A Look at Clouds from All Sides Now

by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

Clouds play a crucial part in regulating climate, but precious little is actually known about clouds' inner workings and their role on Earth. A group of Michigan Tech's scientists hopes to change that, thanks to a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The grant provides the lion's share of the funding for a chamber that will allow researchers to study cloud processes under realistic temperatures, pressures and humidity levels, mimicking conditions from sea level to the lower levels of the stratosphere, where jet planes fly.

The chamber, to be located in the Great Lakes Research Center, won't be built until later in 2011, but lead investigator Raymond Shaw expects it will be in the shape of a cylinder, two meters in diameter and one meter high. "With a volume of pi, we have taken to calling it the pi can," says Shaw, a professor of physics.

One thing that makes the pi can special will be its ability to recreate something that all air travelers are familiar with: turbulence. "We will be able to cool the top surface of the chamber and heat the bottom, so air plumes are constantly rising and falling, mixing and stirring, creating a fluctuating, but well characterized, environment for cloud formation," Shaw says.

Clouds are much more important than most people give them credit for, he says. "If you imagine looking at the Earth from outer space, what you see is really only a little bit of earth. You actually see a lot more clouds and oceans. We call it Planet Earth, but it's really Planet Cloud."

To find out more, go to Michigan Tech News .

Chemistry Alum Remembers Her Department

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

Ingrid Kling Markul '45 had a love of education that allowed her to soar among the stars. She also did a little soaring while piloting small airplanes.

And she gave $100,000 to the chemistry department to help future generations of students fly high.

Her donation will benefit many students in the chemistry department, including some money already spent on meeting rooms and offices.

"We'd like to focus the rest of the money on undergraduate and/or graduate student support," says Sarah Green, chair of the department. "Sponsoring travel for students would be especially appropriate, given Ingrid's love of flying and traveling."

Green says the fact that the funds are unrestricted is great. Now she can focus on what needs are greatest.

"I'll be looking for faculty input, soon, and start planning on how we can spend the funds on our students," she says.

"Ingrid was a very special, very bright person," says Nancy Dionne, her niece who resides in the Keweenaw and who was very close to her. "She taught chemistry in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills High, and worked in research, too."

Markul counted some Hollywood stars' children among her pupils, but she was never starstruck. Dionne recalled that once, while passing her television, she commented "Oh, gosh, I taught that kid. Good thing he went into acting." The show was "All in the Family," and the kid was Rob Reiner.

She also chaperoned a dance with Jimmy Stewart once. "It never made any difference to her," Dionne says. "She was very intelligent and focused on being a very good teacher."

Markul also taught chemistry at the Doelle School in Tapiola, while she was a student at Tech. She graduated second in her class and was one of the few females on campus in the 1940s.

She visited family here every year, Dionne says, and she taught her young niece many interesting things, including some Tech fight songs that her kindergarten teacher frowned upon.

She got her small plane license, using on an old airstrip on the Isle Royale sands, southeast of Houghton, on Portage Lake, even taking Dionne along for training runs. It was just another example of learning.

"She really valued her Tech education," Dionne says. "She was one of the first women to graduate from Tech and donated to the school every year."

Mileage Rates to Increase

Due to the slightly higher gas prices, the IRS standard mileage rate will increase to 51 cents per mile, beginning Jan. 1. This is up from the 50 cents per mile. The new mileage rate for moving expenses will be 19 cents per mile.

Milbrath Earns MVP as Football Awards Handed Out

by Wes Frahm, director of athletic communications and marketing

The football program distributed its awards at a team meeting Monday night. Head coach Tom Kearly and his staff handed out 15 awards to 13 different players.

Running back Phil Milbrath (Norway) earned the Al Bovard Award as the team's most valuable player. The 5-9, 200-pound senior, who was a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, rushed for 1,412 yards and 10 touchdowns during the campaign. He also caught 27 passes for 375 yards and six scores. Milbrath also gained the team's Offensive Player of the Year Award.

The Fred Baird Memorial Award for the team's defensive player of the year went to Todd Storm (Calumet). The junior defensive end was the GLIAC's Defensive Lineman of the Year after pacing the league in sacks at 1.0 per game. The 6-3, 240-pound Storm registered 10.0 sacks and 14.0 total tackles for loss, which was good for third in the league

The Ted Kearly Award, which is given to a player who contributed great passion, pride and integrity, had co-recipients. Senior defensive tackle Jake Klingelhutz (Kingsford) and senior center Anthony Santi (Kingsford) both played key roles in the trenches for the Huskies in 2010.

The Omer LaJeunesse Award for scholastic achievement went to sophomore defensive end Jacob Clark (Lansing/Catholic Central), who possesses a 3.95 cumulative grade point average in civil engineering.

Quarterback Steve Short (Iron Mountain/Kingsford) took home the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award and the Offensive Back of the Year Award. The senior wrapped up a six-year career with the Huskies by totaling 1,909 yards of total offense in 2010 and earning All-GLIAC Second Team laurels.

