Category: Theses and Dissertations

Dissertation, thesis, and report posts

New dissertations available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication


Muhammad Ali
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Bruce Mork and Leonard J Bohmann
Dissertation title: Development of System Separation Strategy Using Synchrophasor Data

Mohammad Al-Jamal
Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences
Advisor: Mark S Gockenbach
Dissertation title: Numerical Solutions of Elliptic Inverse Problems via the Equation Error Method

Ning Chen
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
Advisor: Patricia A Heiden
Dissertation title: Biological Materials: Part A. Tuning LCST of RAFT Copolymers and Gold/Copolymer Hybrid Nanoparticles and Part B. Biobased Nanomaterials

Aly Farahat
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
Advisor: Ali Ebnenasir
Dissertation title: Automated Design of Self-Stabilization

Nathaniel Gbessagee
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: R Craig Waddell
Dissertation title: Adapting Health-Risk Communication to the Specific Cultural Contexts of Diverse Populations: An Assessment of Malaria-Treatment Programs in Liberia

Kevin Hodur
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: M Ann Brady
Dissertation title: Life-Patterns on the Periphery: A Humanities Base for Development Imperatives and their Application in the Chicago City-Region

Rui Liao
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Zhijun Zhao
Dissertation title: Fading pdf of Free-Space Optical Communication System with Pointing Error

Michael Via
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Julia Ann King
Dissertation title: Investigation into the Enhancement of Polycarbonate with Conductive Nanomaterials

Zheng Zhang
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Jiann-Yang Hwang
Dissertation title: Effect of External Electric Field on Hydrogen Adsorption over Activated Carbon Separated by Dielectric Materials

Xinying Zheng
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Jindong Tan and Yu Cai
Dissertation title: Managing Server Energy and Reducing Operational Cost for Online Service Providers

Continue Reading


New theses available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering Science
  • Forestry
  • Geological Engineering
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics

Carla Alonso Contes
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: John S Gierke
Thesis title: Lineament Mapping for Groundwater Exploration Using Remotely Sensed Imagery in a Karst Terrain: Rio Tanami and Rio de Arecibo Basins in the Northern Karst of Puerto Rico

Ryan Banas
Master of Science in Geophysics
Advisor: Wayne D Pennington
Thesis title: A Geophysical and Geological Analysis of the Collingwood Member of the Trenton Formation

Miguel Angel Carbonell Munoz
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Devin K Harris
Thesis title: Compatibility of Ultra High Performance Concrete as Repair Material: Bond Characterization with Concrete Under Different Loading Scenarios

Aaron Dayton
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering Science
Advisor: Martin T Auer
Thesis title: Cladophora, Mass Transport, and the Nearshore Phosphorus Shunt

Zekeriya Dereli
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Wayne W Weaver
Thesis title: Optimal Current Control for Sub-Unity Power Factor Correction

Jonathan Ebel
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Amy Marie Marcarelli
Thesis title: Biofilm Responses to Salmon Carcass Analog Addition in Central Idaho Streams

Paul Francis
Master of Science in Forestry
Advisor: Blair D Orr
Thesis title: Small-Scale Timber Stand Management Techniques: A Case Study of Woodlots in Isangati, Tanzania

Meghan Haycock
Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Paul George Sanders
Thesis title: Effects of Silicon Content and Cooling Rate on Mechanical Properties of Heavy Section Ductile Cast Iron

Nathan Kelley-Hoskins
Master of Science in Physics
Advisor: Petra Heike Huentemeyer
Thesis title: Calibration of the HAWC Gamma-Ray Observatory

Susan Larson
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering Science
Advisor: Martin T Auer
Thesis title: Development of a Conceptual Model and Parameterization of a Mathematical Model for Sediment Phosphorus Diagenesis, Sorption and Release from Onondaga Lake Syracuse, New York

Jeffrey LeClair
Master of Science in Chemistry
Advisor: Lynn Rebecca Mazzoleni
Thesis title: Structural Characterization of Water-Soluble Atmospheric Organic Matter by Ultrahigh-Resolution Mass Spectrometry

Celine Mandon
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: Simon Anthony Carn
Thesis title: Comparing Satellite and Ground-Based Observations of Paroxysmal Degassing Events at Etna Volcano, Italy

