Blizzard Bowl Looking for Donations

The Center for Pre-College Outreach is hosting the first-ever Blizzard Bowl on Saturday, February 27 here at Michigan Tech.

Local quiz bowl teams have been invited to participate. The winners of the tournament will receive plaques and books as prizes.

A quiz bowl tradition is to give the top-scoring students a book as a prize. We are seeking donations of gently-used, recent and relevant books on topics that would help quiz bowl students prepare for future tournaments: history, science, the classics, poetry, geography and fun facts.

We appreciate all donations. If you have any questions about the Blizzard Bowl, contact the office at 7-2219 or stop by at 217 Admin Building.

Modeling and Simulation: Physics and Math Become an Engineering Design Tool

There’s a new way of doing mechanical engineering, and Michigan Tech is taking steps to make sure that their students come out of school skilled at using the new technology.  

HyperWorks® modeling and simulation software developed by Altair, a technology and services company that focuses on business and engineering innovation, is delivering a new class of design tools for tomorrow’s engineer. And Michigan Tech is one of the first engineering schools to incorporate this commercial suite of computer-aided engineering software into its entire mechanical engineering curriculum.

The software enables engineers to do simulation-driven design, which takes the place of prototyping, testing and prototyping again. “It’s faster and cheaper,” says Associate Professor Chuck Van Karsen, who teaches the new Altair software at Michigan Tech. “Students are learning to make better decisions without as much guesswork.” 

Now, instead of guessing what their engineering project should look like, building it, testing it to see what doesn’t work, going back and building it again, engineers — and Tech engineering students — are sitting down to their computers, where they enter the parameters, and the software does the complicated math and physics for them, generating a colorful, three-D model that they can virtually test, explore, and alter over and over.

“It’s more than a tool,” says Altair’s chief operating officer, Brett Chouinard, a Michigan Tech alumnus. “Industry is using simulation to drive innovation and the direction of product design.”

Read the full story.

Steam Plant Shutdown in May

As we advised one year ago, the annual Central Heating Plant shutdown will  take place from noon Sunday, May 1, through noon Thursday, May 5.

This allow work to be performed on the Steam Generation and Distribution Systems and to calibrate the plant generator transfer switch.  Steam WILL NOT be available during this period. We will endeavor to keep the outage as short as possible.

Buildings Affected:

  • -Admin, Acad Offices, ROTC, ME-EM, MUB, Chem, EERC
  • -Library, Rehki, Dillman, Fisher, Dow, M&M, Walker, Rosza
  • -DHH, Wads, McNair, Hillside Apts, GLRC,
  • -Forestry, Ice Arena, SDC, Gates

The hope is that scheduled outages, during one of the quieter spring weeks, will preclude a winter time emergency shutdown. We apologize for having to shut the steam off at this potentially cool time of year, but  with the current schedule, this is the only week available before the summer session begins. The other opportunity is just before the Fall Semester begins, but we prefer to keep that time frame open, in case the Spring shutdown brings to light a major item that will need repair before the winter heating season begins.  It also appears that more of the campus community would be affected by a late summer shutdown.

All University Departments affected should schedule activities accordingly. Most buildings will be kept reasonably comfortable from their internal heat load, but there will be a lack of hot water in most areas.  Also, distilled water from steam driven stills may run out depending on demand and the size of the still storage tank.

Looking ahead to next year, the steam system shutdown is planned to begin on Sunday, April  30, 2017 and may be of similar duration. For future planning, keep in mind that the shutdown generally begins at noon of the day immediately following Spring Commencement.

Please advise Gregory L. Kaurala, at 7-2834 or by
e-mail of any unforeseen difficulties with the above

Social Media Directory

University Marketing and Communications continues to take inventory of all University-affiliated social media accounts. If your department or area has stagnant social media pages, consider resuming consistent posts or delete the account. For more social media best practices, please see the Michigan Tech Social Media Field Guide or contact

2015 Electronic W-2s Available on Banweb

2015 W-2s are now available electronically on Banweb. When printing the form, be sure to select "Printable W-2" at the bottom of the screen. "2015 Instructions", found at the top of the page, provides the IRS' 2015 Notice to Employees.

