July 3, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 8)

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's All About People

"It's all about people!" You've probably heard it so many times in your life that it's become somewhat of a cliché. But the role of talented people is critical to the sustainable development of communities, and education is at center stage in both attracting talent and developing it into skills that serve us all. 

Tom Friedman's recent book, "The World is Flat" describes a world where ideas move at the speed of light and capital moves to people with ideas.  Internet capabilities have essentially leveled the economic playing field for many countries, particularly China and India, who have a talented and educated work force.  This has lead to what is nothing short of an economic revolution in such far off places as Bangalore and Dalian.  In a U.S. economy largely built on the innovation process that brings research ideas to the marketplace, there is increased anxiety in some circles over the outsourcing of innovation   What has escaped many is the opportunity for insourcing innovation to rural communities that generate ideas and have or can attract talented people.

Rural communities such as ours provide easy access to a lifestyle that is increasingly valued by young professionals.  Outdoor activities, safety, quality health care and the lack of a congested commute are just a few characteristics that draw people here or keep them here.  However this is only attractive when coupled with a community priority that supports a strong K-12 education system.  While much is made of the importance of training students for college and the workforce, there is a much more basic need that education fulfills.  Simply put, highly motivated people want the best education for their children.  Finlandia and Michigan Tech are dependent on this strong K-12 system; it is essential to attracting and retaining the best faculty and staff.  These talented people in turn attract the best university students to our community, and these students are the future of innovation.  I believe this simple relationship is at the core of our long-term sustainability and you can see it at work in our community.

The opportunities that talented people bring to the area make our universities vibrant and competitive regionally, nationally, and internationally.  For example, these faculty and staff have originated unique approaches to education such as Michigan Tech's Enterprise Programs that fuse engineering and science curriculum with business and entrepreneurship.  Over 600 undergraduates participate, adding momentum to a growing culture of innovation in our community.  Students and graduates support the recent development of a dozen companies in Houghton and Hancock. 

In addition, faculty and staff increasingly want the opportunity to be able to take their ideas and discoveries to the marketplace.  Our community is growing in its ability to support them.  The SmartZone and its incubators are a big part of demonstrating that capacity.  Recognition of success also plays a role.  This past year, ThermoAnalytics received the SmartZone Company of the Year Award and IR Telemetrics received the Governor's University Award for Commercialization Excellence.  These important achievements show not only the competitiveness of these companies, but that a culture of innovation and a supportive community exist for talented people.  When backed with university research programs that have grown to over $41million at Michigan Tech alone, the portrait of our rural area as an emerging and sustainable entrepreneurial community begins to come into focus. 

To continue to build on these early successes, we need to take advantage of the working relationships that are intrinsic to a small community. The relationships we enjoy (and sometimes take for granted) among our K-12 school systems, the SmartZone, the business community at large, Michigan Tech and Finlandia would be considered only a dream in many larger areas.  Michigan Tech and Finlandia compliment each other's strengths and together create a synergy that energizes the community. We are stronger working together and, as we look ahead, we can set the standard for cooperation, not only to support business development, but to ensure its sustainability by continuing the high quality education that exists and cultivating a pioneering attitude in our younger generation; values that are synonymous with entrepreneurship. Educating our youth about risk-taking, creativity, responsibility and adaptability is the responsibility of the education system and the community at large.  Because in the end, the answer to the question of "what will keep business development sustainable" in our community is more accurately stated as "who will keep business development sustainable."  The answer is--people.  

Glenn D. Mroz

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

RESEARCH EXCELLENCE FUNDS AWARDED: The Vice President for Research Office has announced the Research Excellence Fund awards for 2006. Awards totaling $164,055 were given in the area of infrastructure enhancement. They include the following:

* Neil Hutzler (Civil and Environmental Engineering), "Collaborative Laboratory in Immersive Technology at Michigan Tech"

* Alex Mayer (Center for Water and Society), "Air: A Conduit between Water, Society and Space"

* Michael Neuman (Biomedical Engineering), "Acquisition of an ApoTome Microscope for Three-Dimensional Fluorescence Visualization"

* Bruce Seely (Social Sciences), "Research Associate for the Industrial Archeology/Industrial Heritage Program: Phase III"

A total of $50,000 in mentoring grants were awarded, including the following:

* Yue Li (Civil and Environmental Engineering), "Collaborative Efforts to Develop Competitive Proposals on Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment and Mitigation for Transportation Infrastructure "

