March 13, 2006 (Vol. 12, No. 39)

A weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University

Edited by Dennis Walikainen (MS ’92), Director, Web Development, University Marketing and Communications

For past issues, see our archives.

In this issue:


It was a weekend of endings: my high school alma mater, Hancock, lost to Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the State of Michigan Division III Hockey semi-finals Friday night, 7-3, in a game that sounded much closer than the score revealed. The Bulldogs were an underdog all through the playoffs, and made it farther than many would have believed.

Earlier Friday, the Huskies women's basketball team lost to Northern Kentucky, 67-66, in the NCAA Division II Regionals in Missouri. The Northern Kentucky team scored with 3.9 seconds left to beat the Huskies, ending another great year for John Barnes (GLIAC Coach of the Year) and his team. We say goodbye to seniors Sarah Magee, Maria Schneider, and Amanda Sieja.

The hockey Huskies also lost, dropping a pair to those hated Badgers, 4-1 and 1-0, to get knocked out of the WCHA playoffs and end a year of subtle improvements. They return two good goalies: Michael-Lee Teslak and Rob Nolan, and that's a nice place from which to build. We are losing seniors Chris Conner, Taggart Desmet, Nick Anderson, Pekka Saittakari, Brandon Schwartz, and John Scott.

Finally, the Junior Olympics wrapped up on Sunday, and we'll miss the competitors and their entourages hanging out downtown and up the hill in the shopping centers. They were easy to spot since, in addition to out-of-town license plates, many decorated their vehicles with names of their teams and locales in washable (I hope) paint.

This might seem depressing, all these endings, but they really point to the immediate future: spring break is over, and it's only a short six-week push to the end of the semester. A weekend in the forties inspired me to buy my first baseball magazine of the year. And, with the snow-banks receding and revealing some grass (and mud) and the water running downhill, how long can it be until we are gracing the fairways at our Portage Lake Golf Course?

About a month and change, as a matter of fact, after we get through another little taste of winter promised by the weatherman. But, he's been wrong before, and besides, isn't that "Saint Patrick's Day Storm" just malarkey?

Snowfall Update
As of March 5, 2006

Snowfall to Date, On the Ground

This Week: 195"     32"
Last Week: 193"     36 "
Last Year: 137.5"     38 "

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

At Tech

CLEAN SNOWMOBILE CHALLENGE KICKS OFF: "Beat the Standards" is the theme for the seventh annual SAE Clean Snowmobile" Snowmobile Challenge, hosted for the fourth year in a row by Tech. Fifteen teams from across North America and their reengineered snowmobiles will compete head to head in efforts to build greener machines and beat the 2012 federal emissions standards. The competition is being held March 13-18 at Tech's Keweenaw Research Center, known for its winter driving track and vehicle test grounds. The competition is hosted by the Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Three new challengers have entered the competition, including the University of New Hampshire, the University of Minnesota Duluth, and Clarkson University's zero-emissions entry (in addition to their conventional entry). Other entries include Ecole De Technologie Superieure in Montreal, Kettering University in Flint, McGill University in Montreal, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State University at Mankato, State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Idaho, the University of Maine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Utah State University. <>


TOUGH TIMES ON ISLE ROYALE: It's shaping up to be a lean year for the wolves and moose of Isle Royale National Park. The number of moose has sunk to 450, the lowest since researchers began tracking their numbers on this wilderness Lake Superior archipelago. Now in its 48th year, the project is the world's longest-running study of predator-prey relationships. "The moose are probably hurting because there are so many wolves," said Assistant Professor John Vucetich, who co-leads this ongoing investigation with Professor Rolf Peterson. While moose have declined, wolf numbers have been on the rise for the past several years, topping out at 30 in 2004-05 and holding steady this year. For the last few years, the island's moose have been weakened by a plague of ticks, which distracted them from feeding and caused hair and blood loss. The ticks do not attach to humans, but they have been a bane for the moose, making them easy prey for the wolves, who have had relatively easy pickings since 2002-03, when the moose population stood at 1,100. Now, however, most of the older moose have died, so wolves have had to rely even more than usual on moose calves.


GIFT HELPS STUDENTS MASTER PASSWORD SECURITY: In theory, passwords are supposed to deter attackers from being able to login to your computer. In practice, passwords can be notoriously easy to discover. "Anybody can walk around an office and find people's passwords in a five-minute sweep," says Guy Hembroff, an assistant professor in the School of Technology and the chair of the computer network and system administration program. It's not just a matter of being careless, most people login to a number of servers, applications, and websites, and each one can have a different password. A new technology, Single Sign On, or SSO, is changing that, and students majoring in computer network and systems administration are learning to master it. "Basically, SSO uses software to capture each of your login screens," Hembroff explains. "That way, when you login to various applications, you don't have to login again and again, and you don't have to write anything down." Students will learn SSO on software donated to the university by the Lexington, Mass.-based company Imprivata. Its OneSign password management system is heavily used in the financial and health-care industries, where security concerns are paramount.


