Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition is Oct. 7`

One of the most exciting annual events on the Michigan Tech campus is coming soon. The Bob Mark Elevator Pitch is where students compete for more than $25,000 in prizes. The event is 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 in the Van Pelt and Opie Library. 

Imagine finding yourself alone in an elevator with a potential investor with two minutes to pitch your business plan or idea. That's the premise behind the Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition.

Named after the late Bob Mark, a long-time professor in Tech's School of Business and Economics, the competition includes 25 two-minute business idea pitches. We want to cast a broad net including all Michigan Tech students, no matter what school, major or degree.

Don't have a business idea yet? Come to the library at 8 a.m. Oct. 7 and develop one at the business pitch Hackathon.

Contact Andre Laplume (SBE) for information on pitching and registration.

Categories and prizes include:

  • Most Actionable Business: $5000 Berquist Prize (expense account), 1 year Smartzone space and Smart Start Tuition Waiver Silicon Valley Experience ticket
  • Best Elevator Pitch: $1000 cash, Silicon Valley Experience Ticket Smart Start Tuition Waiver and Smartzone Virtual Client
  • Best Technological Innovation: $1000 cash Sponsored by MEDC, Silicon Valley Experience ticket, free patent discovery from Brooks-Kushman ($2500) and Smart Start Program Tuition Waiver
  • Most Disruptive Technological Innovation: $150 cash, Silicon Valley Experience ticket and free patent discovery from Brooks-Kushman ($1500)
  • Best Green Innovation: $250 cash and Silicon Valley Experience ticket
  • Best Social Innovation: $250 cash and Silicon Valley Experience ticket
  • Most Economic Impact on the UP: $100 cash and Silicon Valley Experience ticket
  • Best Lifestyle Business: $100 cash and Silicon Valley Experience ticket
  • Audience Favorite: $200 cash and Silicon Valley Experience ticket (based on cheers)

Following the 8 a.m. Hackathon, there will be rehearsal at 4 p.m. with the competition at 8 p.m.

Join us for TechTalks on Thursday, Oct. 5

Join us from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 5) in MUB Ballroom A for the Michigan Tech Research Forum: TechTalks session.

Fourteen researchers from across campus will present rapid-paced samplings of their work, both published and unpublished. Via warp-speed talks, attendees get a quick taste of cutting-edge research and scholarship, then can follow up with one-on-one discussions that lead to collaborative ventures and strengthen our community. Topics span vaccines to space mining. Complimentary snacks and drinks will be provided. All are welcome.

Special note: On-site, low-cost childcare at the MUB is available for those who need it during this session of TechTalks. Register for childcare in advance no later than Monday (Oct. 2) using this online form.

TechTalk speakers include:

  • Bruce Lee (BME)
    Designing Biomaterials Using Mussel Adhesive Chemistry
  • Bo Chen (CS)
    Deniable Encryption Storage for Mobile Devices
  • Christo Christov (Chem)
    Computational Chemical Biology: From Atomistic Insights Towards Drug Design
  • Nancy Barr (ME-EM)
    Incorporating Student Reflection into Engineering Courses
  • Ebenezer Tumban (Biology)
    Vaccines Against Infectious Agents
  • John Jaszczak (PHY)
    Eureka! Discovering a New Mineral: Merelaniite
  • Paul van Susante (ME-EM)
    Space Mining is Almost Here!
  • Dana Johnson (SBE)
    Drivers of Patient Satisfaction in Medical Clinics
  • Yang Yang (Math)
    Numerical Methods for Miscible Displacements in Porous Media
  • Xinfeng Xie (SFRES)
    Prepare Lignin for Carbon Fiber Production
  • Curtis Edson (SFRES)
    Remotely Piloted Aircraft Forest and Ecology Applications
  • Snehamoy Chatterjee (GMES)
    Engineering Decision Making under Uncertainties
  • Ossama Abdelkhalik (ME-EM)
    New Concepts in Evolutionary Algorithms for Systems Architecture Optimization
  • Amy Lark (CLS)
    Influences of Research Experience on Science Teacher Knowledge and Practice

The next TechTalk session is coming up in Spring 2018. Interested in nominating yourself or others? Use this online form.

Michigan Tech Research Forum events are presented by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in coordination with the Office of the Vice President of Research.

The Michigan Tech Research Forum Distinguished Lecturer for Fall 2017 will be announced Thursday (Oct. 5). Learn more online.

Faculty Present Listening to Parks, an NEA Imagine Your Parks Project

What do you hear when you walk in the woods? What are the natural sounds and rhythms of the forest? The lakes? The skies?

Christopher Plummer (VPA), Elizabeth Meyer (VPA) and Kent Cyr (VPA) opened a multimedia and soundscape installation at the Duluth Children’s Museum Monday (Sept. 25).

