Design Expo 2016

Feeds and speeds, pop-and-swaps, chat 'bots and Blue-tooth Roombas—the lingo flies thick and fast along a poster-lined labyrinth of evolutionary ideas at Michigan Tech's Design Expo 2016.
The 16th of what for 13 years was known as the Undergraduate Expo as usual draws a crowd. It's the optimum view of Big Picture and nitty-gritty detail. It's a grand finale, but also a continuing story: Capstones and team work form foundations for future expansion.
John Deere sent a tractor to the Three-Point Hitch Load Measurement system team. Too bulky for the ballroom. But like so many expo exhibitors, mechanical engineering major Bethany Schaefer's articulate passion more than makes up for the absence of heavy machinery. Real-life testing was the most satisfying part of the process. "You don't get the full magnitude on the computer—it's amazing. It's like yesssss—it's working!"

No issues fitting a jaw-adjusting sleep apnea device, fetchingly displayed on a skull model, into its assigned exhibit space. Biomedical engineering major Nathan Dills wanted to work on this project because his dad has sleep apnea. They say the next steps are expanded testing and comparisons to similar devices on the market. The ultimate goal: "Seeing something we created that is comfortable for people to wear," says Emily.

Read the full story.  

New Jackson Active Learning Classroom

On Thursday, the CTL officially revealed its new 60-seat bring-your-own device (BYOD) active learning classroom to the campus. 
The classroom, located in Rekhi Hall G05, is configured with round tables to promote and enhance student interaction and collaboration.
The room includes seven Mersive Solstice pods, which allow students to wirelessly share content from their laptops, tablets or phones with group members or the whole class.
This space was created with help from Information Technology, the advice of a diverse group of instructors, inspiration from many other institutions and funding from the William G. Jackson gift. The classroom will be available for “beta testing” during the summer semester and is expected to be fully operational by the fall semester. If you have not had an opportunity to check out the room and would like to arrange a tour, contact the Jackson CTL at 7-3000.
Instructors interested in teaching in the Jackson Active Learning Classroom during the summer or fall are encouraged to complete the application by the May 2 deadline.

Student Disability Services Updates

As we approach final exam week, the Student Disability Services office would like to remind faculty of the information available on our newly designed Student Disability Services website.

New resources have been added to the better-organized site, including:

  • accommodation descriptions for faculty
  • student accommodation information along with instructions for notifying their instructors
  • FAQs for both faculty and students
  • important information for parents

When a student receives approval for accommodations, they are instructed to contact each instructor to discuss their accommodations. This discussion should include information on when and where the student will take the exam. Students are required by the Accommodated Exam Policy to have this discussion with their instructor at least five business days prior to the exam.

For questions regarding the accommodation process that cannot be answered through the Student Disability Services website, email Christy Oslund, coordinator of Student Disability Services or call 7-1494.

Testing of Lift Bridge

More tests of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge have been scheduled for this week as part of ongoing maintenance work.
The testing will likely result in brief delays for motorists. The contractor for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will perform test lifts of the bridge span, requiring brief closures of the bridge to traffic.
Motorists should expect delays of 10 to 15 minutes, roughly equivalent to a standard bridge lift for marine traffic, throughout the day. Nighttime delays of similar duration may also be necessary. Traffic will be allowed to clear and resume normal flow between test lifts.
The $8.4 million project involves upgrades and preventive maintenance on the bridge between Houghton and Hancock. The project started in mid-December 2014 and is scheduled to be completed later this month.

University Senate to Meet Wednesday

The University Senate will hold its last meetings of the academic year beginning at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 in DOW 642.  
Meeting #578 is a special meeting for new and continuing senators who will, among other items, elect the officers for the 2016-17 academic year. View the agenda for meeting #578.
Meeting #579 starts immediately afterward and is the last official meeting for the current senators. View the agenda for Meeting #579.
Review the minutes of meeting #577.
 Senators are responsible for making their constituents aware of the agenda for this meeting. Senators who are unable to attend should arrange for their alternates to attend in their place.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

There will be an Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar from 3 to 4 p.m. today (April 18) in Dillman 214.

Lindsey Watch, Environmental Engineering PhD candidate, will present "Modeling Evaluation of Hydrodynamic and Microbial Controls of Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid Dissolution."

Biological Sciences Seminar

The next Biological Sciences Seminar will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, April 22 in Dow 641. 

Eric Lai, Sloan-Kettering Institute, will present "Biological Functions of MicroRNAs."

This presentation will discuss recent and unpublished work concerning the genetic analysis of miRNA biology in the fruit fly system and emerging lessons from these studies.  

Physics Colloquium

The next Physics Colloquium will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow (April 19) in Fisher 101

Issei Nakamura will present "Molecular Modeling of Ion-containing Nanomaterials."

Nakamura received a PhD in physics from McMaster University, Canada, in 2010 and continued to work on polymer and soft matter as a postdoctoral researcher in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology until 2013.

He is currently the professor/principal investigator for soft-matter theory and simulation at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Facilities Announces Power Outages

Michigan Tech Facilities is performing preventive maintenance on the campus high voltage lines on the nights of May 4, 5 and 6.

