Category Archives: Awards

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Neel Uday Desai

Neel Uday Desai
Atmospheric Sciences

NeelDesaiI came to Michigan Tech in Fall 2013 to start my Phd in Atmospheric Sciences after finishing my masters from University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering and my bachelors from University of Mumbai in Mechanical Engineering.

When I came here, I wanted to learn more about the Earth’s atmosphere and how precipitation forms in clouds. My research focuses on the effect of turbulence on cloud droplet growth. I was able to perform experiments and obtain measurements to study that effect here in the Michigan Tech Pi Chamber which I couldn’t have done anywhere else. My research also allowed me to collaborate with other institutions such as the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research in Leipzig, Germany where I spent two months.
I’m thankful to my adviser Dr. Raymond Shaw for guiding me and the Physics department for supporting me in my research for all these years. This finishing fellowship allows me time to write my dissertation, defend my thesis and graduate with a doctoral degree. I would also like to thank the University and the Graduate School for the opportunity to grow as a graduate student in a professional yet homely atmosphere.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Roba Bdeir

Roba Bdeir
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Roba BdeirI was fortunate enough to work with Dr. Oliver Gailing in Forestry as he introduced me to Forest Genetics. I have been under his supervision since 2012 and it has been quite a journey. I did my Masters along side working on my PhD research focusing on discovery the genetic basis controlling the development of wood and bark tissues in forest trees, aspen, characteristics important for breeding and the fitness of aspen trees. I went on filed sites collecting samples from over 3000 trees and ran a genome wide search to find the underlying regions responsible for growing a healthier, better disease resistant and faster growing trees.

I am grateful to the Graduate School for granting me the Finishing Fellowship for Fall 2018. I would also like to thank my advisors Dr. Oliver Gailing and Dr. Victor Busov for their academic advice and their constant support and encouragement. I am proud to be a part of Michigan Tech and can say I have made amazing and fond memories these past six years.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Man Wang

Man Wang
Computer Science

Man WangIt was August 2011 when my flight landed in this beautiful Houghton County and my journey of studying Computer Science at Michigan Tech began. When I got my Master’s degree in 2013, I only knew that I was interested in Computer Graphics for future research as it can bring us a world beyond imagination through the sliver screen and VR lens. It was a NSF project that I later worked on helped me to see that Computer Graphics can do more in helping people. This project provided me the chance to develop a set of software system that facilitates the teaching of access control models. These tools take full advantage of data visualization to depict the inherently abstract concepts and their relationship. They also provide an experimental environment to allow custom inputs and manipulation of access control that can affect behaviors at the operating system level. With these tools, we were able to solve the long-lasting problem of lacking a safe and practical environment for learning access control, and successfully bring access control from a theoretical study back to an empirical experience as it should be.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Graduate School for granting me the Finishing Fellowship. I would also like to thank my advisors Dr. Jean Mayo and Dr. Chaoli Wang for their academic advise and their wisdom in life. It has been a valuable experience at Tech and I am proud to be a Husky.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Yogesh Kumar Ahlawat

Yogesh Kumar Ahlawat
Biological Sciences

Yogesh Kumar AhlawatI started my PhD at Michigan Tech in Spring 2015. My research focuses on genetic alteration in phenypropanoid pathways for an increased saccharification. As a part of my PhD dissertation, I manipulated certain phenyloxidases like laccases and peroxidases along with some transcription factors with the help a utility promoter using Poplar as my model plant. Cell wall provides the integrity, structural support and act as food reserves and constitutes cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose. Lignin imposes recalcitrance in the plant cell wall thereby hindering the release of sugar for biofuels. I produced about 200 genetically modified plants with alterated lignin and hence further investigated them for their wood and biochemical properties.

It has been great time at Michigan Tech since last 4 years. I want to express my sincere thanks to the Graduate School for providing this opportunity to the graduate students in their finishing semester. I feel proud to be a part of Michigan Tech.
Biologist Husky.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Shuaidong Zhao

Shuaidong Zhao
Civil Engineering

ShuaidongZhaoI am honored to receive the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship. Thanks to the support from the Graduate School for enabling this opportunity. In August 2014, I came to Houghton as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech after I obtained my Master degree in Urban Planning from Renmin University of China. At Michigan Tech, my primal research focus is to apply optimization, control theory, and data-driven methods to investigate dynamic transportation modeling of connected and automated vehicles, as well as interdependence between transportation network and power grid systems.

