September 19, 2011
Vol. 18, No.2
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Proud of Our Ancestry

Finland shows its colors.

The Parade of Nations is one our favorite traditions, and it's been around for nearly a quarter century. People representing all the different nations at Tech come out for a march from Hancock to Houghton, with dancing, music, and floats, and it ends with a food festival (and more dancing) at the Dee Stadium.

I remember one of the first Parade of Nations. It was cold, rainy, windy, and miserable. But the marchers and spectators (mostly) persevered.

It reminded me of my ancestors and how they survived the Keweenaw in the tough, old days.

My mom's family came from Cornwall (through Pennsylvania), and grandpa worked in the local mines before finishing his career at Michigan Tech in the old power plant on the waterfront. Grandma brought the original pasty recipe from Redruth, Cornwall, and I've never tasted one better, although my mom's were close.

On my dad's side, they came from near Oulu, Finland, and he and more than one son worked in local mines, too. They also fit a huge family in a small house in Baltic, and I wonder how they made ends meet. They brought that great, confusing language with them. I remember visiting their home when I was a kid, and I would hear more Finnish than English.

So, I salute the Finland gang when they pass. And I'm not alone. They have many supporters in the crowd, and all the nations get applause along the way.

Everyone, it seems, realizes that we all came from somewhere else, and we are happy we got here. Some of us even get to stay here!


The Colorologist

"Cold, wet weather will speed things up."

I thought the rain would slow things down.

"Who's the expert here? Lots of apples and acorns falling, too."

What does that mean.

"Long, tough winter."

And the colors?

"Eighteen and a half percent turned."

You guaranteeing that winter prediction?

"As sure as the rivers run down to the lake."


Dennis '92, '09

At Tech

Michigan Tech Climbs in US News Rankings

Michigan Tech is listed among the top universities in the nation in US News & World Report’s 2012 edition of “Best Colleges.” Now ranked 115, Michigan Tech continues its climb on the list, a spot it shares with Washington State University, Howard University in Washington, DC, and the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. More

Michigan Tech Enrollment Increases to More Than 7,000

With well over 7,000 students, enrollment at Michigan Technological University is at its second-highest point since 1983. Data reported to the State Budget Office Wednesday, Sept. 7, show total enrollment at 7,031, a 1 percent increase over fall 2010’s official figure of 6,976. More

Keeping Kids Safer in the Car: Blocking the Buckle

buckle blocker
A babysitter was watching a pair of siblings who—surprise—were acting up in the backseat of a car. “They would undo each other’s seat belts,” the sitter told Collin Veele, a mechanical engineering major at Michigan Technological University. Veele conferred with Alex Cotton, a mechanical engineering and economics major. “We took it from there,” Cotton says. More

Alumni Around the World

Homecoming is Coming—October 7–8!

There are many unique traditions at Michigan Tech and Homecoming is one of the best! Your Michigan Tech Alumni Association is hosting special Alumni Homecoming events for alumni and friends.

Reconnect with your Tech friends for a fun filled weekend and enjoy watching the

• Cardboard Boat Races
• Tech Football VIP Tailgate*
• Husky Hockey Box Suite*
• 3rd annual Alumni Broomball Invitational*

MacInnes Ice ArenaCheck-in at the Downtowner and receive your free alumni gift.

*Limited space available

Whether you want to participate and relive your student days, or just watch the action, you don't want to miss Homecoming 2011!

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, October 7-8
WHERE: Houghton

For a full list of events and to register please visit
or call 877-688-2586

Make a Difference Day—October 22!

Make a Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others - a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Everyone can participate.

maddMichigan Tech students have been participating in Make a Difference Day for many years.  Last year over sixty alumni from nine chapters throughout the nation joined more than 500 (on campus) students in this national day of helping others.

This year it's time for you to participate with fellow Huskies in your own communities throughout the world.

Most events are expected to last for a couple hours in the morning and encourage all ages and family members to participate. Each volunteer will receive a special Husky t-shirt.

