Category: Announcements

Dean Liveay’s Open Office Hours to Resume August 24, 2-3 pm


College of Computing Dean Dennis Livesay will resume in-person open drop-in office hours every Friday from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., beginning Friday, August 24, 2021, through the spring 2022 semester, while classes are in session.

All faculty, staff, and students who wish to chat with Dr. Livesay are invited to “drop in.” Appointments are not needed.

Dean Livesay’s office is in Rekhi Hall, Room 223. Email the dean at dlivesay@mtu.edu.

Dr. Daniel Fuhrmann Named Chair of Applied Computing Department


Dr. Daniel R. Fuhrmann, Dave House Professor of Computer Engineering, has been appointed chair of the Department of Applied Computing, effective immediately. Dr. Fuhrmann has been interim chair of the department since its founding in 2020. Prior to joining the College of Computing, he was chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from 2008 to 2019.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Dr. Dennis Livesay, the Dave House Dean of Computing. “Dan was instrumental in the creation of the College, and I know that his leadership will help the department achieve its promise. Computing is transforming every discipline and it’s hard to imagine any unit on campus reflecting that more than the Department of Applied Computing.”

The Department of Applied Computing offers undergraduate Bachelor of Science programs in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA) and Electrical Engineering Technology (EET). On the graduate side, the department also offers a M.S. in Health Informatics.

The department also collaborates on three convergence programs. In cooperation with the Department of Computer Science it offers the B.S. in Cybersecurity, which began enrolling students in Fall 2019. In cooperation with the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET), in the College of Engineering, the department offers both a M.S. and B.S. in Mechatronics, which began enrolling students in Fall 2019 and 2020, respectively.

In addition to teaching AC program courses, faculty in the department pursue research in a variety of computing areas, including cybersecurity, mechatronics, health informatics, and machine learning. Growing the department’s industrial and applied research portfolio will be a major emphasis for Dr. Fuhrmann.

“I’m excited about doing what I can to help build this new department at Michigan Tech,” says Fuhrmann. “There are a lot of synergies that may not be immediately apparent within traditional academic structures, but they reflect what is happening in industry today.”

For example, computer networks and cybersecurity are playing an increasingly important role in industrial control and automation, and robotics and the Internet of Things is highly relevant for the evolving field of health informatics, Fuhrmann explains.

“Machine learning is also having an impact across all areas in the department,” Fuhrmann adds. “We will be focusing on helping both our students and our industry partners navigate this convergence of physical and cyber technologies.”

The Department of Applied Computing brings together those faculty and programs in the College of Computing with a common interest in applied aspects of computing.

MTRAC Advanced Computing Hub Requesting Proposals

The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Advanced Computing Technologies Innovation Hub, hosted at Wayne State University, has opened a Request for Proposal period lasting until Aug. 31.

Commercialization-focused MTRAC grants provide funding to address the “valley of death” and guidance from an experienced oversight committee comprised of venture capitalists, seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts. Eligible technologies include cognitive technologies, immersive technologies, cybersecurity, internet of things, industry x.o, blockchain and next-generation computing.

If you have questions about specific project eligibility or the proposal process, please reach out to Nate Yenor at nryenor@mtu.edu

For additional information about the program, please visit Wayne State’s MTRAC Advanced Computing Technologies web page.

Michigan Tech Joins PSERC

By Kimberly Geiger, College of Engineering, June 8, 2021

Michigan Technological University has joined the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) — a collaboration of university and industry members.

“We are very pleased to be members of PSERC, where our researchers can combine efforts with other members to creatively address key challenges in creating a modern electric energy infrastructure,” stated Janet Callahan, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering. “Michigan Tech will be the 13th university in the partnership, and will bring three new industry partners into PSERC,” she added.

Those partners are DTE, Consumers Energy and Hubbell. The full list of member universities is available on the PSERC website.

“The overall goal of joining PSERC is to catalyze transdisciplinary research by teaming up with other institutions and relevant industry partners for national grant competition,” said Chee-Wooi Ten, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Tech. Ten will serve as Michigan Tech’s PSERC site director.

Started as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC), PSERC began in 1996 and was first led by Cornell professor Robert J. Thomas, and then Vijay Vittal of Arizona State University. Today PSERC is directed by Kory W. Hedman, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Arizona State University. 

Head shot of Chee-Wooi Ten
Chee-Wooi Ten, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Tech, will serve as Michigan Tech’s PSERC site director.

