Alumni Travel to Tech for 43 Consecutive Winter Carnivals

In the fall of 1969, Jim Accetta, Carl Benz and Dan Bonner were first-year students at Michigan Technological University, living in Douglass Houghton Hall. The three freshmen met Ed Anderson, a second-year electrical engineering major. The young men bonded over a variety of campus and residence hall activities, most notably Winter Carnival.

Their first Winter Carnival in February of 1970 has evolved into a tradition. The four friends and their families have used Carnival as their reunion site for more than four decades.

Accetta and his wife Sally were back in Houghton last week, attending their 43rd consecutive Winter Carnival since leaving campus as a married couple in 1973.  Now retired, the couple live six months out of the year in Del Ray Beach, Florida and “travel the rest of the year.”

This year, because of medical issues, Benz and his wife Rena and Bonner and his wife Frankie, a Calumet native, were forced to stay at home in Toledo, Ohio, and downstate Corrunna respectively. Anderson, who works for US Steel in Southgate, Michigan, was the only member of the group able to join the Accettas for their annual Winter Carnival visit.

While Jim and Sally have made it 43 straight, the attendance records of their friends are as nearly impressive. “This is only the second time in 44 years that all of us haven’t been able to make it,” Sally Accetta says.

Their initial reason for coming back to campus in those post-graduation years was a common one back then.

 Read the full story.

Mahdi Shahbakhti Wins SAE Ralph Teetor Award

Assistant Professor Mahdi Shahbakhti (ME-EM) has been named winner of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2016 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award.

The national award recognizes top engineering educators. "Your outstanding contributions have distinguished you as one of the top engineering educators," the SAE said in its announcement.

The award, established by the SAE in 1965, recognizes outstanding engineering educators and enables them to meet and exchange views with practicing engineers in their fields.

The award honors the late Ralph R. Teetor, 1936 SAE International president, who believed that engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers.

The award will be presented at the 2016 SAE World Congress, April 11-14 in Detroit. A reception in Shahbakhti's honor is scheduled for April 11 there. Shahbakhti's research focuses on increasing efficiency of energy systems by using advanced control techniques.

Vote For Recycling Project

Michigan Tech's Open Source Hardware Enterprise is looking for your vote. 

Please vote for Michigan Tech's Open Source Hardware Enterprise's recycling project to help them win a $10K  prize.

You can vote in the challenge here

Campus Forum on February 18

President Glenn Mroz will host a campus forum  at 2 p.m. Thursday, February 18 in Memorial Union Ballroom A. Release time will be provided for the hourly staff with the approval of their supervisor.

The presentation will be video streamed live.

If you would like to submit a question during the campus forum, email it to Staff Council at Do not use the chat feature within the live streaming player.

Princeton Review Lists Michigan Tech in "Colleges That Pay You Back"

Michigan Tech is featured in the Princeton Review's 2016 edition of its book, "Colleges That Pay You Back." The Princeton Review posted the book's 200 school profiles and seven categories of rankings on its website.

The Princeton Review includes student comments in its school profiles. Michigan Tech students surveyed were particularly complimentary about the University's Career Services.

"Career services are unbelievable here," they said. "If you work for your degree and earn it, participate in co-ops or internships (and the opportunities to do so are ample), you are almost guaranteed a job out of college. The [school's] biggest strength is the Career Services."

The Princeton Review, an education services company not affiliated with Princeton University, chose the schools based on the return on investment (ROI) for 650 colleges and universities. They calculated the ROI based on academics, cost, financial aid, graduation rates, student debt, alumni salaries and job satisfaction. The editors used data from their own surveys of administrators and students during the 2014-15 academic year and from's surveys of alumni through April 2015.

See "Colleges That Pay You Back" here.

Materials to Make Better Wearable Tech

The road to more versatile wearable technology is dotted with iron. Specifically, quantum dots of iron arranged on boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). The new material is the subject of a study published in Scientific Reports, led by Yoke Khin Yap (Physics), at Michigan Tech.

Yap says the iron-studded BNNTs are pushing the boundaries of electronics hardware. The transistors modulating electron flow need an upgrade.

“Look beyond semiconductors,” he says, explaining that materials like silicon semiconductors tend to overheat, can only get so small and leak electric current.

