Three Sleds Complete Clean Snowmobile Challenge Endurance Run

by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

Neither sun, nor mud, nor halcyon breezes could keep three hardy entries in the 2010 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge from completing the Endurance Run: North Dakota State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

To see photos of the finishers, visit the Michigan Tech News site.

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it. Their aim: to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or boosting performance. The Challenge also includes a zero emissions division for battery-powered sleds. The Keweenaw Research Center cohosts the event with the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

During the Endurance Run, entries in the Challenge's zero emissions division competed in a range test and were judged by how far their battery-powered snowmobiles could travel. Clarkson University went 10 miles, the farthest on a single charge, followed by McGill University in second, Wisconsin-Madison, third; and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, fourth.

The Endurance Run course, which usually stretches up to a hundred miles and involves a trek north to Copper Harbor, is designed to test the entries' reliability under trail conditions. It was truncated this year to address unseasonably balmy conditions. With the region's snowmobile trails out of commission weeks ahead of schedule, the drivers drove their sleds about 40 miles, completing laps around a test track near the Keweenaw Research Center.

The three sleds that finished the Endurance Run were spattered with mud, as were their drivers. Sam Cassibo of Minnesota-Duluth characterized the ride as "warm and muddy." Wisconsin-Madison’s Shawn Spannbauer described it as "like a wrestling match," and Derek Pokrzywinski of North Dakota State agreed. "It was rough--pretty wet, with lots of mud puddles."

The Michigan Tech sled was forced to withdraw after splashing through a puddle. "It probably shorted out," said Jason Blough, an associate professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics and the team's advisor. "It's about as bad as it can get out there, but everybody likes to at least try," he added. "These students work on the sleds all year, and they want to compete."

Organizers still plan to run the Challenge events on schedule, while adapting to snow conditions as necessary. "We got 'er done today," said co-organizer Jay Meldrum at the end of the Endurance Run. "We had enough snow to do 40 miles, and we'll continue tomorrow as planned."

All the sleds will be on display from 6 to 8 p.m., today, at the Copper Country Mall in Houghton. The public is invited to view the custom snowmobiles and talk with the team members.

Deadline for Instructional Innovation Award is March 22

The Center for Teaching, Learning and Faculty Development solicits nominations for the Fredrick D. Williams Instructional Innovation Award.

Nominations from faculty, department chairs and deans will be reviewed by a panel of prior award recipients and center personnel.

This award recognizes the extraordinary efforts of faculty members who develop innovative approaches to instruction or implement instructional innovations developed by other educators.

The award is not given each year, rather, only when a nominee's contribution is deemed to be truly noteworthy by the reviewing committee.

Nominees will be recognized at the Academy of Teaching Excellence Award Banquet on Sunday, April 11. The deadline for nominations is Monday, March 22. The nomination form is available on the center's website.

The CTLFD initiated the Williams Award in 2005. It is named after Fred Williams, a renowned chemistry professor, an educational innovator and a former director of the Center for Teaching Excellence.

In part, the CTLFD seeks to recognize outstanding faculty independent of student evaluations.

Ten Tech Hockey Players Honored For Academics

submitted by Ian Marks, assistant director of athletic communications

Michigan Tech had 10 players named to the 2009-10 All-WCHA Academic Team recently announced by the conference office.

Seniors Eli Vlaisavljevich and Mike VanWagner each earned the award for the fourth time in their careers, and senior John Kivisto, junior Jordan Baker and junior Bennett Royer each claimed their second honor. Four players, sophomore Corson Cramer, freshman Pete Heinonen, freshman Mikael Lickteig, sophomore Alex MacLeod and sophomore Peter Rohn, are each making their first appearance on the team.

This year a record 119 student-athletes from all 10 WCHA-member institutions earned the honor. The highest number of student-athletes earning men's All-WCHA Academic Team honors in a single season prior to 2009-10 was 107 in 2008-09 and 93 in 2005-06.

To earn recognition as a member of the All-WCHA Academic Team, student-athletes must meet the following criteria: have completed one year of residency at present institution, prior to the current academic year; and have a grade point average of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) for the previous two semesters or three quarters; or may qualify if his overall GPA is at least 3.00 for all terms at his present institution.

Claims Deadline is March 31

The deadline for employees with Flexible Spending Accounts to turn in any claims for 2009 is March 31.

If you have any questions, contact Karen Hext at 487-2517 or .

Free Meditation Sessions

Michigan Tech graduate student Pranay Nagar will teach free seminars in Sahaja meditation on Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22. The Sunday seminar will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom A1. Monday's seminar is scheduled for 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Peninsula Room B.

Nagar, who practices Sahaja meditation, calls it "a very easy technique of realizing and experiencing one's inner self." It is not a religion nor an ideoloy, he emphasizes. Anyone is welcome to participate. The meditation is not physically demanding and can be done in any type of clothing. It is appropriate for all ages, genders and nationalities, Nagar says.

"Some of the benefits of Sahaja Meditation are good health, mental and emotional balance, better concentration, stress relief, self-knowledge and peace," he adds.

The seminars are sponsored by the Indian Student Association.

