Author: Sue Hill

Senior Capstone Team Places in National Airport Design Competition

Glycol Collection Cart illustration.

A project designed by a Michigan Tech Senior Capstone team placed second in the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) student design competition. The team’s submission in the Airport Environmental Interactions Challenge design category was “Glycol Collection Cart: A Design for Small Airports.”

Undergraduate team members are Derek Cingel, Jared Langdon, Bryce Leaf, Ruth Maki, and Douglas Pedersen. Amanda Moya and Alec Mitteer also participated the first semester of the project.

They were advised by Paul van Susante and Michigan Tech Senior Capstone Design Program Director William Endres.

The selection was made from 63 entries by a panel of industry, FAA and academic experts. For its entry, the team will receive a $2,000 award.

The Transportation Research Board is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine.


Choi and Barr Present ASEE Conference Paper

ASEE Virtual Conference June 22 to 26 in 2020

Chang Kyoung Choi (ME-EM) and Nancy Barr (ME-EM) presented a paper titled “Peer Presentations as a Student-centered Learning Approach in the Nanotechnology Class” in the Graduate Studies Division of the recent virtual ASEE Annual Conference.

This paper discussed the first phase of a multi-year study on the use of an active learning approach called student-centered learning to build communication skills in a graduate-level nanotechnology course.

Both are faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics where is Choi is an associate professor and Barr is a professor of practice-engineering communication.

The conference “At Home with Engineering Education” took place June 22-26, 2020. It was presented by the University of Maryland. ASEE is the American Society for Engineering Education.


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).