President Mroz Testifies Before Higher Education Subcommittee

Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz testified before the Michigan House Appropriations Subcommittee for Higher Education yesterday (March 16).

Among his topics were:

  • The upward mobility of Michigan Tech graduates. “The chance of a student moving from the bottom 20 percent of household income to the top 20 percent of household income is 47 percent.”
  • Tech’s 95 percent career placement rate. “Our graduates are where they want to be six months after commencement.”
  • An average graduate’s starting salary is $63,800.
  • The return on investment to the State of Michigan of a Michigan Tech education is high, both in dollars, in the value of the work itself and in the jobs our graduates’ work creates. “We appear to be a very good investment for the state.
  • Michigan Tech’s leadership role in autonomous vehicle technologies, supporting the state’s effort to be a major player in this fast-developing technology.
  • Underwater and under-ice research and technology development, monitoring the Straits of Mackinac pipelines and providing real-time, wintertime technological solutions to Great Lakes navigational challenges.
  • Tech’s role in bringing research discoveries to the marketplace in Michigan.
  • The University’s capital outlay request for new and renovated facilities to support the development of human-centered technologies such as therapeutic devices, instruments, sensors, preventive health strategies, secure record retention and retrieval, and health-related workforce development.  “These are where the economic puck is going to be in the future.” Governor Snyder has recommended this project be funded.

Read the full text of President Mroz's testimony.

2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium

The Pavlis Honors College invites students, faculty and staff to the 5th Annual 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium being held  from 1 to 5 p.m. today (March 17) in the lobby of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The Symposium highlights the cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students. The students presenting represent a wide array of scientific and engineering disciplines from across campus and highlight the diversity of research areas being explored.

This symposium coincides with Tech's Preview Day and is therefore a great way to share the exciting research projects ongoing across campus with high school students considering attending Michigan Tech. We encourage all faculty, staff and students to attend and support our excellent undergraduate researchers.

Continuous Improvement Connection

The Business Operations department at Michigan Tech recently found a process that had flaws in conjunction with the supply area. This deficiency was brought to the attention of the Office of Continuous Improvement. We were able to form a cross-functional team to go to the Gemba (the area in which the work is done) and perform a continuous improvement event.

This particular continuous improvement event utilized a tool called 5S. This uses a series of steps (1. Sort 2. Set in Order 3. Shine 4. Standardize and 5. Sustain) to fix the process. We were able to reduce waste and create a nearly seamless process for identifying and storing the used items, maintaining the area and sustaining the new order. This organizational tool is utilized in many different situations, and is not limited to just business settings.

If you are interested in learning more about the 5S tool or would like to set up a 5S continuous improvement event in your work area, contact the Office of Continuous Improvement at 7-3180 or

International Cuisine at Khana Khazana

Tastes of four Asian countries are featured in today's Khana Khazana in the Memorial Union North Coast Grill and Deli. Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The menu features:

  • Butter Chicken (India)
  • Cup Corn (Iran)
  • Tofu and Crystal Noodles Soup (China) (V)
  • Fried Banana (Thailand)

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

Sink the Sled to Support Local Scholarships

An eco-friendly vintage snowmobile, donated by Geoff Gwaltney of the Keweenaw Research Center, has been placed on the frozen canal west of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge. Submit a guess for when it falls through the ice during the spring melt and win the grand prize while supporting Houghton Rotary's fundraiser to support local scholarships.

Temperatures are trending up and the ice is thinning. Don't wait until it's too late to participate. Full details and a webcam view are available on the Sink the Sled webpage.

Contact any of these Michigan Tech employees who are also Houghton Rotarians for tickets or more information: Mari Buche (SBE), Carrie Richards (Partner Engagement), Eric Halonen (Advancement), Patricia Butler (SFRES), Jess Brassard (Research Development) or retired employees Milt Olsson, Ron Helman, Anil Jambekar or Debra Bruch.

Huskies to Play for Broadmoor Trophy, NCAA Bid at Home Tomorrow

In a game many are calling the "biggest game in the history of the MacInnes Student Ice Arena," the Hockey Huskies will host Bowling Green in the WCHA Tournament Championship game tomorrow (March 18). The puck drops at 7:07 p.m.

Tech (22-14-7, 15-7-6-3 WCHA) is the No. 2 seed in the tourney and is hosting the championship game after No. 4 seed Bowling Green (21-17-2, 14-13-1 WCHA) swept McNaughton Cup winner Bemidji State last weekend. The McNaughton Cut is given to the WCHA regular-season winner. 

