Plug In for Renewable Energy

A new study shows a huge U.S. market for plug and play solar energy, with billions of dollars in retail sales and energy savings. So what's holding up widespread use?

Support for solar energy is vast. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 79 percent of Americans want the U.S. to put more emphasis on developing solar power. Most of the same people, unfortunately, can’t afford to install solar energy systems in their homes. Even after federal tax credits, installing solar panels to cover all of a family's electricity needs can cost tens of thousands of dollars. For others, a home solar system isn’t a consideration because they rent, or move frequently.

But Michigan Tech's’ Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) says he knows the solution: plug and play solar.

“Plug and play systems are affordable, easy to install and portable,” says Pearce. “The average American consumer can buy and install them with no training.”

In a study funded by the Conway Fellowship and published in Renewable Energy, Pearce and researchers Aishwarya Mundada and Emily Prehoda estimate that plug and play solar could provide 57 gigawatts of renewable energy — enough to power the cities of New York and Detroit — with potentially $14.3 to $71.7 billion in sales for retailers and $13 billion a year in cost savings for energy users.

Read the full story.

Indian Cuisine at Today's Khana Khazana

Indian cuisine is on the menu at today's Khana Khazana in the Memorial Union North Coast Deli, serving from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The menu includes:

  • Raja Masala — Steamed Kidney Beans

  • Chicken Do Pyaza — Chicken Curry with Onion

  • Mixed Vegetable Pakora — Crispy Indian Fritters

  • Gajar Halwa — Carrot Pudding

The cost for the full meal is $7.95 and includes a fountain drink. Like the Khana Khazana at Michigan Tech Facebook page

Hockey Travels to Bowling Green

The Hockey Huskies are in Ohio for the final WCHA series of 2016 against Bowling Green, the team that was the media and coaches pick to win the MacNaughton Cup. It will be the only meeting between the two teams in 2016-17. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. both nights from BGSU Ice Arena.

Tech is now 10-7-3 overall and 9-3-2-1 in the WCHA. The Huskies trail Bemidji State by eight points in the league standings. The games can be heard on local radio on 93.5 FM, live streamed at, live video on with live tweeting at

Tech is 13-9-3 all-time against Bowling Green in a series that dates back to the 1972-73 season. The Huskies are 5-5-1 in games played in Bowling Green. Tech went 2-1-1 against BGSU in 2015-16.

For more on Husky Sports visit

Social Sciences Brown Bag

There will be a Social Sciences Brown Bag at 3 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 14) in AOB 201. Mark Hendrickson will present "The Sesame that Opens the Door of Trade: John Hays Hammond and Foreign Direct Investment in Mining 1880-1920."

Hammond is associate professor, department of history, UC San Diego and a Visiting Mellon Fellow.

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, American mining engineers fanned out around the globe to potential or existing mines in China, Mexico, Siberia, South Africa and beyond.

Hendrickson’s pre-circulated paper and talk examine the rise and work of mining engineer John Hays Hammond and the mining engineers, geologists and capitalists with whom he worked. The paper reveals ways that a segment of the investor class depended upon members of the emerging professional middle class of university-trained mining experts for collaboration — and even inspiration — regarding possible sources of remunerative investment.


Special Edition of Tech Today Tomorrow

Tech Today will present a special edition tomorrow. The special edition will feature new faculty members who have started with the Fall Semester. Tech Today will be online tomorrow and will be sent via email to those with subscriptions. 


Special Operating Hours Over Semester Break

The University will be closed for the holidays on the following days:

  • Monday, Dec. 26

  • Tuesday, Dec. 27

  • Thursday, Dec. 29

  • Friday, Dec. 30

Business Operations has posted the departmental hours of operation during the semester break on their website. This will be updated regularly throughout December. If your department has not yet submitted your Special Operating Hours, do so using the google form posted on the website.

Note: For employees in units considered critical areas of operation, regular hours and shifts will continue as usual and as needed over the entire break. Check with your supervisor to determine if you or your area is considered a critical area of operation.

For questions, contact Business Operations at 7-2148.


BME PhD Proposal Defense

Biomedical engineering PhD student Wenkai Jia will present her proposal defense at 9:30 a.m. Monday (Dec. 12) in Fisher 129. The defense is titled "Applying Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Lymphatic Vasculature Regeneration."


Graduating Senior Series: Part 5—Now What? Life After College

Join a panel of Michigan Tech alumni to learn how to navigate life after graduation—how they got to where they are now, the resources they used and what they wished they had known when they were in your shoes. This session is from noon to 1 p.m. today (Dec. 9) in the Memorial Union Ballroom.