* Caroline Taylor (Chemistry), "Multiscale Simulation of Cell Spreading"

* Zhanping You (Civil and Environmental Engineering), "Collaboration with Texas A&M University on Three-Dimensional Modeling of the Microstructure of Asphalt Concrete for New Pavement Design"

* Nina Orlovskaya (Materials Science and Engineering), "Mentoring Program in Hard and Tough Ceramic Laminate"

The following seed grants totaling $299,692 were awarded:

* Byung Choi (Computer Science), "Using Unstructured Peer-to-Peer Systems to Achieve Anonymity"

* Shiyue Fang (Chemistry), "Development of Catalysts for Enantioselective Synthesis"

* Ryan Gilbert (Biomedical Engineering), "Development of Polymeric Nerve Guides for Neural Tissue Engineering Applications within the Central Nervous System"

* Henry Sodano (MEEM), "Multifunctional Piezoelectric Carbon Fibers"

* Heather Youngs (Biological Sciences), "Probing Carbohydrate Function: Using Phage Display Technology and Glycopeptidomimetics to Create New Tools for Biotechnological Research"

* Jason Carter (ESHPE), "The Michigan Tech Human Physiology Research Initiative"


TECH STUDENT ABROAD ENJOYING WORLD CUP: Undergrad Rob Gilreath has been studying aboard in Germany, and while in Stuttgart for the World Cup became an instrument of international goodwill. You can read about it at the ParentNet site <http://www.mtu.edu/current/student_abroad/ >.


PROFESSOR QUOTED IN THE FREE PRESS: Social Sciences Department Chair Bruce Seely is quoted in this Detroit Free Press story about the interstate highway systems fiftieth birthday: <http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060622/NEWS05/606220387/1007>


GLENDA GILL RETIRING: Professor of Drama Glenda E. Gill (Humanities) will be retiring Aug. 31. Gill began working for Michigan Tech in 1990. "I have appreciated the generosity of many people, as well as the unusual support from Chair Robert Johnson, Dean Maximilian Seel and President Mroz, along with my relationship with students and colleagues in and out of my department," Gill said.

Tech Sports

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ENRICHMENT CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED: John Barnes, head women's basketball coach at Michigan Tech, today announced the launching of the Women's Basketball Enrichment Campaign. The women's program has been very successful on a national basis since the early 1990s, reaching the Final Four for NCAA II in 1993 and ending up third in the nation.

"It has been proven that we can compete on a national level," said Barnes. "Successfully reaching our campaign goal will help Michigan Tech do the little things that will elevate our program even more and put us on a level playing field with the elite Division II women's basketball programs."

A Women's Basketball Advisory Council was formed during the past year and is actively helping the athletic administration proceed effectively in enhancing women's basketball at Michigan Tech. Members of the committee are Pam Bosio-Baileys '80, John Barnes (Head Coach), Connie Borseth '93, Kim Cameron (Assistant Coach), Chaunda DeVries '93, Mary Fisher '87, Anne Johnson '78, Jodi Maley '83, Cheri Meier '90, Darla Olson '93, Kristin Peterson '93 (Chair of the Women's Basketball Enrichment Campaign), Suzanne Sanregret (Athletic Director), Patty Sullivan '80, Carie Tull '92, D'Andra Walter '89, and Rick Yeo (Director of Athletic Development).

"Grand Valley State won the national championship this year," said Sanregret. "They won their last 22 games at the end of the year to accomplish this outstanding task. The last game they lost was at Michigan Tech on February 16, so we are not that far away. I encourage all our alumnae and friends to stretch the level of their support by making a long-term pledge to the campaign to maximize the value of their gift. I have identified special needs that we intend to provide through the success of our campaign such as a strength and conditioning coach, a second assistant coach, video editing equipment, enhanced team travel, special recruitment needs, locker room upgrades, a wall of fame to honor past successes, and many other improvements that will help convince high quality student-athletes to attend Michigan Tech."

Tax deductible gifts and pledges may be made by contacting the athletic department or Rick Yeo at (906) 487-3071.