Tech Sports

WISCONSIN NIPS MICHIGAN TECH 1-0 IN SEASON FINALE: Joe Pavelski's power-play goal at 6:49 of the second period proved to be the game-winning goal, as fourth-ranked Wisconsin earned a 1-0 victory and series sweep of the Tech hockey team in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs Saturday night at the Kohl Center. The Huskies finished the 2005-06 campaign with a 7-25-6 overall record and a 6-16-6 mark in WCHA competition. Michael-Lee Teslak stopped 29-of-30 shots in net for Michigan Tech and concluded his rookie year with a 7-14-4 record. Brian Elliott made 19 saves for the Badgers.


HUSKIES NIPPED, 67-66, IN NCAA WBB TOURNAMENT THRILLER: Northern Kentucky's Last-Second Shot Ends Tech's Season--A Northern Kentucky lay-up with 3.9 seconds left on the clock ended the Tech women's basketball season today in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Tournament hosted by Drury. NKU edged Tech, 67-66, after Kary Craeger's shot answered Amanda Sieja's layup just eight seconds earlier. The lead changed hands 21 times in the game including twice in the final 11.3 seconds. "This was a well-played, hard-fought game," said Tech coach John Barnes, who was recently named GLIAC Coach of the Year. "This loss is very tough to swallow, but I thought we left everything we had on the floor."


HARVEY AND LANG AMONG TOP FIVE AGAIN AT JUNIOR OLYMPICS: Chris Harvey turned in his second straight third-place finish, while Jesse Lang provided his own back-to-back finish in the top five, to headline the Michigan Tech Nordic skiing team's showing Friday in the classic races at the Junior Olympics Nordic Championships held at the Tech Trails. Harvey compiled a time of 27:34.2 and Lang was not far behind in fourth-place with a time of 27:35.0 in the 10-kilometer competition. Two other skiers on the men's side--Erik Mundahl (27:59.7) and Kevin Heglund (28:45.9)--took ninth and 15th, respectively. Jenna Klein, who garnered seventh-place in the earlier Thermoanalytics classic race Wednesday, secured the eighth spot in the five kilometer race with a time of 15:15.3. Elizabeth Quinley ranked 11th after recording a time of 15:28.4.


OWEN COLLECTS 17TH IN FREESTYLE RACE AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Two days after becoming Michgan Tech's first-ever Nordic skier to secure All-American honors in back-to-back seasons, Kristina Owen concluded the 53rd annual NCAA National Collegiate Skiing Championships with a 17th-place effort in the freestyle race today at Howleson Hill. The junior finished the 15-kilometer course with a time of 49:35.4, less than 30 seconds out of the top 15. Owen ranked third among Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) participants in the competition. Colorado's Jana Rehemaa took home the top prize after turning in a time of 46:27.4.

For up-to-date standings, go to the following links:
Women's Basketball:
Men's Basketball:


Men's Ice Hockey (7-25-6, 6-18-6 WCHA)

Sat, Mar 11 at Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0 (WCHA Playoffs)
Fri, Mar 10 at Wisconsin 4, Michigan Tech 1 (WCHA Playoffs)

Women's Basketball (19-9)

Fri, Mar 10 at NCAA Division II Regionals (Springfield, MO)
Michigan Tech 66, Northern Kentucky 67

Women's Nordic Skiing

Sat, Mar 11 at NCAA National Collegiate Skiing Championships (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Kristina Owen, 17th in 15-kilometer freestyle (49:35.4)

Men's Nordic Skiing

Sat, Mar 11 at NCAA National Collegiate Skiing Championships (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Aaron Ditty, 33rd in 20-kilometer freestyle race (1:04:09.3)

Sat, Mar 11 at Junior Olympics Nordic Championships (Tech Trails)
Chris Harvey, 3rd in 10-kilometer
Jesse Lang, 5th in 10-kilometer


Sat, Mar 18, 2006

Men's Tennis at Lewis, 10:00 a.m.


Around Town
(Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette)

TOWNSHIP PURCHASES LAND NEAR SENECA LAKE: Future generations of outdoors enthusiasts near Seneca Lake can rest easy, according to Allouez Township Supervisor Wayne Jarvi. The township recently purchased 200 acres around Seneca Lake to keep the area from being privatized. Seneca Lake Township Park and Recreation Area is located on Cliff Drive about three miles north of Ahmeek. "Fishing on that lake has been a standard for people around here for generations," Jarvi said. The township's late Supervisor William Luokkanen and the township board began negotiating with International Paper more than three years ago to purchase the land, Jarvi said. A Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant totaling $175,000 covered 75 percent of the property's $230,000 cost. The remaining funds were covered by the township with property owners' support, Jarvi said.


JO PARENTS ENJOYED KEWEENAW, ACTIVITIES: Funny accents, mild winter weather, and a good home-brewed beer or two--just some of the things sampled by parents in town for the 2006 Chevrolet Junior Olympics. They got together for a Parents' Social at the Library Restaurant and Brew Pub during their stay. "The luge thing (Isle Royal Street was turned into a sledding hill.) looked fun last night," said Andy Parnes, a lawyer whose 16-year-old daughter competed for the Inner Mountain ski region this week. Having traveled from Idaho, Parnes said he misses the mountains but has so far enjoyed "beautiful" scenery and good weather. "One of the nice things coming from New England is that there's real snow here," said dad Scott McGuffin. He drove with family from New Hampshire to get to Houghton so that his 17-year-old son could compete this week. "It is a hike to get here, though," he added.


