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  • 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.


    Special Recognition for Applied Computing Class of ’21 B.S. Graduates


    Applied Computing: Class of 2021 Special Recognition


    Link to the Computer Science Special Recognition awards.


    Heather Harris: Outstanding Graduating Senior

    Heather has been an outstanding student ever since she has started at Michigan Tech. She was punctual, rarely missed a class, was a very active participant in class, and never missed an assignment in her EET courses. She also played a major role in the EET Senior Design swingset project. She spent a lot of time on developing the swing and addressing all the comments that were received regarding safety of the final product.


    Charles Warren: Outstanding Graduating Senior

    Charles was an undergraduate studying Computer Network and System Administration and a graduate student pursuing an MS in Cybersecurity. He graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.90 and a departmental GPA of 4.0.

    During his time at Michigan Tech he co-founded a student organization that focused on student-led instruction and research in networking and computing topics. It has grown into an undergraduate, graduate, and alumni organization focused on providing cloud and education services at low to no cost as a Non-profit Organization.

    Charles has also been an instructor with Dr. Guy Hembroff’s State of Michigan’s Career Technical Education (CTE) funding (2018-2021), which provides local high-school students a cybersecurity curriculum at Michigan Tech.

    He is currently working in Palo Alto as a Resident Engineer for security automation. He is a lifelong learner who is always looking to push the boundaries of his industry and to further his own and others’ understanding of topics in computing. His research interests include: cybersecurity, secure design, network security, public key infrastructure (PKI), and Internet of Things (IoT).


    Joseph Barbercheck: Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

    Joe has been a trustworthy and responsible teaching assistant. He has been extremely flexible and has tried his best to help everyone even outside of the scheduled lab times. If a student or a faculty needed extra help, he volunteered his time to make things work.

    Besides being an excellent teaching assistant, he also took good care of equipment in the lab and performed routine maintenance tasks such as changing fuses, ordering parts, and stocking the lab with all the necessary components.


    Stuart Hoxie: Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

    Stuart provided teaching and lab assistance during the Spring 2021 semester for our CNSA and Cybersecurity students in three classes: Microsoft System Administration, Scripting for Automation, Administration, and Security, and Cybersecurity II.

    While Stuart has already proven to be a valuable team member working in groups, the Spring semester was his time to exhibit his strong work ethic while operating independently to assist students with both classroom and laboratory questions and issues.

    The semester was challenging dealing with COVID and remote work, but Stuart took it in stride – remotely assisting students using the virtual cluster for labs, managing emails and the Canvas course sites, making himself available by attending Zoom meetings, all while reviewing and grading student submissions.

    Stuart turned a challenging situation into one of the best semesters for both students and faculty.


    Special Recognition for Computer Science Class of ’21 B.S. Graduates


    Computer Science:
    Class of 2021 Special Recognition


    Link to the Applied Computing Special Recognition awards.


    Vic Felton, Excellence in Teaching

    Vic was a standout Lab Assistant in the CS1121 Introduction to Programming course, helping first-time programming students one-on-one in a lab setting that was made even more challenging by COVID-related restrictions.

    CS1121 instructor Prof. Briana Bettin describes Vic as “patient and persistent” and adds that his teaching style “has consistently led students to discover the answers to their own questions.”


    Sarah Larkin: Excellence in Research and Teaching

    Sarah was supported by the National Science Foundation, through a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grant, on a project with Prof. Soner Onder to develop a new processor design.

    Sarah was also a dedicated and effective Lab Assistant for CS1121, and a longtime contributor to K-12 computer science teaching through WiCS (Women in Computer Science), NCWIT-sponsored Aspire-IT workshops, and Copper Country Coders.

    Prof. Briana Bettin says that Sarah “blends curiosity, passion, leadership, and dedication to perfection.” From prospective students and undergraduates she mentors to graduate students and faculty she works alongside, her ethics and devotion are unparalleled and unforgettable.


    Alec Rospierski: Excellence in Leadership

    Alec led a Senior Design team in developing the Micro:bit app, allowing middle and high school students to conduct science experiments online. This project was a collaboration between Michigan Tech and Washington University in St. Louis.

    He also served as team leader in the User Interface course in developing an app allowing middle and high school students to conduct simulation of the spread of COVID and other infectious diseases.


    Katie Schmidt: Excellence in Leadership

    Katie served as President of the Copper Country Coders student organization. This group works with local middle and high school students, providing small-group courses in computer science and programming.