PSERC member expertise includes power systems, applied mathematics, complex systems, computing, control theory, power electronics, operations research, nonlinear systems, economics, industrial organization and public policy. 

Michigan Tech brings much to the research collaborative, said Callahan, particularly in key areas of power systems engineering, social sciences and, most importantly, computing involved heavily in data science and cybersecurity. Cross-disciplinary interaction will be encouraged and expected, for example, with the University’s Department of Applied Computing where Ten holds an affiliated faculty position and where Hubbell is a member of the departmental industrial advisory board.

Membership in PSERC will enable Michigan Tech to apply for seed grants together with other PSERC universities. Ten envisions Michigan Tech faculty members submitting seed grant proposals annually. “PSERC membership will enable Michigan Tech to go beyond its traditional research boundaries,” he said. “Historically, power area research at Michigan Tech focuses on the metering of electrical loads met by generation. We’ll see more opportunities that involve the intersection of new cross-disciplinary areas.”

PSERC grants can also fund graduate student research, noted Callahan. “Any faculty member at Michigan Tech can submit proposals, but this is especially good news for assistant professors and other new faculty members seeking to establish a research program,” she said. “This aligns with our institutional Tech Forward initiatives and University vision to grow to 10,000 students, especially our graduate student population.”

Members of PSERC typically meet in person three times per year with the PSERC  Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). This meeting provides a regular opportunity to build new and productive partnerships among faculty and students from other PSERC universities as well as with industrial partners.

“These meetings are unparalleled, a regular opportunity to meet and mingle with energy researchers from other PSERC institutions. We’ll be able to brainstorm and discuss possible collaborations,” said Ten. “I am also very pleased to work with Kory Hedman, the new director of PSERC.”

“While we are now part of the PSERC ecosystem that allows us to submit proposals, the work has only just begun,” Ten concluded. “I am looking forward to working with our PSERC members and creating value with Michigan Tech’s research strengths.”

View the original article here.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

New Chair of CLS Has Passion for Human Factors and UP Life

by Chris Clonts, College of Sciences and Arts

David Hemmer, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, has announced that Kelly Steelman has accepted the position as chair of the Cognitive and Learning Sciences department.

Steelman, an associate professor of psychology and an affiliated associate professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, had been working as the interim chair.

Hemmer cited Steelman’s work developing Michigan Tech’s new bachelor’s degree in human factors as one reason he’s happy to see her in the role. “Kelly has done a great job as interim chair, including shepherding the department’s new human factors BS degree through to approval,” he said.

Here’s what Steelman said about the new undergraduate major in human factors:

“Our new human factors major will be great for students that are interested in designing the future and building new technologies, but also really care about people and want to understand why people do the things that we do and why we make the mistakes that we do,” she said.

“A human factors program is a particularly good fit for Michigan Tech, as it blends foundational coursework in psychology with courses in systems engineering, human-computer interaction, usability, business, and design,” she continued. “Designing the major was a true multidisciplinary effort, with faculty from numerous departments and colleges providing input and feedback.”

Find out more about Steelman, from her (really) long journey to Houghton to her roller derby involvement.

Fall 2021 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

by Debra Charlesworth, Graduate School

Applications for Fall 2021 Finishing Fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4 p.m. June 30 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a Ph.D. student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a Finishing Fellowship.
  4. Must be eligible for candidacy (tuition charged at Research Mode rate) at the time of application.
  5. Must not hold a final oral examination (“defense”) prior to the start of the award semester.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to Ph.D. candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding Ph.D. candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan.

The Graduate School anticipates funding up to 10 fellowships, with support ranging from $2,000 to full support (stipend plus tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

Undergrad Summer Lab Positions: Autonomous Driving Research


Dr. Xiaoyong (Brian) Yuan, Applied Computing and Computer Science, is seeking several hourly paid undergraduate students to work in the areas of autonomous driving.

The project is funded by MTU Research Excellence Fund (REF) and expected to begin in summer 2021 (7/1/2021).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Passion for research in autonomous driving and machine learning
  • Solid programming skills in C, Python, Java, or related programming languages
  • Familiar with Linux OS

To Apply

To apply, please send a resume and a transcript to Dr. Yuan (xyyuan@mtu.edu).

Dr. Yuan is a member of the Data Sciences and Cybersecurity research groups of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC).