Digital Tools to Rebuild History

An architectural historian advocates for more building documentation following Notre Dame.

Following the fire in Paris, more attention is focusing on the new technologies that will help people rebuild damaged or lost buildings. Sarah Fayen Scarlett, assistant professor of history at Michigan Technological University, says that an uncommon loss like Notre Dame reflects a universal need for documenting historical buildings. 

“Documenting buildings is possible like never before,” said Scarlett, explaining that LiDAR imaging of Notre Dame completed in the last decade by international teams of researchers will help rebuild the iconic structure. “With all the calls to rebuild, this kind of digital documentation of the original will be vital, and the importance of training heritage professionals in up-to-date documentation techniques in order to potentially rebuild lost structures and sites is key.”

Read the full story on Unscripted.

Williams Seed Grant Funds Underwater Acoustic Communications Research

Underwater acoustic communication has been in use for decades, but primarily for military applications. In recent years, private sectors such as environmental monitoring, off-shore oil and gas exploration and aquaculture have become interested in its possibilities. But, existing research about underwater acoustic communication networks often relies on human-operated surface ships or cost-prohibitive autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). And these cost barriers can limit academic research evaluation to computer simulations, constraining research innovation towards practical applications.

Recognizing the above gap, Michigan Tech Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) researchers Zhaohui Wang (ECE) and Nina Mahmoudian (ME-EM) saw an opportunity to combine their areas of expertise: for Wang, underwater acoustic communications, for Mahmoudian, low-cost marine robotics and AUVs. 

Read the full story on the ICC website.

FIRST Championship Returns to Detroit

The excitement of a sporting event combined with the rigors of science and technology, that's how FIRST has been described. An acronym for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, FIRST, the world's largest celebration of robotics, began yesterday and runs through Saturday in Detroit. 

More than 15,000 K-12 students from 25 states and more than 40 countries with their custom-built robots are competing in timed matches and adjusting on-the fly in race car-like pits. Most of the activity is taking place at Cobo Hall with the thrilling finals held at Ford Field Saturday evening. 

Once again Michigan Tech is on hand for all the excitement. Tech's acclaimed Mind Trekkers welcomed the international and long distance teams at a special Space Jam reception Tuesday (April 23). Yesterday, Michigan Tech's Mobile Escape Room was set up on the Detroit riverfront as part of the park activities taking place downtown. It will be available today and tomorrow as well. 

The Career Services Escape Room challenges participants to solve puzzles, find clues, crack codes and open locked boxes — all in a limited amount of time. Teams of two to five students have 45 minutes to escape the 10-by-10 foot room. 

Representatives from Michigan Tech Admissions were on hand yesterday for the College 101 event, an opportunity for FIRST participants and their families to hear directly from representatives of Michigan Tech. The admissions personnel shared what they look for in candidates and how the students can leverage their FIRST experiences on a college application.

Consumers Energy and DTE are sponsoring/presenting Summer Youth Program (SYP) scholarships to FIRST participants. 

Knee Joint Replacement Exercise Study

Do you know someone who has had a knee joint replacement surgery? The Exercise Physiology Laboratory is developing a new home-based exercise program to help these individuals walk better, navigate stairs and get back to their normal routine faster. We are recruiting adults who have had a knee joint replacement to participate in an exercise research study. You may be eligible to participate in this research study if you:

  • Have had a knee replacement surgery
  • Are between the ages of 40 – 70 years old
  • Do not smoke
  • Have never had a heart attack or stroke
  • Are not diabetic
  • Do not have any implanted devices (pacemaker, pain pump)
  • Do not have any neurological disorders
  • Do not have uncontrolled stage I hypertension or stage II hypertension

For more information contact graduate students Alicia Den Herder, (616) 970-1764 or Ben Cockfield, (231) 360-6682 in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.

GSG Summer Softball League 2019

The Graduate Student Government (GSG) organized softball league is almost here and team registration is now open.

For details regarding team registration and team member addition registration, reach out to or visit the GSG website.

