Presidential Search Update

The Presidential Search Committee (PSC), along with our search consultants from Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, have made significant progress in the search for the 10th President of Michigan Tech.

The presidential prospectus has been finalized and is now posted on the presidential search websiteContributions from the entire Michigan Tech community helped shape the prospectus.

The Michigan Tech community is invited to attend the next presidential search update from 11 a.m. to noon, Oct. 19, in the Memorial Union Building, Ballroom A2. This event is open to the public, including news media.

The PSC and the Board of Trustees appreciate the support and assistance everyone has provided and continues to provide in the search for Michigan Tech’s next president.

Our goal is to continue to have an inclusive and transparent presidential search process. For more information about the presidential search process, including the prospectus and the presidential advertisement, please visit the presidential search website.

D80 Conference is Friday and Saturday

Michigan Tech hosts the D80 Conference each fall to give a platform to the voices of University students serving communities in need, both domestically and abroad.
Our conferences highlight service and research work done by students from Michigan Tech and elsewhere, and are open to anybody interested in development, design and discovery for the poorest 80 percent of humanity. The public is always welcome.

This year's conference will kick off on Friday (Oct. 13) with a special screening of the documentary "Poverty Inc." at 5:30 p.m. in Fisher Hall.

Following the movie, a facilitated discussion regarding the international aid industry will be held. There is no cost to attend the movie, and concessions will be available for purchase.

We strongly encourage you all to attend. This event is open to the general public, so feel free to invite friends.

On Saturday (Oct. 14), we welcome this year's keynote speaker, Cathy Leslie, executive director of Engineers Without Borders-USA (and 2017 CEE Academy inductee).

D80 will also host a panel discussion featuring individuals involved in community and nonprofit organizations.  A schedule of the conference is available online.

This schedule is also posted on the D80 Conference website and available on Saturday at check in. Events on Saturday will be in the U.J. Noblet Forestry Building, G002.

Everyone is welcome to attend all or any part of the conference, as well as join us for lunch on Saturday, even if you did not register in advance.


Update on Recycling at Michigan Tech

Our recycling program starts with you making the decision to recycle items that are acceptable to our "single stream" recycling process and putting them in the correct container. Throughout the 26 buildings on the main campus, blue recycling bins are available in common areas. Some are in hallways and some are near common areas such as printers and copy machines, and some are outside the MUB. Each building is different in the placement of these medium-size recycle bins.

When these common-area recycle bins are full, our custodians take them to larger 90+ gallon bins which are typically in the loading dock areas of our buildings. During the week, a crew of students from facilities management travel from building to building to pick up these larger bins and take them to the recycle compactors. Waste Management then picks up recycle material and transports it to a single stream recycle facility in Wisconsin.

You can help by taking your own smaller recycling bins to the common-area bin in your department. It is not uncommon to find out that some custodians empty your desk trash bin as well as take your recyclables. One less bin to empty per desk would give them more time for other cleaning duties in your office areas.

Last spring, facilities management piloted the process in the Fisher Building, which houses Physics and Mathematical Sciences. Although there was some variation from week to week, the average percent of material diverted from the landfill was about 30 percent. This year we plan to pilot the process in other buildings including the Library and the MUB.

Waste Management now accepts clean bottles and jars. You will see a new sign near the recycle bins indicating the items acceptable in our single stream recycling program. Remember, recycling starts with you.

Brimley Area Students Visit Michigan Tech

Ted Bornhorst, executive director and professor, A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, hosted a second group of students from Brimley Area Schools Sept. 20 to 22. Last year a similar special field trip organized by Bornhorst with Brimley teacher Mary-Beth Andrews was so successful that the Brimley school board funded a return visit. The student interest was twice as great this year with 45 eigth graders and 15 ninth and tenth graders participating, as compared to a total of 30 students last year.