The key to revamping the fundamental base of transistors is creating a series of stepping-stones that use quantum tunneling.
Check out how quantum tunneling on the BNNTs work on this YouTube video and read the full story.

Memristors: Making a New Generation for Digital Memory and Computation

Memristors are a new class of electrical circuits—and they could end the silicon era and change electronics forever. Since HP first developed a working prototype with a titanium dioxide film in 2008, engineers have sought to perfect the model.

 Now, researchers at Michigan Technological University have made an ideal memristor based on molybdenum disulfide nanosheets. Yun Hang Hu, the Charles and Carroll McArthur Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, led the research, which was recently published in Nano Letters. Read out the full story

GradSWE Meeting

GradSWE is the graduate student committee of the Society of Women Engineers, providing social and professional opportunities to graduate students. We are having our first meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, February 11 in EERC 122.

We'd like for you to come join us to learn more about GradSWE. We will also be writing out some fun postcards to send to newly accepted graduate students to the engineering programs. All are welcome.

If you have any questions about GradSWE or would like to join our email list, please email

More information can be found on the GradSWE website.

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, February 11 in Dow 642.

Benjamin Winter, PhD Candidate, Civil Engineering will present "Wireless Structural Control Using Multi-Step Sensor Placement Bandwidth Allocation."

This study involves simulated and experimental control of structural response during earthquake excitation. Structural control is used to alleviate occupant discomfort during earthquakes and high-wind events by attenuating undesired motion. To have the best control of a structure, engineers require as much information regarding its response as possible. However, it is not uncommon that even large and complex structures utilize sparse sensor networks to capture their response owing to the cost of sensor installation.

Traditionally, structural control is performed by using a central computational unit to collect sensor data from a large array of sensors from cables installed throughout the structure. Increasing the sensor density improves controller performance through better characterization of structural response. To address the high cost of dense sensor instrumentation (related largely to cable installation), and to improve reliability in the event of damage to the central acquisition unit, researchers have moved toward the use of wireless technology. The cost of a wireless structural control network is attractive, but additional issues related to control speed are introduced.

This technology relies on transmitting data throughout the network to perform control computations on individual wireless units. When incorporated with a large sensor array, the ability for the wireless network to transmit all data, while maintaining control speed, diminishes. This work demonstrates an improved communication technique, using sensor placement theory to stagger data transmissions, to send consistently high-quality data throughout the network utilizing all installed sensors. It is found that state estimation and control performance are strongly impacted by the network topology used at each timestep with different sensors and sensor combinations providing more useful information than others.

EndNote Workshops at the Van Pelt & Opie Library

Learn how EndNote can help you easily create and manage bibliographic information and incorporate references into your writing. There are two sessions on Friday, February 12.

EndNote also offers a relatively easy way for faculty to upload citations into Digital Measures. Email with any questions.

Our instruction room has EN X7.4 on Windows workstations. Attendees may bring their own laptops with EN X7.4 downloaded prior to the session. Visit the library’s EndNote LibGuide to download the software and get a sneak peek at what EndNote can do for you. The first session, "EndNote Basic" will held from 2:05 to 3:15 p.m. The second session, "EndNote Cite While You Write," will be held from 3:15 to 4 p.m. Both sessions will be held in Library 242. Here is a description of the sessions:

  • EndNote Basic—During the session, we will cover how to create and build an EndNote "library," add and annotate full-text documents, and best practices for organizing your references. Registration is required. Register for EndNote Basic.
  • EndNote Cite While You Write—Learn how to incorporate your EndNote library citations into a MS Word document in the particular style your manuscript requires. Attendees will also learn how to locate and import specialized output styles. Attending EndNote Basic, or prior knowledge of building and managing an EndNote library, is recommended. Registration is required. Register for EndNote Cite While You Write.


Morning Coffee Chat: Teamwork and Diversity

Many of us assign group projects in our classes, but far fewer of us feel comfortable helping students navigate the complex interpersonal dynamics of those groups. 

How do we keep them on task? What do we do when conflicts arise? How do we help them respect & value diversity? 

At this event, Marie Paretti, associate professor of engineering education and co-director of the Engineering Communications Center at Virginia Tech, will share practical strategies for helping students develop and thrive in team environments. 

Refreshments will be provided for those who register by Wednesday, February 17.  All faculty and instructional staff are encouraged to attend!


