February 28, 2017, Vol. 23, No. 13

Great Sand Bay. Eagle Harbor. Bete Gris. A Few of My Favorite Places.


And Houghton! These Keweenaw destinations were vacation spots for me and my family for years. Places where we came to escape the flatlands of Illinois and reconnect with nature.

The Copper Country sure is a magical place.

So when the opportunity to work at Michigan Tech presented itself, I said yes! My husband, Ryan, and our three children Hannah (8), Andrew (5), and Amelia (3) arrived last month. While playing in the snow, my son said, “Mom, it’s like Christmas every day here.”

Indeed it is.

I’m honored to be a part of the Huskies family, serving as the new editor for TechAlum and a writer for Advancement and Alumni Engagement.

I’m sure along the way you may hear about my family and our adventures. But for now, I want to hear your stories—memories of Michigan Tech, favorite places, classes, professors.

To start this journey, I enlisted the help of Dennis Walikainen ’92 ’09. You probably remember Dennis, who served as TechAlum editor for many years, bringing the University to you through this newsletter.

In retirement, Dennis keeps busy reading, listening to rock and roll, and serving as curator of the International Frisbee and USA Guts Hall of Fame, located in Calumet, Michigan.

He’s also enjoying his grandchildren who live five blocks away. “It’s beyond cool,” he says of being a grandpa to a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old.

Since I’m new here, I asked Dennis for the best adventure spots around.

Here’s Dennis’ picks

Snow: “Find something to do in the winter here.” Cross country skiing, downhill skiing at Mont Ripley, snowshoeing, ice skating, hockey games.

Great drives: Covered drive in Houghton, Sand Dune drive, Gay to Lac La Belle

Visit: Pilgrim River watershed, Sturgeon River, Michigan Tech Trails, Maasto Hiihto Trails

Now it’s your turn. Send your favorite places or things to do in the Copper Country. I will include them in our Keweenaw Bucketlist series, sharing the beauty, energy, and activities of this place I now call home.

Can’t wait to hear from you!Sarah Williams 2


At Tech


Protecting Bulk Power Systems from Hackers

Most of us take turning the lights on for granted. In reality, the energy we draw from the electrical grid to brighten homes, freeze food and watch TV is part of a complicated and widespread system. Understanding that system’s vulnerabilities and reliability is a crucial step towards improving its security.

New research led by scientists . . . [ Full Story ]


Old Rocks, Biased Data: Overcoming Challenges Studying the Geodynamo

Since researchers cannot visit the core, they use rocks at the surface as a proxy. Specifically, volcanic rocks record the intensity and changes in Earth’s magnetic field and the record extends back billions of years to the early days of the planet’s young core and the development of the geodynamo. The problem is that most . . . [ Full Story ]


February is Co-op and Internship Month

Snyder’s endorsement of co-ops and internships comes as no surprise to Michigan Technological University students who, in Snyder’s words, “gain necessary skills that enable an easier transition from school to the workplace” in large numbers.

Stephen Patchin, director of Career Services at Michigan Tech, says students as well as companies understand the importance of cooperative . . . [ Full Story ]


NASA Taps Tech Professor to Lead $15 Million Space Technology Research Institute

The institute is funded by a million 5-year grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Odegard is the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Professor of Computational Mechanics at Michigan Tech and associate chair and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. He is also an adjunct professor of materials . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World

Winter Carnival All Nighter 201702090217

Snow Totals!

Season Snowfall: 169 inches
This Month to Date: 33.25 inches
Past Seven Days: 8 inches

As of February 27, 2017

Be sure to enter our monthly and yearly Snowfall Contests. Predict our monthly snowfall for March or our yearly snowfall amount contest. Win prizes! Good luck!

Enter the monthly contest.

. . . [ Full Story ]


Superior Ideas: Elevating Ghanaian Living Standards

The Pavlis Institute, a component of the Pavlis Honors College, has traveled to Ghana for eight years with various projects across a number of fields. Each team is mentored by the previous team to make sure projects are sustainable, realistic, and wanted, creating a culture of constant improvement. This project is focused on bringing hospital . . . [ Full Story ]


Thank you for sharing your love, Michigan Tech!

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, we asked you, our alumni and friends to share with us why you love Michigan Tech. We had some great responses from more than 140 of you. Thank you to those who responded.

Congrats to Eric Beck ’84 who won the “I Heart Michigan Tech” prize package.

Here’s what . . . [ Full Story ]

broomball 2017 winners

Brooms. Duct tape. Bruises. Memories.

This year’s Alumni-Student Broomball Invitational tournament during Winter Carnival brought a record 16 teams to campus. More than 140 Michigan Tech alumni and friends gathered for the weekend.

Congratulations to the tournament champions, alumni team Pirate Sheep! They have won the tournament two years in a row. A recording of the championship game live stream . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Profile

Stuart C. Pann ’81


After graduating from Michigan Tech, Stuart Pann joined Intel in 1981 and held several management positions within the company’s sales organization before moving into an operations role in 1999 as the director of microprocessor marketing and business planning for the Desktop Products Group. At Intel, Stuart became co-general manager of customer fulfillment, planning, and logistics, . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports

Fill in the Blanks

Sno-go snow blowing

Sno-go Snow Blowing

The Copper Country saw a big melt this past week. Grass has been spotted! No fear…more snow is coming. But I found this picture in the archives from the Winter of 1978-79. Look at all that snow! From the archives: “The former August Raisanen’s house with a sno-go blowing drifted snow. A total of 355.5 . . . [ Full Story ]


Clean Snowmobile Challenge

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is coming up March 6-11 this year at the Keweenaw Research Center. This is another new one for me. Here’s a photo from a past Michigan Tech team. Have a memory about the clean snowmobile challenge? Or another student organization winter activity? Send those to me!

From the Email Bag

Featured Alumni Benefits

mmt_graphic copy cropped

NEW: My Michigan Tech for Alumni

Search the Alumni Directory, update your information, and share your news with classmates in the My Michigan Tech (MMT) portal.

Accessing MMT is easy. If you have an ISO or @mtu.edu email address you can log in with that username and password by going to mymichigantech.mtu.edu. If you do not have this access just contact the Alumni House at 1-877-688-2586.

You can also find more information at mtu.edu/alumni/mymichigantech.


Around the Keweenaw

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Miss the great Keweenaw lifestyle? If you’re looking for a way to get back to this awesome corner of the world, check out these positions available right here at Michigan Tech.

View a listing of our on-campus career opportunities.