Category Archives: News

New Funding

Pengfei XuePengfei Xue (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $109,790 research and development cooperative agreement with the University of Michigan.

The project is entitled, “The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR): Long-Term Data Assimilative, Temperature and Currents Database for the Great Lakes (Year 2: Lake Michigan).

This is a one year project.


The Building Blocks for Gamma-Ray Astronomy for High School

This summer a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) was hosted by the Department of Physics at Michigan Technological University and the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) research group at Michigan Tech. The six-week experience involved learning about the HAWC observatory and Gamma-Ray astronomy, developing five related lesson plans, and constructing a website to share the 2018 and 2019 RET lesson plans. Please join the 2019 teachers, Matt Laird and Heather Murphy, on (Friday) August 9 in Rekhi Hall Room 214 at 10:00 a.m. for a presentation/demonstration highlighting the following lesson plans: Celestial Navigation, Modeling Gamma-Ray Data, Observations of the Electromagnetic Spectrum, SS433 A Journey with the Scientific Method, and Star Evolution and Gamma-Ray Sources.

Heather Murphy is a high-school science teacher at Hancock High School, in Hancock Michigan. A Michigan Tech alumni graduating with a BS 2002 (major Biology minor General Science), and MSASE 2017, with Secondary Education Teaching Certificates in Biology (DA) 6-12, Science (DX) 6-12, Physics (2500), A.P. Physics- College Board, and A.P. Biology- College Board.

Matt Laird is a high-school science teacher at Lake Linden – Hubbell High School. A Michigan Tech alumni graduating in 2014 with a BS in Applied Geophysics and 2016 with a MS in Geophysics and a Science (DX) 6-12 certification.




Former Physics Professor Passes

Former physics professor and Michigan Tech alum, David Chiminopassed away on July 5, 2019. Professor Chimino graduated from Michigan Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics and served as faculty in the Department of Physics for 42 years, teaching physics and astronomy.

During his tenure, Dave received the Distinguished Teaching Award and was appointed the rank of Presidential Professor for his outstanding teaching. As stated by former college dean and provost, Max Seel, “Dave’s endearing claim to fame was that he could draw perfect circles on the chalkboard in physics class. Everyone who went through his introductory physics lectures remembers.” Sue Hill had an undergraduate class with him and said, “Dave was friends with his students. He always had time to talk to us.”

Professor Chimino built a private optical observatory in Atlantic Mine, named Amjoch after his parents. He was active in community outreach sharing his Cosmic Journey science lectures and after retiring as faculty, mentored Michigan Tech students pursuing their high school teaching certification in science and math. Dave will be remembered for his spirit of generosity and kindness.



In the News

Simon CarnSimon Carn (GMES/EPSSI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $79,390 research and development grant from NASA. The project is entitled “Exploiting High-Cadence Observations of Volcanic Eruptions from DSCOVR/EPIC.”

This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $267,948.


Call for Applications: Songer Research Award for Human Health Research

2018-19 Songer Award Recipients. Pictured Left to Right: Abby Sutherland, Billiane Kenyon, Jeremy Bigalke, Rupsa Basu, Matthew Songer, and Laura Songer.

Matthew Songer, (Biological Sciences ’79) and Laura Songer (Biological Sciences ’80) have generously donated funds to the College of Sciences and Arts (CSA) to support a research project competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Remembering their own eagerness to engage in research during their undergraduate years, the Songers established these awards to stimulate and encourage opportunities for original research by current Michigan Tech students. The College is extremely grateful for the Songers’ continuing interest in, and support of, Michigan Tech’s programs in human health and medicine. This is the second year of the competition.

Students may propose an innovative medically-oriented research project in any area of human health. The best projects will demonstrate the potential to have broad impact on improving human life. This research will be pursued in consultation with faculty members within the College of Sciences and Arts. In the Spring of 2019, the Songer’s gift will support one award for undergraduate research ($4,000) and a second award for graduate research ($6,000). Matching funds from the College may allow two additional awards.

Any Michigan Tech student interested in exploring a medically related question under the guidance of faculty in the College of Sciences and Arts may apply. Students majoring in any degree program in the college, including both traditional (i.e., biological sciences, kinesiology, chemistry) and nontraditional (i.e., physics, psychology, social science, bioethics, computer science, mathematics) programs related to human health may propose research projects connected to human health. Students are encouraged to propose original, stand-alone projects with expected durations of 6 – 12 months. The committee also encourages applications from CSA students who seek to continue research projects initiated through other campus mechanisms, such as the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, Pavlis Honors College activities or the Graduate Research Forum (GRF).

Funds from a Songer Award may be used to purchase or acquire research materials and equipment needed to perform the proposed research project. Access to and research time utilizing University core research facilities, including computing, may be supported. Requests to acquire a personal computer will be scrutinized and must be fully justified. Page charges for publications also may be covered with award funds, as will travel to appropriate academic meetings. This award may not be used for salary or compensation for the student or consulting faculty.

To apply:

  • Students should prepare a research project statement (up to five pages in length) that describes the background, methods to be used, and research objectives. The statement also should provide a detailed description of the experiments planned and expected outcomes. Students must indicate where they will carry out their project and attach a separate list of references/citations to relevant scientific literature.
  • The application package also should provide a concise title and brief summary (1 page) written for lay audiences.
  • A separate budget page should indicate how funds will be used.
  • A short letter from a consulting faculty member must verify that the student defined an original project and was the primary author of the proposal. The faculty member should also confirm her/his willingness to oversee the project. This faculty letter is not intended to serve as a recommendation on behalf of the student’s project.

Submit applications as a single PDF file to the Office of the College of Sciences and Arts by 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 22. Applications may be emailed to djhemmer@mtu.edu.

The selection committee will consist of Matthew Songer, Laura Songer, Shekhar Joshi (BioSci) and Megan Frost (KIP). The committee will review undergraduate and graduate proposals separately and will seek additional comments about the proposed research on an ad-hoc basis from reviewers familiar with the topic of the research proposal. Primary review criteria will be the originality and potential impact of the proposed study, as well as its feasibility and appropriateness for Michigan Tech’s facilities.

The committee expects to announce the recipients by early May of 2019. This one-time research award will be administered by the faculty advisor of the successful student investigator. Students will be expected to secure any necessary IRB approval before funds will be released. Funds must be expended by the end of spring semester 2020; extensions will not be granted. Recipients must submit a detailed report to the selection committee, including a description of results and an accounting of finds utilized, no later than June 30, 2020.

Any questions may be directed to Megan Frost (mcfrost@mtu.edu), David Hemmer (djhemmer@mtu.edu) or Shekhar Joshi (cpjoshi@mtu.edu).


Tech Chemist Reviews UN Report on the Environment

The sixth GlobaSarah Greenl Environmental Outlook has been released while environmental ministers from around the world are in Nairobi to participate in the world’s highest-level environmental forum.

The report warns that human health is in dire straits without urgent actions to protect the environment. Sarah Green (Chem) is a scientific reviewer.

The most comprehensive and rigorous assessment on the state of the environment completed by the UN in the last five years was published yesterday (March 13), warning that damage to the planet is so dire that people’s health will be increasingly threatened unless urgent action is taken.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.