Tag: Geological Engineering

Three Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Rose Turner, Gabriela Shirkey and Helena Keller were named GRFP Fellows while Katelyn Kring received Honorable Mention.

Turner, from Berkley, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech in December with a bachelor’s in environmental engineering. She was the student speaker for Fall Commencement and is planning to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Engineering here at Michigan Tech

Katelyn Kring, from Portage, MI, graduated from Michigan Tech in December and is continuing as a first-year master’s student in Tech’s Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.

Shirkey, from Manitou Beach, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech in the Fall of 2013 in scientific and technical communications  and is currently studying geography at Michigan State University.

Keller, from Elk River Minnesota, graduated from Tech in Spring 2014 with a degree in Chemistry. She is currently studying macromolecular, supramolecular and nanochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

THE NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

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Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholar Award – Fall 2018 Recipients

Congratulations! Outstanding Scholar Award Fall 2018 Recipients

Gina Roose (Accounting MS)
Shuaidong Zhao (Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD)
Priscilla Addison(Geological Engineering PhD)
Sampath Kumar Reddy Boyapally (Mechanical Engineering MS)
Rahul Jitendra Thakkar (Mechanical Engineering MS)
Nikhil Appasaheb Shinde(Mechanical Engineering MS)
Mitchel Timm (Mechanical Engineering MS)
Xinyu Ye (Environmental Engineering PhD)
Janarjan Bhandari (Atmospheric Science PhD)
Mingxi Fang (Chemistry PhD)
John Barnett (Environmental and Energy Policy PhD)
Dolendra Karki (Physics PhD)

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Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Priscilla Addison

Priscilla Addison
Geological Engineering

My interest in engineering started in childish defiance of wanting to prove to majority of the people I came across that girls can be engineers too, and pretty great ones at that! But thankfully it ended up being something I enjoyed immensely. My personality is more logical than emotional, so in school I found myself gravitating towards the Math and Physics subjects because of the structure in them. I enjoy that these subjects can help give the breakdown of why and how most things work. During my undergrad, I majored in civil engineering but got more interested in the geotecthnical/geological aspect of the discipline because of the encompassing nature of this subfield. I like the fact that it puts me in the heart of basically everything of the built environment since geological engineering deals with virtually everything that touches the earth! In my current role as a PhD candidate, I have been developing predictive models to isolate locations in the western US that are vulnerable to debris flows occurrences after wildfires. A recent model has been able to predict 8 out of 10 of these disastrous locations, which is a great improvement on the 4 out of 10 that an earlier model was predicting a couple years ago. This makes me so happy because it is a great step towards mitigating/ preventing the devastations usually associated with these events.

Throughout my academic career, I have been so lucky to have met so many wonderful people, especially my advisor, Dr. Oommen, who has been nothing short of supportive through all the highs and lows of this wringer of a grad school journey. He truly is amazing! I am also very thankful to the Graduate School for this award of Finishing Fellowship which is making it possible for me to fully concentrate on writing my dissertation and defending it without worrying about finances anymore. Medaase— this means “thank you” in my native language, Twi.

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Nominee for 2018 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award: Lauren Schaefer

Lauren Schaefer
Geological Engineering

Lauren Schaefer 2018Lauren N. Schaefer received both an MSc in Geology (International Geological Masters in Volcanology and Geotechniques, 2012) and a PhD in Geological Engineering as a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow (2016) at Michigan Tech under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Oommen. Her dissertation investigated the potential for large-scale debris avalanches at Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala to optimize future monitoring and mitigation efforts. A combination of experimental rock mechanics, field investigations, remote sensing, and numerical modeling not only detected, but revealed the nature and mechanics of the largest landslide surge witnessed in a single event at a volcano. Her dissertation provided rare insight into precursory deformation prior to a potential future catastrophic collapse at an active volcano. Such an event was witnessed at Mount St. Helens in 1980, and is known to have occurred at over 400 volcanoes worldwide.

Currently, Lauren is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she continues to research landslide and volcanic hazards.

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Nominees for 2018 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

The Graduate School would like to congratulate and recognize Lauren Schaefer and Erin Pischke for being nominated for the Council of Graduate Schools / ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious honors for doctoral dissertations.

Two awards are given annually in two different broad areas (mathematics, physical sciences and engineering; and social sciences; and the biological sciences; and humanities and fine arts). The winners of the awards will be announced during the Fall 2018 Semester.

The 2018 fields of competition are:

Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering

Mathematics and Social Sciences

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Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2016 Recipients

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the awarding of Finishing Fellowships for doctoral candidates. 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.

