Category: News

Patrick Moeller Named 2024 MMET Department Scholar

Patrick Moeller and Dr. John Irwin

The Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) is pleased to announce that Patrick Moeller has been selected as the 2024 MMET Department Scholar.

Patrick is currently a senior in mechanical engineering technology where he continues to excel in all areas of learning, intellectual creativity, and curiosity. His journey started in 2020 after applying and receiving the NSF sponsored ETS-IMPRESS scholarship. Patrick participates in the Pavlis Honors College that has an academic enhancement component requiring six credits outside of his field of study. Moeller’s interest in Engineering Management lead to his adding a second degree, combining his engineering skills and leadership abilities.

In 2023, Moeller was selected for the first annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) S-STEM REC Scholars Conference in Washington, D.C. This inspirational opportunity provided Patrick with great insights on his academic and professional career, while networking with over 1,000 NSF S-STEM scholars from around the nation.

Patrick also participated in the 2022 Zachary R. Podkul MMET student scholarship competition. Through this process, he created a 3D model of a cookie cutter design in the shape of the Portage Lake lift bridge to represent Michigan Tech earning second place.

Mr. Moeller has pursued numerous leadership opportunities while attending Michigan Tech, including serving as an Orientation Team Leader, Campus Tour Guide, Teaching Assistant and Learning Center Coach, and President for the Delta Zeta Chapter of Epsilon Pi Tau International Honor Society. Patrick has also participated in various clubs and engaged in Greek life. He plans to graduate in the spring of 2025.

The MMET Department is proud of Patrick and all that he has accomplished as a Michigan Tech student. Mr. Moeller will emerge as a strong leader in his field. “Patrick has made a positive impact on the MMET Department as a grading assistant, lab assistant, tutor, and leader of the honor society students,” said MMET Department Chair, Dr. Irwin.

“Patrick is dependable, honest and relates well with students, faculty, and the Michigan Tech community. He is very deserving of this award as were the other two department scholar finalists, Bobby Coene and Imelia Meiser.” 

Read more:

My Story: Patrick Moeller, MTUengineer

My Story: Patrick Moeller, MTUengineer

L to R: Henry Inyang, Logan Schultz, Andrew Brodowski and Patrick Moeller

Michigan Tech MET student Patrick Moeller had a co-op at Georgia Pacific last fall, and an internship this past summer at Milwaukee Tool. Both helped him to prepare and decide on his career.

Recently Patrick traveled to Washington DC with three fellow students for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) S-STEM REC Scholars Conference. Their travel and expenses were fully funded by AAAS. The annual event is co-hosted by the National Science Foundation.

“If you’re unsure about applying for college, I challenge you to submit your applications. After all, you may have doors open that you never even knew existed.”

Advice for prospective students, from Patrick Moeller
Henry, Patrick, and Logan, outside the White House in Washington DC.

At Michigan Tech, Patrick is part of the Engineering Technology Scholars-IMPRESS Program. “The ETS-IMPRESS scholarship has opened more doors than I possibly could have imagined. This trip is a great example of one of those doors,” he says.

“The thing that stuck with me the most from the conference was when a panelist asked the audience to raise their hand if they had ever felt ‘impostor syndrome’ at some point in their educational career. I was surprised to see almost every scholar in the room raise their hand. This made me realize the feeling of ‘I don’t belong here’ is something that most people will experience in their careers and I was not alone. However, this is actually a good thing because a majority of the time it means you are on the road to success. Feeling the impostor syndrome means that you have challenged yourself enough to be outside of your comfort zone which is the first step in personal and professional development. I felt this way when applying to college. I did not believe that I could be successful and wasn’t sure if college was for me.”

“In high school, I had a few teachers who believed in me and pushed me to go to college. Having this support inspired me to do so. Applying to college can be stressful and intimidating, but it is also one of the most rewarding decisions you can make. The MMET Department is a community of faculty, staff, and scholars who inspire each other to achieve their goals and overcome challenges along the way.”

