Category: Awards

Richard and Elizabeth Henes Endowed Professors Announced

The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs is pleased to announce three Henes endowed appointments in the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM).

William Endres
William Endres

William Endres, associate professor, accepted an appointment as a Henes Professor effective July 1, 2021. Due to Endres’s leadership, the department’s Senior Capstone Design program is now a nationally recognized program. ME-EM Department Chair William Predebon noted, “As a former ASME VP and Chair of Engineering Education, which oversees the ME Department Chairs/Heads Committee and ABET, I can say our Senior Design Capstone program has become one of the premier programs under the leadership of Dr. Bill Endres.” As a Henes Professor, Endres will continue to develop the program through collaboration with other College of Engineering departments and securing new industry partners.

Brad King
Brad King

Brad King, professor and director of the Space Systems Research Group, has been reappointed as a Henes Professor. As a Henes Professor, King will continue to lead a nationally recognized research program in electric space propulsion systems. King is the faculty advisor for Michigan Tech’s nationally recognized Aerospace Enterprise student team, which was selected by NASA to launch their Oculus satellite in lower earth orbit on June 25, 2019 and recently selected to launch a second satellite, Stratus, in December 2021.

Jeff Naber
Jeff Naber

Jeff Naber, professor and director of the Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APSRC), has been reappointed as a Henes Professor. As a Henes Professor, Naber will continue to lead a nationally recognized research program in autonomous and connected hybrid electric vehicles. Naber led the recently completed ARPA-E NEXTCAR I research project on light-duty multi-mode hybrid electric vehicles and was selected in March 2021 to lead the ARPA-E NEXTCAR II research project to increase the range of partially to fully autonomous light-duty multi-mode electric and hybrid electric vehicles, both of which were multi-million-dollar projects.

By the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Jason Blough is the 2021 Distinguished Professor

Jason Blough
Jason Blough

The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs is pleased to congratulate Robert Nemiroff and Jason Blough, the new University and Distinguished Professors.

The University Professor title recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding scholarly contributions to the University and their discipline over a substantial period of time. The Distinguished Professor title recognizes outstanding faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the University and their discipline and are not presently recognized through an endowed position.

The confidential process for selecting University and Distinguished Professors spans the academic year and recipients for each award are notified late in the spring semester. Additional details regarding the awards and selection procedures can be found on the Provost’s website.

Blough, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has been selected to join Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Professors. Since joining Michigan Tech in 2003, Blough has been recognized for numerous contributions in teaching, research and service.

Blough is a member of Michigan Tech’s Academy of Teaching Excellence and has received the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. He is identified as an international leader in the area of noise, vibration and harshness, having received the Blue Ribbon Coalition Scientist of the Year Award (2006), the SEM DeMichele Award (2021) and the SAE Arch T. Colwell Merit Award (1997). He is also a Fellow of SAE (2021).

Blough has had numerous publications in journals as peer-reviewed conference papers. He has given over 30 short courses to industry. Additionally, he has had over 100 funded projects, totaling more than $3.7 million as principal investigator (PI) and $2.3 million as co-PI.

Blough has also been extremely active in service, graduating both doctoral and master’s students, chairing an international conference in his field, serving on boards, editing papers and journals, and advising the SAE Student Chapter and Clean Snowmobile Challenge for over 15 years. SAE has recognized him multiple times as an outstanding faculty advisor.


Spring 2021 Research Excellence Fund Award for Yongchao Yang

Yongchao Yang
Yongchao Yang

The Associate Vice President for Research Development Office announces the Spring 2021 Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards. Thanks to the individual REF reviewers and the REF review panelists, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process.

Among the recipients of a Research Seed Grant (RS) is Yongchao Yang, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Yang’s expertise is in structural dynamics, experimental mechanics, and system identification.

More information about REF awards and the application process can be found on the Research Excellence Fund page.

By Associate Vice President for Research Development Office.


Nathan Ford is an Exceptional Leader in Student Governance

Nathan Ford
Nathan Ford

Outstanding students, staff, and a special alumni were honored Friday (April 16, 2021) during Michigan Tech’s 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards Virtual Ceremony.

Nathan Ford, a graduate student, and Larkin Hooker-Moericke, an undergraduate student, were recognized as Exceptional Leaders in Student Governance. Both have collaborated on numerous projects and contributions for their constituency over the past year. With the unconventional year, they have shown to pivot and jointly work together to serve the students of Michigan Tech. They have advocated for modifications to various academic policies that have made significant impacts, formed several new committees to address student concerns, and worked tirelessly to minimize disruptions to the student experience. Their nomination states that the list of all the specific things they have done is just too long, but what is really important is that at no point have Larkin and Nathan lost sight of their job: the well-being and success of all students.

Nathan, President of Graduate School Government, is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

By Student Leadership and Involvement.

27th Annual Student Leadership Awards


Jeffrey Allen Elected as an ASME Fellow

Jeffrey S. Allen
Jeffrey S. Allen

Jeffrey S. Allen, (ME-EM) the John F. and Joan M. Calder Professor in Mechanical Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The award is in recognition for Allen’s research contributions in optical diagnostic development for investigating fluid and heat transfer phenomena, his engineering design contributions in microgravity while at NASA, and his leadership in engineering education.

The ASME certificate was presented to Allen at the ME-EM Faculty and Staff meeting earlier this month.


Peters, Stabenow Applaud $4.5 Million Federal Funding to Help Advance MTU Automated Vehicle Research

Michigan icon.

Michigan’s U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow welcomed $4,498,650 in federal funding awarded to Michigan Tech for self-driving vehicle research and development on March 10, 2021. The funding—awarded through the Department of Energy—will support ongoing projects to enhance connected and automated vehicle technologies that improve driver safety by eliminating risk found in human error.

Led by the University and in partnership with General Motors (GM), the American Center of Mobility and Stellantis, this research aims to identify additional opportunities for fuel savings and EV range optimization by creating more intelligently operating vehicles. 

“Michigan continues to be a global leader in developing self-driving vehicle technology, thanks in part to work being done at distinguished institutions like Michigan Tech,” said Senator Peters, Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports. “This investment will spur future innovation and development surrounding mobility as we work to usher self-driving cars safely onto our roadways while ensuring Michigan remains on the forefront of automated transportation.”

“Michigan workers, manufacturers and universities are the best in the world and continue to lead the development of next-generation vehicles. Michigan Tech is one of those institutions leading the way in creating longer-range electric and autonomous vehicles, improving safety and making our cars more energy efficient. This investment will ensure Michigan remains a global leader,” said Senator Stabenow.

The project is led by Jeffrey Naber, the Ron and Elaine Starr Professor in Energy Systems, in Michigan Tech’s Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department and the director of the Advanced Power Systems Research Center.

“We are proud to continue our support of advancing autonomous and connected vehicle technologies through collaborative research with industry and the Department of Energy,” said David Reed, Vice President of Research, Michigan Technological University. “This program builds upon our strengths in power systems, controls, and systems engineering to improve driver safety for all.”

 More information on the Department of Energy Grant program can be found at ARPA-E Funding Opportunity Exchange and Department of Energy Funding & Financing.


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.


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.


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

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.