Last C-Cubed Luncheon of the Semester

This week's C3 luncheons are the last ones of the spring semester and take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today and tomorrow (April 25/26) 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 here. To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email

This week's menus are:


  • Steak Fajitas
  • Quinoa Black Bean Fajitas VE
  • Toppings-Fire Roasted Salsa, Cilantro Crema, Shredded Pepper Jack
  • Poblano Rice with Roasted Corn GF VE
  • Jalapeno Potato Soup GF V


  • Chicken Tikka Masala GF
  • Tofu Tikka Masala GF V
  • Basmati Rice GF VE
  • Boondi Raita GF V
  • Chef’s Vegetables Salad GF V VE

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

I-Corps Workshop Starts May 9

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with a team to take your technology-focused research to the next level? Do you have an idea, but are looking for more ways to fund your research? Spend 5 weeks discovering the commercial potential of your technology in a real-world, hands on, immersive learning workshop brought to you by the Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program and the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship.

The next workshop is tentatively scheduled for May 9, 16, 30 and June 6. The I-Corps Site Program at Michigan Tech focuses on getting out of the lab and office to learn through customer discovery using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Start-Up methodology. Upon successful completion of the workshop you will be eligible to receive a $2,500 micro-grant for continued customer discovery and prototyping.

This is a great opportunity for you to work with an experienced team of workshop leaders and mentors to determine, document, and fully realize the potential of your technology. Teams that complete the program requirements also become eligible for NSF's National I-Corps program which includes $50,000 in funding and additional training. Participants of I-Corps Site programs and NSF's National I-Corps have demonstrated significantly higher funding rates from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs which offer Phase I awards up to $225,000 and Phase II awards up to $750,000.

I-Corps can be a first step toward funding your innovations and research. It can help you to better understand the leading edge in your research area through customer discovery and it can help you transition your research projects from the lab to the market. The I-Corps Site Program was established at Michigan Tech and other leading STEM universities around the country to teach faculty, research scientists and student entrepreneurs the advanced principles of technology commercialization and business development methodology.

Apply today for this great experience. For more information on the Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program,or to apply, click here. The deadline to submit your application is Friday, May 3.

Continuous Improvement Connection

We in the Office of Continuous Improvement are frequently encouraging all faculty and staff to jump on board and learn a little more about Lean. We talk about our extensive resources such as books, online access and our on-campus facilitators. Now, we’d like to communicate that we understand adding new skills, tools and thinking may sound time consuming, or even daunting. We get it. There is not much free time floating around.

The neat thing with Lean and Continuous Improvement, is that many of us are already practicing it in our daily lives, we often just don’t realize it. The trick is this — because many of us are already practicing the principles of Lean, minimal time is actually needed to further Lean applications in our daily lives. We in the Office of Continuous Improvement want you to know that we are here to function as a support for the entire Michigan Tech community and the individuals that make up this community. We’re here to show you how you’re already using lean and to help you personally refine these skills. We’re here so you don’t have to figure it out by yourself.

Through simple adjustments and an open mind, together we can help move Michigan Tech towards a more sustainable future. It all starts internally. If you wish to begin to learn about Lean, or refine your current Lean knowledge, please stop by the Office of Continuous Improvement in 135 W Wads, or email us at

New Funding

Lloyd Wescoat (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $74,967 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. 
Joan Schumaker Chadde (CEE) and Amanda Gonczi (GLRC) are co-PIs on the project titled "Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative - Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for Rural Schools."
This is an 18-month project totaling $74,967.


Physics Colloquium Today

The next physics colloquium will be held at 4 p.m. today (April 25) in Fisher 139. Alan Watson will present "Search for the Highest Energy Particles in Nature." 

Watson is currently emeritus research professor at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. He was the co-instigator of Auger Observatory with Jim Cronin (Chicago, Nobel Laureate) in 1991 and was the co-spokesperson for the project for 12 years. 


MEEM 6010 Students Present Research Today

The public is invited to a poster session by graduate students in MEEM 6010 Engineering Research Communication from 3:45 - 4:45 p.m. today (April 25) in the north R.L. Smith (MEEM) lobby. The students are pursuing master's or PhD degrees in a range of engineering and physics disciplines and will present posters describing their research. You can view the student's abstracts here.

The students have spent the semester learning best practices in preparing presentations, posters, scholarly papers and grant proposals in addition to studying the role of ethics in research.


Biological Science Speaker Today 

The Department of Biological Sciences is hosting Brandon Gerig, assistant professor of biology at Northern Michigan University, today (Thursday, April 25) at 3 p.m. in M&M room U113.