The installation is a part of their “Listening to Parks” project. The exhibit will be on display through Oct. 15. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Park Service (NPS) announced $1,067,500 in support of 50 grants in 27 states. Michigan Tech received an award of $20,000 to support "Listening to Parks" an Imagine Your Parks project.

Visual and sound artists collaborated to create an immersive multimedia installation based on collected images, video and audio recordings from the Keweenaw National Historic Park, Isle Royale National Park and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

The installation will tour to sites in the Upper Peninsula and will culminate in an exhibition in the Rozsa Gallery A-Space, in December.

There will be an opening reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 at the gallery that is free and open to the public.

The recorded sounds from the project will also be used for a composition for orchestra by Libby Meyer to be performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra at the Rozsa Center in December.

Americas Disaster Fundraiser Challenge

Many of us are distressed about the recent hurricanes and earthquakes across North and Central America. To encourage people to donate funds to agencies that are helping people recover, Mayra Sanchez Morgan, Molly Cavaleri (SFRES) and Kathy Halvorsen (SS) issued a challenge to all Michigan Tech schools, student groups and departments from the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum to the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.

The group, school or department that gives the highest total of combined individual donations by 5 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, Oct. 15 to help in regional disaster response will receive a free on-campus La Cantina restaurant lunch for all their donors.

To report your donation and group, school or department affiliation to which it should be credited, follow this link

You can only use the link once. If you already donated, just report your prior donation. We will announce the winner in Tech Today.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. We recommend the following organizations for donations but will count contributions to any disaster relief organization working to help people in the above region recover from this year's earthquakes and hurricanes. 

Contact Kathy Halvorsen with questions.

Raise Funding For Your Research With Superior Ideas

Would you like to raise additional funding for your research? Superior Ideas was created to assist University researchers find funding for their research projects using the concept of crowdfunding. Visit Superior Ideas to find out more about this opportunity.

For questions regarding Superior Ideas or featuring your research project, contact Natasha Chopp at 7-1115 or by email.

A New Electronic Approval Process for the Cost Share Authorization Form

Effective Monday, Oct. 9, all Cost Share/Matching Support Authorization Forms must go through an electronic approval process.

This form is used by investigators during the proposal preparation stage when requesting cost share for a sponsored project. It has been available in Banweb for several years but now has electronic approval for cost share authorization requests; there is no longer a need to print the form and obtain physical signatures.

All financial managers listed on a cost share authorization request will be prompted via email to log in to Banweb to provide an approval (or denial) and index number for all requests specifically applicable to them.

It is important all financial managers designate a proxy (someone authorized to approve/deny cost share requests on their behalf) in an effort to prevent delays in the approval flow.

To access the form, log in to Banweb. Once logged in, click on "Research" and then "Cost Share."

Visit the Sponsored Programs website to find instructions for investigators/department coordinators and financial managers.

As a reminder to investigators, this approval process change does not negate the importance for you to hold appropriate cost share request conversations with individuals prior to completing and submitting the electronic form.

For any questions or issues, contact the Sponsored Programs Office at 7-2226.

Brief Service Outage Sunday

On Sunday (Oct. 1), there will be brief outage as IT upgrades the Banner system. The following services will be unavailable between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.

  • Banner

  • Banner Self Service

  • MyMichiganTech

  • WebFocus

  • UC4/Appworx

  • Banweb

Status updates on the upgrade will be posted at  If you have any questions regarding this outage, contact IT Help at or call 7-1111.

Football Hosts Northern Tomorrow Night

The Football Huskies will host UP rival Northern Michigan University at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Sherman Field. Tech comes into the contest at 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC while Northern is 1-2 overall, 1-1 in conference play. 

The game will be televised on Fox UP with Mark Evans and Dave Ellis handling the call. The game can be heard on local radio on 93.5 FM, audio webcast on Video is available here as are live stats.

Tomorrow's showdown marks the 16th anniversary of the Miner's Cup which was created in 2002 through the efforts of the Michigan Tech Athletics Department and its Army ROTC.

The Miner's Cup trophy is made from an authentic miner's helmet which is mounted on a wooden base. The helmet was found in a Houghton area antique shop. The Trophy has been in Houghton since the 2010 season as the Huskies enter the weekend with seven straight wins in the series. Tech won last year's battle by a final of 51-45 in double overtime at the Superior Dome. 

Challenges at the Frontiers of Mobility and Opportunities for Education, Research, Collaboration and Career Pathways

Join us in welcoming Venkatesh Prasad of Ford, who will present on challenges faced at the frontier of mobility and opportunities for education, research, collaboration and career pathways.

The seminar is being held from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday in MUB Ballroom A2.

