Category Archives: News

US DOE Funding for Sajjad Bigham

Sajjad Bigham
Sajjad Bigham

Sajjad Bigham ( MEEM/APSRC) is Principal Investigator on a project that has received a $534,565 research and development cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy. The project is titled “Next-Generation Desiccant-Based Gas Clothes Dryer Systems.” This is a potential three-year project.


Paul van Susante Presents on Space Topics

Paul van Susante on Google Hangout with presenter
2019 Space Resources Roundtable Reception. Live from Golden, Colorado!

Paul van Susante (MEEM) presented during the Moon Development & Exploration track at the International Space Development Conference in Arlington, VA on June 8, 2019, about “Lunar ISRU and Design and Sizing of Regolith Excavation & Handling Hardware.” He participated/organized a workshop/panel session on “ASCE Resources and Standards workshop.”

He also participated in the Space Resources Roundtable in Golden, CO from June 10 to 15 and chaired Technical Session 4 on Space Manufacturing and Processing Technologies, presented a paper during the “Mars Resources” track on ” Poly-Hydrated Sulfate Mining and Water Extraction on Mars: Experimental Results and System Requirements.”

As the secretary of the AIAA Space Resources Technical Committee, he helped organize the technical committee meeting, organized a roundtable discussion on landing pad necessity and construction and helped host a Google Hangout Session of the AIAA Space Resources TC during the reception. Watch the hangout channel on YouTube.


ACM and Michigan Tech Showcase New AV Technologies

Michigan Tech Mobile Lab

Experts from Michigan Tech showcased some of the newest AV technologies—from connected car communications to infrastructure—and how they impact and improve fuel economy. The event—Connected and Automated Vehicles and Modern Methods for Light-Duty Automotive Energy Savings—took place at one of the state’s premier testing grounds, the American Center for Mobility (ACM), on May 7 and May 9, 2019.

The event addressed key trends and challenges by showcasing how these technologies can improve fleet fuel efficiency. Researchers from the University shared background knowledge on the technologies. There were also tours of the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab and the Advanced Power Systems Laboratories (APS LABS).

As part of ACM’s Academic Consortium, a partnership between ACM and 15 Michigan colleges and universities to collaborate on talent training, this event ties industry to education to further discussion on talent retention and training in addition to addressing energy savings within autonomous and connected vehicles.

Michigan Tech Mobile Lab Headed To ACM In Ypsilanti, MI, May 7th And 9th

After being connected by the team at PlanetM, with MEDC, Jeffrey Mosher speaks to a pair from Houghton, MI, Christopher Morgan, and Jim Desrochers who are set to hit the road next month for a special open house.

Read the article and listen to the SoundCloud Podcast at Michigan Business Beat, hosted by Chris Holman.


Gregory Odegard Elected ASME Fellow

Greg Odegard
Greg Odegard

Gregory M. Odegard has been elected a Fellow of ASME. This is a recognition of Dr. Odegard’s significant impact and outstanding contributions in the field of composite materials research through the pioneering of computational modeling techniques to predict the influence of molecular structure on bulk-level properties of composite materials. The Fellow grade is truly a distinction among ASME members.

Odegard is the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Professor of Computational Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.


Cam Hadden is the 2019 ME Teacher of the Year

Cameron Hadden
Cameron Hadden

At the Senior Recognition Banquet and Order of the Engineer Ceremony on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, the ME Student Advisory Committee (MESAC) chair and co-chair announced the Mechanical Engineering Teacher of the Year finalists and winner. The selection is made by mechanical engineering students second year through senior year and run by the MESAC.

The three finalists were Cam Hadden, Aneet Narendranath and Paul Van Susante and the overall winner was Cam Hadden. His name will be on the plaque in the lobby of the R.L. Smith Building (MEEM).

By Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics.


Enterprise Teams Take Vehicles to School

Formula SAEMembers of Michigan Tech’s Enterprise competition teams in Formula I, Supermileage, Baja and Clean Snowmobile will visit with eighth-grade students at Houghton Middle School on April 26, 2019.

The eighth graders have been engaged in four-week long STEM projects led by Michigan Tech students and their instructors. These projects have immersed the middle school students in the engineering and testing of fuel cell automobiles. The project incorporates many science standards and practices. Today’s visit by the Enterprise teams, along with their vehicles, is the culmination of these projects.

The vehicles will be on display outside the Houghton Middle School from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. In addition, there will be demonstrations.

By Sarah Geborkoff.

Tech Enterprise students teach hands-on engineering to middle school students

Friday, the Tech students brought vehicles from the Clean Snowmobile Challenge, Baja and Formula Enterprise teams to explain the competitions to students.

Eighth-grader Katy Fay said the Tech students had been helpful in the projects, and in teaching the components of cars and fuel cells.

“I had no idea what it was,” Fay said of the fuel cell. “It looked just like a box. Now I know what it is, and how it actually can power things.”

Fay, who is considering becoming an engineer, said after some tinkering, her team had gotten its vehicle to travel far.

“It started pretty rocky, but we got it together,” she said.

Tech mechanical engineering student Patrick Gilland, who oversaw the outreach, said students performed well.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.