(listed by nominating department)

Fall 2016 Recipients

Electrical Engineering
Arash Hosseinzadeh
Seyedmehdi Sadatgoltabarestani

Engineering Physics
Bishnu Tiwari

Geological Engineering
Jordan Mertes

Geophysics
Federica Lanza

Materials Science and Engineering
Cameron McNamara
Shan Zhao

Physics
Hugo Alberto Ayala Solares
Gaoxue Wang

Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Lindsay Hingst

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US News Ranks Michigan Tech PhD Programs in Engineering, Science

More of Michigan Tech’s PhD level engineering and science programs than ever made US News & World Report’s annual graduate school rankings, released today. The rankings reflect momentum generated by Michigan Tech’s focus on graduate education and research, said Provost Max Seel. The Graduate School has more than doubled its enrollment since 2005.

Michigan Tech’s PhD engineering programs earned an overall ranking of 90th, tied with George Washington University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Mississippi State University. Biomedical engineering at Tech showed up in the rankings for the first time, placing 71st.

“I am happy to see that six of our engineering programs are ranked within the top 75, with two (Environmental Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering) nearly within the top 50,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of Tech’s Graduate School. “We all recognize that rankings are based on many factors that do not necessarily correlate to the true quality of a program. Still, having ours ranked in the top 100 helps us attract students—particularly international students, who frequently have little other than the rankings to use when choosing a school for their graduate education.”

Read the full news story.

Published in Tech Today by Jenn Donovan, director of news and media relations

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WWF funding and fellowship opportunities

The Luc Hoffmann Institute pursues synthesis ideas that will deliver cutting edge results with a clear pathway to application for decision makers and civil society practitioners in WWF’s key focus areas.  WWF focus areas can be broken into goals focused onpriority places and priority species, and goals focused on reducing human impact, or the human footprint.  Many of these goals receive additional focus through WWF’s Global Initiatives.

Our next call for full proposals is JANUARY 5th, 2014.  For this call, we are accepting proposal ideas across the full suite of WWF focus areas, with a particular focus on synthesis proposals relevant to the goals of WWF Global Initiatives, as well as proposals that explore trade-offs and consequences of alternative social, economic, and ecological futures in the greater Yangtze River area.

To allow enough time to make the next proposal deadline, we recommend that you send us your proposal ideas no later than December 1st, 2013.

If you have any questions related to our process, or in submitting your idea, please contact Emilie Cavallo at ecavallo@wwfint.org.

Proposal submission is a two-step process.

Step 1: Submit an idea

We want to hear from research professionals from any organization and geographic location.  If you have a synthesis idea that fits into our areas of focus and that you think the Luc Hoffmann Institute should explore further, please submit your idea to us, in a 1-2 paragraph format at: submissions@wwfint.org.

In presenting your idea, please indicate how the work benefits both people and nature, and explain the relationship of the work to WWF conservation efforts.  Research ideas that do not clearly state potential or actual WWF collaborators will not be considered.

Step 2

All synthesis ideas will be reviewed by the Luc Hoffmann Institute as they come in.  When an idea appears to have strong alignment with WWF conservation goals and strategic potential for the Luc Hoffmann Institute, as well as a champion within WWF, we will ask the researcher who submitted the research idea to submit a full proposal, collaboratively, with at least one WWF staff member.

In producing the full proposal, the Research and WWF Lead will be expected to engage the WWF global network at the strategic and senior level, to identify the key questions at the heart of your research idea, and to identify the experts who should be part of your Collaborative Research Team.

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New Dissertations Available in Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Forest Science
  • Geological Engineering
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Michael Brodeur-Campbell
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: David R Shonnard
Dissertation title: Biochemical Conversions of Lingocellulosic Biomass for Sustainable Fuel-Ethanol Production in the Upper Midwest

Liu Chen
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Fernando Luis Ponta
Dissertation title: Vortex Shedding Dynamics in Long Aspect-Ratio Aerodynamics Bodies

Baron Colbert
Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Zhanping You
Dissertation title: The Performance and Modification of Recycled Electronic Waste Plastics for the Improvement of Asphalt Pavement Materials

Joseph Dingeldein
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Craig R Friedrich
Dissertation title: Direct Write Fabrication of Waveguides and Interconnects for Optical Printed Wiring Boards

Emmanuel Ebanyenle
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Co-Advisors: Andrew J Burton and Andrew John Storer
Dissertation title: Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and O3 on Wood Density, Anatomical Properties and Decomposition of Northern Hardwoods

Shurong Fang
Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences
Co-Advisors: Qiuying Sha and Shuanglin Zhang
Dissertation title: Statistical Methods for Rare and Common Variant Association Studies

Carrie Hill
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Lyon Bradley King
Dissertation title: Translation Studies on an Annular Field Reversed Configuration Device for Space Propulsion

John Hribljan
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Rodney A Chimner
Dissertation title: The Effect of Long-Term Water Table Manipulations on Vegetation, Pore Water, Substrate Quality, and Carbon Cycling in a Northern Poor Fen Peatland

Shuo Huang
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering
Advisor: Jindong Tan
Dissertation title: Adaptive Sampling with Mobile Sensor Networks

Yongliang Jin
Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Amlan Mukherjee
Dissertation title: Evaluating Infrastructure Performance to Assist Facility Management Toward Sustainable Systems