Code Ninjas Workshop for Middle School Girls

There will be a Code Ninjas Workshop for middle-school girls  from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 20, now in amazing 3-D.

Students participating in the workshop will learn to create simple geometric 3D scenes using the Processing programming language. High school students Sarah Larkin and Miriam Eikenberry-Ureel will teach girls how to use the Processing language to draw basic shapes such as cubes, spheres, cones and ellipsoids in a 3D space. By combining these shapes creatively, students can construct their own virtual worlds. All students will have an opportunity to view their scenes using an Oculus Rift, which provides an immersive experience so students can move around within their scene. Lunch will be provided.

Register for the event online.

This workshop is sponsored by an AspireIT grant from the National Center for Women & Information Technology.


Phil Pasterak from WSP|Parsons Brinkerhoff Campus Visit

The Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program and Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC) are sponsoring a visit by Phil Pasterak from WSP|Parsons Brinkerhoff. Phil will speak to the Rail Transportation Seminar at 4 p.m. tomorrow, February 9 in Dow 641 about High Speed Rail in the US and consulting in the rail industry.

At 7 p.m., he will discuss Light Rail Transit programs in America with the REAC in Dillman 214. Both presentations are open to all Tech students, faculty, staff and the local community. Come join us and see how technology is evolving in this vibrant and growing industry!


Joint Environmental and Civil Engineering Seminar

Join us at the Environmental/Civil Graduate Seminar from 3 to 4 p.m. today in Dillman 214

Kaye LaFond will present "Communicating Science and Data: Thoughts of a (Somewhat) Reformed Engineer."

As the world squares off against challenges that require an informed public and science-savvy leadership, doing the research is only half the battle.  LaFond will share her post-graduation experiences with science journalism, data visualization and 'social media for academia.


ME-EM Faculty Candidate Seminar

ME-EM Faculty Candidate Xian Du, a Research Scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be presenting "Full-Field Deformation Matching for Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing" at 11 a.m. tomorrow, February 9 in MEEM 402.


CTL Double Header Coffee Chat - February 11
Join us February 11 for two special coffee chat events. 
  • From 2 to 3 p.m.—"Body Language in the Classroom."  You are asked to register for the Body Language Coffee Chat by today (February 8)
  • From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.—"Impact of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)." You are asked to register for the NGSS Coffee Chat by February 8
For more information, read the original Tech Today article.

In Print

PhD student Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) co-authored an article with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled Influence of Oxygen Concentration on the Performance of Ultra-Thin RF Magnetron Sputter Deposited Indium Tin Oxide Films as a Top Electrode for Photovoltaic Devices. which was published in the journal Materials.


Materials Science and Engineering PhD students Bas Wijnen and Amber Haselhuhn co-authored an article with Jerry Anzalone (MSE), Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled "Free and Open-source Control Software for 3-D Motion and Processing," in the Journal of Open Research Software. 

New Hires

The following people recently started employment at Michigan Tech.

  • Janelle Datto—Office of Vice President  for Research
  • Shelly Jeltema—IT
  • Zoe Miller—Institutional Analysis
  • John Zink—Dining Services 

IT Connect

Trying Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance is an option that allows IT User Services to connect to your computer and share your desktop. This can be helpful for installing software or troubleshooting other issues when either a trip to the Help Desk or sending your computer to the workshop is unnecessary.

Setting up remote assistance is simple. First, call 7-1111 during normal business hours. If IT determines that remote assistance is a good fit, they will walk you through the steps to set up a session.

Have you used remote assistance? We’d love to hear what you think, or if you have any questions, please contact us at or call 7-1111.

Props for Profs Weekly Winner

This week’s Jackson CTL Props for Profs Winner is John Durocher, (Bio SCI).  John’s anonymous nominator said he “made it a personal goal to see everybody succeed.” The nominator especially liked the extra “study slides, review videos, and practice questions” that John provided, and appreciated the extra time these must have taken to develop.   Finally, John was praised for his prompt response to e-mail and effective integration of real-life examples into the course.

Both Durocher and his nominator will receive a $5 gift certificate to purchase a snack or drink at the Library Café or several other locations on campus. If you know a prof who has gone over and above, send some props today – and maybe you’ll be next week’s winner!