Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
Also in this section

Staff Listing

Directors and Management

Robert Shuchman

  • Co-Director, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Research Professor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Adjunct Research Professor, Biological Sciences

Areas of Expertise

  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Applications
  • Multispectral and Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
  • Applied Photo Imaging
  • Sea and Lake Ice
  • Environmental in situ Sensing

Research Interests

  • Great Lakes Remote Sensing
  • Ocean Optics
  • High Latitude Oceanography
  • Dynamic Decision Support Systems
  • Water Quality of Inland Lakes

Nikola Subotic

  • Co-Director, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Research Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Areas of Expertise

  • SAR/EO Sensing Systems
  • Signal Processing
  • Computational Imaging

Research Interests

  • Distributed Sensing
  • Electronic Warfare
  • Waveform Design
  • Compressive Sensing

Greg Leonard

  • Business and Operations Director, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Specialties

  • Provide business and operations acumen for Institute programs and business ventures
  • Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate Institute business with the appropriate staff and departments on Michigan Technological University's main campus

Lisa Phillips

  • Office Manager, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Specialties

  • MTRI Staff liaison for Michigan Tech's on-campus administrative departments, including employment, benefits, payroll, and purchasing
  • Physical and personnel security for Government programs
  • Office management

Joseph Burns

  • Deputy Director, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Areas of Expertise

  • Electromagnetic Analysis
  • Image and Signal Processing
  • Novel Remote Sensing Concepts

Research Interests

  • Sleep Research

Research and Administrative Staff

Ronnie Adkins

  • Information Systems Security Manager, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Specialties

  • Contract Program Security
  • Information Assurance Compliance
  • Communications Security

Michael Battaglia

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Remote Sensing
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Topographic Analysis

Research Interests

  • Environmental Applications of Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Land Cover Mapping
  • Wetlands and Peatlands
  • K-12 Remote Sensing Education

Michael Billmire

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Development of Science-Based Web Applications and Decision Support Systems
  • Geospatial Data Visualization and GUI Development
  • Automated Processing of Geospatial Data
  • Multivariate Modeling

Research Interests

  • Wildland and Cropland Fire Weather and Emissions Modeling
  • Environmental Forecasting
  • Erosion and Surface Runoff Modeling

Karl Bosse

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Remote Sensing Analysis
  • Statistical Programming
  • Optical Field Data Collection

Research Interests

  • Freshwater Optics
  • Remote Sensing of Harmful Algal Blooms
  • Data Assimilation Techniques

Laura Bourgeau-Chavez

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES)

Areas of Expertise

  • Remote Sensing
    • Radar
    • Lidar
    • Multispectral
  • Forest and Wetland Ecology of
    • Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands
    • Boreal, Temperate, and Tropical Regions
  • Wildfire
    • Boreal Fuel Moisture and Fire Danger
    • Boreal Wildfire Effects and Carbon Emissions

Research Interests

  • Characterize and Measure Landscape Ecosystems
  • Fusion of SAR and Multispectral Data For Mapping and Monitoring Wetlands and Monitoring Soil Moisture For Fire Danger Prediction in Boreal Regions

Colin Brooks

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Biological Sciences

Areas of Expertise

  • Transportation Applications Including Road and Bridge Condition Assessment
  • Mapping of Changing Ecosystems
  • Agricultural Remote Sensing
  • Geohazard Evaluation
  • Invasive Species Mapping With a Focus on Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
  • Developing Unmanned Aerial System Capabilities
  • 3D Optical, Multispectral, Thermal, and LiDAR Sensing
  • Decision Support System and App Development
  • Integration of Remote Sensing Technologies Into Sponsor Workflows
  • Research Project Management

Research Interests

  • Aquatic and Landscape Ecology
  • Invasive Species Mapping
  • Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Monitoring
  • Applications of Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Assessment of Transportation Infrastructure Condition Using Remote Sensing
  • Automated Road and Bridge Condition Analysis
  • Multispectral Sensing
  • Development and Deployment of Decision Support Systems
  • Land Cover Change Mapping and Monitoring

William Buller

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Signal and Image Processing
  • Radar Systems
  • Experimental Design
  • Statistical Analysis

Research Interests

  • Signal Exploitation
  • Sensor Characterization and Performance Prediction
  • Machine Inference and Learning
  • Intelligent Transportation and Mobility