I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to work with my advisor, Dr. Kuilin Zhang in the emerging area of connected, automated, and electric vehicles in smart cities. His leadership and high standard of excellence has helped me grow into my potential. I also would like to give my special thanks to my dissertation committee members, other faculty and students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech for their big support throughout my journey of Ph.D. studies.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Mingxi Fang

Mingxi Fang
Chemistry

Mingxi FangI joined Dr. Haiying Liu’s group at Michigan Tech in spring, 2014. This is my 5th year as a PhD student in chemistry major. My research interests focus on design and synthesis of novel near-infrared fluorescent probes for biological sensing and imaging application. Near-infrared fluorescence is very useful in biomedical research because it penetrates deep tissue without dealing damage to bio-systems.  Besides research experience, I have been teaching General Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis, Quantitative Analysis (laboratory) and Recitation class (lecture) as a graduate teaching assistant since 2014. Those precious experience really helps me a lot in life as well as academia.

I also like sports. I learned to ski in Houghton as I never saw so much snow in winter before. Downhill skiing is so exciting and relaxing that I can relieve and take a deep breath from research when things did not go well.

I really want to express my gratitude to Graduate School and the Dean’s Advisory Panel for providing me the Finishing Fellowship in fall semester. The fellowship will help me focus on writing dissertation and finishing defense in a timely manner.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Wenping Deng

Wendping Deng
Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
wenping deng

I started my PhD in Michigan Tech. in August 2015 after working as a lecturer for ten years in Northeast Forestry University, China.

My PhD research is focused on developing appropriate statistical and machine learning models to reconstruct gene regulatory network from gene expression data. In these 3 years, I developed a backward elimination random forest (BWERF) algorithm for reconstructing multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory network, and a new graphical Gaussian model (JRmGRN) for joint reconstruction of multiple gene regulatory networks using data from multiple tissues or conditions. Reconstructing gene regulatory networks helps elucidating the nature of complex biological processes and disease mechanisms in a variety of organisms. Comprehending the associations between genes has important ramifications in pathological studies for explaining disease pathways and identifying biomarkers for prognosis and diagnosis.
I would like to give my sincere gratitude to the Graduate School at Michigan Tech. for this financial support, which gives me an opportunity to put all my efforts on completing my PHD degree this semester.


Graduate Student Conference Award

Donate to the “Graduate Student Conference Award” project. This is a collaborative initiative between the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Government to foster, encourage, and recognize graduate research. Professional and scholarly conferences are key avenues for presenting one’s research out to the larger community. In addition to sharing knowledge and learning more about the work done by fellow researchers, such conferences also play a key role in graduate students’ professional development.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2018 Recipient – Kevin Waters

Kevin Waters
Physics

KWaters_FFI came to Michigan Tech. in the Summer of 2013 after finishing my undergraduate degree in physics at Indiana State University.

My research focuses on quantum mechanical simulation of nanomaterials. Over the years I have investigated different potential functionalizations of boron-nitride nanotubes and monolayers with amino acids and gold clusters.

I would like to thank the physics department and the graduate school for funding my academic endeavor. The Finishing Fellowship helps me spend my full time on dissertation writing without any distraction from other duties. The university has provided me with great opportunities to grow professionally at Michigan Tech., at the Air Force Research Laboratory and at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2018 Recipient – Soroush Sepahyar

Soroush Sepahyar
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Soroush SepahyarI started my PhD in Michigan Tech in August 2013 in Mechanical Engineering. My PhD research is focused on developing and testing a new technology in cooling systems. The application of this new technology is on future generation computer cooling systems such as Data Centers and Supercomputers. It would make cooling systems working more efficiently and reduce the environmental impact and energy costs when implemented.

Along with the research activities, since Fall 2014, I have been working as Graduate Teaching Assistant and had the opportunity to teach two different labs in MEEM department which was a great experience for me.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the Graduate School at Michigan Tech for this financial support. This gave me an opportunity to focus on my research and also put all my efforts toward completion of my PhD degree this semester.

I am also grateful for the generous donations from MTU alumni and Friends who made this opportunity possible for me.