Capturing and Converting Carbon Dioxide into a Useful Product

Carbon dioxide is a troublemaker. So it’s a good idea to remove it from power plant emissions — and it may have an extra economic benefit. 

Until now, carbon dioxide has been dumped in oceans or buried underground. Industry has been reluctant to implement carbon dioxide scrubbers in facilities due to cost and footprint.

What if we could not only capture carbon dioxide, but convert it into something useful? S. Komar Kawatra and his students have tackled that challenge, and they’re having some success.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.

Ilyasah Shabazz to Speak Tuesday

"When you educate a girl, you raise a nation."  — Ilyasah Shabazz

Author, educator, activist and motivational speaker Ilyasah, daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 26) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. 

Author of four award-winning publications, Shabazz is most known for her memoir "Growing Up X."

Shabazz is frequently asked to speak about the legacy of Malcolm X, however, she shares it is her mother's wisdom, courage and compassion that guide her. She promotes higher education for at-risk youth, interfaith dialogue to build bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world and participates on international humanitarian delegations.

This event is partially sponsored/funded by the Visiting Women and Minority Lecture/Scholar Series (VWMLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion from the State of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative. Shabazz’s appearance is arranged through Gotham Artists. This lecture is presented as part of the Social Justice Lecture Series and Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series.

This lecture is free, however due to limited seating, tickets are required and are available by phone, 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box office up to two hours before the show. 

Note: The date of this lecture has changed, it was originally scheduled for Wednesday (Feb. 27).

FleetCommander Upgrade this Weekend

The FleetCommander software used by Husky Motors for online reservations/vehicle pickups has scheduled a maintenance window this weekend from 10 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 24) to 4 a.m. Monday (Feb. 25).  
Online access will intermittently be unavailable during this time. If you have a scheduled reservation during this timeframe you will be contacted by Husky Motors to make arrangements for key pickup/dropoff.
Email Husky Motors at  if you need any additional assistance because of this outage.

Parade of Confections Tonight

Several Michigan Tech faculty are among the bakers of decadent gourmet desserts at the Parade of Confections fundraiser for the Copper Country Community Arts Center. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at the Art Center at 435 Quincy St. in Hancock. 

The live auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. with auctioneer Brad Baltensperger (CLS). The evening will also include a silent art auction and hors d'oeuvres. People may bid on desserts individually or in groups. 

Among the desserts are Black Chocolate Stout Cake with Salted Carmel Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting by Joan Chadde (GLRC), 14 Carrot Cake by Evie Johnson (HU) and Lemon Mango Entremet by Kate van Susante (VPA).

Tickets are $10 in advance and available for purchase at the Arts Center or $15 at the door. 

Women's Basketball Team Ranked in First NCAA Midwest Region Poll

The Michigan Tech women's basketball team holds the No. 8 spot in the first NCAA Division II Midwest Region Poll, announced Wednesday. The Huskies are one of four Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) teams ranked in this first poll.

Going into last night's game at Davenport, the Huskies are riding an eight-game winning streak, and have wins in 11 of their last 12 contests while clinching a home game in the quarterfinal round of the upcoming GLIAC tournament. 

The breakdown for GLIAC teams in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Rankings this week include Grand Valley State at No. 3 followed by Ashland at No. 4. Northern Michigan is one spot behind at No. 5 and Tech checks in at No. 8. The Midwest Region includes schools from the GLIAC, the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) and the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC). The GLVC holds four regional ranking positions with the G-MAC owning two positions. Drury, out of the GLVC, is the top ranked team in the region this week boasting a record of 24-0.

The complete NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Regional Rankings can be viewed here.

Hockey Hosts Alaska Anchorage

The Hockey Huskies host Alaska Anchorage tonight and tomorrow (Feb. 22/23) in the final home series of the regular season. Tomorrow is Junior Hockey Night with a Skate with the Huskies event after the game. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. each night. The Huskies are 12-16-4 (11-10-3-1 in WCHA), while Alaska Anchorage is 3-24-3 (2-19-3-2 in WCHA).

Both games can be heard on local radio on 93.5 FM and live streamed at pasty.net. There is live video on FloHockey.tv.

Tech is 34-32-16 against the Seawolves in a series that dates back to 1988. Tech is 19-13-6 in games played in Houghton. Six of the last seven games between the two teams have gone into overtime. Tech took four out of six WCHA points at Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 25-26, not allowing a goal all weekend. 

Humanities Chair Candidate Research Presentation Monday

The next Humanities chair research presentation will take place at 1 p.m. Monday (Feb. 25) in the Rozsa Center lobby. 

Davis Banash will present "Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' and the Cinematic Novels of Don DeLillo and Manuel Muñoz."

