June 19 , 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 6)

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:

Father's Day

I was going to write about Bridgefest, our annual celebration of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, but then I realized that they understood the importance of Father's Day this year. For the first time, they ended the festival on Saturday night so everyone involved could spend Sunday, Father's Day, with their dads. Good call.

As a dad, the jaded version of me thinks it is really one of those Hallmark holidays, meant to sell cards and gifts, and I appreciate them but don't need anything. I have plenty. Our daughter is home from grad school for a while, and my son is enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation from his summer jobs. (So am I. That's why this is being written on Father's Day, so I can have the rest of my vacation week off.)

But, I've thought about many fathers lately. A good friend's dad (a great guy) recently passed away from cancer. A first cousin--a father and grandfather--did also. Another good friend has moved home to help care for his ailing father. Yet another danced with his newly married daughter at a wedding reception last night: "father of the bride" is his new title.

We are at the age where we do more of that now: those things our dads used to do, and, if we do them only half as well, we will be successful. Finally, we realize how much we miss them on these days. As someone said to me last week, it would be great "just to talk to them." Even if they didn't have all the answers, they'd always help you think about the questions.

So here's to all the dads, and mine especially, who was going to attend Tech, but instead decided to stay home and help with his dad's family. Before he went on to World War II and starting his own family, that is. Thanks, dad.

P.S. The Yankees are still fighting with the Red Sox.


ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/pps-cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl>

At Tech

TECH TO TURN OVER ATMOSPHERIC STATION TO THE AZORES: A tiny observatory in the middle of the North Atlantic will soon change hands, a move that the players say could enhance global atmospheric science for years to come. The PICO-NARE observatory, owned by Tech, is located at the summit of Pico Mountain, the highest place on Pico Island and located in the Azores, a remote archipelago that is part of Portugal. As the only islands in the region distant from any continent, the misty Azores are an important site for scientists studying the pristine atmosphere above the North Atlantic. The station is the brainchild of Professor Richard Honrath (Civil and Environmental Engineering). With Paulo Fialho of the University of the Azores, he organized its construction with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). On June 29, Michigan Tech will officially hand over PICO-NARE's keys to the University of the Azores, which will operate the facility with support from the Regional Government of the Azores in cooperation with the Portuguese Institute of Meteorology. Eventually, the station could become part of the Global Atmospheric Watch, a United Nations-sponsored network of more than twenty observatories worldwide that provide high-quality atmospheric data to the scientific community. More information on PICO-NARE is available at <http://www.cee.mtu.edu/~reh/pico/ >.


BRAD KING TO RECEIVE SAE AWARD: Associate Professor L. Brad King (MEEM) is one of four faculty members nationwide who have been selected to receive SAE International's Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. The award, established by the Society of Automotive Engineers in 1965, recognizes outstanding engineering educators and offers them the opportunity to meet and exchange views with practicing engineers in their fields. The award is funded by the late Ralph R. Teetor, 1936 SAE International president, who believed that engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers. The award will be presented at the SAE 2007 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition.


TECH STUDENT AWARDED NASA FELLOWSHIP: Jacob Fugal, a graduate student in engineering physics, was recently awarded a $24,000 NASA Earth Systems Science Fellowship for his proposed research, "Improving Validation of MODIS Cloud Ice Crystal Data Products Using the HOLODEC Instrument." Fellowships are awarded for an initial one-year term and may be renewed for up to three years total, based on satisfactory progress. Fugal was one of fifty-five recipients selected from 181 applications received. NASA's Earth Systems Science Fellowship Program trains interdisciplinary scientists to support the study of the Earth as a system.

Tech Sports

METZ NOMINATED FOR NCAA SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD--Sophomore to Represent GLIAC on National Ballot: Tech's Andrea Metz has been nominated by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) for the NCAA Sportsmanship Award it was announced recently by the league. NCAA Sportsmanship Awards are given annually, honoring student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior on the fields of play, in the classroom, and in the community.