    Under her leadership, Coders made great strides in developing a sustainable organizational structure, recruiting new members, and creating an engaged community of student instructors through reflection meetings and social events.

    Prof. Charles Wallace, faculty co-advisor of Copper Country Coders praises “Katie’s ability to lead in an inclusive and compassionate way that inspires others.”


    Mechatronics Master of Science, Class of ‘21


    The Michigan Tech Master of Science in Mechatronics, launched in 2019, has congratulated its first graduates this spring: Chinmay Kondekar (EE), Chukwuemeka George Ochieze, and Ahmat Oumar. Read their stories below.


    Ahmat Oumar


    Ahmat Oumar was very interested in finding an engineering discipline combining the new engineering principles of the age of automation.

    “I was looking for a discipline that will combine principles in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science,” he explains. “And the College of Computing Mechatronics program has been the right answer.”

    “Michigan Tech Mechatronics has been a great learning experience for me,” Oumar says. “The frequent lab practices to apply the principles learned in class especially enhanced my learning. This will make it easier to make a smooth transition into industry.”

    Oumar also credits his professors as instrumental in his success. “They make themselves available to students, not only in teaching and guiding, but also through mentoring.”


    Chukwuemeka George Ochieze


    Chukwuemeka George Ochieze—now enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Michigan Tech—checked out the College of Computing Mechatronics master of science program a few years ago.

    He was intrigued by the equipment available to students and the many research projects that could be accomplished within the program. Both aligned perfectly with his interests. And he regards the location of Michigan Tech and the region’s weather conditions as a good atmosphere for study.

    “Mechatronics is important in this century because every system consists of different subsystems that require a particular mechatronics application,” says Ochieze. “For example, people who work on fluid power systems should understand automation and controls.”

    Ochieze says that working with faculty and researchers in the various fields of mechatronics helped him to think differently with respect to the subject of application.

    “I pursued so many projects while here on campus,” he adds. “My work with wearable devices shaped my interests and allowed me to apply what I’ve learned so far in the Mechatronics program. His current focus is on the robotics field, which Ochieze says stems from his exposure to robotics and programming in the Mechatronics M.S. program.

    Ochieze was a mechatronics instructor in the 2020-21 academic year for the Career Technical Education (CTE) program in Mechatronics, recently launched by Michigan Tech and the Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD). The 12-month Career CTE program is for high school juniors or seniors. Read the story.

    And Ochieze tried many indoor and outdoor events that includes, “skiing, indoor and outdoor soccer, skating, tubing, winter carnivals, career fairs, late nights in the library trying to figure out projects, passport to the world, to mention but a few.”

    “Personally, I think the best memories I have was the career fairs events, having the opportunity to exchange information with people who have similar interests and also sharing your thoughts to people who have worked for a long time in the industry,” Ochieze says.

    Chinmay Kondekar


    Read Chinmay Kondekar’s story.

    Graduate student Chinmay Kondekar heard about Michigan Tech during his undergraduate studies. Sometime later he read a social media post about work opportunities in the robotic and automation labs, and Michigan Tech again came to his attention.

    “At that time, I was working as a controls engineer in India,” he says. “Robotics and automation interest me, and when I saw who had written the post (a former graduate student of Sergeyev’s), I knew I had found the perfect degree program.”

    Kondekar’s final design project was to create an interconnected system that is flexible, reconfigurable, and controlled from a central control interface to emulate a production process. The system is used to machine different patterns on a block of foam.

    “I enjoy solving problems and coming up with a solution to make things work,” he shares. “When starting the [final] project, I had a lot of unknown variables but I knew how to approach them and, eventually, I came up with solutions and made the system work. It’s highly rewarding to watch the finished system come together, and then to see it work automatically after pressing just three buttons.”

    Kondekar’s project would not have been possible without generous support from Mr. Mark Gauthier and his team at Donald Engineering. “Mark has helped the department acquire the best industry-grade hardware, and his expertise in pneumatics helped the project concept become reality,” Kondekar says.

    Kondekar says he has enjoyed his learning and life experiences at Michigan Tech. Plus, he loves the outdoors. “I am an outdoors guy and I love the UP, especially the summers. It’s full of good people and great beer!”


    Driving in the Snow is a Team Effort for AI Sensors

    by Allison Mills, University Marketing and Communications

    A major challenge for fully autonomous vehicles is navigating bad weather. Snow especially confounds crucial sensor data that helps a vehicle gauge depth, find obstacles and keep on the correct side of the yellow line, assuming it is visible. Averaging more than 200 inches of snow every winter, Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is the perfect place to push autonomous vehicle tech to its limits.

    In two papers presented at SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2021, researchers from Michigan Technological University discuss solutions for snowy driving scenarios that could help bring self-driving options to snowy cities like Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Toronto.

    The team includes Nathir Rawashdeh and doctoral student Abu-Alrub (CC) as well as Jeremy Bos and student researchers Akhil Kurup, Derek Chopp and Zach Jeffries (ECE).

    Read more about their collaborative mobility research on mtu.edu/news.

    This MTU news story was published by Science DailyTechXploreKnowridge Science Report and other research news aggregators.


    ICC Researcher Profile: Tony Pinar


    The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) is pleased to welcome Tony Pinar as a member. Pinar’s primary research interests are in applied machine learning and data fusion.

    A lecturer in Michigan Tech’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department, Pinar holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech. His previous positions include research engineer for Michigan Tech’s Advanced Power System Research Center and electrical design engineer for GE Aviation. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society.

    Pinar’s teaching interests include machine learning, signal processing, and electronic design. Included among the classes he teaches are Electronics, Electronic Applications, Probability—Signal Analysis, and Control Systems I.

    “Teaching is like a puzzle where one may have to take a difficult concept, reduce it to digestible pieces, and deliver them to fresh minds in a way to maximize understanding and insight,” Pinar says. “That challenge is what drives me to be a better teacher.”

    Pinar believes that to be a good teacher one must understand the topics very well and he strives for the most effective delivery. “This keeps me on my toes, forces me to constantly identify holes in my knowledge, and drives me to continuously strive to learn new things,” he explains.

    On research, Pinar says it is rewarding to work on open-ended and novel problems that are in their infancy and at the cutting edge of today’s technology.

    “It is also exciting to me to watch the cutting edge move forward, see what sticks and what doesn’t, and observe how the direction(s) of the field evolve,” he adds. “I’m very new to this domain so I haven’t been able to observe it for long, but I am looking forward to witnessing the future of the field.”


    Mechatronics Degrees Building World-Class Workforce


    “Everything starts with a dream, a vision, and a passion,” says Michigan Tech alumnus Mr. Mark Gauthier, president of Donald Engineering, Grand Rapids, Mich. “In life, we have very few opportunities to be able to put our hand into something and achieve an earth moving event.”


    Mr. Gauthier’s dream is to build a vital, well-trained Mechatronics workforce, and to grow industry in southwestern Michigan. The College of Computing wishes to do the same for that region and the entire state of Michigan.

    And the dream is becoming a reality. The digital revolution is well underway in the College of Computing. Throughout the last few years, dozens of individuals, companies, and organizations have channeled their passion, expertise, and resources into building and equipping world-class Mechatronics degree programs at Michigan Tech.



    Mechatronics: The Key to Digital Transformation

    Key to the digital transformation of our regional and national economy, Mechatronics combines mechanical systems, electrical systems, computing, and control in one holistic discipline.

    It is central to smart manufacturing and other high-tech industries, employing technologies ranging from industrial robots and autonomous vehicles to process control and utility power systems. Most mechatronics-related entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree.

    A common degree in Europe, China, Japan, Russia, and India, advanced study in Mechatronics is an underdeveloped academic discipline in the United States, even though the industrial demand for these professionals is enormous, and continues to grow.

    Learn more. What is Mechatronics?


    Mechatronics is an industry buzzword synonymous with robotics, controls, automation, and electromechanical engineering.

    Dr. Aleksandr Sergeyev


    Passion, Support, Expertise

    Mr. Gauthier is always certain to warmly recognize the support, involvement, and expertise of Donald Engineering employees and the company’s key vendors. He says that without them, this dream would never have become a reality. The DE vendors include Continental Hydraulics, Schunk, Milwaukee Cylinder, Clippard, Oilgear, and Ross Controls.

    “Equipping industry with 21st century talent and technologies is central to the success of the University and critical for the economic success of the state of Michigan.” says Dr. Dennis Livesay, dean of the College of Computing.

    “I am impressed and grateful to all of you. The Mechatronics programs at Tech have become world class in a few short years,” says Dr. Livesay. “The creative thinking and proactive actions of Mark Gauthier, Donald Engineering and its key vendors, and the dedicated support of College Of Computing faculty, staff, and students made this happen.”