Natiffany Mathews
Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology
Advisor: Susan R Martin
Thesis title: Public Values and Perceptions of Industrial Heritage in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan

Anieri Morales Rivera
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: Simon Anthony Carn
Thesis title: Comparisons Between OMI SO2 Data and Ground-BasedSO2 Measurements at Turrialba Volcano

Poowanart Poramapojana
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Bo Chen
Thesis title: Predictive Control of Hybrid Vehicle Powertrain for Intelligent Energy Management

James Rudkin
Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology
Advisor: Susan R Martin
Thesis title: ‘A Cold Blizzard was Raging, but the Light Shone Brightly’: Social Networks Presented in Stained Glassan Industrial Community

Puneet Soman
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Gregory M Odegard
Thesis title: Mechanical Modeling of Intraneural Ganglion Cyst

Brett Spigarelli
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Surendra K Kawatra
Thesis title: An Approach to Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage at Ambient Conditions

Jordan Stank
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Scott Andrew Miers
Thesis title: Analysis of In-Cylinder Pressure Transducer Data Quality Utilizing a SIDI Turbocharged Engine

Katelyn Watson
Master of Science in Geological Engineering
Advisor: Alex S Mayer
Thesis title: A Regional Assessment of Groundwater Availability as Constrained by Local Hydrogeology and Environmental Limits to Streamflow Depletion

Continue Reading


Seminar: Submitting your Thesis or Dissertation to the Graduate School

Students planning on finishing a thesis or dissertation spring or summer 2013 are invited a seminar designed to help students understand the submission process and answer questions about it.

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation with the location and a reminder of the date and time.

If you are unable to join us, this seminar will be taped and available online.

Significant changes were introduced in the fall based on revisions approved by the University Senate.  Join us to learn about the changes and have your questions answered.

Continue Reading


New theses available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Applied Natural Resource Economics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Policy
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Forestry
  • Mechanical Engineering


Evan Anderson
Master of Science in Forestry
Advisor: Blair D Orr
Thesis title: The Impact of Balsamo (Myroxylon balsamum L. Harms) on Coffee Yield and Household Income in El Balsamar, El Salvador

Gerald Anzalone
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Lawrence L Sutter
Thesis title: Expansion of Mortar Bars in the Presence of Potassium Acetate Deicer

Ellen Brenna
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Perceptions of Water Conditions and Management in the Sonora River Basin, Sonora, Mexico

Claire Doskey
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Co-Advisors: Rupali Datta and Ramakrishna Wusirika
Thesis title: Uptake and Fate of Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine by Chrysopogonzizanioides

Ryan Duman
Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics
Advisor: Mark C Roberts
Thesis title: Economic Viability of Shale Gas Production in the Marcellus Shale; Indicated by Production Rates, Costs and Current Natural Gas Prices

Casey Fritsch
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Veronica Webster Griffis
Thesis title: Evaluation of Flood Risk in Response to Climate Variability

Ryan Hoensheid
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Theresa Marie Ahlborn
Thesis title: An Evaluation of Surface Defect Detection in Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks Using Terrestrial LiDAR

Renn Lambert
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Martin T Auer
Thesis title: Great Lakes Tributary Phosphorus Bioavailability

Zhihao Li
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Tomas B Co
Thesis title: The Control of Recycle Processes using Neural Networks Combined with PID Controller

Edwin Maleche
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: David R Shonnard
Thesis title: Carbon Foot Print Life Cycle Assessment Analysis of the New IH2 Biofuel Production Process for Diverse Feedstocks

John Moyer
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Tammy Lynn Haut Donahue and Gregory M Odegard
Thesis title: Regional Comparisons of Nano-Mechanical Properties of the Human Meniscus; Structure and Function

Sarah Shann
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Devin K Harris
Thesis title: Application of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) as a Thin-Bonded Overlay for Concrete Bridge Decks

Kenneth Shiel
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Co-Advisors: John H Johnson and Jeffrey Donald Naber
Thesis title: A Study of the Effect of Biodiesel Fuel on Passive Oxidation in a Catalyzed Particulate Filter