The three-day field trip included an all-day geology field trip in the Copper Harbor/Eagle River area led by Bornhorst. In the evening, the group took a guided boat trip on the Isle Royal Queen, located in Copper Harbor, funded by the GM Ride the Waves program. Erika Vye, geoheritage specialist with the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, was the tour guide on the boat. On campus, the group visited the mineral museum, did STEM tours/activities including presentations by Mark Rudnicki (SFRES) and Parisi Abadi (MEEM). The high school students did an exploration aboard the Agassiz led by environmental engineering students Aubrey Ficek and Marr Langlais. As part of their Keweenaw experience, the Brimley students did an underground tour of the Quincy Mine and took a visit to Keweenaw Gem and Gifts foundry.

Railroad Night XIII and Expo 2017 in Review

The Rail Transportation Program (RTP), in conjunction with the Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC) and with support from the RTP Program Partner, CN Railway, were proud to host Michigan Tech's 4th Annual Rail Expo and 13th Annual Rail Night on Oct. 3 and 4.

Dual showcase events, Railroad Night and Expo, bring together industry professionals and students interested in the industry. The unique blend of panel discussion, social hours, dinner, keynote and displays on the campus mall catalyzed relationships between the students of Michigan Tech and the Railroad Industry. These marquee events are a cornerstone of our mission to develop leaders and technology for the 21st century in railroad transportation.

Railroad Night XIII was held on the evening of Oct. 3, kicking off our showcase events where railroad industry professionals and Michigan Tech students mingled and discovered the possibilities of a career in the railroad industry. Starting out with a "Meet the Industry" panel of 10 industry professionals, a battery of questions from both the moderator and audience allowed students to discover the railroad industry, take advice and hear some interesting stories out of the industry.

Afterwards, students and professionals mingled for the social hour, which was a great opportunity for students and the industry to get to know each other further, with discussions about internships, full-time positions or points about the industry in general. This more relaxed atmosphere is always conducive to productive discussions in an industry-focused environment, a perennial favorite of Michigan Tech Students. Following the social hour was dinner and the keynote address by Kevin Riddett, the CEO of Railworks. Speaking of his career and experiences in multiple roles throughout various industries, Riddett imparted sage advice and plenty of stories to the audience over a dinner filled with more interaction between the industry and Michigan Tech students interested in a career in rail.

Special thanks to Railworks and Herzog Railroad Services, for sponsoring the Railroad Night XIII 4th Annual Rail Expo on Oct. 4. The fourth Annual Rail Expo was held on the Campus Mall, allowing the industry to demonstrate their companies and technologies, and to recruit Michigan Tech students.

For students, the event offered a great chance to discuss opportunities in the industry with representatives and recruiters, with more than a dozen companies on display and twice as many industry professionals ready to discuss who they are and what they do. While many Michigan Tech students are already interested in a career in rail, the Expo provides a catalyst for new students to get interested and involved within one of the nation's most diverse and thriving transportation industries.

Exhibitors and sponsors included Canadian National Railway-RTP Program Partner, Herzog Railroad Services Inc, WSP, Quandel Consultants, Schneider, Railworks, Surveying Solutions Inc, Remprex Engineering Services, Bergman Associates, Via Rail Engineering, BNSF Railway, Kiewit & Mass. Electric Construction Company, Pettibone Traverse Lift, and Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad.

Every year, Michigan Tech's Rail Night and Expo events culminate in a number of internships and full-time careers. With nearly 200 students passing through the Expo or attending Railroad Night, this year's events continued the success initiated almost a decade ago.

We look forward to next year and continuing our mission to grow and develop students for careers in the railroad industry. We would also like to thank our sponsors and industry supporters for their generous contributions.

