Category: News

Professor Yun Hang Hu: 5X Fellow and More

Professor Yun Hang Hu

MSE Professor Yun Hang Hu was honored with an impressive set of recognitions during the last year. Professor Hu was elected Fellow of both the American Chemical Society (ACS) and ASM International for his impactful contributions and developments in materials synthesis and catalyst science. In addition, Professor Hu received the Distinguished Service Award from the Energy and Fuels Division of the American Chemical Society. For more information:

With the two latest Fellow recognitions, Professor Hu is a now a Fellow of five organizations.   He was previously named Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC, 2013), Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE, 2013), and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2014).  

Professor Hu is the Charles and Carroll McArthur Endowed MSE Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. He joined MSE and Michigan Tech in 2007, and has made impactful contributions in the area of the science and engineering of materials for energy applications. He received the Michigan Tech Research Award in 2017 and was a co-recipient (an award shared with his graduate student Wei Wei) of the Bhakta Rath Research Award in the same year.


Tiny Nanoindentations Make a Big Difference for Prasad Soman

Microimage of iron shows triangular indentations, like small pyramids, at the brown/green grain boundary.
In this microphoto of iron, nanoindentations performed near or away from the grain boundary, made to study their effect on deformation. Photo credit: Prasad Soman

Prasad Soman will graduate soon with his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. But instead of walking down the aisle and tossing his cap in Michigan Tech’s Dee Stadium, this year he’ll take part in Michigan Tech’s first-ever outdoor graduation walk.

“My PhD research goal was to better understand how the addition of carbon affects the strengthening mechanism of iron—by looking to see what happens at the nanoscale,” he explains.

Soman studied the mechanisms of grain boundary strengthening by using an advanced and challenging technique known as nanoindentation to get “up close and personal” to the interfaces between individual crystals within a material. Just last week Soman successfully defended his PhD dissertation: “Study of Effects of Chemistry and Grain Boundary Geometry on Materials Failure.” The research was sponsored by the US Department of Energy.


TMS Symposium Honors Professor Jim Hwang

Jim Hwang stands in his lab.

A celebration of Michigan Tech MSE Professor Jiann-Yang (Jim) Hwang’s career of innovative contributions to the field of materials processing was the subject of an honorary symposium sponsored by the Extraction and Processing Division (EPD) at the 2021 TMS Annual Meeting.

Prof. Hwang was honored for his pioneering research on microwave-assisted metallurgy; for engineering and commercialization of environmental technologies to the electroplating industries; his outstanding innovations on mineral processing, and crucial achievements to the power, automobile, steel, and aluminum industries on materials recycling; his great contributions on hydrogen storage materials; significant developments on clean coal technologies; and last but not least, for excellent student mentoring.


Joe Licavoli Earns Graduate Student Government Merit Award

Joe Licavoli
Michigan Tech MSE Research Engineer Dr. Joe Licavoli

Every year the Graduate Student Government (GSG) at Michigan Tech gives out four types of awards to recognize and celebrate the hard work of graduate students, faculty and staff at Michigan Tech.

Joseph J. Licavoli, Research Engineer and Scientist II, Materials Science and Engineering, was recognized as an Exceptional Staff Member in the GSG 2021 Merit Awards.

Dr. Licavoli earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, all at Michigan Tech. He has worked for Daimler Chrysler CIE, Sandvik Hard Materials, Alcoa Howmet, and most recently the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Albany, Oregon.

His research interests include materials processing techniques for high temperature alloys, porous metals, high entropy alloys, lightweight materials, biomedical alloys, and trace elemental control.


MSE People Briefs Spring 2021

Elizabeth Miller

New ACMAL Lab Manager Liz Miller

Elizabeth Miller has taken on the role of ACMAL lab manager. Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in Forest Science from Michigan Tech.

Miller is actively involved in several local nonprofit organizations including the Singletrack Flyers Youth Mountain Bike Club, SöKē Trails Club, Copper Country Ski Tigers, and Kaleidoscope: Keweenaw Alternative Education Org. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two kids and husband cross country skiing, hiking, and mountain biking.