What will you be doing on Make a Difference Day?

Please visit to register your event or sign-up to volunteer.

West Michigan K-Day

west MI
The cool sunny evening of the West Michigan K-Day at Brewer Park in Kent County had us all feeling a bit like we were back in the Keweenaw! Our Schmohz host Chas Thompson provided samples of craft micro-brew plus draft root beer in addition to being the grill master of the evening. The event was attended by a diverse group of retired and recent alumni from 3 counties.

We had a chance to reminisce about previous K-days and computers from 1963 to 2009! We have come a long way from Fortran and punch cards! Many of the "older" alumni have children who are attending or who have attended Tech. Many in the group said they were looking forward to attend the Tech/ GVSU Tailgate party in Allendale on Oct. 29.

David Cox '76

Fill in the Blanks

KDay 2005

Were you here for K-Day 2005? It's clickable. Email me.

Sweet '84 Machine

computerState-of-the-art 1984 "surveying computer," according to the archives. Remember it? Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

No. 13 Warriors Defeat No. 19 Huskies on Gridiron

Battles between nationally ranked NCAA Division II football programs usually are decided by the big plays. Today the No. 13-ranked Wayne State Warriors did just that and defended their home field by a 27-10 score over No. 19-ranked Michigan Tech. More

Irwin, Lane Pace Cross Country Teams

Sophomore Deedra Irwin (left) finished ninth to lead the Michigan Tech cross country teams at the St. Olaf Invite Saturday (Sept. 17). The Pulaski, Wis. native covered the six-kilometer course in 23:11. Junior Amanda Halonen cracked the top-50 thanks to her 48th place finish in 24:23. Senior Sydney Bruestle finished 58th (24:41) and sophomore Rachel Mason was 64th (24:56). Senior Lauren Rantala rounded out the top-five for Tech finishing 68th (25:07). More

Eagles Soar Over Huskies

Kathy Fletcher recorded a match-high 12 kills to lead Ashland to a 3-0 win over the Michigan Tech volleyball team Saturday (Sept. 17). The Eagles won game one 25-19 and followed up with a 25-14 win in the second set thanks to a six point run midway through the set. More

Sports Wrap-Up

What’s Happening This Week

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011
Fall Sports Luncheon, 12 noon (Opie Hockey Suites)

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
Men’s Tennis at ITA Regional, All Day (at Midland, Mich.)
Women’s Tennis at Hillsdale, 1 p.m.
Women’s Soccer at Northwood, 4 p.m.
Volleyball at Northwood, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
Men’s Tennis at ITA Regional, All Day (at Midland, Mich.)
Cross Country at Griak Invitational (St. Paul, Minn.)
Women’s Tennis at Grand Valley State, 10 a.m.
Football hosts Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)
Volleyball at Lake Superior State, 2 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011
Women’s Tennis at Ferris State, 10 a.m.
Women’s Soccer at Saginaw Valley State, 12 p.m.

All times Eastern. • Home events in bold.

Last Week’s Results

Football (2-1, 1-1 GLIAC)
9/17 — at No. 13 Wayne State 27, No. 19 Michigan Tech 10

Volleyball (2-8, 0-5 GLIAC)
9/16 — at Lake Erie 3, Michigan Tech 2
9/17 — at Ashland 3, Michigan Tech 0

Women’s Soccer (2-3-1, 0-3-1 GLIAC)
9/16 — at No. 19 Grand Valley State 4, Michigan Tech 0
9/18 — at Ferris State 3, Michigan Tech 1

Cross Country
9/17 — Michigan Tech women 8th of 16 teams, men tied for 9th of 14 teams at St. Olaf Invitational

Women’s Tennis (1-2, 1-2 GLIAC)
9/16-17 — at ITA Regional (no team results)

Top News of the Week

Football to Host Indianapolis Saturday
Michigan Tech will bring a six-game home winning streak into its game Saturday (Sept. 24) when it hosts Indianapolis at Sherman Field. The No. 19-ranked Huskies suffered their first loss of 2011 by a 27-10 score at No. 13 Wayne State last Saturday. Indianapolis comes into the game riding high after defeating No. 14 Grand Valley State 34-33.

