Category Archives: Awards

ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet April 24, 2018

Banquet and Program

The ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet and Order of the Engineer Program was held on April 24, 2018.

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Keynote Speaker

Jolyn Russell at the podium
Keynote Speaker Jolyn Russell

Jolyn L. Russell

Deputy Program Manager
Satellite Servicing Projects Division
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Jolyn Russell graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1998. She received her MS degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech in 2000.

After receiving her MS degree she was selected for the 2- year Ford College Graduate Rotational Program. In 2003 she became a Brake Integration Engineer and the program management lead for the implementation of Roll Stability Control on the E350, completing it in a record 18 months from kick-off to production launch. In 2005 she become Roll Stability Control Algorithm Engineer and algorithm module expert responsible for code development, vehicle tuning and production approval of wheel lift detection logic on all worldwide platforms including Ford, Volvo, and Land Rover.

In 2007 she joined SAIC at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a Lead Mechanical Systems Engineer responsible for planning, mechanical operations, mechanism testing and issue resolution for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Weather Satellites (GOES O and GOES P). One of the projects involved the implementation a new filter design on the sun telescope. In 2010 she advanced to Lead Mechanical Systems Engineer for the DESDynl, which involved leading efforts to coordinate the design and Engineering Tech Unit build for the instrument during the pre-Phase portion of the program.

In 2011 she was the Senior Mechanical Engineer for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Free Flyer, responsible for development of requirements supporting the satellite procurement, including mechanical inputs for the Statement of Work, Systems Requirements Document, and launch services interface requirements document. In 2013 she was the Raven Mechanical Lead in which she led a team of mechanical engineers, designers, analysts and technicians to design, integrate, and test the Raven Tech Demo experiment from preliminary design through launch in 18 months.

Since 2015 she is the Deputy Robotics Program Manager, Satellite Servicing Projects Division, at Goddard Space Flight Center where she manages a multi-disciplined team of Mechanical, Electrical, System, and Software Engineers supporting multiple programs in the division, focused primarily on the Restore Lower Earth Orbit mission. This includes maintaining the robot systems schedule and budget, responsible for initial cost estimates and several million dollars of procurements for the flight robot.

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Spring 2018 Outstanding Student Awards

Senior Capstone Design Team 14

Advisor Jaclyn Johnson

SCD Team 14, consisting of Carter Davis, Nathan Goering, Jesse Lassila, Benjamin Maat, Nick Monette and Jacob Pardy, has, as a whole, exhibited outstanding performance over the course of this project. The team has worked cohesively together to achieve the combined goal of creating a Trailed Agricultural Equipment Braking System. Team 14 has harnessed and leveraged each member’s unique strengths and areas of expertise, exhibiting impressive team dynamics, professionalism and respect. This includes the use of AMESIM modeling to validate the engineering feasibility of their design, extensive machining and manufacturing work for an effective prototype, and testing for validation. Many teams can deliver a successful prototype, however, few work as well together as Team 14 has over these two semesters, motivating each other to do better and be successful, with the end result being a superior team experience and a quality prototype which has significant potential for future success and implementation. Overall, this team has been successful due to their ability to use each individual’s skills to capacity, while exercising impressive team dynamics to meet their common final goal.

Senior Capstone Design Team 6

Advisor Fei Long

Kayla Buczkowski and Ryan Usimaki worked on Senior Capstone Design Team 6, which developed  the Next Generation Vehicle Entry/Exit Technology for Jeep. Kayla stands out for her excellent team management, customer communication as well as project planning skills. Team 6 has two student athletes with a lot of travelling throughout the academic year, which makes the team coordination and project planning very challenging. Kayla makes great efforts to keep the project moving forward with the contribution of all team members.  Ryan stands out for his excellent technical skills on both electronics and mechanics. Inspired by Ryan’s idea, team 6 decided to design a motion/gesture controlled vehicle door without a door handle, which is very innovative and challenging. Ryan takes the lead in the electronic system design and testing, and complete the prototype with the help of all other team members.

