Michigan Tech Magazine Fall 2009 Cover

Alumni Reunion always includes the Pasty Picnic, featuring the same Cornish pastries (pictured at right) that Tech students have wolfed down for generations. The recipe follows. If you are feeding fewer than a couple hundred, however, check out some other pasty recipes.

Michigan Tech Dining Services Pasties, as served at Alumni Reunion,
August 6–8, 2009
Yield: 250 pasties

The dough
36 pounds flour
14 pounds shortening
1 pound salt
8 quarts cold water

The filling
90 pounds potatoes, peeled
38 pounds ground beef
18 pounds ground pork
14 pounds onions
12 pounds carrots, peeled
11 pounds rutabagas, peeled
6 pounds butter, melted
1-1/2 pounds salt
1-1/2 ounces pepper

Chop the carrots and onions. Dice the potatoes and rutabagas in a 3/8-inch dice. Mix all the filling ingredients together and set aside.

Mix the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening, as for pie crust. Add the water and mix gently just until the dry particles are absorbed; do not over mix.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a floured surface, roll 4-ounce balls of dough into circles about the size of a dinner plate. Put about 12 ounces of filling on one half. Dampen the edges, fold crust over filling, and seal.

Place on greased baking sheets (or use baking paper). Place in oven and bake for one hour.

Serve with either catsup or gravy.

A Michigan Tech forest science graduate student teases beauty from decay

A Michigan Tech forest science graduate student teases beauty from decay

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Spalt Gestalt

by Jennifer Donovan

Seri Robinson doesn't like mushrooms. And she's drastically allergic to both wood and fungus.

So why is she doing her PhD research on spalting, a process that produces unique patterns and vivid colors in wood by turning certain fungi loose to decay the wood? And why does she go home from her lab to spend hours more in her own woodworking shop, turning spalted wood into works of art?

"Wood is a biological material, and it can be used to create aesthetic beauty," explains the graduate student in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. "It's science, and it's art." Working with it gives her so much joy that she willingly invested in an industrial- strength air filter to help control her allergies.

It's also a field of study that grew out of a lifelong obsession with . . . 

Where the Boys Are

What's the flirty little secret? For many female students at Michigan Tech, it's great being a girl.

Where the Boys Are

by Marcia Goodrich

Shh. Don't tell.

What's the flirty little secret? For many female students at Michigan Tech, it's great being a girl.

It's not that women come to the University trolling for a husband. Far from it. By standard measures of academic achievement, ambition, and discipline, they outshine the men even at Tech, where smart guys abound.

But having a double-X chromosome yields certain perks at a school where men outnumber women three to one.

Those numbers place Tech among a dwindling minority of male-majority schools. Since the 1980s, more women . . . 

A Challenging Time of Energy and Hope

by Glenn Mroz, president

As you read this, the class of 2013 is settling in on campus. It's a time of excitement, energy, and hope for the future. And it will be a time when we tell them about you who have gone before them. We'll tell them that past generations have gone to school in difficult economic times and that you are living proof that they can make it—that their best shot at success in any economy is with an education. We'll also tell them that those prospects increase with an education based in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); that their education will lead to an almost unparalleled opportunity to serve humanity. And we will tell them that what they do and how they do it will be in great demand. Two news stories this summer made this point: Forbes noted that, for the second year in a row, the hardest jobs to fill in America are now in engineering. And the Boston Globe cited . . . 

David Bach teaches four courses in the School of Technology's construction management program, including Principles of Sustainable Construction and Green Building Design.

David Bach teaches four courses in the School of Technology's construction management program

School of TechnologyInternational Sustainable Engineering Initiative

Building for Forever

by Marcia Goodrich

So you want to be more sustainable? Lighten your carbon footprint? Tread tenderly on Mother Earth and preserve her bounty for generations yet unborn?

The temptation may be to rush out and get a whole bunch of cool, new, sustainable stuff. But saving the planet is less about the products you buy and more about how you live your life, says David Bach '69 '77.

"We can preach as long as we want about putting in high-efficiency water heaters, furnaces, and fluorescent bulbs," he says. "But the best way to save energy is to turn off the lights."

Bach teaches four courses in the School of Technology's construction management program, including Principles of Sustainable Construction and Green Building Design. Before joining the Tech faculty, he spent twenty-five years as a contractor specializing in sustainable construction. As such, he learned a few things about minimizing the damage people inflict on the . . . 

Terry Woychowski '78

Terry Woychowski '78 wanted to do something to help his fellow engineers.

Terry WoychowskiMichigan Tech Online Learning, Michigan Tech, GM Partner

Retooling Engineers for the New Detroit

by Marcia Goodrich

Downsizing, bankruptcies, factory closures . . . It's hard to find good news in Detroit. But a new partnership aims to rewrite the headlines.

It began last fall, when Terry Woychowski '78 wanted to do something to help his fellow engineers. Dreary news reports detailed the plight of automotive workers whose jobs were disappearing in droves. What Woychowski knew, and what wasn't being reported, was that hundreds of jobs were also being created. But these were jobs on the forefront of automotive design, and people with the skills for those jobs were in short supply.

What Detroit's laid-off auto engineers needed was to have their skill sets retooled for the twenty-first century, Woychowski thought.

So he forged a partnership among three players that he knew very well: alma mater Michigan Tech; the Engineering Society of Detroit, where he is president-elect; and General Motors . . .