John Irwin, professor and chair of the MMET Department serves as Patrick’s ETS-IMPRESS faculty mentor. “I would like to give Dr. John Irwin a special thank you for nominating Henry, Logan, Andrew, and me to attend this fantastic networking and professional development event!”

Not a transfer student, but still want info on MMET scholarships and opportunities?

Contact MMET Department Chair John Irwin for more details

More about ETS IMPRESS

Incoming community college transfer students who plan to major in electrical engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, computer network and system administration, cybersecurity, or mechatronics are invited to apply for the Engineering Technology Scholars-IMPRESS program. In addition to an annual scholarship, students admitted to the program engage in high-impact curricular and co-curricular activities designed to increase their success.

Students receiving an ETS-IMPRESS scholarship are admitted to the Pavlis Honors College at Michigan Tech, an innovative and inclusive honors program designed around high-impact educational opportunities.

Students selected for the program can receive up to $10,000 per year. Additionally, transfer students who engage in the bridge program will receive a $2,500 stipend for a 7-week research program the summer before their first semester.

New Faculty Spotlight: Rachel Store

Rachel Store

Rachel Store recently joined the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) as an assistant teaching professor. She earned her BS and MS at Michigan Tech, both in Mechanical Engineering.

What first drew you to Michigan Tech?

It all started when I was in high school. My parents moved back to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula after a 25-year military career. They were living in Escanaba. I knew I wanted to study engineering; I wanted to play varsity soccer; and I wanted to be close enough to my family that I could see them within a day. Michigan Tech was honestly the only school that fit that bill—so it was an easy decision. It was also the only campus I visited. But I fell in love with Tech. So much so, that after I finished my undergrad, I went for a victory lap masters degree—Tech has a fantastic accelerated masters program! And I loved the campus, the community, and the Keweenaw. Houghton truly is a special place.

After graduating with my Master’s degree, I got a job in Milwaukee. I still found myself coming back to Houghton several times a month to see my boyfriend. He’s really what brought me back to Houghton. As soon as I could, I started looking for jobs back in the Houghton area (spoiler, we’ve been married for four years and are blessed with two wonderful children).  

I was delighted when I found work back at Michigan Tech, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. I actually had several offers from local companies that I passed on because I wanted to be part of the Tech community again. I was in the ME-EM Department for 5 years. Now, I am super excited to move into a more student-focused position in the MMET Department.

“Get out and talk to people. Talk to your classmates, talk to your professors, talk to the locals.  The best thing about Houghton and MTU are the people.”

Advice to incoming students, from Rachel Store.

What do you consider an important long-term goal for your teaching, research, and outreach?

My background in industry was manufacturing and quality. I really enjoy teaching the topics where you go from a design or theory into making something physical, for example, a product or a lab sample. I enjoy additive manufacturing and especially forming processes. My research right now is focused on materials manufacturing with friction stir processing. I am working with Dr. Scott Wagner (MMET) and Dr. Vinh Nguyen (ME-EM) on a project right now. I am hoping to earn a PhD in a few years. In the meantime, I want to continue to develop as a teacher.

What do you hope to accomplish, as an educator and as a researcher, over the next few years?

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about teaching—how to teach, why it matters, and how I can help make my students the best future employees that they can be.  A lot of students see the class, the grade, the degree as an end goal. But really those are just the starting points for the rest of their lives. This is my first year in a full-time instructor role, so I know I still have a lot to learn myself.

Aerial view of the Black Creek Nature Sanctuary. Credit:

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Fun question!  I have two and a half year old twins, so spare time at my house is more like ‘how do I multi-task!’ We live just south of Chassell on a little hobby farm (I’m a bit of a crazy chicken lady). And now my kids are starting to pick that up too. They love collecting the eggs with me, or going to the garden and looking for vegetables. We do a lot of stuff on our property—apple cider, maple syrup, gardening, foraging.

I also really enjoy being creative. I quilt and make soap, or sometimes I like to bring that creativity to the kitchen and cook fun meals. I am always excited for a welding, construction, or repair project. And I love the outdoors. That includes hunting, camping, kayaking, snow sports, and hiking (or snowshoeing!) especially.  

