Category Archives: Students

Robotics Changes Cora Taylor’s Career Trajectory

Cora Taylor
Cora Taylor

Recent Michigan Tech alumna Cora Taylor ’18, was featured in the article “Robotics changes student’s career trajectory,” in the Charlevoix Courier. The story chronicles how Taylor’s involvement in Charlevoix High School’s robotics led her toward a career in engineering. At Tech, Taylor was a member of the Formula SAE team.

Robotics changes student’s career trajectory

“I had no interest in engineering, in fact, I was interested in art, graphic design and drafting,” Taylor said. “If I hadn’t been convinced to join the team all those years ago, I don’t think I would be even remotely close to an engineer today.”

Taylor is a 2014 Charlevoix High School graduate. She is daughter of John and Kim Taylor, of Charlevoix, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton.

Read more at the Charlevoix Courier, by Anne Kelly.


VAKYA Business Model Places in Competition

Karuna Rana and Mayank Bagaria
Karuna Rana (left) and Mayank Bagaria (right) share second and third place awards.

The 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition took place Wednesday (Dec. 5, 2018) in the Opie Library. The Competition was hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, a collaboration between Pavlis Honors College, the School of Business and Economics and the Vice President for Research Office.

There were more than 20 participants making up 15 teams from various majors and disciplines who pitched to a panel of judges.

Ideas ranged from hypothermia preventing life jackets to a web-based stress management program. Participants had five minutes to pitch their ideas and present their business model. The judging panel then had time following the presentation to ask questions and provide valuable feedback.

The winners of the 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition were:

  • First Place and MTEC SmartZone Game Changer Award – Gary Tropp (Computer Network & System Administration) for VARS (Virtual Advising Registering and Scheduling)
  • Second and Third Place – Tie between Mayank Bagaria (Mechanical Engineering) for Vakya and Karuna Rana (Environmental and Energy Policy) for Reality Check
  • Audience Favorite – Nate LaJoie (Finance) and Michael Betz (Management) for Backpack Keg
  • Honorable Mention – Deanna Springgay (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) for Little Trainer
  • Honorable Mention – Russ Crofton (Mechanical Engineering Technology) for Modern Steel Bicycles

Congratulations to all winners and participants, and thanks to the panel of distinguished judges for donating their time and expertise. The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship would also like to thank MTEC SmartZone and Arroyo Networks for their support and prize contributions. Photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded here.

The Bob Mark Competition is part of Husky Innovate, a series of workshops and competitions that guide students through key phases of business development while emphasizing strategies for success. More information on upcoming Spring Husky Innovate events can be found at mtu.edu/husky-innovate.

By the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship.

View the Photo Gallery

Tech student teams compete in business

VAKYA Presentation by the speaker
Presentation on the VAKYA business model by Mayank Bagaria.

Bagaria’s proposal was for VAKYA, a set of glasses that would listen to speech and print the text on the lens for the wearer. Bagaria has those with total or partial hearing loss in mind for the first phase, but the second phase could include translation from different languages.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Joshua Vissers.


ME-EM is Represented at Noise and Vibration Conference

ISMA 2018 conference sign outsideThree members of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics presented at and attended the ISMA-USD Noise and Vibration Engineering conference at KU Leuven in Leuven Belgium. The 28th International Conference on Noise and Vibration engineering (ISMA2018) was organized in conjunction with the 7th International Conference on Uncertainty in Structural Dynamics (USD2018) on September 17-19, 2018. Approximately 700 people (50% from industry, 50% from universities) attended the conference.

View the Photo Gallery

Jon Furlich, PhD student presented “Application of STFT and Wavelet analysis to MT clunk data: a case study.” Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) presented “Active noise control in pipes and ducts using carbon nanotube thermophones” and “Top 10 mechanical experiments for the teaching of sound and vibration in mechanical engineering”. Barnard also taught a seminar on acoustics in London Sept. 20.