Metz, a native of Marathon, Wisconsin, is a three-sport student-athlete for the Huskies, competing in cross-country, Nordic skiing, and outdoor track & field. The sophomore chemical engineering major has earned a 4.0 grade point average (4.0 scale) in her two years at Michigan Tech despite the time commitments and travel of over 12,000 miles annually for athletic competitions. She has become an inspiration to her teammates, regularly counseling and encouraging them. Metz has involved herself in the Michigan Tech and local communities through her volunteer efforts. An active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, Metz donates her time to various organizations on and off campus. She helps to maintain the Michigan Tech running and skiing trails, works as a student tutor, and has served as president of the Alpha Honor Society, an engineering honor service organization on campus.

Off campus, Metz volunteered at the 2005 Copper County Humane Society Fun Run, Dial Help, and the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, an organization that provides Thanksgiving dinners to shut-ins. Metz also donates blood and has registered to serve as a bone marrow donor. Each conference in the country nominates one male and one female for the awards. A male and female winner will be selected in Division II by the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct and announced in July.



Saturday, June 24: Men's Basketball Golf Outing, Portage Lake Golf Course, 11:45 a.m.

August 3-5: Volleyball Alumni Reunion http://www.volleyballreunion.mtu.edu

Around the Keweenaw

ROTARY HOSTS WATERFRONT GALA: Seafood Fest (held in conjunction with Bridgefest) kicked off this year with an event strictly for Houghton Rotary Club members and their freshly boiled multi-legged friends. Good food, good music and some "fortunate good weather" were on the menu at the first annual Waterfront Gala held at the Houghton beach Thursday, said event Chairman Scott Webb. A four-course meal prepared by chef Malcolm Hudson included oyster and duck appetizers, followed by an eye-catching, tongue-twisting variety of lobster dishes ranging from 'Salade de Homard avec Mangue aux Basilic et Citron' (lobster and mango salad) to steamed lobster or grilled ribeye steak entrees, and ultimately, dessert. Meals were served up for eighty-five members and guests with help from Rotary volunteers and bartenders from the Irish Times in Laurium. "We just wanted to try something new," Webb said. "We've had this event for twenty years and we've never had a sit-down meal."


COUNTY CLARIFIES CONDO CONTRACT: Houghton County Board of Commissioners Chair Mike Lahti said he wanted to clarify the county's agreement with developer Moyle Inc. "We're not giving them anything," he said. "What we agreed is based upon services rendered." Lahti said a Daily Mining Gazette story regarding the county's granting of Moyle's request for a ten-foot setback onto marina property for use during construction of the adjacent Canal Crossings condominium project omitted the agreement's details. A document provided by Lahti Thursday contained the bulk of the parties' agreement, he said, and listed the following items:

1. Perpetual easement for the casual use of Moyle's ten-foot setback.
2. Moyle will install a gravel parking lot for the marina and provide landscaping in the form of digging up old tree trunks, re-top-soiling and reseeding, replanting of more trees and the removal of dead or dying trees.
3. Written contract for the landscaping and renovation.
4. A security or performance bond for completion of items (2) and (3), above.
5. A termination date for the use of the county's property.
6. Moyle will be attentive to the marina slip holders.

In addition, Lahti said the county board had not approved the project at a special meeting on June 5. When Moyle Construction & Development Vice President Jeff Moyle told marina tenants that the project was a "done deal" at a public meeting on Monday, Lahti said Moyle was referring to the developer's agreement with the city of Hancock, not Houghton county. Construction of the project is scheduled for this summer, with the bulk of the work to begin in September.


DNR TO BLOCK ABANDONED MINES: Because of the continuing danger posed by abandoned mines, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is set to begin projects to make many of them safer, including blocking entrances and even filling in some with loose rocks. Milt Gere, geologist with the Forest, Minerals, and Fire Management Division in Lansing, said the DNR will receive a $225,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to mitigate nine mine sites in the Upper Peninsula in Baraga, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron and Ontonagon counties. The DNR will provide another $75,000 toward the work. "We don't know how many mines that will take care of," Gere said. "Because of the federal funds, we may not be able to do it all this summer." Gere said the determination of which mines to mitigate was made using the Abandoned Underground Mine Inventory, which was compiled by Dr. Allan M. Johnson, Michigan Tech University professor emeritus.


