November 17, 2008
Vol. 15, No.6
HuskyLink HuskyLink LinkedIn LinkedIn
Learn More

Help the Automakers:
Michigan's Future Depends on It

President Glenn Mroz

Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz

Most of us in Michigan know that the auto industry does a lot more than make cars and trucks. The "Big Three" in Detroit support millions of employees and retirees—not just their own, but those of their suppliers and dealers—and millions more in the health care, retail and service industries that those employees and their families use.

But the degree to which they also support education—the the ticket to our childrens future—may come as a surprise. For example, over the years General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have contributed substantially to Michigan Technological University, enabling the University to conduct cutting-edge research and provide priceless hands-on training for tomorrow's engineers and business leaders. The alternative fuels and the clean vehicles to use them that we so desperately need are being developed at Michigan universities and elsewhere with the support of the auto industry.

Consider the following from our own experience at Michigan Tech: GM, Ford and Chrysler sponsor Senior Design projects and Enterprise programs, the centerpieces of our discovery-based learning experience. Much more than classroom exercises, these projects give tomorrow's automotive engineers, technologists and business leaders an opportunity to solve real-world problems, to the benefit of industry and the economy. A 2006 Senior Design project sponsored by GM at Michigan Tech recently generated three patents.

Last year Ford established its first remote Information Technology (IT) Development Center in Houghton, home of Michigan Tech. There, computer science, technology, engineering and business students earn money for college while putting the skills they learned in class to work incorporating the latest in computer technology into Ford products.

Chrysler partners with the Keweenaw Research Center at Michigan Tech to test vehicles under winter driving conditions. They have also donated vehicles for students to study.

It's no wonder that more than 2,000 Michigan Tech alumni have been employed at the big three, and many more from other Michigan universities. The Big Three and Michigan universities are working partners, educating skilled workers and creating Michigan's and the nation's future. But there is even more at stake than that.

US carmakers have 105 plants in 20 states. They support 14,000 dealers across the country, who in turn employ 740,000 people. The automakers buy $156 billion in parts and services from suppliers in every state. The collapse of the Detroit automakers would lead to widespread failure of these suppliers, who also supply the non-US auto manufacturers. It would quickly put an estimated 3 million people out of jobs and cost this country $150 billion in spendable income and $45 billion in taxes those unemployed people won't be paying.

With all this at stake, Governor Jennifer Granholm has warned that allowing the Big Three to go into bankruptcy would push the automakers over a cliff and threaten their very survival. In our view, if such a catastrophe gives the country the economic equivalent of a severe case of the flu, it would give Michigan pneumonia.

Please join me in urging Congress to provide the support our auto industry needs.

At Tech

Secrets of Softball and Snap-Crackle-Pop Revealed at YES! Expo

Which is more powerful--an underhand or an overhand softball throw? What's it like to repair the space shuttle wearing NASA flight gloves? And how exactly do you make Rice Krispies? More than 15,000 middle- and high-school students from throughout Michigan got the answers to these and many other questions at Michigan Tech’s YES! Expo, held Thursday, Nov. 6, at Ford Field in Detroit. More

Students and Panelists Focus on More-Usable Everything

In the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge, Megan Killian is discussing her research on Houghton bike paths. "We want to make them easy, safe and convenient," she says, also defining usability. On World Usability Day, celebrated for the first time on the Tech Campus Thursday, she was not alone. Student groups presented their work ranging from textbook prices to "participatory design" to how to create a student organization. Later, a panel would discuss usability related to transportation around the globe, this year's World Usability Day theme. The broad range of topics promoted usability as more than a nice concept to consider when designing a web page. More

Helping to Make Pee Potable: Michigan Tech Scientists Optimize New Space Station Water System

Two hundred and fifty miles above the Earth puts you a long way from the nearest kitchen tap. And at $10,000 a pint, the cost of shipping fresh water aboard the space shuttle is, well, astronomical. So astronauts on the International Space Station have to recapture every possible drop. That includes water evaporated from showers, shaving, tooth brushing and hand washing, plus perspiration and water vapor that collects within the astronauts' space suits. They even transfer water from the fuel cells that provide electric power to the space shuttle. More

