Tag: Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Alumni Race to the Altar

Karl Walczak and Margot Hutchins after completing the Canal Run.  Photo courtesy of the Daily Mining Gazette.
Karl Walczak and Margot Hutchins after completing the Canal Run. Photo courtesy of the Daily Mining Gazette.

Karl Walczak and Margot Hutchins recently participated in the 35th annual Canal Run – and got married on the same day.  The Canal Run holds a special place in their hearts, as they also announced their engagement at the same event one year ago.

The Graduate School wishes Karl and Margot the best as they begin their married life together.

Read more about Karl and Margot in the Daily Mining Gazette.


Summer 2010 Finishing Fellowships Awarded

The Graduate School is proud to announce the following students are recipients of a one-time Summer 2010 Finishing Fellowship:

  • Atakan Altinkaynak, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Rachel M Bradford, Biomedical Engineering
  • Archana Pandey, Engineering Physics
  • Edwar Romero-Ramirez, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Eric M Winder, Biological Sciences

The fellowships are made possible by the Graduate School.

Application procedures for the Graduate School fellowship programs and photographs of recent recipients can be found online.  Nominations are currently open for Finishing Fellowships for fall semester.  Nominations are due no later than 4pm on July 29, 2010.


New theses and dissertations in Library

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

Haiying He
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
Advisor: Ravindra Pandey
Dissertation title: Electron Transport in Molecular Systems

Fei Lin
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Mohan D Rao
Dissertation title: Vibro-Acoustical Analysis and Design of a Multiple-Layer Constrained Viscoelastic Damping Structure

Christopher Nelson
Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology
Advisor: Larry D Lankton
Thesis title: The C.R. Patterson and Sons Company of Greenfield, Ohio: Survival and Adaptation of a Back-Owned Company in the Vehicle Building Industry, 1865-1939

Brandon Rouse
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Donald Naber
Thesis title: Part Load Combustion Characterization of Ethanol-Gasoline Fuel Blends in a Single Cylinder Spark Ignition Direct Injection Variable Cam Timing Variable Compression Ratio Engine

Karl Walczak
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Craig R Friedrich
Dissertation title: Immobilizing Bacteriorhodopsin on a Single Electron Transistor


Jeff Allen, Ezequiel Medici Win First Bhakta Rath Research Award

For their pioneering work to improve water management in low temperature fuel cells, Jeffrey Allen and his PhD student, Ezequiel Medici, have been named the first winners of the Bhakta Rath Research Award at Michigan Tech. Allen is an associate professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics.

The award, endowed earlier this year by 1958 Michigan Tech alumnus Rath and his wife, Shushama Rath, recognizes a doctoral student at Michigan Tech and his or her faculty advisor for “exceptional research of particular value that anticipates the future needs of the nation while supporting advances in emerging technology.” Allen and Medici will share a $2,000 prize.

“We are delighted to recognize Professor Jeff Allen and his accomplished student, Ezequiel Medici, for their outstanding research contribution in the field of mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics,” said Rath, who is associate director of research and head of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. “We have no doubt that their seminal contributions will advance the frontiers of our knowledge in the field and contribute to development of new technologies. My wife and I wish to join their family members, friends and colleagues in congratulating the recipients of this award.”

When he endowed the award in April, Rath said he hoped it would promote and reward research excellence in the physical and natural sciences and engineering, fields in which Michigan Tech is emerging as a world leader in research and education.

“I am honored and grateful to be one of the inaugural recipients of this prestigious award,” Allen said. “However, the credit for the success of this research belongs to Ezequiel.”

His graduate student added, “I feel really honored to have our research recognized because of its potential impact on the fuel-cell industry.”

Medici and Allen’s research focuses on improving the management of the water produced during the operation of a fuel cell, liquid that leads to performance loss and rapid degradation of the fuel cell, significantly reducing the life of the system. They developed a new technique for optimizing fuel cell electrodes and a simple, reliable computational tool that captures the nature of liquid water movement in fuel cell electrodes. Their work, sponsored by the US Department of Energy and conducted in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology and General Motors, will reduce the research and development time and cost of improving fuel cell performance and durability.

Bill Predebon, chair of ME-EM, noted the potential importance of Allen and Medici’s work. “The research being conducted by Ezequiel Medici and his advisor Dr. Jeffrey Allen on the improvement of water management in low temperature fuel cells will have a significant impact in the fuel cell industry in the design of the porous materials used in fuel cells.”

