Tag: Mechanical Engineering

Diwali Night

The Indian Student Association (ISA) is sponsoring its annual Diwali Night this Saturday, Oct. 30. Activities begin with an Indian dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union Commons. After dinner, there will be a show in the Rozsa Center at 8 p.m., featuring traditional Indian dance and songs.

Diwali is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in India. It marks the victory of good over evil and light over darkness for the Indian people.  ISA President, Sachin Joshi (Mechanical Engineering, Graduate Student) has invited everyone to, “be a part of the biggest Indian festival and join us to celebrate this gracious night of delicious authentic Indian dinner, skits, drama, music, dance and lots of fun!”

The ISA is selling tickets in the Memorial Union Commons from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., today and Friday, Oct. 29. Dinner and the show costs $19 for the general public, $16 for Michigan Tech students, $13 for ISA members. Tickets for the performance only are $9. Children under the age of 8 are free.

The celebration is open to the community.

DOD SMART Visit Canceled

Due to a family emergency, Dr. Knox Millsaps needed to cancel his visit to Michigan Tech next week.  He apologizes for any inconvenience and encourages anyone interested in the DOD SMART program to contact him directly (millsaps@nps.edu) with any questions or concerns. 

On Tuesday, October 19th there will still be a general presentation about the SMART scholarship by Jodi Lehman, which faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend.  The luncheon for Wednesday, October 20th has been canceled.  The presentation will be from 12:00-1:00 in the Memorial Union Ballroom B1. 

Jodi is also available to work with students to identify a national lab that fits with SMART applicants’ field of interest and to mentor students in developing a competitive proposal.  She is also available to present and answers questions about the SMART program to classes, departments, and student organizations.   

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you for your interest and support in helping Michigan Tech students understand more about the DOD SMART program.  We also thank those individuals and departments who went above and beyond to provide Dr. Millsaps with a campus visit that highlights Michigan Tech’s unique attributes related to DOD SMART fields. 

The DOD SMART visit will be rescheduled for spring.  Please contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu) with any questions. 

Inter-American Foundation (IAF) Grassroots Development Fellowship Program

IAF Fellowships are available to currently registered students who have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. in the social sciences, physical sciences, technical fields and the professions as related to grassroots development issues. Applications for clinical research in the health field will NOT be considered.

Awards are based on both development and scholarly criteria. Proposals should offer a practical orientation to field-based information. In exceptional cases the IAF will support research reflecting a primary interest in macro questions of politics and economics but only as they relate to the environment of the poor. The Fellowship Program complements IAF’s support for grassroots development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and preference for those applicants whose careers or research projects are related to topics of greatest interest to the IAF.

IAF’s Fellowships provide support for Ph.D. candidates to conduct dissertation research in Latin America and the Caribbean on topics related to grassroots development. Funding is for between four and 12 months. The Inter-American Foundation expects to award up to 15 Doctoral Field Research Fellowships in 2011. Research during the 2011-2012 cycle must be initiated between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012.

  • Round-trip economy-class transportation to the field research site from the Fellow’s primary residence. Fellows must comply with the Fly America Act.
  • A research allowance of up to $3,000, pro-rated monthly.
  • A stipend of $1,500 per month for up to 12 months.
  • Accident and sickness insurance
  • Attendance at a required “mid-year” Grassroots Development Conference to discuss each Fellow’s progress with members of the IAF’s academic review committee and meet with IAF and IIE staff.

For more information please visit:


Parade and Festival: ‘What a Great Day’

The Parade of Nations and the Multicultural Food and Music Festival graced the campus and community Saturday for the 21st time. It was a day on which different people did the same thing–celebrate diversity. The theme of the day: “Many Nations, One Heart.”

Bob Wenc summed up the doings, “It’s like a rainbow. So many different cultures, styles and stories.” He says Tech has about 700 international students from more than 70 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. He worked on the event as a representative of International Programs and Services. He loves the work. “Exiting,” he said. “It makes me feel like I’m doing something for the community and the University. We all want to matter. This is my way.”

The parade wove through Hancock and Houghton like a ribbon. Flags danced. The native attire was gorgeous. The weather was windy with a fall chill in the air; the mood was calm and warm. Amid all the pageantry, the music was a clarion call for getting along.

Curbside, the little children watched in wonder. “This is great,” a retired elementary teacher said. “It’s good for our children–that they grow up accepting other cultures and sharing them. It helps to promote understanding.”

Abhijeet Vaidya, an Indian graduate student in mechanical engineering, has only been here a month. “I like it here very much,” he said. “It’s a very good place. It’s like home.” What does he want people to know about his culture? “Sacrifice. And respect for everybody.”

The Pep Band showed up in rousing full force–a wonderfully gaudy spectacle, accented by the trademark goofy hats that ranged from a sombrero to a witch’s hat to a stovepipe Mickey Mouse affair. Eric Anderson, a fifth-year student in civil engineering, plays the trombone. He is unabashedly upbeat about the Pep Band. “It’s something unique,” he said. “Other universities have their marching bands. We have the Pep Band. We’re able to do more things, and we have more fun.” He likes going beyond sport events and getting exposure in the community.

