Category: News

Interesting stories about and for our students.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2023 Recipient – Nastaran Khademimoshgenani

I came to Michigan Technological University in August 2018 to pursue a PhD degree in chemistry. I became interested in analytical chemistry during my undergraduate studies in polymer engineering and color science at the Amir Kabir University of Tehran, where I trained to design, synthesize, and analyze various materials such as polymers and pigments with industrial applications. Currently, my research focuses on using analytical techniques such as fluorescence spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to elucidate the origins of fluorescence in complex organic mixtures such as dissolved organic matter (DOM). DOM is one of the largest carbon reservoirs in soil and water, which plays a major role in global climate change and significantly impacts nutrient cycling for different ecosystems and their living organisms. 

During my journey as a PhD student, I have had many excellent learning opportunities while working as a teaching and research assistant. I collaborated on a research project with the department of natural resources and published a research paper titled “Insights on Dissolved Organic Matter Production Revealed by Removal of Charge-Transfer Interactions in Senescent Leaf Leachates” in the Water journal in August 2020. Also, I was fortunate to complete a 12-week co-op opportunity last summer, which helped me gain expertise in analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry, chromatography, and their applications in manufacturing and environmental studies. One of our most recent projects focuses on developing extraction methods and characterizing fluorescent compounds in animals to help us understand these species and their ecosystems more deeply. These natural fluorescent compounds can have various biological, medicinal, and industrial applications. 

I am immensely grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the Dean for granting me this finishing fellowship award. I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Sarah Green for being a great mentor and offering her continuous support and encouragement throughout my journey.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2023 Recipient – Niusen Chen

I started my PhD life in the Department of Computer at Michigan Technological University with Dr. Bo Chen. My research interests mainly focus on securely deleting data in flash devices and implementing Plausibly Deniable Encryption (PDE) to fare against coercive attacks in flash devices.

Due to the nature of flash memory, some special functions such as garbage collection and wear leveling are performed in flash devices. These functions will generate several duplicates of the content. A regular delete operation from the user level can not remove those duplicates, therefore, privacy may be compromised. In this work, I experimentally verify the existence of those duplicates and propose a method to remove them. Implementing PDE in flash devices is also a topic I am focusing on. Existing PDE work is implemented either in the block device layer or Flash Translation Layer (FTL). I build a PDE framework such that the block device layer and FTL layer can work cooperatively with each other. This is because the block device layer is more user-friendly and the FTL layer can handle the special nature of flash devices. In this way, PDE will work more efficiently.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Department of Computer Science and the Graduate College of Michigan Technological University for their continuous support in achieving my PhD goals. I am also grateful to my advisor Dr. Bo Chen and my committee members, for their guidance and help during my PhD life.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2023 Recipient – Sodiq Waheed

I commenced my PhD program in Chemistry here at Michigan Tech in the Fall of 2018 under the direction of Dr. Christo Z. Christov and Dr. Tatyana G. Karabencheva-Christova. Before joining Michigan Tech, I obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Industrial Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, respectively, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Also, I received the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree (EMJMD) in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling (TCCM) from the University of Porto, Portugal, and the University of Valencia, Spain, in summer 2018.

My doctoral research focuses on the use of computational modeling approaches to understand the structure-function relationships, conformational flexibility, collective motions, catalytic mechanisms, and the electronic structures of non-heme Fe(II) and 2-oxoglutarate dependent enzymes, such as AlkB, AlkBH2, TET2 and KDM4E that are involved in DNA repair, epigenetic regulation, and histone demethylation. 

During my PhD program, I worked on an NIH-funded project on matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) enzyme, where I explored the early catalytic events of the enzyme necessary for its collagenolytic activity. In this project, I studied the processes of formation of the catalytically productive enzyme-substrate complex of MMP-1 and the associated changes in the coordination states of the catalytic Zn(II) site during the conformational transition to the productive complex. Moreover, I have worked on applying external electric fields (EEFs) to enhance the specificity of KDM4E enzyme for C—H activation over N—H activation during the histone N-methyl arginine demethylation. I was also involved in a collaborative project on artificial metalloenzyme with experimental groups at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, where we studied the use of YfeX hemoprotein, naturally a peroxidase, as a carbene transferase to mediate some organic reactions.   