Information Session for BS in Engineering Management

Consider attending the information session on the bachelor of science degree in engineering management. This is one of the crazy-hot majors at Michigan Tech:

  • Great degree for those who have an interest in both the technical and business sides of a company
  • Option for primary or dual degree (ME-EM, MET, Civil Eng, Materials Eng, and others with approximately 33-42 credits more)
  • Fastest growing major in the School of Business and Economics
  • Increased interest by employers coming to the Career Fair
  • Participate to learn more about the BSEM even if you have declared it as a major

The session will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 4) in AOB 101. If you have any questions, contact Dana Johnson (SS), or  Jodie Filpus-Paakola.

Terrific Teaching at Tech

Martin Ford’s special faculty event last Saturday at the Rozsa Center was a unique opportunity to pick the brain of a futurist. Most of Martin’s discussion surrounded how automation will displace so many workers that it will create social disruption.

Surprisingly, he’s predicting that many of those displaced could include highly educated, “information” workers (He gave Radiologists as one example). But, when asked about which jobs might be “safe”, he responded “Those that contain an undeniably human element.” 

He went on to give examples like nurses, coaches and counselors. This resonated with my own observations of how instruction in higher education is evolving.  Twenty years ago, a very significant part of the job of a professor was to explain content. Students relied on textbooks, journals and instructors as almost exclusive sources for information, especially as their study advanced. 

Though instructors certainly had opportunities to engage with students in mentoring relationships, even our titles made clear that we were professors and lecturers first. 

Now, with information widely available, student expectations are changing. Instructors are increasingly expected to motivate, mentor, interact, facilitate, provide feedback and “coach.” Some might see this as students needing more “coddling,” but Ford’s view could imply that these more “human” elements are just becoming more valuable in an educational context. 

Even more interestingly (and perhaps ironically), it would be easy to use these ideas to promote abandoning technology. But one of the clear messages of Ford’s presentation was that successful organizations evolve WITH technology.

Used wisely, technology can be used to augment interaction: to connect busy students, to provide rapid feedback, to personalize learning and to indicate when and how to seek human help, especially in larger classes.  

Ford’s predictions pose significant future challenges to Michigan Tech in terms of class size, classroom design, curriculum, pedagogy, and student support, especially considering some of the AI teaching initiatives underway

But most immediately, they push instructors to think about finding ways to use technology to better enable human contact between students and with instructors.  

This week, I encourage instructors to consider technologies in their teaching, especially in terms of how they could be used to better make connections with and among students.

If you’d like to talk more about ways to make these connections, stop into the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.


Humanities Lecturer Receives Fellowship

Stephanie Carpenter (HU), was awarded a Maker-Creator Fellowship by the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Delaware.

The fellowship supports her work on a pair of novellas about professional female artists in 19th Century New England.

Carpenter was in residence at Winterthur in August and will return to the library in January 2018.


C-Cubed Lunch Today

C-Cubed lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (Sept. 29) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. The buffet lunch is $10 per person. Cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates (available in the Memorial Union office) are accepted.

All faculty and staff along with guests are invited. C-Cubed lunches are held each Thursday and Friday throughout the academic year. Here is the menu for today:

  • Korean Taco Bar:
  • Beef Bulgogi (GF)
  • Tofu Bulgogi (GF, VE)
  • Toppings: Shredded romaine, spicy cucumbers, pickled daikon radish, Korean taco sauce
  • Kimchee Soup (GF, VE)

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


Friday Seminar Talk: Kuilin Zhang

For our Friday Seminar Talk, Kuilin Zhang (CEE) will discuss, "A Data-Driven Optimization Approach to Reconstructing Missing Activity Locations and Paths in Connected Vehicle Trajectories." Join us from 3 to 4 p.m. today (Sept. 29) in Rekhi 214. Refreshments will be served


OpenXC Platform Tutorial Presentation

Join Venkatesh Prasad and Eric Marsman from Ford for a tutorial presentation on the OpenXC Platform from 10 a.m. to noon Monday (Oct. 2) in EERC 501. Bring a laptop.

Ford Motor Company will give a two-hour workshop on the OpenXC capabilities and a tutorial on building an Android application. It will include information on GitHub, Android, iOS, Python and vehicle CAN bus basics. Come see how you can use vehicle data in your class or research projects in order to contribute to the next wave of vehicle technologies.


Civil & Environmental Engineering Graduate School Information Night

Join Civil & Environmental faculty and graduate students in a round table Q&A discussion from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 5), in Dow 870.

Learn you should consider graduate school, what the accelerated master's program entails and how to go through the application process and navigate financial aid, along with much more. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.

The event is sponsored by Chi Epsilon and the Michigan Tech Graduate School