Tag: College of Engineering

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Li Wei

I started working on my Ph.D. in Fall 2016 at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with Prof. Zhaohui Wang. I previously obtained my M.S. from the University of Connecticut and my B.S. from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. My research has focused on underwater acoustic communication and networking technology. 

At Michigan Tech, I first developed a comprehensive experiment system for both simulation and field underwater acoustic communication and networking experiments, which facilitated several field experiments in Keweenaw Waterway, Lake Superior, and a joint field experiment with UCLA in Marina del Rey. With the abundant field experiment data collected by this system, I explored the generative models of the underwater acoustic channel impulse response with deep learning. The generative models can further enhance the performance of reinforcement learning models for optimizing configurations of an underwater acoustic network system. I plan to continue my research and development works on underwater acoustic communication systems after I finish my Ph.D.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Graduate College of Michigan Technological University for their continuous support in achieving my Ph.D. goals. My special thank goes to my research advisor Prof. Zhaohui Wang, my committee members, and also all the lab members in our research group for their invaluable guidance and help.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Pradeep Bhat

I started as a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics in 2017. Before coming to MTU, I was working in Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai, India as an Engineer. I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mumbai University, India. I had a desire and curiosity to participate in academic research which led to me looking for graduate study opportunities. The goal of my proposed research is to advance eco-driving research for energy savings considering connected and automated environment. Enhancements in the transportation sector can be brought by Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) as they improve traffic throughout and automobile efficiency. Every vehicle in a connected environment can communicate and share its travel behavior, local traffic information, energy consumption, nearby traffic congestion, and road accidents. The advancement of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and traffic monitoring systems provides opportunities to share short-term future information. The emerging ITS technologies include but are not limited to the Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC), on-board vehicle receivers, e-horizon solutions, detailed offline and/or online maps, and real-time communication with service providers/government agencies. These improvements create opportunities for the innovation, research and development of connected and automated vehicles.

I am fortunate to be able to learn and work in the interdisciplinary area of research. I would like to express gratitude to the Department and Graduate school for accepting my application. Thereby, giving me an opportunity to join MTU as a student. Also, sincere thanks to graduate school for the fellowship award.  My special thanks to Dr. Bo Chen my advisor for accepting me as her student and guiding me during the research. Also, to all the committee members (Dr. Jeffery D Naber, Dr. Darrell L Robinette, and Dr. Stephen A Hackney) for their time and guidance.

DeVlieg Graduate Summer 2022 Research Recipient – Emily Shaw

I am a settler scholar living and working within the Anishinaabe Ojibwe homelands of Northern Michigan. Currently, I am a PhD candidate, at Michigan Technological University, in environmental engineering doing research that bridges knowledge systems to understand mixture toxicity. As an indiginist researcher, my work rebuilds systems of accountability and responsibility between humans and the environment that are aligned to Anishinaabe philosophies. Prior to graduate school, I earned a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. For four years, I was the Education and Volunteer Coordinator at Inland Seas Education Association, a non-profit in Suttons Bay, MI with a mission to inspire a lifetime of Great Lakes curiosity, stewardship, and passion in people of all ages. In the two years leading up to graduate school I spent most of my time in Antarctica, washing dishes at the South Pole research station and hiking and sailing throughout New Zealand. Now I enjoy exploring Houghton, playing roller derby, and gardening.

Michigan Tech gratefully acknowledges support from The DeVlieg Foundation for the DeVlieg Summer Research Award.

DeVlieg Graduate Summer 2022 Research Recipient – Brennan Vogl

I am a second-year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department. I started my undergraduate degree at Michigan Tech in 2016, I enjoyed my time here so much I decided to come back to become a PhD student in the Biofluids lab in 2021. My field of research is cardiovascular hemodynamics, the study of how blood flows through the cardiovascular system. I work with physicians to investigate how cardiovascular diseases (aortic stenosis, hypertension, mitral regurgitation, etc.) can alter the blood flow of the heart.

I am immensely grateful for the support provided by the DeVlieg Foundation and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory panel. With their help, I will be able to spend the summer investigating changes to left atrial flow dynamics in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and who have received treatment for AF. I am hopeful that this research will provide a basic engineering framework to conduct computational simulations of AF and improve the clinical knowledge to provide the best therapy possible for patients with AF.