Gerig's talk is titled "Using Trophic and Movement Ecology to Inform Fisheries and Natural Resources Management Across the Upper Great Lakes." He will discuss his research and education focused on the trophic ecology of Great Lakes fish and wildlife and contaminant transfer by migrating fishes. Gerig's research incorporates ecological tools including stable isotopes, acoustic telemetry and computer modeling to better understand fish populations and the roles of multiple stressors on their ecology and conservation. 


ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Today

There will be a ME-EM graduate seminar speaker at 4 p.m. today (April 25) in EERC 103. Mitch Nelson will present “Space Flight and Quality Assurance.”

Nelson graduated from Michigan Tech in 1995 with a BA in Metallurgical Engineering. He currently works in Procurement Quality Assurance at Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), a NASA Center based in Pasadena, CA.


SFRES Forum Today

Join us from 12:30-1:30 p.m today (April 25) in Forestry G-002. Professor and Department Chair, Fanie Pelletier of the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada) will present "Population Consequences of Phenotypic Changes: An Eco-evolutionary Perspective." Refreshments will be provided.

Pelletier will present results from two exceptionally detailed individual-based data on survival and reproduction in heavily hunted populations, one of brown bear in Sweden (Ursus arctos) and one of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in Canada. Altogether, these results suggest that harvesting alters the selective landscape and could affect the evolution of reproductive strategies and behavior of wild mammals.


Diverse Dialogues Today: Unlearning and Relearning Truths: A Continued Conversation about Decolonization

In this dialogue, we will engage in unlearning activities to reflect on our common myths, biases, and stereotypes about Native, Indigenous peoples. This will be followed by opportunities to relearn Indigenous and personal truths through dialogue with each other. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) invites you to join our final Diverse Dialogue for the Spring semester at 4:05 p.m. today (April 25) in GLRC 202. "Unlearning and Relearning Truths: A Continued Conversation about Decolonization," will be led by Valoree Gagnon, Amy Howard and Kari Henquinet. Read the full TechToday story here.


 Liabilities into Assets Event Tomorrow

Social Sciences presents "Liabilities into Assets: Enhancing Electrical Grid and Community Resilience through Repurposing Decommissioned Mines into Underground Pump Storage Hydro-power Facilities (UPSH)" from noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow (April 26), in GLRC 202. 

This event will feature a collection of student posters and presentations exploring aspects of the adaptive reuse of abandoned mine sites for energy storage facilities. Please bring a lunch if you wish. 

Read the original Tech Today story.


KIP Seminar Tomorrow: Caroline Rickards

The KIP department invites you to hear Caroline Rickards of the Department of Physiology and Anatomy at the University of North Texas Health Science Center present a seminar of her research at 3 p.m. tomorrow (April 26) in ATDC 101.

Rickards' talk is titled "Take a Deep Breath... The Role of Breathing on Brain Blood Flow Regulation." She will speak about how respiratory-induced changes in arterial blood gases and acid-base balance have a profound effect on cerebral blood flow regulation. Specifically, Rickards will present a series of studies assessing the role of inspiratory resistance breathing on responses of cerebral blood flow and cerebral tissue oxygenation under conditions of actual blood loss in animal models, and simulated hemorrhage in humans. 


Scientific & Technical Communication Senior Portfolio Presentations Tomorrow

Five graduating seniors in Scientific and Technical Communication will present their portfolios from 1:30 to 4 p.m. tomorrow (April 26) in the Petersen Library on the third floor of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

The presenters are Steven Dobbs (1:30 p.m.), Alex Gillies (2 p.m.), Lindsey Wells (2:30 p.m.), Mike Burns (3 p.m.) and Jessica Brassard (3:30 p.m.).

All are welcome; light refreshments will be served.


Memorial Service for Cookie Johnson

A celebration of the life of Eleanor "Cookie" Johnson will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday (April 27) in the Rozsa Center Lobby. Join John H. Johnson, research professor and presidential professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, in a celebration and memorial service for his dearly departed wife, Cookie, who passed away in late December. Light refreshments will be served after the service. To view her obituary, click here.

Cookie was employed by Michigan Tech as a halftime technical writer for the College of Engineering, and a halftime student advisor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. She retired from Tech in 1993.