Passing the Torch: Engineering Ambassadors Visit Local Schools

Sure signs of spring in the Copper Country are robins returning, ice leaving and Michigan Tech's Engineering Ambassadors (AE) inspiring students.

For the eighth year, the engineering students that make up EA will visit local elementary and middle schools to create excitement for engineering disciplines through programs and hands-on activities designed for students in third through tenth grades.

Nancy Barr, professor of practice in engineering communications, said the Ambassadors present a 10-minute talk on a science or engineering topic to a classroom. Following the talk, the EAs engage students in a fun, 30-minute activity designed to reinforce the concepts presented in the talk. Each talk and accompanying activity are geared toward a particular age.

“The objective is twofold,” Barr said. “It helps our students develop confidence in their presentation skills and it gets younger students thinking about science and engineering as a possible career path.”

Barr said a unique aspect of the program is that it gives the college students an opportunity to share their own experiences with local school children. “We encourage our EAs to talk about why they chose engineering as a major, what cool projects they’ve had and where they plan to work after graduation. We try to recruit from across the College of Engineering, but the majority of students come from ME-EM.”

Jaclyn Johnson (ME-EM), advises EA, while Barr provides training on presenting science to young audiences and then offers feedback on their presentations.

The program, modeled after a similar program at Penn State, was started in 2012 by Michele Miller (ME-EM) a research professor and Danise Jarvey, director of academic services in the School of Technology.

Johnson said the program is part of a network of at least 30 Universities in the U.S. and internationally. “Since the fall of 2012, we’ve reached 2,936 students in eight schools within a 100-mile radius of Michigan Tech. During that time, we’ve had a total of 65 ambassadors.”

This spring, nine different AEs, working in pairs or groups of three, will visit two third-grade and three fifth-grade classes at the Barkell Elementary School in Hancock and four classes at Houghton Middle School. The program will run through April 12.

William Predebon, chair of ME-EM, said EA has been quite successful. “The Engineering Ambassador program is a terrific opportunity for engineering students to develop their communications skills and an important strategy to excite elementary and middle-school students to pursue engineering and science.”

More information can be found on the Engineering Ambassadors webpage.

Tech Forward Public Presentation April 17

Mark your calendars to attend the culminating presentation of the Tech Forward campus conversations at 4 p.m Wednesday, April 17 in the Rozsa Center.   

At the presentation, each of the nine initiative leaders will present their early vision and a brief overview of their initiative.

Following the presentation, you will have the opportunity to offer input to the teams as they finalize their proposals at an optional reception. 

Undergraduate Research Symposium Winners Announced

The Pavlis Honors College has announced the winners of the Seventh Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, held Friday (March 29).

The students which presented this year represented a wide array of scientific and engineering disciplines and highlighted the diversity of research areas explored.

Judges from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines volunteered their time to evaluate participant posters and presentations. The results are:

  • First Place — Ceily Fessel Doan, Environmental Engineering, "Comparison of Nannochloropsis and Chlorella Vulgaris Algae to Energy Efficiency in the Rio Grande Watershed" working with Alex Mayer (CEE)
  • Second Place — Jacob LeBarre, Chemical Engineering, "Improvement of Virus Purification Method using Cation Exchange Chromatography" working with Caryn Heldt (ChE)
  • Third Place: Kaylee Meyers, Biomedical Engineering, Pavlis Honors Pathway Program, "Nitric Oxide Releasing Composite Hydrogels for Tendon Repair Via Matrix Metalloproteinase Controlled Pathways" working with Rupak Rajachar (Bio Med)

Two students also received Honorable Mention:

  • Brenna Rosso, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pavlis Honors Pathway Program, "Assessing the Expression and Purification of Arg-Tagged MS2 Coat Protein by Cation Exchange Chromatography" working with Ebenezer Tumban (Bio)
  • Elizabeth Polega, Biomedical Engineering, "Antibacterial Properties of Mussel-Inspired Polydopamine Coatings Prepared by Simple Two-Step Shaking-Assisted Method" working with Bruce Lee (Bio Med)

Congratulations to all of the winners and honorable mentions and thank you to faculty, staff and students who judged and attended the Symposium this year.

Preventing Bird Strikes at Tech's Worst-Offending Windows

Several years ago the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, with help from Copper Country Audubon, conducted surveys around several buildings at Michigan Tech to determine which windows on which buildings were the worst for killing birds.

