Tech's ChemE Car Places Second in Regional Competition

Michigan Tech’s Chem-E-Car team took second place at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) 2016 North-Central Regional Conference Chem-E-Car Competition. The competition was hosted by Miami University of Ohio on April 16. Seventeen universities participated.

The competition is designed to engage college students in designing and constructing a car powered by a chemical energy source that will safely carry a specified load over a given distance and stop. 

The Michigan Tech team’s chemical energy source was a silver oxide battery of their own design. The team was given a payload of 195 grams and a distance of 19.5 meters.

Their car's stopping reaction (the chemical reaction that caused the vehicle to stop moving) was a vitamin C clock reaction. The solution for the vitamin C clock reaction starts clear, then instantaneously turns a dark violet. The time it takes for this to happen is based on the concentration of products. 

The solution is placed between an LED light and a photo diode. When the solution is clear, the photo diode picks up light from the LED and continues to run. When the solution changes color, the light from the LED is blocked, and the photo diode signals the motor of the vehicle to stop.

The team was given two attempts to reach 19.5 meters. On their best attempt, their car ended up only 41 centimeters shy of its goal.  

The top five schools qualified to compete at the AIChE’s national competition in San Francisco in November. The top five schools and their distances from the target were: 

  1. Michigan State University, with a distance from target of 0.11 meters.
  2. Michigan Tech, distance from target 0.41 meters.
  3. University of Michigan Team B (U of M had two teams), distance from target 0.50 meters.
  4. Purdue University, distance from target 0.51 meters
  5. Trine University, distance from target 1.02 meters

“We wouldn't have been able to succeed if it wasn't for the support we received from Associate Professor Tomas Co (ChE) who served as our team's adviser; Associate Professor Tony Rogers (ChE), who served as our outside expert on our Engineering Documentation Package (EDP); Matt Heyse, who served as an outside expert on circuitry; and the Chemical Engineering Department at Michigan Tech,” said Marco Ramon, co-leader of the ChemE Car team.

Memorial Union Remodeling

Due to the renovation of the Memorial Union Building retail dining to a fresh quick service bistro and the remodeling of the Memorial Union Keweenaw Commons with a Northwoods feel, the ground floor of the MUB will be under construction this summer.
The Food Court and Keweenaw Commons seating area will be closed following normal operating hours this Friday (April 29). 
The ground floor hallway leading to the elevator and restrooms will remain open with the exception of the week of June 3 through 8.
Retail Dining will be offered through the Dining Services trailer which will be parked near the Husky Statue on the campus mall. The operating hours will be from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Library Cafe will remain in operation serving it's current menu. The Cafe hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The first and second floors of the MUB, including the catering operations, the bookstore, meeting rooms, guest rooms, student activities and student organization offices and the Memorial Union offices, will remain open throughout the summer.

HR to Attend Auxiliary Services Annual Professional Development Day

Michigan Tech's Human Resources Department will attend the Auxiliary Services annual Professional Development Day on Monday, May 2. 

While Tech's HR department will be minimally staffed during that time, we will remain open to continue providing customer service between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Gervais Earns GLIAC Pat Riepma Postgraduate Scholarship

Michigan Tech football defensive back Brett Gervais has been named a 2015-16 GLIAC Pat Riepma Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, it was announced Tuesday by the conference.

The $5,000 scholarship is given annually to one male and one female to aid in the cost of attendance at a graduate school of their choice. The honor is voted on by faculty athletic representatives of the GLIAC member institutions.

Gervais wrapped up a stellar career at Michigan Tech by starting all 10 games and helping the Huskies to a 7-3 record in 2015. He racked up 61 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles en route to All-GLIAC First Team honors and a spot on the All-Super Region 4 Team.

A native of Lake Linden, Gervais has excelled off the field as well. He earned a fall GLIAC Commissioner's Award, CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition and the Merritt T. McFarland Award as Michigan's top Division II scholar-athlete in 2015 alone. Gervais was also awarded a pair of GLIAC Academic Excellence Awards (2013, 2014) and maintains a 3.79 GPA in exercise science.

