TechAlum News

June 6, 2005 (Vol. 12, No. 4)

An award-winning weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University. Written and distributed by Dean Woodbeck '78, Senior Director of University Communications. For past issues, see our archives.

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

Remember when washing the car wasn't really about getting an automobile clean (although I contend that should still be the end result)? It was about warm temperatures, being outside, and (most important) having control of the nozzle.

Warm temperatures came to the Keweenaw this weekend and, with them, a spate of outdoor activity. Except for me as I scoured eBay for mountain bike deals. But the windows and doors were open and I could hear elevated noise levels, water-related trash talking, then the pitter-patter of size 11 feet on the porch.

The inside of the house, you see, is a spray-free zone and Mr. Size 11's sister had taken refuge while continuing to taunt her brother. Somewhere along the line a huge Super Soaker water gun appeared on the scene (I'm guessing because it provided more portability than a hose). The result was a wet porch, a wet driveway and two wet people.

When I emerged from the house, the Super Soaker had replaced the hose as car washing implement of choice ("you wash the car *your* way, I'll wash it mine").

Somehow the pasty dinner just didn't seem right that night. Grilled cheeseburgers or chicken (with lots of barbecue sauce), warm breezes, and Ernie Harwell narrating a Tigers game amid the radio crackling from lightning storm somewhere between here and there--now *that's* a summer evening.

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

CARGILL SITE PROMOTES TECH'S SafeLane: Cargill is promoting SafeLane (formerly SmartLane), the anti-icing road coating developed by Michigan Tech's Russ Alger, a research scientist at the Keweenaw Research Center. You can read about the SafeLane trial on the Wolf River Bridge, near Crandon, Wis., and more recent studies. Plus, click on "Origin" to read a nice plug on the Keweenaw Research Center. More:

CAN TESTOSTERONE EXPLAIN HOW CLOUDS FORM? What's the freezing point of water? If you answered 32 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degrees Celsius), you are among the vast, misinformed majority. Will Cantrell, an assistant professor of physics, explains that it depends on the surface the water is touching, as well as impurities in the liquid. But he has also found that adding a little testosterone to water raises its freezing point. Read about this, and why it really *is* important, here.

LIBRARY TOURS THIS SUMMER: Tours of the new Opie Library and renovated J.R. Van Pelt Library will be available throughout the summer. Tours will be given Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. Meet at the Circulation Desk located on the first floor.

SMART ZONE HOLDS PATENT WORKSHOP: The Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone is sponsoring two workshops June 20-21 led by patent attorney William Abbatt of Brooks Kushman, P.C. Both will be held at Michigan Tech's Advanced Technology Development Complex. The workshops will cover the basics of patents and how to get started on an application. Limited consultations are also available. Contact Jonathan Leinonen (jleinonen(at) or go here.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN ALUMNI PICNIC: Michigan Tech's Detroit-area African-American alumni will host a picnic June 11 at Belle Isle (shelter 1 at noon) in Detroit. All alumni are welcome, and the group will host incoming area freshmen and the Michigan Tech Wade McCree scholars. For more information, contact Betty Chavis at ythbetty(at)

ALUM SUMMITS EVEREST: Scott Wazny, a 1995 graduate of Michigan Tech and an experienced mountaineer, has successfully reached the summit of Mt. Everest. Reports from Nepal show him at the top of the world on May 30. Wazny earned a degree in mechanical engineering and was a three-year starter on Tech's football team (he was team captain his senior year). He and his wife, Dana, live in Portland, Oregon, where he is an engineer at Freightliner.

KEWEENAW CHAPTER EVENT WEDNESDAY: The Keweenaw alumni chapter has an after-work social scheduled for Wednesday, 5-6:30 pm, at the Library Restaurant and Brew Pub. Appetizers and brewery tours included. No RSVP necessary.

Around Town

FINNISH LANGUAGE CENTER DISCUSSED: Finlandia University and Finnish American Heritage Center officials are organizing an advisory board to study the viability of establishing a North American Finnish language consortium. The board will survey Finnish language instructors, develop a proposal exploring the establishment of a central resource body for the support of North American Finnish language and culture instruction, and investigate and identify sources of funding for a Finnish language and culture center.

