Tech Physicist Leads Discovery of New Mineral

A team led by a physicist from Michigan Tech has discovered a new mineral, named for the region in Tanzania where it comes from.

John Jaszczak (Physics) knew that something was very unusual about the mineral specimen he was examining under the microscope of a Raman spectrometer in the basement of Fisher Hall.

On a hunch, Jaszczak decided to look into it further. The diagnostic studies with Raman spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy showed a layered structure rich in molybdenum, lead and sulfur that may be a new mineral. Now, Jaszczak and the team he pulled together can confirm that gut feeling. The tiny, silvery, cylindrical whiskers are indeed a new mineral—merelaniite. The journal Minerals published the team's findings last week.

Detailed chemical and physical analyses of merelaniite—a member of the cylindrite group—revealed a neatly stacked layered structure with sheets rolled in scrolls like tobacco in a cigar. These tiny whiskers, which to the naked eye look like very fine hairs on other larger crystals, have probably been regularly cleaned off their host rocks containing other more recognizable minerals that occur at the famous gem mines near Merelani, Tanzania.

"Minerals have a natural wow factor, and while we use many of them daily without thinking twice, some specimens are truly art," Jaszczak says, adding that minerals like the gems tanzanite (a blue/purple variety of zoisite) and tsavorite (a green variety of grossular garnet), which come from the same mines as merelaniite, can be more eye-catching. But it doesn't negate the value of less showy minerals.

Read the full story.

3rd Annual "Relax for the Holidays" Open House

All faculty, staff and students are invited to stop by the Memorial Union Ballroom B between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 to attend an open-house style Lunch and Learn titled "Relax for the Holidays." Attending employees will earn 100 HuskyPAW points.

The 3rd annual "Relax for the Holidays" Open House will feature several relaxation stations, including Aromatherapy with Vicky Sleeman and Yoga and Guided Relaxation with Joan Kero. There will also be some "fun" stations: a coloring station, light therapy, a chocolate station and more.

Attendees will be eligible to enter a free drawing for prizes donated by J. Jukari Spa and Salon and Vicky Sleeman. Feel free to bring your lunch; tea and hot chocolate will be provided.

This event is sponsored by WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness.

SWE Team Shines at WE16

The Michigan Tech Enterprise team sponsored by Caterpillar, earned first place at the Society of Women Engineers, WE 16 Conference, held Thursday-Saturday in Philadelphia. 

In addition, the Michigan Tech Section was awarded a Silver Award in the Student Section Competition.

WE16 is the world's largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology, with more than 9,000 women at all stages of their engineering careers. 

Public Safety Announcement: Bike Awareness

With the hours of daylight getting shorter, Michigan Tech and the City of Houghton want to increase bicycle awareness and safe riding procedures. From 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday (Nov. 4) Michigan Tech, along with the City of Houghton, will pass out and install battery-operated lights to bicyclists to promote bicycle awareness.

Posters, flyers and sandwich boards will be distributed on campus and throughout downtown Houghton.

It is important to be visible to others, ride on bicycle friendly routes and obey the laws.

In Michigan, bicycles are vehicles and must follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. Riders must: 

  • Stop at all stop signs
  • Obey Yield signs
  • Ride to the right
  • Signal turns
  • Do not cut corners and cross at intersections

Special Operating Hours During the Academic Year

It is important that students, faculty and staff in academic, research and administrative areas are aware of special department and business hours during planned University closures, such as Thanksgiving week and the break between semesters.

Therefore, the University has established Standards and Guidelines for Special Operating Hours during the Academic Year.

Business Operations for Administration will be responsible for collecting special operating hours (formerly Holiday Hours) of University departments and offices in order to effectively communicate them campus-wide.  

Visit the Business Operations website:

  • to learn more about the University Standards and Guidelines for Special Operating Hours during the Academic Year
  • to submit your Department’s operating hours for the semester break
  • to view campus-wide operating hours for the semester break
  • to access additional resources which may be helpful to you

If you are an academic, research or administrative unit, submit your department’s operating hours using these google forms:    

Business Operations will announce hours in Tech Today regularly.  Department Hours will also be posted on the Business Operations website. For questions, contact Lori Weir at 7-2980.

Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Incentive

Benefit-eligible employees who have an annual physical and complete a Health Assessment with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan by Dec. 31 can earn one of the following incentives:

  • $100 deposited into a Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • $100 deposited into a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • $100 deposited into Techfit
  • $200 deposited into a T2 account (funds may only be used at a Michigan Tech facility)

To complete the Health Assessment through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan:

  • Log in to your account at (You can easily register if you are not currently set up).
  • Click “Health & Wellness” in the blue bar at the top of the page.
  • Click “Take Your Health Assessment” to begin.
  • Once completed, print a copy of the confirmation page for your records. Paper Health Assessment forms will not qualify for the incentive.

Employees who have met the above requirements will be contacted to choose their incentive in 2017. Incentives will be awarded in March 2017. Contact Benefit Services with any questions.