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to my co-advisors, Dr. Christo Z. Christov and Dr. Tatyana G. Karabencheva-Christova, PhD committee members (Dr. Tarun Dam, Dr. Haiying Liu, and Dr. Stephen Techtmann), and the Department of Chemistry for their continuous support. I am grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the Dean for awarding me the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship. This fellowship will afford me the opportunity to focus on completing my PhD dissertation and preparing for my defense.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2023 Recipient – Xuewei Cao

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mathematical Sciences starting in the Fall of 2018. My advisor is professor Qiuying Sha. Prior to joining MTU, I obtained a Master’s degree in System Theory from the School of Systems Science at Beijing Normal University (2018) and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Heilongjiang University (2015). My research is in statistical genetics. I focus on the development of novel statistical methods and efficient bioinformatical tools to find genetic variants or genes related to complex diseases and traits, such as type II diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, et al. One of my main projects is incorporating the genotype and phenotype association network to simultaneously analyze multiple phenotypes and multiple genotypes and improve the power to identify genes that are associated with complex diseases by using the constructed network. I also work on serval collaborative interdisciplinary projects falling in statistical genetics, RNA sequencing data analyses, clinical statistical problems, etc.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for the support, which allows me to focus on such cutting-edge research here at Michigan Tech and prepare the thesis/manuscripts for publication in the coming spring. I also want to thank my advisors Professor Qiuying Sha and Professor Shuanglin Zhang for all of their valuable guidance and support over the last four years, and I am extremely grateful to the graduate program in Math Department for their constant help and generous support throughout my entire graduate school studies.

Xuewei’s Finishing Fellowship was generously supported by the Neil Hakala Endowed Fellowship.

Spring 2023 Graduate Orientation

The Graduate School is excited to welcome our new students to campus. A summary of upcoming events is below.

  • The Graduate School Welcome session is on Friday, January 6, 2023, beginning at 2pm in the MUB Ballroom. A reception is planned for 2-3pm, and the live presentation will begin at 3pm.  The presentation will be live streamed and recorded for those unable to attend in person.
  • Orientation to Graduate Studies and Research, our online Basic RCR Training, will begin on December 19 for registered coursework students and January 6 for registered research students. It must be completed by February 15 to avoid a registration hold.
  • Other orientation events, including a tour by the Library and welcome reception by the Graduate School, are described and summarized on our website.
  • We will remind students to register and confirm their enrollment by January 4th.
  • Steps after admission are summarized on our website.
  • Resources applicable to new students are summarized on our website.

We look forward to working with you to welcome our new and returning students to the 2022-23 academic year!

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship – Fall 2022 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Scholarship Award!

Jesse Anderson- Atmospheric Sciences
Md. Saleh Akram Bhuiyan- Biomedical Engineering
Aynaz Biniyaz- Civil Engineering
Julian Blann- Accounting
Sarvada Hemant Chipkar- Chemical Engineering
Jay Czerniak- Business Administration
Joshua Golimbieski- Engineering Management
Ronald Kyllonen- Mechanical Engineering
Ikechukwu Emmanuel Okoh- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Rohit Sunil Pandhare- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Peng Quan- Forest Science
Sambhawana Sharma- Physics
Emily Shaw- Engineering – Environmental
Shardul Tiwari- Environmental & Energy Policy
Modupe Omolara Yusuf- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award– Spring & Fall 2022 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award!

Noah Agata- Mechanical Engineering
Arslan Amer- Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Manuel Anderson- Applied Ecology
Yasasya Uthpalawarna Ariyadasa Batugedara Batugedara Mohottalalage- Mathematical Sciences
Kendall Belopavlovich- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Kwadwo Ampadu Boateng- Civil Engineering
Aidan Botkin- Mathematical Sciences
Mohanish Kishor Chandurkar- Biomedical Engineering
Louis Chapin- Environmental Engineering
Tania Demonte Gonzalez- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Alayna Farrell- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Logan Fike- Geology
Samantha Fincannon- Electrical Engineering
Mahalakshmi Madhoolika Jammalamadaka- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Larissa Juip- Indust Heritage & Archaeology
Michelle Kelly- Biological Sciences
Ronald Kyllonen- Mechanical Engineering
Kenneth Larsen- Engineering – Environmental
Hyeseon Lee- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Tyler Lemahieu- Environmental Engineering
Isaac Lennox- Kinesiology
Fredrica Markson Eduaful- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Nusrat Irin Chowdhury Mary- Computer Engineering
Venkata Satya Sai Revanth Mattey- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Kathryn Miller- Electrical & Computer Engineer
Oindabi Mukherjee- Physics
Monica Mame Soma Nyansa- Chemistry
Ikechukwu Emmanuel Okoh- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Jonathan Oleson- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Melanie Ottino- For Molec Genetics & Biotec
Shashank Pathrudkar- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Meara Pellar-Kosbar- Data Science
Hailee Petosky- Biological Sciences
Evan Ricchio-Hitchcock- Geological Engineering
Noah Squires- Mechanical Engineering
Caleb Swain- Computer Science
Shruti Rajiv Vaidya- Electrical & Computer Engineer
Elizabeth Wahmhoff- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Aaron Wildenborg- Applied Physics
Kieran Young- Computer Science
Zhongtian Zhang- Biomedical Engineering
Noah Zins- Electrical & Computer Engineer

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award– Spring & Fall 2021 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award!

