MTRAC Innovation Hub Managers Visit Michigan Tech Oct. 11

Every year Michigan Tech hosts a faculty trip to Washington, D.C. to meet program managers for various funding agencies. On Oct. 11 program managers for the four Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Innovation Hubs will come to Michigan Tech to promote funding opportunities within the network. 

John Diebel, the Michigan Tech MTRAC Commercialization Program Manager (CPD) says, “This is an excellent opportunity as we have scheduled time for interested faculty to have one-on-one conversations with the CPDs of the different programs. How often do program managers travel to Houghton to discuss funding opportunities?“

At noon on Oct. 11, Innovation and Industry Engagement will host an informal lunch with the MTRAC CPDs in the conference room of the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Tech. 

Starting at 1 p.m., each of the four Hub managers will make presentations explaining their programs and list Oversight Committee members. Afterward, the CPDs will remain available for discussions with individuals about how their technology might fit into the program.  Denise Graves, who manages the program state wide for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), will also be available to answer questions.

The various MTRAC Innovation Hubs accept applications from Michigan universities, hospitals and research institutions to advance the pace of commercialization in Applied Advanced Materials (Michigan Tech), Advanced Transportation (University of Michigan), Ag/Bio (Michigan State University) and Life Sciences (University of Michigan MTRAC Life Sciences Hub).

The visit is designed to highlight that with the creation of the Innovation Hubs researchers can now apply for funding statewide and are not limited to Hubs hosted at their home institution. The primary eligibility requirements are that an invention disclosure is on file with the home institution and that one-to-one matching funds are available. The use of funds directly advances the technology toward commercialization through the successful completion of sequential milestones intended to de-risk the project for subsequent follow-on-funding from other sources.

MTRAC programs statewide to date have funded 134 projects, helped develop 21 start-up companies, created 54 jobs, secured $72.8 million in follow-on funding, and licensed technology to 17 industry partners.

Proposals are reviewed by an independent oversight committee, consisting of industry experts and experienced venture fund managers. These experts remain available to advise the projects during the course of the funding. The level of funding and proposal cycles varies from Hub to Hub and will be explained in detail during the meeting.

RSVP to John Diebel at with CPD Luncheon in the subject line if you would like to attend this luncheon with the program managers at no charge. It is not necessary to attend the luncheon to attend the presentations beginning at 1 p.m. Call John Diebel (7-1082) with any questions on the program.

Funding for MTRAC originates from Michigan's 21st Century Jobs with grants to the Michigan Strategic Fund and are administered by the MEDC. 

Have You Ever Felt Out of Place in the Keweenaw?

Have you ever felt out of place in the Keweenaw? We want to talk to you about it. We will pay you $25 for your time. Josh Loar (VPA) is conducting interviews with Keweenaw residents about life in the region.

We want to hear your opinions and stories. Whether you've lived here your entire life, just moved here or anywhere in between, we want to know about your experiences with the region, culture and people of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

These interviews are part of the Keweenaw Culture Project, funded in part by a Michigan Tech Research Excellence Fund (REF) Grant, and by Campus Compact's Fund for Positive Engagement. Contact Josh Loar by emailing or call 7-1714.

Steel Steals the Spotlight

Steel companies take center stage today 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the CareerFEST tent. Companies on campus include Nucor, Caterpillar, Arcelor Mittal, Gerdau, Steel Dynamic and Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc.

The steel industry directly employs 2 million people worldwide and is the second largest industry in the world, next to oil and gas.

At today's event, students can throw golf balls at steel and aluminum panels from Arcelor Mittal, take a virtual tour of the Nucor Hickman Facility, and see Caterpillar's 938M wheel loader.

Tech's Advanced Metalworks Enterprise and Materials United Student Organization will also be participating.

Field Techniques Class Fells Trees on the Tech Trails

First-year students in Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science field techniques class are learning firsthand how to measure, cut down and saw trees during demonstrations this week on the Michigan Tech Trails.

It's also a demonstration of a closed-loop system: trees, some of which need to be removed because they present safety hazards, are selected for structural use—like bridges on recreation trails. The repurposed trees (one will be felled during each demonstration) will be cut up on site in a portable sawmill, bringing the learning experience full circle. 