C-Cubed Week 10

Join the C-Cubed (Conversation, Community, Collegiality) University lunches. They are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the school year in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

Lunch is $10 (cash, credit and C-Cubed Gift Certificates accepted); attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Coffee, tea, fruit-infused water, cookies and fruit are available for all.

Portuguese Roasted Pork (GF)
Caldo Verde (V, GF)
Portuguese Rice (V, GF)
Cornbread (V)

Thai Glass Noodles with Chicken (GF)
Thai Glass Noodles with Tofu (V, GF)
Green Mango Salad (V, GF)

V—Vegetarian, GF—Gluten Free

Send any suggestions to Christina Fabian or fill out a feed-back form online.

This Week in Husky Sports

The Huskies earned their first series sweep of the season with a 2-0 shutout of Northern Michigan Friday at home and then winning 5-1 Saturday in Marquette to win its fifth straight game over NMU, dating back to October 2015.

Freshman goaltender Angus Redmond got his first starts of his career with wins both nights, stopping 48-of-49 shots on the weekend. The Huskies are third in the WCHA standings—one point back of Minnesota State. Tech heads to Michigan State this weekend for a nonconference series with the Spartans.

Football got back into the win column with a 24-21 upset win over No. 9 Ashland. The two teams both scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter but it was the Huskies getting the final score with only 36 seconds left as Brandon Cowie and David Walter hooked up on an 8-yard passing play.  

The Huskies now travel to Marquette for the annual Miner's Cup game against Northern Michigan at the Superior Dome. Saturday's game will be broadcast on Mix 93 and TV6.

Volleyball split its final road weekend of the regular season. The Huskies fell 3-1 to No. 21 Ferris State Friday and bounced back with a 3-1 win at Grand Valley, the first win in Allendale since 2004 and first over the Lakers since 2009.

Aubrey Ficek led the offense, averaging 13 kills per match while Stephanie Dietrich averaged 12 kills. The Huskies now finish the season at the SDC Gym, beginning tonight against Northern Michigan. Match time is set for 6:30 p.m.—a half hour earlier than previously scheduled. The match vs. NMU can be viewed live on TV6 or heard on local radio at 93.5 FM. Tech also hosts Northwood and Hillsdale this weekend at the SDC Gym.

Tech closed out the regular season on Friday night with a 0-0 double overtime draw against Northern Michigan on Senior Night at Sherman Field. The Huskies locked down the No. 3 seed in the GLIAC Tournament and will host a quarterfinal game against No. 6 seed Ferris State this afternoon at Sherman Field. The 2016 senior class was honored prior to Friday's contest. In four seasons, the group has amassed 44 wins and been to the NCAA Regional tournament twice, going back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014. Tech defeated FSU 1-0 earlier this year at Sherman Field.

The Huskies wrapped up their 2016 season with an eighth place finish at the 2016 GLIAC Tournament. The Huskies were the No. 7 seed and fell to second-seeded Tiffin 5-1 Friday. No. 6 Wayne State won 5-1 over Tech Saturday, and No. 8 Hillsdale defeated the Black and Gold 5-1 on Sunday.



  • Huskies Drive Time, 7:30 a.m. 93.5 FM                                          
  • Soccer vs. Ferris State (GLIAC Tournament) Sherman Field, 2 p.m.
  • Volleyball vs. Northern Michigan, 6:30 p.m. at the SDC Gym. Match will be broadcast on TV6 and on 93.5 FM.


  • Soccer at GLIAC Tournament, TBA
  • Volleyball vs. Northwood at the SDC Gym, 7 p.m.
  • Hockey at Michigan State, 7:05 p.m. on 93.5 FM and Comcast 900


  • Cross Country at NCAA Midwest Regional (Evansville, Ind.)
  • Football at Northern Michigan, 1 p.m. Broadcast on TV 6 and 93.5 FM
  • Volleyball vs. Hillsdale at the SDC Gym, 3 p.m.
  • Hockey at Michigan State, 7:05 p.m. on Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ and Comcast 900


  • GLIAC Soccer Championship, TBA

Tidwell Named Defensive Player of the Week

Football defensive back Travis Tidwell has been named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week following an outstanding performance on Saturday in the Huskies 24-21 upset victory against ninth-ranked Ashland University at Sherman Field.

Tidwell, a freshman from Detroit, had six tackles, five of them solo. More importantly, he picked off two passes in the game with one coming with just under seven minutes to go in the second quarter at the Huskies two-yard line. Tidwell then grabbed his second interception of the game with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter to seal the win. For more on Husky sports visit

Women's Tennis Wraps Up Season, Suthijindawong Named All-GLIAC

The Michigan Tech women's tennis team wrapped up its 2016 season with an eighth place finish at the 2016 GLIAC Tournament. Kwang Suthijindawong was named to the All-GLIAC First Team for the fourth time in her career.

She did not participate in the weekend's championship due to injury but finished the year with a 10-4 singles record and an 8-4 mark in doubles.

November's First Friday Social

Adventure through the second floor of the Administration Building. Faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to join IPS/SAIS/Center for Pre-College Outreach/Career Services and Enterprise Applications Services from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday (Nov. 4) for November's First Friday Social.

