December 1, 2015, Vol. 22, No. 7

Both Weeks

Campus Mall Winter12082014_0004

It’s the time of the term that feels most odd to me: the two weeks between Thanksgiving and finals. I know that, after a week off, it’s taking me a bit to get back up to speed, and I have to think students are going through that as well. There’s also the added stress of finishing projects and having other exams before finals.

That week off seems to be the signal each year that we’re going from fall to winter. When I left we had a bit of snow on the ground, but the air didn’t have that bite to it. When I got back, I fell on my butt in the driveway on some ice. It’s just changed.

So now we run around frantically, trying to get those last things done—for what it’s worth, we as faculty have just as much to do at the end of a term, and there’s a bit of a herding-cats mentality to get student presentations done and assignments completed. Six class sessions, and then I wish them the best and hope some of what I’ve taught them has stuck.

This is my 15th year of teaching. The end of the term is as bittersweet for me as it is a relief for students. It’s covering every base and writing up summaries and reviews. It’s making sure all assignments are in and making sure students are okay, holding up to the stress. It’s also hope: hoping that they go on and use these skills to get where they want to go.

It’s a mad dash to the finish, one you probably remember well. It’s also a good test for standing up to the very hectic parts of real life, the things we all deal with every day as adults. These are, after all, the shortest days and longest nights of the year for a reason.


We’ve seen the first regular bits of snow, which also means that the temperatures are fluctuating above and below the freezing line. That means there’s loads of ice. I expect to see more crutches and wrist braces in the coming weeks.

Our official rock-and-roll correspondent—Dennis!—checks in with us this issue; check out his response to some Techspotting in a recent documentary on the Eagles.

With Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, Sleep-In Sunday (okay, I made that up), and Cyber Monday (and considering how old and out of place the word cyber is, I vote we change it to Digital Monday) all behind us, we got a reminder for Giving Tuesday which is, can you believe it, today! From their release:

The Michigan Tech Annual Fund and the Student Philanthropy Council invite all alumni and friends of the University to join them in celebrating #GivingTuesday today, December 1, 2015.  #GivingTuesday, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, celebrates and encourages giving for important causes everywhere.  For more information go to

On campus we’re celebrating #GivingTuesday by asking everyone making a purchase at any University retail operation (Campus Store, MUB food court, etc.) to consider “rounding up” to the next dollar with the proceeds being designated to student scholarships.

In this season of thanksgiving, we hope our alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends find places of peace and reasons to celebrate. We encourage you to give back to Michigan Tech, support our community, and remember the reason for the season.

To make a gift to Michigan Tech just go to Thank you!

Our snowfall contest is indeed getting underway, with the December entry deadline coming up next week. Check out the links down in the mailbag.

And finally, just a bit of housekeeping from all of us here at TechAlum, I wanted to let you know we’ll have an extra week off after the next issue. It falls in that odd spot before New Years and the GLI, so we’ll push back that next issue by a week to January 5. Though if you really miss me, you can always drop an email and I’ll try to spin a story for you on the spot!

Thanks for reading.

At Tech


Michigan Tech Professor, Student Help Bring 3-D Printing to Nicaragua

With all the technology we have today, there are so many possibilities. The whole world can collaborate and create open-sourced information to help develop thousands of scientific uses for various new technologies like 3-D printing.

Enabling the Future is an organization that is doing just that. It is a global network of passionate volunteers using . . . [ Full Story ]


Meet Athena: Michigan Tech’s Latest Manufacturing Marvel

A new, personal manufacturing robot named Athena is expanding the scope of what 3-D technology can do and leading the launch of a new Upper Peninsula- based business.

Michigan Tech research scientist and alumnus Jerry Anzalone and Michigan Tech Materials Science and Engineering PhD candidate Bas Wijnen have teamed up with Calumet High School tech . . . [ Full Story ]


Faith Morrison Receives Rare Honor from Society of Rheology

October 13 was a big evening for Faith Morrison, much bigger than she had anticipated. The professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University was in Baltimore for the 87th Meeting of the Society of Rheology. At the annual awards banquet Morrison was to be inducted in the inaugural class of Fellows of the Society. . . . [ Full Story ]


School of Forestry Brings American Chestnut Back to the Keweenaw

Back in the late 1980s, when Terry Sharik was teaching at Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science—then called the School of Forestry and Wood Products—he discovered what he calls “one of the finest forest-grown large American chestnut trees I have ever seen.”