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations
Published in Tech Today


New theses and dissertations

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

Nicholas Krom
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Ramakrishna Wusirika
Dissertation title: An Arrangement of Gene Pairs, Retrotransposon Insertions, and Regulation of Gene Expression in Plants

Russell Lutch
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Devin K Harris
Thesis title: Capacity Optimization of a Prestressed Concrete Railroad Tie

Jason Sommerville
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Lyon Bradley King
Dissertation title: Hall-Effect Thruster-Cathode Coupling: The Effect of Cathode Position and Magnetic Field Topology


Spring Travel Grants from Biotechnology Research Center

The BRC announces the recipients of its 2010 Spring Travel Grants:

  • Adam Abraham, (graduate student in ME-EM) will receive $500 toward a podium presentation at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers–Summer Bioengineering Conference, to be held in June in Naples, Fla.
  • Rachel Bradford (graduate student in Biomedical Engineering) will receive $500 toward a poster presentation at the 31st American Society for Bone and Mineral Research held in September in Denver, Colo.
  • Shurong Fang (graduate student in Mathematical Sciences) will receive $500 toward a podium presentation at the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings to be held in August in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Kasra Momeni (graduate student in ME-EM) received $500 toward a poster presentation at the 2010 MRD Spring Meeting Symposium held in April in San Francisco, Calif.
  • Duane Morrow (graduate student in ME-EM) will receive $500 toward a podium presentation at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers–Summer Bioengineering Conference to be held in June in Naples, Fla.
  • Saikat Mukhopadhyay (graduate student in Physics) received $500 toward a podium presentation at the American Physical Society 2010 Meeting held in March in Portland, Ore.
  • Christopher Schwartz (graduate student in Biological Sciences) received $500 toward a poster presentation at the Experimental Biology 2010 Conference held in April in Anaheim, Calif.
  • Sarah Stream (graduate student in Biological Sciences) received $500 toward a poster presentation at the Experimental Biology 2010 Conference held in April in Anaheim, Cali.
  • Echoe Bouta (undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering) will receive $500 toward a poster presentation at the Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function and Disease Conference to be held in June in Lucca, Italy.
  • Connor McCarthy (undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering) will receive $500 toward a poster presentation at the Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function and Disease Conference to be held in June in Lucca, Italy.
  • John Moyer (undergraduate in ME-EM) will receive $500 toward a poster presentation at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers–Summer Bioengineering Conference to be held in June in Naples, Fla.
  • Eli Vlaisavljevich (undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering) received $500 toward a poster presentation at the Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting held in March in New Orleans, La.


Six fellowships awarded from The DeVlieg Foundation

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the awarding of six fellowships made possible by the generous support of The DeVlieg Foundation.  This years recipients will tackle a wide range of research problems from osteoarthritis in the knee to comparing the cost and effectiveness of two water treatment technologies.  Recipients are:

  • Darrell Cass, Civil Engineering, MS Candidate
  • Colin Gurganus, Physics, PhD Candidate
  • Alexandru Herescu, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, PhD Candidate
  • Megan Killian, Biomedical Engineering, PhD Candidate
  • Jarod Maggio, Environmental Engineering, PhD Candidate
  • Ashlee Vincent, Environmental Engineering, MS Candidate

See our web page for details about the nomination process, and for photos of our recipients.


PCA Inducts New Members and Honor Students

On Friday, April 16, nine alumnae were inducted into the Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA). In addition to the nine new inductees, 30 PCA members were also on campus for their annual business meeting April 14-16.

The PCA advises the President on campus climate issues, provides suggestions for enhancing the University’s environment for students, and assists the President by identifying programs and activities that will benefit Michigan Tech. PCA works with the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Advancement area and the academic departments to help implement their ideas and support the University’s strategic plan.

The inductees are as follows:

  • Nancy A. Auer (Arnold), Biological Sciences, ’95 (PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Ellen M. Bauman (Barrett), Electrical Engineering, ’90 and ’93 (MS Alumna Graduate)
  • Elzbieta G. Berak, Civil Engineering, ’81, Engineering Mechanics, ’85 (PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Michelle-Anne Christensen (Irmen), Geological Engineering, ’84, Civil Engineering, ’86
  • Kathleen Haselmaier (Calder), Computer Science, ’84
  • Wendy L. Kram (Davidson), Mechanical Engineering, ’91
  • Catherine A. Leslie (Kuchta), Civil Engineering, ’83
  • Barbara K. Lograsso (Kiiskila), Metallurgical Engineering, ’80 and ’82, Metallurgical and Materials Science, ’91 (MS, PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Erin A. Zimmer (Atwell), Chemistry, ’98

Another component of the PCA program includes the annual Women of Promise awards. This award recognizes current female students from each academic department who go above and beyond what is expected of them in terms of being a well-rounded student. The award goes to students who have demonstrated academic achievement, campus and community leadership, good citizenship, creativity and other characteristics of high-achieving individuals.

The honorees are as follows:

  • Anne E. Aho, Social Sciences
  • Ashley N. Benjamin, School of Technology
  • Kaitlyn J. Bunker, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Danae N. Danen, Mathematical Sciences
  • Heather L. Dickey, Computer Science
  • Andrea Dixon, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Roxane Gay, Humanities (PhD Alumna Candidate)
  • Krista M. Kasuboski, Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education
  • Chelsea R. Leighton, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Britta C. Lundberg, Material Science and Engineering
  • Amanda L. Malburg, Civil Engineering
  • Jaclyn E. Nesbitt, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (MS Alumna Graduate,  PhD Candidate)
  • Annie L. Putman, Chemistry
  • Leslie M. Sabbann, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (undergraduate)
  • Erin M. Scanlon, Physics
  • Alison J. Springer-Wilson, Chemical Engineering
  • Danielle M. Stoll, Biomedical Engineering
  • Anna A. Uhl, Biological Sciences
  • Donieka R. Walker, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  • Katherine R. Waring, Environmental Engineering
  • Jill C. Witt, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (PhD Alumna Candidate)
  • Katie L. Wysocky, School of Business and Economics

Published in Tech Today


Michigan Space Grant Consortium Funds 27 Projects at Michigan Tech

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has awarded approximately $375,000 to nine Michigan universities with aerospace, engineering and space- science-related programs. Michigan Tech submitted 40 proposals, and 27 received funding totaling $105,000.

