Tag: Chemical Engineering

Beckman Institute Posdoctorate Fellowships

The Beckman Institute Fellows program is intended for recent Ph.D.s or students in their final year of doctoral study with research interests relevant to the Beckman Institute. A competition is held yearly and four fellows are selected for terms of up to three years.

Initiated in the fall of 1991 with funding from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the program provides an opportunity for young scientists to spend several years doing independent research in the behavioral and biological sciences, chemistry, engineering, and physics before launching formal academic careers. Fellows are selected on the basis of their professional promise, capacity for independent work, interdisciplinary interests, and outstanding achievement to date. Preference is given to those applicants whose research interests correspond to one or more of the programs in the Beckman Institute.


Michigan Space Grants Available

Michigan Space Grants Available
The Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) is inviting applications for 2010-11. The application and review processes are online at www.umich.edu/~msgc .

Funding is available for the following:

* Fellowship Program
* Research Seed Grant Program
* Precollege Education Program
* Public Outreach Program
* Teacher Training Program

Michigan Tech’s MSGC liaison is Chris Anderson, special assistant to the president for Institutional Diversity. For more information, contact Anderson at csanders@mtu.edu or Michigan Tech’s MSGC Assistant, Carol Argentati, at 487-2474 or caargent@mtu.edu .

Applications are due to Institutional Diversity no later than 3:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 16.

The process for submission is as follows:

1) Create a budget be contacting Kellie Buss at Research and Sponsored Programs at 487-2226 or by email at kellie@mtu.edu .

2) Complete online forms at www.umich.edu/~msgc (but do not submit until after step 4).

3) Complete transmittal form by clicking here .

4) Print the materials and bring them to Institutional Diversity, which will provide a letter of approval to submit. Step 4 needs to be completed during the week of Nov. 16.


New theses and dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

R Adam Blankenbicker
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: William I Rose
Thesis title: Video Analysis of Small Vulcanian Explosions at Santiaguito, Guatemala

Elizabeth Boisvert
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: Thomas Grant Pypker
Thesis title: Initiation and Development of Three Lake Superior Coastal Peatlands

Daw Don Cheam
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Dissertation title: Integration of Room Temperature Single Electron Transistor with CMOS Subsystem

Brandon Dilworth
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jason R Blough
Dissertation title: Identification of Ground and Environmental Effects to the Pass-by Noise Testing of Snowmobiles

Varun Gouthaman
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Reza  Shahbazian Yassar
Thesis title: Micro-Fabrication of a Bio-MEMS Based Force Sensor to Measure the Force Response of Living Cells

Erik Hayenga
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Marilyn M Cooper
Dissertation title: Ethics in Illustruction: Safety Cartoons in John Deere Tractor and Combine Harvester Operator’s Manuals, 1945-2007

John Hribljan
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Janice M Glime
Thesis title: The Influence of Moss and Litter Chemical Traits on Bryophagy in a Northern Temperate Forest Invertebrate, Porcellio scaber LATR.

Nicholas Jensen
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Christopher Raymond Webster
Thesis title: Ungulate Winter Habitat Selection as a Driver of Heterogeneity in Ground-Layer Plant Communities

Samuel Johnson
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Donald Naber
Thesis title: Premixed Lean Gas Combustion and HPCR Rate of Injection used with a Constant Volume Combustion Vessel

Eric Kalenauskas
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey  Allen
Thesis title: Calibration Methods of an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler & Investigations of the Critical Wavenumber in Unstable Evaporating Thin Films

Keong Aik Lau
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Tony Neal Rogers
Dissertation title: Theoretical and Experimental Studies of the Temperature Dependence of the Henry’s Law Constant of Organic Solutes in Water

Shannon Lerner
Master of Science in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Co-advisors: Marilyn M Cooper and Jnan Ananda Blau
Thesis title: Martin Buber and Luce Irigaray: Liminality and Historical Spiritual Moments

Kathryn Marlor
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Rodney A Chimner
Thesis title: Determining the Role of Environmental Factors and Disturbance in the Distribution of Reed Canary Grass within Wetlands

Benjamin Melitz
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Charles D Van Karsen
Thesis title: Feasibility Assessment of Inverse Frequency Based Substructuring to Obtain Automotive Powertrain Mount Properties

Jonathan Mellor
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: David W Watkins
Thesis title: Water and Sanitation Accessibility and the Health of Rural Ugandans

Bode Morin
Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology
Advisor: Terry S Reynolds
Dissertation title: Reflection, Refraction, and Rejection: Copper Smelting Heritage and the Execution of Environmental Policy

James Nugent
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Robert R Johnson
Dissertation title: United States Certificate Programs in Technical Communication: A Feminist-Sophistic Investigation

Paul Pawelzik
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Qiong  Zhang
Thesis title: A Life Cycle Analysis Methodology: Incorporating Technological Advances Over Time A Study of the Environmental Impact of Cellulosic Ethanol with Technological Advances over Time

Russell Stacy
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey  Allen
Thesis title: Contact Angle Measurement Technique for Rough Surfaces


SMART Scholarship Program

The SMART scholarship Program is a highly-selective, prestigious, national program that fully supports graduate and undergraduate education.  Michigan Tech is recognized as one of the top schools in terms of SMART recipients.  Our goal, in collaboration with the Department of Defense is to “greatly increase” the number of Michigan Tech SMART recipients.

