TechAlum News

September 13, 2004 (Vol. 11, No. 18)

An award-winning weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University. Written and distributed by Dean Woodbeck '78, Director of News and Information Services.

In this issue:

  • Husky Tales
  • At da Tech
  • Around Town
  • From the E-mailbag
  • E-mail Updates/Welcome to new subscribers
  • Alumni Chapter Events
  • Job Opportunities
  • Electronic Services for Alumni

Husqi Tales

     The changing Keweenaw seasons always bring surprises. Take the high temperatures, for example. Yesterday's was 56. Today's will be 83. Yesterday was cool and misty. Today will be hot and humid. OK, so "hot" is a relative term.

     We went for a fascinating walk at dusk last night, with the winds blowing at 25 miles per hour. The fog started rolling in, whipped about by the wind. At one point, a bank of fog (you know like a gaggle of geese or a flock of cows) came flying over a neighbor's roof--I thought something was on fire.

     I felt like a character in a Sherlock Holmes novel, walking up a hill and into the wind, with visibility limited by the rolling fog. This must be what it feels like to walk along a Scottish moor, I said to my wife, only without the sea coast nearby.

     We then had a discussion about what, exactly, a moor is. When we returned home, I got out the trusty American Heritage Dictionary and found that a moor can consist of heath. Now *that's* helpful. But is also is a large open area with poor drainage.

     That fit my preconceived notion a bit better. Here I was, in my mind's eye, walking with Watson at dusk along an embankment, searching for that dog that didn't bark, with the desolate moor stretching down to the sea. Elementary, my dear reader, as in I was really walking past the elementary school, stepping into the fog, not quite moored in reality.

TechAlum COLOROLOGIST: The colorologist reports 7.5 percent color in the Keweenaw, with some portions of the peninsula now starting to change rapidly.

ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else:

At Da Tech

NEW STUDENT ENROLLMENT RISES: The number of new students coming to Michigan Tech is up by 4 percent, according to official figures. The number of incoming freshmen is up by 3.2 percent, from 1,187 in fall 2003 to 1,225 this year, with the number of new transfer students rising 9.4 percent, from 181 to 198. Overall on-campus enrollment is up 59 students, from 6,081 to 6,140, and total enrollment stands at 6,536. More

BRAD KING RECEIVES PRESIDENTIAL RESEARCH AWARD: Assistant Professor L. Brad King (MEEM) traveled to Washington, DC, last week to accept a 2003 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers at the White House. King is among 60 faculty members selected from U.S. colleges and universities to receive a Presidential Award.

     The White House chooses recipients from among those nominated by the top U.S. research agencies, including NASA, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. King's name was put forward by the Department of Defense. All nominees have received their PhD degrees within the last five years.

     As part of the Presidential Award, King receives a five-year, $500,000 grant to continue his research on very-high-powered ion engines, which could be used for manned Mars missions or ambitious robotic space science missions. More.

GHATU SUBHASH NAMED ASME FELLOW: ME-EM Professor Ghatu Subhash has been named a Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in recognition of his exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession. Subhash's teaching accomplishments include the Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph R. Teetor Education Award and the Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award. He has also graduated numerous PhD and master's students and has recently been named associate chair of ME-EM and director of graduate studies. More.

SMARTZONE RECEIVES COOLEST PROJECT AWARD: The Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone has received Michigan’s Cool U.P. Award from the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance. The awards recognize businesses and organizations that demonstrate an ability to attract and retain youth in the U.P. and the uniqueness of projects, attractions, products, services and workplaces. The SmartZone won in the Economic Development Project category.

     ThermoAnalytics, Inc., a local company that started as a spin-off from Michigan Tech, received an award for the coolest workplace.

BASH AT THE BIG HOUSE UPDATE: The two adversaries in the Bash at the Big House, Michigan Tech and Grand Valley State, are both 3-0. The November 6 game set for Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor is less than eight weeks away, when the schools will attempt to break the NCAA Division II attendance record of 61,143.

The Bash will be the regular season finale for both schools. The game will no doubt have implications for the NCAA II playoffs, which has expanded from 16 to 24 teams this year. Fans are encouraged to go to for tickets and more information.