Enterprise Team Formula SAE

Advisor Jim De Clerck

Each one of the 12 graduating Formula SAE members has made significant contributions during their time on the team. Three members have made outstanding contributions:

Jayson Allison demonstrated outstanding skill and determination when he designed and machined the differential carrier and housing. Jayson continued to design and fabricate parts while he was on co-op.

Andrew Aerts outstandingly applied engineering skills from his classes to design, optimize, and fabricate two generations of differential brackets. Andrew’s latest innovative design uses cams to eliminate the need for a separate chain tensioner.

As the Chief Engineer, Conor Berndt has taken a personal responsibility to ensure that the car will be ready for competition in two weeks. Conor has worked tirelessly this year to define target performance requirements and work with team members to develop a car that meets these requirements.


Radheshyam Tewari is the Mechanical Engineering Teacher of the Year

Radheshyam Tewari
Radheshyam Tewari

At the Mechanical Engineering Spring 2018 Senior Recognition Banquet and Order of the Engineer Ceremony  held April 24, the 2018 Mechanical Engineering Teacher of the Year finalists and winner were announced.

The ME Teacher of the Year voting and selection process is run by the ME Student Advisory Committee (MESAC). The selection of the finalists and the winner is done by ME students.

The three finalists were: Aneet Narendranath (MEEM), Radheshyam Tewari (MEEM) and Paul van Susante (MEEM). Each received a certificate at the banquet. The three finalists were the top faculty vote getters as voted by the ME students.

The 2018 ME Teacher of the Year is Radheshyam Tewari, selected through student evaluations in all his classes taught during Spring 2018 semester.

Tewari’s name will be put on the ME Teacher of the Year plague located in the lobby of the R.L. Smith Building (MEEM).

Congratulations to all three finalists.

By Mechanical Engineering.


Leslie Kilgore ’95 Honored by SAE International

Leslie Kilgore and Rodica Baranescu
Leslie Kilgore (left) and Rodica Baranescu (right)

Michigan Tech Alumna Leslie Kilgore ’95, vice president for engineering for Thomas Built Buses, was honored with the Rodica Baranescu Award for Technical and Leadership Excellence by SAE International. The article “Thomas Built Buses VP Honored for Engineering Excellence” appeared in Schoolbusfleet.com.

Thomas Built Buses VP Honored for Engineering Excellence

Thomas Built Buses executive was recognized on Tuesday for her leadership and her technical contributions to the automotive industry.

Leslie Kilgore, vice president of engineering for Thomas Built Buses, was honored with the prestigious Rodica Baranescu Award for Technical and Leadership Excellence in Automotive Engineering by SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers). The award honors and celebrates the successes of women in the engineering profession and their contributions as leaders and technicians in commercial engineering.

Kilgore holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Purdue University – West Lafayette, and a Global Business certificate from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Read more at Schoolbusfleet.com.


ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet December 12, 2017

Banquet and Program

The ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet and Order of the Engineer Program was held on December 12, 2017.

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Keynote Speaker

Denise Rizzo
Keynote Speaker Dr. Denise Rizzo

Dr. Denise M. Rizzo

The speaker was Dr. Denise M. Rizzo, Senior Research Mechanical Engineer, Powertrain Modeling & Simulation Team at US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC).  Rizzo is a 2014 alumna with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

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Fall 2017 Outstanding Student Awards

Colette Boileau
William Endres and Colette Boileau

Colette Boileau

Colette Boileau has taken Formula SAE Business and Marketing to the next level. She has been diligent about processing orders and budget tracking. Colette was a key driver to improve the team’s approach to Cost and Business Presentations events at the annual competition. Because of her leadership, Michigan Tech FSAE has connected with sponsors, alumni, and fans through social media. Colette’s team published weekly Facebook posts featuring team member profiles; created promotional videos; and sent newsletters to team sponsors.

Brett Michaud
William Endres and Brett Michaud

Brett Michaud

Brett Michaud has been a Formula SAE member during the entire time he has been at Michigan Tech. Brett was almost always at the Formula shop where he worked on the cars, helped other members develop skills, and occasionally did some homework. Brett was the FSAE Chief Engineer last year and he led the team through a successful competition. Brett’s dedication and “can-do” attitude serve as a model for other team members.

