Category Archives: Fellowship Recipients

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2019 Recipient – Hemanth Kumar Vemprala

Hemanth Kumar Vemprala
Electrical Engineering

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering, working with my advisor Dr. Bruce A. Mork. Currently, my research focuses on the time-domain modeling approaches for addressing disturbances such as Transformer Inner winding faults and also external events such as Geomagnetic Disturbances (GMD) causing GIC to flow in Bulk Transmission systems. Both these disturbances have an adverse impact on the normal operation of the power system. My research had lead to development and enhancement of the approach to accurately estimate the fault currents which is then used to study and improve the sensitivity of transformer protection. Similarly, GIC/GMD event is intricate and involves complex interaction in the physical world, using EMTP time-domain approaches, various tools and methodologies are developed that helps understand the behavior, study the consequences and to find effective mitigative strategies.
I am very grateful to the grad school and the funding panel for awarding me the finishing fellowship. This will certainly help me to focus on completing the dissertation and publishing my research papers.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2019 Recipient – Siyu Chen

Siyu Chen
Civil Engineering

Mr. Siyu Chen received his MS degree in Highway Engineering from South China University of Technology in China. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. degree at MTU from Fall 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Zhanping You. His Ph.D. research focuses on investigating the water permeability of asphalt mixture. After the completion of his Ph.D., he would be interested to work as a faculty in an academic institution in China.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2019 Recipient – Mohammed Desouky

Mohammed Desouky
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

I earned my bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Military Technical College in 2005 and my MSc in aerospace engineering from Cairo University in 2012. I started at MTU in Spring 2017. My research is on spacecraft attitude determination, dynamics and control. Specifically, I am developing control schemes that enable the spacecraft to carry out attitude maneuver in less time with less power consumption.

I would like to express my gratitude to my entire family for supporting me.  With Special thanks to my father, Abdelrahman, my wife, Eman and my son, Zeyad. I am grateful to the Graduate School for granting me the Finishing Fellowship for Fall 2019. I would also like to thank my advisors Dr. Abdelkhalik and Dr. Gauchia for their academic advice and their constant support and encouragement.

It has been great time at Michigan Tech and I am proud to be a part of it.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2019 Recipient – Nancy Henaku

Nancy Henaku
Rhetoric, Theory and Culture

I am currently a doctoral candidate on the Rhetoric, Theory and Culture (RTC) program in the Department of Humanities. Generally, my research examines the intersections between discourse and socio-political processes with a specific emphasis on postcoloniality and transnationality. For my doctoral dissertation, I argue for a Global Southern perspective on women’s politics, suggesting that a serious engagement with postcolonial (African) women’s politics provides critical insights into the complexities of female political power and the role that language and rhetoric play in constructing this complexity. Besides suggesting a multitheoretic framework for unravelling the socio-discursive complexities that I identify in my discursive data, the dissertation also contributes to discussions in transnational feminist research by highlighting the connections between discourses on/about an African woman and discursive patterns identified from a broader transnational context. Because my doctoral project is itself an effort to recover an African woman’s political contributions, I have had to cover significant ground in order to highlight the complex issues in the texts examined. I am currently completing the final chapters of my dissertation and looking forward to my defense and graduation in Fall 2019. The Finishing Fellowship will therefore facilitate my work on the final sections of my dissertation. I am extremely grateful to the Michigan Tech Graduate School and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for this generous financial support. I am also grateful to Dr. Victoria L. Bergvall—my advisor—for her support and intellectual guidance and to the Department of Humanities for supporting my academic endeavors since I started the PhD program.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2019 Recipient – Danielle Rupp

Danielle Rupp
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

I am a fourth year PhD Candidate in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. My area of study revolves around boreal ecosystems—particularly northern wetlands—and how these areas are responding to climate change. The research that I pursue at Michigan Tech specifically involves carbon cycling, microbial response, and plant community shifts due to hydrologic change. Other research I have been involved with during my time at Tech includes the investigation of permafrost thaw and its effects on nutrient cycling in and around thermokarst features. In so doing, I have spent the past three summers living and working in and around Fairbanks, Alaska—an area in which permafrost thaw and climate change are daily realities for both the landscape and the people who live there. During my time at Michigan Tech, I also had the opportunity to attain a Masters in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which expands my technical skillset for any future career.

I am incredibly grateful to the graduate school for awarding me a Finishing Fellowship. The extra time to finish writing and publishing my research will make me a competitive candidate for many potential future careers. Careers I am interested in pursuing include nonprofit environmental research, land- or water-based management positions in federal agencies, land trusts, or non-profits, or environmental state-based careers in Alaska or other northern climates.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2019 Recipient -Amol Paithankar

Amol Paithankar
Mining Engineering

I am a Ph.D. candidate studying Mining Engineering in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences. I came to Michigan Tech in Fall 2015 to pursue MS in Mining Engineering, after working for 4 years in the mining industry in India.  I started working under the guidance of Dr. Snehamoy Chatterjee, where I worked on multiple-point geostatistics and mine production scheduling. After finishing MS in 2017, I decided to continue for a Ph.D. at MTU. As a Ph.D. candidate, I am developing a mining complex optimization algorithm to solve a large scale stochastic open-pit mine optimization problem. I want to thank my advisor Dr. Snehamoy Chatterjee for his guidance and generous support.