Elizabeth Tahtinen
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Catherine Sophia Tarasoff
Thesis title: Influence of White-Tailed Deer on Nitrogen Cycling and Vegetative Community Change in Canopy Gaps in a Hemlock-Northern Hardwood Forest

Kara Vogel
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Kenneth Michael Gibson
Thesis title: Inhibition of L-Type Amino Acid Transport with Non-Physiological Amino Acids in the Pahenu2 Mouse Model of Phenylketonuria

Jinjin Wang
Master of Science in Chemistry
Advisor: Bahne C Cornilsen
Thesis title: Performance Evaluation and Characterization of Symmetric Capacitors with Carbon Black, and Asymmetric Capacitors Using a Carbon Foam Supported Nickel Electrode

James Weber
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Scott Andrew Miers
Thesis title: Impact of E22 on Two-Stroke and Four-Stroke Snowmobiles

Continue Reading


New dissertations available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Forest Science
  • Geology
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication


Irfan Ahmed
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Warren F Perger
Dissertation title: Direction Finding in the Presence of a More Realistic Environment Model

Muhammad Aslam
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Durdu Guney
Dissertation title: Negative Index Metamaterials and Metaspacers for Optical Frequencies

Ananyo Bandyopadhyay
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Gregory M Odegard
Dissertation title: Molecular Modeling of EPON 862-DETDA Polymer

Surendar Dhadi
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Ramakrishna Wusirika
Dissertation title: Functional Analysis of Rice Bidirectional Promoters

Shuhan Ding
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
Advisor: Soner Onder
Dissertation title: Future Value Based Single Assignment Program Representations and Optimizations

Kyle Drexler
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Michael C Roggemann
Dissertation title: Utilizing Gaussian-Schell Model Beams to Mitigate Atmospheric Turbulence in Free Space Optical Communications

Nishantha Ekneligoda
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Wayne W Weaver
Dissertation title: Optimal Game Theoretic Distributed Control Methodologies in Small Scale Power Systems

David Fritz
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jeffrey Allen
Dissertation title: An Implementation of a Phenomenological Evaporation Model into a Porous Network Simulation for Water Management in Low Temperature Fuel Cells

Christine Garceau
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Diane L Shoos
Dissertation title: Interrogating the Spaces of Personal Photography: Women, Identity, and the Cultural Formation of Photographic Practice

Yejun Gong
Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Science and Engineering
Advisor: Franz Xaver Tanner
Dissertation title: Large Eddy Simulation of Dispersed Multiphase Flow

Bonnie Gorman
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Patricia J Sotirin
Dissertation title: Governmentality in Higher Education: A Critical Analysis of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Elisabet Head
Doctor of Philosophy in Geology
Advisor: Simon Anthony Carn
Dissertation title: Investigations into the Degassing and Eruption Mechanisms of Nyamuragira Volcano, Democratic Republic of the Congo(Africa)

Yan Huo
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Yun Hang Hu
Dissertation title: Synthesis of Novel Solid Materials from Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide

Beini Jiang
Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Science and Engineering
Advisor: Le Zhang
Dissertation title: Employing Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Technology to Speed Up Multi-Scale and Multi-Resolution Agent-Based Brain Cancer Models

Thimmaiah Kumbera Ganapathi
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: William J Endres
Dissertation title: A Study on the Feasibility of Universal Chip Control in Machining

Lucas Lago
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Fernando Luis Ponta
Dissertation title: Structural Response and Dynamics of Fluid-Structure-Control Interaction in Wind Turbine Blades

Subhasish Mandal
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics
Advisor: Ranjit Pati
Dissertation title: Charge and Spin Transport in Nanoscale Junction from First Principles

Soumya Mitra
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Amitabh Narain
Dissertation title: Development of One-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Computational Tools that Simulate Steady Internal Condensing Flows in Terrestrial and Zero-Gravity Environments

Lindsey Shartell
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Andrew John Storer
Dissertation title: Invasion Patterns of Emerald Ash Borer and European Earthworms in Forested Ecosystems

Iltesham Syed
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Co-Advisors: Abhijit Mukherjee and Jeffrey Donald Naber
Dissertation title: Numerical Investigation of Effects of Addition of Ethanol to Gasoline on Laminar Flame Speed (LFS), Autoignition, and Wall Quenching

Continue Reading


Fair use in academia

Students who wish to use copyrighted materials in a thesis or dissertation must show that they have the ability to republish those materials.  One argument students can use is that their use is “fair use.”  This provision of US Copyright allows the reuse of materials if certain conditions are met.  Students sometimes think that all educational use of materials is fair use, but a recent court case illustrates that this is not true.