"Gigantic Magnetofossils" Ruled in Ancient Global-Warming Climate

Ancient "giant" spearheads and spindles have been discovered deep within New Jersey rock formations by a team of scientists. These biominerals are actually about four microns long--hundreds would fit on the period at the end of this sentence. But they are much larger than those previously discovered and have huge potential regarding global warming yesterday, today and tomorrow. More

Archeologist's Inquiry Reveals History

A Michigan Tech faculty member is digging up the past in Utah. Assistant Professor Tim Scarlett, an archeologist in social sciences, has been researching Utah's 19th-century pottery makers since 1995. Now he heads the Utah Pottery Project, which seeks to gather into one place information about the potters, their work, their products and their contributions to the history of Utah. More

Alumni Around the World

Norway Chapter Gathers in Oslo

Norway Alumni Gathering

The Norway chapter presents Cato Borge '65 with a thank you certificate for his many years of service to Michigan Tech. From left: Sverre Sandberg '68, Cato Borge, and Dr. Bruce Mork.

Fifteen members of the Norway Chapter of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association gathered at “Klubben” in Ingeniørenes Hus in Oslo on October 29th 2008 for their annual general meeting.

Chapter President, Sverre Sandberg presided and Dr. Bruce Mork, an associate professor in electrical and computer engineering and Michigan Tech’s liaison to the chapter presented a campus update.

The chapter will continue supporting Michigan Tech in its efforts to promote partnerships with institutions, colleges and universities in Norway. Seven Norwegian students are attending Tech this fall.

Chicago Chapter: 20th Year at Essen Haus, Madison, WI

Chicago alums

The Chicago Chapter volunteer leaders, Mike '82 and Marie '82 Cleveland, Jill Meister '88, and Scott Hartz '83 gathered for the 20th time in support of their Husky Hockey team on the road at the tough home of the Wisconsin Badgers. The wonderful Madison, WI German restaurant, The Essen Haus, welcomed almost 80 alumni, friends, and family to their private dining room and provided almost three hours of pre-game fun. In addition to a great talk from Head Hockey Coach Jamie Russell, the event concluded with 20-30 great raffle prizes ranging from sweatshirts to autographed hockey sticks.

West Michigan Hockey Get-Together

West Michigan Hockey

John Gutierrez '94, left, presents Eric Strang '75 with the signed Huskies hockey stick.

Alumni, family and friends gathered November 7 at the Van Andel Arena to watch the Grand Rapids Griffins beat the Lake Erie Monsters 5 to 1. The highlight of the pregame reception was the special raffle of a signed Huskies hockey stick which was won by Eric Strang, an ECE alumnus who is originally from Iron Mountain and now resides in Rockford, Michigan.

Special thanks to event organizer Chuck Deimel '88 and also to West Michigan chapter past president John Gutierrez.

Alumni Gather in Ann Arbor for Hoops


Senior guard Sean Geary drives against a Michigan defender in the Huskies exhibition game. Tech lost 77-55.

The pasties were hot, the beer was cold and the conversations lively during the pregame dinner for the eighty-five alumni and friends who visited Ann Arbor to cheer on the Michigan Tech men's basketball team as they took on Michigan on Thursday, November 11 in the opening game of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches Vs. Cancer tournament.

The Huskies played IUPUI the next night, dropping a 65-51 contest.

Fill in the Blanks


Pre-Zamboni days. Richard Frank found this great photo on It's the old Dee Stadium with an early "Zamboni-like" creation. That's some engineering. Do you recall this great old beast? Email me.

Fill in the Blanks: II


We believe this is the Titanic set, but it appears to be on the bottom of the pool. If you can shed some light on this one, please do so. Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Volleyball Earns Rematch with SVSU in NCAA Tourney

The Michigan Tech Huskies were one of 64 teams selected for the 2008 NCAA Div. II Volleyball Tournament today (Nov. 16). Tech (19-10) is the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region and will face the No. 2 seed Saginaw Valley State in Allendale, Mich., Friday (Nov. 21). The Huskies are 1-2 against the Cardinals this season. “This was one of our goals we set before the season began,” said head coach Krista Mikesch. “We have an experienced squad that we will need to lead us in the tournament.”