To read the full story and find out more about Michigan Tech Sports visit

Biological Sciences Seminar MondayŚCecon Mahapatra

Cecon Mahapatra will present at the Biological Sciences Seminar at 9 a.m. Monday, May 2 in Dow 642. His presentation is titled "Comparative Toxicity Assessment of Perfluorinated Carboxylic Acids and Biodegradation."

In this seminar, Mahapatra will discuss his research interests in overwintering pollutant ecology from the perspectives of local, regional and global scales and the potential implications of overwintering for understanding the phenomenon of food-web biomagnification processes. Mahapatra will also discuss his research into the uptake and elimination of emerging pollutants including pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials for which relatively little is known regarding the toxicokinetics of their bioaccumulation in aquatic species. 

All are welcome to attend. For more information, visit the Biological Sciences webpage.

Biological Sciences Seminar TuesdayŚCecon Mahapatra

Cecon Mahapatra will present at the Biological Sciences Seminar at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 3 in Dow 642. This presentation is titled "Metabolism of Environmental Chemicals: Biotransformation, Detoxification and Biodegradation."

In this lecture, Mahapatra will address general principles and case studies involving the fate of xenobiotics in living organisms.

All are welcome to attend. For more information, visit the Biological Sciences webpage.

On the Road

Anthony Pinar, Joseph Rice and Adam Webb (MTRI) presented three papers at the SPIE DSS conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Pinar's paper was entitled, "A Comparison of Robust Principal Component Analysis Techniques for Buried Object Detection in Downward Looking GPR and EMI Sensor Data." Rice's paper was entitled, "Spatiotemporal Features for Buried Hazard Detection." Webb's paper was entitled, "Spectral Diversity for Ground Clutter Mitigation in Forward-looking GPR." Timothy Havens (ECE) chaired a session on Side-scanning Sensing, Data Processing and Programs at the conference.

New Funding

Ossama Abdelkhalik (ME-EM) is the  principal investigator on a project that has received a #132,541 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. Rush Robinett (ME-EM/AIM) is Co-PI on the project "Collaborative Research: On Making Wave Energy an Economical and Reliable Power Source for Ocean Measurement Applications."


Problem Solving with the Tools of Complex Dynamical Systems

Joseph Kuehl, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Baylor University, will deliver a campus seminar from 3 to 4 p.m. today (April 27) in GLRC room 202. His talk is titled "Problem Solving with the Tools of Complex Dynamical Systems." Click here for the presentation's abstract.

The Great Lakes Research Center is hosting a reception in the GLRC lobby immediately following the presentation. Kuehl will be on campus through April 29 and would like to meet with faculty interested in future research collaborations. To schedule a meeting with him, contact Elizabeth Hoy at 7-1208.



CNSA Senior Project Presentations

The School of Technology and the Computer Network and System Administration invites you to senior project presentations from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow (April 28) in the R.L. Smith Building (MEEM) 111.

The CNSA Cloud-Computing Proposal will be from 10 to 11 a.m. and the Big Data in Healthcare presentation will be from 11 a.m. to noon.

All are welcome to attend any of the presentations and no RSVP is required. However, to plan and balance presentation audiences, if you are able to confirm attendance for a presentation or for more information, email Guy Hembroff.


2016 Spring Commencement

Michigan Tech's 2016 Spring Commencement will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 30. The ceremony will be held in the MacInnes Student Ice Arena of the Student Development Complex.

For more information on Spring Commencement, see original Tech Today article.


Summer Hours to Begin

Starting Monday, May 2, the University will shift to its summer schedule.The general hours of operation will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All offices must be staffed during these hours. Employees are expected to fulfill their usual full-time or part-time obligations. Your actual work schedule must be approved by your supervisor. Regular office hours resume on Monday, August 15. 


New Employee Wellness Challenge Coming in May

Want to practice "healthy living" but need a little help? 

Healthy Living BINGO incorporates aspects of exercise (and rest), healthy thoughts, nutrition, environment, relationships, communication, finances, personal development and professional development.

Seem like a lot? That's why we BINGO — to challenge you to think outside the box and encourage healthy living.

This four-week challenge begins Sunday, May 1 and runs through Saturday, May 28. Each week you'll receive a new BINGO card with challenges to complete. Weekly prizes will be awarded. Earn bonus HuskyPAW points for participating. Open to all employees.

Contact Shannon Brodeur for details. Ready to sign up? Register here.