IAN KALLAY TO LEAVE TECH HOCKEY STAFF FOR BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: Michigan Tech Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret announced today that assistant hockey coach Ian Kallay will leave his post immediately to pursue private business interests. "It was a very hard decision for my wife and I to leave Michigan Tech," said Kallay. "A business opportunity has presented itself that we couldn't turn down. I have enjoyed my time here and value the relationships I have made along the way. I will miss working with the coaching staff and would like to thank them as they have been great to me. Jamie (Russell) and Pat (Mikesch) are very passionate and dedicated to the program. The program is going in the right direction and will be successful in the future. The hardest part is leaving the players. Watching them develop as student-athletes and helping them achieve their goals is the best part as a coach, and I will miss that."

Kallay completed his third year as an assistant coach at Michigan Tech in 2005-06 after being appointed to the position on July 1, 2003. In addition to his recruiting duties, Kallay was responsible for on-ice coaching, video breakdown, game analysis, and played a vital role in coordinating the Huskies' specialty teams. "Although we are sad to lose an outstanding coach like Ian, we know that he is doing something outside of hockey that will provide the best future for him and his family," said head coach Jamie Russell. "The goal of every coach is to leave a program better than when they arrived and Ian certainly accomplished that here. Not only was he a very good coach, but his work on the recruiting trail was crucial for the future success of this program."

During Kallay's tenure at Tech, he coached two All-Americans, four All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) selections, one Hobey Baker Award finalist and 31 WCHA All-Academic Team recipients. "While we would like to have Ian here for a longer period of time, we respect his decision to enter a business career," said Sanregret. "We wish Ian well and thank him for the many contributions he made to the Michigan Tech hockey program."

A national search to fill Michigan Tech's assistant coaching vacancy is underway. "We'll move as quickly as possible," said Russell. "That being said, we will take enough time to ensure that we bring in a strong individual."



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

Around the Keweenaw

HARBOR MUSEUM TO SHOW MARITIME HISTORY: Most residents of the Copper Country are aware of the area's copper mining heritage, but Tom Poynter wants people to know there is also a history of commercial shipping around the Keweenaw Peninsula. To emphasize the history of shipping in Lake Superior around the Keweenaw, Poynter is constructing the Lore of the Lakes maritime museum in a former gasoline station on M-26 about one block east of the stop sign at U.S. Highway 41. Poynter, who owns the Delaware Copper Mine Tours south of Copper Harbor, is in the process of constructing 12 eight-foot-long models of Great Lakes freighters. The ships are made of mahogany luan plywood and pine and painted white. His plan is to offer the models to Copper Harbor business owners who can then decorate them as they wish before displaying them at their businesses. "It was an idea I had last year," Poynter said. So far, Poynter said he has commitments from eight business owners interested in displaying the models. Many people like to watch from the shore in Copper Harbor as freighters sail by, Poynter said, so making the models seemed logical. "It's a big attraction for the tourists," he said. "(The models are) something I can actually build." Poynter said his plans for the museum--which is under construction in a building being loaned to him by a friend--will have displays featuring smaller models of freighters and other lake vessels, including a type of tug boat called a Great Lakes alligator. There will be a water tank into which people can take a small submarine to view models of shipwrecks. Although the construction on the museum won't be done for the July 4 celebration, Poynter said some of the displays will be ready for viewing.


PETERSON NEW HOUGHTON MAYOR: Houghton's new mayor plans to continue the city's growth. The Houghton City Council voted Councilman Eric Peterson to the post by a 4-0 vote. Peterson replaces former Mayor Tom Merz, who resigned June 19 after nearly 12 years on the council. Merz, a Tech professor, will be teaching in Australia until December. Councilman Robert Megowan nominated Peterson for the position, with Councilwoman Rachel Lankton seconding. Peterson was the only candidate put forward for the position. "Thank you, council members and city manager for your endorsement," Peterson said after the vote. "I appreciate that." "How do you know I endorsed you?" City Manager Scott MacInnes joked, to which Peterson responded, "You didn't say no." Peterson said he was "pleasantly surprised and honored" to be nominated, expressing surprise that Mayor Pro Tem Bob Backon hadn't been interested in the position. MacInnes said any of the council members would have made a good mayor.


NO SIGN VARIANCE FOR PEARL STREET MALL: A sign variance for the Pearl Street Mall will have to wait at least two weeks. Owner Bill Winter attended the Houghton City Council meeting to request permission to install a 10- by 12.5-foot sign along College Avenue alerting drivers to the businesses to be contained on the mall. All seven units for the mall have already been sold, Winter said. Businesses include a coffee shop, a Subway, a stationery store and a Chinese takeout place. Winter likened the wayfinder sign to the one used by Country Inn & Suites along M-26. However, he said, the Pearl Street Mall sign would be about 70 percent smaller. "We don't need a sign that big on College Avenue," he said. "We don't want a sign that big on College Avenue." Winter said adding a time and temperature display to the sign might also be a possibility. "I think the number of students and employees rushing to Michigan Tech in the morning would like to know what time it is," he said.

