Bo Chen Named ASME Fellow

Bo Chen
Bo Chen

Bo Chen (ME-EM) has received the designation of Fellow from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The ASME Committee of Past Presidents confers the Fellow grade of membership on worthy candidates to recognize their outstanding engineering achievements.

Nominated by ASME Members and Fellows, an ASME Member has to have 10 or more years of active practice and at least 10 years of active corporate membership in ASME.

William Predebon, chair of the the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics said, “Dr. Chen has made major contributions in her field of embedded systems with application to hybrid-electric and electric autonomous systems. Her course in Model-based Embedded Control System Design is regularly in high demand by not only ME students but also EE students. This is a testament to the importance of the topic and her teaching ability.”

Chen conducts interdisciplinary research in the areas of mechatronics and embedded systems, agent technology, modeling and control of hybrid electric vehicles, cyber-physical systems and automation.


Barnard Presents at Webinar on N95 Mask Decontamination

Andrew Barnard's presentation with one screen on the first generation prototype.

Andrew Barnard (ME-EM/GLRC) presented to an international audience Sunday at a webinar on the decontamination of N95 masks. Barnard was invited by a group of scientists, doctors and engineers to present on the Mobile Thermal Utility (MTU) Sanitizer.

The seminar was simulcast through both Zoom and YouTube Live. There were more than 450 attendees on Zoom from more than 50 countries, including many African, South American and Central American nations. In addition, more than 1,000 attended via YouTube Live.

In addition to Barnard, panelists included researchers from Harvard, MIT, the University of Chicago, Clemson, Massachusetts General Brigham Hospital and more.

“I am proud to represent Michigan Tech among this group of distinguished scholars. It has been an honor to work with the incredible team here at MTU on this project,” Barnard said. “Thank you for all the support of this team. It is gratifying to know the administration sees value in supporting the global health care community during this pandemic. Your efforts and support have not gone unnoticed.”

Those who missed the livestream can watch the seminar on YouTube. Barnard’s presentation begins at 1:14:16. He also speaks during the Q&A at the end of the webinar at 1:40:02 and 1:44:21.


ME-EM Honors BSME Graduates, Faculty in Spring 2020

Order of the Engineer for Over 50 Years

Order of the Engineer

The Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics recently honored its graduating BSME students and select faculty during its virtual Order of the Engineer Induction Ceremony. More than 200 people witnessed the induction of 132 BSME spring/summer graduates into the Order of the Engineer, marking the beginning of their careers as professional engineers.

ME-EM Teacher of the Year

Gordon Parker

Additionally, the department honored two faculty for their instructional efforts. Gordon Parker received the ME-EM Teacher of the Year Award, with Aneet Narendranath honored as the runner-up. Undergraduate students in the department select the recipients each year via their responses to a survey regarding which instructors have had the most positive impact on their education.

One student said of Parker, “He not only encourages the success and growth for each student in his class, but also provides the tools for everyone to do so. Not many students want to miss his lectures, as they are interesting, engaging, and fun. He spends a great deal of his free time creating quality notes and examples that are easy to follow and help a lot to understand the material.”

Of Narendranath, a student said, “He has regularly displayed exemplary teaching ability and a genuine interest in his students and their success, both in and outside of the classroom. He communicates course material clearly; keeps lectures interesting through stories, jokes, and fun facts; connects course material with real-world applications; and makes himself very approachable and available to his students.”

Spring 2020 Outstanding Student Awards

Finally, the following four graduating seniors were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their Enterprise or Senior Capstone Design projects:

  • Austin Arenz – Formula SAE
  • Eric Bauer – Blizzard Baja
  • Jake Fedie – Blizzard Baja
  • Ben Hubbard – SCD Team 18 Nexteer Bearing Noise Test Rig Design and Metric Development

Berries and Brews Project Funding

Michigan Craft Beverage Council graphic

Momoko Tajiri (Chemistry/MuSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $33,597 research and development grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development – Michigan Craft Beer Council.

The project is entitled, “Berries & Brews: Understanding the Market and Technological Processing Opportunities of Michigan Grown Fruit in the Craft Beverage Industry”. Jenny Apriesnig (College of Business/MuSTI), Ezequiel Medici (MEEM/MuSTI), Kazuya Tajiri (MEEM/MuSTI), Lynn Mazzoleni (Chemistry/MuSTI), and Martin Thompson (Chemistry/MuSTI) are co-PIs on this 16-month project.


Cyber Education Funding for Barnard Group

Andrew Barnard
Andrew Barnard

Andrew Barnard (ME-EM/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $248,517 research and development grant from The U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research.

The project is entitled, “ONR STEM ROTC Cyber Education Initiative.” Timothy Havens (CComputing/GLRC), Laura Brown, (CC/GLRC) and Yu Cai (CC/GLRC) are co-PI’s on this one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.


Gordon Parker to Receive the Inaugural Provost’s Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence

Gordon Parker

In order to provide special recognition to instructors who have been nominated as finalists for the Distinguished Teaching Award four or more times, the Provost’s office has initiated a new teaching award this spring.