This printed copy is acceptable by the Internal Revenue Service and state tax authorities. Print the number of copies that you will need.

For those who did not elect to receive them electronically, paper W-2s will be mailed by Monday, February 1.

Space Still Available for Survival English ESL Class

A few spaces are still open for spouses of international faculty and scholars wishing to attend a basic English class starting Monday, February 1. Participants will meet from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays through February 25 in Walker 138.

The course, also known as Survival English, will help beginners feel more confident and relaxed around Americans. Lessons will offer simple words and phrases for greeting people and shopping in Houghton.

The class is limited to eight participants. Besides faculty and scholars, spouses of graduate students are also welcome, space permitting. The course fee is $10.

To register, email

Poster Design Workshop

Making a research poster for the Graduate Colloquium or another event? The Library is offering two Poster Design Workshops in February. We'll look at the best practices for poster design, as well as resources and tools available to help you develop and print your poster. 
Register for Monday, February 1 at noon here. 
Register for Thursday, February 4 at 2 p.m. here. 

Jazz Night on the Town

Join the brothers of Mu Beta Psi for a benefit concert from 8 to 11 pm Thursday, February 4th in the Orpheum Theater in downtown Hancock.

The concert features jazz from Northern Standard Time and AstroSax and benefits the John Macinnes Student Scholarship. This scholarship honors applicants that have shown interest and participated in the musical organizations at Michigan Technological University.

Help support a great cause and listen to phenomenal jazz. Tickets are $10 for Adults and $7 for Students and Seniors.

Tech Professor Co-Authors Great Lakes Water Diversion Report

Professor Alex Mayer (CEE) consulted with the International Joint Commission (IJC) and coauthored a report and recommendations on Great Lakes water diversion. The IJC adopted and released the report last week.

The IJC is an independent bi-national organization responsible for monitoring the boundary waters between the US and Canada and Great Lakes water quality.

"Our charge was to make a 10-year review of how well the Great Lakes, the contributing watersheds, and groundwater resources are protected against diversions or overuse, in light of policy changes and climate change," Mayer said. He is a Great Lakes and water resources expert and former director of Michigan Tech's Center for Water and Society.

Mayer's co-author was Ralph Pentland, a former federal water resources manager in the Canadian government. In the report, the IJC says, "What is described in this report is for the most part a good news story. The policy gaps identified by the IJC in 2000 have been largely filled. No new inter-basin or intra-basin diversions which would have significant negative impacts on the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes have been approved, the growth in consumptive use appears to have been at least temporarily arrested, and institutional arrangements, such as the Regional Body, are in place to continue those positive trends. But both ongoing management vigilance and additional scientific advances will be required to maintain that positive momentum."

Mayer's recommendations include:

(1) We should explore the idea of holding water in the Great Lakes basin in public trust, that is, the citizens of the Great Lakes should own the water.

(2) Since we don't have a good idea yet about how climate change will affect Great Lakes flows, water volumes and water levels, we should take a flexible approach to managing water in the Great Lakes

(3) We don't have a very good idea about how much water is consumed in the basin. Although water consumption in the Great Lakes is relatively small today, we need to get a handle on these numbers now, in anticipation that these numbers may rise in the future.

(4) We recommended a broad-based collaboration to fix the region's decaying water infrastructure, which at least indirect;y relates to the Flint water crisis.

"The focus of the report on protecting the Great Lakes against diversions is very relevant now since the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, has applied for an exemption to the Great Lakes Compact's ban diversion, to draw Lake Michigan water for its city water supply," Mayer noted. "The Waukesha application is seen as a big test of the Compact."

See the IJC news release about the new report. 

Former Tech Professor, Dennis Meng Passes Away

A former Michigan Tech Professor has died suddenly in Texas.

