January 2, 2013
Vol. 19, No.8
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Winning at Home at the Joe

banner and team
What a feeling!

Before Sunday's championship game at the GLI in Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, the PA announcer said, "And the home team tonight, the Michigan Tech Huskies." The roar that followed reverberated throughout the building, from the ceiling down to the ground-floor alumni gathering place. "Home team" was an understatement.

The Huskies wore their home gold jerseys, and they had many more fans than the other three schools, their PA announcer (Mitch Lake, from the Keweenaw), and the incredible Pep Band. And, at two packed alumni events before each game, Huskies pride was omnipresent.

All over the building, the black and gold were represented, as 30,000 fans over two days witnessed this incredible 48th GLI.

By now, you know that the Huskies beat Michigan Saturday night and Western Sunday night.

The coaching staff, led by Mel Pearson, had the team ready to play, and they responded. It was more than a great performance by freshman goaltender Phoenix Copley (the MVP had two shutouts). All the skaters played solid games.

Of course, it had to be close Sunday night. It was 1-0 going into the third, and the tension eased a little when sophomore forward Blake Hietala scored early in the period. That still-to-close margin remained until about a minute was left in the game. When Tanner Kero got his empty-netter, we started screaming, and we stood and cheered until the end.

We cheered for all the student athletes who tried since 1980 to get this done. We cheered for all the coaches who brought them there and lost the close ones and not-so-close ones. We cheered for all the alumni and other fans who have supported them through thick and thin. We cheered for the Pep Band who dominate that building like it was the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

In fact, after all the celebrating, raising the MacInnes Cup, and thanking us, the team skated over to the Pep Band's corner and saluted them.

Finally, we cheered this special team, who just turned another corner and gave us a night we'll never forget.

As Coach MacInnes used to say, "The season begins at the GLI." With this renewed spirit, intensity, and confidence, this team is going to be fun to watch, for the rest of this year and beyond.

Dennis '92 '09


Snowfall Totals

Season to date: 38.25 inches
On the ground: 6 inches

One year ago total: 49 inches
On the ground: 10 inches

Don't forget our snowfall contest!

At Tech

From ME Major to NASCAR Crew Chief

Greg Ives
It’s heady stuff for a self-professed car nut from a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Greg Ives, a 2003 mechanical engineering graduate from Michigan Tech, was recently named crew chief for NASCAR driver Regan Smith. In NASCAR, the driver, owner and crew chief are the most important members of any race team. More

Following Phragmites: Using Satellite Data to Map Invasive Species


Phragmites australis, an invasive species of plant called common reed, grows rapidly into dense stands of tall plants that pose an extreme threat to Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Early treatment is the key to controlling Phragmites. More

You’ll Like It Here: Recruiting International Students

International students
Michigan Tech has a long history of recruiting students from other nations. Michigan Tech’s current international student enrollment is its largest ever—1,024—nearly 15 percent of all students on campus. And several programs are adding to that legacy, according to Thy Yang, director of International Programs and Services (IPS). More

Endowed Professorship to Honor Longtime Faculty Member

Dennis Wiitanen
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has announced the creation of the Dennis Wiitanen Professorship in Electric Power Systems. The professorship, which is funded by a $1 million endowment, honors Professor Emeritus Dennis Wiitanen, who retired in August 2012. More

New Projects at Superior Ideas

New projects have been added to the Superior Ideas website.

Clean Snowmobile Challenge

Help tomorrow's engineers design cutting-edge snowmobile technology today. The Clean Snowmobile Challenge pits teams of students from different schools against one another to design the best environmentally friendly snowmobile—presenting concepts for quieter, cleaner, and more-efficient vehicles to industry. More

Vets as Entrepreneurs
Over a million of our nation's veterans are currently returning to the United States from their overseas posts. Yet the economic activity of veterans in their post-military career is vastly unknown and could have great positive effects on our nation's economy—and veterans themselves—if better understood. More

Alumni Around the World

Alumni at the GLI

alumni Sat. night
Saturday night was packed.

Where to begin? We met so many of you over the weekend. All of our anxious anticipation was rewarded.

Phi Tau Doug Gaynier '92, an ME, is living in Southfield, MI, and working at International Auto Components. He was with his wife, Amy.

Jim Patterson '87 and wife Jeanette '88 (former Carnival Queen) stopped by. He's an ME, she's a Civil, and their son, Garret, is a current CS major.

