Tag: GSG

GSG – Abstract submission and award nominations open

Graduate Research Colloquium

Graduate Student Government is pleased to announce that abstract submission for the annual Graduate Research Colloquium Poster and Presentation Competition is now open.

This years colloquium will be held on March 3rd and 4th in the Memorial Union Building. The closing date for abstract submission will be February 25th at 5 PM. Submit abstracts to Abdul A. Koroma via email at aakoroma@mtu.edu. Please specify if your abstract is for the presentation session, poster session or both. Cash prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place in both categories.

Outstanding Merit Awards

Nominations for Graduate Student Recognition Awards and Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award are due Friday, February 18th by 5pm.  Nominations are open for the following awards:

  • Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Leader
  • Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award

The nomination materials should be sent to GSG representative Ali Mirchi at amirchi@mtu.edu or by campus mail to Graduate Student Government, (405 Admin) by February 18th at 5pm.  See the GSG web page for more details on materials needed in a nomination packet.

The winners will receive recognition and the student winners will be awarded a cash prize presented at the annual GSG Research Colloquium Banquet on March 4th, 2011 in the MUB Ballroom.


Campaign Kickoff Week Promises Something for Everyone

A week packed with special activities and Homecoming programs marks the kickoff of the public phase of Michigan Tech’s $200-million capital campaign.  All across campus, colorful banners showcase gifts through the years that have helped raise Michigan Tech’s stature.

The campaign, which began in 2006, will continue until 2013.  Called “Generations of Discovery,” the fundraising initiative focuses on raising support for priority items in the University’s strategic plan, including endowed faculty positions and student financial aid.  The amount raised so far and a new major gift will be announced at a campaign kickoff dinner on campus on Thursday, Sept. 30.

Here are some of the week’s events that are open to the campus and community:

Thursday, Sept. 30

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Van Pelt and Opie Library:  Undergraduate and graduate student research poster session
  • 1 to 3 p.m., Walker Arts and Humanities Center lawn:  Homecoming root beer floats for everyone (in case of rain, this event will move to the Memorial Union Commons)
  • 2:30 to 4 p.m., Little Huskies Child Development Center:  Open house in recognition of national accreditation
  • 4 to 5:30 p.m., M&M U115:  Entrepreneurship and Technology Symposium

Friday, Oct. 1

  • 8:30 to 8:50 a.m., Memorial Grove, along Hwy 41 next to Walker and Rozsa Center:  Dedication of the Memorial Grove
  • 1 to 3 p.m., Administration Building, 4th Floor:  Graduate School and Graduate Student Government Open House
  • 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Fisher 129:  Endowed Chair Lecture–“Nano-Bio Hybrids: Materials Never Introduced to Each Other by Nature,” by Craig Friedrich, Robbins Endowed Chair in Sustainable Design and Manufacturing
  • 4 p.m., Campus Mall:  Homecoming Parade
  • 5:30 p.m., Hancock Beach: Cardboard boat races
  • 7 p.m., MacInnes Student Ice Arena:  Alumni vs. students broomball tournament

Saturday, Oct. 2

  • 1 p.m., Sherman Field:  Football–Huskies vs. Ohio Dominican University
  • 7:07 p.m., MacInnes Student Ice Arena:  Hockey—Huskies vs. Nipissing University*

* Immediately after hockey game, MacInnes Student Ice Arena Alumni vs. students broomball tournament  championship

Published in Tech Today.


Radio Signals, Diabetes, and Beavers: Just Another Graduate Research Colloquium

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

Graduate students from across campus trotted out their research and explained the unexplainable at the latest Graduate Research Colloquium held at the Memorial Union Building, with more 25 posters accompanying the two days of presentations.

Suryabh Sharma, graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, discussed his work, which might not see the light of day for 20 to 25 years. His work is guided by Associate Professor Gerry Tian.

Realizing that the spectrum of open radio signals is finite, in both frequency and bandwith, there needs to be “cognitive radio networks” developed.

“These will be able to use a part of the spectrum at a certain time that is un-utilized or underutilized, based on time or space,” Sharma says.

Cell phones, for example, will have to be developed with enough computing ability to find these unused frequencies. Sharma’s project was to calculate the probability of success, with best and worst case scenarios, in an algorithm: “gathering data and making it meaningful data.”

His answer? “It is feasible.”

So, someday, we’ll never have to worry about not being able to connect to the wireless grid, in theory.