“I need a quota of ‘tree time’ as I call it every week, and the Keweenaw is such a great place to soak it in!”

Rachel Store

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?

The Princess Bride and Finding Nemo are two movies that come to mind. I like the stories about doing whatever it takes for someone that you love.    

Any favorite spots on campus, in Houghton, or in the UP?

Anywhere on Lake Superior, but I am partial to the Black Creek Trail. It’s where my husband and I met. I also really love the Gratiot River Park. I think is so cool how the mouth of the Gratiot River changes every year depending on how the ice and snow was that winter.  

Any advice for incoming students?

Get out and talk to people. Talk to your classmates, talk to your professors, talk to the locals.  The best thing about Houghton and MTU are the people. It is such a rich community. Also, get out and play in the snow. I always tell people new to the area and snow that you have to find ways to play in the snow. 

“The winters are long. And they can be hard. But if you don’t find ways to seek joy in the snow, you have the same amount of snow and much less joy!”

Rachel Store

Teresa Hoving Named MMET Department Scholar

Student and faculty member standing outside in the snow with an award.
Teresa Hoving (left) accepts the MMET Department Scholar Award from MMET Chair John Irwin.

The Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) is pleased to announce that Teresa Hoving has been selected as the 2023 MMET Department Scholar.

Teresa is a third-year mechanical engineering technology student who always seeks to aim high in her coursework. She has been on the 4.00 Dean’s List every semester. Teresa continues to learn new information, grow in curiosity, and take advantage of opportunities to be creative. When given a task, Teresa strives to do it perfectly. Whether it is academic or personal, she frequently sets goals to the highest standard possible. Academically, she has shown this through her attention to detail in each assignment. Furthermore, Teresa has a persistent curiosity, especially pertaining to the subjects of manufacturing and machining.

As a great opportunity to make use of her creativity, Teresa designed a candy mold for the 3rd Annual ZRP MMET student scholarship competition. Her problem-solving approach involves “When working on homework or projects, I inevitably run into roadblocks. If I have an issue solving a problem one way, I commonly brainstorm different approaches and research possible solutions” as described by Teresa.

Teresa has demonstrated communication skills through forming a study group with her classmates, actively participating in classroom discussions, and as a contestant in the Winter Carnival Royalty competition. Teresa explains, “I enjoy building relationships with my professors and classmates. I am thankful for all the opportunities that I have received to practice teamwork in projects and labs.”

Patricia Stein, Four Students Inducted Into MTU’s Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society

Group of five people holding the EPT triangle.

The Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) and the College of Computing (CC) inducted four Michigan Tech students and MMET’s academic advisor into Michigan Tech’s Delta Zeta Chapter of the Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society on April 6, 2023.

Epsilon Pi Tau is the international honor society for professions in technology, recognizing students and technology professionals for academic excellence.

Congratulations to the Delta Zeta Chapter Spring 2023 Epsilon Pi Tau initiates: Donovan Choa and Robert Coene (mechanical engineering technology), Noah Harvey and Ryan Kern (computer network and system administration), and Academic Advisor Patricia Stein (MMET).

For more information, contact Delta Zeta Chapter Trustee John Irwin (MMET) at, co-trustee Todd Arney (CC) at, or visit Epsilon Pi Tau’s website.

By Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology | College of Computing.

Chocolate Anyone? Announcing the 3rd Annual Zachary Richard Podkul ’18 MET Design Challenge

Who doesn’t like chocolate around the holidays? For the third annual Zachary R. Podkul Design Challenge, MET students are tasked with developing a mold to make their own chocolates. The process involves first designing a 3D CAD model of the finished chocolate—Michigan Tech related, of course!

Zach and his mom together on Mt. Ripley. Read more about Zachary R. Podkul Design Challenge here.

The MMET AM facility will 3D print patterns of all entries on the Stratasys Fortus 400 MC which uses Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process of extruding plastic filament. The students will create a flask made of poster board strips to hold the food safe silicone mold material and 3D printed patterns of the chocolates.