UPPCO WITHDRAWS PLANS FOR DOCKS AT BOND FALLS: While the question of whether private docks will be allowed on Bond Falls remains undecided, representatives of Upper Peninsula Power Company announced that public docks will not be part of plans for campground reorganization at the flowage. Plans for up to eighteen public docks on the UPPCO-owned shoreline were originally presented at a recent public meeting in Trout Creek. New, concentrated campgrounds are expected to be operational late this year or early next year, and although UPPCO believes the docks would benefit campers and help guard against shoreline erosion, concerns from resource agencies have prompted UPPCO to withdraw them from the plan, according to Shawn Puzen, an environmental consultant with the company.


From the E-mailbag

Being a Painesdalian myself, and a graduate of Jeffers, I have one of those "it's a small world" stories. As you know, I work in the Alumni Office here at Tech.  Last 4th of July weekend (Friday), I had an alum stop by the office, who graduated in the 1930's. We ended up talking about the Jeffers all-class reunion that he was in town for. I mentioned to him that I live one block up from the high school, as the conversation went on, we found out that I live in his family home, and he was born in my bedroom. How's that for a story?

My sister, who also works here at Tech, lives in Seeberville, on the hill, which used to be called "Snob Hill."



I have been enjoying this newsletter for years. I appreciate your continuing to do a good job. I would love it if you would post the following information: We have a newer cottage on Five Mile Point Road--near Eagle River and we are willing to rent it out during the summer (and winter when we fix our driveway issues). We especially like to rent to Tech alumni! We rent for a week at a time during the summer--although we always take the week of the reunion for ourselves. The cottage is right on the lake near the Sand Hills lighthouse. Alums can contact us at <narbe(at)aol.com> or call 920-738-7713. Thanks,

Jerry and Nancy (Annala) Rabe, class of '80 and '81.


My town, Auburn Hills, MI, set up a Brownfield Authority about 7 or 8 years ago.  I JUMPED at the chance to serve on that board!  Imagine: we stop arguing about who caused the mess, and work out a deal to clean it up, and then pay the developer for the cleanup with the increased taxes that the land generates.  Everybody wins: The public gets a polluted property cleaned up, the developer gets what is usually a prime piece of land, and the public treasury gets the increase in taxes after the developer is paid back.  A wonderful application of GRACE in public policy!

Tell people up there that after the board is set up administratively, there are rarely 3 meetings a year (ours usually meets only once a year now.)

Read about a few of our cleanups in Auburn Hills... <http://www.auburnhills.org/boards/Shared%20Documents/BRA.aspx>

Craig Capen


Since I don't have Kevin Britton's e-mail address, please pass along my kudos for writing an outstanding note regarding the automotive "Big Four."  He presented some excellent points in a very well written letter.

Bill Riegel ('65)


Michigan Left Turns

In the last newsletter, it was stated that the Michigan Lefts reduced interruptions to traffic flow in the past. That is true, and they still do today.   Eliminating the direct left-turn movements at intersections allows additional time to be used for the through movements. Typically if there are a large number of left-turning vehicles at a very busy intersection, the left-turn movements will be protected, which means they will only be allowed to go when there is a green arrow, which also means that all through movements will be stopped.  If the intersection has a 120 second cycle length and needs left-turn phasing for both north-south and east-west directions, you are going to chew up at a minimum 26 seconds when you add up the green, amber and all-red times. By making all left-turning vehicles turn right you eliminate the need for this left-turn phasing and can provide the additional time to the through movements.  Additionally, for boulevard cross-sections you want to try to avoid direct left-turns because of the potential for interlocking left-turns (which can lead to gridlock). The person who wrote the first letter was correct in saying that the left-turning vehicles will hit more lights, but would you rather have the left-turns take a little longer or the whole intersection back up for miles?