Richard Chase

  • Research Engineer, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • PE Electrical Engineering

Areas of Expertise

  • Embedded and Real-Time Systems
  • Robotic Operating System (ROS)
  • Communication and Electronic Architectures
  • Microelectronic Design

Research Interests

  • Swarm Robotics
  • Cyber Physical Systems
  • Novel Robotics Design
  • Decentralized Systems

Richard Dobson

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • UAS Data Collection and Analysis
  • Remote Sensing Systems Development
  • 3D Photogrammetry

Research Interests

  • Applying UAS to Transportation, Archaeology, and Environmental Applications
  • Developing Automated Methods Analyzing Remote Sensing Data For Transportation Infrastructure Inspections

Gary Fahnenstiel

  • Senior Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Great Lakes Limnology Research

Research Interests

  • Freshwater Biology
  • Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Invasive Species
  • Phytoplankton Ecology
  • Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and the Identification of Particular Environmental Factors That Leads to HABs to Better Help Manage and Reduce Their Occurrence

Nancy French

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Adjunct Professor, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES)

Areas of Expertise

  • Remote Sensing
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
  • Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

Research Interests

  • Characterize Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Wildland Fuels, Fire, and Carbon Emissions From Fire
  • Remote Sensing of Wildland Fire and its Effects
  • Fire Emissions and Health
  • Soil Moisture and Wetland Sensing With Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

Joseph Garbarino

  • Research Engineer/Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Computers
  • Signal Processing
  • Sensor Phenomenology
  • Image Exploitation

Research Interests

  • Algorithm and GUI Design and Implementation
  • Extensive Operating System Experience, Particularly in Unix/Linux

Jeremy Graham

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Spatial Analysis
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Remote Sensing
  • Python
  • Data Visualization
  • Ecology and Plant Physiology
  • Statistics

Research Interests

  • Computer Vision
  • Geospatial Algorithm Development and Task Automation
  • Landscape Level Wetland and Fire Ecology
  • Time-Series Analysis
  • Efficiency in Transportation Systems
  • Sensor Fusion
  • Swarm Intelligence
  • Broadly Understanding Processes and Patterns From the Cellular Scale to Global Scale

Amanda Grimm

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Spatial Modeling and Statistics
  • Coastal and Shallow-Water Remote Sensing
  • Decision Support Analytics

Research Interests

  • Active and Passive Remote Sensing of Coastal and Benthic Environments
  • Predictive Modeling of Environmental Hazards
  • Integration of Monitoring Data (Satellite-Based and Otherwise) Into Environmental Management Decisions

Benjamin Hart

  • Research Engineer, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Embedded Electronics
  • Hardware/Sensor Platform Prototyping

Research Interests

  • Applying Embedded Sensors to Remote Sensing Problems
  • Sensors/Instrumentation
  • Novel Measurement Platforms

Dawn Isakson

  • Business Operations Coordinator, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Expertise

  • Provides administrative support to the Office Manager and Director of Business and Operations
  • Serves as liaison between Sponsored Programs Office and research staff in the development of budgets and administrative elements of proposals for final review and submission to the sponsor agency
  • Assists in implementation and maintenance of security procedures as required by the Department of Defense and the National Industrial Security Manual

Susan Janiszewski

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Areas of Expertise

  • Graph Theory
  • Combinatorics
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Distributed Computing

Research Interests

  • Machine Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Scalable Graph Algorithms
  • Data Fusion Techniques
  • Geospatial Application

Liza Jenkins

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Satellite Remote Sensing
  • Spatial Data Analysis

Research Interests

  • Fusing Electro-Optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar Data
  • Innovative Field Data Collection Schemes and Sensors
  • Temporal Monitoring and Detection of Landscape Change, and Big Data Analysis For Natural Resource Applications
  • Arctic and Boreal Systems in the Domains of Fires, Lakes, Peatlands, Wetlands, and Glaciers

Sean Kelly

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Physics
  • Pure Mathematics

Research Interests

  • Time Series Analysis
  • Machine Learning
  • Computer Vision

Sarah Kitchen

  • Research Engineer/Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Areas of Expertise

  • Algebraic Geometry
  • Representation Theory

Research Interests

  • Algebraic Structures Underlying Optimization Problems and Applications of Emerging Statistical Tools to Signal Processing and Source Separation Problems
  • Multi-Agent Autonomy