The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarship-for-service Program fully funds graduate degrees in a wide range of technical areas, including all fields of engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and Mathematics.  Recipients receive:

  • Full tuition to any accredited U.S. University
  • A very generous stipend
  • $36, 000 for masters candiates
  • 38,000- $41,000 for doctoral candidates
  • $1000 Book allowance
  • Health Insurance
  • All required student fees
  • Travel fees for internships

Deadline: December 15th

Please contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu) if interested in applying.


Fellowships in the Energy Field, Simulation and Training, and Ocean Engineering

The Link Foundation has posted three competitive fellowships for students working toward a Ph.D. degree:

Energy

Simulation and Training

Ocean Engineering

No limitations have been placed on citizenship.

If you would like to apply, please make an appointment with Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu).   University endorsement required for proposal submission.


National Physical Science Consortium

NPSC Graduate Fellowships in Physical Science

Michigan Tech female and minority graduate students are qualified, as Michigan Tech is a participating NPSC Member University, for the NPSC fellowship.

NPSC welcomes applications from any qualified U.S. citizen who has the ability to pursue graduate work at an NPSC member institution. NPSC attempts to recruit a broad pool of applicants with special emphasis on underrepresented minorities and women. Applicants should be in one of the following categories:

For the Traditional Program:

  • Be in your senior year with at least a 3.0/4.0 GPA
  • Be in your first year of a graduate program.
  • Be in a terminal master’s program (your university offers no Ph.D. in your discipline).
  • Be returning from the workforce with no more than a master’s degree

For the Dissertation Support Program, be near the point at which your research will begin.

Fields of Study:

Though the fields supported can vary annually depending on employer needs, in general NPSC covers the following: Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Materials Science, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, and their subdisciplines, and related engineering fields: Chemical, Computer, Electrical, Environmental, Mechanical.

For more information please visit COS.

If interested in applying, please contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu)


New theses and dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

Manoranjan Acharya
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Dissertation title: Development of Room Temperature Operating Single Electron Transistor using FIB Etching and Deposition Technology

Susan H Balint
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Federal and State Policy Influence on Woody Biomass Utilization

Genevieve M Borg
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Carol A MacLennan
Thesis title: EPA’s Council for Regulatory Environmental Modeling: A Case Study of Science Policy Implementation

Carmelo Davila
Master of Science in Industrial Archeology
Advisor: Samuel R Sweitz
Thesis title: A Space for Production and a Space for Communality: Socio-Historical Study of Central Aguirre and its Industrial Community, Salinas, Puerto Rico: 1949-1970

Seth C DePasqual
Master of Science in Industrial Archeology
Advisor: Patrick E Martin
Thesis title: Winning Coal at 78 Degrees North: Mining, Contingency and the Chaine Operatoire in Old Longyear City

Robert S Donofrio
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Susan T Bagley
Dissertation title: Development and Validation of Selective and Differential Enumeration Methods for Brevundimonas diminuta

Jason T Dreyer
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Co-advisors: Sudhakar M Pandit and Mohan D Rao
Dissertation title: Binaural Index for Speech Intelligibility via Bivariate Autoregressive Models

Ingrid D Fedde
Master of Science in Geology
Co-advisors: Jose Luis Palma Lizana and William I Rose
Thesis title: Application of Probabilistic Tools and Expert Elicitation for Hazard Assessment at Volcan de Colima, Mexico

Travis J Hansen
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Daniel A Crowl
Thesis title: Estimation of the Flammability Zone Boundaries with Thermodynamic and Empirical Equations

Daniel E Haskell
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: David J Flaspohler
Thesis title: `Restoration in Northern Wisconsin

Stacie A Holmes
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Christopher R Webster
Dissertation title: The Influence of Concurrent Disturbances on Plant Community Dynamics in Northern Hemlock-Hardwood Forests

Ashwini S Kashelikar
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Veronica W Griffis
Thesis title: Identification of Teleconnections and Improved Flood Risk Forecasts using Bulletin 17B

Justin D Keske
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jason R Blough
Dissertation title: Investigation of a Semi-Active Muffler System with Implementation on a Snowmobile

