Engineered Wanderlust: Two Tech Grads Travel the World

Six continents and 23 countries: Cara (Hanson) Decker ‘10 and Jeffrey Decker ‘09 spent the past year on a grand tour of the planet.

"Why limit ourselves to a two-week honeymoon when we could travel the world for a year instead?"

That’s the question Cara (Hanson) Decker ‘10 and Jeffrey Decker ‘09 asked themselves while planning their wedding. The pair secured good engineering jobs in Virginia after leaving Michigan Tech, and their plans for getting hitched came in under budget. That, coupled with household budgeting, allowed the Deckers to save $55,000, leave their jobs and live the dream.

“For about a year before we left, we combed through all of the travel books at our local library to get an idea of how much certain things would cost: lodging, meals and tickets for tourist attractions,” Cara, an environmental engineer, says. And in true engineer fashion: “We have multiple elaborate, messy spreadsheets that we have been using this past year.”

The pair cut out small things like cable TV and limited eating out to save some money for the trip, but they also made the decision to structure their lives to live on one salary and save the other.

“We are very blessed to have had very good jobs since we both have engineering degrees from Michigan Tech,” Jeff, who graduated with a mechanical engineering degree, says. “Once we made the decision that saving was the priority, the rest of the decisions were much easier.”

Read the full story.

Materials Science & Engineering John & Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture Series Monday

Roger Lumley of the Department of Engineering at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, will present "A First Principles Approach to the Requirements of Casting Factor 1.0 in Investment Cast Aluminium Alloys" at 2 p.m. Monday (June 12) in M&M 610.


Panopto-Huskycast Video Platform Scheduled Maintenance Downtime

The Panopto-Huskycast video platform will be unavailable between 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. EDT Saturday (June 10) due to a planned system upgrade. During this time you will not be able to access recordings and any attempts to upload from recorder clients will result in a "Server unable to connect" message.

Contact IT User Services (487-1111, if you have questions.


Cliff Drive Construction Projects

Construction work for the new Chemical Storage Facility project is set to begin on Monday, June 19, which will result in the closing of Cliff Drive to thru-traffic for most of the summer.

Go to the Facilities Management website for more information and to submit any questions regarding the projects, potential durations and impacts to the campus using this link.

In Print

Alumni Chenlong Zhang (MSE), Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) and electrical and computer engineering students Sandra Cvetanovic and Mehdi Sadatgol coauthored an article with Durdu Guney (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), Enhancement of hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells with front-surface hexagonal plasmonic arrays from nanoscale lithography, in the Journal of Optics that can be read here.

In the News

Research by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and social sciences PhD Student Emily Prehoda was covered in the US News and World Report, Replace Coal With Solar Power to Save Money, Lives, among many regional newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer and in popular web news sites such as, Choosing Coal Will Kill 52,000 People, Tonic.