A study titled Directional Crossovers, Michigan's Preferred Left Turn Strategy was done by the Michigan Department of Transportation in 1995 that looked at Michigan Left-Turns for crashes, capacity, operational analysis and signal progression.  Below are some of the highlights from the study:

Crashes--The study showed that crashes were significantly reduced, particularly right-angle crashes.

Capacity--Even though all left-turning traffic must pass through the signal twice, great efficiencies can be achieved; actual capacity analysis conservatively showed a 20 to 50 percent capacity improvement.

Operational Analysis--It was shown that direct left turns would experience higher delays than indirect left-turns (Michigan lefts).

Signal Progression--Two-way signal progression is possible at all time of the day on sections of divided roadways with directional crossovers.

Steven Loveland '97
Traffic Engineer


In response to Joie Townsend remembering her homes in the Keweenaw:


I graduated from Michigan Tech in 1976 and spent three glorious springs working with your Dad Ernie at the Bete Gris cottage as a "volunteer" from the KD Frat House. We used to literally fight with each other to get the opportunity to be in the overnight advance work party that would go out to the cottage and help your Dad get it ready every spring. In response your Dad and Mom graciously hosted the KD's at a barbecue at the Bete Gris cottage each spring following the spring football game. "Spring" football at Tech was a real grind having to practice on the rocky, muddy field out behind Sherman Gym where the grass never came in until late June and we often had to practice around snow piled up from the parking lots. Spring ball was also tough since we were going all out on each other to earn starting spots for the fall season. The Bete Gris party was always welcome and every time we had beautiful weather!

I have some wonderful memories of those times and how your Dad got the most manual labor of us big football and hockey players. The Bosch beer flowed freely, but we got a lot of work done too!

I was president of the KD's from 1974-1976 and greatly appreciated your Dad's work and dedication as an advisor to the house!

John M. Helge
District Manager


Wasn't there a short time between Michigan College of Mining and Technology and Michigan Technological University, that the school was Michigan College of Science and Technology?  I think I have an old sweatshirt with that on it.  I believe there was talk about the school being called Michigan University of Technology at the time, but the acronym MUT coupled with Tech's mascot caused concern that some might think the school was going to the dogs.

Lorin Schab (66)

Editor's Note: Former Tech President Ray Smith sent the following reply:

(Former Michigan Tech President) Dr. Van Pelt took the leadership in the name change. I specifically remember the final meeting at which the name change was agreed upon. It was at his regular Tuesday morning meeting with those reporting directly to him and those to dean Frank Kerekes. He polled us all on the name Michigan Technological University. There may have been others who had different ideas but I think I was the only one who spoke up on the issue in disagreement. Dr Van Pelt asked why I was opposed and I replied that the word Technological was a tongue twister. He responded that he wasn't impressed with any one who had trouble pronouncing it. I went along because I didn't have a good alternative . . . There was a bit of delay in getting the name change to the legislature because of the need to get Board of Control approval and during that delay a legislator threw in the name of Michigan School of Science and Technology. To my recollection that passed and held for a few days until Dr. Van Pelt heard about it and rapidly moved for the name approved by the Board. The board never even considered The Science and Technology name. There were a multitude of names bandied about by the students.



Thanks for keeping the newsletter going, it is always great to get the news from da Tech.

I was visiting our plant last month and happened to have a Bosch bier.  I was a bit surprised to find them. They have four or five varieties of bier to choose from. I checked out the web site and found where they are located.  Now if I can just arrange a brewery tour.

Here is the website. <http://www.brauerei-bosch.de/classic/>

Allen Sorgenfrei, 1987, etc.

Alumni Association Programs

ALL CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events, e-mail mtu_alumni(at)mtu.edu or see the alumni chapter site on the web: http://www.admin.mtu.edu/alumni/chapters/usamap.html

14 - Saginaw Annual Golf Outing
23 - Detroit Tigers Group Outing

3-5 - Alumni Reunion
5 - Grand Rapids Whitecaps Alumni Event
12 - East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Senior Research Accountant--Research Accounting

Research Associate--School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (Position duration dependent upon external funding)

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site ( http://www.career.mtu.edu/alumni.php)