Doug Moerler '01 is another ME, living in Holland. Other Moerlers included Mike '96 and Andra '96, both MEs living in Zeeland.

Alumni Sun. night
Sunday night, even more so.

Heather '09 and Haley '10 Vingsness were there. Heather's teaching at Brighton High School, thanks to her Bio Sci and teaching degrees. Haley is an STC attending grad school at the U-M (did I mention we beat them Saturday night?). She's studying software interface design and helped out at the alumni merchandise table.

Three generations of Duttons were represented: Paul I '34, Paul II '67, and Paul III '00. Paul III lives in Seattle, working on tunnel design.

Tom Troher '85 is an ME, still engineering at Ford after all these years. Bonnie Janssen '84 was anxious for a pickled egg. A Geo major, she was working for the Public Service Commission in Lansing.

Matt Barkley '06 '10 is an ME and product engineer with Chrysler and was one of our helpers. Greg Carlson '86 Civil Tech and '90 Civil has a daughter, Mikaela currently at Tech, an ME like mother, Dorothy.

Gary Nylander '82 Mining and ME is working with Nissan. Margaret (Pinkva) Liubakka '86 is a Med Tech working at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia. Daughter Jessica is a sophomore EE and Alpha Gam at Tech. Margaret volunteered with us, too.

Finally, Andrew Heikkinen '11 is with Bell Helicopter in Texas and Joe Gallo '12 is a ME/EE with Down Corning. He says his work "is fun."

It was great to meet so many alumni and hear them roar later both nights. I highly recommend the GLI gatherings! Wow!

New Memories Website

Memories Website
The Memories website has a new look and functionality which makes it even easier for Alumni and friends to share their Michigan Tech memories and upload photos as well.

The site, originally launched in 2010 for Michigan Tech’s 125th celebration, contains stories about campus life and adventures in the Keweenaw from the 30’s right up to today! You can search for stories either by topic or decade and read what others have posted.

Take a moment to share your memories at http://www.mtu.edu/memories.

Copper Country Snowfall Contest is Back!

soldier monument

The soldier monument when it was on College Avenue. It is in Veterans Park, near the bridge, now.

If you accurately predict the total amount of snow to fall in the Keweenaw this winter you could win a stay in a campus guest room (located in the Memorial Union Building & Wadsworth Hall) and a Michigan Tech Winter Survival Kit.

According to the Keweenaw Research Center, a total of 132 inches of snow fell during the 2011-12 season last winter. There were 944 entries in the Second Annual Snowfall contest ranging from 73.8 to 400 inches. Scott Yager, a 2010 Electrical Engineering Tech alumnus earned the grand prize with his prediction of 131.5 inches.

Brian Baldwin, a 1989 Computer Science alumnus, was chosen from all entries to also win a Michigan Tech Winter Survival Kit as the Consolation Prize.

Check out the Snow Memories posted by alumni and friends: www.mtu.edu/memories/snow/

Enter your snowfall prediction for this winter at http://mtu.edu/snowfall/

Holiday Poll Results

Your favorite Holiday Memory

Spending time with family: 69%
GLI, attending or watching on TV: 11%
Giving a great present: 6%
Spending time with friends: 5%
Getting a great present: 1%
Christmas carols: 1%
Watching sports in person: 1%
Watching sports on TV: 1%
Other: 6%

Some Others: Seeing ex-girlfriend, worshiping Jesus, making cookies, making Christmas gift for mom with roommate, having 3 weeks of vacation, downstate girlfriend, Mom playing Christmas hymns at church, home cooking, relaxing between terms, Christmas eve 1991 watching "It's a Wonderful Life" at King Khalid Military City Saudi Arabia, SNOW!!!, Christmas Eve church service.

Fill in the Blanks

old alumnus cover


Is this the SAE team looking over a mini-baja vehicle in 1993?

Recognize anyone in there?

Email me.


1968 Heathkit Computer

Old computer

Alum Tom Brunson sent me many great images, such as this.

Maybe you worked on one of these vintage analog computers back in the 1960s and 1970s.

It is clickable.

Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

GLI Champs! Huskies Blank Broncos 4-0 to Claim Title

Michigan Tech claimed its 10th GLI title with a 4-0 victory over No. 7-ranked Western Michigan tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The Huskies' Pheonix Copley, who slammed the door on Michigan in a 4-0 win last night, became just the second goaltender in GLI history to post back-to-back shutouts. He was named the winner of the John MacInnes Trophy as the tournament MVP. More

Men's Hoops Tops Parkside 69-51

men's hoops
The Michigan Tech men's basketball team finished with a 41-25 rebounding advantage in a 69-51 win at UW-Parkside Saturday (Dec. 29). The contest was the final non-conference game of the season for the Huskies who improve to 8-2. "I was happy with the way we played with a two week layoff," said head coach Kevin Luke. "We didn't loose much. Parkside really plays hard and is well coached. I am proud of beating this team on the road." More

Women's Hoops Falls in Double OT to No. 7 Indianapolis

women's hoops
Paige Albi and Jillian Ritchie each recorded a double-double for Michigan Tech in a 78-74 double overtime loss to No. 7 Indianapolis Sunday (Dec. 30). Albi recorded career-highs in both points (17) and rebounds (14). Ritchie scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. "We fought and played hard today," said head coach Kim Cameron. "We can't fault our effort. We need to learn to hold and play with a lead." More

Around the Keweenaw

Daily Mining Gazette | WLUC TV-6 | Marquette Mining Journal

From the Email Bag

More Memorable Crossings

2006 snowstorm (clickable).

My roommate Lee Cline and I had decided to spend the afternoon after our final exams skiing at Mt. Ripley instead of driving home sometime in the early 80’s. Well due to gusting wind conditions the ski hill had shut down that should have been a warning. Well we took off about 3 PM after installing a new set of quartz halogen headlights in his fiberglass bodied 64 Jeep. The drive across the UP was not bad at all. Crossing the bridge we entered the wind shadow of one of the towers.

We immediately jumped lanes on exiting the shadow. There had been quite a bit of snow on the south side of the bridge. The headlights worked great a set of Marchals with a cut off built in. In about 10 miles we were headed down hill when we spotted headlights pointed toward us on the expressway. Just as the high beam faded to low I saw the black ice. We started spinning and ended up “parked” backwards next to three other cars from Tech. Well we had no problem driving out after engaging four wheel drive.

Like any Tech student we loved toys. Lee had just bought a Snatch um Strap which was nylon web about 1 ½” wide. We hooked on to the first car in line. Lee took off, reached the end of the strap and like a yo-yo bounced due to the ice. But it worked. About that time other roommates drove through, there were 7 of us at 204 Vivian. Our house was featured in the 1977 or 78 Lode as the opening two pages for Off Campus Housing. We freed the other two cars and congratulated ourselves when we noticed another pair of headlights at the bottom of the hill. Lee drove down and discovered a BIG LTD buried, at quite a downward angle and pointed the wrong way for a good extraction. He hooked up and we cleared away the snow.

About this time a State Trooper with a Tow Truck following him stopped to ask if we needed help. No we could get it out. He shook his head and headed to yet another set of cars about a ¼ mile south. He promised to come back. Well Lee took off again and this time kept going. The frame of the LTD had cut the strap. What to do? Lee got out a tow chain wrapped it around the frame tied the strap back together hooked up and took off. The LTD came around. After getting him out and again thanking the State Trooper (now amazed). We took off. During the trip to Gaylord we counted 31 holes in the snow and helped out more people. We stopped at the Donut Shop (on the East side now gone), got coffee and a dozen donuts. Back on the road I opened the box and there were way more than a dozen donuts. After hearing our story the owner had put in two dozen. Drive from there was uneventful. We had a lot of good times with our Tech Travels.

James Potts (82)


Dear Dennis,
I read with interest the accounts of heavy snowfalls in the Email Bag. Down here in the Houston area, a half inch of snow paralyzes everything!

I remember one particularly difficult trip in either '65 or '66. When I left Houghton after finals that winter, there were two feet of snow already on the ground. While I was home in central Illinois for the holiday, an additional 85" fell at Tech.

It was snowing on the way back, and I had a carload of Toots in my Dodge Dart. As we went through Iron Mountain on US 141, a little kid on a sled shot off the sidewalk right in front of us. We barely got stopped.