This will be the seventh time that the Huskies have qualified for the tournament and the first time since 2006. Tech also qualified for the NCAA Tournament five straight times from 1993 to 1997. Match times for the Midwest Regional have not been announced. If the Huskies win they will face the winner of the match between No. 3 Lewis and No. 6 Northern Kentucky.

Hockey Huskies Lose 3-0 to Minnesota

The No. 2 Minnesota Gophers scored a pair of first period power play goals to defeat Michigan Tech 3-0 Sunday (Nov. 16). The Gophers (6-0-4, 5-0-3) finished the day 2-9 on the man advantage and the Huskies (2-7-1, 1-6-1) were 0-5. Tech finished with a 38-27 advantage in shots in the game. “Penalties played a huge problem for us tonight,” said head coach Jamie Russell. “We had nice plays by the offense and we had good plays by the defense but in the end the penalties killed us.” More

Five Football Players Make All-GLIAC


All-GLIAC Phil Milbrath.

Michigan Tech placed five players on All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Teams it was announced today by the league office. Bill Behling (Milwaukee, Wis./Bay View) and Phil Milbrath (Norway, Mich.) were both named All-GLIAC first team. David Carmody (Newberry, Mich.), Robert Haynes (Lansing, Mich./Sexton) and Drew Vanderlin (Green Bay, Wis./Southwest) were selected to the All-GLIAC second team in voting conducted by the league’s head coaches. More

No. 7 Women Cruises to 69-30 Win over Lewis

Michigan Tech limited Lewis to nine field goals and 18 percent shooting from the field en route to a 69-30 non-conference women’s basketball victory tonight in day two of the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge. The Huskies improved to 2-0 overall, and head coach John Barnes claimed his 100th career victory with the win. The margin remained single digits until the 2:06 mark of the first half when Sarah Stream knocked down a 3-pointer. Tech finished the half on a 10-1 run for a 28-14 lead at the break. More

Men's Basketball Falls to 1-1 after Loss to Lewis

Lewis made 52 percent from the field and hit timely shots to defeat Michigan Tech 83-66 tonight in day two of the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge. Bradon Dagans and Jason Genova combined for 50 points to help the Flyers improve to 2-0. Robby Springborn scored 21 points in the Huskies’ (1-1) first setback of the season. The score was 11-all nine minutes into the game before Lewis went on an 11-0 run. The Huskies battled back to within three but settled for a five-point deficit at the half, 34-29. More

Around the Keweenaw

Landmark Lost: Quincy Chimney Coming Down

missing plane

Another Copper Country landmark has fallen, a victim of deteriorating infrastructure. Demolition of the 96-year-old Quincy Mining Company chimney stack began Wednesday in a move that one Quincy Mine Hoist Association administrator called sad but unavoidable. More

Enough Street Lights in Dollar Bay?

Seats that normally accommodate the few who show up for Osceola Township board meetings proved inadequate Thursday night for the more than 30 Dollar Bay residents who came to the meeting to express and hear concerns over the board's decision to remove streetlights, with many people opting for listening and speaking from the overflowing room's entranceway. In June, the board voted to have Upper Peninsula Power Company remove approximately 40 streetlights not on street corners in Dollar Bay as a cost-saving measure. The lights were removed in October and Township Supervisor Steve Karpiak estimates the move will save the township at least $6,000 a year. More

Warden Electric Offers "Green" Power

In a state and region with a less-than-stellar economy, the L'Anse Warden Electric Company is a sign of the future. L'Anse Village Manager Bob La Fave spoke briefly at the plant dedication Wednesday afternoon, praising the collaboration between the private and public sector responsible for the plant's renovation and reopening. More

