Tag: Chemical Engineering

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
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Policy
  • Geology
  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication

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

Enterprise Students Help 3M Build a Better Taillight

Drivers of many new cars will have better taillights, thanks to a partnership between Michigan Technological University students and 3M.

Michigan Tech’s Consumer Products Manufacturing and Blue Marble Security Enterprise–teams of students that take on challenges faced by industry–tested 3M’s Uniform Lighting Lens (ULL), investigating the optical properties of the material. Four years later, that material is now on the market and will be debuting on more cars in the near future.

The project was “a good example of getting students involved with problems of interest to industry,” said Brett Spigarelli, a PhD candidate is chemical engineering at Michigan Tech and advisor to the Consumer Products Manufacturing Enterprise. on Mountain native, said. “It’s a lot of what you do when you get out there on the job,” explained Spigarelli, an Iron Mountain native who worked on the 3M project as an undergraduate at Michigan Tech.

ULL is designed to better disperse the light of LEDs (light emitting diode), increasing effectiveness while still enjoying the same energy savings compared to halogen bulbs. The challenge was in applying ULL, a film, in industrial applications and ensuring that it would hold up to the manufacturing process. This was where 3M asked Michigan Tech students to step in early in 2009.

For the full story, see taillight.

Published in TechToday by Kevin Hodur, creative writer

BRC Graduate Travel Grants Awarded for Fall 2012

The Biotechnology Research Center Announces the Recipients for its Fall 2012 Travel Grants

Graduate Recipients include:

  • Tayloria Adams (ECM); 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting (poster)
  • Felix Adom (ECM); 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting (podium)
  • Zainab I. Alshoug (ECM); 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting (poster)
  • Ran An (ECM); 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting (poster)
  • Xiaochu Ding (SCH); POLY-ACS 9th Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Symposium (poster)
  • Stephanie Hamilton (EBE); American Society of Biomechanics Annual Meeting (poster)
  • Sean Hopkins (EBE); BMES 2012 Annual Conference (poster)
  • Robert Larson (SBL); SLEEP 2012 26th Annual Meeting (poster)
  • Venkata Ramana R. Pidatala (SBL); ASA, CSSA and SSSA Annual Meetings (poster)
  • Aparupa Sengupta (SBL); Society for Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology (poster)
  • Maria Tafur Agudelo (ECM); 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting (podium)
  • Khrupa S. Vijayaragavan (ECM); 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting (podium)
  • Shuaicheng Wang (SMAG); The Genetic Analysis Workshops (podium and poster)
  • Xu Xiang (SCH); 245th ACS National Meeting (poster)
  • Chungja Yang (ECM); 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting (poster)
  • Huan Yang (SBL); SLEEP 2012 26th Annual Meeting (poster)
  • Jingtuo Zhang (SCH); 244th ACS National Meeting (poster)

Published in TechToday

NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program

Recipients of the graduate scholarship will be awarded up to two years with a third year option based on academic standing and programmatic requirements.

Five graduate scholarships will be awarded annually.

Students awarded scholarships will be provided the opportunity for two 10 week internships performing aeronautical research at a NASA center during the first two years they are enrolled in the program.  List of Supported Fields

The scholarship award includes:

  • $35,000 annual stipend
  • Up to $11,000 awarded for each school year, to be used for tuition and other education related expenses
  • Two (2) $10,000 Summer internship at a NASA Research Center


  • Graduate Students must have received or be on track to receive their bachelor’s degrees by Fall 2013, or they may be currently enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program but will not receive their degree until Spring 2015 or after.
  • All applicants must have at least two (2) years of full time study left to be eligible for the Program

To apply, https://nasa.asee.org/apply

Application deadline is January 15, 2013

Attracting Underrepresented Graduate Students: GEM GRAD Lab This Saturday

Rod Carter credits his graduate education at Michigan Tech for the strong problem-solving skills it takes to succeed at his job: high-level materials research for Boeing. A research and technology engineer, Carter was the first African American to earn a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech, in 2008.

During an all-day seminar at Michigan Tech on Saturday, Sept. 15, Carter will talk about the doors that graduate education opened for him. Called the GEM GRAD Lab, the meeting addresses a critical shortfall in US engineering and scientific talent, focusing specifically on recruiting more underrepresented students into graduate programs. GRAD stands for Getting Ready for Advanced Degrees.

“Students will leave the GRAD event with a definite plan on how to apply and gain funding, and hear about real-life research and internship experiences,” says Marcus Huggans, senior director of external relations for the National Consortium for Graduate degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc., sponsor of the program. “GEM appreciates Michigan Tech’s Graduate School leadership to bring this workshop to students in the Upper Peninsula.”

Jacque Smith, Michigan Tech Graduate School director of marketing, explains: “It’s all part of an even larger goal of creating a pipeline for this talent to move on to corporations and organizations after receiving their graduate degrees.”

A major component of GEM is fellowships for Master of Science in engineering students or PhD students in engineering or science. The GEM fellowships include full tuition, summer internships and stipends.