Fanyu Kong
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering
Advisor: Jindong Tan
Dissertation title: Automatic Food Intake Assessment Using Camera Phones

Pradeep Kumar
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics
Advisor: Miguel Levy
Dissertation title: Nonlinear Effects in Magnetic Garnet Films and Nonreciprocal Optical Bloch Oscillations in Waveguide Arrays

Chengzhang Li
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Michele H Miller
Dissertation title: Design and Fabrication of Resonant Gas Sensor for High Sensitivity in the Presence of Air Damping

Miriam Rios Sanchez
Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Engineering
Advisor: John S Gierke
Dissertation title: A Remote Sensing Approach to Characterize the Hydrogeology of Mountainous Areas: Application to the Quito Aquifer System (QAS), Ecuador

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New Theses Available in 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:

  • Applied Ecology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Forestry
  • Geological Engineering
  • Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering


Ruth Bennett
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: Joseph Kelty Bump
Thesis title: Habitat Associations of the Golden-winged Warbler in Honduras

Howard Haselhuhn
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Surendra K Kawatra
Thesis title: The Role of Water Chemistry in the Concentration of Hematite Ore

Abhishek Jain
Master of Science in Geological Engineering
Advisor: Thomas Oommen
Thesis title: Sampling Bias in Evaluating the Probability of Seismically Induced Soil Liquefaction with SPT & CPT Case Histories

Lilli Kaarakka
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Co-Advisors: Andrew J Burton and Helja-Sisko Helmisaari
Thesis title: The Long-Term Effects of Whole-Tree Harvest at Final Felling on Soil Properties in a Norway Spruce(Picea abies(L) Karst.) Stand

Laura Kangas
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Co-Advisors: Rodney A Chimner and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Thesis title: Restoration of Forested Wetlands: Case Studies in Michigan and Finland

Harriet King
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Charles Robert Wallace
Thesis title: Understanding “Just Enough” Computer Users: Motivation Style and Proficiency

Aditya Kumar
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Shiliang Wu
Thesis title: Free Troposphere Ozone & Carbon Monoxide over the North Atlantic for 2001-2011

Robert Larson
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Jason Robert Carter
Thesis title: Sleep Deprivation and Pain Intensity

Jaime LeDuc
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: W. Charles Kerfoot
Thesis title: Predator-Prey: Interactions Between the Spiny Waterflea(Bythotrephes longimanus) and Pumpkinseed Sunfish(Lepomis gibbosus)

Dustin Loveland
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Donald Naber
Thesis title: Development of a Predictive Combustion Model of a Spark Ignited Engine with Gasoline Direct Injection, Variable Valve Timing, Duration and Lift Technologies

Bethany Lyons
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Andrew J Burton
Thesis title: Nitrogen Deposition Effects on Production and Decomposition of Coarse Woody Debris

John Maass
Master of Science in Chemistry
Advisor: Rudy L Luck
Thesis title: Coordination Chemistry of BIS(Benzyl)Phosphate

Jonathan Malette
Master of Science in Forestry
Advisor: Blair D Orr
Thesis title: Assessing Land Use and Land Cover Change in Tropical Dry Forest of Northern Chinandega, Nicaragua from 1985 to 2011

Maira Maskevics
Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Advisor: Roger M Kieckhafer
Thesis title: Multimodal Performance and Reliability Analysis of the Pierre Auger Observatory Northern Site Communications System,

Kathleen McKee
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: Gregory Phillip Waite
Thesis title: Using Auto- and Cross-Correlations from Seismic Noise to Monitor Velocity Changes at Villarrica Volcano, Chile

Lauren Schaefer
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: Thomas Oommen
Thesis title: Geotechnical Data and Numerical Analysis of Edifice Collapse and Related Hazards at Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala

Daniel Smith
Master of Science in Geological Engineering
Co-Advisors: John S Gierke and Thomas Oommen
Thesis title: Stability Analysis and Hazard Assessment of the Northern Slopes of San Vicente Volcano in Central El Salvador

Luis Miguel Verissimo
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Co-Advisors: Joseph Kelty Bump and Michael J Falkowski
Thesis title: Landscape and Forest Structure at Moose Mortality Sites on Isle Royale National Park: A LiDAR-Based Assessment

Aino Virtanen
Master of Science in Forestry
Co-Advisors: Audrey Lorraine Mayer and Anne Maarit Kristiina Toppinen
Thesis title: Managerial Perceptions on Corporate Social Responsibility: A Transatlantic Comparison between Forest Products Companies in Europe and North America

Zhichao Wang
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Wenzhen Li
Thesis title: Synthesis, Characterization and Electrochemical Applications of Nanostructured Non-precious Metal Catalysts

Andrew Wiegand
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Scott Andrew Miers and Jason R Blough
Thesis title: Conversion of a Micro, Glow-Ignition, Two-Stroke Engine from Nitromethane-Methanol Blend Fuel to Military Jet Propellant (JP-8)

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