The Freshman of the Year Award was presented to punter Matt DeJong (Montague), who helped the Huskies finish third in the GLIAC in net punting at 34.7 yards per punt.

The Daniel Dopp Memorial Award for special teams player of the year went to sophomore Akeem Cason (Benton Harbor). Cason was an All-GLIAC Second Team pick after averaging 27.6 yards per kickoff, with two return touchdowns. He also posted 10 tackles on kick coverage.

The Defensive Lineman of the Year Award and the Iron Man Award both went to junior Drew Vanderlin (Green Bay, Wis./Southwest). The 6-4, 280-pound end registered 32 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks during the season and was an All-GLIAC First Team honoree.

Senior left guard Matt Desotell (Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) earned the Offensive Lineman of the Year Award. The 6-3, 300-pound senior started 37 career games, including 31 straight at left guard, and anchored an offensive line that dominated the trenches in 2010. The Huskies were second in the GLIAC in rushing at 261 yards per game and tops in the nation in sacks allowed, giving up only three all season.

The team's Defensive Back of the Year was junior Jesse Vandenberg (Kaukauna, Wis.). The strong safety and All-GLIAC Second Team selection posted a team-high 83 tackles, including 10.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.

The Scout Team Players of the Year were freshman wide receiver Forrest Dorman (Big Rapids) on offense and linebacker Cam Shortz (Flushing) on defense.

Tech finished tied for second in the GLIAC with an 8-2 record in 2010.

Campus Bookstore Now Offers Textbook Rental

The Campus Bookstore is now renting textbooks at up to 50 percent of the price of a new one. This option serves students who may be short on funds or who do not want to buy the textbook. Students now have two choices: rent or buy a new or used textbook. The bookstore provides the most textbook choices for students in the area.

Reminder: Holiday Hours for SPO, SPA, SPE, SOO and TED

For the holidays, Sponsored Programs (SPO), Sponsored Programs Accounting (SPA), Sponsored Programs Enhancement (SPE), Sponsored Operations (SOO) and Technology and Economic Development (TED) will have shortened office hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following days:

* Wednesday, Dec. 22
* Monday, Dec. 27
* Tuesday, Dec. 28
* Wednesday, Dec. 29

The offices will be open during regular hours on all other days. If you are aware that you will need proposal submission services during these business days, alert SPO and TED before the holiday break.

Alumni Association Launches New Snowfall Competition

Alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in the Alumni Association's first Snowfall Competition.

Accurately predict the total amount of snow to fall in the Keweenaw this winter and win a Michigan Tech Winter Survival Kit.

Entry deadline is Feb. 15, and the winner will be chosen from all entries on June 1. To make a prediction, see snowfall .

OAP Offers Snowshoe Clinic

Have you ever wanted to lace your own snowshoes? Outdoor Adventure Programs is offering a snowshoe clinic. The cost is $90 and includes snowshoe frames and webbing. Three instructional sessions will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m., on Wednesdays, Jan. 12, 19 and 26, at the OAP Rental Center. Participants are required to come to all of the sessions.

Bindings and crampons are an additional $50.

Participants must sign up before Thursday, Dec. 24, by contacting Megan Smith at 989-292-0716 or mrsmith@mtu.edu .

New Funding

Adjunct Assistant Professor Dario Stacchiola and Chair Sarah Green (Chemistry) have received $64,063 from the Brookhaven National Laboratory for a two-year project, "The Nano-Interface between Material Science and Organometallic Chemistry."

In Print

Associate Professor Haiying Liu and graduate student Venkat Donuru (Chemistry) have coauthored a paper, "BODIPY-backboned Polymers as Electron Donor for Efficient Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells," with colleagues from University of California-Berkeley, that was published in Chemical Communications, Vol. 46, 2010. To view the paper, see polymers or article landing .

Associate Professor Haiying Liu and graduate student Venkat Donuru (Chemistry) have coauthored a paper, "Electromechanical Properties of Self-Assembled Monolayers of Tetrathiafulvalene Derivatives Studied by Conducting Probe Atomic Force Microscopy," with colleagues from the University of Iowa, that was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 114, 2010. To view the paper, see chemistry .

Chair Sarah Green, Associate Professor Haiying Liu, graduate student Singaravelu Velayudham, undergraduates Dominique Blair and Nicholas Bauman (all in Chemistry), along with Associate Professor Yoke Khin Yap, graduate students Chee Huei Lee and Ming Xie (all in Physics) had a paper, "Noncovalent Functionalization of Boron Nitride Nanotubes with Poly(p-phenylene-ethynylene)s and Polythiophene," published in ACS Applied Material and Interfaces, Vol. 2, 2010. To view the article, see noncovalent .

Chair Sarah Green, Associate Professor Haiying Liu, postdoctoral associate Shilei Zhu and graduate student Venkat Donuru (all in Chemistry) had a paper, "Near-Infrared Emissive BODIPY Polymeric and Co-polymeric Dyes," published in Polymer, Vol. 51, 2010. To view the article, see dyes .