To start your adventure, you will first need a passport. Come to International Programs and Services in Room 200 to experience our passport to the world photo booth. Where do you want to go, who do you want to travel with? Bring your friends and a smile to IPS and we will capture the moment. Get your passport stamped at the Center for Pre-College Outreach who will be hosting desserts in Room 217. Watch Mind Trekkers make LN2 Ice Cream right before your very eyes and offer ice cream and Dragon's Breath for your sampling. See what CPCO and Mind Trekkers are up to these days while you visit and socialize. Continue on your adventure with SAIS and EAS in Room 201 for games, fun and laughter. Take a minute to reminisce about your favorite technologies of the past and may be those of the future. The journey ends in Career Services, Room 220 where you will have a chance to socialize and talk about your journey with your Michigan Tech family.

Complimentary soda, beer, wine and appetizers will be served. First Friday University Socials started in 2006 and provide a casual setting for members of the campus community to get together informally, share their work and other interests and get to know each other. These informal gatherings can lead to more productive work relationships, an appreciation for diversity and a chance to meet some new friends.

Next month's event on Dec. 2 will be sponsored by the Athletic Department. The schedule can be found online.

If you are interested in hosting a social for the 2017-2018 academic year or learning more, contact Christina Fabian at 7-2543.

"Review of Foreign National Restrictions on Awards" Education Session

The Vice President for Research Office will host an educational session entitled, "Review of Foreign National Restrictions on Awards" from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 in MUB Ballroom A1. Registration begins today and ends Nov. 14.

This session will help faculty and staff understand and address foreign national restrictions considerations when conducting research. Topics covered will include: managing technical data, intellectual property and proprietary materials; defining and working with foreign nationals; publishing and teaching; and exporting and licensing considerations. Register now to reserve a seat.

This workshop is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research. There will be desserts and beverages provided, bring your own lunch. If you have questions, contact Ramona Englund at 7-2654.

Geoseminar: Susan Moore, NIOSH

Susan Moore, NIOSH will present "Building the Career You Want at All Stages" from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday (Nov. 7) in Dow 610.

She will provide practical advice for how to establish key skills throughout the many stages of your career that will allow you to create a customized career path. Learn how to move from simply "networking" to actually building professional relationships of mutual support. Get guidance on how to prepare for career set-backs and align yourself with opportunities to pivot within the industry. Learn how to make better use of professional societies and government resources to support your goals.

Although this presentation is supported by the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, its content is relevant to a wide variety of audiences including mining and non-mining professionals, engineering and non engineering disciplines and undergraduate, graduate and faculty members. Join Moore as she provides attendees with strategies and practical skills they can use to build the career that they want.

Physics Colloquium

There will be a Physics Colloquium at 4 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 3) in Fisher Hall 139. Peter McMurry, University of Minnesota, will present "Nucleation in Chemically Reacting Systems: Measurements, Processes and Dimensional Analysis."

This lecture describes what McMurry's research team has learned about an acid-base chemical nucleation process from laboratory experiments and shows how these discoveries can be incorporated into a model for atmospheric nucleation.

McMurry's current work focuses on new particle formation and in situ methods for accurately measuring physical and chemical properties of complex particles. He has received several awards for his research, including the Fuchs Memorial Award in 2006 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. He was Editor-in-Chief of Aerosol Science and Technology for eight years (2008-2016) and served as Department Head for ten (1997-2007).


Flu Vaccine Clinics on Campus

There are two remaining flu vaccine clinics provided by UP Health System-Portage available on campus. The vaccine is administered by injection and is on a first-come, first-served basis; no appointment is necessary. 

Read the full Tech Today Story, for rates and insurance information. Anyone under the age of 18 cannot be vaccinated without parental permission. A spouse and/or child may attend without the employee. 

The flu clinics will be held in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge A on the following dates:

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (Nov. 1)
  • 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 2)


Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Today

Liang Chang, doctoral candidate in Materials Science and Engineering (Advisor: Yun Hang Hu), will present "Excellent Electric Double-layer Capacitor Performance at Wide Range Temperature of Three Dimensional Carbon Materials" at 11 a.m. today (Nov. 1) in M&M 610.


Biomedical Engineering Seminar

BME graduate Rachael Oldinski, assistant professor at the University of Vermont, will present a seminar titled "Stimuli-Responsive Biomaterials for Biomedical Engineering" at 3 p.m. Friday (Nov. 4) in M&M U113.

Note: The time has been changed.


LeaderShape 2017 is Accepting Applications

LeaderShape Institute applications for students are now open.

All students are encouraged to register and apply by visiting this link.

Applications close at 11:59 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 3).

If you're interested in further information, check out our website. Send any questions to Jonathan Davey.


Winter Parking Ban Now in Effect

Today through April 30, 2017, parking is prohibited on the Michigan Tech campus between of 2 - 7 a.m. to allow for snow removal. This regulation will be in effect regardless of the amount of snow on the ground. 

For more details on the winter parking ban, including the exceptions, see the original Tech Today article.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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

Office Assistant 6, Financial Services and Operations. UAW Internal/External Posting, 11/1/2016 – 11/7/2016
External applications will not be reviewed until after all internal UAW 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.