From Utah With Love and Thanks for All the Uranium

Three new minerals discovered by a Michigan Tech alumnus are secondary crusts found in old uranium mines. They're bright, yellow and hard to find.

The mines closed four decades ago, but that doesn’t stop air and water from traveling the long tunnels of Red Canyon. The old opening at the mine — the adit — cuts straight into the hill and has helped make new minerals. The adit opens to a dry panorama in southern Utah.

"Have you ever seen 'The Hills Have Eyes?' It's that kind of creepy, barren desert landscape," says Travis Olds '12 and now a graduate student at Notre Dame studying uranyl mineral compounds. He adds that he and others find mineralogy so exciting because of "the idea that there are things we still don't know — and someone can see a pretty crystal and appreciate it."

Olds specifically studies uranyl minerals because, as radioactive materials, it is important to know where they are found and how they change in different environments. Within the past year, he found three new uranium minerals in Red Canyon: leesite, leószilárdite and redcanyonite. He characterized them along with a small team including alumnus Shawn Carlson '91 and staff scientist Owen Mills '08 who runs the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Lab (ACMAL) at Michigan Tech.

Read the full story.

Color of Chemistry: Xiaohu Xia wins NSF CAREER Award

With a prestigious early career award grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), one chemist wants to make color-coded testing of diseases easier.   

There is something very noble about Xiaohu Xia's (Chem) research. He wants to use palladium, platinum, ruthenium and other corrosion-resistant metals to refine tests to detect biomarkers for cancer and infectious diseases. To do so, he plans to use nanostructures made of these noble metals that mimic natural enzymes.

Xia explains peroxidase enzyme-based assays generate distinct colors when they interact with biomarkers.

“The tests are common and inexpensive, but not exact," Xia says. "Over the past decade, researchers have proposed peroxidase mimics to improve the assays.”  

To make them more effective, Xia will push the catalytic activity of the mimics. Read the full story.

"Sexual Perversity in Chicago" Opens Thursday

The Michigan Tech Theatre Company presents David Mamet's award winning play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago."

The play, which explores the nature of sexual relationships, will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with additional performances Feb. 23-25 in the McArdle Theatre on the second floor of the Walker Fine Arts and Humanities Center. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. each evening. 

First produced in 1974, "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" continues to speak to generations of young adults in the unyielding clutches of sexual inelegance.

According to the New York Times, the play "takes funny and painful digs at the fantasies and distances of the contemporary sexual game."

It has twice been adapted to film, "About Last Night ... " (1986) starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore and "About Last Night" (2014) with Kevin Hart and Regina Hall.

The Tech Theatre production of "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" is under the direction of Roger Held (VPA). Tickets are $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no cost for Michigan Tech Students with the Experience Tech Fee. 

Tickets are available online, at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex and by phone, 7-2073.


Black History Month Speaker Tomorrow

Michigan Tech's Social Justice Lecture Series continues tomorrow with a Black History Month Talk by Robin Johnson-Cash. 

Johnson-Cash is the first African-American women to graduate with a PhD from Michigan Tech's department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. 

She will speak of her experiences as a minority both in the Upper Peninsula and through her many years as an engineer at Ford Motor Company.

The talk will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 14) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.


ECE Seminar

Yiran Chen, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, will speak at the  Electrical and Computer Engineering Seminar from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday (Feb. 17) in Dow 642.

The title of his talk is "Brain-Inspired Computing: The Extraordinary Voyages in Known and Unknown Worlds." 


Summer 2017 PHF Graduate Assistantship Nominations Open

Applications for summer 2017 Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantships are being accepted and are due no later than 4 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 14) to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School. Instructions on the application and evaluation process are online.

For additional information, read previous Tech Today article.


 Computers Available for Campus Use

Information Technology is offering some old PC workstations to campus. The machines available cannot be used for faculty, staff or grad student office PC's. They can be used for other purposes like data collection, running older lab equipment or for remote locations.

For details on these computers, read this Tech Today post.


Women's Clothing Donations Sought for Semi-annual Free Sale

The next semi-annual free sale will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Meese Center. Consider donating your gently used, clean women's business clothing and accessories (hangers are appreciated, all sizes welcome).

