Chemical Engineering Inducts Seven into Distinguished Academy

Michigan Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering inducted seven members into the Distinguished Academy of Chemical Engineering. All of this year’s inductees are alumni of Michigan Tech

The 2016 inductees are:

Robert D. Carnahan ’53: Carnahan got his professional start with the U.S. Navy working with underwater ordnance. Over his career he has authored more than 60 referred technical publications and has been granted 16 patents. Carnahan was awarded the Michigan Tech Board of Control Silver Medal and has been inducted in two other academies at Michigan Tech, Business and Economics and Materials and Metallurgical Engineering.

Michael J. Cleveland ’82: Currently he is the global business director for refining technology in the Process Technology and Equipment business of Honeywell UOP. Before assuming his current position last year, he served as the vice president and general manager for Latin America of UOP LLC based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Cleveland and his wife Marie are members of the Michigan Tech McNair Society and Founders Society.

William M. Colton ’75: Colton is vice president, Corporate Strategic Planning for Exxon Mobil. In this role, he oversees the corporation’s strategic planning activities and the development of its Energy Outlook, Exxon Mobil’s assessment of global energy trends. Colton is on the board of the Natinal Bureau of Asian Research.

Christopher Copeland, ’05 (MS), ’07 (PhD): Working with Komar Kawatra, Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech, Copeland designed and developed a new laboratory test method for evaluating the effectiveness of dust suppressants. After leaving Michigan Tech, Copeland accepted a position as a research engineer at ConocoPhillips. In 2014, Copeland was charged to lead a team of engineers responsible for the bitumen and gas treating facilities.

Laurie Couture-Dorschner, ’79: She began her career with Bemis Company in Minneapolis holding various engineering and manufacturing positions. She joined Kimberly-Clark in 1984 earning patents for her innovative materials and processes. She was the lead product developer for the launch of the highly successful HUGGIES Little Swimmers swim pants. Throughout her career she was actively involved in recruiting for Kimberly-Clark and led the semi-annual recruiting events at Michigan Tech. She is a member of the President’s Council of Alumnae.

Kerry Irons ’ 72: Irons holds a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from Michigan Tech. He joined the Dow Chemical Company in 1973 and retired in 2004 after a 30-year career in chemical process research with his final role as Senior Technical Leader in Core R&D, Engineering Sciences Market Development. For 10 years Irons was on Dow’s Michigan Tech recruiting teams, serving as team leader. In 2013 he was elected to the Michigan Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors and is now serving as Secretary.

Karen Mikkola Swager ’92: As Vice President, Concentrates for the phosphates business unit of the Mosaic Company, she provides overall direction and guidance and day-to-day support for all concentrates operations in the phosphates business unit. She was appointed by then-Florida Governor Charlie Crist to serve on the Board of Directors for the Florida Institute for Phosphate Research. She was recognized by the Florida Chapter of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration with the “Hero of the Year Award.”

Ceremonies were held April 6 in the Lobby of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Remarks were made by Kawatra and Academy Member James Brozzo.

Information for 2016 NSF CAREER Proposals

Proposals to the National Science Foundation's CAREER program are submitted each July. These prestigious five-year awards are designed to support the research and education activities of untenured assistant professors in any discipline supported by NSF. Additional eligibility information can be found in the program solicitation.

Given the number of anticipated submissions, non-standard internal proposal deadlines apply. Budget information (internal spreadsheet, budget justification and any subcontract information) is due no later than noon on Wednesday, July 6. The internal deadline for complete proposals, "submit" access and all internal paperwork will be no later than noon on the date falling one week prior to the applicable discipline-specific NSF deadline.

Discipline-specific deadlines include: 

  • Wednesday, July 13 - no later than noon for proposals submitted to BIO, CISE, EHR
  • Thursday, July 14  - no later than noon for proposals submitted to ENG
  • Friday, July 15 - no later than noon for proposals submitted to GEO, MPS, SBE

Faculty wishing to submit to the CAREER program are asked to complete this two-question "intent to submit" form by Tuesday, May 31.

If you have questions about the CAREER program or would like assistance preparing your proposal, contact the Research Development Office at

Year-End Closing Information from Financial Services & Operations

Financial Services and Operations has posted its 2016 Fiscal-Year-End Closing Schedule on its website. It is located under "Closing Schedules" on the webpage.

A copy of the year-end closing schedule should be posted in each department and/or distributed to the appropriate employees.

Michigan Tech Archives to Host Project Reception

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections is pleased to invite the community to our project reception for the "Black Voices in the Copper Country" project. The presentation and social hour will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 31 in the Van Pelt and Opie Library's East Reading Room. This event is free and open to the public. Assorted hors d'oeuvres and other refreshments will be served.

This reception is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Visit our blog for more details about the event. You may also contact the Michigan Tech Archives at 7-2505 or

Chinese Cuisine at Khana Khazana

Chinese cuisine is featured in Friday's Khana Khazana from the food trailer in the MUB Circle.

Serving is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu features Coca Cola Chicken Wings, Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Chinese Ice Tea.

The cost is $6.95 for a full meal. Like the Khana Khazana at Michigan Tech Facebook page.

In the News

In an article in Lake Superior Magazine about unique fireplaces, Syd and Marty Faassen of Copper Harbor talked about their Telikivi fireplace, made from Finnish soapstone in Finland. They first heard about the Telikivi fireplace from Marty's former roommate at Michigan Tech. See the article here.


Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in an article "Can Open-Sourcing Transform Electronics Hardware?" in IEEE's Electronics 360.

***** published an article covering the work of seven Michigan Tech students including Cedric Kennedy, Aubrey Woern, Josh Krugh, Amber Varacalli, Ryan Oshe, John Klotz and Natalie Pohlman supported by Andre Laplume (SBE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE). "There are an ever-increasing number of universities and other higher educational institutions that currently have the goal to enhance and educate students on the state of 3D printing, but only a select few have disrupted the industry as much as the Michigan Technological University."

New Funding

Joan Schumaker-Chadde (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $5,000 contract from Michigan State University.
The project is titled, "Governance Approaches to Foster Great Lakes Literacy, Identity and Stewardship: An Integrated Assessment."

In Print

Professor Iosif Pinelis (Math) published a paper, "Explicit Additive Decomposition of Norms on 2" in The American Mathematical Monthly 123 5(2016) 491—496. A preview of the paper is available.


L. Syd M Johnson (HU) published "Reversing brain death: An immodest proposal" in Impact Ethics.


Five Michigan Tech Teams Presenting Their Research Today

Five teams of Michigan Tech scientists and engineers will present their innovative technologies to a state funding review committee at Michigan Tech today.

The reviewers, officially designated an Oversight Committee, will be making decisions on grants from the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) program, a $6 million state-funded program developed and managed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to help commercialize university translational research.


Keweenaw Geoheritage Tours by Water and Land 

Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is a place of natural beauty with a fascinating mining history. Join local expert Bill Rose (GMES) in reading the landscape to learn how the Copper Country came to be the way it is today. Each one-day field trip explores one of four major events in Earth's history that make up the strong geoheritage of the Keweenaw Lavas, the Keweenaw Fault, the Jacobsville Sandstone and Copper Mining Waste of Lake Superior. 

Participants can expect to cover a lot of ground and be outside all the time. Travel is a combination of van transport, short walks and trips aboard Michigan Tech's research vessel, Agassiz. Trips are limited by boat capacity to 17 people. Each day trip costs $145 and includes lunch and snacks, boat and van transport.

For more information, trip descriptions and registration, click here. For specific questions, email Erika Vye.