Category: Awards

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 SAE Collegiate Chapter Receives 2019 Honeywell Award

Michigan Tech SAE Chapter Members 2017-2018

The Michigan Tech Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Branch has been selected as the Class 2 recipient of the 2019 SAE Honeywell Outstanding Collegiate Chapter Award.

This award recognizes SAE Collegiate Chapters for exemplary performance in the areas of technical meetings, networking opportunities, SAE Collegiate Design Series teams, membership and recruitment, and community service programs. A Class 2 designation is for 50 to 74 student members.

The group advisor is Jason Blough. Department Chair Bill Predebon notes that the recognition is significant, as most universities have an SAE chapter. He wishes to extend his congratulations to the students and their advisor for a well deserved recognition.


Rachel Store Earns Staff Rookie Award

Rachel Store
Rachel Store

At an awards program Wednesday, January 8, 2020, in the Memorial Union Ballroom, staff members were honored with the Staff Council Making a Difference Awards.

Among the award recipients is Research Engineer Scientist I Rachel Store. She was nominated for the Rookie Award.

Her nominator states “In the 15 months that she has worked for the ME-EM Department, Rachel has made a huge difference in all areas of her job and activities that she has influenced. Her knowledge and drive rival that of someone with many more years of experience.”

A letter of support states that Store is “well-liked and respected by her colleagues and is always willing to help others. In the past one-and-a-half years, I have had the privilege of knowing her, she has proven both through her work and her relationships with others that she is a person of honesty and integrity.”

The Rookie Award recognizes a staff member who:

  • Has been at Michigan Tech for less than two years
  • Has made an impact in a short amount of time
  • Quickly became a valuable member of the team
  • Has a demonstrated understanding of the goals/mission of the department/area/division

ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet December 10, 2019

Banquet and Program

MEEM Banquet 2019 showing attendees shaking hands.

The ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet and Order of the Engineer Program was held on December 10, 2019.

VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Larry Staley
Keynote Speaker Larry Staley

Larry Staley

The speaker was Lawrence W. Staley, entrepreneur. Staley has a BS in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech and an Executive MBE from the University of Toledo.

Fall 2019 Outstanding Student Awards

Dillon Babcock, FSAE Enterprise, Nominated by Dr. Jim De Clerck

I have been honored to observe Dillon Babcock evolve into an outstanding engineer. Dillon has intentionally applied concepts from nearly every engineering course to his Formula SAE projects. He developed habits to systematic to approach engineering problems. Dillon always demonstrates a positive, “can-do” attitude. He eagerly seeks help when he needs it. Dillon is always willing to anything to help the team and his teammates.

Nick Jensen, Senior Design, Nominated by Dr. Fei Long

SCD team 52 was assigned the ‘Thompson Surgical—Surgical Instrument Life Cycle Test System’ as the Senior Capstone Design project. In addition to the overall team success on this project, Nick stands out on his excellent team management, customer communication as well as project planning skills. He regularly applied himself on behalf of the team in these areas, the team also responding by delivering their best work towards satisfying the customer. In view of his performance, I recommend Nick Jensen for the Outstanding Student Performance Awards.

Andrew Boerman, Senior Design, Nominated by Dr. Bill Endres

Capstone Team 60 was engaged to develop a new standard process for making tensile test samples from bulk composite sheet.  Much of the challenge centered on understanding why tensile property results from previous sample manufacturing methods showed so much variation.  Identifying the numerous independent variables, designing the experiment and executing the subsequent data processing, was a major undertaking. This student demonstrated a highly competent understanding and ability to apply experimental design and data acquisition techniques.  He was fully committed, and supported by a strong set of teammates, delivered in an outstanding and much needed way. For this, Andrew Boerman is nominated for an Outstanding Student Performance Award.


ME-EM Earns Best of Houghton Award

MEEM Student ProjectMichigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) has earned 2019 Best of Houghton Awards. ME-EM received the award in the Colleges and Universities category.

Each year, the Houghton Award Program identifies those believed to have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Houghton Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Houghton Award Program and data provided by third parties.

The Houghton Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Houghton area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.


Mark Wallach Ranks High Among Cadets

Mark Wallach
Cadet Mark Wallach. Photo from U.S. Army Cadet Command (ROTC).

Mark Wallach, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, was recently ranked eighth of eight thousand plus graduating cadets across the nation. The competitive ranking process takes into account academics, physical fitness, student involvement, and performance during advanced camp, a grueling 37-day training event in Fort Knox Kentucky.

He has had an award filled tenure at Michigan Tech. His name can be found on the dean’s list all six semesters, graduated the Army Air Assault School in Fort Campbell Kentucky, traveled to morocco to study their culture, and finished first out of his platoon of 40 at Advanced Camp where he also earned the coveted Recondo badge.

Wallach currently serves as the Cadet Battalion Commander leading a program of 80 undergraduate students. On May 2, Mark will be commissioning into the Army Engineer branch as a Second Lieutenant with hopes of becoming a Sapper.


Sustainable Waste Project Recognition for PhD Student and Alumni

SWANA Second Prize

The prestigious SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America) professional society has awarded second prize in the student design competition to a team from Michigan Tech. Advised by Ezra Bar-Ziv, the team members are:
SWANA-SWDC logo graphic

  • Stas Zinchik (ME-EM PhD ’19)
  • Shreyas Kolapkar (MSME ’18)
  • Zhuo Xu (current ME-EM PhD student)

The competition took place in the 2019 WasteCon conference in Phoenix, AZ, on October 21.

SWANA’s International Solid Waste Design Competition (SWDC) is a student team competition to solve “real world” problems faced by solid waste professionals.

The competition aims at providing design experience to the students interested in pursuing an education and/or career in solid waste management. The 2019 project challenged students on “Evaluating Recycling Rate Metrics and Achieving Recycling Goals.”

SCPPE Best Oral Presentation

In addition, graduate student Zhuo Xu was recently awarded Best Oral Presentation at the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Chemical Product and Process Engineering (SCPPE) on June 30-July 3, 2019, in Tianjin, China. Zhuo Xu’s presentation “Sustainable waste to clean energy solutions” was presented in the ‘Alternative and renewable energy systems and supply chain’ session of the Conference.

2019 Frontiers Spotlight Finalist

Ezra Bar-Ziv’s research group co-authored “Properties of Torrefied U.S. Waste Blends” in Frontiers in Energy Research: Bioenergy and Biofuels. The article is part of a special topic collection.
https://doi.org/10.3389/fenrg.2018.00065

The article collection, “Advancements in Biomass Feedstock Preprocessing: Conversion Ready Feedstocks,” is one of 10 finalists for the 2019 Frontiers Spotlight Award, which supports important fields of research published as special issues in Frontiers journals. The topic was selected via peer review, based on scientific and societal importance, from approximately 1,000 Frontiers topics in 2019. The topic’s readership is among the most globally diverse of the finalists.