Category Archives: Fellowship Recipients

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – Daniel Trepal

Daniel J Trepal
Industrial Archaeology

As a previous graduate of Michigan Tech’s Industrial Archaeology Masters program, I returned to Michigan Tech and the Social Sciences department to undertake my doctoral studies due to the excellent student support, interdisciplinary research opportunities, and the unique benefits of living and working on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Having previously spent nearly a decade working as a professional archaeologist specializing in the study of industrial landscapes, my doctoral research embraces a more interdisciplinary approach influenced by Spatial History and the Digital Humanities. I focus on studying postindustrial urban landscapes and their constituent communities from a historical, spatial, big data based perspective using GIS and other geospatial technologies.

It is a great privilege to receive the Finishing Fellowship; I look forward to wrapping up my dissertation this spring and moving on to a new set of challenges. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my advisor, Dr. Don Lafreniere, my committee members, and all of the Michigan Tech faculty and fellow students who have supported me in many valuable ways as a student and colleague.


DeVlieg Foundation Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Ami Kling

Ami Kling
Biomedical Engineering

I am a second-year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering program, although I never intended to pursue a graduate education when I first came to Michigan Tech. I came to this school as an undergraduate student in the fall of 2013 with an associate degree in hand, intent on earning a bachelor’s in 2-3 years and obtaining a job – any job – in the medical device industry. Four years, an undergrad degree, and a newfound love of physics later, I became first a masters and then a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department.

My research focuses on a novel medical imaging technique called elastography, which is used to noninvasively quantify tissue stiffness distributions in vivo. Specifically, I am interested in combining optical and ultrasound elastography techniques in order to create an improved system that has potential applications in both research and clinical environments.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the DeVlieg Foundation and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for the support that has been provided to me for the summer of 2019. This financial support will allow me to concentrate efforts on developing instrumentation, gathering experimental data, and publishing results. Consequently, this support will also further my overarching goal of creating a useful, portable, and readily available diagnostic imaging system. I would also like to thank: the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Programs Committee for their recommendation; my advisors, Dr. Jingfeng Jiang and Dr. Sean J. Kirkpatrick, for their guidance and support; and Mr. David Rosen for his assistance with this project.


DeVlieg Foundation Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Chris Adams

Chris Adams
Biological Sciences

I am a fourth year PhD student in Biological Sciences. My research investigates life history variation in trout populations, which may be a mechanism for adapting to changing environments. Data is obtained by individually tagging fish with RFID tags and operating in-stream antenna stations to rack moments throughout a watershed. I look forward to working under the DeVlieg fellowship this summer to wrap up field work in the nearby Pilgrim River and prepare manuscripts for publication.


Nicholas Matwiyoff and Carl Hogberg Graduate Fellowship Fund, Spring 2019 Recipient – Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips
Integrative Physiology

I have been living in the Upper Peninsula for 5 years and began my Ph.D. at Michigan Tech in 2015. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Integrative Physiology program. I have always loved the outdoors and exercise. Therefore, my research is focused on understanding how environmental demands and thermal interventions (hot/cold water immersion) influence performance and the perception of fatigue during physical exercise. We use a variety of techniques to quantify muscle and brain activation during these fatiguing tasks. This research may provide us with important implications for improving athletic performance and managing the perception of pain in clinical populations. I am incredibly thankful for the support that the Nicholas Matwiyoff and Carl Hogberg Graduate Fellowship Fund and the Graduate School has provided me to complete my degree. I would also like to thank my mentors and fellow students who have helped me along the way. I have learned so much at Michigan Tech and I will always be grateful for my time here.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – David Rosen

David Rosen
Biomedical Engineering

My graduate study at MTU began the spring of 2015.  My broad research interests and aspirations are oriented toward soft tissue biomechanics and the physiology and technologies that are associated with the topic.  For my PhD research, my interest in biomechanics has been specifically focused on a medical ultrasound technology called elastography.  Elastography is a technique used to assess soft tissue elasticity in vivo. My graduate research efforts have focused on how the distinctive mechanical properties of soft tissue (i.e. viscoelasticity, heterogeneity, and nonlinear elasticity) manifest in elastography measurements and what role they have in elastographic uncertainty as it relates medical diagnosis.

I am immensely grateful for the support provided by the Graduate School through the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship. This support is instrumental in this final stage of my graduate study. It has been a privilege to study and work on research at MTU and I am excited to see how the skills and knowledge I have developed during my time here will impact my career and my field.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – Simeon Schum

Simeon Schum
Chemistry

I arrived at Michigan Tech in Fall 2013 after receiving my Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from University of Alaska, Fairbanks the previous spring. After arriving, I joined Dr. Lynn Mazzoleni’s group, which is primarily focused on investigating the molecular composition of atmospheric organic aerosol using ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry.

My research has focused on the analysis and interpretation of organic aerosol collected at the Pico Mountain Observatory, which is located on Pico Island in the Azores Archipelago, within the north Atlantic Ocean. Through this work I was able to go to the site in the summers of 2014 and 2017 for a total of ten weeks and helped operate and maintain the site so that samples and observations could be obtained for researchers at Michigan Tech and other collaborating institutions. Some of my work from the site highlighted interesting questions about the aging processes that organic aerosol undergo based on the ambient conditions in the atmosphere during long-range transport.