Houghton Council Discusses Streetscape

Planning is underway for the City of Houghton's streetscape project next summer. At a recent City Council meeting, Director of Public Works Mark Zenner said he and City Manager Scott MacInnes met with the Michigan Department of Transportation recently to discuss the upcoming project, estimated at $3.1 million dollars. The discussion included preliminary designs, sidewalk colors, pavers and staging. The final design of the project will be worked over the next month, Zenner said, including the type of streetlights to be used. Work will start on Shelden Avenue near the bridge, then move eastward. More

From the Email Bag

Fill in the Blanks: Jeep in DHH

Sig Eps

I remember the incident quite well. As a matter of fact, I was in Houghton just last month with my new wife, and while there I took her on a tour of Douglas Houghton Hall to show her the room I lived in 57 years ago. Then, while standing in the exact same spot as depicted in the photograph, I proceeded to tell her about the night a group of students drove Gunther Frankenstein's Jeep up the stairs, through the door, and in to the hallway.

Her reaction was, "An unlikely tale if I ever heard one. Gunther Frankenstein indeed. You don't actually expect me to believe such a story do you? I suppose the next thing you are going to tell me is that Dr. Frankenstein then looked at the Jeep and shouted 'It's alive! It's alive!' ".

As well as I remember the incident, I don't remember anyone taking a picture. Nevertheless, is that me - the first person against the wall - to Gunther's immediate left? When I first saw the picture in the Alumni Newsletter I thought to myself, "That looks like what I think I used to look like 60 years ago." Whether or not it is me - or rather whether or not it is an image of what I think I looked like way back then - I can't say for certain, and it really doesn't matter. The fact that I still have a clear recollection of just about everything that occurred during my days at Tech is good enough for me. Now, if only I could remember what happened yesterday.

Take care Jack, and if you know Gunther's e-mail address please pass this on to him.

Donald Johnson, 53 Met. Eng.


Dennis, I remember it well.
How about the room that was filled completely with wadded up newspapers while the occupants were gone for the weekend? They were not too happy to find their room was a solid wall of newspaper upon opening the door. Nobody knew anything about it as I recall! This was also in 1951.

Pete (Dave) Hanrahan, CE '54

Fill in the Blanks: USG Roundtable


I only recognize Kevin J Walker on the far right in the yellow.

Leslie Wade
2000 grad

Micomi Club?

I found a reference to the Micomi Club in the book "Strangers And Sojourners: A History of Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula" by Arthur W. Thurner. It looks like they were a musical theater group around the turn of the century:

"Michigan Tech's Micomi Club produced musicals there, then toured by railroad to Calumet, Ishpeming, Marquette, Iron Mountain, Crystal Falls, and sometimes the Sault." (from pg. 183)

Andrea Cole - EE '90



I've found a few references to the Micomi Club. Appears to be a student-run dramatic group.

They appear to have produced an annual musical comedy each of the following years:
1911 In Tobero
1912 The Red Streak
1914 The Plaid Mackinaw
(program for the latter indicates "the third annual play")

It appears that they produced the shows in April/May of these years and that in addition to performance in the Kerridge Theatre in Hancock, they toured the different shows to Calumet, Marquette, Ishpeming, Crystal Falls, Iron Mountain, Menominee and/or Escanaba.

Erik Nordberg

More Pre-Zamboni

Go to


Robert E. Brown, '53

Featured Alumni Benefits

Michigan Tech WorldPoints MasterCard

Show your Husky spirit and earn points too! This is the only credit card that supports your Alumni Association and earns points towards cash back, air travel, merchandise and more - all with no annual fee and a low annual percentage rate! For every new account that is opened and every purchase made with the card, Bank of America will make a contribution to the Michigan Tech Alumni Association to support programs for students and alumni - at no additional cost to you! Members may review information about the rates, fees, other costs and benefits and apply by clicking here or calling1-800-932-2775. TTY users, please call 1-800-833-6262.


More Alumni Benefits & Services information <>

Class Rings
Diploma Frames
License Plates
University Images Michigan Tech Clothing and Giftware

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Technology Librarian, J. Robert Van Pelt Library

Web Marketing and Content Specialist, University Marketing and Communications

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Aquatic Ecology and Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (two positions)

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Social Sciences

Off Campus