Dale Tahtinen Retiring; Governmental Relations Restructured

After 25 years of governmental relations work for Michigan Tech, Dale Tahtinen, vice president for governmental relations, will retire on June 30 (Tahtinen is pictured in the center in the accompanying photo).

"His service to the University has been exceptional," said President Glenn Mroz. In preparation, Mroz announced the University will be transitioning to a new governmental relations structure to reflect changing conditions at the state and federal levels.

State relations will be led by John Lehman. In this capacity, he will report to the president while maintaining his current role as associate vice president within Student Affairs and Advancement.

In its service to the state, Michigan Tech continues to focus on student access, degree attainment, educational efficiency and talent development. Many of these initiatives fall within Lehman's current responsibilities. Michigan Tech will also continue its longstanding relationship with Mickey Knight of Knight Consulting in Lansing.

Brent Burns will lead governmental relations activities in Washington, D.C. as director of Federal Relations. He will also maintain his current role as director of Industry Relations reporting to the executive director of Innovation and Industry Engagement, Jim Baker. Burns will continue to develop Tech's relationship with Federal Science Partners, a firm that has been working with Michigan Tech for the past year.

"Increased emphasis on research and development at Michigan Tech requires fostering a sustained level of communication with governmental agencies in Washington, D.C. That is why federal government relations are best conducted from within the research arm of the University," Mroz explained.

Tahtinen reflected, "After giving notice of my plans to retire over a year ago, I'm pleased to see this new structure and am confident that it will allow the University to continue its productive relationships with Washington, D.C. and Lansing."

Mroz commented, "Government relations are quite literally about relationships: relationships with elected officials, relationships with staffers and relationships with agencies and other partners. It's about bringing together the talents of our faculty and staff with the vision and goals of our partners in Lansing, Washington, the business community and a wide array of non profit institutions and non-governmental organizations. The long lead time Dale has given us is a gift to make sure that the transition of our relationships is as effective as possible."

President Obama Honors Colleen Mouw

President Barack Obama has named 106 researchers—including Assistant Professor Colleen Mouw (GMES)—as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.

It is the highest honor bestowed by the US government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. "These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and wellness," President Obama said.

"We congratulate these accomplished individuals and encourage them to continue to serve as an example of the incredible promise and ingenuity of the American people."

Nominations come from federal agencies who support the young scientists and engineers' research. Mouw was nominated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

"I'm very humbled to be recognized in this way," Mouw said.  "I've been fortunate to have worked with many fantastic colleagues over the years who undoubtedly deserve this recognition just as much as myself."

 The awards were established by President Clinton in 1996. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach. The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, DC ceremony this Spring. You can read the announcement here.

Michigan Tech Named an Exemplary Engineering Ethics Program

In a just-released report entitled "Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers," Michigan Tech is one of the 25 engineering programs included in the report as an "exemplary engineering ethics program."

The report is expected to be released at 10 a.m. today.  Read the press release regarding the report here.

Continuous Improvement Connection

Have you ever thought to yourself, "There has to be a better/faster/easier way to do this?"

Here in the Office of Continuous Improvement, we have a team of trained Lean facilitators that can help make that thought a reality. The tools of Lean are powerful but very simple and intuitive. We follow a very intuitive problem-solving process that involves defining the reason for action, documenting the current and ideal state and conducting a gap analysis, which together, guide the approach to a solution.

If you are interested in improving your daily work life, please email us at improvement@mtu.edu or call 7-3180.

ME-EM Faculty Candidate - Xianming (Simon) Dai

ME-EM (ETF) faculty candidate Xianming (Simon) Dai will present "Bioinspired Multifunctional Interfacial Materials for Energy Transport and Thermal Management"  at 2 p.m. Monday, February 22 in MEEM 402.

Dai is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University.

Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Forum

Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Forum presents John Dewey, visting assistant professor in psychology at Finlandia University.

Dewey will present "The Self in Action: Sense of Control and the Self-Other Distinction" from 2 to 3 p.m. Monday, February 22 in room 109 of the Harold Meese Center.

In this talk, Dewey will discuss some of his previous research on factors which govern the sense of control during individual and cooperative actions, methodologies for measuring sense of control and a new project which will investigate whether stable psychological traits predict performance on a visuomotor control monitoring task.