According to the web page of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas Arlington, Desheng "Dennis" Meng passed away suddenly on Wednesday, January 6. At the time of his passing, Meng was an associate professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Department. 

Meng was an associate progessor in Tech's Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics from 2007-13.

Funeral services were held Saturday, January 16 at New Life Gospel Church in Lewisville, Texas. 

Read the full article here.

Hockey Huskies Hit the Highway

The No. 17 Michigan Tech hockey team is on the road to play the first of back-to-back games against No. 18 Bowling Green at the BGSU Ice Arena Friday and Saturday, January 29 and 30. 

The Huskies and Falcons are meeting for the third and fourth time this season after playing a two- game series Nov. 13-14 in Houghton. Tech won the first game that weekend, 2-0, thanks to a 22-save shutout from Jamie Phillips before the Falcons rebounded in the series finale to knock off the Huskies, 3-2.

The Huskies are back on the road and will be looking to continue their strong run away from home this winter. Tech is 7-2-2 in road games during the 2015-16 campaign—including a 6-2-1 mark in WCHA contests - and is 9-3-3 in all outings away from Houghton. Since the start of November, the Huskies have compiled an 8-1-3 mark (.792 winning percentage) in away/neutral-site games.

For more Michigan Tech Athletics news, visit 

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speech Today

The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker at 4 p.m. today in 103 EERC will be Kunal Karan from the University of Calgary.  The title of his presentation is "The complexity of microstructure and transport phenomena in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) catalyst layer: the role of chameleonic ionomer."

Karan is Associate Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and an associate director of of the Calgary Advanced Energy Storage and Conversion Research Technologies (CAESR-Tech), both at the University of Calgary. He has more than 12 years of experience in fuel cell science and engineering research. He has authored/co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal publications, holds two patents and has one patent application on nanostructures catalyst layer for polymer electrolyte fuel cells. He has made notable contributions in both in computational modeling and experimental characterization of structure, property and performance of fuel cells electrodes of both polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (PEFCs). A significant focus of his current research is on the nano-scale structure-property of ultra-thin ionomer films.

In recognition of his expertise and contributions to fuel cell R&D, he has been elected to chair the prestigious Gordon Research Conference on Fuel Cells in 2018, serving as vice-Chair for the conference in 2016. In recognition of his past contributions and promising research, he received The Early Researcher’s Award from the province of Ontario.

He has also been recipient of several teaching awards including three Golden Apple awards for Teaching Excellence.

MSE Seminar

The next MSE Seminar will be from 11 a.m. to noon today in the M&M Building, Room 610.

Kunal Karan, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at The University of Calgary, will present "Nanothin Ionomer Films."

The presentation will summarize the current understanding of ionomer thin film structure and properties. Results of recent and ongoing work on direct imaging of thin Nafion films to probe the nano-features of the phase-segregated morphology will be presented.

This seminar is part of the John & Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture Series.


Fraternity Helping Heikinpäivä

The men of Phi Kappa Tau are again playing a key role in Hancock's mid-winter festival, Heikinpäivä, by providing support for the festival's Polar Bear Dive set for 3 p.m. Saturday.

The dive has for years been a fun way for Michigan Tech students, and sometimes faculty and staff, to prove their Yooper mettle by taking the plunge into the waters of the Portage Canal. Divers can win prizes. Shoes are required, as nobody wants to cut their feet on the icy terrain. 

For more details, find Heikinpäivä on Facebook.


Khana Khazana Fundraising for Children of Syria

Khana Khazana is providing an opportunity for the Iranian Community at Michigan Tech to raise funds to support children of Syria. This opportunity is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow in the MUB food court. Cost is $7.25 per plate including a fountain drink. 