I am very grateful to the Graduate School for the support provided through the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship. This support is instrumental in this final stage of my graduate studies.  I am mainly writing my final research papers, and look forward to completing my dissertation in a timely manner and take on new challenges.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Erin Burkett

Erin Burkett
Social Sciences

I am a PhD candidate studying Environmental and Energy Policy in the Department of Social Sciences. Over the past four years I have studied demographic trends and changes among recreational anglers in Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. I have also studied the importance of fishing to women and how women-specific outreach programs engage with this important group. This research includes working with both state natural resource agencies and recreational fisheries stakeholders. The MTU Finishing Fellowship comes as a pivotal time in my dissertation as I am mainly writing my final research papers and preparing to give my oral defense. I am very grateful to have funding and support during this stage of my research. Go Huskies!

 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Kelsey Carter

Kelsey Carter
Forest Science

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in Forest Science, working with my advisor, Dr. Molly Cavaleri. My research seeks to better understand how tropical plants are impacted by climate warming. Tropical forests cycle more carbon than any other biome, but we lack insight on the mechanisms driving these vital ecosystems. My research will better inform global models and allow us to close critical gaps in our understanding of how tropical forests might shift their carbon balance in response to the warming climate. Throughout my PhD, I have been very fortunate to perform my field work at the first field-scale warming experiment in a tropical rainforest (Tropical Responses to Altered Climate Experiment– TRACE), located in Luquillo, Puerto Rico. In total, I spent eight months living and working in Puerto Rico. Alongside pursuing my PhD, I completed my master’s degree in Applied Ecology at MTU. In addition, I gained teaching experience through Michigan Tech, both as a teaching assistant and instructor for undergraduate courses.

I am very grateful to the graduate school and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me the Finishing Fellowship. This fellowship will provide time for me to complete my degree and focus on publishing my research, which will allow me to be more competitive as apply for jobs in the next stage of my career.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Qi Zhong

Qi Zhong
Physics

I came to Michigan Tech in Spring 2014 and joined Dr. Ramy El-Ganainy’s group in Summer 2016. Currently, my research focuses on the fundamental aspects and applications of non-Hermitian physics. In general, non-Hermiticity arises in open systems that exchange energy with their environment. Particularly, my work deals with a special type of non-Hermitian degeneracies called exceptional points. I have explored the mathematical features of these singularities as well as their potential benefit in building new photonic components such as ultra-responsive optical sensors as well as a new generation of optical amplifiers that outperform standard devices. Additionally, I am also investigating how the engineering of dissipation in non-Hermitian nonlinear optical systems can be used to build new light sources that can produce coherent light at any color on demand.

I would like to thank the Graduate School for granting me this fellowship, which will allow me to focus on my dissertation writing and thesis defense. I am grateful for the Physics Department for the continuous support and would like to thank my adviser Dr. El-Ganainy for guiding me throughout my work.

 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Behdad Afkhami

Behdad Afkhami
MEEM

My good memories from Michigan Tech started from a chilly summer night of August 05, 2014 when my flight landed in Houghton! Later at the end of my first semester (Fall 2014) I joined Dr. Scott Miers’ research team and since then I have been involved in several engine-related researches. Working on my PhD research topic became serious in summer 2015 with focusing on developing a turbulent flame speed model for spark ignition (SI) engines. The novelty of the project was on incorporating the effect of flame stretch into the flame speed; the parameter that can affect the flame speed significantly or result in flame extinction and high unburned hydrocarbon emission especially right after ignition in SI engines. To visualize the flame, its propagation and the flame stretch in a SI engine, an optically accessible-engine was utilized and tested in Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APSRC). I want to take this opportunity to also thank Dr. Jeffery Naber, the director of APSRC for all his helps and contributions to the project.

During my graduate studies I was fortunate enough to serve as a Teaching Assistant since Spring 2015, getting promoted to the Lead Teaching Assistant in Fall 2016, and selected to receive the Distinguished Doctoral Teaching Fellowship in Spring 2019 as the instructor of Mechanical Engineering Practice 2 (MEP2) course in the ME department.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Graduate School at Michigan Tech for this financial support. This gave me an opportunity to focus on my dissertation and put all my efforts toward completion of my PhD degree. And, last but not the least, I want to thank snow and Mont Ripley which helped me to stay powered during the Houghton long winters :).