Brazilian Cuisine at Today's Khana Khazana

Brazilian food is on the menu for today's Khana Khazana in the Memorial Union Food Court. Serving will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The menu features; Feijoada—pork and sausage stew with black beans served with rice; Salpicao—Brazilian style salad topped with crispy potato; Bolinho de Chuva—Donut ball sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. The cost for the full meal is $7.25 and includes a fountain beverage.  


Nancy Gagnon Retirement Social Today

The Registrar's Office invites you to a retirement social in honor of Nancy Gagnon from 3 to 5 p.m. today (February 19) in Room 404 of the Administration Building.

Nancy will be retiring after 30 years of dedicated service to the Registrar's Office. Join us in thanking Nancy for her contributions over the years and to wish her well in retirement. Refreshments will be served.


"Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music" tonight, Saturday

The Tech Theatre Company presents “Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music” in the McArdle Theatre tonight and tomorrow night and again Thursday Feb. 25 through Saturday Feb. 27. Show times are 7:30 p.m. each night. The play by Lee Blessing is fun, romantic comedy, featuring a country bar-owner, a nun with a funny way of shouting obscenities at the wrong moment, her aunt and the hilarious, unlikely romance that unfolds. Learn more about the show and get ticket information online.


Research Excellence Fund Call for Proposals

Proposals are being solicited for the FY2016 Research Excellence Fund (REF), an internal award of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Budgets are due no later than 4 p.m on March 1 and proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. on March 10. Both are submitted electronically per the guidelines.

Changes have been made to the REF process, review the guidelines on the website. Incomplete proposals or those received after the deadline will not be accepted for consideration by the review committee and will be returned without review.

If you are interested in serving on a REF proposal review committee, email Cathy Jenich. For questions, contact Natasha Chopp. For more information, see Research Excellence Fund.


Arts and Ecology Lecture by Artist-Scholar Rachel Kauff

There will be an Arts and Ecology Lecture by Artist-Scholar Rachel Kauff titled "Past Use: Ecology and Art Objects" at 4 p.m. today in Dow 641.

Kauff, Visiting Women and Minority Scholar, will give a free public lecture linking her artist practice and her ideas on ecology. "Past Use" will cover the artist's trajectory of ecological art making and will include recent works that are inspired by American hand tools to describe the landscape and human relationships to the environment.


Superior Wind Symphony Concert Features Music About the Power and Science of the Outdoors

Join Superior Wind Symphony’s 45 musicians inside the warm Rozsa theatre for a concert about the beauty, the science, and the expanse of the outdoors in their concert "Be Here Now" at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (February 20) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. 


Geoseminar — David Watkins (CEE)

The next Geoseminar will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. today (February 19) in Dow 610. David Watkins (CEE) will present "Understanding and Predicting Socioeconomic Drought in Central Texas."

For more information, see original Tech Today post.


Today's C-Cubed Menu

  • Pan Fried Cod (GF) 
  • Lemon Garlic, & Horseradish Herb Dipping Sauces (VGF)
  • Potato Gratin (VGF) 
  • Broccoli Crunch Salad (VGF) 
  • Rolls and Butter (V)

 Film Board Presents "The Good Dinosaur"

 Film Board Presents "The Good Dinosaur."

Today, February 19 — 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Tomorrow, February 20 — 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 21 — 2:30, 5:30 p.m.

Located in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3, Concessions are $1 each.


Chem Eng Faculty Candidate - Lei Pan

Lei Pan, post-doctoral research associate in the department of Mining and Minerals Engineering at Virginia Tech, will present "Surface and Hydrodynamic Forces in Wetting Films" at 1 p.m. today (February 19th) in Chem Sci 101.



Molly Cavaleri (SFRES) will present some of her research at this week's SFRES Friday Forum. The lecture is at 3 p.m. today in Forestry G-002 with a social afterward.

Job Posting

Staff and faculty job description are available in the Human Resources Department. For more information regarding staff positions call 7-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu. For more information regarding faculty positions contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Office Assistant 6, College of Engineering. Internal/External UAW Posting 2/19/2016 - 2/25/2016. External applications will be reviewed after internal applications. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Education Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.