
  • with a technology or area of research that they are interested in developing toward real-world adoption; and
  • whose technology or area of research addresses Arctic-based challenges and aligns with U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office Strategic Goals (energy.gov/eere/amo/about-us).

This program, formally titled the Arctic Advanced Manufacturing Innovator Program, provides selected Innovators with the resources and guidance to maximize their likelihood of success.  Innovators receive: a competitive personal stipend, a travel and training allowance, health insurance, a mentor at University of Alaska Fairbanks and a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory, and space and collaborative support at each organization.  Innovators also have the adventure of living in Alaska while working on Arctic-related challenges.

Nathan Prisco, a 2020 Arctic Innovator, is representative of the passion and skill that the Arctic Advanced Manufacturing Innovator Program is seeking in candidates.  Prisco is working on ammonia-based technologies for improving energy production.  He explained that the program offers him “a great way to get science out of the laboratory and into the world at large.”  Prisco says he was attracted to the significant research and commercialization support while also being “intrigued by Alaska, both in its pristine wilderness and the feeling that there is an incredible opportunity in the last frontier.”  To read more about Prisco’s experience, visit: https://uaf.edu/oipc/news/2020/Welcome-Arctic-Innovator-Dr-Nathan-Prisco.php.

To learn more or to apply, visit: https://orise.orau.gov/arctic-innovators/

This program is sponsored by the Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office and is a collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Nominee for MAGS Distinguished Thesis Award – Mitch Timm

I arrived at Michigan Tech in 2017, after completing my bachelor’s in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota the previous year, deciding to pursue my graduate degree at Michigan Tech for its nationally ranked engineering program (and weather). I completed my masters at Michigan Tech in 2018 and am currently a Ph.D. student under my advisor Prof. Hassan Masoud.

My research consists of the study of complex fluids and transport phenomena; simply speaking I study the interactions of fluids with solid objects and how certain materials are transported within fluids by utilizing the combined tools of theoretical (mathematical), computational (computer simulation), and experimental analysis. Though to many people this may seem impractical or pointless, this research has numerous real-world applications. For example, for my master’s thesis, I researched the rate of evaporation of a liquid droplet when it rests on an inclined surface (sessile drop). Most people are familiar with sessile droplets from when it rains on your windshield or when you wash the dishes, however, most people don’t understand that it is these droplets that can lead to the stubborn stains on these surfaces. This is also known as the coffee ring effect. By understanding the way in which these droplets evaporate and deposit the suspended particles therein on these surfaces, we can develop ways to avoid this, or even utilize it to our advantage.

It is for this research and subsequent thesis that I have been nominated to represent the university for the MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Thesis Award Competition.

I am extremely grateful and humbled to be nominated for this competition, and I especially want to thank my advisor Prof. Masoud, Dr. Predebon, and the graduate committee for this nomination and for recognizing my hard work. It is times like these that I am reminded of the fantastic community at Michigan Tech and am glad I decided to come here for my graduate education.


KCP Future Faculty Fellow – Jeffrey Kabel

As an undergraduate, I joined a nanomaterials research group through mere happenstance and found myself engrossed by it. Ultimately, it was that experience that led me to pursue my Ph.D. I joined Michigan Tech’s Physics Department in the Fall of 2018 and began working alongside Yoke Khin Yap shortly after. My research is focused on the synthesis and applications of nanomaterials — mainly molybdenum disulfide quantum dots. These quantum dots have incredibly useful properties; as such they’ve seen successful applications in electrocatalysis, solar energy, energy storage, advanced electronics, chemical sensing, bioimaging, drug delivery, and photothermal cancer treatment.

I am honored to be a recipient of the King-Chávez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship. Upon the completion of my Ph.D., I will be seeking instruction positions at post-secondary institutions.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Xiaodong Zhou

I came to MTU in 2017 to pursue my Ph.D. with Dr. Alex Mayer in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This has been a great experience because I learned a lot, but also because I collaborated with amazing people and made very good friends. My research focuses on hydrology modeling to assess the effects of the Payment for Hydrological Services program in Veracruz, Mexico. This is one of the longest operating payments for ecosystem services in the World and the scientific results produced by our research group, contribute to better understanding the connections between social and ecological systems and to make more informed decisions in terms of Water Resources Management. My thanks and gratitude to the graduate school and to the Michigan Tech Community for your support to complete my research.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Alejandra Almanza

I started my PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in Fall 2016 under the guidance of Dr. Paul Sanders. I have been working in the production and optimization of ductile iron, and it has been four great years full of challenges, achievements, and lessons learned. I feel passionate about research and learning new things every day, Michigan Tech has given me these experiences.

I want to sincerely express my gratitude to the Graduate School for awarding me with the Fall 2020 Finishing Fellowship. A big thank you to my advisor, who has given me positive feedback and encourage me throughout my degree. And finally, thank you to the Materials Science and Engineering department for all the support provided during my time here.