April 26, 2016, Vol. 22, No. 17

Commencement and a New York Chapter Update

Commencement 201512190141 copy

It’s a big week on campus. Finals. Commencement. And the unofficial start of summer. Well, it’s almost summer term, at least.

Students are making that last push. For some the end of their first year. For many, the last few moments and the start of what’s next.

I didn’t graduate from Tech, but I remember the bookends of college. Walking away from my parents one fall and back up to them, diploma in hand, four years later, so I have a sense of the pride, relief, and great sense of accomplishment our graduates will be feeling in a few short days.

The students here do amazing things. Most have forgotten more math than I’ll ever know. They balance rigorous academics, service, athletics, jobs, and a little bit of fun along the way. They’re #crazysmart, crazy-adventurous, and are going to do seriously incredible things.

Most of them won’t read this. But if you know a Husky who will walk across that stage Saturday, think of them with pride and welcome them to the group of thousands of Michigan Tech alumni who have come before them. Just like you, they earned it.


In the last two issues, we’ve highlighted alumni chapters in Michigan and Wisconsin. This week we venture farther afield and bring you an update from the Empire State.

The Upstate New York Chapter and the New York City Chapter had a joint event at Cold Spring, New York last fall to tour the West Point Foundry. The foundry operated from 1817 to 1911 and was an instrumental component in U.S. security, standardizing artillery and ammunition for our armed forces after the War of 1812.

Michigan Tech’s Industrial Archeology program played a key role in excavating and interpreting the site.

Now a wooded preserve recalls more active days gone by. The joint chapter meeting involved lunch at the Cold Spring Depot and a guided tour of the preserve by the Scenic Hudson organization. Details of the lunch and tour were developed by Denise Blankinship ’84, the New York City Chapter leader.

At Tech


Two Wolves Remain on Isle Royale

Having survived another year, it is likely that only two wolves remain on Isle Royale. A researcher from Michigan Technological University surveyed the island this winter, part of the longest running predator-prey study in the world. The sudden population drop has led the Isle Royale National Park to look into intervention strategies for one of . . . [ Full Story ]


Walk on Water, Get Your Science Geek On

At a jam-packed Washington Convention Center this weekend, thousands and thousands of youngsters will get sticky feet and tongues discovering how much fun science and engineering can be. They’ll be dashing through ooblek and slurping liquid nitrogen ice cream at the Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers booths at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, DC, . . . [ Full Story ]


Consensus on Consensus: Expertise Matters in Agreement Over Human-Caused Climate Change

A research team confirms that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is caused by humans. The group includes Sarah Green, a chemistry professor at Michigan Technological University.

“What’s important is that this is not just one study—it’s the consensus of multiple studies,” Green says. This consistency across studies contrasts with the language . . . [ Full Story ]


Make, Create, Innovate: Design Expo 2016

What do a satellite tag anchoring system for Humpback whales, a pandemic ventilator for third world countries, a 793-mpg supermileage vehicle and a low-cost avalanche beacon have in common?

They’re all student projects on display at Michigan Tech’s 16th annual Design Expo on Thursday, April 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Memorial . . . [ Full Story ]


From the Lab to the Marketplace: Michigan Tech Researchers Find Help at Home to Commercialize Their Discoveries

Startup companies involving two Michigan Technological University faculty members have recently signed commercial licensing agreements, which represent important commercialization milestones.

Microdevice Engineering Inc. is a Houghton, Michigan-based company that is developing a portable point-of-care battery-operated blood typing device. Adrienne Minerick and Mary Raber from Michigan Tech are core members of the founding team. Minerick is associate . . . [ Full Story ]


Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge Teams Take Top Honors in Regional Competition

News Flash!  Michigan Tech’s Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge teams both took first place in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2016 North Central student competition at Michigan State University last weekend.   Although the concrete canoe races were cancelled due to bad weather, the team placed first in design paper, first in final product and . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World

Mercury Marine re-powers S/V Osprey

Mercury Marine completely re-powered Michigan Tech’s S/V Osprey over the winter after a catastrophic failure of a competitor’s outdrive last year. Michigan Tech is a Mercury Marine test center and the new engine and outdrive will be extensively tested throughout the upcoming field season. The value of the work is conservatively valued at ,000.

. . . [ Full Story ]

Running Like a Husky at the Boston Marathon

Dean and Jan Woodbeck’s daughter, Laura, just ran her first Boston Marathon. Her results: 3:25, a personal best for Laura. That is also top 10 percent of women and top 15 percent of her age group.

The Woodbecks are all Tech alums:

Dean – Class of 1978
Jan – Class . . . [ Full Story ]

Growing up in a Video Gaming Family

Kayla Herrera ’12 wrote an article “Why Growing Up In A Video Gaming Family Was Anything But Normal” which describes growing up in UP while Dad went back to school at Michigan Tech and how that affected her love of video gaming.


Alumni Profile

Tim Thomas ’81


Why did you choose Michigan Tech? My cousin was attending and I wanted to be his roommate. Also, having relatives in the area helped. I was in “Bootjack” every summer as a boy until I was 15. Tell us about a memorable experience you had with a class or about a favorite professor? Doc Barry . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports

Fill in the Blanks

Commencement Fill Blanks

Big Day, Big Flag

Maybe not much to go on here, but are there alumni who can identify the year of this commencement shot? Do you have a favorite memory of graduating from Tech?

From the Email Bag

Can you solve this mystery?

Hi Scott,

The unveiling of the new Huskies sports logos a few weeks ago got me thinking about a Huskies Hockey mystery, the answer to which has eluded me for more than 20 years. I’m hoping my fellow Tech alumni can help me find the answer, or at least dig up some new leads.

. . . [ Full Story ]

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