SMARTZONE CONTINUES MOMENTUM: The Michigan Tech Enterprise Corp. SmartZone is continuing to do well, said CEO Carlton Crothers. The SmartZone currently has 72 businesses employing a combined 465 people. Three SmartZone incubators employ 80 people in 11 companies. The Powerhouse, the largest of those incubators, is nearly at operating capacity, and will likely require a second-floor build-out as GS Engineering expands. Crothers also pointed to Technisource and its 30 local employees as a success story. "You know about outsourcing," he said. "Well, this is a company that outsourced in the U.P." Jon Leinonen, SmartZone's coordinator for patent development, discussed inroads being made into patent assistance, including bringing in an attorney four times a year to meet with companies. "That continues to this day to be a need many businesses have," he said.


From the E-mailbag


Every intersection has a number of opportunities for collision between vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.  The cool thing about roundabouts is that they have only 8 collision points compared with 32 for a conventional intersection. On top of that, the types of collision tend to be less severe; at angles rather than straight-on.

So, it is no surprise that a "recent study found that intersections controlled by roundabouts saw a 39% decline in accidents, accidents resulting in injuries fell 76%, and accidents resulting in death or incapacitating injury fell by 90%".

There is no doubt that roundabouts are safer.  Whether they move traffic more efficiently depends on the ability of people to learn how to use them. It only takes a few people to make them inefficient.  As with many things, it is a people problem.

Jon Poli
Class of 1983 BSCE


Dennis, You might want to share the link below with the folks that have offered opinions about roundabouts.

Russ Soyring
Traverse City Planning Director

The University of Florida College of Engineering is so taken with roundabouts that they feature a photo of one on their website for the Transportation Engineering Graduate Program. Why don't you just post this link, which speaks for itself, on the Michigan Tech e-mailbag?

Get with the program, Michigan Tech !!

Ken Sides, PE

Alumni Association Programs

Michigan Tech Alumni Relations and Admissions are proud to present the following Michigan Tech Spotlight Nights, as part of the STARnet volunteer program.

Houghton: Thursday, March 30
Iron Mountain: Tuesday, April 4
Green Bay: Wednesday, April 5
Chicago: Thursday, April 6
Duluth: Wednesday, May 10
Twin Cities: Thursday, May 11
Tri-Cities: Tuesday, May 16
Southeast Michigan (Southfield): Wednesday, May 17
Southeast Michigan (Ann Arbor): Thursday, May 18
Marquette: Monday, May 22
Traverse City:  Tuesday, May 23
Southwest Michigan (Grand Rapids): Wednesday, May 24
Kalamazoo: Thursday, May 25

Know a bright, motivated and adventurous students in these areas? Encourage them to come out! Pass it on....Michigan Tech Spotlight Night is a great place to "Check Us Out"!

The purpose of the Spotlight Night programs is to introduce prospective students to Michigan Tech.  The event will showcase the seven interest areas of study:  Arts and Human Sciences, Business, Computing, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Sciences, and Technology, along with showcasing various Enterprise and Senior Design projects.  Prospective students and guests including parents, teachers and counselors are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For the Spotlight Night schedule, posters and more information,

Information is also available on the Alumni & Friends and Admissions homepage, or contact : Kim Klender at ksklende(at)  (906.487.3674)

RSVP:  <>


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

March 2006                                                    

16 - KAC After Hours Social St. Urho's Day @ KBC
21-22 - Buffalo National College Fair
24-25 - Green Bay- Hockey Regionals @ the Resch
25 - Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey/Alumni Event
30 - Houghton/Hancock Spotlight Night @ Wadsworth Hall

April 2006                                                       

2 - Houston National College Fair
4 - Iron Mountain Spotlight Night
4 - Seattle Presidential Reception
5 - Portland Presidential Reception
5 - Green Bay Spotlight Night
6 - Chicago Spotlight Night
11 - Denver Presidential Reception
12 - Student Expo - Alumni Night
18 - Ontario/Inland Empire National College Fair
19 - Honolulu National College Fair
20 - San Diego National College Fair
22 - Orange County National College Fair
23-24 - Greater LA National College Fair
25 - Ventura National College Fair
27 - San Francisco National College Fair
29 - Spring Commencement

May 2006                                                       

03 - Grand Rapids Spring Dinner/Presidential Reception
08 - Boston Presidential Reception
09 - Philadelphia Presidential Reception
10 - Duluth Spotlight Night
11 - Minneapolis Spotlight Night
16 - Saginaw/Bay City/Midland Spotlight Night
17-18 - Detroit Spotlight Night
22 - Marquette Spotlight Night
23 - Traverse City Spotlight Night
24 - Grand Rapids Spotlight Night
24 - Green Bay Golf Outing
24-26 - Washington DC  (MTF Board Meeting), Presidential Reception
25 - Kalamazoo Spotlight Night

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Planning Analyst--Institutional Analysis

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