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    Virtual Poster Session at the 2021 Alumni Reunion

    by Graduate Student Government

    The Graduate Student Government (GSG) is pleased to announce a hybrid poster presentation session at Alumni Reunion 2021, which will be held Aug. 6.

    Due to the ongoing pandemic, GSG has decided to combine physical posters with prerecorded presentations from participants. This has been decided to keep in mind the health and safety of everyone who is going to be a part of this event, since the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing.

    The Alumni Reunion poster presentation session is a continued tradition designed to increase interaction between graduate students and MTU alumni. It is a unique opportunity for graduate students to share their research work and expand network connections. This event is also a great opportunity for students to work on their presentation skills and prepare for upcoming conferences. Alumni will be able to give valuable insight and feedback on the videos that appeal to them.

    Participation is open to graduate students from all departments. The event will consist of elevator-pitch-style poster presentations, with physical posters and prerecorded presentations by participants. This hybrid setup will allow alumni to take a closer look at the physical posters and everyone to view the video presentations for the respective posters. Registration closes on July 16 at 11:59 p.m. Limited seats only. Don’t wait — register today.

    Detailed instructions and guidelines for recording your presentation will be sent out to you once you have registered. Alternatively, you will also be able to find the instructions on the GSG website. The deadline for participants to submit their presentation videos is July 30.

    For more information, please contact Shreya Joshi at gsg-research@mtu.edu.


    NERC Seeking Cybersecurity Specialist


    The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is hiring a Bulk Power System Cybersecurity Specialist to join a team working with industry to help advance the concepts of a cyber-physical system and integration of cyber and physical security into conventional grid planning, operations, design, and restoration activities.

    The position requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university.

    Download more information about the position here.

    Visit the NERC Career Opportunities webpage here.

    Position Summary

    The Bulk Power System Cybersecurity Specialist is responsible for providing cyber and physical security subject matter expertise in support of the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) Enterprise evaluation and management of risks to reliability, security, and resilience of the bulk power system (BPS). This role will assist, lead, and manage various projects related to supporting industry integration of cyber and physical security into all aspects of system planning, operations, and restoration. It will also help industry with integrating new technologies and addressing emerging reliability and security issues. The role will coordinate with other departments within NERC as well as with the E-ISAC. This position reports to the Senior Manager of Bulk Power System Security and Grid Transformation.


    The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the effective and efficient reduction of risks to the reliability and security of the grid. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards; annually assesses seasonal and long‐term reliability; monitors the bulk power system through system awareness; and educates, trains, and certifies industry personnel.


    Michigan Tech Submits Record Number of Concept Papers to Federal Railroad Administration

    by Pasi Lautala

    Thomas Oommen (GMES, ICC), Ricardo Eiris, (CEGE, ICC), and Beth Veinott (CLS, ICC) are among eight Michigan Tech researchers who have submitted a a record number of eight concept papers for proposed research projects with the Federal Railroad Administration.

    The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requested that Michigan Tech submit a record number of eight concept papers for proposed research projects as part of their 2021 Broad Agency Announcement.

    In addition, Tech is a subcontractor for two more concept paper proposals. The paper submittal was coordinated by the Rail Transportation Program and the range of topics speaks to the diversity of Michigan Tech’s expertise applicable to the rail transportation. The PIs are looking forward to FRA decisions on how many of these papers advance to full proposals.

    Each of the 10 projects had a different principal investigator (PI), representing six university departments/institutes and several more co-PIs.

    The project titles and their PIs include:

    • Hyper- and Multi-spectral Sensing and Deep Learning for Automated Identification of Roadbed Condition, (PI, Thomas Oommen, GMES).
    • Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) for Weld Enhanced Cast Steel Coupler Knuckles (PI, Paul Sanders, MSE).
    • IoT Assisted Data-analytics Framework Enables Assessment of Location Based Ride Quality (LBRQ) (PI, Sriram Malladi, MEEM).
    • RailStory: Using Web-based Immersive Storytelling to Attract the Next Generation of Young Women in Rail (PI, Ricardo Eiris, CEGE).
    • A Risk Informed Decision-Making Framework for Coastal Railroad System Subjected to Storm Hazards and Sea Level Rise (PI, Yousef Darestani, CEGE).
    • Rail Corridor Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) Framework, Factors and Models to Support Project Evaluation and Multi-Modal Comparisons (PI, Pasi Lautala, CEGE).
    • Development of Infrared Thermography for Effective Rail Weld Inspection (PI, Qingli Dai, CEGE).
    • Enabling Longer-distance, AI-enabled Drone-based Grade Crossing Assessment in Potentially GPS Denied Environments (PI, Colin Brooks).
    • Multi-Site Simulation to Examine Driver Behavior Impact of Integrated Rail Crossing Violation Warning (RCVW) and In-Vehicle Auditory/Visual Alert (IVAA) System (PI, Elizabeth Veinott, subcontract with Virginia Tech).
    • Evaluation of Non-traditional Methods of Reducing Emissions in Short Line Railroad Operations (PI, Jeremy Worm, subcontract with ASLRRA).



    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.