The menu includes:

  • Cutlet: Chicken Cutlet, or “KuKu-ye Morq” in Farsi, is a delicious dish from northern part of Iran. It is a mix of shredded chicken breast, eggs and onions. A special red sauce adds a very pleasant juicy taste to it.
  • Potato Kuku: Kuku is an egg based Persian vegetarian dish flavored with shredded potatoes, onion, garlic and chives.
  • Aush: Aush Reshteh is a delicious hearty soup in Iran made of fresh vegetables, rice noodles, beans and kashk.
  • Halva: Halva is a delicious sweet desert in Shiraz, Iran made up of rice flour, sugar, rosewater, saffron and almond.


Physics Senior Graduate Colloquium 

Join Gaoxue Wang and Teresa Wilson as they give their senior graduate presentations at 4 p.m. today in Fisher Hall room 139. 

Wang will present "A Novel 2D Materials: Carbon Phosphide Monolayers." Wilson will present "Refining Sunrise / Set Prediction Models by Accounting for Effects of Refraction."


This Week's C-Cubed Menu

The lunches are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

Lunch is $10 (cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates accepted); attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Coffee, tea, iced tea, cookies and fruit are available for all. Below is this week's C-Cubed menu:

Fried Trout with Green Onions
Three Sisters Corn Casserole (VGF)
Wild Rice and Grape Salad (VGF)

Grilled Veggie Gyros (V)
Grilled Chicken Gyros
Corn tortillas are available for both to be gluten free
Fassolatha (Greek Bean Soup) (VGF)
Cucumbers (V GF) and Pita Chips (V) with Hummus (VGF)


Portrait Session

The University portrait session for spring semester will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, Friday January 29, in the Administration Building room G35.

The session is free and open to all faculty and staff, no appointment necessary. Although employees are not required to attend, they are encouraged to do so if a year or more has passed since their last portrait.

Portraits will be taken by University photographer Sarah Bird. Each participant will receive their retouched portrait via email when it becomes available.

For questions, email Bird or call 7-2330.


Husky FAN Pantry Volunteer Training

Are you interested in helping out with the Husky Food Access Network? A training for volunteers has been scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. tomorrow, January 29 in the MUB Ballroom A1.

During this training we will go over the logistics of opening, operating and closing the pantry. In the near future we would love to call upon our volunteers to help keep the pantry open and operating for our students in need. If you have any questions, contact Husky FAN.


Bigfoot Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the Bigfoot Snowshoe Event on February 6. The Bigfoot is in it's 19th year and new this year is a competitive race, the Bigfoot Chase!

All registration forms can be found here.

Pre-registration ends tomorrow, so for the best deal and to make sure you get a Bigfoot shirt the day of the event, register now. 

Included in your registration fee are the use of snowshoes from the OAP for the event, a long sleeve t-shirt to keep and a chance to see Bigfoot in the woods of the Tech Trails!

For questions about the event or the race, email OAP or call 7-2290.


ME-EM Faculty Candidate in Biomechanics - Xin Tang

Xin Tang, a post-doctoral fellow in the Dept of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, will be presenting "Cancer Metastasis and Mechano-Microenvironment Regulation". The talk will be held at 1 p.m. today in MEEM 406.


Film Board Presents "The Martian"

This weekend, Film Board presents "The Martian."

The film will be shown in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3, concessions are $1 each for pop, candy and popcorn.

Tomorrow — 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Saturday — 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday — 2:30, 5:30 p.m.


Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Civil Engineering Seminar will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. today in Dow 642. The topic is "The Engineering Way of Thinking" by Bill Bulleit (CEE).

The engineering way of thinking includes a wide range of tools and techniques. Day-to-day engineering, which is often thought of as all of engineering, is only a small portion of the engineering way of thinking. In this seminar, Bulleit will examine how the engineering way of thinking covers the existing engineering knowledge space and more. The public is invited.



In Print

Marika Seigel (HU) authored an op-ed piece, "What Voters Can Learn from Flint Water Crisis," in Tuesday's Al Jazeera America.

In the News

Tech Century, a science and engineering news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, published an article about Altair modeling software being used in Tech's mechanical engineering curriculum. See the article here