Tag: Finishing Fellowship

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Mingxi Fang

Mingxi Fang

Mingxi FangI joined Dr. Haiying Liu’s group at Michigan Tech in spring, 2014. This is my 5th year as a PhD student in chemistry major. My research interests focus on design and synthesis of novel near-infrared fluorescent probes for biological sensing and imaging application. Near-infrared fluorescence is very useful in biomedical research because it penetrates deep tissue without dealing damage to bio-systems.  Besides research experience, I have been teaching General Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis, Quantitative Analysis (laboratory) and Recitation class (lecture) as a graduate teaching assistant since 2014. Those precious experience really helps me a lot in life as well as academia.

I also like sports. I learned to ski in Houghton as I never saw so much snow in winter before. Downhill skiing is so exciting and relaxing that I can relieve and take a deep breath from research when things did not go well.

I really want to express my gratitude to Graduate School and the Dean’s Advisory Panel for providing me the Finishing Fellowship in fall semester. The fellowship will help me focus on writing dissertation and finishing defense in a timely manner.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Wenping Deng

Wendping Deng
Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
wenping deng

I started my PhD in Michigan Tech. in August 2015 after working as a lecturer for ten years in Northeast Forestry University, China.

My PhD research is focused on developing appropriate statistical and machine learning models to reconstruct gene regulatory network from gene expression data. In these 3 years, I developed a backward elimination random forest (BWERF) algorithm for reconstructing multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory network, and a new graphical Gaussian model (JRmGRN) for joint reconstruction of multiple gene regulatory networks using data from multiple tissues or conditions. Reconstructing gene regulatory networks helps elucidating the nature of complex biological processes and disease mechanisms in a variety of organisms. Comprehending the associations between genes has important ramifications in pathological studies for explaining disease pathways and identifying biomarkers for prognosis and diagnosis.
I would like to give my sincere gratitude to the Graduate School at Michigan Tech. for this financial support, which gives me an opportunity to put all my efforts on completing my PHD degree this semester.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2018 Recipient – Kevin Waters

Kevin Waters

KWaters_FFI came to Michigan Tech. in the Summer of 2013 after finishing my undergraduate degree in physics at Indiana State University.

My research focuses on quantum mechanical simulation of nanomaterials. Over the years I have investigated different potential functionalizations of boron-nitride nanotubes and monolayers with amino acids and gold clusters.

I would like to thank the physics department and the graduate school for funding my academic endeavor. The Finishing Fellowship helps me spend my full time on dissertation writing without any distraction from other duties. The university has provided me with great opportunities to grow professionally at Michigan Tech., at the Air Force Research Laboratory and at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2018 Recipient – Soroush Sepahyar

Soroush Sepahyar
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Soroush SepahyarI started my PhD in Michigan Tech in August 2013 in Mechanical Engineering. My PhD research is focused on developing and testing a new technology in cooling systems. The application of this new technology is on future generation computer cooling systems such as Data Centers and Supercomputers. It would make cooling systems working more efficiently and reduce the environmental impact and energy costs when implemented.

Along with the research activities, since Fall 2014, I have been working as Graduate Teaching Assistant and had the opportunity to teach two different labs in MEEM department which was a great experience for me.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the Graduate School at Michigan Tech for this financial support. This gave me an opportunity to focus on my research and also put all my efforts toward completion of my PhD degree this semester.

I am also grateful for the generous donations from MTU alumni and Friends who made this opportunity possible for me.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2018 Recipient – Janarjan Bhandari

Janarjan Bhandari
Atmospheric Sciences

Janarjan BhandariBefore joining the Physics Department as a Ph.D. candidate in Atmospheric Sciences, I earned my BS and MS in Physics from Tribhuvan University. My research with Dr. Claudio Mazzoleni focuses on the morphology and mixing state of absorbing aerosol particles in the atmosphere and their optical properties. The effect of absorbing aerosols on climatic forcing is large and highly uncertain. A detailed study on the morphology and mixing state of individual aerosols is necessary to reduce uncertainty in climatic forcing by these aerosols.