The students will remove their silicone mold from the flask. Fill the mold with melted chocolate, then freeze to perfection.

MMET Faculty judges will rate the student’s work on the following criteria:

  • 3D CAD Model – Utilizes sketches fully constrained with parametric features
  • Originality – Unique and innovative design representative of Michigan Tech
  • Quality – Uniformity, strength and surface finish
  • Manufacturability – Ability for chocolate to be easily formed in mold
  • Detail – The chocolate conforms to the mold intended design
Finally, the finished product will be ready for judging and eating (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!)

Three winners will be announced on April 19, 2023 with the prize going towards Fall 2023 tuition.
First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250

MMET Graduate Program Adds New Options

Students and faculty hard at work on the Parker fluid power equipment

There are now two options in the MMET Department for students who want to pursue graduate studies after receiving their undergraduate degrees: Graduate Certificates and Master’s degrees. 

“Our graduate students now represent 20 percent of our overall enrollment in the MMET Department,” says chair John Irwin. “This growth impacts our course offerings, lab needs, and research space. This is positive in most respects, although it presents certain challenges. We welcome the continued support from the friends of  the department.” 

MMET has been offering a multidisciplinary MS in Mechatronics for some time now, but new this fall is the department’s own MS in Manufacturing Engineering

Each of the MMET Department’s Manufacturing Engineering graduate courses are also offered online for any remote learners pursuing an advanced degree while employed. 

The Graduate Certificate in Fluid Power Mechatronics is composed of four courses totaling 10 credits. “Fluid power engineering is growing nationwide and globally. It has a major downstream economic impact because thousands of companies in the US depend on fluid power,” Irwin explains. “According to a 2021 National Fluid Power Association Industry Brief, these companies are estimated to employ more than 845,000 people representing more than $60 billion in annual payroll.”

Michigan Tech’s MMET Fluid Power Lab

Key Factors in Holistic Safety Systems is one of the courses required to earn the Mechatronics Graduate Certificate. It is also required to earn an MS in Mechatronics. “This course has tremendous support from industry, in particular from Donald Engineering and Ross Controls,” notes Irwin.  

Ross Controls Safety Working Demo

Ross Controls and Donald Engineering supplied working demonstration stands, to hold state-of-the-art safety equipment used in the safety industry. The equipment is used in the Safety course along with curriculum developed in partnership with Ross Controls. 

Associate Professor Scott Wagner attended safety training offered by Ross Controls at their Ferndale, Michigan facility. The training included a high-level introduction to fluid power and safety basics including LOTO standards followed by an in-depth and hands-on valve configuration review.

From the Desk of Pam Washuleski, MMET Administrative Aide

Pam Washuleski

It has been another great year at Michigan Tech and in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology. So many fun-filled events and great memories made with students, staff, faculty, and friends.

Some of those memories included honoring our top MET students at the Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society Banquet, MET student competitions, open houses, graduation socials, and of course…the MMET department holiday potluck luncheon. We also honored former MET Academic Advisor Danise Jarvey upon her retirement in September 2022.

Happy Holidays, Everyone, and a Happy New Year, too!

Santa Claus made a visit to the MMET Department, or is this Adjunct Instructor Jay Kristola?
Spring 2022 MET graduates—who has more fun?

MMET Department News: People

A lovely retirement gathering for Danise Jarvey!
MMET Academic Advisor Danise Jarvey retired recently. She’ll be enjoying even more quality time with her grandkids!

The MMET Department has evolved since joining the College of Engineering, adding resources, staff, and faculty, especially over the past year. 

Laboratory resources have been added through industry donations from companies like Ross Controls, Miller Welding, Parker-Hannifin and Donald Engineering. 

The retirement of MMET Advisor Danise Jarvey brought a new addition to the department, Tricia Stein.

MMET Academic Advisor Tricia Stein

Tricia comes from her previous position as an Advisor in the ME-EM Department at Michigan Tech, so she is very familiar with Michigan Tech culture and students. 