Experience a Traditional Wild Rice (Manoomin) Harvest at the Ford Center

Wild rice is ready for harvesting, and a camp focusing on the traditions and practices of gathering and processing in accordance with the culture of the indigenous people of the region is coming to Ford Center and Forest in Alberta, Michigan, Friday through Sunday, (Sept. 22-24).

Known as the food that grows on water, the Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes region call it  Manoomin, or “the good berry”—and the methods used to respectfully, safely, and sustainably harvest wild rice, a native North American plant that's both nutritious and delicious, is the focus of the camp, which is offered in partnership with Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and the Ford Center and Forest, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department and Ojibwa Community College, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission. The teachers, experienced Manoomin harvesters, are Roger LaBine from the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Scott Herron from Ferris State University.

"The season's overwet weather has significantly affected Manoomin this year in the surrounding region," says Valoree Gagnon, a Michigan Tech researcher and one of the event organizers. "Folks are checking on the lakes periodically to see how harvesting will be. Other green rice for this event will be brought in from Minnesota lakes."

The camp runs from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. on Sunday. Teachings take place all three days. On Friday, the focus is harvest tool-making, including ricing sticks and parching paddles. On Saturday, there will be field trips to seed lakes for next year’s harvest, and also a Canoomin class—safety protocols for harvesting—along with more tool-making and processing.     

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar next week is a joint session with the annual Richard E. Honrath Memorial Lecture. Jose Fuentes from Penn State University will present "Turbulent transport and chemistry of halogens in the Arctic boundary layer" from 4-5 p.m. Monday (Sept. 25) in M&M U115.

Items Available

The Memorial Union's Alley Makerspace has two couches and two chairs available to give away to another department on a first-come, first-served basis. Email Magann Dykema if you are interested or to view.

As always, university property may only be transferred to other university departments. It may not be given or sold to individuals.


How to Approach a Faculty Member for Undergraduate Research Positions

Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College, will host an interactive discussion on how to find and approach a faculty member for an undergraduate research position. In addition, students will learn about paid research internship opportunities at Michigan Tech and beyond.

The workshop will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. tonight (Sept. 20) in Library 243.


"Daughter of the Lake" Tonight

"Daughter of the Lake," a documentary film about the human and environmental costs of gold mining and indigenous resistance in the Peruvian Andes, will be screened at 7 p.m. tonight (Sept. 20) in Fisher 135.

The director of this documentary, Ernesto Cabellos, will join for a Skype discussion from Lima, Peru, after the screening. A representative from the Menominee tribe in Michigan will also join in the panel discussion. Read the full Tech Today story.

In the News

Thomas Oommen (GMES) co-authored a book, Landslide Atlas of Kerala, which launched this week and will provide a history covering the past two centuries of landslips and landslides in the state of Kerala, India, a region hit hard every monsoon. The atlas also highlights potential hazard zones in the Western Ghats. The new atlas has been covered by several major Indian news media including The Hindu, The New Indian Express and Nyooz.


WAFF-TV 48 and NBCRightNow broadcast a story about the Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers' performance at the Southeast Michigan Science & Engineering Festival at Schoolcraft College.


Michigan Capitol Confidential, a newsletter about Michigan politics, reported on Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz's op-ed published by the Detroit News, calling for more state financial support for higher education.


MLive, Detroit News and Associated Press reported on the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board's vote to contract with Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center and its director, Guy Meadows, to convene a panel of academic experts from around Michigan to develop a risk analysis for the dual pipeline that crosses underneath the Straits of Mackinac.


Job Postings

Job Postings for Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources. 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.

Groundsperson (10 months/40 hours/first shift), Facilities. AFSCME Posting 9/20/17-9/26/17. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. Apply online.

Custodian (12 months/part-time, no base/shift varies), Facilities. AFSCME Posting 9/20/17-9/26/17. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

New Funding

Pasi Lautala (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $17,500 research and development grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The project is "Log Movement in the Superior Region - Rate and Capacity Based Analysis of Modal Shares." This is a 1.6 year project.