Tag: Finishing Fellowship

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Alejandra Almanza

I started my PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in Fall 2016 under the guidance of Dr. Paul Sanders. I have been working in the production and optimization of ductile iron, and it has been four great years full of challenges, achievements, and lessons learned. I feel passionate about research and learning new things every day, Michigan Tech has given me these experiences.

I want to sincerely express my gratitude to the Graduate School for awarding me with the Fall 2020 Finishing Fellowship. A big thank you to my advisor, who has given me positive feedback and encourage me throughout my degree. And finally, thank you to the Materials Science and Engineering department for all the support provided during my time here.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Sergio Miguel, Lopez Ramirez

I came to MTU in 2017 to pursue my Ph.D. with Dr. Alex Mayer in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This has been a great experience because I learned a lot, but also because I collaborated with amazing people and made very good friends. My research focuses on hydrology modeling to assess the effects of the Payment for Hydrological Services program in Veracruz, Mexico. This is one of the longest operating payments for ecosystem services in the World and the scientific results produced by our research group contributes to better understand the connections between social and ecological systems and to make more informed decisions in terms of Water Resources Management. My thanks and gratitude to the graduate school and to the Michigan Tech Community for your support to complete my research. 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Srinivas Kannan


I began my doctoral research in the Fall of 2016 in the Biomedical Microdevices lab under the guidance of Dr. Smitha Rao and Dr. Marina Tanasova (Department of Chemistry). My research focuses on understanding compromised metabolic processes in breast cancers and their impact on the local tumor environment and cancer metastasis using a microfluidic platform.  The overall objective is to better understand the nutrient microenvironment and impact from the nutrients available in the body on breast cancer, to improve cancer detection and therapy.  My doctoral work also includes developing three-dimensional in vitro models for understanding cancer microenvironment and metabolic differences, differential uptake of fructose among breast cancer phenotypes, and develop a platform for cancer diagnostics.

I thank the Michigan Tech Grad School for the fellowship and the Department of Biomedical Engineering for their support.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Esmaeil Dehdashti

Esmaeil Dehdashti is a PhD candidate who joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University in July 2017.  He holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran.

Esmaeil works in the Complex Fluids and Active Matter Lab, where they employ the tools of applied mathematics and simple experiments to fundamentally understand the interaction of fluid flows with dynamically changing boundaries at a wide range of length and time scales. Esmaeil’s research focuses on developing a number of computer simulations to fully capture and comprehend the interaction of fluid flows with moving objects at a wide range of length scales. Esmaeil has extremely broad scientific interests that range from hydrodynamics of flapping porous plates and swimming of robotic fish to droplet evaporation and transport phenomena in particulate systems.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Yuesheng Gao

Yuesheng Gao is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. He obtained a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor’s in Mining Engineering at Central South University in 2016 and 2014, respectively.

Yuesheng joined Dr. Pan’s research group in 2017. Since then, he has been involved in multiple projects, including the development of the synchronized tri-wavelength reflection interferometry microscope (STRIM), dust control, oil extraction, graphite purification, and froth flotation. His work mainly focuses on revealing the interfacial interactions and the stability of thin films (TMs) between different materials in liquid/gas circumstances. The findings in his work provide new perspectives in understanding the fundamental mechanisms of diverse separation processes. His contributions to the mining industry and the interfacial science areas have been well recognized.

Yuesheng is grateful for this invaluable opportunity to receive the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship from the Graduate School of Michigan Tech. He also wants to express his appreciation to his advisor, Dr. Pan, for the relentless guidance and encouragement.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Qing Guo

I have joined Prof. Pandey’s research group at Michigan Technological University since Fall 2015 to pursue my Ph.D. degree in Physics.

My Ph.D. research is focused on an investigation of the novel properties of materials using first-principles density functional theory (DFT) method and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. It can be divided into two parts. In my first project, I have systematically studied the electronic properties of vertically stacked heterostructures composed by graphene and SnO. In this study, we found a finite bandgap is opened for graphene and the outmost SnO monolayers could protect the bandgap from high external electric field (up to ≈ 0.3×10^9 V/m). This result could provide clues for the practical application of graphene in nano-level electronic devices design. The second project is related to the Li-S battery system which has been considered as a promising energy storage system due to its high theoretical energy density and relatively low cost in terms of main reactants (e.g. sulfur). My research is related to the characterization of Li polysulfides solid phases to predict their mechanical stability and electronic nature (i.e. metal vs semiconductor) which will help understand the reaction path and advance the design of a functionalized cathode in the Li-S battery system for energy applications. This project is still ongoing, and I would like to thank the Graduate School for financing my last stage of research. 



Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Kevin Sunderland

I am a PhD Candidate in my final year with the Biomedical Engineering department at Michigan Tech. My research focuses on the study of complex swirling blood flow patterns and how analyzing their characteristics can help to better understand the development, growth, and rupture of cerebral aneurysms. In my doctoral dissertation, I have utilized computational fluid dynamics to simulate blood flow patterns in 3D vascular models taken from medical imaging files of patients with cerebral aneurysms and applied a novel computational analytic method to identify areas of complex swirling flow and measure their changes over the cardiac cycle. This has led to novel quantified metrics that can improve statistical models to predict areas of aneurysm development, and improve models capable of differentiating ruptured and unruptured aneurysms giving new insights into flow conditions suggestive of aneurysm rupture that are often overlooked in other studies. The final aspect of my doctoral research is to use a specialized flow chamber to expose human vascular endothelial cells to multiple areas of swirling flow, with each area having varied spatiotemporal characteristics. These cells will be analyzed to see if varied swirling flow characteristics lead to differing levels of cellular changes indicative of aneurysm rupture: expression of cell-to-cell adhesion proteins, inflammatory markers, and levels of cellular apoptosis (death).

My hope is that this work will one day help doctors further understand the complex nature of aneurysms, and that the quantified measure of swirling flow characteristics will be utilized in the clinical setting to better identify which aneurysms are at high rupture risk. This could help guide clinical decision making to determine if aneurysm surgery prior to rupture is worth the risk, or if an aneurysm is likely to remain stable, posing minimal risk to patient health.

I am extremely grateful to Michigan Tech’s graduate school for this financial support, allowing me the opportunity to finish my research. I also would like to express my gratitude to my advisors Dr. Jingfeng Jaing and Dr. Feng Zhao (now faculty at Texas A&M), as well as my committee members Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, Dr. Gowtham, and Dr. Min Wang for their expertise and guidance throughout my research at Michigan Tech.


Spring 2021 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for Spring 2021 finishing fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, October 21, 2020 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a finishing fellowship.
  4. Must be eligible for candidacy (tuition charged at Research Mode rate) at the time of application.
  5. Must not hold a final oral examination (“defense”) prior to the start of the award semester.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. The Graduate School anticipates funding up to ten fellowships with support ranging from $2000 to full support (stipend + tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2020 Recipient- Hua Wang

I am a fourth year PhD Candidate on the program of Rhetoric, Theory and Culture in Humanities Department. My research focuses on the rhetoric of healthcare and medicine and technical communication, particularly in the Chinese context. To be specific, I study the relationship between the healthcare and medicine rhetoric and Chinese culture and how they shape each other with the advancement of communication technologies. In my doctoral dissertation, by rhetorical analysis, I examine the expression of rhetorical agency in the 2017/2018 No. 1 childbirth and pregnancy commercial app named Babytree to see to what extent the app spreads the information and knowledge of pregnancy and mothering to empower its users (Chinese women); how the users write their embodied experience of pregnancy into the online narratives and stories to respond to China’s dominant and hegemonic healthcare and medical discourse and practice; how the users who, having been excluded from labor markets or having limited choices in labor markets due to getting pregnant, use technological affordances of social media to enter those markets, become professional communicators, and achieve their rhetorical agency economically. My study expands our understanding of the rhetoric of health and medicine in an international context and extends the field’s conceptions of rhetorical agency by exploring how rhetorical agency can be asserted economically in a non-capitalist, non-Western context. To put it another way, my study on rhetorical agency is considered on a more global scale than previous studies. At last, I am extremely grateful to the graduate school for this generous financial support. I also would like to express my gratitude to my advisor Dr. Marika Seigel and my committee members Dr. Robert Johnson and Dr. Sarah Bell for their enlightening and intellectual guidance.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2020 Recipient – Bethel Worku Tarekegne

Bethel Tarekegne is a PhD candidate in Environmental and Energy Policy at Michigan Technological University. She holds a Masters in Energy Policy from the School of Public Policy at University of Maryland, College Park and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Benedict College.

Bethel’s work focuses on examining the intersection of energy, development, policy, and governance. Her current research is motivated by the need to achieve universal energy access in developing economies – mainly in the sub-Saharan Africa region. As an energy access researcher, she focuses on modeling decision tools for electrification planning with a special emphasis on the integration of techno-economic and socio-technical perspectives, rural electrification and social development, energy security and justice, and energy governance and policymaking. Through her work, she tries to understand how electrification projects can be designed from the energy-poor’s perspective in order to have equitable socio-economic outcomes.