Four instructors have been identified to receive the inaugural Provost’s Awards for Sustained Teaching Excellence. They include:

  • Todd Arney (Senior Lecturer – CoC)
  • Lisa Gordillo (Assistant Professor – VPA)
  • Christopher Webster (Professor – CFRES)
  • Gordon Parker (Professor – MEEM)

Provost Huntoon, in collaboration with the Deans, initiated this award because “It became clear that we had a group of instructors consistently delivering exceptional instruction to their students over many years, who are worthy of special recognition.”

The award, which consists of a plaque and $1000 in additional compensation, will be presented at the Academy of Teaching Excellence banquet on April 14, 2020. Each of the recipients of the new award will continue to be honored on an annual basis as members of Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Academy, an elite group with an established reputation for excellent teaching.

Please join the Provost and the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in congratulating these recipients!

By William G Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.


Clean Snowmobile Challenge Enterprise Team Takes First Place

Michigan Tech students standing by their snowmobile.

The Michigan Tech Clean Snowmobile Challenge Enterprise Team captured first place in the Spark Ignition (SI), internal combustion engine category competition in the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge that took place last week at the Keweenaw Research Center.

Other awards the team received in the SI category are:

  • Best Lab Emissions Winner
  • Quietest Snowmobile Winner
  • Most Practical Winner
  • Most Sportsmanlike Winner ($1,000 and one of the most important prizes in the competition)

 In the Diesel Engine Category the team won the Quietest Snowmobile award. William Predebon,  J. S. Endowed Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics said the wins were impressive. 

“Teams from 14 universities from as far east as SUNY- Buffalo and as far west as the University of Idaho, and as well Ecole De Technologie Superieure in Canada participated in the competition. It is unusual to win so many categories in the SI competition. This is an impressive accomplishment by our team of students from several College of Engineering Departments.”

Predebon said with past wins in the Diesel and Electric Snowmobile categories Michigan Tech has accomplished wins in all three categories. The Electric Snowmobile category is no longer part of the Clean Snowmobile Challenge.

The CSC advisor is Jason Blough (ME-EM) and engine co-advisor is Scott Miers (ME-EM).


Michigan Tech Joins Artemis Student Challenge

Artemis Timeline graphic of the Moon.

NASA Selects University Teams to Build Technologies for the Moon’s Darkest Areas

Through the competitive Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge and the Space Grant project, NASA has awarded nearly $1 million to eight university teams to build sample lunar payloads and demonstrate innovative ways to study the Moon’s darkest areas.

“It’s an exciting time for NASA and students across the country,” said Drew Hope, Game Changing Development program manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. “Thanks to our partnership with the Office of STEM Engagement, this is the most money NASA has awarded in a student challenge directly connected to Artemis. I look forward to seeing the inventive designs come to life as well as how they can advance our exploration capabilities in permanently shadowed craters on the Moon.”

The selected teams will develop ways to collect data in and around permanently shadowed regions, generate wireless power for future infrastructure, enable autonomous mobility even in the most extreme environments, and more. Such systems could benefit NASA’s Artemis program and be used to study the Moon ahead of a human landing in 2024 or help establish a sustained presence by 2028.

The award values vary and are based on each team’s proposed concept and budget. Among the 2020 BIG Idea Challenge awardees is Michigan Tech.

Michigan Technological University in Houghton – $161,074

A small rover to lay lightweight, superconducting cable that tethers to a lander as it traverses craters in permanently shadowed regions. Once in its final destination, the rover acts as a recharging hub and communication relay for other robots working in the area, providing continuous power without requiring direct sunlight.

The grants will be used to develop and test the technologies in simulated environments over the next 10 months, demonstrating their readiness for a potential lunar mission as early as 2023. The teams will present the results of their research and development to a panel of NASA and industry experts at a face-to-face design review in November 2020.

Read more at NASA Space Tech, edited by Kristyn Damadeo.

NASA Unveils Student-Made Technologies For Exploring Moon’s Dark Side

NASA has partnered with different universities to develop technologies that it will use for its upcoming mission to the Moon. The agency confirmed that these new technologies would be used to explore the lunar surface’s dark side.

The other universities involved in the upcoming lunar mission are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan Technological University, Northeastern University and the University of Virginia. Teams from these universities will help NASA in collecting valuable data from the dark regions of the Moon.

Read more at International Business Times, by Inigo Monzon.


Michigan Tech Alumnus, WSU Professor Hussein Zbib Dies

Hussein M. Zbib
Hussein M. Zbib

Michigan Tech alumnus Hussein M. Zbib passed away Feb. 10 at his home in Pullman, Washington, apparently as a result of injuries he sustained in a September traffic accident. He was 61 years old.

Zbib earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech. He was a member of the ME-EM External Advisory Board and a ME-EM Academy inductee. He joined the faculty of Washington State University in 1987 as a professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. He also served as director of WSU’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering for 11 years

William Predebon, chair of Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics said “Hussein was personally a dear friend and colleague. His death is a loss to all of us and to the engineering community.”

Funeral services will be held at a later date and a full obituary will be available at the website of the Kimball Funeral Home in Pullman.