Alumni Reunion Starts Thursday

Alumni and friends of Michigan Tech from throughout the country will return to Houghton this week for the University's annual Alumni Reunion.
More than 500 visitors are expected for three days of tours, talks, cruises, awards and a pasty picnic.
Things kick off Thursday morning with a Welcome Breakfast and campus tours. Morning "Tech Talks" focus on rejuvenating rail transportation with Pasi Lautila (CEE) (10 a.m. Fisher 135) and the wolves of Isle Royale with John Vucetich (SFRES) (11 a.m. Fisher 135).
Afternoon activities include a cruise aboard the MV-Ranger III. Boarding will be at 12:30 p.m. with departure at 1 p.m. from the Isle Royale National Park office.
There will be a pasty making demonstration at 1:30 p.m. in Douglass Houghton Hall. Tech's Executive Chef Eric Karvonen will share thoughts and insights as he creates the Copper Country's favorite specialty food, the pasty. A taste testing will follow. 
At 4 p.m. hundreds of alumni are expected for the Pasty Picnic featuring a classic Keweenaw dinner of pasties, pickled eggs and Keweenaw Brewing Company micro-brews. 
Friday's activities include the All-Class Alumni Breakfast, Class Year gatherings and "Stuff-a-Husky."
Tours aboard the RV Agassiz and campus and department open houses highlight Friday afternoon's activities. 
The Annual Alumni Reunion Dinner and Awards Ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom. This year's winners are:
Outstanding Young Alumn Awards— Benjamin Almquist '04 and Jonathon Aho '08
Outstanding Service Award—Joshua '03 and Jana '05 Fogarty
Distinguished Alumni Award—William Bernard, Jr. '69
Humanitarian Award—James Tanis '57 '58
Silver Medal Honoree—Russ Gronevelt '69
Saturday is devoted to reconnecting with the Copper Country with events such as the Keweenaw Alumni Chapter 5K Run/Walk for Scholarship, Outdoor Adventure Program open high ropes course and a canoe trip on the sturgeon river.
Read more and view a complete schedule.

Election Day Today

Today is state primary election day in Michigan with, state, national and local items on the ballot. There are contested elections for both Democratic and Republican candidates for the First Congressional District. 

There are also some contested local elections as well. In Houghton County voters are deciding on a tax limitation renewal proposal  for the operation of the Houghton County Medical Care Facility.

Voters will also decide on renewal and allocation of millage within Houghton County.

In Chassell Township Voters are being ask whether they want leave the Portage Lake Library District.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

Alumni Board Welcomes New Directors, Recognizes Outgoing Members

The following alumni will begin their six year Director terms at the Reunion meeting Thursday and Friday (Aug. 4-5).

  • Daniel Batten '88, '90 Mechanical Design Engineering Technology and Business Administration from Jenison, Michigan
  • Derek Chapel '05 Electrical Engineering from Petoskey, Michigan
  • Joseph Gallo '11 Mechanical Engineering / Electrical Engineering from Midland, Michigan
  • Jenna Joestgen '10 Biomedical Engineering from Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Kristin Kolodge '95 Mechanical Engineering from Harrison Township, Michigan
  • Emily McDonald '12 Environmental Engineering from Ferndale, Michigan
  • Dennis Sage '86 Scientific and Technical Communication, Arlington Heights, Illinois 
  • Andrew Burton '97 (SFRES)-new faculty representative

The Executive Committee for 2016-2018 is:

  • President, Robert Wojcik '91
  • Past President, Edwin Eiswerth '77
  • Vice President, Charles Heiden '80
  • Treasurer, Joseph Azzarello '78
  • Secretary, Kerry Irons '72
  • Brenda Rudiger, Assistant VP, Alumni Engagement (ex officio)

The following Board members will complete their service following the Reunion meetings:

  • Darnishia Slade '98, Past President
  • Jeffery Zeman '97, Treasurer
  • Stephen Kamykowski '70, Director
  • Jeffrey Sudderth '06, Director
  • Timothy Thomas '81, Director
  • Jean-Celeste Kamp '80, '87, Faculty Representative

For more information, contact the Alumni House at 7-2400 or


Mark Johnson Retirement Party

After 32 dedicated years of service as the merchandising operations manager, Mark Johnson is retiring. Come and help us celebrate from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 in Ballroom B of the Memorial Union as he begins a new chapter in his life of grandkids, golfing, hunting and the "honey do" list.