Benefit Series: Estate Planning, Fidelity, and TIAA

Benefit Services in conjunction with the Office of Advancement is offering employees an opportunity to learn more about Estate Planning and Retirement Planning. We will be offering the following three sessions:

Estate Planning with Michael Kolasa –  11 a.m. to 1 p.m. October 16 in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom B

Invest Confidently for Your Future with Fidelity –11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 24, in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom B

The Starting Line – Beginning to Save for Retirement with TIAA –11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom B

If you are interested in attending one or all of these sessions, please complete the registration form here. Registration for this series will close Thursday (Oct. 12)

For additional session information, visit the Benefit Services website.

 We hope you will join us and look forward to seeing you there.

Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Incentive

Benefit eligible employees who have an annual physical and complete a Health Assessment with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan by Dec. 31, can earn one of the following incentives: 

  • $100 deposited into a Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • $100 deposited into a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • $100 deposited into Techfit
  • $200 deposited into a T2 account (funds may only be used at a Michigan Tech facility)

 To complete the Health Assessment through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan: 

  • Log in to your account at (You can easily register if you are not currently set up.)
  • Click “Health & Wellness” in the blue bar at the top of the page
  • Click “Take Your Health Assessment” to begin
  • Once completed, please print a copy of the confirmation page for your records.

Paper Health Assessment forms will not qualify for the incentive. Employees who have met the above requirements will be contacted to choose their incentive in 2018. Incentives will be awarded in March 2018. Please read the Wellness Program Notice located online about our voluntary wellness programs.

 Contact Benefit Services at with any questions.

Pep Band Concert Friday

The Huskies Pep Band presents "Scrambling all the Way: 50 Years of Be-striped Irreverence" at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Rozsa Center. The Huskies Pep Band is a Michigan Tech point of pride and one of the most lauded (and loud) pep bands in the Midwest. Members dressed in “bumble-bee” stripes perform in unscripted and unrestrained glory at concerts, athletic events, parades, and special events all around Houghton, and support Michigan Tech teams on the road as well. 

Tickets for Scrambling all the Way: 50 Years of Pep at the Rozsa Center are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa box office the night of the show.

This Week's C-Cubed Lunches

This week's C-Cubed luncheons take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday (Oct. 12/13) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff along with their guests are invited.

The C-Cubed lunch buffet menus are created by Executive Chef Eric Karvonen, and prepared by Karvonen and his culinary team. As the name suggests, the meals are meant to foster conversation, community and collegiality. Attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Fruit-infused water, coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are available free to all attendees.

The buffet lunch is $10 per person. Cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates (available in the Memorial Union office) are accepted. Find more information and share C-Cubed feedback here. To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email

The menus:

Thursday (Oct. 12)

  • Yucatan Pork for Tacos with Achiote Slow Cooked in Banana Leaves (GF)
  • Achiote Grilled Tofu (GF, Vegan)
  • Fresh Toppings for Tacos: Chipotle Crema (GF, Vegetarian), Cilantro , Pickled Red Onions (GF, Vegan), Sliced Radishes, Shredded Romaine, Flame Roasted Corn
  • Black Bean Salad (GF, Vegan)

Friday (Oct.13)

  • Spicy Korean Chicken (GF)
  • Spicy Korean Tofu (GF, Vegan)
  • Sauteed Cabbage (GF, Vegan)
  • Korean Cucumber Salad (GF, Vegan)

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

Take a Look at Academic Video Online This Fall

The Van Pelt and Opie library has arranged free trial access at the request of faculty to Academic Video Online from Alexander Street from now to Dec. 31.
Academic Video Online features scholarly video material including: documentaries, interviews, performances, news programs and newsreels, field recordings, commercials, demonstrations and original and raw footage. The database includes award-winning films, most frequently used films for classroom instruction, plus newly released films and previously unavailable archival material. 
Content from producers such as BBC, CBS, Insight Media, PBS, The Open University, Bloomberg and others is featured in disciplines including art and design, music and performing arts, social sciences, history, literature and languages, psychology and health sciences, and science and engineering.
To access this resource, visit the E-Alerts section on the Library Databases A-Z webpage.
Send your questions, comments or feedback on Academic Video Online to

University Senate to Meet Wednesday

The next meeting of the University Senate (Meeting #597) will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 11) in Dow 642. The agenda is as follows:

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll call of Senators and recognition of visitors
  3. Approval of agenda
  4. Approval of minutes from Meeting # 596
  5. Presentation: Annual CATPR report presented by Paul Bergstrom
  6. President's Report
  7. Committee Reports
  8. Unfinished Business
  9. New Business
  10. Public Comment
  11. Adjournment

Senators are responsible for making their constituents aware of the agenda for this meeting.

Senators who are unable to attend should arrange for their alternates to attend in their place.

Physics Colloquium Seminar Thursday

Michigan Tech Physics Colloquium & the Elizabeth and Richard Henes Center for Quantum Phenomena Distinguished Lecture Series welcome Carly Robinson. She will present "From Michigan Tech to D.C.–How I Ended Up With My Dream Job" at 4 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 12) in Fisher 139.

Follow her journey to D.C. through undergraduate research at Tech to graduate school challenges to working for a United States Senator to finally landing at the Department of Energy. Robinson is a senior product strategist and senior science advisor in the US Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI).

This presentation is partially funded by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series (VWMLSS), which is funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion from the State of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative. 

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series

The next event in the ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series is at 4 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 12) in EERC 103. Julien Meaud will present "Quasi-static Mechanics and Wave Propagation in Multistable Architected Materials."

Architected materials are materials whose properties arise from their architecture rather than from the intrinsic properties of the constituent materials. In recent years, it has been shown that architected materials that consist of a set of bistable unit cells (called multistable architected materials) have attractive properties, such as the ability to dissipate mechanical energy or to absorb mechanical energy. This presentation will focus on fundamental aspects of the quasi-static mechanics and dynamics of these types of architected materials for application as reconfigurable metamaterials, i.e. as materials whose properties can be tuned on demand. 

Meaud is an assistant professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

In the News

TechCentury, an engineering and science news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, ran an article about the 10th anniversary of the Atmospheric Sciences program at Michigan Tech.


KSLA-TV (Shreveport, Louisiana) and numerous TV stations nationwide reported that AutoDrive Challenge, a three-year autonomous design competition organized by SAE International and General Motors (GM), has won the AutoSens' Best Outreach Project award. AutoSens made the announcement during its AutoWorld conference in Brussels, Belgium. Eight US universities have been invited to participate in the AutoDrive Challenge, including Michigan Tech. 

***** reported on the Global Volcanism Program, a study of the inner workings of volcanoes. Simon Carn (GMES) is one of the program's researchers.  


US News & World Report published an Associated Press article about the dedication of the nature trail built in honor of Michigan Tech student John Wheeler, who died in a car accident last fall. 

Items Available

Civil & Environmental Engineering has a Harrop Box/Lab Kiln (model GF-BG-18/12/20-800-2900) available to give away to another department on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is a general purpose, gas-fired, updraft unit capable of operation to a maximum temperature of 1,600 C (2,912 F).

Please contact Kiko at or call 231-0456 if you are interested. As always, University property may only be transferred to other University departments. It may not be given or sold to individuals.

On the Road

Rail Transportation Program and Railroad Club participate in Railway Interchange

Pasi Lautala, director of Michigan Tech's Rail Transportation Program (RTP) and 11 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the Railway Interchange on Sept. 17-20 in Indianapolis.

With over 8,500 participants, Railway Interchange is the largest railway conference in the US, organized by several professional associations. As part of the student activities, Team 1 of the Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC), consisting of Aaron Dean (ME), Alyssa Leach (CE), Alex Christmas (CE), Derek Owen (CE) and Mario Marachini (CE) got 3rd place in the student quiz bowl. Team 2 (Kyle Dick, Andrew Erickson, Erick Flaten, Clive Pinto, Pratik Tuplondhetook) took 7th place in the bowl. Aaron Dean also had success in the undergraduate student poster competition, taking the 1st place with his poster on "Using In-Vehicle Head Orientation Sensing Data to Rapidly Evaluate Driver Visual Scanning Behavior at Rail Grade Crossings". Dean also presented a poster- "The Evaluation of Driver Compliance Behavior at Grade Crossings based on Naturalistic Driving Study Data" by Modeste Muhire in his absence as part of the graduate poster competition, taking the 2nd place.

As part of the conference, five Michigan Tech students were also recognized for winning student scholarships by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA). To cap a successful conference, Dr. Pasi Lautala presented "Evaluation of Driver Behavior at Highway Rail Grade Crossings" in the closing general session of the conference.


Rail Transportation Program presents at the SHRP2 Safety Symposium

Pasi Lautala, director of Michigan Tech's Rail Transportation Program (RTP) and Aaron Dean, a senior in the ME Department and an undergraduate research assistant for the RTP, participated in the Tenth SHRP 2 "Safety Data Symposium: From Analysis to Results" on Oct.6 in Washington, DC.

The Symposium included nineteen selected presentations by the researchers within and outside the US that use the SHRP 2 Naturalistic Driving Study database.

Aaron Dean presented his research on "Development & Validation of Post-Processing Methods for the SHRP2 MASK Head Pose Data", and Lautala presented on "Using NDS data to evaluate driver behavior at highway-rail grade crossings".

Michigan Tech was the only institution invited to make two presentations in the conference and Dean was the only undergraduate presenter.


Reports on Recent Initiatives at Next Presidents Campus Forum

The next President's Campus Forum, 2 p.m. today (Oct. 10) in the Memorial Union Ballroom, will include reports on initiatives recently implemented by the University.

Many of these initiatives have been proposed through the use of the Advanced Matrix Process for University Programs (AMP-UP). AMP-UP began meeting in November, 2015. It is a systematic, data-drive, change management process used to drive change and strategic transformation utilizing continuous improvement. The initial focus of this change has been:

  • Improve support for creating and maintaining an inclusive, civil culture that values diversity and unique contributions of each faculty member
  • Improve the ability of new faculty to conduct research
  • improve the recruitment and retention of dual career partners

At the President's Forum, Provost Jackie Huntoon, Vice President for Research Dave Reed, Vice President for Administration Ellen Horsch and Adrienne Minerick, associate dean for Research and Innovation and assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development will report on several of the recent initiatives as well as others still in the pipeline. 

Following the forum there will be a social that will include an opportunity for those interested to help prioritize the development of those initiatives currently under consideration. 

Release time will be provided for hourly staff with the approval of their supervisor. The presentation will be video streamed live. If you would like to submit a question during the campus forum, email it to Staff Council. Do not use the chat feature within the live streaming player.

Read the full Tech Today Story


Material Science and Engineering Seminar Today

Ehsan Mostaed, postdoctoral associate at Michigan Tech and Politecnico di Milano, will present "Properties of ultrafine-grained magnesium alloys for biodegradable implant applications" at 11:00 a.m. today in M&M 610.


Chemistry Seminar Today

Tommy Sewell, professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia will present "Atomic-Scale Theoretical Studies of Fundamental Properties and Processes in CHNO Plastic-Bonded Explosive Constituent Materials under Static and Dynamic Compression" The seminar will take place at 1 p.m. today (Oct. 10) in Chem-Sci Room 215. For more information, read the original Tech Today story here

On the Road

Professor Emerita Mary Durfee (SS) served on a Fulbright Regional Review Panel in Washington, DC.

New Funding

Matthew Kelly (SFRES/ESC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $47,577 research and development grant from the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

James Schmierer (SFRES) and Joseph Wagenbrenner (SFRES) are the Co-PIs on the project "Validating and Demonstrating Forest Road Surfacing Technology to Protect Soil and Water Resources in an Actively Managed Forest." This is a two-year project.