During these times several buildings will be without power, network and phone service. Michigan Tech IT and Facilities recommend that occupants exit buildings prior to the outage and turn off all electronic devices that are plugged into outlets.

To find out details and the complete schedule of outage times and buildings affected, read the original Tech Today story.


Central Energy Plant Shutdown Begins May 1

The annual Central Energy Plant shutdown will begin at noon Sunday, May 1 and end at noon Thursday, May 5. The shutdown will allow work to be performed on the Steam Generation and Distribution Systems. Steam will not be available during this period and plant personnel will do everything to keep the outage as short as possible.

 The following buildings will be affected: Admin, Academic Office Building, ROTC, R.L. Smith Building (MEEM), MUB, Chem, EERC, Library, Rehki, Dillman, Fisher, Down, M and M, Walker, Rozsa, DHH, Wadsworth, McNair, Hillside Apartments, GLRC, Forestry, Facilities, Ice Arena, SDC and Gates. Read the full Tech Today story.


Computer Science Faculty Candidate Seminar

CS faculty candidate, Lorenzo De Carli, will present "Effective Network Security in the Golden Age of Online Threats" from 3 to 4 p.m. today (April 18) in Rekhi G009.


Open Campus Forum for Graduate School Dean Candidate

Pushpalatha Murthy, associate dean of the Graduate School will conduct an open campus forum from 11 to noon tomorrow (April 19) followed by discussion, in Fisher Hall 129. 

For additional information, see original Tech Today story, and view her CV here.


Research Workshop: Review of Foreign National Restrictions on Awards

The Vice President for Research Office will host an educational session, "Review of Foreign National Restrictions on Awards," from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.

For more information on this session, and the link to register, see original Tech Today story.


Transportation Services Sponsors Second Annual Food Drive Raffle

Participate in the Drive Away Hunger Food Drive through April 29 and be entered into a drawing to win a free parking pass for next year. For information on the food drive, see original Tech Today article.


Summer Reading Facilitators Sought

Faculty and staff are invited to facilitate a student group discussion for Michigan Tech's "Reading as Inquiry" project. This year, first-year students will read "The Postmortal" by Drew Magary.

For more information, see original Tech Today story.


The Graduate Student Government and the Grad School would like to congratulate the following winners of the 2016 Three Minute Thesis Competition held last Thursday:

Masters Divison:
First Place, $500- Ekramul Ehite (ME-EM)
Runner Up, $250- Abhilash Kantamneni (CS)
People's Choice, $100- Abhilash Kantamneni (CS)

PhD Division:
First Place, $500- Rupsa Basu (Biology)
Runner Up, $250- Zichen Qian (Bio Med)
People's Choice, $100- Rupsa Basu (Biology)

In the News

WBUP-TV Channel 10 (ABC) aired a news story about the dedication ceremony at Evergreen Technology in Hancock, a $5,000,000 research and development branch of a major Chinese environmental cleanup corporation, in partnership with Michigan Tech's Professor Jian-Yang (Jim) Hwang (MSE).

Props for Profs

Our final Jackson CTL Props for Profs Winner for Spring 2016 is David Olson—senior lecturer in Mathematical Sciences.   

Olson’s nominator emphasized that he not only makes class “fun and informative,” but that he leaves “real, helpful notes on your work.” 

The nominator also found Olson’s connection to students exceptional, allowing him to “really notice when you need help.” 

Perhaps most importantly, the nominator felt that Olson did an exceptional job of maintaining this strong connection well beyond when students leave his classroom.

Olson and his nominator will each receive a $5 gift certificate to purchase a snack or beverage at the Library Café or several other locations on campus.    

 We’ve delivered “props” to 12 exceptional instructors this semester, but more than 40 were nominated. Our students clearly recognize that many instructors are going above and beyond for them.

Thanks to all nominators and nominees. To continue to recognize and promote good teaching, we strongly encourage students to continue to deliver “props” directly to a favorite prof through course evaluations or conversation.

On the Road

Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental  Outreach, presented at the Belle Isle State Park Natural Resource Roundtable last Thursday. The roundtable was hosted by the Belle Isle Conservancy’s Environmental Conservation Committee and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to share interests and potential collaborations.

Michigan Tech and Wayne State University were the only two universities in Michigan invited to participate, in addition to a dozen government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Chadde has engaged Detroit teachers and students in natural resource stewardship activities on Belle Isle since 2009, supported by three different grants.

New Funding

Myounghoon Jeon (CLS/ICC), is the principal Investigator on a project which has received a $76,336 research and development grant from George Washington University.
The project is entitled "NRI Music-based Interactive Robotic Orchestration for Children with ASD."


IT Connect

Upgrading Network Connections on Campus

Michigan Tech IT recently upgraded 356 network connections across campus, improving the speed from 10MB/sec to 100MB/sec. We are now in the process of bidding out the work to upgrade the remaining older wiring on campus, so if you haven’t been upgraded yet, it’s coming.
Note these connection upgrades won’t be billed to individual Michigan Tech departments.
If you have any questions regarding this campus upgrade, contact us at or call 7-1111.