Nearby, physics graduate student Archana Pandey was describing how implantable nano-devices could be used as glucose sensors in diabetics. In addition to helping people stay healthy, Pandey has discovered an additional benefit.

“Miniature biofuel cells could also be implanted and convert glucose from the initial nanodevice into energy,” she says.

This could be especially helpful to diabetics, who sometimes lack energy, and that impacts their eating habits, Pandy adds.

One problem: the devices work fine when cooled, but body temperatures are too hot. But, she is still working on it with help from teammates Abhishek Prasad, Jason Moscatello and Abhay Singh, and advisor Yoke Kin Yap.

“I inherited my work,” says Mark Romanski of forest resources. And famous work it is: research on the habitants of Isle Royale, in this instance, beavers.

Continuing work of Rolf Peterson, John Vucetich and others, Romanski actually looked at how data is collected on the beaver populations. It is a classic research quandary: how do we know the numbers are accurate? Romanski looked at “double-count surveys,” where two researchers will both attempt to count the same population of a species. Beginning his work in 2006, he discovered a large discrepancy in numbers of beavers counted previously.

“We used smaller aircraft in later surveys than they did in earlier ones,” he said. “When our numbers came back much lower in the planes that should allow for more-accurate sightability–slower speeds and lower flights–we realized that sightability from the larger planes was grossly overestimated.”

More than a study of how to study, then, Romanski’s work helps complete the puzzle of the complicated ecosystem on the island.

He also included a couple of tidbits: moose and beaver have a similar appetite for foliage, and wolves have an appetite for beaver.

“They wait near their lodges until they come out,” he says. “They know where they live.”

Published in Tech Today.


SFI Event Recognizes Scholars and Students

Published in Tech Today

The Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) held its fifth annual poster session and banquet in the Rozsa Lobby last Friday.

“The event offered SFI students, staff and faculty an opportunity to review some of the many successes throughout the year,” reports Denise Heikinen.

Professor Alex Mayer (GMES) and Professor Michael Mullins (Chemical Engineering) were recognized as 2009 distinguished fellows for their long-term leadership, scholarship and support in areas central to sustainability and to SFI.

Mayer, director of SFI’s Center for Water and Society, was honored for his passion and commitment to sustainability and water issues. Mullins, director of SFI’s Center for Fundamental and Applied Research into Nanostructured and Lightweight Materials, was recognized for his contributions to energy and human health.

The keynote speaker was Charles Kerfoot, professor in Biological Sciences and director of Lake Superior Ecosystem Research Center, who spoke about the new Great Lakes Research facility and how it will facilitate research and education about pressing issues in the Upper Great Lakes.

Seventeen graduate students and postdocs were inducted into the SFI’s Scholar Program. They are: Zeyad Ahmed, Felix Adom, Brandon Ellefson, Akhilesh Reddy Endurthy, Rabi Gyawali, Jiqing Fan, Robert Handler, Christopher Hohnholt, Meral Jackson, Azad Henareh Khalyani, Jennifer Lind, Jifei Liu, Xuhong Liu, Jarod Maggio, Jacob Midkiff, Ali Mirchi, and Fengli Zhang.

The Graduate Student Council announced the People’s Choice First Place Poster Award of $150. Actually there was a tie and two awards were made. One went to four physics graduate students for a poster, “Miniature Energy Sources: Biofuel Cells Based on Carbon Nanotube Arrays,” designed by Archana Pandey, Abhishek Prasad, Jason Moscatello and Abhay P. Singh. Their advisor is Associate Professor Yoke Khin Yap. The other award went to Craig Gossen and Stefan Marek (mechanical engineering), Ashley Thode (civil engineering), and Kim Landick, Krissy Guzak, and Cara Hanson (environmental engineering), for “Improving Airflow in Ventilated Improved Pit Toilets.” Their advisors are Assistant Professor Kurt Paterson and Associate Professor David Watkins (both CEE) and Associate Professor and Assistant Provost Donna Michalek (ME-EM).

SFI’s operations manager, Richard Donovan, awarded the Inaugural Operations Manager Award of $200 to the Efficiency Through Engineering and Construction Enterprise. Members are: Ashley Brown, Dianna Cacko, Stephen Chartier, Patrick Green, Jordan Huffman, Eric Kinonen, Markus Manderfield, Andrew Manty, Michael D. Powers, and Tyler Sutkowi. The ETEC team submitted three posters: “Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad”; “Habitat for Humanity”; and “Generations of Energy.” For some of their work, these students collaborated with Melissa Davis, an SFI staff member and director of a local nonprofit called New Power Tour. Davis also was recognized as a scholar of SFI. The advisor for ETEC is Lynn Artman of the School of Technology.