Cluster Hire Candidate Research Seminar

There will be a candidate research seminar at 4 p.m. Monday (Feb. 25), in R. L. Smith (MEEM) 402. Yan Li will present "A Multiscale Framework for High Toughness Material Design. ”

Li joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at California State University, Long Beach as an assistant
professor in 2014. She received her PhD in mechanical
engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2014. Li’s primary research interests are in the area of mechanics of advanced materials, involving multiscale/multiphysics modelling, integrated computational/experimental approaches for next generation material design and application of material science and solid mechanics in advanced manufacturing.

Chemistry Chair Candidate Presentation Monday

There will be a chemistry chair candidate presentation at 11 a.m. Monday (Feb. 25) in MUB Ballroom B. Rebecca Peebles will present, "Spectroscopic and Computational Studies of CO2 Microsolvation and Halogen-Containing Pollutants."

Peebles is a professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Eastern Illinois University. Her primary research interests are focused on using a combination of high-resolution gas phase spectroscopy and computational techniques to learn about the fundamental properties of small molecules and the interactions between them.

Her present research incorporates elements of “big data” analysis to identify patterns within data sets that contain thousands of spectroscopic transitions from many different chemical species. She most often focuses on studying systems with atmospheric or environmental interest.  

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, February 22, 2019

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources. For more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu.

For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Marketing Communications Specialist, University Marketing and Communications. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Reminders

"Agnes of God" Tonight and Tomorrow

The Tech Theatre Company's production of "Agnes of God" continues with performances tonight and tomorrow (Feb. 22/23). Additional performances will take place Thursday, Feb. 28 to Saturday, March 2. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m each night. 

For more ticket information, see the previous Tech Today story.

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Black History Month Event: Free Showing of "Green Book" Tonight

Join the Black Students Association for a free showing of "Green Book" at 7 p.m. today  (Feb. 22) in Fisher 139. Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist who is about to embark on a concert tour in the deep south in 1962.

In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.

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KSO Concert Tomorrow

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) presents a concert of two works, Les nuits d’été, by Hector Berlioz, and Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” suite, under the direction of conductor Joel Neves, at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 23) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

For ticket information see yesterday's Tech Today story

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Call for Proposals: Research Excellence Fund (REF), Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Mid-Career Research Excellence Fund Proposals

Proposals are being solicited for the Research Excellence Fund (REF) program, an internal award of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Budgets are due no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 and proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, March 7. Both must be submitted electronically per the guidelines.

For additional information, see Research Excellence Fund.

If you are interested in serving on an REF proposal review committee, email Natasha Chopp.

Portage Health Foundation Mid-Career

Proposals are being solicited for the Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Mid-Career program, which is designed to support tenured faculty with an active National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant and/or consistent history of external funding with NIH or a related agency.

Budgets are due no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 and proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, March 7. Both must be submitted electronically per the guidelines.

For additional information, see Portage Health Foundation Research Awards.

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ME-EM Faculty Candidate Research Seminar Today

The next Faculty Candidate Research Seminar will be held at 2 p.m. today (Feb. 22) in R.L. Smith (MEEM) 406. Ezequiel Medici (ME-EM) will present “Transport Phenomena in Science and Engineering.”

Medici is a research assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering‐Engineering Mechanics.

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This Week's C-Cubed Luncheon

This week's C3 luncheon take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (Feb 22) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge (#107). 

As the name suggests, the meals are meant to foster conversation, community and collegiality. Attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Fruit-infused water, coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are available free to all attendees.

The buffet lunch is $12 per person. Cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates (available in the Memorial Union office) are accepted.

The menu:

Today

  • Red Thai Salmon Curry, GF
  • Red Thai Curry Tofu, GF, VE
  • Jasmine Rice, GF, VE
  • Chopped Lettuce with Toasted Almonds, Edamame, Green Onions, Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes and Peanut Dressing, GF, VE

V- Vegetarian, VE-Vegan/Vegetarian, GF- Gluten Free

New Funding

Robert Pastel (CS) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $116,561 research and development grant from Northern Arizona University. 

The project is titled "Collaborative Research: MSB-FRA: Scaling Climate, Connectivity and Communities in Streams." 

This is the first year of a potential five-year project. 

Deans' Teaching Showcase

 

 In this week's showcase, School of Technology Dean Adrienne Minerick would like to recognize Todd Arney, Guy Hembroff and Yu Cai  for their collaborative, creative efforts in developing a new course: SAT 4411 Data Center Engineering. 

Along with former faculty member Xinli Wang, the three responded in Fall 2014 to a request from the Computer Network and Systems Administration (CNSA) Industrial Advisory Board to provide students with more exposure and practical hands-on experience with virtualization, cloud computing and data center engineering for both physical and virtual data centers.

Topics included in the course during initial planning included data center planning, disaster recovery, virtualization methods and cloud computing services that provide business continuity,

The class was first offered in Spring 2016 and was co-taught by Hembroff, Arney and Wang. The original idea was to devote one third of the class to data centers, one third to virtualization and a third to cloud computing.

Labs included tours of data centers both on and off campus and detailed discussions with data center managers. Students responded positively to seeing the real-world data centers and getting information directly from data center technicians and professionals in several different fields related to data center engineering.

In Spring 2018, instruction was focused even more on the real-world aspects of data centers by inviting a Michigan Tech data center technician to lead the class and facilitate more hands-on activities and tours. Virtualization and cloud computing materials were still included in the class by Cai and Arney, but additional guests provided lectures and labs centered around hands-on activities and real-world case scenarios.

Some of the guest lectures included:

  • Senior network engineer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (Blue Waters supercomputer data center information and tour)
  • Director of Energy Management (Tour of Central Heating Plan)
  • Director of IT Operations (Managing Data Centers)
  • Chief Information Security Officer (Security of Data Centers and Cloud Computing)
  • Director of Research Computing (High Performance Computing Data Centers)

The inclusion of real-world data center technicians and experts was even more popular with students. Responses on course evaluations emphasized the interesting stories, the "real-life feel of the classroom" and best practices "backed by examples that you have run into in your job." One student end-of-term comment went further, emphasizing the value of instruction directly from the data technician: "He did a great job with telling us the information and it wasn't your typical class where you go in and sit for 55 minutes and just listen. It was more real world, like we were in a training session for a job. If (he) teaches this course please keep it up. It was awesome." 

This type of instruction, which couples application with computing foundations, provides an excellent strategy to increase the relevance of student’s educational experiences. Arney has championed this strategy in a number of his courses, which has been a component that has earned him the distinction of earning from students the "top 10 percent of teaching evaluation scores for three semesters in a row."

Arney, Hembroff and Cai will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members. The team is also now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

On the Road

Bruce Lee (BioMed), Rupak Rajachar (BioMed), Ameya Narkar, Ariana Tyo and Saleh Akram attended the 42 Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society in Hilton Head, SC.

Lee served as the chair of the Bioadhesion Division within the Adhesion Society and was one of the organizers in the meeting. Rajachar chaired two sessions entitled "Interfaces in Pharmaceutical Sciences" and "Bioadhesive Chemistry."

Narkar gave an oral presentation entitled "Evaluating Rapid Switching and Reversible Adhesion of Adhesive Hydrogel-Coated PDMS Micropillars," a project directed by Lee. Narkar also co-chaired a session entitled “Bioadhesive Chemistry."

Tyo gave an oral presentation entitled "Optimizing of Two-Step Adhesive Coating for the Mitigation of Field Associated Infection in Cetacean Satellite Telemetry Tags," a project directed by Rajachar.

Akram gave an oral presentation entitled "Controlling Redox Reaction of Conductive Smart Catechol Adhesive using Electrochemistry," a project directed by Lee.

Continuous Improvement Connection

Here in the Office of Continuous Improvement we rely on various visual management systems to keep our communication as open as possible, even if we rarely see each other throughout the week. Our boards range in their utilization, whether it be for monitoring all current Kaizen events as they progress through our process, or to simply help us talk about our plans for the day.

These are just a few examples of how visual management can help to maximize the flow of any space or process. In fact, due to the wide range of application of Visual Management, it can be customized and tailored to fit your needs. It also has the ability to adapt and grow with you as your own processes change.

Visual management is an effective tool for communication, efficient work flow, simplifying a complex process and helping you allocate your energy elsewhere. Interested in learning more about how you can get started on your visual management system? Contact our office via email and someone will be happy to assist you in selecting the right resources to get started with.

Visual management systems don’t just have to be used in an office. They can be used in a research lab, a classroom, at home or even for students managing their academic/personal priorities. We’ll be hosting our fifth student-to-student information session from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5 in the East Reading Room of the Library. This semester’s topic is Visual Management. If you know a student who might benefit from this real-world/industry/adaptable tool please share the details of our information session with them. All Students are welcome and dinner will be provided.

In the News

Michigan Tech's Career Fair was covered by WLUC TV6 and ABC 10.

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The Michigan Tech news story "Capturing and Converting Carbon Dioxide into a Useful Product," has been picked up by several media outlets including Long Room. (See story above).

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The Michigan Tech story "Jobs vs. death toll: Calculating corporate death penalties," has been picked up by numerous national outlets, including Science Times.