Erica Jacobson
William Endres and Erica Jacobson

Erica Jacobson

Erica Jacobson SCD 58 – Ask any successful engineer what one quality is most important in an engineer and they will respond, “Persistence”. The ability to stay engaged when project difficulties arise and thoughtfully work through those difficulties until a solution is achieved will make you successful. Erica Jacobson exhibited that quality as she led SCD Team 58 in the design of An Inertia Measurement Device. Erica’s persistence helped Team 58 overcome many design challenges and setbacks. As a result they were able to deliver an excellent product to their sponsor.

Aaron Mead

Aaron Mead (Senior Design Team 65) has shown mature perseverance when faced with a project of scale larger than what is dealt with in the classroom. Besides having keen technical acuity, he has a precocious understanding of the broader impact of a design decision on their team’s project.  Buoyed by his proactive team members, he emerges as a strongly motivated individual with the ability to apply himself to key technical aspects of the project for their customer. He works well with members of his team and this has produced several moments of positive synergy in their design process.

Logan Sheffield
William Endres and Logan Sheffield

Logan Sheffield

Logan Sheffield (Senior Design Team 57) has been nominated for the outstanding student award because of his team leadership and perseverance. Logan has been an exceptional leader for team 57, making sure the team was on top of all tasks and keeping to the schedule. He also stepped up to make sure things were completed on time. He put in the extra effort to complete the controls and electrical in order to finish the project. He also was determined to design the best product he could and put the extra time and effort in designing additional features to improve the final product.


2017 Best Paper Award of ASCE Journal of Aerospace Engineering Goes to Michigan Tech Collaborators

Fernando Ponta
Fernando Ponta

Xiao Sun (CEE, research assistant), Qingli Dai (CEE), Muraleekrishnan Menon (MEEM, research assistant) and Fernando Ponta (MEEM) co-authored “Design and Simulation of Active External Trailing-edge Flaps for Wind Turbine Blades on Load Reduction.”

The paper received the 2017 Journal of Aerospace Engineering Best Paper Award. An award banquet will take place at the 2018 Earth and Space Conference on April 9-12 in Cleveland.

https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)AS.1943-5525.0000771


Chuck Van Karsen Receives the D. J. Demichele Award

Charles Van Karsen at the podium receiving the award.
Charles Van Karsen at the podium receiving the award at the SEM IMAC XXXVI Conference, February 12-15, 2018 at Orlando, FL.

Charles D. Van Karsen is a recipient of the D. J. Demichele Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics. Van Karsen has been a member of the Michigan Tech Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics since August 1987. Prior to this he had a twelve year career as a practicing engineer in the Machine Tool, Automotive, and Software industries. He specializes in Experimental Vibro-Acoustics, NVH, and Structural Dynamics. His research efforts have concentrated on experimental noise and vibration methods related to automotive systems and subsystems, large home appliances, machine tools, and off-highway equipment.

This award, established in 1990 in honor of Dominick J. DeMichele (1916-2000), recognizes an individual who has demonstrated “exemplary service and support of promoting the science and educational aspects of modal analysis technology.” This award is presented annually at the International Modal Analysis Conference.

Read more at the Society for Experimental Mechanics.


Andrew Barnard is a Distinguished Teaching Award Finalist for 2018

Andrew Barnard
Andrew Barnard

The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning seeks input for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the instructional mission of the University.

Based on more than 50,000 student rating of instruction responses, 12 finalists have been identified for the 2018 awards. The selection committee is soliciting comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni to aid in its deliberation process.

Among the finalists in the Assistant Professor / Lecturer / Professor of Practice Category is Andrew Barnard.

Comments on the nominees are due by Monday, March 26, and can be completed online. The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their spring classes.

The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The 2018 Distinguished Teaching Awards will be formally announced in May.

For more information, email Nancy Seely or call 7-1896.


Eddy Trinklein is an Unsung Hero

Eddy Trinklein
Eddy Trinklein

ME-EM Research Engineer and Instructor Eddy Trinklein was recognized at the 2017 Making a Difference Awards reception on January 10, 2018.