Tech’s Chris Anderson has been involved with diversity on campus for more than 20 years. The event, she said, “is a chance to embrace life and the things that make us similar. And we do it through music and food–the best ways to celebrate. It’s fun. It feels good.”

“It’s one of the highlights of the year,” said another observer. “I enjoy the parade. I enjoy the music. But it’s the food after.”

That food was served up in Dee Stadium. Sanchai Kuboon, a PhD student in MSE, is from Thailand. He said food is a marked characteristic of Thai culture. “We are proud of the variety of food in Thailand.” He says it is especially spicy. He was serving up beef curry; a sweet drink made with the longan fruit; and stir-fried noodles.

Another salient feature of Thai life, he said, is martial arts. And a third is respect for others, manifested in part by the Thai way of greeting people: hands together, as in prayer, and a bow. Kuboon summed up these cultural characteristics as “riches.” He likes Tech and Houghton. “You treat us as we are at home.”

Iltesham Z Syed, an Indian PhD student in ME-EM, manned a food station set up by the Muslim Student Association. He was serving up haleem, a combinaion of wheat, meat, and Indian spices, and an “Arabian dessert”–baklava. Proceeds will be donated to the flood victims in Pakistan.

Syed is from Mumbai, a city of 16 million. “I love this place,” he said Houghton. “I love country life.” He’s been here three years. He spoke of his religion: “My message is clear. It’s peace. It’s equality. It’s friendship.” He laments extremism in the culture. “I feel sad about this. This is not what we believe in. This is not what we preach. What we want is for everyone to live together in complete harmony.” He wears a sherwani, a nearly full-length, tan tunic with a Nehru collar. He says he only wears it on special occasions.

The marching band of Cass Technical High School from Detroit had Dee Stadium throbbing. 30 band members, 11 energetic dancers. Sharon Allen, director, said it was an honor to be involved in “cultural sensitivity–all nations getting along peaceably.”

Madeline Mercado Voelker, coordinator of Hispanic/Latino Outreach, is from Puerto Rico and has worked on this event since 1999. “What a great day,” she exclaimed. Amid all the nations, the local community stands out, too, she said. “I never felt like a minority here,” she said. “This is home. It’s a beautiful place. I wouldn’t change it for anything.” She knows a graduate who moved back to Puerto Rico; his wife is having a hard time readjusting to city life. “The UP stays in your heart wherever you go,” she said.

by John Gagnon, promotional writer

Published in Tech Today

First In Series of Federal Funding Workshops – Sept 15th and 16th.

A federal fellowship/scholarship writing workshop will be held on Wednesday, September 15th  and Thursday, September 16th at 4:00 in Fisher 135.

You will only need to attend one of the workshops, as they are the same workshop, different days and time.

During the workshop we will review 3 samples of NSF GRFP personal statement essays. Tips will be given on how to organize your essay, utilize wording, and meet the merit criteria expected by reviewers

Prepare for the workshop by:

1. Understanding how NSF defines “broader impacts”

2. Brainstorming answers to NSF “personal statement” questions

    If you (or someone you know) plan on attending, please RSVP to Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu).

    New Theses and Dissertations Available in the Library

    The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations from the following programs:

    • Civil Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Environmental Policy
    • Forest Ecology and Management
    • Forest Science
    • Industrial Archaeology
    • Mathematical Sciences
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

    are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library.

    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

    Four Michigan Tech Graduate Programs Rank in Top 50 Nationwide

    Graduate school rankings released by US News and World Report today rank four of Michigan Tech graduate engineering programs in the top 50 nationwide. The annual rankings evaluated graduate programs in 192 schools of engineering.

    Michigan Tech’s ranked engineering programs included:
    • Environmental engineering–28th
    • Mechanical engineering–48th
    • Materials science and engineering–48th
    • Civil engineering–49th

    Tech’s College of Engineering overall ranked in the top 100, at 86th.

    For the first time this year, US News and World Report also ranked biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, mathematics and physics. Earth sciences at Michigan Tech ranked in the top 100, at 81st. Physics ranked 122nd, and biological sciences, 207th.

    “This year’s rankings really show that competition for the ‘top 50′ is increasing. We are neck-and-neck with some very strong programs” said Jackie Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School.

    Each year, US News and World Report ranks graduate schools of engineering, business, the sciences, the humanities and social sciences, medicine and other health specialties, law and education. They base these rankings on two types of data: expert opinions by the programs’ peers and statistical indicators of program quality. The data come from surveys conducted in the fall of 2009 of more than 12,400 academics and professionals and more than 1,200 graduate programs.

    Engineering specialties are ranked solely on the basis of assessments by department chairs in each specialty. The American Society for Engineering Education recommends the department chairs to be surveyed.

    The rankings will be featured in the May 2010 issue of US News and World Report, scheduled to be on the newsstands on April 27. A guidebook called “America’s Best Graduate Schools” will be available for purchase on April 20.

    Information is also available online at www.usnews.com/grad .