Your items will be available to all Michigan Tech students at no cost. Items remaining after the event will be donated to a local non-profit or held for a future event. 

Donations are now being accepted during normal business hours at the following locations:

  • Van Pelt and Opie Library, Front Desk
  • Tess Ahlborn's office, 108A Dillman Hall
  • Susan Amato-Henderson's office, 107 Meese Center
  • Jeannie DeClerk's office, 219 Van Pelt an Opie Library


Husband and wife graduate students have won honors from Tech's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Mohsen Jamalabdollahi was named Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant, and his wife, Sakineh Yazdanparast, was recognized as the ECE Department's Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant. 

This Week in Career Services

Résumé Blitz

Drop in for 15-minute one-on-one résumé review sessions with industry professionals, faculty and staff. Bring a printed copy of your résumé, if you already have one started.

This session is offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Feb. 13), Monday, Feb. 20 and Tuesday, Feb. 21 in MUB Commons.

R U Ready

Career Services will be mobilizing our staff to the Memorial Union Ballroom A-1 for this event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 14). Drop-in between classes to:

  • Review your résumé
  • Practice your personal introduction
  • Pre-register for Career Fair (name tags available)
  • Learn about co-ops/internships
  • Make an appointment with a career advisor
  • Practice your interview skills

Snacks and refreshments available to all in attendance.

HUSKY TALK — How to Get a Co-op or Internship

Lunch and Learn on how to land that co-op/internship at Career Fair. To register for HuskyTALK, click the Join Event button. Limited spots available.

This event is from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 15) in Career Services, Admin 220.

Mock Interviews

Sign up for a mock interview with a company rep/Michigan Tech staff member to prepare for Career Fair. Select a time and come to Career Services that day for your interview. Don't forget to dress to impress. Bring a copy of your résumé with you.

Interviews can take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20 and Tuesday, Feb. 21 in Career Services, Admin 220. 
You must apply and submit your resume to sign up for interview slots. Sign up here.

Etiquette Dinner

Join us for a unique dining experience. Polish your professionalism while gaining useful etiquette tips to navigate your way through any business dinner.
Seating is limited. Professional attire recommended.

Kohler Social Hour, a robust social hour to connect you with the Kohler/Michigan Tech Recruiting Team and Kohler products, will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Dinner and Keynote will follow from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

This event is Monday, Feb. 20 in Memorial Union Ballroom A-1.

You must register for this event.

The Etiquette Dinner is sponsored by Kohler.

In the News

The Society of Women Engineers highlighted the teaching and research efforts of Caryn Heldt (ChE) in their Winter 2017 issue of SWE Magazine.

Click here for details.


WLUC-TV6 and Upper Michigan Source reported on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's capital outlay recommendation in his proposed budget that would fund a $39.6 million H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex at Michigan Tech.

*****, a website that covers education of interest to international students, published an article about Geographic Information Systems science, calling Michigan Tech a pioneer in the field.


News outlets such as WJMN-TV3, WLUC-TV6, WBUP-TV10, the Daily Mining Gazette, the Mining Journal and TV stations as far away as KVOA-TV in Tucson, Arizona, covered Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival. 


The winners of the Winter Carnival Snow Statue competition were pictured on Lake Superior Magazine's blog "Around the Circle This Week."

IT Connect

Using the Wireless Lounges

Are your students looking for a place to study? This is a reminder that the wireless lounges on campus are rooms dedicated to student-driven collaboration and personal study. 

You can find wireless lounges at these locations:

  • AOB G04

  • Chem Sci 717

  • Chem Sci B010

  • Dillman 209

  • EERC 318

  • Fisher 232

  • M&M U202/U203

  • R.L. Smith (MEEM) 125

  • Rekhi 113

  • SDC 236

To ensure these rooms are always available for student use, remember that these spaces are not meant for course instruction or for departmental equipment storage. 

We are continually trying to improve these spaces, so feedback is important. If you have any questions about the purpose or usage of wireless lounges, contact us at or call 7-1111.