Then-Councilman Eric Peterson objected to the size of the sign, saying a wayfinder sign would potentially be far more disruptive in a 25-mph residential area than a 45-mph business route. "I just need to think about this a little more, because it's all about scale," he said. Councilman Robert Megowan said getting on the ground would be beneficial. "If I go out there, I think I can visualize it a lot better than the picture," he said. The council agreed to table the motion and schedule a visit to the site. The facility is scheduled to open in August.


CALUMET MAN KILLED IN CRASH: A 22-year-old Calumet man died after a two-car crash near Pepin Road on M-26 in Calumet Wednesday night, according to Michigan State Police officers from the Calumet Post. Police said Michael Latvala was driving northbound at about 11:20 p.m. when his vehicle collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Ambra Beaudoin, 65, of Hubbell. Latvala was pronounced dead at the scene. Both drivers were trapped in their vehicles and had to be removed by the Jaws of Life extrication device. Beaudoin was taken to Portage Health in Hancock and later transferred to Marquette General Hospital for treatment. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts. Koljonen said the accident remains under investigation and additional details were unavailable.



From the E-mailbag


My mother recently passed away so my time is spent in cleaning out her house so it can be sold. I found a 3 lb coffee-can of marbles that I was about to throw out or give away. Someone said they were valuable so we put them on the estate sale. Someone bought them for $40!! (Proving that a fool and their money are soon parted) Save yourself some effort and time now and just save ALL your old stuff. That's your retirement nest egg you are tossing out now!!

Timothy H Collins, Professor and Dean Emeritus
Michigan Technological University


Last week, I read with interest the e-mail letter from Julie Steimel about the Brown Road Development in Auburn Hills. You can add one more Techie to the list who has been involved with that particular brownfields development. I actually designed the improvements to M-24 (Lapeer Road) at Brown Road, which included adding "Michigan Lefts" from M-24 to Brown/Dutton Road. They significantly improved the operation of this intersection and decreased delays. I thought some might be interested in this information in light of the recent discussions in the e-mailbag. My company, Professional Engineering Associates, did the road design under contract with the developer of the Dutton Corporate Center.

I imagine if you look at any large public improvements project in the State of Michigan, there is probably some kind of Michigan Tech Alumni participation.

Kevin McDevitt, '92
Howell, MI


Hi Dennis,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be going to Denver Colorado from July 2-8 for the North American Indigenous Games, and that I will be competing in Archery.

When I was a student at Tech, I took Archery with John DePuydt. I really liked it and he was a good teacher, so i took it again. I also took skating with Cheryl, and I was shocked when I read of her passing. I really enjoyed taking classes with both of them.

Since I've graduated from Tech, I have been gradully been getting more involved with Archery, both 3D and target. It's fun and I have met lot's of people when I travel to tournaments throughout Ontario.

So I am looking forward to he Games and representing Team Ontario (with a little bit of Tech in there too). Archery is being held on July 3-5.

(More info on the games <www.naig2006.com>)

Sheila Madahbee
Forestry 2000
Sault Ste Marie, Ontario


I am an Michigan Tech alumnus who now manages an office for Technisource in Hancock. I have between 12 and 30 students working for me part-time and full-time (depending on the season).  All of our work comes from Smiths Aerospace in Grand Rapids.  During the school year, students work 15+ hours in addition to their normal school schedule. They gain experience, training, and some money in their pocket.

That said, we are looking to expand our office and hire 3 more full-time engineers: Hardware Technical Lead, Full-time Software Engineer, Software Technical Lead.

This is a great opportunity for those people who always wanted to move back to the area, but couldn't find a job to do so. Direct anyone to me.

Jason Mack
Project Manager Technisource
4th Floor Room 442
200 Michigan St
Hancock MI 49930 USA

Work: 906-483-4617
Fax: 1-866-547-3314
Cell: 906-370-5622

Email: jason.mack(at)smiths-aerospace.com


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

Dean of Engineering--College of Engineering

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