    Mechatronics Machining System Topic of New Video


    Michigan Tech Professor Alex Sergeyev and Chinmay Kondekar, ’21 (M.S. in ECE/Mechatronics) discuss the Mechatronics degree programs and Kondekar’s final system design project, in a new video produced by the Applied Computing department. Watch the video below.

    The system machines patterns on blocks of foam using various robotic attachments, a tricky manufacturing process to program and one of the more challenging applications for an industrial robot.

    The interconnected system is flexible, reconfigurable, and controlled from a central control interface to emulate a production process. Correct dimensions are assured using machine vision, and by transporting the workpiece between different stations.

    A number of industrial applications are employed by the system, and most industrial robotic work cells have similar control and communication layouts. Manufacturing system layouts like this one are commonly found in the automotive, pharmaceutical, and food industries. Other potential applications include use in data acquisition and analytics, cybersecurity, and future projects requiring interconnected systems.

    Read a blog article about Kondekar’s final master’s program project.

    Watch the video.

    Mechatronics at Michigan Tech

    Learn more about Mechatronics.


    Guy Hembroff Presents Invited Talk at HIMSS Meeting

    On May 18, 2021, Dr. Guy Hembroff, Applied Computing, presented an invited talk at a meeting of Michigan’s Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Dr. Hembroff discussed his work developing a trusted framework architecture designed to improve population health management and patient engagement.

    The talk demonstrated his team’s work in the development of accurate geo-tagged pandemic prediction algorithms, which are used to help coordinate medical supply chains to care for patients most vulnerable to COVID-19, an innovation that can be extended to help improve general population health management.

    The framework of the pandemic prediction architecture, which aggregates longitudinal patient health data, including patient generated health data and social determinants of health, is a holistic and secure mHealth community model. The model can help Michigan residents overcome significant barriers in healthcare, while providing healthcare agencies with improved and coordinated population management and pandemic prediction.

    The architecture’s machine learning algorithms strategically connect residents to community resources, providing customized health education aimed to increase the health literacy, empowerment and self-management of patients. The security of the architecture includes development of unique health identifiers and touch-less biometrics capable of large-scale identity management.

    Dr. Guy Hembroff is an associate professor in the Applied Computing department of the Michigan Tech College of Computing, and director of the Health Informatics graduate program. His areas of expertise are network engineering, medical/health informatics, biometric development, intelligent medical devices, data analytics, and cybersecurity.

    The event was sponsored by HIMSS and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM).

    A mission-driven non-profit, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc. (HIMSS) is a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of the health ecosystem through information and technology, according to the organization’s website.


    Guy Hembroff Presents Talk to Digital Health Startups


    Dr. Guy Hembroff presented a talk to representatives of a number of digital health startup companies May 20, 2021, as part of an event hosted by the the HealthSpark program of 20 Fathoms, an entrepreneurial-focused member organization in Traverse City, Michigan.

    The startup companies, in many U.S. locations, are being mentored by 20 Fathoms members.

    Dr. Hembroff is an Associate Professor of Applied Computing and director of the Health Informatics Master of Science degree program at Michigan Tech.


    Dr. Hembroff’s talk, “Cybersecurity and Privacy + X: Best Practices for Health Startups,” was designed to help startup companies gain awareness of and plan strategically for the cybersecurity and privacy elements of their company, affiliations with vendors, and the rights and protections of consumers.

    Talk topics included an overview of data security and privacy, web security, scams and fraud detection and protection, mobile device security, network security, incident response, digital health data integration and interoperability, and protection from ransomware attacks.


    The HealthSpark program is Traverse City’s digital health accelerator. The organization advances innovation and facilitates solutions that will resolve today’s challenges in rural healthcare. A community-focused initiative, HealthSpark work sto bring world-class healthcare solutions to rural patients through the advancement of digital technology.

    20Fathoms is a membership organization for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, tech professionals, creatives, and other innovators in the the Traverse City, Michigan, region.

    Led by a team of experts who have walked-the-walk, we provide services, resources, support, and a robust network to help our members accelerate both their careers and businesses, according to the 20Fathoms website.


    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.


    Soner Onder Awarded NSF RD Grant

    Soner Onder (CS/ICC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $149,996 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    The project is titled “IRES: Track I: Collaborative Research: Supporting FSU and MTU Student Research with NTNU Faculty on Automatic Improvement of Application Performance.”


    Health Informatics Online Master’s Degree Ranked #6


    The Michigan Tech Master’s in Health Informatics program has been ranked 6th on the list, ” Top 10 Online Master’s In Healthcare Informatics Programs 2021,” published recently by BestOnlineSchools.org. The Michigan Tech Health Informatics MS program is the only university in Michigan to appear on the top ten list.

    The Michigan Tech Master of Science in Health Informatics prepares students for careers as data and information professionals in clinical and medical fields.

    In the flexible, 30-credit program, which can be completed entirely online, graduate students choose courses from areas such as artificial intelligence in healthcare, cybersecurity and privacy, clinical decision modeling, and big data analytics to earn a M.S. of Health Informatics degree. Students will also earn graduate certificates in the specialized and growing areas of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare and Security and Privacy in Healthcare through this coursework.


    View the TheBestSchools.org ranking here.