On the line Saturday is the Broadmoor Trophy and the WCHA's Automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The trophy was commissioned in 1981 as a replacement for the MacNaughton Cup when Tech left for the CCHA. When Tech returned to the WCHA in 1985, bringing the McNaughton Cup back, the Broadmoor Trophy was given to the WCHA Tournament champion. While Tech has won the WCHA Tournament twice (1962,1965) the Huskies are aiming for their first Broadmoor Trophy.  

The game can be heard on local radio 93.5 FM, live streamed on and video streamed on Live stats and live Tweeting are also available during the game.

For more information visit

Safety Chair Candidate Seminar by Andre Da Costa

A Safety Chair Candidate Seminar held by Andre Da Costa will take place at 1 p.m. Monday (March 20) in Rekhi G09.

Da Costa is an international executive and scholar with diverse multi-geography experience in the chemical and oil and gas industries. Da Costa gained significant experience in process safety since the 90's and led numerous process hazard analysis studies and quantitative risk assessments. He joined Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 2013 to lead the development of the Process Safety function. Prior to this position, Da Costa was a chemical engineering manager with Corning Incorporated in upstate New York to re-build the Chemical Engineering function across the corporation globally.

Da Costa held different positions at Chevron, including engineering manager for a North America exploration and production business unit. Prior to Chevron, he was a process development manager at Membrane Technology and Research in the San Francisco Bay area where he led research and development of separation processes for natural gas, refining and petrochemicals. He also worked for Fluor Corporation on a variety of oil and gas and mineral processing capital projects for Fortune 500 companies in Australia, Europe and the United States.

Da Costa holds a MSc degree from D.I. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia (Moscow) and a Ph.D. degree from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, both in chemical engineering.

Da Costa has had a diverse career, which covers the full life cycle of Chemical Engineering practice around the world. He will discuss his research in two case studies from his experience, which address the focus areas of solutions to the grand societal challenges (energy, water, food, health, climate change and sustainability) and Process Safety.

Process Safety is the second topic of his presentation and he will end by discussing his vision and strategy to advance Chemical Process Safety at Michigan Tech.


Amber Kemppainen will present "Developing an Academic Mental Toughness Scale: Initial Findings and Questions" at the ACSHF forum from 2 to 3 p.m. Monday (March 20) in Meese 109.

Mental toughness (MT) has been a construct used to predict the performance of elite athletes. Several factors of MT (e.g., self-belief, determination) are similar to factors used to predict success in academics (e.g., self-efficacy, persistence). This work investigates the preliminary findings regarding the modification of two athletic mental toughness scales to the academic domain: the Psychological Performance Inventory-A (PPI-A) and the Sports Mental Toughness Questionnaire (SMTQ). A sample of 190 undergraduate students at Michigan Tech was used to determine the validity of the original factors within the academic environment. A discussion of the initial predictions of this model will be presented.

Christo Christov Faculty Candidate Seminar

Christo Z. Christov from the chemistry division of the Department of Applied Sciences at Northumbria University at Newcastle, UK will present "Structure-Function Relationships in Enzymes: Insights from Multilevel Computational Chemistry Methods" at 3 p.m. Monday (March 20) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge A.


C-Cubed Week 9

C-Cubed lunches 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. 

Moussaka (GF)
Vegetarian Moussaka (GF, V)
Greek Salad (V)
Gourmet Dessert Display

V — Vegetarian, VE — Vegan, GF — Gluten Free

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


Graduating Senior Series Part 1 — Reviewing your Job Offer and Benefits

This session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. today (March 17) in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

You're almost ready to spring this place and start that new job. Learn how to make the most of all those benefits in your job offer. Stop by for food, conversation and giveaways. All 2017 Graduating Seniors are welcome to attend.

Click join event to add your name to the list.


Chemistry Seminar

Daisuke Minakata (CEE) will present at the Chemistry Seminar at 3 p.m. today (March 17) in Chem Sci Room 101.

The title of his presentation is "Understanding and Predicting the Performance of Advanced Physical Chemical Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes for the Removal of Organic Chemical Contaminants by Coupling Ab Initio Quantum Mechanical Calculations and Experiments."


ICC Seminar: Zhuo Feng

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) will host a seminar talk from 3 to 4 p.m. today (March 17) in Rekhi 214. ICC member Zhuo Feng (ECE) will present "Scalable Spectral Sparsification of Graph Laplacians, Integrated Circuits and Data Networks."