Gina Goudge

New MSE Coordinator Gina Goudge

Gina Goudge replaced Valentina O’Kane as departmental coordinator in Spring 2021.

Gina has worked at Michigan Tech since 1994 providing administrative, budget, and business operation services to department leadership throughout the University, including administrative, academics, student affairs, and advancement. When not at Michigan Tech, Gina enjoys spending time with her family, watching her sons play sports, and enjoying the beautiful Keweenaw area.

Melissa Beth Johnson

New Office Assistant Melissa Beth Johnson

Melissa Beth Johnson has joined MSE, replacing Rachel Griffin as an Administrative staff in the 6th floor main office.  Melissa moves from a prior joint position in the departments of Kinesiology and Integrated Physiology Sciences (KIPS) and Cognitive Learning and Sciences (CLS).  We’re really pleased to acquire Melissa’s artistic talents in social media and photography.  She is also an enthusiastic and accomplished rock-hound!  Welcome aboard, Melissa!

MSE Office Coordinator Valentina O’Kane bids farewell

Office coordinator-extraordinaire Valentina O’Kane bid farewell to MSE in October following the reassignment of her husband, John, to Hanscom AFB in the Bedford, MA, and following the completion of his 3-year term as Commander of the Air Force ROTC unit at Michigan Tech in August.  Valentina was terrific colleague and valued member of the MSE family; we appreciate all that she has done for the department, for the faculty and staff, and for our students.  Our best wishes to Valentina and the O’Kane family!  

Rachel Griffin now a Blue Bolt

MSE Administrative staff member Rachel Griffin has left the university to pursue her passion as a mentor for female K-12 students as the new volleyball coach and an administrative assistant at Dollar Bay High School.  Our sincere thanks for everything Rachel did for MSE, and our best wishes in her awesome new role assisting and guiding students for the future. 

Pinaki Mukherjee heads West

MSE staff member and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) specialist Pinaki Mukherjee has accepted a similar position at Stanford University.  Pinaki joined MSE and Michigan Tech in 2017, and has been invaluable to the campus by way of his leadership and abilities in bringing the aberration-controlled FEI Titan Themis microscope operational and available to university researchers.  We wish Pinaki and his family the best of luck in the Bay area of California, and look forward to continued collaborations.

Mary Fraley

Mary Fraley Joins the MSE Faculty

Mary Fraley joined MSE as a Senior Lecturer in Fall 2020. She was previously with the Department of Engineering Fundamentals.

Mary is an alum of MSE (BS MY 90, MS MY 94). In addition to teaching first-year engineering courses, she has had a prominent presence in the MSE teaching program for several years. Mary is active in engineering education research and in developing teaching innovations in the engineering curriculum. She has identified by the campus community as one of Michigan Tech’s positive female role models.


MSE Alumna Dr. Kathy Hayrynen Earns American Foundry Society Award

Kathy L. Hayrynen
Dr. Kathy L. Hayrynen

The American Foundry Society (AFS) award-winners have been announced by the AFS Board of Awards.

Kathy L. Hayrynen, vice president of R&D, Applied Process Inc. (Livonia, Michigan) will be awarded the John H. Whiting Gold Medal for her exemplary work in cast iron research and standards, chairing the AFS Technical Council, leadership in streamlining the AFS Cast Iron Division, as well as for advocacy and mentorship of students and women in metalcasting.

Hayrynen graduated with BS, MS, and PhD in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1986, 1989, and 1993, respectively. She was inducted to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Academy in 2006.

The award will be presented virtually at the Metalcasting Congress 2021 this April. An in-person ceremony for the Gold Medal is also planned for the 2021 Foundry Leadership Summit in September.


MSE Retirement Announcement: Owen Mills

Owen Mills
Owen Mills

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering congratulates Owen Mills on his upcoming retirement. We have enjoyed working with him during his years here at Michigan Tech and not only is he a valuable asset to MSE but we consider him part of the MSE family.

Owen you will be missed by all of us more than words can say! Your time, experience, expertise, has been so beneficial to MSE and Michigan Tech. We hope your successor will strive to follow your stellar example. We are saddened to see you go but wish you nothing but success and happiness in retirement. While June 30, 2020, was his last day, we will celebrate his retirement at a later date in August.


New Approach to Simultaneous In Situ Measurements

Timothy Leftwich
Timothy Leftwich

Graduate student Chathura de Alwis (Chem), research assistant professor Timothy R. Leftwich (MSE), and assistant professor Kathryn A. Perrine (Chem) published their seminal paper on their new surface technique, “New Approach to Simultaneous In Situ Measurements of the Air/Liquid/Solid Interface Using PM-IRRAS” in Langmuir on March 16, 2020.

Leftwich is an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and manager of the Surface Analysis Facility in the shared facility ACMAL, the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory.

Cite This

New Approach to Simultaneous In Situ Measurements of the Air/Liquid/Solid Interface Using PM-IRRAS
Chathura de Alwis, Timothy R. Leftwich, Kathryn A. Perrine
Langmuir 2020, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
Publication Date: March 16, 2020
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b03958

Extract

Vibrational spectroscopy techniques have evolved to measure gases, liquids, and solids at surfaces and interfaces. In the field of surface-sensitive vibrational spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy measures the adsorption on surfaces and changes from reactions. Previous polarized modulated-infrared reflection–absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) measurements at the gas/solid interface were developed to observe catalytic reactions near reaction conditions.

This article presents a new method that is used to observe in situ adsorption of molecules using PM-IRRAS at the gas/liquid/solid interface. We demonstrate the meniscus method by measuring the adsorption of octadecanethiol on gold surfaces.


Joshua Pearce on Survival Topics

In Print

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) coauthored “Scaling of Greenhouse Crop Production in Low Sunlight Environments” published in Science of the Total Environment.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136012

In the News

Research developed by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was highlighted in an article “A full-scale nuclear winter would trigger a global famine. A disaster expert put together a doomsday diet to save humanity” published in Business Insider.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in the UK’s Daily Mail story: Mortality rates declined significantly in counties where coal plants closed according to new study, saving an estimated 26,610 American lives between 2005 and 2018.”

Pearce’s research was also covered in “A Full-Scale Nuclear Winter Would Trigger a Global Famine. Here’s What We Would Eat” published in Science Alert and Finland’s Verkkouutiset news.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was mentioned in the article “3D Printing Against Coronavirus: Who And How To Help,” in Fabbalo, 3D Printing News.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in an article “3D Printing Against Coronavirus: Who And How To Help” in Fabbaloo. Pearce was also quoted in the article “MTU engineering experts join open-source ventilator movement to overcome COVID-19” in News-Medical.Net

Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology (MOST) was referenced in the article “Climate Disrupted: A Circular Technology,” in 3DPrinting.com.


Pearce Group on 3D Printing

Additive ManufacturingJoshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and Michigan Tech alumnus Apoorv Kulkarni ’18, coauthored “Polymer-derived SiOC Replica of Material Extrusion-based 3D Printed Plastics“, which was published in Additive Manufacturing.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addma.2019.100988

The results of this experimental study open up a completely new avenue in low-cost 3-D printing of ceramic structures with fused filament fabrication (FFF) based methods.

In Print

Chelsea Schelly (SS) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) have published: Schelly, C. and Pearce, J.M. (2020). Bridging the Social and Environmental Dimensions of Global Sustainability in STEM Education with Additive Manufacturing. Chapter 8 (Pages 155-172) In Ali, N., & Khine, M.S. (Eds). Integrating 3D printing into teaching and learning: Practitioners’ perspectives. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill Publishing.

https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004415133

Alum Ben Savonen (ME) and visiting scholar Jennifer Bow (MSE) coauthored a paper with John Gershenson (ME) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Open-Source Three-Dimensional Printable Infant Clubfoot Brace” published in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics.

doi: 10.1097/JPO.0000000000000257

In the News

Pearce’s research was also covered in”Ystruder: New Syringe System Offers Feature Rich, Open-Source Multifunction Extrusion” published in 3DPrint.

Research by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on the sustainability of 3-D printing was highlighted in Spain’s leading Industry publication Interempresas.