His GEM fellowship has made all the difference to Sterling Prince, a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering. “The GEM Fellowship has been a blessing to my life,” says Prince. “It has strengthened my decision and given me confidence to achieve a doctorate in electrical engineering. It has provided the financial support I needed for my graduate program, allowing me to dedicate my time to my studies rather than working. The program has also provided me with the opportunity to work at a national laboratory, an experience that allowed me to see that I enjoy the area of scientific research and want to pursue it in my future.”

In addition to Carter, Prince and two other current Michigan Tech GEM fellows and PhD candidates–James Alexander and Tayloria Adams–will speak at Saturday’s seminar. Other speakers include Huggans; Patty Lopez, a component design engineer at Intel; and Howard G. Adams, founder and president of H. G. Adams and Associates, a consulting and training firm. Michigan Tech’s Associate Provost for Graduate Education Jackie Huntoon and Jodi Lehman, coordinator of proposal and fellowship development for sponsored program enhancement, will also speak.

More than 100 of the nation’s top universities, many Fortune 500 companies, and numerous national laboratories support GEM, which began in 1976. Since then, more than 3,000 GEM Fellows have gone on to successful careers. Michigan Tech has participated in GEM since the 1990s.

Registration for the free event starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Great Lakes Research Center.

Students Excel in International Poster Competition

Chemical engineering PhD student Brett Spigarelli with his team's carbon dioxide scrubber. His prize-winning poster focussed on improving the scrubber's efficiency. Sarah Bird photo
Two graduate students, Brett Spigarelli and Howard Haselhuhn, took first and third place in the Minerals and Metallurgical Processing Journal Student Poster Contest, held Feb. 22 in Seattle. Both are PhD candidates in chemical engineering.

The contest was part of the SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration) Annual Meeting. Thirteen graduate students from all over the world entered posters in the event.

The Tech students’ advisor, Chair Komar Kawatra (ChE), is on sabbatical as a Fulbright scholar in India and flew to Seattle for the competition.

“I am very fortunate to be working with graduate students like Howard and Brett,” said Kawatra. “They are highly motivated and just outstanding. One day I expect them to be CEOs of major corporations.”

Spigarelli earned the top spot for his poster on optimizing a carbon-dioxide scrubber that removes 50 percent of the CO2 passing through.

The scrubber, an 11-foot bench-model plastic pipe packed with glass beads, has a water-based solution flowing through it. From below, carbon dioxide bubbles up, reacting with chemicals in the liquid. The process not only captures carbon, it binds it in a solid form, making an undisclosed product that can be used as a construction material. The liquid itself can be recovered and used again.

The group has received a patent and hopes to build a pilot plant in cooperation with industry partner Carbontec Energy Corp.

Spigarelli’s prize-winning poster focused on making the scrubber as efficient as possible. In particular, he developed a model for determining the ideal concentration of chemical in solution to strip out CO2. “You want to remove as much carbon as possible, but you don’t want to use excess chemicals, because you want to save the company money,” Spigarelli said. “This process will give you the best results.”

Haselhuhn’s third-place poster also focused on water chemistry. At an iron-processing facility, he studied the technology used to remove impurities from iron ore. He found ways to improve the process and significantly boost productivity.

“The iron ore is ground down into very small particles, which are mixed in water,” he said. “The larger particles, which contain more iron ore, settle quickly, and the smallest ones, containing silica, stay suspended.” However, Haselhuhn discovered, sometimes the raw ore contains high levels of magnesium, which translates into higher concentrations of magnesium in the water. In turn, that causes silica particles to cluster together and settle out with the iron, rendering the separation process ineffective.

“By compensating for the excess magnesium, companies could reduce the loss of iron in their concentration process,” Haselhuhn said. “The results of this research will save millions of dollars per year and reduce the loss of an important natural resource.”

by Marcia Goodrich, magazine editor
Published in Tech Today

Accelerated Master’s Degree Programs

The Graduate School announces the development of three new accelerated master’s degree programs. These fast-track graduate programs are now offered to undergraduate students in the fields of mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and chemical engineering.

The new initiative allows Michigan Tech undergraduate students to accelerate their education and jumpstart their future research or career paths.

Tech undergraduate students can apply as early as their junior year and start taking graduate-level courses during their senior year.

Michigan Tech’s accelerated master’s allows for students to count up to six credit hours towards both their bachelor’s and master’s degree. Once students are admitted into the accelerated programs and complete their bachelor’s degree, they can finish their master’s degree within two semesters (one academic year).

Acceptance into these programs requires that students apply through the standard Graduate School application process and maintain undergraduate GPA requirements set by the individual programs. Students who are already enrolled in graduate programs may not retroactively enroll in accelerated master’s programs.

Other academic programs are encouraged to consider offering accelerated master’s options to Tech students.

For more information on developing an accelerated master’s program, contact Jacque Smith, director of marketing and advancement, Graduate School, at 487-1434 or at jacque@mtu.edu .

submitted by Jacque Smith, Graduate School
Published in Tech Today