In order to use copyrighted materials in a thesis or dissertation, there are three simple steps:

  1. Determine if permission is needed to republish copyrighted materials
  2. Obtain permission for copyrighted materials (if necessary)
  3. Document the ability to republish copyrighted materials.

The Graduate School has helpful resources online, including a seminar from our copyright librarian.  Check them out!

Continue Reading


Nominations sought for MAGS Thesis Award

The Executive Committee of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) is soliciting nominations for the 2013 MAGS Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards to recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.  Michigan Tech may nominate one candidate.

Eligible students will have earned a master of science degree between October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012.

Please see our web page for complete details on eligibility and application procedures.  Nominations are due no later than 4pm, October 9th to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School.

Continue Reading


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dissertation

This article from Inside Higher Ed’s blog will show you how to love your dissertation (or thesis). Writing can be an overwhelming task, and everyone can use tips on how to manage the writing process and motivate yourself to do just a little bit every day. These tips also apply to any large-scale project, like writing a proposal or journal article.

One of the pieces of advice that we often give students is that the best dissertation is a finished dissertation. Focus on completing your degree and starting the next stage in your career rather than seeking perfection.

Continue Reading


How to change color pages to black and white

Some word processors will generate lines (such as those found in tables) and/or text in a combination of red and green that will appear black on the screen, but will appear in color to the bindery that will print your document. Depending on how other items are created and/or inserted into your document, grey-scale figures may also appear in a combination of red and green.

This tutorial will show one way to convert color items in a PDF file to black and white. These instructions have been provided by the bindery that prints Michigan Tech dissertations, theses, and reports, but they are not foolproof. You may find that certain items do not properly convert to black and white. In that case, it is recommended to:

  • go back to the source image
  • change the source image to black and white or gray-scale using Photoshop
  • insert the image into your document
  • convert the PDF document (recommended setting: High Quality Print)

It is recommended to convert all PDF documents using the High Quality Print setting in Adobe Acrobat.  If you are not using Adobe Acrobat, consult the instructions with your PDF creation software to select similar options. Using this setting in Word will create black and white text and table borders.

You can check the location of color pages in your document using a preflight profile available from the Graduate School.

Once you know the location of the color pages, click on “Tools” in Adobe Acrobat, and then select “Print Production,” as shown in the screen shot below.

Opening the Print Production tools in Adobe Acrobat

If the “Print Production” section is not available, click on the icon boxed in the upper right (see below) to place a check mark next to the tools you would like displayed.

How to activate the Print Production tools.

From the “Print Production” tools section, select “Convert Colors.”

Select the “Convert Colors” tool.

In the pop-up menu that appears, change the “Conversion Profile” to “Gray Gamma 2.2” and check the “Preserve Black” box.  In the “Convert Pages” section, select the pages you would like to convert. Click “OK” when done. Please note that you will not be able to undo these changes.

Settings to convert color to black and white.

If you have a large number of color pages scattered through your document, this can take a long time.  In the “Object Type” you can select “Text” to just change the text in your document to black and white. This will convert all text, but not lines in tables, to black and white.  Do not use this shortcut if you are using colored text in your document.

Convert only text to black and white.
Convert only text to black and white.

Use the Graduate School’s preflight profile to check the location and number of color pages that remain. Troubleshoot as needed.

Continue Reading


The Adviser and Committee

This article from the Chronicle raises some interesting questions about how advisors and committee members can work together to help a student write a dissertation.

  • How often should the committee meet?
  • What type of advice should they give a student?
  • What happens if there is an impasse?

Although written for advisors, students will learn from this overview of different models. The article talks about all fields and the differences between them as well.

Note: A subscription to the Chronicle is required to read the full text of this article. Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff will have access to the articles if they are logged into the Michigan Tech network.

Continue Reading