Category: News

Interesting stories about and for our students.

Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship Spring 2019 Recipient – Samerender Nagam Hanumantharao

Samerender Nagam Hanumantharao
Biomedical Engineering

I received my Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Michigan Tech with the thesis titled “A 3D Biomimetic Scaffold using Electrospinning for Tissue Engineering Applications”. Under the guidance of Dr. Smitha Rao, I have continued my research effort in the field of tissue regeneration focusing on biophysical cues in the micro- and nano- scale that impact tissue growth. Tissue regeneration is a complex process that involves a myriad of biological pathways working in tandem. When this harmony is disturbed, it leads to complications which can be fatal. The healing of wounds caused by diabetic foot ulcer is one such disease that prevents complete healing, and involves time-consuming and expensive rehabilitation. My research focuses on identifying the biophysical cues involved in tissue regeneration for wound healing applications and developing a bandage that accelerates the wound healing process using the native cells of the body. The bandage functions by mimicking the physical characteristics of local tissues providing a framework for the cells to attach and proliferate thereby closing the wound.

I look forward to utilizing this opportunity to develop improved scaffolds and enable technologies to enhance our understanding of the various signaling pathways involved in wound healing. I will continue to identify commercial applications and develop my skills both as a researcher and an entrepreneur. The PHF assistantship will be invaluable in my pursuit. I want to thank the Portage Health Foundation, the department of biomedical engineering at Michigan Tech and my advisor Dr. Rao for the help, support and guidance.

Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship Fall 2019 Recipient – Srinivas Kannan

Srinivas Kannan
Biomedical Engineering

I began my doctoral research in the Fall of 2016 in the Biomedical Microdevices lab under the guidance of Dr. Smitha Rao. My research is focused on breast cancer and understanding breast cancer cell metastasis using a microfluidic platform. The compromised metabolic processes in breast cancers impact the local tumor environment. This is supported by the enhanced uptake of fructose and expression of GLUT5 (fructose specific transporter membrane proteins) in breast cancer cells compared to healthy cells. The overall objective is to better understand the nutrient microenvironment and impact from the nutrients available in the body on breast cancer, to improve cancer detection and/or therapy. Towards this end, I have contributed by testing the GLUT5 specific fluorescent fructose mimics (ManCou probes) developed in Dr. Tanasova’s lab. My doctoral work also includes developing a three-dimensional in vitro model for understanding cancer microenvironment and metabolic differences, differential uptake of fructose among breast cancer phenotypes and develop a platform for cancer diagnostics.

I thank the Portage Health Foundation for awarding me the assistantship and the department of Biomedical engineering at Michigan tech for the financial support. I am grateful for the continued guidance from my advisor Dr. Smitha Rao and my co-advisor Dr. Marina Tanasova.

 

Record Number of Fulbright Scholars at Tech

The students are from Afghanistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lesotho, Mauritius, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia & Montenegro, Togo, and Ukraine. Such diversity in backgrounds and academic interests brings a richness to Tech and makes our Graduate School like no other. Here are two comments:

  • “I am studying Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Power Systems. I plan to focus on the production of energy through renewable energy sources. Togo is a small country in Africa and is only able to produce about 30% of its consumption of electricity. I became interested in this area because I suffered from this lack of electricity when I was in high school. I had to study for my high school degree using old-fashioned kerosene lamps and candles and that’s still the case for a lot of children living in the countryside. That’s why I am doing my best to help bring electricity to remote areas. And I hope my time at Michigan Tech will give me with skills to address this issue in a more effective way.” – Koami Hayibo, MS, Togo
  • “Kazakhstan is in the top 15 countries in terms of coal, oil and gas reserves. Exports of these commodities have been feeding Kazakhstan’s economy for almost thirty years. However excessive reliance on hydrocarbon exports has its economic, societal and environmental backlashes. With its existing infrastructure, Kazakhstan is the 19th largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the world despite having only 18 million population. Realizing this problem, the government began to develop measures to improve the situation. In this regard, I decided that studying Environmental and Energy Policy at Michigan Tech can greatly contribute to creating a more favorable environment for my home country.” -Azat Turegeldin, MS – Kazakhstan

The mission of the Fulbright Program is to increase international understanding and respond to critical global issues. It is funded and overseen by the State Department, with 155 countries participating in the Program. Fulbrighters exemplify the power of international academic exchange to transform lives, bridge geographic and cultural boundaries and promote a more peaceful and prosperous world.

Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship Fall 2019 Recipient – Christina Welch

Christina Welch
Chemistry

In 2015, I joined Dr. Tarun Dam’s lab where the research is centered around Glycobiology. This field of study highlights the importance of glycoproteins in human health. Currently, we are focused on the discovery and characterization of a plant-derived bioactive molecule that has the potential to target pathogenic cells. This molecule can also help in drug delivery processes. In addition, we are studying the biological functions of a prominent heart failure and cancer biomarker.

My experience in Dr. Dam’s lab has been exceptional and I am truly grateful for all of the guidance and growth I’ve received over the years. I would also like to thank the Chemistry department and the graduate school for their never-ending support. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Portage Health Foundation, with their help I am able to continue my research with the hope of concluding my research projects soon.

New editing services from English Language Institute

The English Language Institute now provides editing services with the following options:
  • Copy editing (grammar, spelling, punctuation, flow, readability) – when quick turnaround is needed
  • Face-to-face editing conferences – for longterm writing improvement
  • Editing workshops for small groups and research teams, tailor-made for your writing context
Editing services are provided by highly qualified English language instructors with expertise in grammar, writing, and language instruction.  Service rates are $25 per hour.
Request a workshop by emailing eli@mtu.edu (1.5 hours of preparation billed for each hour of workshop).

Three Minute Thesis

GSG is pleased to announce that registration for this years Three Minute Thesis competition is currently open. This year’s competition is on Wednesday, November 6th. This competition offers a great opportunity for graduate students across the university to present their research to a general audience. This contest is open to all grad students – PhD/MS (thesis, report, or coursework.)

Registration closes October 23rd, at 11:59 PM.

Preliminary rounds: MUB Ballroom, 12-4 PM

Final round: Continental Fire Co, 6-8 PM.

We invite and encourage all graduate students to take advantage of this amazing competition and help make it a success. For full event information and the registration link please visit http://gsg.mtu.edu/3mt.

Graduate Student Government

Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship Fall 2019 Recipient -Christa Meingast

Christa Meingast
Environmental Engineering

My current research at Michigan Technological University aims to determine mechanisms of pathogen inactivation in both clinical and wastewater applications. Pathogenic infections are prevalent throughout the world, and effective and sustainable public safety measures to prevent these diseases are desirable. During this past year, I have been researching the mechanisms and optimal conditions of inactivating viruses in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Throughout my career as a PhD student in the field of environmental engineering, I have found a passion for teaching and researching.  After I graduate my PhD I want to obtain a career in post-secondary education to continue to spread scientific knowledge and an understanding of environmental sustainability.

I am very grateful for being awarded the Portage Health Foundation Fellowship to support my Ph.D. research for Fall 2019. This funding allows me to focus my attention on my research so I can graduate by the end of the academic year. I also want to thank my advisors Dr. Caryn Heldt and Dr. Veronica Webster for their help and support throughout my graduate career.

Winter Data Science Fellowship Opportunity

Program: The Data Incubator is an intensive 8 week fellowship that prepares masters students, PhDs, and postdocs in STEM and social science fields seeking industry careers as data scientists. The program is free for Fellows and supported by sponsorships from hundreds of employers across multiple industries. In response to the overwhelming interest in our earlier sessions, we will be holding another fellowship.

Who Should Apply: Anyone who has already obtained a masters or PhD degree or who is within one year of graduating with a masters or PhD is welcome to apply. Applications from international students are welcome. Everyone else is encouraged to sign-up for a future session.

Locations: In addition to the below in-person locations, we will have a remote online session:

  • New York City
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Boston
  • Washington, DC.

Dates: All sections will be from 2020-01-13 to 2020-03-06.

Application Link: https://www.thedataincubator.com/fellowship.html#apply?ref=wbWpzdGV2ZW5AbXR1LmVkdQo=

Early Deadline: 2019-10-14.
Regular Deadline: 2019-10-21.
We are assessing and interviewing candidates who apply for the Early Deadline first and then based on remaining availability, will take candidates who applied for the Regular Deadline on a first-come first-serve basis.

Data Science in 30 minutes: Learn how to build a data-science project in our upcoming free Data Science in 30-minutes webcast. Signup soon as space is limited.

Learn More: You can learn about our fellows at The New York Times, LinkedIn, Amazon, Capital One, or Palantir. To read about our latest fellow alumni, check out our blog. To learn more about The Data Incubator, check us out on Venture Beat, The Next Web, or Harvard Business Review.

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.