    The MS in Mechatronics Class of 2021

    The Michigan Tech Master of Science in Mechatronics, launched in 2019, has congratulated its first graduates this spring: Chinmay Kondekar, Chukwuemeka George Ochieze, and Ahmat Oumar. Read their stories here.


    Promising Fall ’21 Enrollment Numbers

    Preliminary fall ’21 enrollment numbers for Mechatronics programs indicate a very high interest in the program.


    T=Student in the Mechatronics Playground

    Special Appreciation

    “I am very proud of the degree we launched at Tech and would like to express special appreciation to Adrienne Minerick, who not only believed in me when I proposed this degree, but actually helped to propel it at Michigan Tech,” says Dr. Aleksandr Sergeyev, professor in Applied Computing. Dr. Minerick was dean of the College of Computing from summer 2019 until February of this year.

    Mr. Gauthier adds, “Both Adrienne’s and Aleks’s embrace of this vision, and their efforts to implement programs that prepare Michigan Tech students for careers as mechatronics professionals has been amazing.”

    “I am so impressed by people like Alex, Adrienne, and Mark, who have a vision for what can be, and put in the hard work to turn that vision into reality,” says Dr. Dan Fuhrmann, chair of the Applied Computing department. “The early enrollment numbers are a testament to that hard work, and that is only the beginning. I will do what I can to to help keep this train rolling?”



    Developing Creative Minds

    “Michigan Tech is much more than a University to me. I believe in the University and the drive to develop creative minds,” Mr. Gauthier says. “It is also one of my passions. I call the Houghton city limits the ‘front door to my home.'”

    “The effort and vision of the College and University have been amazing, ” Mr. Gauthier adds. “To be able to work with you ALL is a dream come true, for me.”

    Mr. Gauthier adds that Michigan Tech did so much for him in a time of deep sadness, as well as helping direct and educate him to become a leader.

    “It [my Michigan Tech education] made me work through some tough times and thickened my skin in the meantime,” he says. “I may not be able to pass a calculus class anymore, but I can certainly remember what it did. My entire experience taught me how to learn, how to educate myself, and become independent and accountable to myself. These are key factors that need to be emphasized.”


    “Passion moves mountains. Let’s keep this moving. We owe it to our future.”

    Mr. Mark Gauthier

    A student in the Mechatronics Playground

    B.S. in Mechatronics

    The College of Computing added a Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics to its degree programs, beginning in Fall 2020.

    Learn about the B.S. in Mechatronics.


    M.S. in Mechatronics

    The College of Computing added a Master of Science in Mechatronics to its degree programs, beginning in Fall 2019.

    Learn about the M.S. in Mechatronics.


    Chinmay Kondekar, ’21

    ECE graduate student Chinmay Kondekar, advised by Professor Sergeyev, designed and produced an interconnected system that is flexible, reconfigurable, and controlled from a central control interface to emulate a production process. The system is used to machine different patterns on a block of foam.

    Read the story.



    Mechatronics Playground

    Donald Engineering, (DE), an engineering and distribution company headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, and several of the company’s key vendors, have generously designed, built, and funded significant improvements to the Mechatronics Engineering Lab.

    In spring 2020, students were using the all-new custom industry-grade equipment, and learning stations. The lab has been dubbed, “The Mechatronics Playground.”

    Read the story.


    Paul-222: A Smart Disinfector Robot

    Funded by Institute of Computing and Cybersystems seed grant from Michigan Tech alumnus Paul Williams, Assistant Professor Nathir Rawashdeh, Applied Computing, has developed a mobile robot disinfector with the help of a seed grant from Michigan Tech alumnus and donor Paul Williams ’61 EE.

    “Building a multidisciplinary robot like this, one that contains mechanical, electrical, and computational components, is an example of applied mechatronics at work.,” Rawashdeh says.

    Read the story.
    See the robot in action.


    Donald Engineering, Mechatronics in Chamber Publication

    A February 2021 issue of the “Manufacturing Matters” newsletter, published by the Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg (Michigan), includes a feature article about Michigan Tech’s Mechatronics degree programs and learning lab, and the work that alumnus Mark Gauthier is doing to support and promote Mechatronics careers in southwestern Michigan.