Michigan Tech gratefully acknowledges support from The DeVlieg Foundation for the DeVlieg Summer Research Award.

MTU Students Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Two Michigan Tech graduate students, Tessa Steenwinkel and Tyler LeMahieu, have been awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships, and one undergraduate student, Jenna Brewer, has been given an honorable mention.

The oldest STEM-related fellowship program in the United States, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is a prestigious award that recognizes exceptional graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines early in their career and supports them through graduate education. NSF-GRFP fellows are an exceptional group; 42 fellows have become Nobel Laureates and about 450 fellows are members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The fellowship provides three years of financial support, including a $34,000 stipend for each fellow and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for the fellow’s institution. Besides financial support for fellows, the GRFP provides opportunities for research in national laboratories and international research.

The Graduate School is proud of these students for their outstanding scholarship. These awards highlight the quality of students at Michigan Tech, the innovative work they have accomplished, the potential for leadership and impact in science and engineering that the country recognizes in these students and the incredible role that faculty play in students’ academic success.

Tessa Steenwinkel

Steenwinkel is a biochemistry and molecular biology M.S. student under advisor Thomas Werner (BioSci). She has been studying the influence of nutrition on the interplay of fertility, fecundity and longevity in Drosophila. In the long term, she plans to focus on medicinal research and how genetic regulation plays a role in infertility

Werner writes: “Tessa is the best student I have ever had the pleasure to mentor in my lab. During her undergraduate and accelerated M.S. years, she won nine research awards and published 10 research papers and two books with me. I am extremely happy (but not surprised) that she won the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Her newest success proves that I was not mistaken in my choice to name a new fruit fly species in her honor last year, which is named ‘Amiota tessae.'”

Tyler LeMahieu

LeMahieu is an environmental engineering M.S. student under advisor Cory McDonald. LeMahieu’s proposal was titled, “Understanding Wild Rice Site Suitability in a Changing Climate.”

LeMahieu writes: “I plan to dedicate my career to bridging gaps between the scientific body and land managers. I would like to manage public and rural lands for the farmer, the logger and the hunter while managing those same lands for improved water and ecological health into perpetuity. Because fundamentally, rural land managers have the same goal in mind as those studying the environment — a useful, productive and sound ecosystem which will support and be supported by the next generation. That common ground is not always evident to both parties, but I am equipped to act as an intermediary with a foot in both worlds.”

Jenna Brewer

Brewer is a senior undergraduate student from Grand Rapids studying wildlife ecology and management under advisor Jared Wolfe. She plans to continue her education at Michigan Tech, pursuing a graduate degree this fall. Her research aims to develop an acoustic signal to deter birds from potential collision hazards such as city buildings during flight, effectively mitigating bird deaths. After graduate school, she hopes to become an avian ecologist, contributing to projects that focus on migration science.

Wolfe writes: “Jenna’s enthusiastic study of songbird ecology and conservation has long been recognized by her supervisors and peers; now that same passion has been recognized by the National Science Foundation. Faculty at CFRES are incredibly proud of Jenna’s accomplishment!”

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2022 Recipient – Victor Claremboux

I completed my B.S. (2015) and M.S. (2020) in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. As a graduate student I am completing my studies with Professor Kawatra in the Department of Chemical Engineering. My work has focused on the efficient and sustainable processing of raw and waste materials in mineral processing, which includes iron ore processing, carbon dioxide capture and utilization, and rare earth extraction from waste materials such as red mud. This work has led to several publications, including a highly cited review on the flotation of iron ores. My dissertation will build upon my master’s thesis and focus on understanding the intricacies of pelletizing iron ore to minimize waste and environmental concerns such as fine dusts.
I am grateful to Professor Kawatra and my committee for the support and guidance he has provided over my years at Michigan Tech, to my fellow graduate students under Professor Kawatra for being there to bounce ideas off of and to share insightful discussions with, and to my high school chemistry teacher who suggested Michigan Technological University to me in the first place.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2022 Recipient – Upendra Yadav

I started working on my PhD in Fall 2017 at the Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics department with Dr. Susanta Ghosh. Previous to this, I obtained my masters’ degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, India, in Aerospace Engineering and a Bachelors’ degree from Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur, India. During my masters’, I was awarded the DAAD fellowship to work on my thesis at Leibniz University Hannover, Germany.