Joel LeBlanc

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Statistical Signal Processing
  • Applied Nonconvex Optimization
  • EO/IR Imaging
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Imaging

Research Interests

  • Information Theoretic Approaches to Inverse-Imaging
  • Computational Techniques For Solving Large Inverse Problems
  • Fundamental Limits Sensing

Joseph Lindgren

  • Research Engineer/Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Areas of Expertise

  • Mathematical Physics/PDE
  • Lyapunov Stability of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems
  • Optimization

Research Interests

  • Reinforcement Machine Learning
  • Knowledge Graph Reasoning
  • Optimal Control

Mary Ellen Miller

  • Research Engineer/Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Imaging Science
  • Environmental Modeling
  • Decision Support
  • Geographic Information Science

Research Interests

  • Supporting Land Management Through Remote Sensing and Physics Based Environmental Models
  • Fuel's Planning From a Watershed Perspective
  • Fire Science Including: Post-Fire Hydrology, Dry Ravel, Fire Behavior, Fire Effects and Mitigation
  • Coastal Wetland Mapping and Monitoring

Joseph Paki

  • Research Engineer/Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Associate Adjunct Professor, Physics

Areas of Expertise

  • High Performance Computing
  • Strongly Correlated Quantum Systems
  • Robotic Sensing and Navigation
  • Participatory Decision Making

Research Interests

  • Multiagent Autonomy
  • Physics Modeling For Remote Sensing
  • Wildfire Sensing and Simulation
  • Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Soft Robotics
  • Materials For Nontraditional Computation

Miles Penhale

  • Research Engineer, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Areas of Expertise

  • Acoustics
  • Noise and Vibration Control
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Modal Analysis

Research Interests

  • Acoustic Intensity, Arrays, and Vector Sensors
  • Source Detection, Localization, and Classification
  • Underwater and Arctic Acoustics
  • Environmental Sound Propagation
  • Sound and Vibration Measurement
  • Advanced Instrumentation and Data Acquisition
  • Dynamic Signal Processing
  • Nonlinear Dynamic Systems

Andrew Poley

  • Assistant Research Scientist/Geospatial Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Remote Sensing and GIS
  • Image Interpretation
  • Time-Series Image Analysis
  • Land Cover Classification

Research Interests

  • Wetland and Invasive Species Mapping
  • Land Cover Change
  • High-Resolution UAV Classification
  • Geomorphology

Christopher Roussi

  • Senior Research Scientist/Engineer, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Signal Processing
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Embedded Systems

Research Interests

  • Signal Processing
  • Sensors/Instrumentation
  • Radar Processing

Reid Sawtell

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Remote Sensing/GIS Programming
  • Web Development
  • Database Management

Research Interests

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Vision

Michael Sayers

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Ocean Optics
  • Ocean Color Remote Sensing
  • Radiative Transfer Modeling
  • Bio-optical Modeling
  • Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
  • In situ Optical Instruments and Measurements

Research Interests

  • Remote Sensing of Great Lakes Water Quality
  • Bio-optical Algorithm Development
  • Designing Low-cost Radiometric Instrumentation
  • Freshwater Phytoplankton Production
  • Harmful Algal Bloom Ecology
  • Characterization of Great Lakes Optical Properties

David Schwab

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Hydrodynamic Modeling of the Great Lakes and Other Coastal Regions
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Including Theoretical, Numerical, and Observational Investigations of Circulation, Thermal Structure, Seiches, Storm Surges, Wind Waves, and Air-Sea Interaction

Research Interests

  • Applications of Hydrodynamic Modeling to Water Quality Problems, Including Transport of Bacteria From Tributary Sources to Swimming Beaches and Predictive Tracking of Algal Blooms

Adam Skyles

  • Assistant Research Scientist

Areas of Expertise

    • Remote Sensing and GIS Applications
    • Scientific Education and Advanced Instructional Development
    • Earth System Science

Research Interests

  • Lake Erie Algal Blooms
  • Water Quality Assessments 
  • STEM Outreach and Education
  • Implementing Drones for Scientific Analyses

Meryl Spencer

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Adjunct Professor of Physics

