Tag: Chemical Engineering

Doctoral Portage Health Foundation Assistantship Summer 2020 Recipient – Dylan Turpeinen

I am a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering. I have worked in the Heldt Bioseparations Laboratory for 6 years including undergraduate research and have thoroughly enjoyed working in a diverse group of incredible people. My research has focused on the detection of biomolecules with rapid biosensors and the purification of biomolecules. My main project was developing a continuous virus purification process for use in vaccine manufacturing. With an ever-increasing need for life-saving vaccines, my work has the potential to have a real impact on many people’s lives.

I am extremely grateful to have received a PHF assistantship for the Summer 2020 semester. With the assistantship, I have the financial support necessary to publish my virus purification work and complete my dissertation. By the end of the Summer 2020 semester, I will defend my Ph.D. and plan to continue purifying biomolecules in the biomanufacturing industry.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2020 Recipient- Pratik Umesh Joshi

I started my journey at Michigan Tech in Fall 2015. My Ph.D. research has focused on understanding the behavior of viruses (coded in nature and not in computers!) and developing methods for vaccine and biotherapeutic manufacturing. Prevention against the spread of viral diseases has been one of humankind’s foremost challenges. The current vaccine manufacturing strategy to separate target viral products from the contaminants necessitates an upgrade to increase production capacity using low-cost methods. My research is geared towards characterizing viruses to generalize a method to purify various viral-based biotherapeutics. In these graduate school years, perceiving the complexity of viral interactions has intrigued me to pursue a research career to keep investigating in-depth the nature of viruses and other biotherapeutic agents. These answers will help in developing better technologies to process such intricate moieties.

I consider myself very fortunate to be mentored by Dr. Caryn Heldt who guided me to develop an advanced, scientific thinking process. I am very thankful to be awarded with the Finishing Fellowship for summer 2020 and for the support to focus on my degree completion.


Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship Summer 2019 Recipient – Zainab I. Alshoug

Zainab I. Alshoug
Chemical Engineering

In 2013, I graduated from MTU with a master’s degree under Dr. David Shonnard supervision. My master’s research was on biofuel production. Working with Dr. Shonnard was one of the valuable experiences at MTU. Dr. Shonnard’s research group not only strengthened my research skills but also provided me a hand-on experience of working in a lab.

In order to pursue my aim of getting a doctorate degree in Chemical Engineering, I joined Dr. Adrienne Minerick’s M.D.-ERL research group which provided me an opportunity to work on the design of lab-on-a-chip device to measure the level of lipids in human blood by using different art-of-the-state techniques, such as Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). It is a great experience working with Dr. Minerick in many different projects include measuring the effect of consumption of different teas in lipid levels in human blood. She is always a source of encouragement and motivation for me.

I am incredibly grateful for the support of my advisors Dr. Adrienne Minerick, chemical engineering program, and the MTU graduate school. I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Portage Health Foundation, which has supported me to focus on my research and to publish my research in the coming summer. With the help of my advisor Dr. Minerick and the support of the Portage Health Foundation, I will be able to accomplish my publication goals and defend my Ph.D. dissertation by the end of December.


Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship Fall 2018 Recipient – Xue Mi

Xue Mi
Chemical Engineering
I am a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering and has been working on my Ph.D. project in Dr. Caryn Heldt’s lab since 2015 fall. My research has focused on creating methods to remove, detect, characterize, and purify viruses. Virus removal explored cheaper and easier ways to purify water; detection of viruses can be used to determine the cleanliness of surfaces from viral contamination and also possibly as a quick way to screen blood donations for viral contamination in underdeveloped countries; characterization studied viral surface properties to stabilize vaccines; purifying viruses can create less expensive vaccines and other viral therapies and bring them to market faster. All of these projects and applications can help improve both the health of our local population, but also health worldwide.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Portage Health Foundation for financial support. It allows me to focus on my paper and dissertation writing for the summer of 2019. I also want to thank my advisor Dr. Heldt for her constant help and generous support throughout my entire graduate school studies.


Three Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Rose Turner, Gabriela Shirkey and Helena Keller were named GRFP Fellows while Katelyn Kring received Honorable Mention.

Turner, from Berkley, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech in December with a bachelor’s in environmental engineering. She was the student speaker for Fall Commencement and is planning to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Engineering here at Michigan Tech

Katelyn Kring, from Portage, MI, graduated from Michigan Tech in December and is continuing as a first-year master’s student in Tech’s Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.

Shirkey, from Manitou Beach, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech in the Fall of 2013 in scientific and technical communications  and is currently studying geography at Michigan State University.

Keller, from Elk River Minnesota, graduated from Tech in Spring 2014 with a degree in Chemistry. She is currently studying macromolecular, supramolecular and nanochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

THE NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.


Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award – Fall 2018 Recipients

Congratulations! Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award Fall 2018 Recipients

Dongdong Ge (Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD)
Mohammadhossein Sadeghiamirshahidi (Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD)
Aaron Krieg (Chemical Engineering PhD)
Brandi Petryk (Geology MS)
Christa Meingast (Environmental Engineering PhD)
Luke Jurmu (Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Mingyang Li (Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Catherine Tislar (Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors PhD)
Vagarshak Begoyan (Chemistry PhD)
Sun Nguyen (Environmental and Energy Policy MS)
Jacob Blazejewski (Mathematical Sciences PhD)
Nicholas Videtich (Physics MS)


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Long Zhang

Long Zhang
Chemical Engineering

I am a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering Department, and this is my fourth year. My research focuses on the dephosphorization from iron ore, particularly goethitic iron ore. I have been working with Dr. Tim Eisele on this project since fall 2014. By applying both bacterial and chemical leaching methods, we are able to remove about 95% of the phosphorus from the ore making the ore successfully meet the industrial standard.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Graduate School for the financial support, which allows me to focus entirely on the completion of my final dissertation. I also want to thank Dr. Eisele for his constant support throughout my entire graduate school studies.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient -Sanaz Habibi

Sanaz Habibi
Chemical Engineering

I joined Michigan Tech as a Ph.D. student in September 2014. Since January 2015, I have been working as a graduate research assistant at Medical micro-Device Engineering Research Lab. (M.D.-ERL). My research focuses on developing and optimizing reliable low-cost point of care tools for rapid and quantitative disease diagnosis.

I want to express my gratitude to Graduate School for providing me the Finishing Fellowship. This fellowship gave me the opportunity to put my entire focus on completing my dissertation. I would also like to thank my Ph.D. advisor Prof. Minerick for her constant support and encouragement.