Category: Succeeding in Graduate School

Articles about professional development and seminar announcements.

A Better Way to Purify Peptide-Based Drugs

Members of Shiyue Fang's research team in his lab at Michigan Tech, where they developed a better process to purify peptides and other biomolecules.
Peptides are an intriguing class of drugs. They are made of amino acids, just as humans are, and because of their intimate relationship with our own biological molecules, they have the potential to fight some of the most intractable diseases, including cancer.

But they can be difficult and expensive to make. A year’s worth of the anti-HIV peptide drug enfuvirtide costs $25,000. Now a chemist at Michigan Tech has overcome an important hurdle in the manufacturing process by developing a quicker, simpler purification method. As a bonus, his technique also works on DNA.

Read the full story.

Published in Tech Today by Marcia Goodrich, magazine editor


Alumnus makes Surprising Finds on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

He’s digging up the past–somewhere between 200 BC and 400 AD–in an unexpected archaeological excavation in downtown Charlotte Amalie on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

David Hayes, who got his MS in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Tech in 2000, is principal investigator for a year-old dig that began when he noticed pottery popping out of a highway improvement site. The highway work was stopped, and the pieces have since been dated to early ceramic makers and farmers of the Saladoid era, 2000 to 1,400 years ago.


Tech Gives Minnesota Communities’ History Back to Them

A PhD candidate in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology at Michigan Tech has given the residents of Minnesota’s Cuyuna Range a unique gift–a glimpse into the history of their own communities. Fred Sutherland is researching the history of the Cuyuna Range, an iron mining region between Brainerd and Aitkin, Minn., for his PhD dissertation. Earlier this month, he presented a summary of findings from a survey of nearly 900 historic buildings and sites along the Cuyuna Range.


Tech Student Brings Solar Power to Chinese Village

Yawei Wei inspects the solar panels he and his family installed on his cousin's roof in the rural Chinese community of Zao Yuan.
Every Chinese New Year, the power goes out for everyone in Yawei Wei’s hometown. That got him wondering: isn’t there some way to get more electricity to China’s rural villages?

Wei, whose specialty is power engineering, realized he might not be able to keep the lights on during the surge in power demand over New Year’s Eve. But he could do something. He could bring solar panels to sunny Zao Yuan. Specifically, he could bring them to his cousin’s roof.

Read the full story.

Published in Tech Today by Marcia Goodrich, magazine editor


To Russia with Code: Tech Students Make World Finals in Computer Programming

Only 120 teams of 10,000 worldwide are going, and Michigan Tech is one of them. They earned the right to go to Russia to compete in the world finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest next June by finishing fifth in the North Central regional qualifying contest.

Computer science students Tom Holmes and Eric Rinkus and math major Ryan McNamara will be making the trip to Ural Federal University in Ekaterinburg with coach and computer science PhD student Jason Hiebel.

According to longtime coach Dave Poplawski, professor of computer science, it is a great accomplishment just to get this far, especially given the quality and size of other universities that have qualified and the number of schools Tech had to beat. US teams the likes of MIT, University of California-Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan, Virginia Tech, NYU and others will be crunching 0s and 1s in Russia.


Graduate students making national media coverage

The research of Materials Science and Engineering PhD Students Chenlong Zhang and Bas Wijnen along with their collaborators Jerry Anzalone (MSE), Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua M. Pearce (MSE/ECE) has been covered widely by the national media including: NBC News, CNN Money, Live Science and the International Science Times in articles like “Low-Cost, Open-Source 3-D Metal Printer Could Bring Revolutionary Technology To Millions.”

Published in Tech Today.


The Van Pelt and Opie Library Announces Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech.

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech offers the campus a digital repository for worldwide access to its research, scholarship and other academic works created by members of the Michigan Tech community.

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech has the capacity to provide and preserve access to all types of documents and publications–from articles and reports to books, journals and other creative works. Tools are also provided to manage the publication process, including peer review. Organization can be by college, department or even individual scholar. Access can be open globally, controlled by ISO login or unique passwords when desirable.


PCMI graduate’s paper published in Journal

Peace Corps Masters International Environmental Engineering Program graduate Cara Shonsey has published a paper titled, “Quantifying available water supply in rural Mali based on data collected by and from women,” in a special issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production on Water, Women, Waste, Wisdom and Wealth. Her advisor, John Gierke (GMES), co-authored the paper. See online.

Published in Tech Today.