In addition to my work with organic aerosol, I learned how to write code in R and have used that knowledge to write a code package that includes functions that do molecular formula assignment, isotope filtering, signal to noise determination, and recalibration. These are all important for the analysis of ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry data.

First, I would like to thank Dr. Mazzoleni for her incredible assistance over the years in mentoring and providing me the opportunity to do things I may not have otherwise done. I would also like to thank the Michigan Tech Graduate school for awarding me this finishing fellowship, which will allow me to focus on finishing my dissertation and journal publications related to my work.

 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – Xin He

Xin He
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

It is never easy to approach to the finishing of a Ph.D. study since one could always explore a little more. I am extremely honored to be awarded the finishing scholarship, nevertheless, the study will never end. After obtaining M.S. in New Mexico State University, I joined Michigan Tech in Spring 2016 with my research interests in computational fluid dynamics. My research topic did not take long to be specified into high-speed boundary layer flow and its stability analysis. I appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Chunpei Cai granted for joining his research group. Tech has great resources to support one on both researching and surviving in the extreme weather. Gradually, snowboarding has become my primary after-work activity throughout the year since the winter session lasts so long. Tech is always my family, being here feels like home.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – Lukai Zhai

Lukai Zhai
Biological Sciences

I started my life in Michigan Tech as a Ph.D student majoring in Biological Sciences from 2015 Fall. My advisor, Dr. Ebenezer Tumban, kindly offered me support in his lab till now. I have had a great time working in our lab and our department. Before I came here, I earned my bachelor’s degree majoring in Biotechnology in Shandong Normal University, China. I also worked as a research scientist for two years in Shandong University, China. My impression of Michigan Tech is that it is a wonderful place to do research!

Our research focuses on 1) Developing a novel chimeric MS2 bacteriophage virus like particles (VLPs), displaying a tandem HPV L2 peptide, as candidate vaccine to protect against diverse genital HPV infections. 2) In collaboration with Dr. Pavan Muttil (University of New Mexico), formulating the MS2-L2 VLPs into a dry powder by spray-freeze drying for thermostability test (2 Month) and assessing the potential of MS2-L2 VLPs to offer oral and vaginal protection from HPV pseudovirus infection, following sublingually immunized with mucosal adjuvants. 3) Cloning, co-expressing in E. coli, and purifying two coat proteins (ORF13 and ORF14) from a novel thermophilic phage ΦIN93. Assess the potentials of the coat proteins to assemble into VLP.

It is a great honor for me to receive the Finishing Fellowship and I would like to sincerely thank the Graduate School for offering me the support! Also I want to express my gratitude to everybody who helped me in my research and life. At last, I am proud of being a Husky!


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – Xian Li

Xian Li
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

In August 2015, I had my first time to take an airplane trip and to travel aboard, and the destination was Michigan Tech in Houghton. Since then, I have joined Dr. Ye Sun’s research group and began my exciting Ph.D. study here. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree (from Tianjin University, China) and Master’s Degree (from Chongqing University, China) in Biomedical Engineering in China. Currently, my research focuses on the Internet of Things and Energy Harvesting, and my dissertation is mainly about developing a hybrid-powered wireless wearable system for biopotential monitoring.

I would like to give my sincere thanks to Graduate School for providing me with this finishing fellowship. Thanks to this financial support, I will be able to concentrate my efforts on completing the dissertation and to expect to graduate this semester. I really appreciate for learning the techniques and skills I needed for my future career, and I feel very proud of being a Ph.D. Candidate in Michigan Tech. I am also very thankful to my advisor and department of MEEM for their big support.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – Niranjan Miganakallu

Niranjan Miganakallu
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

I am a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at MTU. I arrived in the US in the Fall of 2014 to pursue my PhD at Michigan Tech after 6 years in industry and academia in India. I started working under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Naber with research in injector studies to study the combustion and emission performance on Gasoline engines.

My research primarily focuses on the impact of water injection in gasoline engines in terms of improving the performance and reducing the NOx emissions. Studies are conducted on a single cylinder engine test bench at the Mechanical Engineering building at MTU to observe the combustion and emission characteristics of gasoline combustion with water injection. My research also includes studies on gasoline sprays to study the spray characteristics using conventional and alternative fuels. These studies are conducted at a state-of-the-art Alternative Energy Research Building (AERB) combustion lab in Hancock. Optical diagnostics including imaging from high-speed camera are used to observe the sprays emanating out of high-pressure injectors inside a spray vessel at varied operating conditions. This research helps in improving the fundamental understanding of the combustion process and combustion control for gasoline combustion and its impact on the environment.

Apart from research, I have been involved with the Graduate Student Government (GSG) at Michigan Tech since 2016 in various capacities as department representative, treasurer, student liaison for several committees with regular interactions with the administration. I have also had the opportunity of serving as a member of the search committee of Dean of College of Engineering at Michigan Tech representing the graduate student body.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Michigan Tech Graduate School for awarding me the Finishing Fellowship for the Spring 2019 semester. This fellowship helps me in focusing exclusively on finishing the experiments and publishing in journals to complete my dissertation in a timely manner.