At Michigan Tech, I worked on several different projects. I began working on Micro-architectured glass materials and developed a novel analytical model to simulate the complex behavior of these materials. In another project, I developed an atomistic-continuum model to simulate large area mono-layers of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (TMDs). This model can be used to obtain the deformation of mono-layer TMDs under various loading conditions and can provide a way to alter their optical, electrical, and mechanical properties in a controlled manner. In collaboration with Shashank Pathrudkar, we developed a novel Machine learning model to predict the high-dimensional deformation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes. This model is as accurate as of the atomistic-continuum model while being several orders of magnitude faster. I am currently working on extending these models for several other applications.

I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Susanta Ghosh, for his support and guidance at each step. I would also like to thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the dean for awarding me the finishing fellowship. This fellowship will help in completing all the work on time, including writing and defending my dissertation.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2022 Recipient – Aynaz Biniyaz

I started my journey at Michigan Tech by joining the Ph.D. program in Geotechnical Engineering in Spring 2019. Dr. Zhen Liu’s research group (LiuRG) provided me with an environment to grow and thrive in my future career. The current goal of LiuRG is to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning algorithms to solve geotechnical engineering problems more efficiently. My Ph.D. research focuses on the development of intelligent geosystems with AI, multiphysics, and system analysis to help mitigate natural hazards, especially landslides. An autonomous water pumping system in slopes exemplifies an intelligent geosystem. The objective of my study is to reduce the operational costs and enhance slopes safety by proposing an autonomous pumping system enabled by Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL), which is a subfield of machine learning for automated decision-making. Such a system can learn from past experiences like a human to improve the safety, resilience, and cost of the system. This system can benefit geotechnical practitioners during flooding and extreme weather events to prevent landslides and disasters.

I want to express my gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Zhen Liu, who supported me along the way. Also, I would like to sincerely thank the Graduate Dean Award Advisory Panel for awarding me the Finishing Fellowship. This will allow me to focus on completing my dissertation and defending it.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Morteza Shaker Ardakani

I began my journey at Michigan Tech as an incoming PhD’s student in fall 2017 in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. During my studies, I have completed a couple of research projects in which the mechanical properties of zinc (Zn) based alloys, as a new class of biodegradable metallic implants (BMIs), have been tailored.

Ideally, BMIs will be designed to be absorbed and metabolized by the body after successfully completing their tasks as structural supports. The structural demands for BMIs necessitate a careful balance of the alloy chemistry and material processing. My PhD research involves the development of alloying and processing strategies to address deficiencies in the mechanical behavior of Zn-based alloys.  My project serves to establish workable balances among the mechanical characteristics without compromising the required underlying alloy’s biocompatibility and corrosion rate.

I would like to sincerely thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the Graduate School for providing me with the Finishing Fellowship Award. This will allow me to focus my efforts on defending my dissertation in fall 2021. I am particularly thankful to my advisors, Dr. Kampe and Dr. Drelich, whose mentorship and encouragement has been invaluable

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Shabnam Konica

I joined Michigan Technological University as a Ph.D. student in the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department in Fall 2017. I obtained my Masters’ degree from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, and a Bachelors’ degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in Mechanical Engineering. Before I started pursuing my Ph.D., I was engaged as a faculty member in the Military Institute of Science and Technology in Bangladesh. 

At Michigan Tech, I work at the Laboratory of Mechanics & Modeling of Advanced Materials under Dr. Trisha Sain’s supervision. We develop experimentally informed multiscale, coupled multiphysics continuum level models to predict the constitutive response of polymers and their composites: from the manufacturing stage to operational condition until failure. I mainly study the thermal aging and degradation of these materials in their operating environments at great detail. Our model predicts aging-related phenomena in these materials, such as oxidation-induced cracking, property degradation, ductile to brittle transformation, and the constitutive response changes.

I am grateful to the graduate school of MTU for the financial support through the doctoral finishing fellowship for the fall semester. This aid will surely help me to complete my thesis on time.