Second Fall Luncheon Thursday
Michigan Tech will host the second of three Fall Sports Luncheons Thursday (Sept. 22) in the Opie Hockey Suites in the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Head football coach Tom Kearly will be the featured speaker. The event begins at noon and a complimentary lunch will be provided.

Around the Keweenaw

Cougar Sighted in Ontonagon County

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that a cat-like animal seen crossing before a video camera is in fact a cougar. Adam Bump, bear and furbearer specialist with the DNR in Lansing, said the animal was caught on a bear bait camera by an individual on private property in Ontonagon. He declined to specify where out of respect for the landowners. More

Copperwood mine key topic of DNR meeting

While Phil Wirtanen admits they didn't get a whole lot done, and still managed to go over their two-hour scheduled meeting, the Department of Natural Resources' Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council members learned a great deal from the special presentations Monday evening. More

Cleaning up the Beach

After dumping the bags of cigarette butts and other garbage onto the table, a collective "Ew!" could be heard under the pavilion. Seventh-grade students at Washington Middle School took part in an Adopt-a-Beach program Friday as part of the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative. More

From the Email Bag

Old Computers, Continued

Regarding the 1950s computers:

Here’s a picture of one of them (there were 3, they eventually made their way to Fisher Hall).

Bruce McMillin ’79, ‘85 (son of Kenneth McMillin)

Bruce: Right you are, and you know the folks pictured, I believe (left to right): Kenneth McMillin, Howard Anderson, and G. Cleaves Byers


To Anna Hradel '60. I may be wrong but Dr. McMillan’s computers were Heathkit (of Benton Harbor, MI) vacuum tube analog computers. (Pictured above.) They weren’t large, by the standards of that day, and could be considered “deck top” models, if you had little else to put on your desk. They old computerhad a sloping workspace in front where the operational amplifiers and other electrons could be plugged together - analog programming of the day. The sloping front leveled out at the top-back to support two or three rows of exposed vacuum tubes. 12AX7 or 12AU7 dual-triodes, I believe. They were the active part of the operational amplifiers.

The university had another vacuum tube computer at the time that may have been the computer the person at your reunion mentioned. And, it may have been in Dr. McMillan’s lab in 1960 but ended up, almost completely unused and where I remember it, in the EE department. That computer was a Bendix G-15 ding, ding digital computer (the ding, ding is mine and will be explained later). Attached is a picture of a high school senior (me [photo is clickable for a larger view]) attending the annual spring engineering show, pretending to know what he’s doing on an IBM keypunch machine, and sitting in front of the G-15. Note on the top-front the 1960 Keweenawanonly input/output device, a paper tape reader/writer. There is also a picture of that computer on page 43 of the 1960 Keweenawan (left) with Dr. Byers of the physics department. The caption says it’s an analog computer, but I'm sure it’s not. Meters were the output devices for analog computers then but I’m sure the meters shown in the two pictures are for monitoring the power supplies, a common “feature” of digital computers of that day.

The G-15 was Bendix’s last vacuum computer, if not their only one. Their next computer was the transistor model, the G-20. The only storage in the G-15 was a magnetic drum; everything had to be stored there, even partial results. There was no “accumulator.” To add two 10-digit numbers, for example, the machine had to wait for the drum to rotate until the least significant digits of the two numbers were under the read-head. It’d read the numbers, add them together, then wait until the drum had rotated around to where the least significant digit of the answer was to be stored, and store it. Then, it’d wait for the second least significant digits to come by and operate on them. Etc. You can imagine how slow it was. And, that brings me to the “ding, ding.” I didn’t know it until I started working for Control Data Corp. (CDC) in 1965 but the G-15 had a bell. A bell something like those old school bells but not big. Every time a certain operation occurred in the computer (single digit add perhaps,) the bell would ring. Often, walking down the hall at CDC, pass the training room with their Bendix G-15, I would hear, “ding, …, ding, ding, ….. ding.” A similar device on a modern digital computer would have to be a microwave antenna!