    Mechatronics, EET Topics of Copper Country Today Radio Program

    In a segment on the weekly Copper Country Today radio program, Professor Aleksandr Sergeyev, Applied Computing, and four EET undergraduate students were interviewed about the Mechatronics BS program and an Electrical Engineering Technology Senior Design project benefiting a mobility-impaired girl in Alabama.

    Listen to the radio program.
    Read two stories about this challenging student project.


    EET Project on TV6 Marquette

    The Senior Design project completed this academic year by four graduating Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) students was the topic of a news story aired on WLUC-TV6 (Marquette) on April 23, 2021. The students designed and produced a motorized swing set that will help a disabled child enjoy herself and sleep comfortably.

    Tackling the project top to bottom, the students designed the electrical system, control and drive systems, and portions of the mechanical design. The students, all graduating EET students, are Joe Barbercheck, Seth Cherry, Heather Harris, and Cole Kubick.


    CTE High School Mechatronics Program

    Michigan Tech recently launched a year-long Career and Technical Education (CTE) program in Mechatronics for high school juniors or seniors. The new program is offered through a partnership between Michigan Tech and the Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD). 

    Faculty in the Applied Computing disciplines, and faculty in the Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) department in the College of Engineering are administering the program. The course is instructed by two Mechatronics/ECE master’s degree students (now graduates), George Ochieze and Chinmay Kondekar.

    “Teaching for local schools is an opportunity for me to give back to people in the community who welcomed me as an international student,” says Kondekar. “I hope to create a strong interest in robotics and automation in my students. People with these skills will be the future of manufacturing and will have plenty of opportunities.”

    Read the story.

    Leidos Equips EET, MET Lab

    In 2018 a generous gift from Leidos expanded and refurbished the EET and MET lab spaces on the 4th floor of the Electrical Energy Resources Center (EERC) and the electrical was upgraded.

    With a second Leidos gift in 2019, lab refurbishment was completed and six new state-of-the art learning stations installed in time for the fall 2019 section of Electrical Machinery (EET 2233). Eagle Mine and the College of Computing each also funded a learning station.

    “Selecting and controlling electrical machines are prime examples of the electrical, mechanical and computing aspects of hardware equipment,” said Professor Nathir Rawashdeh, Applied Computing. “Tnd the new learning units and exercises provide all the tools students need to thoroughly understand these subjects.”

    Read the story.


    OISE/IRES Project to Fund International Research Experiences for Grad Students


    Professor Soner Onder, Computer Science, has been awarded $150K of a $300K project funded by the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) and the International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) programs, both units of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The remaining project share was awarded to Florida State University (FSU).


    The project provides international research experiences for eight Michigan Tech PhD students (and eight FSU students), providing a stipend, travel expenses, and living expenses while they pursue research in Norway for ten weeks in each of three summers.

    The students will be working with Dr. Onder’s collaborators at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Prof. Magnus Jahre and Prof. Magnus Själander. The two institutions are pursuing joint interdisciplinary work involving compilers and architecture . The work is expected to result in several joint research publications.

    “I believe this project will help improve our international recognition and stature as a major research institution,” Dr. Onder says.


    Abstract

    When the technology for computers advance and programs execute faster, more computer applications become possible. This project will enable Florida State University (FSU) and Michigan Technology University (MTU) students to visit the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) to conduct research that will allow the performance and energy efficiency of computer applications to be automatically improved. Over the three years of this project, 16 FSU and MTU students (in cohorts of five, five, and six) will visit NTNU, which is in Trondheim, Norway, for a period of 10 weeks during May, June, and July. While in residence, the students will work closely with the faculty, postdoctoral associates, and graduate students in the research groups of Professors Magnus Sjalander and Magnus Jahre who are affiliated with the Computer Architecture Laboratory (CAL) at NTNU. The participating FSU and MTU students will not only increase their research knowledge, but will also become more globally engaged and better prepared to work in a culturally diverse, international environment.

    The era of improving processor performance without innovations in computer architecture or compilers is over since increasing the clock rate for computers has not been possible in recent years due to thermal limitations. However, manually modifying programs to efficiently exploit computer architectures is time consuming, error prone, and not portable to other systems. The most effective way to improve application performance is to automatically exploit architectural features without the intervention of the application developers. Our focus will be on automatically achieving high performance and energy efficiency by generating code to exploit existing and proposed architectural features at the machine instruction level. We propose to develop the compilation tools to facilitate the process of automatically generating code to exploit these proposed architectural features and to develop the simulation tools to evaluate the impact on both performance and energy efficiency.