Shahriar Alam- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Behnam Azmoon- Civil Engineering
Roya Bagheri- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Tanner Barnes- Forest Ecology & Mgmt
Beth Bartel- Geology
Claudia Irmgard Bartlick-Georg- Forest Science
Parth Parimalbhai Bhatt- Forest Science
Shiying Cai- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Marina Choy- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Madhureeta Das- Computer Engineering
Akshay Shankarrao Dongre- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Ian Gannon- Geological Engineering
Gaurish Shreedhar Gokhale- Electrical Engineering
David Hallberg- Electrical Engineering
Ian Herzog- Physics
Madhur Arun Jagtap- Electrical Engineering
Joshua Kemppainen- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Seth Kriz- Chemical Engineering
Jessica LaReaux- Civil Engineering
Arianna Laiho- Kinesiology
Nicholas Newberry- Chemistry
Abhishek Patil- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Yugandhara Yuvraj Patil- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Ashwin Karthik Purushothaman- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Ashfiqur Rahman- Electrical Engineering
Gurijala Venkat Prithvi Reddy- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Reihaneh Samsami- Civil Engineering
Mujeeb Olushola Shittu- Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Kevin Sunderland- Biomedical Engineering
Arman Tatar- Civil Engineering
Shardul Tiwari- Environmental & Energy Policy
Laura Vidal Chiesa- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Karlee Westrem- Mathematical Sciences

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award– Spring & Fall 2020 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award!

Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Emily Anible- Mathematical Sciences
Aynaz Biniyaz- Civil Engineering
James Davis- Electrical Engineering
William Dion- Biological Sciences
Dylan Gaines- Computer Science
Ryan Ghannam- Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Anindya Ghoshroy- Electrical Engineering
Dongzhao Jin- Civil Engineering
Shreya Joshi- Atmospheric Sciences
Jeffrey Kabel- Applied Physics
Sarah LewAllen- Biological Sciences
Weibing Li- Statistics
Sergio Miguel Lopez Ramirez- Civil Engineering
Evan Lucas- Electrical Engineering
Susan Mathai- Atmospheric Sciences
Ali Moazzam- Electrical Engineering
Kate Nelson- Geophysics
Shane Oberloier- Electrical Engineering
Divya Kamlesh Pandya- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
K M Niaz Reza- Electrical Engineering
Nelmary Rodriguez Sepulveda- Geology
Udit Sharma- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Cameron Shock- Physics
Ariana Smies- Biomedical Engineering
Mehnaz Tabassum- Electrical Engineering
Cora Taylor- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Mikhail Ana Lise Francese Trought- Chemistry
Matthew VanderMolen- Forest Ecology & Mgmt
Isaac Wedig- Integrative Physiology
Menghan Zhao- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award– Spring & Fall 2019 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award!

Jesse Anderson- Atmospheric Sciences
Swapnil Sambhaji Bamane- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Alexandra Bieri- Mathematical Sciences
Jessica Bruning- Integrative Physiology
Nattaporn Chuenjarern- Mathematical Sciences
Brian Danhoff- Biological Sciences
Ahammad Basha Dudekula- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Lisa Eggart- Physics
Siddharth Bharat Gopujkar- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Cameron Hansel- Mechanical Engineering
Salman Husain- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Katelyn Kring- Geological Engineering
Daniel Kulas- Chemical Engineering
William Lytle- Environmental & Energy Policy
Mehdi Malekrah- Electrical Engineering
Lauren Mancewicz- Engineering – Environmental
Michael Maurer- Electrical Engineering
Niranjan Miganakallu Narasimhamurthy- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Tino Moore- Computer Science
Samerender Nagam Hanumantharao- Biomedical Engineering
Seth Nelson- Applied Physics
William Pisani- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Suraj Prabhu- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Elizabeth Renshaw- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Charles Schaerer- Chemistry
Soroush Sepahyar- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Emily Shaw- Engineering – Environmental
Darud E Sheefa- Civil Engineering
Parya Siahcheshm- Chemistry
Samantha Swartzmiller- Mechanical Engineering
Mitchel Timm- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Daniel Trepal- Indust Heritage & Archaeology
Stephania Vaglica- Mechanical Engineering
Sarah Washko- Civil Engineering
Upendra Yadav- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Zhuyong Yang- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Jiachen Zhai- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics