Category: News

Hannah Stoll : Women in STEM Wednesday

The Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics department is proud to feature students and other community members in Women in STEM Wednesday. This week we take a look into the life of alumna Hannah Stoll.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Lansing, MI

Currently live in the Twin Cities working for SICK Sensor Intelligence as a Test Systems Engineer

DEGREE(S) | WHAT YEAR?

BS, Mechanical Engineering  |  2019

MS, Electrical Engineering  |  2020

WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?

I joined a beginner hockey league through AHA with a friend, and I sub in a sand volleyball league. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?

I spend the majority of my time 3D printing, playing video games, creating models and graphics online, hanging out with friends and family, camping, and playing sports.

FAVORITE PLACE IN THE AREA?

My favorite places in the Houghton area would have to be the waterfront trails and covered road. 

FUN FACTS / PETS / FAVORITE QUOTE

I am an only child!  |  No pets yet sadly.  |  Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TECH?

I chose MTU to play college basketball, to enjoy the beautiful copper country and its community, and to go to an impressive engineering school.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TECH?

I love the area and the people are just like family. The pep band is amazing and creates atmospheres like no other for all of the sporting events. At tech everyone has a place to feel welcome and a great opportunity to excel and prepare for the future.

HOW HAS TECH IMPACTED YOUR VIEW OF STEM?

MTU showed me how many different areas of STEM there really are and how fun it can be to dig into those topics. There is no getting bored as there is plenty to learn no matter what age you are! STEM also has so many great career opportunities to choose from. 

WHAT ORIGINALLY INTERESTED YOU IN STEM?

I have always enjoyed messing around on the computer, building things, and knowing how stuff works! I first took a class in my early high school years where I got to do some CAD modeling and woodshop work.

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

I would tell my younger self to get into programming sooner because it could have made my life a lot easier in school 😉 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO STUDENTS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN STUDYING STEM?

I would tell them to ask their peers and professors about real world applications and focus on what interests them because it will help them go in the right direction to find a job they really like in the future! P.S. – The hard work is really worth it!

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

I will continue to work with new and upcoming technologies to advance our industries and make an impact on future generations. 

If you would like to nominate a student, graduate, or community member for Women in STEM Wednesday, please email Donna Jeno-Amici (djenoami@mtu.edu) or Meg Raasakka (mraasakk@mtu.edu).

Tylore Baker : Women in STEM Wednesday

The Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics department is proud to feature students and other members of our community for Women in STEM Wednesday. This week we take a look into the life of student Tylore Baker.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Lapeer, MI 

DEGREE | WHAT YEAR?

Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Manufacturing 5th year 

WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?

Theta Chi Epsilon Sorority, Mont Ripley Ski Patrol, Mont Ripley Instructors, & MTU 4X4

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?

I enjoy backpacking, cooking/baking, reading, and being around friends.

FAVORITE PLACE IN THE AREA?

My favorite place in the area is either Lac La Belle, or the top of Ripley at night so you can see all the lights of Houghton. 

FUN FACTS / PETS / FAVORITE QUOTE

Fun Fact: I am forklift certified and while volunteering with the Exercise Physiology Lab I found out I have above average bone density. 

Pets: My family has a Newfoundland named Leo, and a Black Lab/ Blue Heeler mix named Angus.

Favorite Quote: “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly” – Thomas Paine 

Or “You’re not too late. You’re not too early. You are right on time” 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TECH?

I chose Tech because of Mont Ripley, the fact that Tech is a respected STEM school also helped a lot. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TECH?

I love the people at Tech. The faculty, staff and students are always looking out for each other; it very much feels like a giant family. 

HOW HAS TECH IMPACTED YOUR VIEW OF STEM?

Tech has impacted my view on STEM in an odd way. It has made me appreciate STEM because of its rigor, but has also made me realize how important other fields of study are. You can have a great product or manufacturing process but without other fields of study there is no way that your product  will be successful. 

WHAT ORIGINALLY INTERESTED YOU IN STEM?

Going to Astronomy Nights with my late uncle at the local nature center. Being able to learn about stars and constellations, while also being able to look at them through a telescope was monumental for me. He also gifted me his old telescope, which I was able to deconstruct to learn how telescopes worked and how to maintain them. 

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Your path will look different than others and that is OKAY. It will be difficult, and that’s what makes it so worth it in the long run; but no matter what just keep going and enjoy yourself along the way. 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO STUDENTS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN STUDYING STEM?

Do it! STEM has so many opportunities, and different topics that you will always be able to find something that you are interested in. As long as you are willing to put in the work, and you enjoy what you are studying; the learning will be the easy part. 

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

I want to be able to make as many small changes to things as possible, because I know the smallest change can lead to drastic changes. I want to project as much positivity, and goodwill into the universe as possible. Even if I do not make positive changes to the entire world, I want to positively impact as many people’s lives as possible.

If you would like to nominate a student, graduate, or community member for Women in STEM Wednesday, please email Donna Jeno-Amici (djenoami@mtu.edu) or Meg Raasakka (mraasakk@mtu.edu).

PhD Funded Student Position Available in Automation in Smart Manufacturing

Michigan Technological University
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Opportunity Summary

Dr. Vinh Nguyen is seeking applications for 2 PhD students in automation for smart manufacturing. The students will receive full tuition coverage and stipend support. Students will be investigating technologies to facilitate human-automation systems in the context of Industry 4.0 and develop machine learning solutions to address real-world manufacturing problems. Students will have hands-on experience working on a variety of manufacturing processes including robotic assembly, machining, and additive manufacturing. Furthermore, students will also have the opportunity to work with advanced robotic tools including AR/VR and motion capture systems.

Dr. Nguyen is an Assistant Professor under the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University. Dr. Nguyen’s collaborators include industry, federal government agencies, and other academic universities.

Required Background

  • Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or other related fields.
  • Experience in programming industrial automation (industrial robots, embedded hardware, PLC’s, etc.) and familiarity with manufacturing processes including machining and additive manufacturing.
  • Hands-on experience with wearables technologies, machine learning, and human-robot interaction is a plus but not required.
  • Strong communication and technical writing skills for presentation of work to collaborators and sponsors.

Desired Background

Candidates should demonstrate at least one of the following strengths:

  • Experience with robotics and controls
  • Experience with manufacturing processes
  • Experience with machine learning models

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send their CV (1–2 pages) to vinhn@mtu.edu.

PSTDL Advances in NASA Watts on the Moon Challenge

Assistant Professor Paul van Susante (ME-EM/MARC) and the Planetary Surface Technology Development (PSTDL) Lab, aka HuskyWorks, are one of seven teams advancing to Phase 2, Level 2 of NASA’s Watts on the Moon Challenge.

The advancement comes with a $200,000 award, building on the team’s previous Phase 2, Level 1 award of $100,000, and supports NASA’s Artemis I mission, the first in a series designed to enable sustainable human exploration of the moon and Mars.

Winners of the first stage of the challenge were eligible to compete for the second phase’s design competition, submitting technical documentation for their solutions. The seven winning teams will move on to compete for additional funding in Phase 2, Level 2.

“It’s really exciting because we’re developing new technology that will enable continuous human presence on the lunar surface,” noted Rob Button, deputy chief of the Power Division at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. “Specifically, we’re addressing long distance power transmission and energy storage in very cold conditions.” 

Van Susante designed and leads HuskyWorks’ research facilities, one of eight academic facilities listed on NASA’s ARES Dust Testing Facilities webpage. The central piece of the PSTDL is a custom-built rectangular Dusty Thermal Vacuum chamber (DTVAC) that can be cooled as low as minus 196°C and heated as high as 150°C, reach a vacuum of 10-6 Torr (10-4 Torr with simulant) and contain a box with up to 3,000 pounds of regolith simulant. For more details on the lab’s capabilities, visit the PSTDL’s Facilities page.

By Donna Jeno-Amici, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

PhD Funded Student Position Available in Marine Renewable Energy

Michigan Technological University
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Opportunity Summary

Seeking applications for 2 PhDs student in the area of marine renewable energy (e.g., offshore wind, wave) and control (or machine learning). The students will receive full financial support including a stipend and tuition coverage. The candidate will be working with the research group lead by Dr. Shangyan Zou investigating the modeling, control, networking, and swarm behavior of marine renewable energy systems to improve the economic index of marine renewables. In addition to the theoretical and numerical development, the candidate will also have opportunities to gain hands-on experience by working with the wave tank at Michigan Technological University. Furthermore, the candidate also will have the opportunity to work in Lake Superior and conduct experiments in the lake with the Research Vessel. You can expect a very productive working environment as well as a very effective personal mentorship from the PI in addition to academic support.

In general, the candidate will be responsible for supporting the initiative and contributing to the research projects through literature review, mathematical modeling, experimental testing, data organization, data collection, data analysis, preparing for research presentations, preparing manuscripts for journal submission, and other research-related duties as assigned.

Dr. Zou’s lab is in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech. We have an interdisciplinary collaboration with universities (e.g., Oregon State University), national labs (e.g., National Renewable Energy Laboratory), and industries (e.g., OscillaPower) which will be a great opportunity for the candidate to work with people from a diverse background.

Why Should You Apply

Dr. Zou’s lab seeks highly motivated, honest, self-driven individuals from a variety of backgrounds in our investigations. The research questions that we are trying to address including:

  • How to develop/apply new controls (as well as machine learning techniques) to improve the performance (optimality and robustness) of ocean renewable energy systems?
  • What is a good model to describe the behavior of Wave Energy Converters (both rigid body or deformable body) which is computationally efficient and has a good agreement with the experiments?
  • Can we use wave power for small non-grid applications (e.g., water desalination, UUV charging, oceanographic measurements)?
  • How can we introduce multi-agent system techniques to optimize the performance of a swarm of ocean renewable energy systems (as well as other devices like UUVs)?

If any of the research questions excite you, please reach out!

Required Background

  • MS (preferred) or BS in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other related fields
  • Solid programming skills and some hands-on experience (e.g., 3-D printing, hardware communications). Hands-on experience with robotics or wave tank will be a plus but not necessary.
  • Introductory background in dynamic systems and control, fluid mechanics. Deep background of Fluid Mechanics will be a plus but not necessary.
  • Strong communication skills and used to a teamwork environment
  • Solid writing skills and experience with presentation or article writing

Desired Background

Candidates should demonstrate at least one of the following strengths:

  • Experience with modeling and control of ocean renewable energy systems (e.g., ocean wave, offshore wind)
  • Experience with wave tank testing, hardware communication, or sensor measurements
  • Experience with fluid-structure interaction
  • Experience with control theory, state estimation, or multi-agent systems
  • Experience with robotics (both numerical and experimental)

How to Apply

Send your CV and a brief statement of interest (1–2 pages) to shangyan@mtu.edu. In your statement of interest, please clearly highlight your strengths as one (or more) of the listed items. In addition, please send your application with the subject line: “Applying for PhD student position on marine renewables”.

Rachel Reiz : Women in STEM Wednesday

The Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics department is proud to feature students and other community members in Women in STEM Wednesday. This week we take a look into the life of student Rachel Reiz.

Rachel Reiz

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Northville, Michigan

DEGREE | WHAT YEAR?

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Mathematical Sciences and Manufacturing, 4th year

WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?

Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Copper Country Robotics, MTU E-Sports (Rainbow 6)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?

I love to be outdoors mountain biking, explore the Keweenaw, play video games, and spend time with friends!

FAVORITE PLACE IN THE AREA?

Definitely Gratiot beach, it’s absolutely the best place to watch the sunset, go hunting for yooper lights, and see the stars on a clear night!

PETS / FUN FACTS

I have two cats at home named Squishy and Collie, I’m working on getting a motorcycle, and I played Sousaphone in high school.

Rachel Reiz (right)

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TECH?

I came and visited Tech twice the fall before I came in as a freshman and just fell in love with the campus. Between the scenery and the people here, I had a fantastic time and just knew I had to come. Getting to stay overnight in Wads when I visited as a leading scholar was great too!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TECH?

As I mentioned a bit, I love the people. The friends and peers that I have met and worked with throughout my time at Tech have had such a positive impact on my life. Every professor I’ve talked to has been more than friendly, and the community around Tech is warm and welcoming, even in the darkest of winters.

HOW HAS TECH IMPACTED YOUR VIEW OF STEM?

Tech has opened my eyes to the multitude of possibilities of what I can do after college. The job fairs have been fantastic for talking to companies about real-world applications of what I’m learning about, and, specifically for mechanical engineering, the wide variety of positions that would work fantastic with my degree.

WHAT ORIGINALLY INTERESTED YOU IN STEM?

I’ve loved LEGO for as long as I can remember and knew that I wanted to do LEGO robotics (FLL) as soon as I could. I joined a team in elementary school, setting my sights on the FRC team at my high school, 548, the Robostangs. I joined my freshman year and eventually became the captain of the team, solidifying my love for STEM.

Rachel Reiz controlling the team robot

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Keep following your dreams! As long as you work hard and persevere, you’ll be able to do anything you put your mind to. And buy some Bitcoin.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO STUDENTS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN STUDYING STEM?

STEM is definitely a challenge at times, but if you love problem solving and math, it’ll definitely be enjoyable. Go to the career fair your first year and talk to companies you’re interested in as well, discuss what majors they look for if you are unsure, and then you’ll have a better idea of what you might be interested in!

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

I have always loved space, especially the rockets that take people and cargo to space. I’d love to revolutionize space travel through developing new, more efficient rockets to help us explore the Moon, Mars, and the rest of the solar system throughout my lifetime.

If you would like to nominate a student, graduate, or community member for Women in STEM Wednesday, please email Donna Jeno-Amici (djenoami@mtu.edu) or Meg Raasakka (mraasakk@mtu.edu).

Cora Taylor : Women in STEM Wednesday

The Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics department is proud to feature students and other community members in Women in STEM Wednesday. This week we take a look into the life of PhD student, Cora Taylor.

Cora Taylor

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Cora Taylor waterskiing

Charlevoix, Michigan

DEGREE | WHAT YEAR?

B.S. Mechanical Engineering (Dec.2018), M.S. Mechanical Engineering (Dec. 2020), PhD Mechanical Engineering (2nd Year)

WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?

Currently, I am not involved in any on campus groups, but I did recently join the Copper Harbor Trails Club. During my undergraduate I was heavily involved in the Formula SAE team, Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, and Orientation Programs, as well as being a member of MESAC.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?

Mountain biking, waterskiing and working on my boat, downhill skiing, camping, backpacking, cooking and baking. 

FAVORITE PLACE IN THE AREA?

Cora Taylor and her dog Bode

Winter: Mount Bohemia, Summer: Copper Harbor and on the Portage Canal

FUN FACTS / PETS / FAVORITE QUOTE

I have a dog named Bode, named after the professional ski racer Bode Miller and Hendrik Wade Bode the inventor of the Bode Plot.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TECH?

I chose Tech for 2 major reasons, which it seems are the same as why a lot of people choose Tech: the quality of engineering degree and the outdoors activities. Having grown up in a small town on the water with easy access to ski hills, I knew I wanted to go to college in a similar place.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TECH?

The community, plain and simple. The Michigan Tech community has always been so welcoming, friendly, and supportive in all of my endeavors on and off campus. I love that I can be across the country, see someone in a Michigan Tech shirt and instantly have a connection.

HOW HAS TECH IMPACTED YOUR VIEW OF STEM?

STEM really stands  for continuous learning and improvement. Your education in a STEM field doesn’t stop when you graduate. When pursuing a STEM degree you take all of these math and science based classes, but really what you learn is how to problem solve and find solutions through learning methods and procedures.

Cora Taylor – Winer Carnival Queen 2018

WHAT ORIGINALLY INTERESTED YOU IN STEM?

My sophomore year, my high school started a FIRST Robotics team. One of my good friends convinced me to join the team as the public relations captain, to make t-shirts, communicate with sponsors, and any other “creative” things the team needed. During our first season, I quickly finished any tasks that I needed to do for the public relations position and started getting into the shop and working on the robot. I realized that I had quite the knack for designing and building, and the following year I was the team’s design captain. This initially sparked my interest in engineering, an interest which was solidified through taking all possible engineering related classes my school offered my junior and senior years.

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Cora Taylor

You ARE smart enough. Throughout my undergraduate degree I was constantly saying to myself that I couldn’t do this because I wasn’t smart enough. It seemed like all of my classmates were so smart and so much more successful than me, but that wasn’t true, many of them were struggling just as I was. Now, during my PhD, I have realized that I am smart enough, and when that self degrading voice comes around, I just keep pushing on.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO STUDENTS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN STUDYING STEM?

Do it! Being in a STEM field is so rewarding, yet challenging. Be ready to work hard to solve the problems put in front of you, but just know that when you do solve them there isn’t a better feeling.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

There’s a well known story out there about  a kid walking along a beach filled with washed up starfish, tossing them back in the ocean one by one. Someone walks up to the kid and says “Why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” the kid tosses another starfish into the ocean and responds “Well, I made a difference for that one!” I heard this story a long time ago and it has stuck with me. My goal with my PhD is to become a faculty member. Although it is unlikely that as a faculty member I will change the whole world, I do hope to change some individual worlds.

If you would like to nominate someone for Women in STEM Wednesday, please email Donna Jeno-Amici (djenoami@mtu.edu) or Meg Raasakka (mraasakk@mtu.edu)

Gracie Brownlow : Women in STEM Wednesday

This week the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University proudly presents Women in STEM Wednesday. This week we feature Third year student, Gracie Brownlow.

Gracie Brownlow

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Berlin, WI

DEGREE | WHAT YEAR?

I am a third year with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in manufacturing.

WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?

I volunteer in the Energy-X lab and I work in the ME-EM office.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?

I enjoy crocheting, reading, and going for walks and bike rides.

FAVORITE PLACE IN THE AREA?

The trails in Copper Harbor and Agate Beach.

FUN FACTS / PETS / FAVORITE QUOTE

I have seen over 40 different rock and alternative bands live.

I have a cat named Lizzy.

“Well-behaved women seldom make history”-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Gracie Brownlow

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TECH?

It was Tech or UW-Platteville.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TECH?

I like how Tech isn’t too far from different trails and national parks since it gives students an easy way to go outside and be able to get away from a computer when necessary. It’s also really nice how Tech has a lot of opportunities to further your experience and what you learn.

HOW HAS TECH IMPACTED YOUR VIEW OF STEM?

Tech has really helped me in expanding my knowledge on what you can do with a STEM degree. Especially with working in the Energy-X lab, I learned that there is far more to being a mechanical engineer than I originally thought. 

WHAT ORIGINALLY INTERESTED YOU IN STEM?

Being in robotics in middle and high school was really the start of my interest in STEM. After only a year of designing and building robots, I found that there was nothing like watching something you created come to life and be successful. That’s when I knew I wanted to go into the STEM field but it wasn’t until my high school physics class made me finally decide on going into engineering, although the class led me to civil engineering, I quickly found my way to mechanical engineering at Tech.

Gracie Brownlow

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

I would tell myself to be confident in my choices. It was unnecessarily difficult to decide to go to Tech and to go for engineering after being told by multiple people I’d be a good English teacher, and then deciding to change my major after getting to Tech. I was always worried I was making the wrong decision, even though I wasn’t excited to go anywhere else or do anything else. I’m glad to say that I’m really happy with the choices I’ve made since they have done a great deal to get me to where I am today.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO STUDENTS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN STUDYING STEM?

Be prepared to put the work in because it is something that you only get out what you put in. For the best experience and education, you have to give your all. I’d also recommend that you get to know professors, especially in classes you enjoyed being in. You never know if they have a research opportunity or if they can help you find your passion in your field.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

I don’t need to change the world by myself but I would like to help in research to help the issue of climate change. Whether that is helping make home appliances run more energy efficient or designing new planet friendly ways to get power, fresh water, or even dispose of waste, I hope that whatever I achieve is able to snowball effect into something bigger for the betterment of people’s livelihood and the planet’s well-being.

If you would like to nominate someone for Women in STEM Wednesday, email Donna Jeno-Amici (djenoami@mtu.edu) or Meg Raasakka (mraasakk@mtu.edu)

NASA LUNABOTICS Mining Competition

The Michigan Technological University Lunabotics team is headed to the Kennedy Space Center in Orsino, Florida to compete in the NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition.

Students monitor the robot inside of the Lunar Simulant Sandbox, where fine particles layered on rock mimic the Lunar surface.

Six of the students on the 16-member Lunabotics team advised by Dr. Paul van Susante will display their combined work during a two-day mining event. They will be traveling on Friday, May 20th to compete Monday and Tuesday.

The Lunabotics competition brings university-level students from all around the country to compete in two two-day mining events. Groups 1-25 will compete on Monday and Tuesday, with groups 26-50 competing on Thursday and Friday. The 50 student groups have been working on the fabrication of their lunar vehicles with the goal of mining. Judges will score based on the following eight competition categories: Gravel Mined, Average Data Bandwidth Use, Camera Bandwidth Use, Mining Robot Mass, Energy Consumed, Dust Tolerant Design, Dust Free Operation, and Autonomy.

“I’m super excited for getting to go down to the Kennedy Space Center for the first time and actually compete. We joined the competition 2-3 years ago, but due to Covid, the competition hasn’t taken place in person,” says Timothy Hamilton. Team members Timothy Hamilton, Chuck Carey, Taylor Hammond, Brendan McRoberts, Eric Mossner, and Lunabotics Project Manager Karson Linders, along with Dr. van Susante, will represent Michigan Tech in Florida.

Through the Michigan Tech Enterprise program, they were able to develop their robot in the Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab, or PSTDL. Multiplanetary’s Regolith Pursuing Husky, or MuRPHy, is the result of that research. Regolith is the dust-like crushed rock surface that mimics surfaces such as asteroids, Mars, or our closest companion the Moon. Working in the Lunar Simulant Sandbox in the PSTDL, their lunar rover, MuRPHy, starts mining into an automated collection bin that will then dump the mined material behind the robot. Timothy says, “We have scoped out some of the competition and think that we can do well, but it all comes down to how our robot and our competitors perform on the day of competition, so it’d be great if everyone could wish us luck and safe travels!”

Learn more about the Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab at: https://huskyworks.space/, https://huskyworks.space/facilities/sandbox

Learn more about Lunabotics at: https://mine.geo.mtu.edu/Lunabotics.html, https://www.nasa.gov/content/lunabotics-information, https://www.facebook.com/Lunabotics.Competition/

Mady VanWieren : Women in STEM Wednesday

The Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics department is proud to feature students and other community members in Women in STEM Wednesday. This week we take a look at Third Year Mechanical-Engineering student, Mady VanWieren.

“Focus on the things that challenge you the most and set your
mind to getting better at them.” Mady VanWieren

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Holland, Michigan

DEGREE / WHAT YEAR?

3rd Year Mechanical Engineering Major

FAVORITE PLACE IN THE AREA?

I love running on the trails in Copper Harbor!

FUN FACT

I have an Australian Shepard named Jake

Mady VanWieren backpacking and camping

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?

Run (I’m on the cross country and track teams at tech)
Backpacking & camping

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TECH?
I chose Tech because it is a really good engineering school with really good opportunities, like our career fair. I knew that if I went to Tech I would have lots of opportunities to network and get in touch with potential employers, and learn the skills I need to be successful in my career! I also chose to come to Tech because I would be able to continue my running career.

WHAT ORIGINALLY INTERESTED YOU IN STEM?

Since I was a little kid I’ve always been curious about the world around me. I loved to fiddle with things and figure out how they work. I grew up making Rube Goldberg machines and looking at microscope slides with my Dad. I originally got interested in STEM because I got to do these things with him.

Mady VanWieren

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TECH?

My favorite thing about Tech is the mentality of the student body. Classes are tough, but everyone is
happy to be here and working hard. Tech students really embody the phrase “Crazy Smart”.

HOW HAS TECH IMPACTED YOUR VIEW OF STEM?
Tech has shown me that there is so much more to getting a STEM degree than taking a bunch of math
classes. It has taught me that there are so many different opportunities and paths to take with a STEM degree. This school is mostly engineers, but everyone has such diverse interests and is pursuing unique paths.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO STUDENTS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN STUDYING STEM?
STEM is so broad, I would say to find something you’re passionate about. STEM degrees are challenging but rewarding, I have learned so much and am very excited to go out into the world and make a difference.

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
You are capable of more than you think. Focus on the things that challenge you the most and set your
mind to getting better at them. You can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it and decide you
are going to do it.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO CHANGE THE WORLD?
My passion is renewable energy. After I graduate I plan to work to make renewable energy
infrastructure more efficient and affordable. I want to help to change how the country produces its
power and I want to help to reach net carbon neutral goals.