Of that, $20,000 supports undergraduate fellowships, $30,000 is for graduate research fellowships, $30,000 provides seed grants for faculty, and $25,000 is designated for outreach, including K-12 and teacher training programs.

Undergraduate students receiving $2,500 research fellowships include Andrew Ramsey (ME-EM), Phil Hohnstadt (ME-EM), Peter Solfest (Physics), Stephen Schweitzer (Biomedical Engineering), John Visser (ME-EM), Samantha Wojda (Biomedical Engineering), Patrick Bowen (MSE), William Grant (Chemical Engineering) and Ben Gerhardt (ME-EM).

Graduate students receiving $5,000 fellowships include Christopher Schwartz (Biological Sciences), Elisabet Head (Geology), Jarod Maggio (Environmental Engineering), Adam Abraham (ME-EM), Matthew Barron (Biomedical Engineering), Megan Killian (Biomedical Engineering) and Amalia Anderson (Physics).

Faculty members receiving $5,000 seed grants included Shiyan Hu, Jason Carter, Audrey Mayer, Qingli Dai, Ashok Goel and Claudio Mazzoleni. Faculty and staff members receiving $5,000 for outreach, precollege and teacher training programs include Douglas Oppliger, Shawn Oppliger, Joan Chadde and Kristi Isaacson.

One student receiving an undergraduate fellowship is Samantha Wojda. She plans to use her grant to study how hibernation affects the bones of marmots. Disuse osteoporosis is a common problem faced by astronauts in microgravity. Hibernating mammals are also at high risk for the condition, and many have developed adaptive ways of dealing with it. Wojda plans to study hibernating marmots to see how they are affected by or protected from disuse osteoporosis. What she learns may help researchers find ways to prevent human astronauts and others who are immobilized for long periods of time from developing the debilitating condition.

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico. As part of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for over fifteen years.

“The MSGC offers faculty, staff and especially students opportunities to develop ideas and submit competitive proposals,” said Chris Anderson, special assistant to the President for institutional diversity and the University’s MSGC liaison. “For undergraduates, the process of developing a proposal and then doing the research allows them to apply what they’re learning in the classroom, get hands-on experience and work closely with faculty.” She added, “The Consortium allows us to do more of this, as well provide graduate fellowships, seed grants and program support.”


Graduate Students Showcase Their Research in Lansing

capitolFour graduate students from Michigan Tech have gone to Lansing to talk with legislators about their graduate studies and future plans. Participating in an observance of Graduate Education Week in Michigan, they are joining more than 70 others from universities across the state, meeting with their hometown legislators and displaying posters in the Capitol.

Michigan Tech students include Michael Brodeur-Campbell of Lake Linden, who is working on his PhD in chemical engineering; Megan Killian from LaSalle, an interdicisplinary PhD student in biomedical and mechanical engineering; Melanie Kueber, a PhD student in civil engineering from Munising; and Christopher Morgan of Jenison, who is working toward a PhD in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics.

Brodeur-Campbell, who is originally from Port Huron, earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and business administration at Michigan Tech. His research focuses on improving the enzymatic breakdown of cellulose to glucose, a vital step in the production of ethanol from plants. This step has proved a major hurdle to commercial production of this kind of ethanol, which does not compete with the food supply, due to the high cost of the enzymes and the length of time they take to work.

Killian’s research focuses on how mechanical loads applied to the meniscus–cartilage in the knee–affect the behavior of this tissue at the microscopic and cellular levels, with the aim of eventually improving tissue engineering of replacements. She is also studying osteoarthritis produced by injuries to the knee, in hopes of developing better treatments and rehabilitation strategies.

Kueber, who also earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech, went on to earn her master’s in project management at Northwestern University. Back at Tech for her doctoral studies, she is working to modify specifications and test methods for coal fly ash used in highway concrete, to make coal ash more useful as a supplementary material in concrete.

Morgan, a member of the Advanced Internal Combustion Engines research group at Michigan Tech, has been using gasoline direct- injection studies to compare ethanol to pump-grade gasoline in a combustion vessel. Now he is working on building a mobile hybrid electric vehicle learning laboratory funded by the US Department of Energy and helping undergraduate senior design students build a hybrid electric vehicle for educational use.

Graduate education is a key to a prosperous future for Michigan, said Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of Michigan Tech’s Graduate School. Michigan ranks ninth in the US for the number of research-based doctorates awarded, with 2,720 awarded in 2008-09. Of those, 47 were awarded at Michigan Tech.

all-attendees

Photos courtesy of Randy Mascharka and Eastern Michigan University