The study was overseen by ornithologist Amber Roth (now at the University of Maine), her student Drew Meyer '18 and several student assistants. Meyer received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct the research.

For several months during the summer, more than 150 dead birds were found, averaging about two per day, with a high of seven per day. Approximately 75 percent of these deaths were from windows near the Dow Building. Moreover, about 75 percent of Dow window strikes occurred on the west side of the building.

This study was done during the non-migratory season and didn’t include birds taken by scavengers, birds that fell in inaccessible areas, or birds that were injured and died elsewhere. The study didn’t survey all of the buildings on campus. Thus, the number of bird strike deaths on the Michigan Tech campus could total as many as 500 to1,000 per year.

Bird’s Eye View® window films are produced by Artscape, a developer of decorative window films to help prevent birds from striking windows. The geometric plastic films are six inches by six inches and feature designs similar to frosted glass patterns. They cost approximately $2.50 each, are easy to install, easy to clean and, because they are non-adhesive, easy to remove as well.

The films work by absorbing light in the UV wavelengths and re-emit it at the peak sensitivity to birds’ vision. At this wavelength, humans see a faint white-blue, but birds see a bright blue glow. The films are not 100 percent effective at preventing bird strikes but can reduce them by up to 80 percent.

Geology graduate student Sanna Mairet has taken it  upon herself to attach Bird’s Eye View® window films to the worst-offending windows on the Dow Building. There were about 25 windows to start with. Mairet has received permission from the necessary departments and recruited volunteers. The Copper Country Audubon Society will supply the window films.

There are windows on other buildings at Michigan Tech that are particularly dangerous to birds and it is hoped to equip these windows with the film someday, too.

If anyone knows of a window on campus that is particularly troublesome to birds, contact Mairet or Copper Country Audubon President Dana Richter (SFRES).

These efforts will help make Michigan Tech a bird-friendly campus. 

Gold & Black Give Back: A 24-Hour Giving Challenge

Thursday, April 11 is Gold and Black Give Back, a 24-hour giving challenge for Huskies everywhere (alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends) to celebrate Michigan Tech through philanthropy. The challenge is an opportunity for Huskies to give gifts in any amount to support areas of campus that are important to them. 

To participate in Gold and Black Give Back, visit give.mtu.edu during the 24-hour period starting at 9 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 11 and make your gift.

 As part of Gold and Black Give Back, employees are encouraged to wear their Husky apparel and colors April 11. There will be several events on campus throughout the day with giveaways geared toward students.

Go to give.mtu.edu for more details.

TIAA and Fidelity Retirement Counseling Sessions Available in May

TIAA will be on campus for individual retirement counseling sessions on the following days:
  • Tuesday, May 7 in the MUB Ballroom B3
  • Wednesday, May 8 in the Lakeshore Center Room 220H
  • Thursday, May 9 in the MUB Datolite Room 100
To schedule an appointment with TIAA call 800-732-8353 or book online
Fidelity will also be on campus for individual retirement counseling sessions on the following days: 
  • Tuesday, May 7 in the MUB Alumni Lounge A
  • Wednesday, May 8 in the MUB Greenstone Room 106A
To schedule an appointment with Fidelity call 800-642-7131 or book online.  

Upper Peninsula Teaching and Learning Conference Registration

Registration for the Upper Peninsula Teaching and Learning Conference (UP-TLC) is underway. Sign up now to ensure you are one of the 200 higher educators from institutions across the UP who will be sharing their best practices at Michigan Tech on May 9 and 10.   Academic Deans have agreed to support interested Michigan Tech instructors ($60) and Graduate Teaching Assistants ($30).
More information about our Keynote speaker, Thomas Tobin, his pre-conference workshop, several networking events, and a list of tracks/topics can be found at the UPTLC website.
Don't miss this great, local opportunity to share your teaching expertise and learn from others.

ME-EM Research Seminar Today

The next ME-EM research seminar will take place at 1 p.m. today (April 4) in R.L. Smith (MEEM) 406. Yongchao Yang, Argonne National Laboratory, presents "Physics-guided Machine Learning Methodology for Full-field Imaging and Characterization of Structural Dynamics."

Yang has been a technical staff member at Argonne National Laboratory since 2018 after a director’s funded Postdoctoral Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 2015-2017.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next environmental engineering graduate seminar will take place at 3 p.m. Monday (April 8) in GLRC 202. Danielle Shannon, Climate Outreach Specialist, USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub Coordinator will present "Responding to Climate Change Impacts in Forested Watershed Management."
This presentation will review tools, resources and partnerships developed by the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. With a specific focus on climate change impacts and tools relevant to water resources and forest management in the Upper Midwest; and highlights of real-world stories of land managers who are intentionally incorporating climate change considerations into resource management and conservation to adapt to this challenge.

Chemistry Seminar Tomorrow

The next chemistry seminar will take place at 3 p.m. tomorrow (April 5) in ChemSci 101. Martin L. Kirk, University of New Mexico, will present "Late Stage Mo Cofactor (Moco) Construction, Moco Sulfuration, and Moco Contributions to Catalysis."

Kirk's research program focuses on spectroscopic, synthetic, biochemical and computational studies of pyranopterin molybdenum enzymes and models as well as detailed magnetic, spectroscopic and theoretical studies of spin containing molecular systems in the context of molecular electronics.

Construction Management Faculty Candidate Presentation Today

Cesar Poveda, a candidate for the faculty position in the School of Technology’s Construction Management Program, will present “Disruptive Technology and Its Impact on the Design, Construction, and Operations of Infrastructure Projects" from 1 to 2 p.m. today (April 4) in Rekhi Hall G006.

This presentation aims to investigate the need for innovative technology in construction, the role and impact of such technology and the use of innovation and technology to accomplish sustainability. Poveda is a Columbian/Canadian professional engineer. He combines practical and academic work experience throughout a career of more than 25 years.

In the News

The first A Day of STEM in the Copper Country, held Tuesday at the SDC, was covered by WLUC TV6 and the Daily Mining Gazette.

*****

Faith Morrison (ChE) was quoted in the article "Not there yet: Copper Country LWV spreads equal pay word at Tech," in the Daily Mining Gazette. The story covered the Equal Pay Day event held on campus Tuesday.

*****

Michigan Tech was mentioned in the story "The Work Before the Masterpiece," in The Spectator, the student newspaper of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The story involves a visit by artist Mary Carothers. Among Carothers' previous work was freezing a 1978 Chevy Nova in a solid block of ice on the Michigan Tech campus as part of Winter Carnival in 2008.

*****

Roman Sidortsov (SS) was quoted in the story "Michigan’s UP is full of closed mines. Technology may give them new life," in Bridge. The story looked at a Michigan Tech study looking into the possibility of transforming abandoned mines into energy storage.

*****

Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) was mentioned in the article "Can logistics software solve NATO’s troop mobility issue in Europe?" in ARMY Technology

*****

Nancy Langston (SS) was quoted in the article "The Sturgeon, The Fish That Changed History," in Public Now. The article looked at a talk Langston gave last month at Brandeis University for the Mandel Lectures in the Humanities. 

Reminders

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Today

The next Graduate Seminar Speaker series will be held at 4 p.m. today (April 4), in EERC 103. Arend van der Zande, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present "Atomic membranes and controlled interfaces from 2D materials."

*****

Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Book Sale Starts Today

The Friends of the Michigan Tech Library annual used book sale is scheduled for today and tomorrow (April 4/5) in the Memorial Union Ballroom. From 5 - 7 p.m. today (April 4) members shop with first choice. Memberships are available at the door and are $20 and up, however, students and seniors are only $15.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow (April 5) the sale continues to the general public  with a new selection of withdrawn books. The $5 bag sale is from 4 to 5 p.m. Free parking will be available in all University lots after 4 p.m.

The book sale uses standardized pricing for many books, with hardback books priced at $2 and quality paperback books for $1. Mass market paperbacks (the ones that fit in your back pocket) are a bargain at 50 cents. Antique or special sets are priced separately.

*****

Free Screening of "On the Basis of Sex" Today

Join Title IX and Film Board for a free showing of the newly released film "On the Basis of Sex," at 6 p.m. today (April 4) in Fisher 135. Free concessions will also be provided.

*****

Biological Sciences Seminar Series Today

The next seminar in the Biological Sciences seminar series will take place from 3 - 4 p.m. today (April 4) in M&M U113. David Frendewey will present "VelociGene: Large-scale Modification of Rodent Genomes."

Frendewey is a biology alumnus of ‘76 and the Executive Director of Discovery and Screening Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tarrytown, New York.

*****

Savage Vision: Of Maroons, Black Men, and Violence Today

Paul Youngquist from the University of Colorado at Boulder will deliver the talk, "Savage Vision: Of Maroons, Black Men and Violence" from 4:30 - 6 p.m. today (April 4) in ChemSci 102.

This talk will focus on how Maroons were depicted by white colonial settlers in Jamaica in the aftermath of the Second Maroon War (1795-96) and connect these portraits to how young black men are represented in the news media today.

*****

Physics Colloquiums Today and Tomorrow

There will be a physics colloquium today and tomorrow:

  • Rajan Chakrabarty of Washington University will present "Non-Equilibrium Aerosol Dynamics across Length Scales: Addressing a Few Contemporary Challenges" at 4 p.m. today (April 4) in Fisher 139
  • Mark Shiflett of University of Kansas will present "Ionic Liquids - Phase Behavior to Applications" at 4 p.m. tomorrow (April 5) in Fisher 101

*****

Public Radio's Chris Farrell to Speak Here Monday

The School of Business and Economics and WGGL Minnesota Public Radio present Chris Farrell, senior economics contributor at Marketplace, American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio business and economic program. A social with light refreshments will be offered before the program at 6 p.m. Monday (April 8), in Fisher 135. Following the 6:30 p.m. presentation Farrell will take questions from the audience.

Farrell's presentation, "Old Techniques and New Technologies: The Rise of the Creative Economy," will focus on one of the most exciting economic trends of our era—the rise of an artisan, craft and creative business economy. The event is free and open to the public. 

Read the full Tech Today story.

*****

This Week's C-Cubed Luncheons

This week’s C3 luncheons take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today and tomorrow (April 4/5) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge (#107). All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited. 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 here. To join C-cubed google group and receive weekly menus, email klprice@mtu.edu.

The menus:

Today 

  • Thai Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken, GF
  • Thai Stir Fried Noodles with Tofu, GF, VE
  • Thai Style Salad Bar

Tomorrow

  • Seared Salmon Tacos, GF
  • Seared Black Bean and Mixed Grain Tacos, V
  • Mixteca-Style Rice, GF, VE
  • Corn Poblano Soup, GF
  • Taco Toppings: Salsa Verde, Pico de Gallo, Shredded Pepper Jack,
    Cilantro, Chipotle Crema

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

*****

Exploring Computer Science Research Workshop Keynote Presentation 

The Exploring Computer Science Research Workshop welcomes the Michigan Tech community to Robin Hunicke’s keynote presentation “Designing for Future Realities” on Saturday, April 6, 2019 in Dow 641 from 7 to 8 p.m. Robin Hunicke is the co-founder and CEO of the independent game studio Funomena and is tenured professor at UC Santa Cruz, where she directs the Art, Games, and Playable Media BA and the Digital Art and New Media MFA program. The ExploreCSR Workshop is sponsored by Google, the Department of Computer Science, and Graduate School. This program/lecture is partially sponsored/funded by the Visiting Professor Lecturer/Scholar Series (VPLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Provost Office from the State of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

*****

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Today

The next Graduate Seminar Speaker series will be held at 4 p.m. today (April 4) in EERC 103. Arend van der Zande, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will present "Atomic membranes and controlled interfaces from 2D materials."

*****

You are Invited to the 25th Student Leadership Awards

You are cordially invited to the 25th Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. At Michigan Tech we are blessed with students that are crazy smart, motivated and adventurous. As faculty and staff, we partner with these students to inspire community, scholarship, possibilities, accountability, and tenacity. We realize how lucky we are to be able to work alongside them in their academic and career pursuits.

Now is the time to recognize these students for their commitment, enthusiasm and leadership. The recipient of each award will be honored at the 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, April 19 in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

Dress is business casual. Appetizers and socializing will directly follow the conclusion of the awards ceremony. Fill out this form to confirm your attendance.

*****

National Geodetic Survey: Past, Present, and Future 

Jacob Heck of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Geosciences Research Division will present "National Geodetic Survey: Past, Present, and Future" at 2 p.m. today (April 4) in the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building G002. Read the full Tech Today story here.

 

On The Road

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES) adjunct assistant professor Luke Bowman gave a collaborative presentation titled, “Multidisciplinary, International Geological Hazards Research Experiences,” at the Geoscience and Society Summit, March 18 - 21 in Stockholm, Sweden. The Summit was part of a multi-year effort by organizers to articulate the roles of geoscientists in solving 21st Century challenges and reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Summit was sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Bowman presented the evolution of disaster risk reduction research by GMES students and faculty over the past three decades. The co-authors included professor and chair John Gierke, emeritus professor Bill Rose, associate professors Thomas Oommen and Greg Waite, and research assistant professor Rudiger Escobar-Wolf. The work that Bowman presented outlined a unique history of how GMES has actively broadened its faculty and student research interests to tackle societal issues in conjunction with the geophysical aspects of natural hazards in international settings.

*****

A group of five students from Chi Epsilon Honors Society and the Tech Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), traveled to Milwaukee to visit Michigan Tech alumni and see engineers working in the field. The first stop was at the American Transmission Company, where students got a tour of the operations room and a detailed look at the power distribution to the Upper Peninsula. The lecture at this location focused on engineering applications and the challenges engineers face in constructing power distribution.

The next stop was Komatsu Mining Corp. where Michigan Tech alumni Jonathon LeCloux greeted the students. The lecture at this location focused on the history of the company and their new sustainable South Harbor Campus. The students were then taken on a tour of the facilities that included heat treating, heavy fabrication, operations, mist collection, VOC handling and HVAC controls.

The third stop was the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility. Here the students learned about the wastewater treatment process and how they make fertilizer called Milorganite from their dried sludge.

Finally, the students were able to meet up with Michigan Tech alumni Kevin LaPean at Aquarius Technologies. The students gained more understanding of the aeration tanks within the wastewater treatment plant as Aquarius Technologies designs air diffusers. These four stops were eye opening, and allowed the students to ask questions about career opportunities, and create networking connections. 

Notables

Stapleton Receives NACA Award

Michigan Tech Director of Student Activities Jessie Stapleton was awarded the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) 2019 Outstanding Advisor for the Northern Plains Region.  

This award is presented to individuals who have completed more than five years of full-time staff experience within the field of campus activities and are currently employed at a NACA member school.

Recipients must have provided outstanding service to their institutions, been significantly involved with their campus and/or community, provided creative and innovative efforts to their institution, and been involved with NACA, but not necessarily in an official position. 

Today's Campus Events

To have your event automatically appear, please submit them to the University Events Calendar.

Tech Arts Festival

A week-long event with fun and artsy-related activities for all to enjoy! April 2nd: Painting Night 6-8 pm in the MUB Commons Join us to paint canvases and celebrate the...

*****

Plastic Challenge: Carry A Refillable Water Bottle

Take the challenge to be plastic free for 21 days.

*****

Salon!

A vibrant celebration of arts and and ideas for our 25th anniversary. Salon! features the works of more than 20 artists presented in a mix of historic and contemporary style....

*****

Master's Defense: Sunit Girdhar

Mechanical Engineering Advisor: Andrew Barnard Improved Low-Frequency Measurements for Impact Insulation Class Rating Using Comparison Techniques

*****

Master's Defense: Ziyao Xu

Mathematical Sciences Advisor: Yang Yang High Order Bound-Preserving Discontinuous Galerkin Methods and their Applications in Petroleum Engineering

*****

Master's Defense: Jacob Babb

Applied Science Education Advisor: Shari Stockero Impact of Practical Education Network on Students and Teachers in the Ghanaian Junior High School Classroom

*****

Master's Defense: Waad Aljohani

Biological Sciences Advisor: Stephen Techtmann Impact of Industrial Biocides on Bacterial Isolates from Hydraulic Fracturing Produced Water

*****

PhD Defense: Anindya Majumdar

Biomedical Engineering Advisor: Sean Kirkpatrick Optical Vortex and Poincaré Analysis for Biophysical Dynamics

*****

C-Cubed Luncheon - Thai Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken or Tofu

This week's C3 luncheons take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge (#107). All faculty and staff, along with their...

*****

Physics-guided Machine Learning Methodology

for Full-field Imaging and Characterization of Structural Dynamics ME-EM Research Seminar Speaker Series proudly presents: Dr. Yongchao Yang Argonne National...