Local High School Students Learn Historical GIS with the Keweenaw Time Traveler Team

Careers that incorporate geospatial technologies are among the fastest-growing nationwide. That's why Michigan Tech and Eastern Michigan University have teamed up on the NSF-funded GRACE Project to introduce high school students to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques and tools that can be used to tackle community issues.

This summer, 11 students from CLK and Houghton high schools are working as paid interns with researchers in the Department of Social Sciences and the Great Lakes Research Center to help build the Keweenaw Time Traveler, an NEH-funded project directed by Don Lafreniere (SS). This innovative online historical atlas will allow users to pinpoint data about changes in the built, social and natural environments of the Copper Country.

The students have joined our team of "Time Travelers," which includes graduate students in the Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program as well as undergraduates from departments across Michigan Tech. Together, they are learning to use GIS to identify, digitize and follow changes in thousands of buildings and features from 1888-1950.

During the six week program, students are exploring the many exciting opportunities provided by mobile geospatial technologies by participating in interactive hands-on field trips, including an afternoon in Lake Linden with Carol MacLennan (SS) exploring the vast milling and processing systems that once studded the western shore of Torch Lake, a related trip on the RV Agassiz learning about the changing shoreline and water quality and a day conducting active data collection with mobile tablets and GPS in Calumet to capture the students' perspectives on how to improve non-motorized transportation in conjunction with the Keweenaw National Historical Park's Complete Streets initiative.

The student interns, who are paid through the GRACE project, will present their work in a final celebration on Aug. 11 in GLRC 2020. Read more about the Keweenaw Time Traveler

Great Lakes Research Center Hosts Alumni and KSEF

Faculty, staff and students at the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) are hosting and participating in a number of events during Alumni Reunion and in partnership with the Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival (KSEF). The campus community is invited to join alumni and KSEF attendees at the following GLRC led activities:

  • "Layers of Superior," an art show featuring work created by Hancock High School art students and inspired by Lake Superior, is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3-Friday, Aug. 5. The exhibit is located in the first floor lobby of the GLRC.
  • Join Michigan Tech's Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Kestner Waterfront Park for the Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival's Family Engineering Day from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday.
  • On Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m., the new donor wall will be dedicated in the first floor lobby of the GRLC. All are invited to the dedication launching the GLRC's Buy a Fish campaign. Funds raised will support student opportunities, research and facilities improvements. Dedication remarks are scheduled for 3:15 p.m. in the GLRC's first floor lobby.
  • Come on down to the GLRC from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday for the GLRC's Water Festival. Tour a 47 foot Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat, drive an underwater robot, see zooplankton up close, listen to Lake Superior while learning about underwater acoustics research and learn how faculty collect and use data to make predictions on the spread of invasive aquatic species. Visit this link for a full schedule of the Water Festival activities.


David Shonnard (Robbins Chair, ChE) and Robert Handler (SFI) have been invited as panelists in a breakout session at the Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in Macon, Georgia September 14-15.

Handler will attend and join other experts from government, industry and academia to promote the environmental sustainability of biofuels in the aviation industry. Further information can be obtained from Handler at 7-3612 or

New Funding

Kristin Schmitt (SFRES/ESC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $170,200 research and development contract from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service. The project is titled "Web Development for Climate Change Science Delivery."
The funding is for the first two years of a five-year project.

In the News

Financial Times, an international newspaper, published an article on hacking threats from drones, mentioning Michigan Tech's development of a drone catcher. Read the article here.


Rozsa 2016/17 Season Tickets are now on sale. For additional information see the original Tech Today story