There you are, everything and much, much more than you ever wanted to know about vacuum tube computers at Mich. Tech in the early 1960s.

Dick Kuenzer,
‘63, ’67 EE

Dick: Wow, great stuff! Makes me appreciate our first Mac!


I don't remember the computer in Hubbell Hall. I do know that in 1963 Dr McMillan taught a course on analog computing and Dr Byers taught a course on digital computing, using I think a Bendix 500---machine language only with paper tape communications.

Jim Thomas, '63

Jim: According to the old Keweenawan, it looks like the "analogue" computer might be that same computer, actually in the second and third photos above, you think?

Engineering Challenges

I’m now in Arizona doing hazardous waste management and some air pollution control work. But this comes from my time working for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality(which no longer exists), Air Quality Division.

I was reviewing a permit application from a manufacturer of pool chemicals. They were proposing a scrubber to reduce both chlorine and bromine emissions. As a BSChE, the evaluation of the scrubber should have a simple gas/liquid extraction tower problem. As you may have guessed, it wasn’t, because the operators also didn’t understand the process very well; it was like ‘Hey, we just run it like corporate tells us and we make the chemicals’. So I ended up doing a complete chemical engineering review of the process: stoichiometry, flows, heat balance, mass balance, throw in a little kinetics for good measure. It turned out corporate hadn’t done a process review in several years, and they weren’t too happy about me reevaluating the process. However it was putting out significantly more emissions that is should have been for the inputs, and this is what was causing problems for the scrubber. Once I detailed the problems, and gave them suggested process and scrubber redesigns, they saw the light. It took me about two months to get through everything with them and convince them to make changes. Epilogue: After they made the changes, they saw a huge decrease in complaints from the community, and were getting better product with less material waste. I really appreciated my education at MTU!

Greg Edwards ‘79

Editor's Note: Alums, if you recall, we asked for stories such as Greg's for possible inclusion in the next Michigan Tech Magazine. Keep 'em coming! Email me.

Mascot Questions from a Current Student

Alums: One of our students is doing a little research on our mascot(s). If you can help fill in the blanks, please email Zack or me. Thanks.

1. When did Michigan Tech. get their first mascot(either real or in a costume)?
2. If the first mascot was a real animal, when did Tech. get it's first costumed mascot?
3. At some point, did we have two husky mascots instead of one?
4. Was there a mascot when you went to Tech.?
5. What was the mascot's name, if it had a name, when you went to Tech.?
6. When and how did our mascot get the name Blizzard T. Husky?
7. In one of the yearbooks from around 1924 in the Archives, I found a picture of a dog named "Bruce" in the football section's photos. He looked like a bulldog to me. Does anyone have any more information about why he was in the yearbook? Was he possibly the football team's mascot that year?
8. If anyone has any more information they would like to share, it would be appreciated.

Basically, my goals for the article are to say when Tech. first got a mascot and what animal it was, when Tech. got its first costumed mascot, and when Tech's mascot was first named. But, any other information, outside of these questions, is welcomed because it would allow me to make the article even more interesting.

Thank you!,
Zack Anthony

Old Bosch Keg

Hi Dennis
Thanks for printing the info on Bosch… already had a couple of enquiries about the Bosch half barrel I have.


Ron Starr '67

Another 1959 Mug Found!

I found this great 1959 MTU mug in an antique shop with the American Society of Mech Eng's (ASME) logo on it. On the back is the name "Ken". After doing some internet searching, it looks like this mug probably belonged to Ken Tamai, who has since passed in 2004. Amazing what you can find on the internet, including (I hope) an accurate e-mail to one of his sons.

According to his obituaries, he sounds like a very interesting man. I'm now proud to give his mug a new home.