Reminder: Jim Hainault's Retirement Party

After 22 years at Tech, Jim Hainault, associate director of the Department of Sports and Recreation, will retire.

The campus community is invited to a reception for Jim from 2 to 5 p.m., Friday, March 19, in the SDC Husky Skybox.

Enjoy light refreshments and reminisce with Jim about his long service.

Reminder: Fifth Annual Bra Show

The fifth annual bra show as part of Women's Month will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 18, in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The show is hosted by the Society of Intellectual Sisters to bring breast cancer awareness to the community. It features men modeling handcrafted bras to display the work of designers and to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This year's theme is "Welcome to Hawaii."

ECE Department Seminar

Professor Eustace Dereniak, of Optical Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona, will present a seminar, "Snapshot Imaging Spectrometers and Polarimeters," at 2 p.m., Thursday, March 18, in Dow 642.

Biological Sciences Seminar

PhD candidate Eric Winder (Biological Sciences) will present, "Chemical and Biological Sensing Utilizing Bacteriorhodopsin Protein Hybrids," from 2 to 3 p.m., Friday, March 19, in Chem Sci 101. The work is a collaboration with Professor John Adler (Biological Sciences), Associate Professor Donald Lueking (Biological Sciences), and Professor Craig Friedrich (ME-EM). For more information, contact Emily Betterly at 487-2025 or .

Financial Planning Seminar

A financial planning seminar will be held on campus from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, April 1, in Memorial Union Ballroom A1.

“Take Charge of Your Retirement Dreams” will be presented David Wilson of Rivesource Annuities.

The session is hosted by Debbie Stouffer and Ted Simonsen, of Amerprise Financial Services, in L’Anse.

RSVP to 1-800-353-7599.

This event is not sponsored by Michigan Tech.

New Funding

Associate Professor Peter Moran (MSE) has received $249,589 from the US Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research, for a project titled, "A Breakthrough Thermoelectric Power Generation Material: Using Powder Metallurgical Processing to Design and Thermal Transport Properties.

Job Postings

Staff job descriptions are available in Human Resources or at . For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email .

Faculty job descriptions can be found at . For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.


Staff Job Postings

Building Mechanic
Student Development Complex
AFSCME Internal Posting Only

Laboratory Supervisor
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Pruett Postdoctoral Fellow
Fixed Term Position

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer.

Sports in Brief

by Wes Frahm, director, athletics marketing and communications
What's Happening This Week

Saturday, March 20
Men's tennis at Grand Valley State, 1 p.m.

Sunday, March 21
Men's tennis at Ferris State, 10 a.m.

All times Eastern. Home events are italicized.

Last Week's Results

Women's basketball (30-2, 20-2 GLIAC)
NCAA Midwest Regional in Houghton

March 12--Drury 71, Southern Indiana 48
March 12--Northern Michigan 52, No. 5 Indianapolis 51
March 12--No. 3 Michigan Tech 69, Northern Kentucky 49
March 13--Findlay 54, Wisconsin-Parkside 51

March 14--Drury 59, Northern MIchigan 51
March 14--No. 5 Michigan Tech 68, Findlay 57

Hockey (5-30-1, 4-24-0 WCHA)
March 12--at No. 1 Denver 4, Michigan Tech 2
March 13--at No. 1 Denver 2, Michigan Tech 1

Nordic skiing
March 11-13--Michigan Tech 19th at NCAA Championships (at Steamboat Springs, Colo.)

Women's tennis (14-6, 7-2 GLIAC) (all matches at Orlando, Fla.)
March 7--Dallas Baptist 7, Michigan Tech 2

Men's tennis (6-3, 0-0 GLIAC) (all matches at Orlando, Fla.)
March 8--Michigan Tech 8, LeMoyne 1
March 9--Michigan Tech 5, Dallas Baptist 4
March 9--Cumberland 8, Michigan Tech 1
March 10--Michigan Tech 8, Indianapolis 1

Top News of the Week

Nordic Duo Competes at NCAA Championships
Two Michigan Tech Nordic skiers concluded their collegiate careers this weekend at the NCAA Skiing Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Senior Oskar Lund finished 29th in the 10-kilometer classic race (33:21) and 33rd in the 20-kilometer freestyle race (52:11). Senior Henna Riikonen-Purtsi finished 28th in the five-kilometer classical race (19:00) but was unable to finish the 15-kilometer freestyle race due to injury.

Hockey Closes Out 2009-10 Campaign
The Michigan Tech hockey team saw its season come to an end after dropping a pair of games at top-ranked Denver in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. The team finished the season 5-30-1 overall and 4-24-0 in the WCHA. Sophomore Brett Olson and Malcolm Gwilliam each tied for the team lead in points with 30. Gwilliam also joined five other seniors who concluded their college careers: Ryan Bunger, Drew Dobson, John Kivisto, Mike VanWagner and Eli Vlaisavljevich.

Tennis Completes Spring Trip to Florida
The Michigan Tech tennis teams combined to go 5-4 in matches during their spring trip to Florida last week. The men's team went 3-2 with key Division II wins over Indianapolis and Dallas Baptist. The women's team split its four matches, coming away with wins vs. Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and Olivet Nazarene.