Paul J Koll
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Martin F Jurgensen
Thesis title: Effects of Conifer Sawdust, Hardwood Sawdust, and Peat on Soil Properties and Bareroot Conifer Seedling Development

Andrew T Kozich
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Wetland Mitigation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Compliance with Site Monitoring and Invasive Plant Species Standards

Kateryna Lapina
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Co-advisors: Richard E Honrath and Judith A Perlinger
Dissertation title: Boreal Forest Fire Impacts on Lower Troposphere CO and Ozone Levels at the Regional to Hemispheric Scales

Joseph W Lechnyr
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Allen
Thesis title: Imaging of Fuel Cell Diffusion Media Under Compressive Strain

Angela K Lucas
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Jason R Carter
Thesis title: Effects of Pediatric Adiposity on Heart Rate Variability

Lawrence J Mailloux
Master of Science in Chemistry
Advisor: Dallas K Bates
Thesis title: A 1,2,4-Triazole to Thiazole Transformation

Meghan E McGee-Lawrence
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Seth W Donahue
Dissertation title: Skeletal Preservation by Hibernating Bears

Diane M Miller
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Patricia J Sotirin
Dissertation title: Speaking (of) Community: An Ethnographic Study of the Relationships Among Communication, Community, and Everyday Experience at an Organic Foods Cooperative

Min Nie
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Desheng Meng
Thesis title: Fabrication of Nanoparticles by Short-Distance Sputter Deposition

Brian A Ott
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Gerard T Caneba
Dissertation title: Fluid Phase Equilibrium as Modeled by the Statistical Associated Fluid Theory (SAFT) Equation of State

Robert C Owen
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Richard E Honrath
Dissertation title: Long-range Pollution Transport: Trans-Atlantic Mechanisms and Lagrangian Modeling Methods

Jeannie A Patrick
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Diane L Shoos
Dissertation title: Not Your Mother’s Latinas: Film Representations for a New Millennium

David M Pauken
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John W Sutherland
Thesis title: Statistical Modeling of the Ford Superduty Brake Pedal Feel Attribute

Melissa J Porter
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Andrew J Storer
Thesis title: Detection and Landing Behavior of Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, at Low Population Density

Mark D Rowe
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Judith A Perlinger
Thesis title: Modeling Contaminant Behavior in Lake Superior: A Comparison of PCBs, PBDEs, and Mercury

Ryan W Schweitzer
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: James R Mihelcic
Thesis title: Community Managed Rural Water Supply Systems in the Dominican Republic: Assessment of Sustainability of Systems Built by the National Institute of Potable Water and Peace

Xiaoning Shan
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey B Burl
Dissertation title: Time-Varying System Identification in the Transform Domain

Sarah E Stehn
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Christopher R Webster
Thesis title: Influence of Exogenous Disturbance on Bryophyte Community Assemblage and Tree Regeneration Dynamics in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests

Xiang Sun
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Jiann-Yang Hwang
Dissertation title: Charge Induced Enhancement of Adsorption for Hydrogen Storage Materials

Iltesham Z Syed
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Abhijit Mukherjee
Thesis title: Experimental Study of Forced Convection Heat Transfer to Water Flowing through a Short Micro Duct at the Tip of a Cutting Tool at Turbulent Reynolds Number

Jacob T Vermillion
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Lawrence L Sutter
Thesis title: Absorption Correction for the Determination of the Water Content of Fresh Concrete Using the Microwave-Oven Drying Method

Dennis K Walikainen
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Robert R Johnson
Dissertation title: What’s It Like There? Toward a Rhetoric of University Maps and Tours

Cheryl L Williams
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John W Sutherland
Thesis title: Optimization of Conversion of North American Left Hand Drive Vehicles for Importation into Right Hand Markets


Biofuel for Jets Could Cut Carbon Emissions Over 80 Percent

Tech Today

by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

The seeds of a lowly weed could cut jet fuel’s cradle-to-grave carbon emissions by 84 percent.

David Shonnard, Robbins Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering, conducted an analysis of jet fuel made from camelina oil to measure its carbon dioxide emissions over the course of its life cycle, from planting to tailpipe. “Camelina jet fuel exhibits one of the largest greenhouse gas emission reductions of any agricultural feedstock-derived biofuel I’ve ever seen,” he said. “This is the result of the unique attributes of the crop–its low fertilizer requirements, high oil yield and the availability of its coproducts, such as meal and biomass, for other uses.”

Camelina sativa originated in Europe and is a member of the mustard family, along with broccoli, cabbage and canola. Sometimes called false flax or gold-of-pleasure, it thrives in the semi-arid conditions of the Northern Plains; the camelina used in the study was grown in Montana.