Once my heart returned to normal, I headed out into 120 miles of falling snow piling on top of packed snow and glare ice between us and Houghton. It was so bad that when we reached the Firesteel River, I had to gun the engine down the steep grade just to make enough momentum to carry us up over the steep hill on the other side, hoping that we didn't slip off the road in the process. When we finally got in, after one or two sidetracks into the snowbanks, I was never so glad to see Houghton.

Neil Foreman, '67


Hi Dennis,
I’ve enjoyed reading about the storm trips from alumni. I also began at Tech in the fall of ‘57 and it seemed like the first big storm was always at Thanksgiving break. I remember some hair raising trips, too, but what also complicated them was that coeds had closing hours at 11 PM on Sunday night. Whoever we rode with had to take that into consideration for the return trip. However, when it actually came down to it we got a reprieve for the times we didn’t arrive until the wee hours of the morning. Fortunately my rides didn’t get stuck overnight someplace. I do remember times when we came upon someone off the road usually in the Seney stretch it seemed, and there were always a couple other Tech cars who stopped to help. After 2 years of Thanksgiving trips for only 4 days off I finally got smart and stayed on campus for the weekend. Besides, then I was able to spend the time in the quantitative analysis lab along with a few others trying to finish up lab assignments!

Gail Richter ‘61

Proud of the Hockey Huskies and a Carp Story!

Hi Dennis,
I'm so proud of Mel Pearson and our entire Hockey Team for winning the GLI over our old nemesis U of M and last year's CCHA Champion WMU! This is a pivotal win in our resurgence. I hope today's students can feel what it was like when our teams were coached by the great John MacInnes and we students all voted to help pay for a new ice arena that still bears the name Student Development Complex. Let's all get behind Coach Pearson!

Fellow alums, let's also get out and support all of our Husky athletic teams when they are on the road. Their away games are frequently within a couple hours drive or less for those of us in lower Michigan. We can give them a charge and have a blast doing it!

Go Tech Go!
John Northrup '72

PS - I love my Chevy Volt, too! (see photo)

John: There's worldwide pride after that weekend!



Way to go Mel! I was with you & the team at the GLI via Fox Sports Detroit (TV) all week end. I never missed a hockey game at Dee Stadium & even followed them to Ann Arbor during an early tourney run.

I had a desk next to John MacInnes in the Tech Athletic Dept (in Sherman Gym) while I student taught swimming classes while Capt of the Tech Swim team in 1962-63. He was a friend & a real gentleman who gave me goal keeper pointers plus used pads during my intramural hockey days for Theta Tau Fraternity. He said, "Be careful, a few of my very talented ineligible recruits are playing Intramural". I replied, "Please don't tell Swim Coach Omer that I am skating during swim season".

I still recall John sharing his thoughts after the big brawl at Dee against Minnesota. We were way behind & Tech fans were pounding on the roof of the visitors dugout (bench) right below where I always was standing above the seats (best viewing spot) at center ice. Two Gopher players were standing on the top of the boards pointing at the score board and swinging sticks into the crowd as they leaned against the top on the dugout roof. During a play stoppage a fan again pounded on the roof and when another Gopher player stood-up to swear at the crowd someone hit him over the head with a frozen fish (perhaps a Carp of about 18"- 20" long) which knocked him over the boards and he glided slowly out spread-eagle flat on his back toward the center face-off circle apparently unconscious; then all hell broke loose.

I don't know if the game was officially called at that point, but the Minnesota players left the ice & did not return. John told me that the team boarded the bus without changing and legendary Gopher Coach Mariucci told John that "Minnesota would never play in Houghton again." This is not hype, I was there & saw the whole thing. I'm 72 now so it was about 50 years ago. I wonder if some old-timers up there still remember that game. It was terrible sportsmanship but assume to watch. BTW, I also saw Coach Red B. play when Michigan came to Tech my 1st or 2nd year. He was special as were many of my Tech heroes that John recruited to tech...we had some fine teams during the Sixties...just as I am sure you will have as well.

Anyway, great win for you, the team, the program and for Tech. Thanks for all your past & futures efforts...we are very proud of you.

Dennis Meyer
Owosso, MI
BSME 1958-64

Da Tech Is . . .

Da Tech Is . . .


This one is still so true.

Thanks again to alumnus Bill Walters, who sent these along, and Denny and Cher LeSage, who drew them.

Our Archives

Hi Dennis,
I enjoy getting your TechAlum newsletter, and particularly enjoy reading the stories from the Email Bag. Is there an archive of past issues that can be accessed online?

Thanks and keep up the good work,

Doug Karttunen
Chemistry - 1969

Doug: Our old issues are found here. The link is on TechAlum, upper right-hand side, under the Alumni Association logo.

Where is This?

Hello Dennis,
I am wondering if someone (perhaps a local resident) may identify the location of this photo.

It was taken in probably in the fall of 1961. My roommate and I were deer hunting along the Keweenaw Bay In the Rabbit Bay area. I did some walking and became very interested in the beauty of the landscape at the water edge. These formations along the bay were prevalent for several miles I believe.

I spent most of the day walking the shoreline. We did not get our buck. But when we returned to our apartment in Hancock, a third roommate had a buck hanging from the second floor porch. He stopped along the highway, walked a few paces into the woods and within an hour was back home with it. Beginners Luck.

Several years ago the three of us visited Tech and drove along that coast line but I could not observe these formations. Hope you can help

Bill Kern 1962

Bill: I'm sure our alums, especially the locals, can figure this one out. It is clickable.

Alumni Encounters

I think it was May of 2003 or 2004. I was helping my daughter pack up after her year at Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New Hampshire. We were crossing the campus when someone approached us because of the MTU shirt I was wearing. It turned out he was a Tech grad from Hancock and an administrator at the college. We had a nice conversation and I was happy to see someone from MTU. I don't recall his name, but I have always marveled at the timing of that encounter. A few minutes one way or the other and he wouldn't have seen us, let alone have my shirt catch his eye.

Gene Contardi '70

Editor's Note: We later discovered it was Paul Kotila. Still teaching out there, we believe.

Memorable Snowfalls

I just finished the December 18 issue of the Newsletter and was amused by all the "memorable snow" stories. In the 45 years since I graduated from Da Tech, I've amazed people by reciting, "In the winter of 1964-65, we had 300 inches of snow." (pause) "That's 25 feet." (pause, then continue...) "That was NOT a record - the record is 30 feet." The most memorable night of that record winter was the night before snow statue judging - it was about 15 below zero with a 20 knot NW wind off Lake Superior, which brought ice pellets (not snow). The beer froze solid, and the wine was getting slushy. After a couple hours working on a "Class C" DHH snow statue, I bagged it for the warmth of the steam-heated dorm room. Snow statues that Winter Carnival were NOT up to the usual Tech standards.

Pete Dohms, '67


Just read the recent newsletter and wanted to reflect on the snowfall comments. I attended Tech (Michigan College of Mining and Technology, back then) graduating in 1959. As I recall one of those winters, probably 1957-1958(?), it snowed every day from about Thanksgiving until Easter. I don’t know what the amount of snow fall was during that period or for that matter for the year, but the snow plows were running nonstop. The snow pack on the roads and streets was several inches thick and when the spring thaw came, the roads and streets were full of potholes of melting/rotten snow, not a fun drive if you had a vehicle or were walking to class. Any classmates remember this?

Great Newsletter, keep it up!
Rudy Beres BSCE 1959

Rudy: Thanks for the note. The snowfall records are here, and it might have been 1957-58.

The Play's the Thing

Hey Dennis,
Funny that normally nothing in the newsletter prompts me to chime in, but I have several thoughts on today’s issue.

Somewhat interesting story on being in a play here at Tech. I was in Macbeth under Deb Bruch during Winter quarter ’97 and The guy playing Malcolm (can’t remember his name) ended up getting a kidney stone or something for the last performance, a Sunday matinee in the black box (now known as the McArdle Theater, formerly Sherman Gym). He didn’t have an understudy, but I was in all of his scenes for the first 2 acts (playing his brother) so I knew his lines up to there and learned them for the next 3 acts in a couple of hours and ended up filling in for him last-minute. From what I recall we pulled it off with a few omissions.

Lastly, I am glad that during my time as a student, we were no longer encouraging NMUers to possibly dilute our gene pool with that dating set-up. :)

I enjoy the TechAlum emails.


Sign of the Times

As for the "Beware of Troll" sign at the bridge between Wads and Fisher, a new sign, the work of a construction guy or a student, I'm sure, appeared virtually immediately, reading "Troll Free Bridge."

Joe Guzek
Chem E, 1964

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