In keeping with the spirit of the event, sustainability, Chef Eric Karvonen prepared a dinner of fresh roasted trout from Lake Superior, vegetables from Chip Ransom’s organic farm on the Houghton Canal, grass-fed bison from northern Wisconsin and wild blueberries from Gay. Pictures of the event are available at the following URLs: http://www.doe.mtu.edu/news/2009/sfi_october2009/index.html .

http://www.doe.mtu.edu/news/2009/sfi_october2009/posters.html .


Sustainable Futures Institute Banquet at the Rozsa

Published in Tech Today

To celebrate its many research, education and outreach accomplishments toward securing a more sustainable future, the Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) will host the fifth annual SFI poster session and banquet it the Rozsa lobby on Friday, Oct. 16. The banquet keynote speaker will be Charles Kerfoot, professor of Biological Sciences, who will talk about Michigan Tech’s new Great Lakes Research Center. New scholars of SFI will also be inducted at this time.

New awards will be offered! This year there are even more reasons than ever to submit a poster. In addition to an award of $150 from the Graduate Student Council for the People’s Choice Award for Best Poster, SFI will award a second and third prize of $75 and $50, respectively. Also new this year is the Rick Donovan SFI Operations Manager Inaugural Award for $200. Donovan reserves the right to decide his criteria and announce the award on the spot.

To register for the poster session, email your 100-word abstract by Oct. 9 to Denise Heikinen and RSVP to Heikinen if you plan to attend the banquet.

The banquet is open to all SFI members and poster presenters. SFI regrets it cannot accommodate significant others. To view slides of last year’s SFI banquet and poster session, the names of newly inducted SFI scholars, and menu of sustainable food for the event, click here .


Oh Deer: Grad Student Studies Effect of Whitetails on Hemlock

Published in Tech Today
by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

Nicholas Jensen likes hemlocks. “They’re my favorite tree,” he says, both for their graceful, arching tops and branches and for the shady, uncluttered forest floor they create.

But hemlocks are in trouble, down about 99 percent throughout their regional historic range. So Jensen, a master’s student in forest ecology and management, is studying how one particular animal species might impact the survival of the remaining 1 percent.

In winter, whitetail deer–lots of them–gather (or “yard up”) in groves of hemlock and cedar to escape the deep snow. They do eat hemlock, but they also deposit plenty of scat. Jensen wondered if their presence in high numbers was in effect fertilizing the local ecosystem and changing what types of plants were growing there.

Eastern hemlock thrives in poor soils that most other forest trees can’t abide. If those soils become fertile, Jensen thought, they might be colonized by other trees, like sugar maples, that could displace the hemlocks.

Three years ago, he began his study of 39 hemlock groves in the Lake Superior basin, conducting “pellet counts” and tracking the types of plants growing on the forest floor. Locally, he visited hemlock groves near Point Abbey and Big Eric’s Bridge, in Baraga County.

Hemlock groves let very little light through to ground. Only a few species of low-growing plants, including wild lily of the valley and wood ferns, grow under these conditions. However, Jensen discovered that different species of plants grow in hemlock groves that shelter lots of deer in the winter.

Just why this is happening isn’t clear. Maybe these new plants like the richer soils, maybe the deer are eating saplings and making way for additional low-growing plants.

What is clear is that something is going on, Jensen says. “It’s important to understand this. Hemlocks are an important resource, and they are really under pressure,” he says. “My hope is that we’ll be able to raise awareness of the effect deer may be having, and that our findings will someday be considered in forest management. It could be relevant to the persistence of this forest type.”

Jensen presented his work at the Graduate Student Council Research Colloquium, held April 2-3 at the Rozsa Center. His advisor is Associate Professor Chris Webster (SFRES).


Graduate Student Council Seeks Award Nominations

Each year, the Graduate Student Council honors the Graduate School’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor, Outstanding Student Scholar and Outstanding Student Leader. The awards are presented to recipients at the Research Colloquium Banquet in April.

If you would like to nominate someone for one of these awards, see information about the awards, including the submission process, on the Graduate Student Council’s activities page at http://gsc.students.mtu.edu/activities.html . The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

If you have any questions, contact Randy Harrison, public relations chair of the council, at rsharris@mtu.edu .