INDIAN COMMUNITY WINS TAX RULING: A U.S. District Court judge in Marquette has ruled that the state has no grounds to impose property taxes on the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. In 1992, the state foreclosed on several tribal properties for non-payment of taxes. A resulting agreement specified that the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community would not pay property taxes, but would pay an equivalent amount for government services, such as police and fire protection. The court ruled that an 1854 treaty creating the reservation's sovereignty prevents the state from taking land in any way, including via property taxes.

From the E-mailbag

Dean sez: Many, many alumni knew of the book that Kate
Willette was looking for, which turned out to be A
Programmed Introduction to Dynamics by Clyde Work. Here's a
note from Kate.

E-mail from Kate Willette (kate.willette(at)

Dean, you said, "I'm sure you know by now that we have
alumni with very good memories..."

To which I reply, that is an understatement! I have
heard (so far) from 24 different people scattered all
across the country. The great majority knew exactly
which book I was talking about, and several also
remembered the name of the professor (Clyde Work) and
title of the book (A Programmed Introduction to
Dynamics). They remembered the color of the cover.
Several have copies in their basements they're willing
to send to me. One of them scanned the cover and sent
the image along with his email. A few of them found
the ISBN, and a couple found sites with used textbooks
that have it in stock.

In short--holy cow! What an amazing group of readers
you have--not only do they have very good memories,
but they're thoughtful, efficient, creative, and
kind. It's wonderful to be associated with such fine
people. Thanks so much for your help, and please feel
free to post anything you like from this mail in your

Dean sez: Kudos to youse guys, eh? Below is a sampling of
e-mail to Kate, with some interesting stories intertwined.

E-mail from Chris Pritchard '78 (CHRIS_PRITCHARD(at)

Dean -

I think the self - paced statics and dynamics courses
were by Mechanical Engineering Prof Clyde ( C. E.)
Work. He was later Mining Department head/chair when I
graduated in '78.

I remember him (story time!) because the one (or more)
of the Canadian mining engineering students removed
the false floor in the mining department basement
office in ME-EM which had the Univac grounding network
in the space below the floor, and then went under the
locked door into the Professor's office to "borrow"
the rock mechanics test. Needless to say, the usual
beer drinking Canadians too obviously all aced the
test (a rarity) and Clyde Work and Prof Kunsoo Kim
decided as punishment all the seniors would have to
take finals instead of graduating seniors
traditionally getting out of it. Those of us who
actually studied and got good grades WERE NOT HAPPY!

Thanks for the good job!

E-mail from Ray Tabar '70 (RTabar(at)

I will look around home for the Programmed Dynamics
(as I think it was called) text. I'm not positive
anymore, as memory dims with time, but I believe the
author/instructor was C. E. Work. I was in the very
first trial class for the text, probably 1967 or 1968.
We were supposed to keep track of the amount of time
we spent doing the assignments to help in the
evaluation of the course. We were told that the time
actually spent would not affect our grade. I pretty
much aced the class hands down, but received a "B" for
my efforts. When I asked Dr. Work why, he said I
didn't spend enough time on the study. Personally, I
think there were a lot of liars that wanted Dr. Work
to think that the class was very tough.

E-mail from Tim Nielsen (TNielsen(at)

I think the book that you are talking about is "A
Programmed Introduction to Dynamics" by Clyde E.
Work. It came as two paperback books, the reference
text and the programmed workbook. The questions were
on the right hand side of the page and an answer
shield covered the answers on the left. I still have
my copy or I should say my son has my copy. I thought
that it would be a good second reference for him while
he was taking the class up at Michigan Tech this past year. Good
luck finding a copy. If you are just looking for some
representative pages, let me know and I could send you

Dean sez: and now a couple of comments on the walk at the
Presque Isle River and waterfalls at the Porkies.

E-mail from Shelley Berg (amiladat2pj(at)

Ahhh, I remember that exact same walk one summer when
I stayed up at Tech. I don't remember which one. I
only remember after the first summer I stayed in the
UP, I spent the rest there as well. I have to say Jay
is awfully brave for May. I remember after my weekend
of ruffing it, my roommate and I were so hot and
couldn't get cool. We decided to make that same stop
and cool off in Lake Superior. But we were so hot we
ran from the car and dove in, I still tell the story
to this day because I thought I was going into shock.
It was the first time the water ever knocked the
breath out of me from the cold water.