Areas of Expertise

  • Computational Physics
  • Soft Condensed Matter Theory
  • Machine Learning/ Artificial Intelligence
  • Complex Systems
  • Graph Theory
  • Active Matter Simulation

Research Interests

  • Multi-Agent Teaming
  • Robotics Simulation
  • Applications of Graph Theory
  • Biomimicry For Robotics
  • Emergent Behavior
  • Reinforcement Learning
  • Camouflage Detection in Machine Learning

Jeremy Stringer

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Adaptive Beamforming
  • Space-Time Adaptive Processing (STAP)
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
  • Computational Electromagnetics (CEM)

Research Interests

  • Cognitive Radar
  • Passive SAR Systems
  • THz and MM-wave Radar/SAR
  • High Frequency CEM

Mark Stuff

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics to Various Remote Sensing Problems

Research Interests

  • Focusing Moving Objects in SAR Data That Are Undergoing Non-Trivial Motions

Brian Thelen

  • Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Areas of Expertise

  • Statistical Image and Signal Processing For Conventional/Unconventional Imaging Systems and in Algorithmic Solutions For Inverse Problems

Research Interests

  • Application and Implementation of Cutting-Edge Statistical and Mathematical Methodologies For Inverting and Exploiting Data Collected From Sensing Systems

Erick Vega

  • Research Engineer/Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Dynamical Systems
  • Machine Learning
  • Radar Signal Processing

Research Interests

  • High Dimensional Statistics
  • Statistical Signal Theory
  • Compressed Sensing

Adam Webb

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Physics Based Modeling
  • Electromagnetic Analysis
  • Signal and Image Processing Techniques

Research Interests

  • Applications in Remote Sensing and Imaging Systems

Charlotte Weinstein

  • Assistant Research Scientist/Geospatial Programmer, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Vegetation Characterization
  • Development of GIS-Based Environmental Products
  • Object-Based Image Analysis of High-Resolution Drone Imagery

Research Interests

  • Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Restoration Monitoring
  • Sustainable Development
  • Forest Ecology
  • Applications of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to Environmental Data Analysis

Brian White

  • Research Engineer, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Specialties

  • Software Engineer and Systems Administrator
  • C, C++, Fortran, Python, ASP.NET, and various other languages
  • Has maintained various flavors of Windows and Unix/Linux systems

Michelle Wienert

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Workshop, Focus Group, and Technical Advisory Group Coordination
  • Database Management
  • International Conference Management
  • Organized Administrative Support
  • Field Data Collection Management
  • Web Design

Research Interests

  • Water Quality, Terrestrial Environments, and Transportation
  • Outreach

Brian Wilson

  • Research Engineer, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • RADAR
  • Signal Processing
  • Passive Imaging
  • Experiment Design and Implementation
  • Prototype Measurement Systems
  • Matlab

Research Interests

  • Synchronized, Automated Remote Sensing
  • Signal Processing
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Sensor Fusion (RF/Video/IR)
  • Automotive Active Safety Systems
  • RF Imaging

Ismael Xique

  • Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Areas of Expertise

  • Statistical Modeling
  • Machine Learning
  • Optimization

Research Interests

  • Computer Vision
  • Imaging Systems
  • Inverse Problems

Affiliates

Applications of SAR, PolSAR, and interferometry for Earth Science; Remote sensing by radar;  Geophysical image processing; Climatology; Spaceborne radar
Peatlands and wetland detection; Invasive species mapping; Evaluation of wetland habitat; Land use land cover mapping; Soil moisture / hydroperiod mapping 
Biological productivity; Climate change; Land surface characteristics; Mathematical modeling; Snow and ice cover; Surface-water level; Water use 
Boreal forest fire ecology; Carbon cycling; Applied remote sensing; Synthetic aperture radar 
Geospatial technologies and methodologies including Earth observations, GIS, and data mining; Agriculture and food security; Land-use / land-cover change; Wildland and prescribed fire; Air quality; Black carbon emissions; Climate change and adaptation; Natural resources and forestry
Environmental change; Land cover change; Habitat conservation
Presidential Meritorious and Distinguished Rank Awards; Department of Commerce Gold Medal; National Academy of Public Administration Public Service Award; The American University Roger Jones Award for Public Service; Fellow, Acoustical Society of America, Marine Technology Society and American Meteorological Society; Distinguished Achievement Award, Compass Publications and Marine Technology Society