Aerospace Enterprise Prepares for Launch of Satellite

OculusThe students in the Aerospace Enterprise and their faculty advisor, L. Brad King (ME-EM), are preparing to launch their Oculus satellite, which was designed and built by students.

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department Chair William Predebon said, “This is an exciting time for our students, and Michigan Tech. The students worked on it for several years to get it ready for launch. Current students in the Aerospace Enterprise will be receiving data from outer space from Oculus during its mission in lower Earth orbit. Oculus will be in space for about 9 months and the launch is set for June (2019).”

According to SpaceX, Oculus will be the first small satellite ever deployed from the Falcon Heavy. The launch information is available on SpaceX’s website. If you scroll down to “The Mission” you will see a title bar below it with Oculus listed.

By Aerospace Enterprise.


Passing the Torch: Engineering Ambassadors Visit Local Schools

Barkell Elementary signSure signs of spring in the Copper Country are robins returning, ice leaving and Michigan Tech’s Engineering Ambassadors (AE) inspiring students.

For the eighth year, the engineering students that make up EA will visit local elementary and middle schools to create excitement for engineering disciplines through programs and hands-on activities designed for students in third through tenth grades.

Nancy Barr, professor of practice in engineering communications, said the Ambassadors present a 10-minute talk on a science or engineering topic to a classroom. Following the talk, the EAs engage students in a fun, 30-minute activity designed to reinforce the concepts presented in the talk. Each talk and accompanying activity are geared toward a particular age.

“The objective is twofold,” Barr said. “It helps our students develop confidence in their presentation skills and it gets younger students thinking about science and engineering as a possible career path.”

Barr said a unique aspect of the program is that it gives the college students an opportunity to share their own experiences with local school children. “We encourage our EAs to talk about why they chose engineering as a major, what cool projects they’ve had and where they plan to work after graduation. We try to recruit from across the College of Engineering, but the majority of students come from ME-EM.”

Jaclyn Johnson (ME-EM), advises EA, while Barr provides training on presenting science to young audiences and then offers feedback on their presentations.

The program, modeled after a similar program at Penn State, was started in 2012 by Michele Miller (ME-EM) a research professor and Danise Jarvey, director of academic services in the School of Technology.

Johnson said the program is part of a network of at least 30 Universities in the U.S. and internationally. “Since the fall of 2012, we’ve reached 2,936 students in eight schools within a 100-mile radius of Michigan Tech. During that time, we’ve had a total of 65 ambassadors.”

This spring, nine different AEs, working in pairs or groups of three, will visit two third-grade and three fifth-grade classes at the Barkell Elementary School in Hancock and four classes at Houghton Middle School. The program will run through April 12.

William Predebon, chair of ME-EM, said EA has been quite successful. “The Engineering Ambassador program is a terrific opportunity for engineering students to develop their communications skills and an important strategy to excite elementary and middle-school students to pursue engineering and science.”

More information can be found on the Engineering Ambassadors webpage.


2019 Forest R. McFarland Award for Darrell Robinette

Darrell Robinette
Darrell Robinette

Dr. Darrell Robinette has been selected to receive the 2019 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Forest R. McFarland Award.

This award recognizes individuals for their sustained outstanding contributions toward the work of the SAE Engineering Events in the planning, development, and dissemination of technical information through technical meetings, conferences, and professional development programs at SAE events or outstanding contributions to event operations in facilitating or enhancing the interchanges of technical information.

Established in 1979, this award is administered by SAE Engineering Events and honors the late Forest R. McFarland who was himself an outstanding session organizer, a chairman of the Passenger Car Activity, and a member of the Engineering Meetings Board. Funding for this award is through a bequest by Mr. McFarland to SAE and consists of a framed certificate to be presented at the 2019 SAE World Congress on Tuesday, April 19, 2019.


Faculty Attend Mechanical Engineering Education Leadership Summit

MEED summit logoLast week two ME-EM faculty members attended the 2019 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Mechanical Engineering Education Leadership Summit held in New Orleans. The conference addressed the theme of “The Digital Mechanical Engineer: ENGAGE, EXPLORE, EMPOWER.”

Darrell Robinette (ME-EM), faculty co-advisor of the SAE/GM AutoDrive Challenge Team at Michigan Tech, served as a speaker and panelist in the plenary “Empower” that discussed the various digital tools with which mechanical engineers are now expected to be proficient and the effect they will continue to have on mechanical engineering education. William Predebon (ME-EM), J.S.Endowed Department Chair, was presented with a Certificate of Recognition for his commitment to engineering education and continuous service to the society.

The honor was presented at an Awards Luncheon hosted by the ASME Engineering Education Awards Committee. Predebon has been involved with the ASME Committee on Engineering Education for the past 20 years, serving as VP and Chair of Engineering Education, and continues to work closely with the committee in an effort to further mechanical engineering education at all levels.

The summit took place March 20-23. One of ASME’s seven overarching Society goals is to “enable collaboration between industry, government, and academia to advance the cause of engineering worldwide.”

Darrell Robinette
Darrell Robinette
William Predebon
William Predebon