Danise dedicated over 24 years to the University. Among the roles she has held: Director of Academic Services in the MMET Department and the former School of Technology; Senior Engineering Academic Advisor (ME-EM); Study Abroad Coordinator (College of Engineering); and Lab Instructor/Course Assistant (College of Business and former School of Business and Economics). Danise plans to spend time with her family and travel.

David Wanless Named Director of Graduate Programs

MMET Graduate Advisor and Associate Teaching Professor David Wanless
MMET Professor of Practice Nicholas Hendrickson

The addition of graduate degree offerings in the department has brought a new role for Dr. David Wanless. He now serves as Director of Graduate Programs in addition to his faculty position. In this role, Dr. Wanless reviews all candidate applications for acceptance into the graduate certificates and degree programs. He also oversees graduate program assessment, and the advising of MMET graduate students. 

Nicholas Hendrickson Joins MMET Faculty
Michigan Tech’s MMET Department is very pleased to announce that Nicholas Hendrickson has joined its faculty as a Professor of Practice (PoP). Hendrickson was previously the Operations/Facilities Supervisor for the MMET Machine Shop for the past 12 years, and also had been routinely teaching as an Adjunct Instructor. In addition to the PoP position, Hendrickson will direct all MMET Machining and Additive Manufacturing Facilities. He has expertise in all types of manufacturing, but specializes in AM.

Scott Meneguzzo Named New MMET Laboratory Operations Supervisor

MMET Laboratory Operation Supervisor Scott Meneguzzo
MMET Adjunct Instructor Jay Kristola

MMET has a new Laboratory Operations Supervisor, Scott Meneguzzo, who was previously the Master Machinist in the MMET Machine Shop. “It is very fortunate to have Scott take over this role because of his familiarity and expertise with all the equipment and operations in the facility,” says MMET Department chair John Irwin. In his new role, Meneguzzo supervises the student temporary employees that perform machining and fabrication as well as serving as the Safety Liaison for the MMET Department. 

Jay Kristola Returns to MMET as Adjunct Instructor“We are pleased to have the return of Adjunct Instructor Jay Kristola,” adds Irwin. “He brings over 40 years of experience to reinforce his teaching of subjects such as: Statics, Fluid Mechanics, and Strength of Materials.”

Michigan Tech’s MMET Department Expands Partnered Research

Metal casting in the Michigan Tech foundry

MMET is known not only for great teaching and scholarship, but for developing industry collaborations.

Currently, funded projects are ongoing with the National Science Foundation, Michigan UP Works, Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD), Whirlpool Corporation, and LIFT (operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute).

Additional projects are supported through Michigan Tech’s Industry Sponsored Programs office, including the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST) and the Parker Foundation. 

MMET Professor and Chair John Irwin is the principal investigator (PI) of three ongoing projects: NSF S-STEM Award ETS-IMPRESS; Michigan Works Mi-LEAP; and CCISD CTE Mechatronics

“Research in the MMET department has grown exponentially in the past few years.”

John Irwin, MMET Department Chair

MMET Assistant Professor David Labyak serves as PI for a Whirlpool project, Refrigerator Door Gasket Verification Fixture, and an AIST project, Teaching Industry 4.0 to Mechanical Engineering Technology Students in the Pilot-Scale Metal/Steel Processing Facilities at Michigan Tech.

The AIST research involves using the MSE pilot-scale metal/steel processing facility to update its sensors and data collection capabilities to better align with Industry 4.0. “Analysis of the processing (big) data—using techniques such as machine learning—will help produce highly capable Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology engineers for the steel industry,” says Labyak.

Professor of Practice Nicholas Hendrickson is the PI on a project for LIFT. His research team will perform precision machining on cast and 3D printed samples that require specialized fixturing. 

“Faculty expertise in the MMET Department—in the operation of CNC equipment, and in the subtractive and additive manufacturing and fabrication techniques—allows companies to partner with us on specialized projects, especially those requiring advanced engineering, or CAD design and manufacturing,” says Irwin.