The abstract can be found online. Refreshments will be served.



An SFRES Forum, "Using Traditional Knowledge, Trophic Ecology and Geospatial Science to Restore Wolves, Fire and Bison to Alberta" will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. today (March 17) in the Noblet Forestry Building G002. A social will follow from 4 to 5 p.m. 


Biological Sciences Seminar

The next Biological Sciences Seminar will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. today (March 17) in Dow 642. Ashutosh Tiwari (Chem) will present "Protein Instability, Aggregation, and Toxicity: Disulfide-bond Integrity Holds the Key." Read the original Tech Today story.


A Night at the Oscars — Ice Show Tonight and Sunday

The Copper Country Skating Academy (CCSA) and Michigan Tech Learn to Skate Program announce their annual spring skating show, "A Night at the Oscars." 

The show will be at 7 p.m. today (March 17) and 2 p.m. Sunday (March 19) in the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

For more information, read previous Tech Today article.


Music in a Sacred Space Sunday

Join the Michigan Tech Choirs for an evening of sacred choral music Sunday in Lake Linden.

The Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, under the direction of Jared Anderson (VPA), will present "Music for a Sacred Space" at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, (March 19) at St. Joseph's Church, Lake Linden. Free-will donations in any amount are welcomed.


Self-Identification Form to be Emailed to Employees

All Michigan Tech employees will be receiving an email from Institutional Equity and Inclusion which contains a link to a Confidential Self-Identification form to gather information on race/ethnicity, disability and veteran status for faculty and staff.

Federal regulations require Michigan Tech to maintain data on race/ethnicity, disability and veteran status. This information will be used according to the provisions of applicable federal laws, executive orders and regulations. Institutional Equity and Inclusion will routinely request this information from all employees. Completion of the form is voluntary.

If you have questions, contact Institutional Equity and Inclusion at 7-3310 or email


Deans' Teaching Showcase: Julie King

In week nine, the new Deans' Teaching Showcase member is from the College of Engineering. Dean Wayne Pennington has selected Julie King, professor of chemical engineering based on recommendations from co-workers, students and her chair.

Adrienne Minerick (ChE), associate dean for research and innovation, who was Julie's student as part of her bachelor's degree and is now a colleague, calls King a "highly influential role model for me" as well as for many other students. 

More specifically, Minerick says "Julie consistently is recognized by her students for her personal interest, advice and interactions. She stays invested in student success after they leave her classes, approaching those teaching subsequent classes with insights and advocacy strategies. I've never met a stronger advocate for students."

S. Komar Kawatra, chemical engineering chair, praises King for her dedication, especially in the demanding Unit Operations Laboratory, saying "She spends a great deal of time with students, and always takes on additional teaching duties at the time of need."    

Kawatra calls King a "model professor," and indicates that she has received similar praise from the Mack family as the Lorna and James Mack Chair Professor in Continuous Processing.

King's current students confirm her great mentoring, but also appreciate her passion for excellent teaching and continuous improvement. One student comment read "She continuously asks students what she can do to improve their hands-on learning experiences or what areas she can provide more practical examples of chemical engineering applications to prepare them for full-time positions. She actively listens to her students and genuinely considers their feedback for future lessons or experiments."  

This same student believes that King is "part of the reason why chemical engineers from Michigan Tech are some of the best in the world."

King will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

Job Postings

Job Postings for March 17, 2017

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.

Administrative Aide 7, Financial Services and Operations. UAW Internal/External Posting
3/17/17 – 3/23/17. External applications will not be reviewed until after all internal UAW applications. Apply online.


Data Support & Account Specialist, CTT (Center for Technology and Training). 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.  

In the News

The Detroit News published an editorial about federal regulations, quoting Michigan Tech research that showed there are no technical or safety issues requiring the regulation of solar energy. 


Tim Scarlett (SS) was interviewed on a Voice of America program called "Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology." Scarlett and host Joseph Schuldenrein discussed the necessity of industrial archaeological research to our evolving understanding of the past. See the episode here

*****, an online news site, listed Michigan Tech as one of three universities recommended by US News & World Report as outstanding places to get a graduate engineering degree. Read the full story.


Global University Venturing, a website dedicated to entrepreneurship and tech transfer at universities, reported on Michigan Tech receiving $525,000 from the Michigan Strategic Fund to support an advanced materials innovation hub.