“This past spring our Michigan Tech student-built nanosatellite was at risk of missing a technical milestone set by the Air Force. If this milestone was missed our 7 year long program would have come to an end without a launch into space. Ed dropped everything he was working on, rolled up his sleeves, and inserted himself into my laboratory where he discovered complicated errors in our serial communication architecture—which he quickly fixed. The satellite shipped to the Air Force in June and, as a result of Ed’s work, will launch into orbit in April, 2018.”

A total of 47 Michigan Tech staff members were nominated for 2017 Making a Difference Awards. Trinklein received an award in the “Unsung Hero” category. The awards are organized by Michigan Tech Staff Council.

Congratulations to Eddy!


Mahmoudian Named Lou and Herbert Wacker Associate Professor

Nina Mahmoudian
Nina Mahmoudian

Nina Mahmoudian (MEEM) has been selected by Michigan Tech and the donors, who wish to remain anonymous, to be the first holder of the Lou and Herbert Wacker Associate Professor in Autonomous Mobile Systems. This is an endowed professorship through a generous cash gift of $1,000,000.

One of the donors is a BSME graduate from Michigan Tech, and the endowment is named in honor of his parents Lou and Herbert Wacker.

By Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.


Three Inducted into Academy for Fall 2017

MEEM BuildingIn ceremonies held Oct. 28, the Academy of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech inducted three new members. The inductees were Christine R. Roberts (Przybysz), Xintan Chang and Thomas J. Bronz.

The Academy honors outstanding ME-EM graduates, recognizing those who exemplify excellence and leadership in engineering and civic affairs, and who will serve as inspirational role models for current and future students.

Christine Roberts graduated from Tech with a BS in mechanical engineering in 1991, later going on to earn a master’s in project management from George Washington University and her MBA in International Business at DePaul University in 2000. Roberts began her career at Motorola, Inc., where she worked for 20 years, rising from production manager to vice president of product management for Motorola Mobility. In addition to Motorola, she also held positions at Google and Netflix.

Currently, Roberts is at cloud communications services pioneer Twilio as vice president and general manager of Twilio’s Super Network and chairman of the board for the Twilio Sweden Group. She volunteers with programs advancing involvement in STEM fields for young women and underrepresented minorities through hands-on teaching.

Xintan Chang earned his master’s in mining engineering and PhD in engineering mechanics at Tech. Before coming to Tech, Chang had worked in Chinese coal mines for 11 years after earning his BS in mining engineering from Xi’an Mining Institute (now Xi’an University of Science and Technology) in 1969. While at Tech, he co-authored the Transient State Mine Ventilation Simulation Program MFIRE for US Bureau of Mines, which remains the most popular mine fire ventilation simulation software in the world.

Chang returned to Xi’an University in 1988, working his way up to full professor within five years. His research focused on mine ventilation, mine/civil fire simulation and fire-fighting, and public safety/safety management, earning a National Reward for his simulation accomplishments. Chang became president of Xi’an University in 2003, leading several expansions and improvements for the university during his tenure.

Thomas Bronz graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from Tech in 1989, later earning an MBA from Northwestern University. After graduating from Tech, he worked in the commercial vehicles industry in a variety of management positions overseeing suspensions controls processes. In 2006, he served as the director of high performance product development at Brunswick Corporation where he improved development processes for freshwater boat lines.

Bronz returned to the commercial vehicles market in 2010, helping a start-up business to become a successful standalone within four years. He then moved on to become president and CEO of Hadley Products, once again returning to the suspensions controls field, before ending up as director of aftermarket sales at SAF Holland, where he supports hitches and suspensions for trucking fleets across North America.

William Predebon, chair of ME-EM, says that these alumni set a fine example for current students. “When I think about Tom, Xintan and Christine, I am struck by all they have done and continue to do, by their accomplishments, by the challenges they have faced and persevered, and by their leadership,” Predebon says.

“They have set a high standard for our future alumni to emulate. We are very proud of them and look forward to them returning to campus and interacting with our students.”

This induction honors some of the most successful of the more than thirteen thousand alumni of Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics. Portraits and a brief biography of Academy members are prominently displayed in the lobby of the ME-EM building to serve as inspiration for future mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics students.

By Noah Kozminski.