    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is the second largest university in Norway and is consistently ranked among the top one percent of universities world-wide; their current ranking is 101st.


    Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE) is the NSF focal point for international science and engineering activities both inside and outside NSF. OISE’s focuses on three activities: (1) promoting the development of a globally competent U.S. workforce, (2) facilitating and supporting international partnerships and networks to leverage NSF and foreign resources, and (3) providing opportunities for U.S. leadership to shape the global science and engineering agenda.


    The International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program supports international research and research-related activities for U.S. science and engineering students. The IRES program contributes to development of a diverse, globally engaged workforce with world-class skills. IRES focuses on active research participation by undergraduate and/or graduate students in high quality international research, education and professional development experiences in NSF-funded research areas.


    Michigan Tech Team Among 17 Teams Selected for Marine Energy Competition


    Michigan Tech is among 17 top colleges and universities nationwide that have been selected to compete in the 2021-22 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition: Powering the Blue Economy The event is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

    These student competitors are poised to be the next blue economy innovators as they gain real-world experience and make industry connections to prepare for future careers in marine energy, according to the Marine Energy Collegiate Competition.

    The team’s faculty advisors are Andrew Barnard (ME-EM, GLRC), Gordon Parker, and Timothy Havens (CC, ICC).


    Administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, on behalf of EERE’s Water Power Technologies Office, the competition challenges interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students to explore opportunities for marine energy technologies via real-world concept development experiences, and to propose unique solutions to the burgeoning marine energy industry.

    Submissions can run the gamut from concepts that aid in ocean observation and underwater vehicle charging to desalination and more, including—but not limited to—the markets identified in DOE’s Powering the Blue Economy™ report.


    Learn more about the competition and sign up for email alerts to keep up with the latest from the Marine Energy Collegiate Competition.


    The DOE is hosting the challenge to advance one of the most up-and-coming industries: marine energy. Marine energy has the potential to provide reliable power to the blue economy, but further work is needed to optimize designs and reduce costs, according to the competition website.

    The “blue economy” describes the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.


    Competition Elements

    • Develop a market-research-supported business plan, which will include key aspects of their design of a system that could be commercialized to address power needs for a chosen sector of the blue economy
    • Pitch their plan to a panel of judges and hypothetical investors
    • Have the option to build and test a device to achieve energy production
    • Engage with their community through outreach and educational activities.

    Competition Deliverables

    • A 20- to 30-page market research-supported business plan and technical design of a marketable device powering any marine energy sector of the blue economy
    • A 20-minute public pitch that will be presented to a panel of judges during the competition event at Water Power Week 2022 or virtual followed by a 15-minute Q&A session
      • 5 minutes of the public pitch will focus on community engagement and outreach activities the team conducted throughout the year
    • A poster summarizing the entire technical and business plan
    • Optional: An effective prototype that will be tested for power performance at model scale. Results of the test will be summarized in the written report.

    Inspiring Blue Economy Ingenuity

    “The MECC provides an opportunity for a diversity of experience, education, and perspectives in exploring the possibilities of the blue economy,” said Arielle Cardinal, the MECC operations manager at NREL. “We’re excited to support the 2022 competitors in bringing new ideas and innovations to the forefront of marine energy.”


    Michigan Tech Team Ranks #3 in Spring 2021 NCL Power Rankings


    Michigan Tech ranks number three (3) in the Spring 2021 National Cyber League’s Cyber Power Rankings, rising 12 points from a Fall 2020 ranking of 15. One hundred (100) teams were ranked.


    In the NCL cyber-competitions, thousands of students from hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide are challenged to identify hackers from forensic data, pentest and audit vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more.


    Three factors are considered in a school’s annual Cyber Power Ranking. In descending magnitude of weight, they are:

    • The school’s top performing team during the Team Game
    • The school’s top performing student during the Individual Game
    • The number of participating students from the school, with additional consideration given to better student performance during the Individual Game

    Schools are ranked based on their top team performance, their top student’s individual performance, and the aggregate individual performance of their students. The rankings represent the ability of students from these schools to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks on the Cyber Skyline platform.


    See how the NCL competitions work.


    View the full list of NCL rankings.


    The Cyber Power Rankings were created by Cyber Skyline in partnership with the National Cyber League (NCL). Every year, over 10,000 students from more than 300 colleges and universities across the US participate in the NCL competitions.