Film Board Study Break

Are finals stressing you out? Need a break from cramming? Join Film Board for a study break. 

All day today, tomorrow and Sunday we will be watching holiday movies in Fisher 135. The theater will be a quiet space to relax, read a book or get away from your roommate while casually watching a holiday film. Come and go as you please. Concessions will be available.

Note: Regular films will resume next semester.


C-Cubed Week 14

C-Cubed lunches are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. 


  • Penne alla Vodka (VE, GF)

  • Fusilli with Italian Sausage and Rocket (GF)

  • Arugula Lentil Salad (VE, GF)

V—Vegetarian VE—Vegan, GF—Gluten Free

Send any suggestions to Christina Fabian or fill out a feed-back form online


GSG organizes Stress Relieving evening with Zumba and Meditation

GSG is organizing a Stress Relieving Night where all graduate students are invited to come and learn some Zumba taught by Cindy Crabtree. 

If you would prefer some peace of mind through Meditation and Mindfulness, they have Silke Feltz to assist you. There will also be some coloring, socializing and food for all attendees. 

GSG welcomes all graduate students to spend this evening to relax their mind and body to prepare for the last week of a well-rounded fall semester.

The event is  from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight (Dec. 9) in the Douglass Houghton Hall Ballroom.


Annual Forestry Club Christmas Tree Fundraiser

The Forestry Club will sell Christmas trees and door decorations this weekend at the U.J. Noblet Forestry Building. 

Trees are harvested fresh from a thinning project from the School's forest. Trees under five feet are $15, trees five to nine feet are $20 and any taller trees are $25. 

Miscellaneous decorations will be available while supplies last. Contact Peter Hoch to order your tree today.


Energy Conversion Poster Symposium

Students from ME-EM 4200/5290 and 4201 "Principles of Energy Conversion" and "Intermediate Thermodynamics" will present the results of their semester-long projects on energy conversion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (Dec. 9) in MUB Commons.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Friday, December 9, 2016   
Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in the Human Resources Department. For more information regarding staff positions call 7-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions contact the academic department in which the position is posted.
Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering. Apply online.
Assistant Professor in Surface Water Quality, Civil & Environmental Engineering. Apply online.
Office Assistant 3, Air Force ROTC. UAW internal and external posting 12/9/2016-12/15/2016. External applications will not be reviewed until after all internal applications. Apply online
Administrative Aide 7, Humanities. UAW internal and external posting 12/9/2016 - 12/15/2016. External applications will not be reviewed until after all internal applications. Apply online.  
Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Education Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. 

A Metacognitive Moment

Looking ahead to classes in the spring, it's worth reviewing the many methods of metacognitive thinking we've explored throughout the term. As you set up your courses for spring semester, consider "building in" these opportunities as appropriate. The list below provides links to allow an easy detailed review of the metacognitive technique most useful to you.

Think carefully about what you want students to accomplish, using Bloom’s taxonomy to articulate specific goals and craft assignments. Find ways to normalize confusion to help your students feel safe in learning from their mistakes. Design in-class activities that provide opportunities for think-aloud assessments and reap the benefits of frequent recall using the testing effect.  

As you explain course material, remember to implement the “Pause Procedure” and appoint a class notetaker, use scaffolded notes or teach note taking skills to increase student retention. Throughout the term, motivate your students with a discussion about growth vs. fixed mindsets or stress vs. performance (Yerkes-Dodson Law). Finally, help your students prepare for exams by sharing the rules for studying based on cognitive science, using exam wrappers or having them draw concept maps. And consider giving assignments that make connections to previous topics through “minute papers” or other methods, and firm up lessons learned through written reflections.

Keep in mind the break between semesters will "feel" shorter than usual this week since Spring classes begin on Jan. 9, just one week into the new year. The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning will be open normal hours through Dec. 21 and then again starting Tuesday, Jan. 3. Let us know how we can be of assistance in grade calculation/submission or new class preparation.

In the News

Research by alumni Aishwarya Mundada (ECE) and Emily Prehoda (SS) and faculty member Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was covered in Plug-and-play solar could be the next clean energy wave in the US-TreeHugger, US market for »plug and play« solar panels is about 57 GW, says a MTU study-Photon Science Daily and other online news sources.

MichiganAgConnection, MinnesotaAgConnection, IowaAgConnection and other publications around the country reported on Pearce's plug and play solar research. (See story above.)