Michigan Tech Ranks High in NSF Grants for Mechanical Engineering, Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science, Oceanography

In the National Science Foundation's (NSF) latest rankings of universities by total research expenditures, Michigan Tech ranked 116th in the nation among public institutions and Tech's atmospheric science and oceanography research ranked first in Michigan. 

Nationally, atmospheric science research at Michigan Tech ranked 39th in research expenditures and oceanography ranked 53rd. Environmental science also ranked 53rd. Tech's mechanical engineering research ranked 23rd in the nation, the highest ranking of all research fields at the University.

"Michigan Tech has been growing our capabilities in environmental science through our faculty hiring processes like the strategic faculty hiring initiative, our facility development efforts like the Great Lakes Research Center and in our equipment investments such as the cloud chamber in the Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute," said Dave Reed, vice president for research. "NSF's report reflects the impact of those investments and the significant research role that Michigan Tech is playing both nationally and within Michigan."

The NSF report covered fiscal year 2015.

Other research areas at Tech that ranked in the top 100 nationwide include:

  • Biomedical engineering, 96th
  • Chemical engineering, 98th
  • Civil engineering, 92nd
  • Electrical engineering, 55th
  • Mechanical engineering, 23rd
  • Materials science and engineering, 61st
  • Mathematical sciences, 75th
  • Business and management, 73rd
  • Humanities, 98th
  • Visual and performing arts, 85th

The NSF report showed that research expenditures at Michigan Tech totaled $69.6 million for fiscal year 2015.

New Overtime Rules Delayed

Michigan Tech's human resources department has worked over the past several months analyzing the changes to the overtime rule which was to increase the salary threshold for a position to be considered exempt from overtime. These changes were set to go into effect tomorrow (Thursday, Dec. 1).  

However, last week a temporary delay of the Department of Labor's FLSA changes has placed an injunction on these changes. 

Here is what we know right now (courtesy of Colleges and Universities Professional Association for Human Resources [CUPA-HR]):

"A U.S. district court judge from Texas issued a preliminary injunction postponing the effective date of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s overtime rule. The judge issued the injunction in response to a legal challenge brought by a coalition of more than 50 business groups and 21 state attorneys general. The rule was scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1."

Originally, two lawsuits challenging the rule were filed in federal court on Sept. 20 — the first suit on behalf of 21 state attorneys general and the second on behalf of a group of trade associations and chambers of commerce.

On Oct. 12, the states filed an emergency motion to temporarily prevent the rule from taking effect while the court challenge proceeds. On Oct. 19, the judge granted a request filed by the states and the 50 business groups to have their two cases consolidated.

It is expected that DOL will appeal this ruling quickly, however it is uncertain how long the appeal may take. If the preliminary injunction pushes the implementation date from Dec. 1 to past Jan. 20, 2017, then there will be room for the Trump administration to reopen the rule making and revise the final rule.  

This injunction has delayed the effective date of the new salary threshold in order to remain exempt from overtime.  Keep in mind, this injunction is temporary and could change at any point in time. Human resources will continue to update as new developments arise.

The Sounds of Safe Driving: Have You Listened to Your Car Lately?

We’re all familiar with the beeps and bells vehicles emit while backing up or when front-seat passengers remove their seat belts while the car is in motion.

But what if your car could help you pay better attention, regulate your emotions while driving and operate your car in a more eco-friendly manner? From speech interaction technology to sonified non-speech sounds and sonic branding, a new generation of in-vehicle sound technology developed at Michigan Tech can lead to a safer, more harmonious driving experience.

Read the full story.

Graduate School Announcements

The new Postdoctoral Affairs Office will be housed in the Graduate School. This move will expand the services offered to Postdoctoral Fellows and ensure compliance with University and federal regulations related to these positions.

Debra Charlesworth has been appointed the assistant dean for graduate studies and postdoctoral affairs and in her new role will coordinate professional development activities and other initiatives to enhance the experience of Postdoctoral Fellows at Michigan Tech. Charlesworth will work closely with HR in this new role. Departments or faculty members that seek to hire postdoctoral fellows in support of their research will continue to initiate these requests with their HR employment representative.

The Graduate School announces that Mary J. Stevens has joined them as the assistant to the dean. Stevens has many years of experience working with graduate students in IPS and we look forward to her contributions to the Graduate School. In her role, Stevens will coordinate Dean Murthy's activities and serve to support the Graduate School in new initiatives.

Employee Wellness Challenge for December

We've entered the holiday season where we tend to fall out of our regular routines and give in to those holiday temptations.

The 12 Days of Wellness Challenge will help keep your mind focused and your body in good health and spirits. To participate, complete one wellness activity each work day from the 12 Days of Wellness activity list. There are four different categories of wellness: Fitness, Nutrition, Well-being and Community.

Your goal is to complete three activities from each of the four wellness categories during the month of December. If you do, you'll earn 500 bonus HuskyPAW points.

Print out the challenge and get started tomorrow.

Film Board Presents "The Magnificent Seven"

This weekend, Film Board presents "The Magnificent Seven."

Friday, Dec. 2—2:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3—2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4—2:30, 5:30 p.m.

Located in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3 and concessions are $1 each.

"The Magnificent Seven" is rated PG-13 for extended and intense sequences of Western violence, historical smoking, some language and suggestive material.

Climate Conversation Tomorrow

The fourth in a series of discussions on climate change will take place tomorrow (Dec. 1) from 6-8 p.m. at the Orpheum/Studio Pizza in Hancock. 