Luke Reini
MTU Alumni - 1981 & '83

Luke: Great story and a great thing you are doing!

Hotchkiss Engineering Hall

hotchkissI want to reply to a couple of the items in the latest Email Bag but can see no way of doing it except to send this to your email address. If I’m incorrect in doing so, please forgive me.

First, to John R. Baker, ’71. The combined ME/EE building in those days was Hotchkiss Hall. EE had the east half and ME the west. Department offices were in the front corners on the second floor.

Dick Kuenzer '63, '67 EE

Dick: You are correct about Hotchkiss. I found an old photo in the archives.


People's Park

People's ParkFather Bill McGee had spent a year studying at Berkeley (1968-69) and People's Park was named for the one found in that area. It was the people of Michigan Tech who built it on property owned by St. Albert the Great and was the area between the church and the Student Development Complex. Tech students were a different breed from what was found on many of the other campuses in 1970. Many of us continued to go to class during the strike, and the park was a positive reaction to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in Ohio. The undeveloped wooded area was cleaned up of underbrush, a small stream was dammed to make a pond, the church's flagpole was moved across the parking lot to the park, but the flag was later stolen, and some old mining cars were placed there. We also did some work along the front of the church to blend that area into the look of the park as that stream flowed through a culvert and past the building's flowing fountain on the front lawn. The water ran in the open ditch along Upland Road.

Both Fathers McGee and Shiroda had great relations with the community and there were materials and equipment donated by local businesses and community members. I hesitate to name any because I am certain that I never knew all who made this happen and it would be a shame to miss some of them. Also, so many donors were silent about their gifts.

And Moving to Tech
I remember how terrified I was to be moving five hundred miles away from home and family. So terrified as to become sick and stopping for the night in Champion instead of arriving on Saturday evening. But I did get settled, my parents left, and I began what was to become a very important time in my life. I will always cherish the time I spent at Michigan Tech and especially the two years that I was a Chapel Rat at St. Al's. Friendships developed there continue to this day even though we are separated by hundreds of miles and very infrequent visits. However, I was not the best engineering student. I wanted a more hands on education and transferred to the one year old Lake Superior State College in the new Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology program. Some of the buildings that had been Fort Brady are still in use, those that were used for the engineering technology programs have all been replaced. As a note, my second roommate in Wads, was a transfer from Soo Tech.

In a number of ways it was like being a Tech student. The equipment had MCMT labels on it, nearly all of my instructors were Tech grads, and the curriculum, though a bit more hands on, was the same. Our division head once described it at the same way engineers were taught when he received his degree in the 1950's. My connection to MTU did not end with the transfer. My fiance was still a Tech Student, and my friends were still in Houghton, so my green Hornet spent many hours on M-28 and US-41 over the next couple of years. The last job I held before retirement was as Director of Buildings and Grounds in Ironwood at Gogebic Community College. I became a regular at the MiAPPA meetings and toured an lot of construction projects throughout the state. My last meeting was co-hosted my Bill Blumhardt and me at Tech, where I got to see my remodeled room in Wadsworth Hall. It was a great experience, and I miss those meetings. Get to Houghton every few years now, and always take time to make a spin through campus just to see what has changed and what remains the same. Like many of us, I wish that I never had to leave.

Greg Switek


Yes, I remember this well. I was a Chapel Rat up at St. Al's when this occurred. As I recall, there was a meeting of campus activists at St Al's after the shootings at Kent State. Emotions were high and there was a lot of anger and confusion. The question was "How do we react to the shootings?". Suggestions ran the gamut - everything from peaceful marches through Houghton & Hancock to burning down the ROTC building. It was then that Fr. Bill McGee offered the property across from the church to be turned into what became "People's Park". I remember him saying that we needed to respond positively and peacefully. So, for the next 4 or 5 days, there was a steady stream of students (Toots. as we were called then) up and down "cardiac hill" clearing brush, landscaping, planting flowers and basically turning the overgrown piece of land into the park. Later, rumor had it that a letter was sent from the group to the Michigan State Legislature with a book of matches stapled to it, stating that while we had the means to a violent reaction we chose to be positive and productive. Maybe an urban legend, but it made a lot of us feel pretty good about what had happened.