     Michigan Tech is also hosting the Michigan YES (Youth Engineering Science) Expo for high school students in Crisler Arena that Saturday. For information on the Expo, and how you can help, see

FOR MORE INFORMATION from Tech, see the weekly newsletter
Tech Topics:

Around Town

KEWEENAW POINT RECOMMENDATIONS: The Keweenaw Point Advisory Committee has unanimously approved recommendations for motorized use of 6,275-acres of forests and shoreline at the end of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The committee had previously approved non-motorized recommendations. The group was created to provide input to the Michigan DNR. The state purchased the property last year.

HUMANE SOCIETY BUILDING APPROVED: The Copper Country Humane Society's new animal shelter will be built on property within the Nara Nature Park, located east of Houghton on US-41 and near the society’s current building.  The agreement ends months of turmoil regarding the location of the new shelter. An alternate site drew complaints from nearby homeowners.

HOCKEY 100 CELEBRATION: Professional hockey was born in Houghton in 1904, and the city is putting on a weekend celebration Sept. 23-26 to celebrate its 100th birthday. One of the weekend's highlights is a hockey game on Saturday, Sept. 25, between former Detroit Red Wings players and Michigan Tech hockey alumni. Michigan Tech hockey coach Jamie Russell will play in the game, along with Michigan Tech and Red Wings alumnus Randy McKay. Gordie Howe will drop the ceremonial puck for the game.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Eric Norppa '79 (eric.m.norppa(at)


     I must take exception to your statement, "Unfortunately, the trees have grown at different rates, giving the whole thing a Mystery Spot look." You can't blame this one on the trees.  As your forestry friends will no doubt attest, trees grow from the tips; not from the base.  In other words, if you drive a nail into a tree 8 feet off the ground, it will remain 8 feet off the ground regardless of how tall the tree grows.  I would stick with the Hurricane Toivo story.

P.S. A while back, you reported on the correct pronunciation of Sauna. As a Finlander, I was very      pleased to see that because I was getting tired of having to correct people all the time.  But now I      would like to know this:  Have your Swedish friends told you how to pronounce Husqvarna correctly?  I went to Sweden to discover the answer for myself a few years ago.  Hint - it has 4 syllables and (like all Swedish dialect) you need to "sing" it as you say it.

Dean says: That would be "Hoos-ka-vahr-na."

E-mail from Barbara Matz '74 (Barbara.Matz(at)

     Hi Dean,

     One of my favorite web sites, Earth Science Picture of the Day ( has featured a July 2004 teacher’s symposium at da Tech twice in one week, on September 1 and 7, 2004.  The Sept. 7 photo is of aurora over Hancock!

Dean sez: Wait until you see the aurora photo in the December issue of the alumni magazine. It was shot by alum Adam Johnson and is spectacular.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 6,980 subscribers.

Here are the new e-mail addresses from the past week. Please note, we are
using the word "at" instead of the at sign to guard against spambots.

1972  Michael Johnson        mljohn49283(at)

1975  Candace Goulette (Meier) cagoulet(at)

1983  Laura Nagel (Redd)     lnagel(at)

1985  Paul Halverson         phalverson(at)

1987  Brenda Mayo            Angogwanon(at)

1988  Daniel Clancy          la_buckeye(at)

1992  Renee Wiczorek (Kifer) Renee.Wiczorek(at)

1993  Jacob Salmi            jsalmi(at)

1993  Christopher Boerman    Christopher.Boerman(at)

1999  Jason Dobson           duckhuntdobber(at)

2000  Jennifer Wallace       jenwallace77(at)

2001  Jeffrey Goodney       jgoodney.closner(at)

2002  Scott Hoenecke         shoenecke(at)

2002  Holly Lehto            lehto(at)

2003  Adam Mitteer           aamittee(at)

2003  Jody Scheffler         jody_scheffler(at)

You can update your information at:

Alumni Association Programs

CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events,
e-mail mtu_alumni at or see the alumni chapter site on the web.


14 -- Keweenaw Chapter presents "Guatemala's active volcanoes," a presentation by Gregg Bluth, associate professor of geology. Contact Mike Drewyor (482-0535)


 9 -- Michigan Tech Homecoming vs. Wayne State


 6 -- Bash at the Big House, football vs. Grand Valley at Michigan stadium (

Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions for these positions are available by e-mailing jobs at

  • Admissions representative (full-time, nine-month position based in Chicago area).
OFF CAMPUS: For complete descriptions, jump to our jobs web site.

  • Programmer/analyst

See you next week