The tree, estimated at 60 to 70 feet in height, . . . [ Full Story ]


Forestry Students Win SAF QuizBowl

Forestry terminology is no walk in the park. It’s full of taxonomy, long latin names; it deserves its own dictionary. The Society of American Foresters (SAF) gets this—and requires its student chapter officers to compete in an annual QuizBowl at their meeting. This year, the Michigan Technological University team took first place in the national . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World


Hockey in East Lansing

On Saturday, November 21st Alumni and friends gathered for a Pizza Party in East Lansing where they raised 0 for Michigan Tech scholarships with a jersey raffle. Then they headed over to the Munn Ice Arena to cheer on our Huskies as they battled the Michigan State Spartans. What a great collaboration between the Lansing . . . [ Full Story ]
2015 GLI Logo

2015 Great Lakes Invitational: December 29–30

Join fellow alumni, Husky fans and friends for the annual pre-game party downstairs at the legendary Joe Louis Arena. Visit us in the Garden Room (outside the Olympia Club) and get your Doghouse pickled eggs and pick up tickets for a chance to win a Michigan Tech or Red Wings jersey! Let us know you . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Profile

Donald Daavettila ’56, ’58


Don Daavettila earned both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in engineering physics from Michigan Tech in 1956 and 1958 respectively. He was named professor emeritus of physics in 2000.Daavettila began his career as a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory for more than five years. He then became a nuclear test engineer at the . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports


Khaira Makes NHL Debut

Nov 28, 2015

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Former Michigan Tech hockey player Jujhar Khaira made his National Hockey League debut Saturday (Nov. 28) with the Edmonton Oilers.

Khaira played 10:02 during 16 shifts for the Oilers vs. Pittsburgh and had one shot. The Surrey, British

. . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Falls to Ky. Wesleyan 69-51 in Men’s Hoops

Nov 28, 2015

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Kentucky Wesleyan defeated Michigan Tech 69-51 in men’s basketball to wrap up play at the Kentucky Wesleyan Classic at the Owensboro Sportscenter today. The Huskies are now 1-2 overall.

The teams played through a low-scoring first half. Tech held KWC

. . . [ Full Story ]

Huskies Fall 77-73 at Minnesota State

Nov 28, 2015

MANKATO, Minn. — No. 16-ranked Michigan Tech suffered its second straight road loss with a 77-73 setback at Minnesota State in non-conference women’s basketball today at the Taylor Center.

Tech led for 35 of the 40 minutes of the game, but couldn’t hold

. . . [ Full Story ]

Huskies Open 2015-16 Ski Season at Yellowstone

Nov 27, 2015

WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. — Michigan Tech skiers opened their 2015-16 season amongst a deep field at the Yellowstone Ski Festival with races Friday and Saturday (Nov. 27-28).

Tech racers took part in freestyle sprint qualifiers on Friday and freestyle distance races on Saturday.

. . . [ Full Story ]

Fill in the Blanks


Thanksgiving Memories

I did a bit of digging, trying to find more information about Thanksgiving past, and I came across a photo from Thanksgiving ’08. Excellent; I was here then, so I could talk about it.

Turns out it’s Thanksgiving 1908. Can’t say I know much about that one since it was 70 years before I was . . . [ Full Story ]

From the Email Bag

Snowfall Contest

Hi Kevin,

Frank Townsend, BSCE ’62 here.

Are we going to have a snowfall amount prediction contest this year?

My recollections of snowfall at MCMT are easy. Being from the Panama Canal Zone, that Nov 1958 evening was my FIRST snowfall. What a shock! My concept of snow was big fluffy flakes drifting down while . . . [ Full Story ]

Snow Memories (I could just call that Tech Memories…)


I’m responding to the TechAlum newsletter from today, specifically the
article about the earliest snow. I remember that there were two years
in a row where the first snow was October 6th, it was a Friday and a
Saturday, and both years we got enough good wet snow in the single
evening that . . . [ Full Story ]

On the Hunt

My experiences in the UP during the opening day of Rifle Hunting Season for Deer. When I was in high school in 1981, the first week of rifle season meant that all of the male teachers had substitutes and most of the male students were out the first day if not the first week. A . . . [ Full Story ]


Eagles and Huskies

Watching “history of the Eagles” on net flicks I notice a kid with a Michigan Tech t shirt in the front row. It was at 1:30.41 into the program

Who said tech toots aren’t hip.

Edward Davids ‘78

I’ll defer on this one. –Kevin

Kevin and Edward: A few years ago, I did a TechAlum . . . [ Full Story ]


Dear Kevin,

Can you please consider including Yoopera! on PBS as an item in your newsletter?

Thank you in advance,

Suzanne Jurva
MTU ’82

You bet, Suzanne. Here’s some goodness from the press release. –Kevin

The documentary Yoopera! tells the story of how the legacy of family stories and local history inspired both
. . . [ Full Story ]

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Around the Keweenaw

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