I can't wait to show my family some of my version of
the UP this summer. My husband is German and has
never experienced a summer in the UP. It will be my
first trip back since graduation in 94'.

E-mail from Lorin Johnson (lorin(at)


So, you entice us with descriptions of beauty and then
tease us by saying you took many photos? Post them,
please! I'm going through UP withdrawal, and have
been for 20 years! I grew up in Republic, and
attended da Tech, eh.

Dean sez: I used the old fashioned film camera for these
photos (actually, a Minolta purchased during my freshman
year many, many moons ago). The photos are back tonight and
I'll post them this week.

E-mail from David Elack '60 (themisture(at)


I have to confess that I deleted your May 23
newsletter too soon since I had intended to comment on
the message concerning Australian beer. Lance Olson's
missive in this week's publication reminded me of it.
He (Lance) is correct that beer is good almost
anywhere in the world that you find it, except
possibly in Russia. Out of curiosity (and desperation)
we tried some Russian made beer in little brown pint
sized bottles while stuck in an airport in Kiev
waiting for Aeroflot to find volunteers to fly our
group's chartered plane to Moscow.

The contents of the bottles were highly suspicious,
with what looked like little things floating in it,
but if you closed your eyes it tasted sort of like
beer and the alcohol content was probably strong
enough to kill off almost anything that might have
been in there. We were thankful for it at any rate
after we got a good look at the plane they had lined
up for us to fly in. No one who was sober would have
gotten on board. The plane appeared to be an old
American made Boeing 727, possibly one of the first
Ones ever built (this was in 1992). One of the ladies
in our group complained to one of the officers that
the wall next to her seat was too hot to touch. He
responded by shrugging and saying "it's an old plane".

It had what appeared to be the original tires on it
and we got a good look at them while boarding. The
tires were not only bald, they had areas where the
cording under the rubber was showing. The pilots they
came up with must have been fresh out of the military
because they liked to take off straight up and land
straight down.

We discovered upon trying to land why the tires looked
the way they did. The first landing was quite smooth
and everyone started to applaud and then we landed a
second time a second or two later to a less
enthusiastic reaction followed by another final
landing that was quite firm resulting in stunned
silence and relief amongst the survivors as we
screeched to a halt at the terminal.

Getting back to Australia, which is what stirred this
up in the first place, one of my favorites was
Castlemain XXXX, not because it was necessarily a
great beer, but because I was informed that it was
beer for those who couldn't spell beer. Just one other
observation, as we were strolling through Downtown
Sydney we stumbled across what looked like a fire hose
on the sidewalk. It was connected to a tank truck with
the name of one of the breweries on it and appeared to
be pumping beer into the basement of a pub. I don't
know if the mechanics of this are workable, but it
certainly was an impressive sight and I can't think of
anything else that might account for what we saw. It's
hard to imagine the volume of business that would
support that kind of consumption. Those Aussies!!

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,121 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.

1961 Arnold VanDoren prarnold(at)
1967 Otto Koch okoch2803(at)
1975 Michael Binder mcbinder(at)
1978 Douglas Young DHYoung18(at)
1981 Richard Brownrigg ryc(at)
1982 William King wkking_1960(at)
1983 Lawrence Pieniazek larry.pieniazek(at)
1984 Susan Wright (Mileski) stillsusan(at)
1989 Linus Beckman aabeckman(at)
1991 Paul Saldin paul.saldin(at)
1992 Christopher Barrera cbarrera(at)
1997 Barry Brinkman brinkmanbarry(at)
2001 Jan Wolf (Makela) janwolf(at)
2001 Matthew Draper matthew_j_draper(at)
2004 Angelo Chialva chialva(at)
2004 Milan Lathia milan(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.


7 Los Angeles Alumni Event
8 Keweenaw Chapter after-work social at Library Restaurant and Brew Pub
11 Detroit Chapter 2005 Golf Outing
11 Detroit African-American alumni picnic at Belle Isle (noon at Shelter 1)

15 Mid-Michigan (Saginaw, Midland, Bay City) Annual Golf Outing
30 West Michigan Chapter at Whitecaps baseball

GREEK REUNION INFORMATION has been moved to the web. For the link, go here:

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Print shop supervisor

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (