Rekhi Innovation Challenge Ends Tomorrow

The Rekhi Innovation Challenge ends at midnight tomorrow (Feb. 28). This year there are seven teams competing. The Rekhi Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to help promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through Michigan Tech’s crowdfunding site, Superior Ideas.

The team that raises the most money will receive a monetary match of up to $1,000. Additional awards will also be offered in five different categories:

  • Total number of unique visitors
  • Total number of unique funders
  • Most social media engagement
  • Most creative marketing communications strategy
  • First team to raise $500.

Superior Ideas was established in 2012 to help bring University research and public service projects to life. The site uses crowdfunding to raise money and awareness for University research and public service projects that may not qualify for grant funding.

The Rekhi Innovation Challenge was developed with support from Michigan Tech alumnus and longtime donor Kanwal Rekhi. The Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Tech in 1969.

If you’d like to learn more about any of these projects or donate, visit Superior Ideas. Help support student innovation and entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech by making a donation today.

Minimum Wage Increasing March 29

The Michigan Legislature has passed a bill increasing the state’s minimum wage from $9.25 to $9.87 per hour by January 2021.

The first stage will begin this year with the minimum wage increasing from $9.25 to $9.45 per hour effective March 29. Therefore, all hourly rates that fall below this rate for current employees will be automatically increased.

Department generated EPAFs will not be needed. For jobs starting after March 28, 2019, use the minimum wage of $9.45 per hour. This change will have an impact on departments that pay students and temporary employees less than this amount. 

Additional increases in the minimum wage are scheduled to take effect in the future. There will be an increase to $9.65 per hour effective January 1, 2020 and an increase to $9.87 per hour effective January 1, 2021. 

Annual Steam Shutdown

The annual steam shutdown will take place during the week following Spring Commencement, Sunday, May 5 thru Friday,10 (weather permitting).  

This outage is required to provide maintenance and service of the boilers and steam distribution system on campus. This planned maintenance improves the reliability of our system and reduces the likelihood of an unplanned failure during the winter heating season.

Note: There will not be heat or hot water in the affected buildings during the steam shutdown. There will be no distilled water available from the steam-driven stills. Steam-driven autoclaves/sterilizers will not be operational. You can find more details and updates on the Facilities Management website.

If there are questions or concerns with this plan, contact Energy Management at 7-2303.

Annual Steam Shutdown (May 5-10, 2019)

Buildings Affected:

  • Administration Building
  • ROTC Building
  • Academic Offices Building
  • Annex Building
  • Electrical Energy Resources
  • DOW 
  • Rozsa Performing Arts
  • Walker - Arts & Humanities
  • Minerals & Materials 
  • Grover C. Dillman Hall
  • Fisher Hall
  • J.R. Van Pelt Library
  • U.J. Noblet Forestry Building
  • Chemical Sciences & Engr Building
  • R.L. Smith (MEEM) Building
  • Student Development Complex
  • Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Hall
  • Douglass Houghton Hall
  • Memorial Union Building
  • Wadsworth Hall
  • West McNair Hall
  • Central Heating Plant
  • Facilities Management
  • Hillside Place
  • Great Lakes Research Center

Husky Innovation Speaker Series Begins Friday

The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship will host the first of the Husky Innovate Speaker Series at noon Friday (March 1) in the Pavlis Honors College Collaboration Space (M&M 722).

Faculty, students and staff are invited to join us for a talk given by Michigan Tech’s Andrew Barnard (ME-EM). Barnard is an assistant professor and faculty advisor for SENSE Enterprise.

Barnard is using lean business model development and customer discovery to start his own business, NanoSound.

NanoSound focuses on the elimination of noise from pipe and duct systems, like automotive exhausts and heating and ventilation pipes. Barnard will provide an example of an early business pitch and provide insights into the customer discovery process and business model development that has led to significant pivots in the start-up's trajectory.

If you are an innovator or entrepreneur working on an idea with the goal of launching your own business, you are encouraged to attend. Registration is required, and attendance will be capped at 30. Lunch will be provided to the first 30 people to register.

The Husky Innovate Speaker Series is hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship which is a collaboration between the Pavlis Honors College and the School of Business and Economics.

Blue Line Club to Host Senior Salute Brunch Sunday

The Michigan Tech Blue Line Club will host its annual Senior Salute Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday (March 3) at the Bonfire Restaurant on the seventh floor of the Magnusson Franklin Square Inn.

Head Coach Joe Shawhan and the members of the senior class will be the featured speakers.

The Senior Salute Brunch is open to the public. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis for $15. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by noon today (Feb. 27).

The Huskies wrap up the regular season this weekend against Northern Michigan. The two teams meet at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena Friday with the season finale on Saturday in Marquette at the Berry Events Center.

Tech's five seniors—Keegan Ford, Jake Jackson, Devin Kero, Jake Lucchini, and Dylan Steman—will be honored on the ice after Friday's game.

This Week's C-Cubed Luncheons

This week's C3 luncheons take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday (Feb 28/March 1) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited. The C3 lunch buffet menus are created by Executive Chef Eric Karvonen, and prepared by Karvonen and his culinary team.

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. Submit C-Cubed feedback at: To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email

The menus:


  • Grilled Chicken Parmesan - GF
  • Grilled Eggplant Parmesan - GF, VE
  • Penne with Pesto - GF, VE
  • Salad Bar - Chopped Greens, Kalamata Olives, Grilled Artichokes, Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced Bell Peppers, with House Italian Dressing (contains dairy)


  • Indian Vegetable Korma - GF, VE
  • Chicken Korma - GF
  • Basmati Rice - GF,
  • Vegan Cucumber Salad -GF,
  • Vegan Boondi Raita - GF, VE

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

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Tomorrow

The next Graduate Seminar Speaker Series will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 28) in EERC 103.

Marianna Maiaru will present “Multi‐scale analysis of thermoset composites from virtual manufacturing to in‐service performance.”

Maiaru is an assistant professor in mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts.

Physics Colloquium Tomorrow

The next physics Colloquium will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 28) in Fisher 139. 

Hall Qing Guo, advised by Ravi Pandey (Physics), will present “Thermodynamic and Mechanical Stability of Crystalline Phases of Li2S2.

Tyler Capek, advised by Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics) will present “Probing Single Scatter Albedo of Aerosol at High Relative Humidity.”

ECE Seminar Tomorrow

The next Electrical and Computer Engineering Seminar takes place at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 28) in EERC 122. Thomas Courtade will present, "DNA Assembly: From Theory to Assembled Genomes." 

Courtade is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley, and a core member of the Center for Computational Biology. He received a BS from Michigan Tech in 2007 and a Ph.D. from UCLA in 2012, both in electrical engineering.

Emerging long-read sequencing technologies promise to enable near-perfect reconstruction of whole genomes. Unfortunately, the genome assembly problem—a necessary step for all high-throughput sequencing technologies—is NP-hard under most formulations. As a result, available algorithmic approaches are generally heuristic in nature, leading to suspect correctness even on relatively simple problem instances.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Courtade's team found that by focusing only on "information- feasible" instances of the assembly problem, they can sidestep the apparent hardness issues and design efficient assembly algorithms with correctness guarantees. 

These insights form the theoretical foundation of our open-source, long-read assembly software HINGE. HINGE has been shown to outperform existing tools through extensive validation on long-read datasets and has been commercially adopted.

Note: This talk does not assume any prior knowledge about biology or DNA sequencing.

ME-EM Faculty Candidate Research Seminar Tomorrow

The next ME-EM Faculty Candidate Seminar will take place at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 28) in R.L. Smith (MEEM) 406. Hangbo Zhao will present "Advanced Manufacturing of Unconventional 3D Micro-and Meso Structures: from Self-Organized Synthesis to Mechanically Guided Assembly."

Zhao is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics at Northwestern University, where he works on multifunctional 3D materials systems and bio-integrated electronics for applications in tissue engineering and healthcare.

He received his PhD in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT in 2017. His PhD thesis focused on developing engineered, hierarchical surfaces for controlling liquid wetting and adhesion.

SFRES Forum Tomorrow

There will be an SFRES Forum "What could possibly go wrong? The effects and control of woody invasives in eastern hardwood forests," at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 28) in Forestry G-002. 

Michael Jenkins will present his research on invasion ecology in eastern hardwood forests.

Jenkins is professor of forest ecology at Purdue University. He worked for ten years as a vegetation ecologist for the National Park Service (NPS) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While with the NPS, Jenkins collaborated on a range of research projects with scientists from across the country and currently holds adjunct appointments with four universities. 


Washington D.C. Trip Planned

Planning for a visit to federal agencies in Washington, D.C. is underway. This group trip is open to all Michigan Tech faculty, postdocs and research staff. This year’s trip is planned for May 20 - 22 and will be spent engaging with multiple funding agencies in large and small groups. Specific agencies engaged with will be based on the interests of participants and availability of agency representatives.

If you are interested in attending the Washington trip, fill in this form by today (Feb. 27). Even if you aren’t sure if you will be able to attend the trip, fill in the form so we can continue communication as your plans develop.

Some central funding for the trip may be available to assist with travel costs. The trip planning process is always evolving because we want to design the trip to best fit the needs of attendees. Additional information and a more detailed schedule will be sent to participants as planning continues. If you have questions about the trip, contact the Research Development team at


Research Forum Today

Vladimir Tonchev (Math) will lead a lecture and TechTalks on “Coding Theory, Combinatorial Designs and Finite Geometry,” with three Michigan Tech colleagues: Melissa Keranen (Math), William Keith (Math) and CK Shene (CS). This Michigan Tech Research Forum will take place at 4 p.m. today (Feb. 27), in the MUB ballroom. The event is open to the public. 

Complimentary snacks and a cash bar will be provide. 


Final Day of Spring Blood Drive

Join Fraternity and Sorority Life from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (Feb. 27) in the Library Reading Room to donate blood. Sign up for an appointment time online or call 800-733-2767. Walk-ins are always welcome. Click here for more information. Remember to bring a photo ID.


Diverse Dialogues: Is Our Campus an Island? Exploring Diversity and Inclusion with the Keweenaw Culture Project

The Keweenaw region is geographically and, to an extent, culturally isolated. The Keweenaw Culture Project (KCP) was launched to investigate our region, its residents and the subject of inclusion (or exclusion) of its peoples in the cultural groups and institutions found in our corner of the U.P.

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) invites you to join the dialogue "Is Our Campus an Island? Exploring Diversity and Inclusion with the Keweenaw Culture Project" at 4:05 p.m. today (Feb. 27) in the Jackson Active Learning Center in Rekhi G05. Read the previous Tech Today story here.


Today's Khana Khazana Features Soul Food

Have some Soul Food with the Black Students Association from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (Feb. 27) at the North Coast Grill and Deli in the Memorial Union Building.

The Black Students Association will serve:

  • fried chicken
  • mac n' cheese
  • green beans with potatoes and bacon
  • cornbread

The price is just $7.95 for the full meal and includes a fountain drink. Visit the Khana Khazana Facebook page.


Modern Language Film Series

The Modern Language Program at Michigan Tech has organized its annual film series with a selection of three foreign films.

This spring, the movies are in French, German and Spanish. Join us for what promises to be stimulating event and make sure to keep an eye out for future dates.

If you have any questions about the Modern Language Film Series, email

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) has just open-sourced his 3D printing course on Wikiversity. The story was covered in Campus Technology.


The School News Network ran the story "Bomb-defusing robot gets tweaked at Tech Center mechatronics lab." The story focuses on the work of Rockford, Michigan high school senior Jared Rathburn, who is planning to attend Michigan Tech to major in mechanical engineering.


Work by a research team led by S. Komar Kawatra (ChE), on a carbon dioxide scrubber continues to receive national attention. The story, reported in Green Car Congress, was reprinted by DEC Research News.