    Safer Helmet, Safer Head

    Michigan Tech Team Takes Its Award-winning Invention to San Francisco Inventors Expo

    by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

    In the heat of a football game, a player is tackled and pounded to the ground. His head takes a mighty sideways whack. What happens next–a concussion or some other kind of traumatic brain injury–is rarely good.

    Now a team of inventive engineering students from Michigan Tech has designed a new and promising protective layer for sports and motorcycle helmets. They used the human head itself as a model for building a helmet lining that mimics the body’s own tricks for deflecting blows to the head. For example, the scalp, designed for redirecting oblique impacts; the skull, for absorbing normal impacts; and the cerebral spinal fluid, for dampening the final impact on the brain.

    The team was one of 16 chosen from more than 200 colleges and universities to introduce their invention at a national inventors conference in San Francisco this week. Michigan Tech undergraduates and graduate students will be demonstrating a prototype Enhanced BioMorphic (EBM) helmet layer at March Madness for the Mind, sponsored by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) and Inventors Digest magazine at the Exploratorium science museum.

    In their prototype, they simulate the skull with a light composite sandwich shell, the scalp with thin elastic discs, and the spinal fluid with a soft padding system. The protective layer can be inserted into a helmet in addition to the regular helmet liner. It protects the head inside the helmet against both oblique and normal impacts.

    “Normal helmets are designed for direct, straight-on impact,” explains Wayne Bell, a graduate student at Michigan Tech and helmet team member. “They aren’t designed to protect against rotational acceleration, even though ‘normal’ impacts in football often involve rotation.”

    In an online competition, viewers have already voted a two-minute video about the helmet produced by Michigan Tech’s team one of the top three videos of student inventions. The top three videos will be shown today. A panel of independent reviewers and NCIIA and Inventors Digest staff will choose the winning video, and a People’s Choice Award will be presented to the team that receives the most votes from conference attendees.

    The Michigan Tech team and advisor Gopal Jayaraman, a professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics at Michigan Tech, have been designing, building, testing and refining prototype helmets for several years. Their latest prototype has passed drop-test standards set by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), preventing damage at 155 times the force of gravity (155 g’s), the maximum load the brain can take without sustaining injury. They are also evaluating their invention using a mathematical model that enables them to optimize performance based on the properties of the materials they use.

    Michigan Tech’s Technology and Economic Development Office is working with the students to patent and license the new helmet technology. They hope to license their invention to a commercial sports equipment manufacturer, paving the way for a full-fledged athletic equipment research center at Michigan Tech.

    Sponsors of the helmet research and development are Michigan Tech’s Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, Athletics, and Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education Departments; the Michigan Universities Commercialization Initiative; and NCIIA.

    New Theses and Dissertations in the Library

    The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

    Joshua Carlson
    Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
    Advisor: Surendra K Kawatra
    Thesis title: Effects of Particle Shape, Particle Size, Composition and Zeta Potential on Filtration at an Iron Ore Concentrator

    James Diaz-Gonzalez
    Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
    Advisor: Gordon G Parker
    Dissertation title: Closed Loop Docking with a Nearly Periodic Moving Target

    Mark Griep
    Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
    Advisor: Craig R Friedrich
    Dissertation title: Quantum Dot / Optical Protein Bio-Nano Hybrid System Biosensing

    Cameron Hartnell
    Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology
    Advisor: Patrick E Martin
    Dissertation title: Arctic Network Builders: The Arctic Coal Company’s Operations on Spitsbergen and its Relationship with the Environment

    Jill Jensen
    Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
    Advisor: David R Shonnard
    Dissertation title: Cellulosic Ethanol: Optimization of Dilute Acid and Enzymatic Hydrolysis Processing of Forest Resources and Switchgrass

    Parimal Kar
    Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
    Advisor: Ulrich Hans Ewald Hansmann
    Dissertation title: Proteins in Silico-Modeling and Sampling

    Robert Lothschutz
    Master of Science in Civil Engineering
    Advisor: Jacob Eskel Hiller
    Thesis title: Back-Calculation of Effective Built-In Temperature Difference in Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement

    Lisa Rouse
    Master of Science in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
    Advisor: Andrew J Burton
    Thesis title: Early season ozone uptake is important for determining ozone tolerance in two trembling aspen clones

    Tara Swanson
    Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
    Advisor: Craig R Friedrich
    Thesis title: Titanium Surface Morphologies and their Effect on Vancomycin Loading and Release Profiles for Orthopedic Applications

    Xuexia Wang
    Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences
    Advisor: Shuanglin Zhang
    Dissertation title: Genetic Association Studies Considering LD Information and Genome-Wide Application

    Wei Wang
    Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
    Advisor: Timothy J Schulz
    Dissertation title: Estimation of the Degree of Polarization through Computational Sensing

    Andrew Willemsen
    Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
    Advisor: Mohan D Rao
    Thesis title: Objective Metric for Assessing the Perceived Annoyance of Impulsive Sounds

    Ziyou Zhou
    Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics
    Advisor: Miguel Levy
    Dissertation title: Metal-Oxide Film and Photonic Structures for Integrated Device Applications