During my years at Michigan Tech’s Physics Department has provided me full support of my studies. I am thankful to the Michigan Tech Graduate School for the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship award that will help me finish my degree this summer. I am also very grateful to my advisor Dr. Claudio Mazzoleni, who not only mentored me since 2013 in research, but also allowed me opportunities to participate in a collaborative research campaign, and to participate in different conferences that provided a nice platform to interact with the community people and exposure to different instrumentations. I feel proud be a student in the Atmospheric Sciences program at Michigan Tech.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2018 Recipient – Shanshan Hou

Shanshan Hou
Shanshan Hou

I came to Michigan Tech in January, 2013 and work in the chemistry lab with my advisor, Dr. Lanrong Bi. I earned my BSc. Degree in Pharmacy in my home country, China. Currently, my research focuses on the design and synthesis of fluorescent dyes. These fluorescent dyes could target and label the organelles, thus shining light on cell’s inner workings. I learned and got a lot in my five-year PhD life, I feel so proud to be a student at Tech.

I want to give my sincere thanks to Graduate School for providing me with the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship. With this fellowship, I will be able to focus on my dissertation so that I could expect to graduate this semester. I am also greatly thankful to my advisor and department for their big support.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2018 Recipient – Hans Lechner

Hans Lechner

Hans LechnerI first came to Michigan Tech as a Peace Corps Masters International student in 2005. After finishing my Peace Corps service in El Salvador I returned to MTU in 2010 to complete my thesis on volcano geodesy. I started down the PhD path in the Fall of 2011 in geology but wanted to put a stronger emphasis on “social geology.” My doctoral research focuses on volcano geodesy, risk communication and evacuation behavior. It straddles the interface of geophysics and social vulnerability in an effort to better understand magmatic systems, volcanic hazards, and risk behavior. Under the guidance of Dr. Greg Waite my research has been conducted at volcanoes Pacaya and Santiaguito, Guatemala and has employed both physical and social science methodologies. I use GPS geodesy to measure surface deformation and model magmatic storage locations and plumping systems in volcanoes. I also use structured questionnaire-surveys and statistical methodologies in an endeavor to better understand the causal relationships between volcanic eruptions and evacuation behavior. By integrating both physical and social sciences my aim is improve volcano monitoring strategies and hazard communication to vulnerable populations so that people in at risk communities can make more informed protective action decisions.

I would like to thank the Graduate School and all the benefactors for providing me with financial support through the Finishing Fellowship. This opportunity allows me to focus my energy on completing my dissertation without the stress and worry about where funding comes from. It is truly and honor and privilege to have this support.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2018 Recipient – Shadi Darani

Shadi Darani
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Shadi DaraniI joined Michigan Tech as a Ph.D. student in 2015. My research interests include optimization and control algorithms. During my time as a student at MTU, I worked on an NSF project to develop novel optimization algorithms based on biology concepts. These algorithms can be used in various areas including optimization of spacecraft trajectories, wave energy converter design, energy-asset optimization in post-disaster power restoration, and robotic trajectory planning.
I would like to thank Michigan Tech for providing a great research and development environment. I am also very thankful to the Graduate School for recommending me for the Finishing Fellowship.

Fall 2018 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for fall 2018 finishing fellowships are being accepted beginning May 15, 2018 and are due no later than 4pm, June 28, 2018 to Dr. Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School. Materials emailed to gradschool@mtu.edu is preferred. 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 or in Research Mode at the time of application.

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 Spring 2018 – Xiucheng (Sheldon) Zhu

Xiucheng (Sheldon) Zhu
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Xiucheng Sheldon Zhu
The story is about the final successful experiments after two weeks happened in 2014 summer. I was doing spark ignition of propane in CV. It was the first time we test with propane mixture. We only had experience with methane before that. We need to prepare fuel mixture (usually 800 bar in a 10 L mixing vessel) before testing and put the mixture into CV for ignition. The mixture preparation could take up to 1 hour. After making a new propane mixture, the first several ignitions were failed, then we got ignition. However, the peak pressure after combustion kept increasing which indicates the mixture composition were varying. We checked the literature, some say that it is due to the stratification of the mixture, some say that there is no stratification at all. For about two weeks, we didn’t get any normal combustion events as expected. We tried almost every method we could think of. Finally, Tejas and I tried
201801 Xiucheng Zhuto make less mixture (about 400 bar in a 10 L mixing vessel) and moved the mixing vessel piston up and down to help mix the mixture better. It was very a simple solution, but it did work. We got consistent combustion with this method, and we confirmed the stratification issue of propane mixture. That was the moment, we kept our fingers crossed, and felt vast joy. It feels like that you walked in the dark for a long journal and finally reach your destination. After that, we were keeping improving the mixing procedure by changing filling orders.