Oil from camelina can be converted to a hydrocarbon green jet fuel that meets or exceeds all petroleum jet fuel specifications. The fuel is a “drop-in” replacement that is compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure, from storage and transportation to aircraft fleet technology. “It is almost an exact replacement for fossil fuel,” Shonnard explained. “Jets can’t use oxygenated fuels like ethanol; they have to use hydrocarbon replacements.”

Shonnard conducted the life cycle analysis for UOP LLC, of Des Plaines, Ill., a subsidiary of Honeywell and a provider of oil refining technology. In an April 28 release, it cited Boeing executive Billy Glover, managing director of environmental strategy, who called camelina “one of the most promising sources for renewable fuels that we’ve seen.”

“It performed as well if not better than traditional jet fuel during our test flight with Japan Airlines earlier this year and supports our goal of accelerating the market availability of sustainable, renewable fuel sources that can help aviation reduce emissions,” Glover said. “It’s clear from the life cycle analysis that camelina is one of the leading near-term options and, even better, it’s available today.”

Because camelina needs little water or nitrogen to flourish, it can be grown on marginal agricultural lands. “Unlike ethanol made from corn or biodiesel made from soy, it won’t compete with food crops,” said Shonnard. “And it may be used as a rotation crop for wheat, to increase the health of the soil.”

Tom Kalnes is a senior development associate for UOP in its renewable energy and chemicals research group. His team used hydroprocessing, a technology commonly used in the refining of petroleum, to develop a flexible process that converts camelina oil and other biological feedstocks into green jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel.

As to whether we will all be flying in plant-powered aircraft, his answer is, “It depends.”

“There are a few critical issues,” Kalnes said. “The most critical is the price and availability of commercial-scale quantities of second-generation feedstocks. Today the cost for camelina, and other second-generation feedstock options like jatropha and algae, remains higher than the cost of crude oil, and there are still only limited amounts available. Further technology development is needed to drive down the costs and ramp up to commercial-scale harvesting. We are seeing great momentum in this area and believe that biofuels made using camelina will be commercially available for blending into the diesel and jet fuel supplies in the next three to five years. This is much sooner than many imagined.”

Additionally, more farmers need to be convinced to grow a new crop, and refiners must want to process it.

“But if it can create jobs and income opportunities in rural areas, that would be wonderful,” he said.


ESC/BRC Research Forum Awards Announced

Published in Tech Today

The Ecosystem Science Center and the Biotechnology Research Center have announced award recipients of the Fifth Annual ESC/BRC Graduate Research Forum, held on Feb. 27.

Two Grand Awards, six Merit Awards and three Honorable Mention Awards were presented.

$500 Grand Prizes

Ecosystem Science Center

Elizabeth Boisvert (SFRES) for “Initiation and Development of Three Lake Superior Coastal Peatlands”; advisor: Assistant Professor Tom Pypker

Biotechnology Research Center

Eric Minner (Biomedical Engineering) for “Hydrogel System Delivers Glutathione and Interleukin-10 to Mitigate Secondary Injury following Spinal Cord Damage”; advisor: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert

$100 Merit Prizes

Ecosystem Science Center

Lucas Spaete (SFRES) for “Aspen Biomass Assessment for MI, WI and MN: A GIS and Regression Approach for Quantifying Biomass”; advisor: Associate Professor Ann Maclean

Sarah Stehn (SFRES) for “Altitudinal Gradients of Bryophyte Diversity and Community Assemblage in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests”; advisor: Associate Professor Christopher Webster

Biotechnology Research Center

Jared Cregg (Biomedical Engineering) for “The Role of Aligned Fiber Density in Axon Motility”; advisor: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert

Jill Jensen (Chemical Engineering) for “Selection for Improved Hybrid Poplar Via Dilute Acid and Enzymatic Hydrolysis Using Mini-Reactors”; advisor: Professor David Shonnard

Dalila Trupiano (SFRES) for “Activation Tagging of A Poplar AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Involved in Lateral Root Formation”; advisor: Associate Professor Victor Busov

Han Bing Wang (Biomedical/Chemical Engineering) for “Axonal Guidance Conduits Containing Aligned, Electrospun Poly-L-Lactic Acid Fibers Direct In Vitro Neurite Outgrowth”; advisors: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert (Biomedical Engineering) and Professor Michael Mullins (Chemical Engineering)

Honorable Mentions, Ecosystem Science Center

Chris Miller (SFRES) for “The Economic Feasibility of Aspen as a Coal Co-Firing Component”; advisor: Assistant Professor Robert Froese

Matthew Metz (SFRES) for “Summer Predation Patterns of Yellowstone Gray Wolves”; advisor: Assistant Professor John Vucetich

Max Henschell (SFRES) for “Do the Birds Care? Avian Community Response to Floristic Quality”; advisor: Associate Professor David Flaspohler