  • Furlich, J. E., Blough, J., and Robinette, D. L., ‘Analysis of experimental mt clunk with stft and cwt to observe mode participation and reduction’, Michigan Technological University. ( abstractfull paper )
  • Barnard, A., and Senczyszyn, S., ‘Active noise control in pipes and ducts using carbon nanotube thermophones’, Michigan Technological University. ( abstractfull paper )
  • Peres, M. A., and Barnard, A., ‘Top 10 mechanical experiments for the teaching of sound and vibration in mechanical engineering’, The Modal Shop, Inc.. ( abstractfull paper )

Read more at ISMA Past Editions.

Jason Blough (ME-EM) chaired a session, attended the conference and met with peers to discuss future research topics.



Michigan Tech Mobile Lab Visits Grand Rapids Community College

Michigan Tech Mobile Lab
Michigan Tech Mobile Lab

The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab is visiting the campus of Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) today, giving GRCC students the chance to gain exposure to an ongoing National Science Foundation (NSF) Project—”CAREER: An Ecologically Inspired Approach to Battery Lifetime Analysis and Testing.” The principal investigator on the project is Lucia Gauchia.

Participants range from all over the technical campus, with specialized tours for on-campus classrooms, as well as an open house for students and community members. Inside the Mobile Lab, there is further detail on the project and a real-world demonstration of a battery testing process.

Students in the Mobile Lab will be exposed to battery technology in today’s modern world. There will be discussions on battery types, chemistry and applications; including mobile devices, automotive, grid storage and more.

The Mobile Lab will be on the GRCC downtown campus, located in the student commons area. For more information on the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab, contact Chris Morgan.

By APS Labs.



ME-EM Students Excel at Global Forum

PACE Warren 2018 buildingMichigan Tech was well represented at the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) Global Annual Forum July 22-25, 2018, at the GM WarrentTech Center.

Five graduate students in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics were a part of TEAM 3 which did well in competitions at the forum. The team took:

  • First place in Manufacturing Engineering
  • Second place in Product Engineering, and
  • Third place in Customer Insight.
  • The team also won the Siemens Award for Excellence in PLM.

The Michigan Tech grad students participating were; Manjo Balabadhruni, Karan Gundre, Aniket Jadhav, and Mayuresh Kange.


Nancy Barr Presents at IEEE ProComm

ProComm2018 logoNancy Barr, founding director of the ME-EM Engineering Communications Program, recently presented a paper titled, “‘Helpful,’ ‘Irritating,’ and ‘Smart,’: Student Perspectives on Teams in a Mechanical Engineering Program,” at the annual conference of the IEEE Professional Communication Society (IEEE ProComm2018) in Toronto, Ontario, on July 23-25, 2018.

The paper, co-authored by James P. DeClerck (ME-EM), highlighted three problems that commonly hinder undergraduate engineering teams and suggested possible solutions. Barr was also co-chair of the proceedings committee for the conference.


Faraday Future Internship for Sai Rajeev Davaragudi

Sai Rajeev Devaragudi
Sai Rajeev Devaragudi

“Once I got the telephone interview, it was all on me. I had to rely on my own capabilities to convert this opportunity into an offer,” says Sai Rajeev Davaragudi after landing a summer internship at Faraday Future in Los Angeles, California.

Sai Rajeev Devaragudi is a tenacious graduate student at Michigan Technological University studying mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics.

Read more at the Career Services blog.


Nancy Barr on Reflective Essays by Undergraduates

Nancy Barr
Nancy Barr

Nancy Barr (MEEM) presented at the International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference 2018 on the campus of Auburn University in Alabama, June 4-6. Her presentation, “Connecting the Dots: Engineering Students Connect Concepts via Reflective Essays,” focused on an effort to incorporate reflective portfolios into the undergraduate degree program. Barr is the founding director of the Engineering Communications Program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

The conference theme, “Making Connections,” emphasizes how writing across the curriculum fosters connections within and across institutions and programs, between people and positions, and among ideas and practices.