Tag: Physics

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

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.

AIAA Graduate Fellowships: Open to International Students


The Foundation and the Technical Committees of AIAA present several funding opportunities.

Martin Summerfield Graduate Award in Propellents and Combustion

Eligible applicants will be actively participating in research endeavors in propellants and combustion as part of their graduate studies.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control

Eligible applicants will be participating in research endeavors that will impact one or more of the areas of guidance, navigation, and control as part of their graduate studies.

Gordon C. Oates Air Breathing Propulsion Graduate Award

Eligible applicants will be participating in research endeavors in air breathing propulsion as part of their graduate studies.

Orville and Wilbur Wright

Eligible applicants will be participating in research endeavors in engineering sciences.

John Leland Atwood

Eligible applicants will be participating in research endeavors in one of the 65 specialty areas represented by AIAA Technical Committees

Open Topic Graduate Award

Eligible applicants will be participating in research endeavors in one of the 65 specialty areas represented by AIAA Technical Committees

Open to any nationality.

Eligible applicants must have completed at least one academic year of full-time graduate work.  Applicant must have a grade point average of not less than 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.

Deadline: Jan 31

Fusion Energy Sciences Fellowship Program

Description: Offers talented students the opportunity to engage in the study and research of fusion energy sciences and technology, while fostering practical work experiences at recognized research facilities. Provides incentive and support to students as they continue their education in graduate school and prepare for careers in fusion energy.

Discipline(s): physical sciences; engineering; mathematics; related scientific disciplines

Eligibility: U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents. Undergraduate seniors; bachelor’s recipients; and first and second year graduate students at the time of application

Location(s): Various locations across U. S. Participating universities with practicums at various U.S. Department of Energy research facilities

Duration: Maximum 36 months with annual renewal

Deadline(s): January 31

Benefits: $24,000 annual stipend and full payment of tuition and fees; $750 per month practicum allowance; opportunity to attend professional meetings and to participate in long-term graduate research ad DOE fusion research facilities.

Funding source(s): U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences

How to apply: Application materials available at http://www.orau.gov/fusion.

American Society of Naval Engineers Scholarship Program

ASNE Scholarship Announcement

The purpose of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Scholarship Program is to    improve and promote the profession of naval engineering. The Society’s goal is to encourage college students to enter the field of naval engineering and to provide valuable support to naval engineers seeking advanced education in the field.

Since the program was inaugurated in 1979, 421 ASNE scholarships have been awarded.  For the 2009-2010 academic year, ASNE scholarship awards supported 12 undergraduate students ($3,000) and 9 graduate students ($4,000).

Eligibility:  Applicant must be a U.S. citizen enrolled in or entering a graduate program in engineering or physical science

Deadline: Feb 12, 2010

Physics Graduate Student Wins Awards in International Meetings

Published in Tech Today

Chee Huei Lee, a physics graduate student, has won awards in two international conferences. Lee was one of the 50 finalists in the Science as Art competition at the fall meeting of the 2009 Materials Research Society . These finalists were chosen from nearly 200 artistic entries. Lee’s entry, titled “Dandelion Parachute Ball in the Nano World,” was artificially composed of multiple scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of boron nitride nanotubes.

After the on-site voting during the meeting, Lee won a second place in the competition. The MRS meeting was held in Boston from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4, with nearly 6,000 participants. Lee presented two talks in the Symposium K (Nanotubes and Related Nanostructures) of the meeting. Earlier, Lee also won a student travel award in the 1st Nano Today Conference held in Singapore. He is a senior graduate student in Professor Yoke Khin Yap’s research group. He is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

National Research Council Research Associateship Programs

NCR Research Associateship Programs

The mission of the NRC Research Associateship Programs (RAP) is to promote excellence in scientific and technological research conducted by the U. S. government through the administration of programs offering graduate, postdoctoral, and senior level research opportunities at sponsoring federal laboratories and affiliated institutions.

In these programs, prospective applicants select a research project or projects from among the large group of opportunities listed on this website.  Prior to completing an application, prospective applicants should contact the proposed Research Adviser to assure that funding will be available if their application is recommended by NRC panels.  Once mutual interest is established between a prospective applicant and a Research Adviser, an application is submitted through the NRC WebRap system.  Reviews are conducted four times each year and review results are available approximately 6-8 weeks following the application deadline.

Prospective applicants should read carefully the details of the program to which they’re applying.  In particular, note eligibility details.  Some laboratories have citizenship restrictions (open only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents) and some laboratories have research opportunities that are not open to senior applicants (more than 5 years beyond the PhD).  When searching for research opportunities you may limit your search to only those laboratories which match your eligibility criteria.  In addition, note the application deadlines as not all laboratories participate in all reviews.

How to Apply

Contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu) if interested in applying.

Funding Opportunities in STEM Graduate Programs

Funding Opportunities in STEM Graduate Programs


programs offer minority students support in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

• GK-12:

The NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program supports fellowships and training for graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).


fellowship programs offer a $30,000 stipend plus tuition and fees. Over 100 programs nationwide emphasize interdisciplinary studies in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.


The Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success (MSPHDS) in Earth System Science initiative was developed by and for underrepresented minorities with the overall purpose of facilitating increased participation in Earth system science.

• NSF Grad Research Fellowships:

provides students with three years of funding for research-focused Master’s and PhD degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

For additional information please visit: http://www.pathwaystoscience.org/Grad.asp

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship is a highly competitive, portable fellowship that is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue graduate study in one of the 15 supported disciplines. NDSEG confers high honors upon its recipients, and allows them to attend whichever U.S. institution they choose. NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance.

All applicants are required to submit the application online by 1:00 p.m. EST, January 4, 2010. All materials must be submitted electronically or received by this deadline.

Contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu) if interested in applying.

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 .