One additional note worth mentioning. I've written about this in the past but it bears repeating. While the media was interviewing then President Smith about the park, a lone figure came up the hill to work. He wore jeans and a hooded jacket and fit in with everyone else. He went off to a corner of the park, worked for an hour or so, finished and simply left without any word. The person was Harold Meese the Dean of Students. As you can tell, that left quite an impression with me. The weekend showed how unique and special these two men were - Fr. Bill and Dean Meese.

Ken Kamlay ' 71

Tech Student Featured in Chrysler Video

Students from Michigan Technological University, Ohio Northern University & Purdue University share their experiences of working as interns at Chrysler Group during the 2011 summer at the Auburn Hills, Mich

OK, so it is just Anne, she is last up on the video driving cars around inside the building to the wind tunnel.

The students got an award from management for producing the video, it is posted on Chrysler's website.

Joe Dancy

Michigan Travelogue, 60 Years Ago!

Here is an amazing video of Michigan . Take a look. This is a great short movie of Michigan 60 years ago. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Traverse City , and more! Movie was made in 1949 -- pre-Mackinaw bridge and I-75 days....very interesting.



Gail Richter

Alumni Authors

Kurt Larson (BSMG 1982) has been at the writing again. This time he was researcher, contributor, and editor to "The Yeoman Story." This is an interesting account of how a small family business based in Southwest England became one of the largest independent minerals and transportation companies in Europe. Readers will be interested in the role that several Michigan Tech grads had in the growth of the company, and how relationships with many North American-based companies aided in that growth. These companies are also loaded with Tech engineers and include Caterpillar, Electro-Motive Division of General Motors, Nordberg Manufacturing (now Metso), US Steel (now USX), Allis Chalmers (now Sandvik), and Canada Steamship Lines. Robin Thornes is the author of this 327 page illustrated hardback available at Amazon. While there you can check out Kurt's other titles which include "Winter Carnival (Queen)", "Under the Batholith", "A Farewell to Skiing", and "Long Skiis//Short Stories."



"This is Serengeti, where every end is a beginning, and every beginning is eternal. The drama of the hunt is evident everywhere: a cheetah stalking a gazelle, lions fighting over a kill, vultures picking at a zebra carcass, and men with AK-47s guarding rhinos against poachers.

Sharing vivid photographs and experiences from twenty-six years of trips to Serengeti, Boyd Norton '60 brings this wild landscape to life.

Boyd Norton will donate 5 percent of proceeds to Serengeti Watch, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term protection of the entire Serengeti ecosystem. Visit for more information."—From the press release.

Featured Alumni Benefits

Michigan Tech Group Insurance:
Liberty Mutual and the Alumni Association

liberty mutual
As a Michigan Tech graduate, you qualify for a special group rate on your auto, home, and renters insurance through Liberty Mutual. For a free, no-obligation quote, contact your Liberty Mutual Representative today!

Eastern  Michigan: Renee Kurowski (989.832.4865)
Western Michigan & the UP: Chris Napolillo (800-865-1870 ext. 56821)
 Outside of Michigan: Call 1-800-981-2372 or visit the Liberty Mutual website –

Liberty Mutual provides funds to the Michigan Tech Alumni Association as part of this collaboration. Agreements like this help support a wide range of programs and services for alumni and students.


More Alumni Services information

More Deals and Discounts

Show your Michigan Tech Pride with Tech Gear

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative: Positions in Water and Transportation

Assistant Professor (two positions), Tenure-track position, Department of Chemistry

Department Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Technical Writer, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute-Center for Technology and Training

Complete Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus

Keweenaw opportunities:

Other employment opportunities: Check out the Linked in group exclusively for Michigan Tech Alumni.

Also, visit the Career Tools webpage for more options