The purpose of this fourth event in the series is to continue the discussions about what activities and topics we should focus on as a local community when we think about climate change impacts and our responses to those impacts.
There are lots of potential strategies to mitigate or adapt to the impacts of climate change, and we want to gather a community of interested people who will help plan the future priorities for our grassroots organization. We will have a few five minute presentations from local people who are developing responses to climate change, and then we will break into groups according  to your interests, and start making plans.
The series is organized by the Keweenaw Climate Community, sponsored by the local chapter of the American Chemical Society and the Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Tech.

Asian Combo at Khana Khazana

This Friday's Khana Khazana in the Memorial Union's North Coast Deli will feature an Asian Combo. Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

The menu features:

  • Chicken Teriyaki (Japan) 
  • Hot & Spicy Tofu (China) (Vegetarian)
  • Mon Tod (Thailand)—Dish of fish, beans and spices
  • Payasam (India)—Pudding made of milk, rice and tapioca seasoned with cardamom, raisins and saffron.

The cost is $7.95 and includes a fountain beverage. Visit Khana Khazana on Facebook.

Redmond Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week

Michigan Tech freshman goaltender Angus Redmond was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Redmond led the Huskies to a WCHA series sweep of Alaska last weekend.

Redmond moved into the NCAA lead for goals-against average (1.46) following another stellar weekend, as the rookie backstopped Michigan Tech to a road sweep at Alaska.

To read the full story and find out more about Husky sports visit michigantechhuskies.com.

Saturday is Econo Foods Kids Day at Tech

Saturday (Dec. 3) is the annual Econo Foods Kids Day at Michigan Tech. Tadych's Econo Foods of Houghton has purchased 500 youth tickets for Saturday's Michigan Tech Athletic events that will be given away beginning at noon today (Nov. 30).

The tickets are for children ages 14 and under and are good for all three events on Saturday—women's and men's basketball vs. Walsh at 1 and 3 p.m. at the SDC Gym and hockey vs. Bemidji State at 7:07 p.m. at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Econo Foods will give away the tickets on a first-come, first-served basis at its service counter. They are free of charge, and anyone can pick up the youth tickets with a limit of five per customer.

Hockey tickets are general admission but can be upgraded to reserved seats at no charge if you visit or call the SDC Ticket Office at 7-2073. Basketball tickets are general admission.

Michigan Tech Athletics and Econo Foods have partnered together annually for more than a decade on Econo Foods Kids Day.

Fans attending Saturday's game are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for a Food Drive that will benefit the Salvation Army. There is a Teddy Bear Toss Friday that will benefit Toys for Tots.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar Monday

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday (Dec. 5) in M&M U113. 

John Selker will present "Looking at the Earth Through New Eyes: Opportunities for Advancement in Instrumentation."

The ingredients of an instrumentation revolution for earth observation have arrived. Cell phone connectivity allows for nearly free data transfer. Micro-mechanical and electrochemical sensors have both increased in quality and decreased in cost, by factors of 10 to 100.

Three-D printers, laser cutters and computer-controlled milling machines are broadly available at a low cost. In this talk Selker will share strategies for how to work in this exciting context, touching on a variety of recent discoveries and community efforts which you can join.

Selker is a professor in the department of biological and ecological engineering at Oregon State University. 

Biological Sciences Seminar

John Vucetich (SFRES) will present "The Loss of Wolf Predation on Isle Royale" at the next Biological Sciences Seminar from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday (Dec. 2) in Dow 642.

Isle Royale is a remote island located in Lake Superior and home to a population of wolves and moose. Anthropogenic forces contributed to the loss of wolf predation on Isle Royale. In this talk, Professor Vucetich will review the ecological circumstances associated with this loss of wolf predation and some of the perspectives that surround decisions about whether wolf predation should be restored on Isle Royale. Click here to read more.

In the News

TechCentury, an engineering and technology publication of the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on research led by Pengfei Xue (CEE), using computer modeling to better predict weather and its impacts on the Great Lakes. Read the article here.


Modern Languages Christmas Celebration

Join Modern Languages faculty and students from 5 to 6 p.m. today (Nov. 30) in Walker 134 for a unique celebration of French, German and Spanish Christmas traditions. Appearing live will be the French Canadian group, Maple Sugar Folk, as well as Christina Reyes. 


Husky Talks

Thinking About Grad School? Career Services Can Help. Learn how to write effective and compelling graduate school application documents, as well as strategies that'll help you get in.

This is a 20-minute presentation with lots of time for your questions. The presentation is from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. today.


Chemistry Seminar

Nabanita Saikia, Postdoctoral Research Associate 
from the Department of Physics at Michigan Tech, will present "Interactions of Biomolecules with Nanomaterials: Insight from First Principles and Molecular Dynamics Methods" at 3 p.m. Friday (Dec. 2) in Chem-Sci room 101.


Calling All Pet Lovers

Are you interested in training your pet to become a certified therapy animal? Student Wellness is working with Superior Land Pet Partners to offer more consistent, safer and evidence-based pet therapy on campus.  
The Pet Therapy training begins with a Handler Course for owners only—pets do not participate in this course. This course is about six-hours long and costs $40 when offered by Superior Land Pet Partners. It’s $70 when taken on line. 
Read previous Tech Today article for more information.
Upcoming Security Presentations

The security presentation that has been rescheduled from it's original date of October 28th will now be presented at 2 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 1 in Rekhi G06.

This is an informative session on cyber attacks that explains who the attackers are, what their motivations are and how we can attempt to prevent data breaches by blocking each stage of an attack. A recording of the security presentation that was done on Monday Oct. 31 is now available for viewing here.

This presentation covers risks and methods of protection against common attacks on your accounts and identity. Both presentations are open to the campus and do not require any prior security knowledge.


Job Postings

Job Postings for Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Staff and faculty job descriptions 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.

Assistant Football Offense Coach, Athletics. Apply online.

Administrative Aide 7, Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success. 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.