MTU Profs Shift Teaching and Labs to Remote Instruction

Flipped classrooms, online courses, livestreamed lectures, technology for take-home tests. A week ago, these were innovative ways to push, blend and reframe the blurring boundaries of college classrooms that have moved into digital and real-world spaces. And now they are — almost instantly — the new norm in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The next few weeks will not be easy. But then no Michigan Tech class ever is. The important part is that we are all in this together (and remotely). As we step bravely into an uncertain future, we still have the power to shape our experience and learn from this adventure. Kindness, patience, honest feedback and a willingness to let perfectionism go will give everyone some much-needed breathing room. Read the full story highlighting some of the innovations and workarounds being implemented across campus. Have an idea to share or want to hear about others? Tag @mturesearch on Twitter and tell us what works, what didn’t and any good resources, articles or software you discover.

Clean Snowmobile Challenge Enterprise Team Takes First Place

The Michigan Tech Clean Snowmobile Challenge Enterprise Team captured first place in the Spark Ignition (SI), internal combustion engine category competition in the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge that took place last week at the Keweenaw Research Center.

Other awards the team received in the SI category are:

  • Best Lab Emissions Winner
  • Quietest Snowmobile Winner
  • Most Practical Winner
  • Most Sportsmanlike Winner ($1,000 and one of the most important prizes in the competition)

 In the Diesel Engine Category the team won the Quietest Snowmobile award. William Predebon,  J. S. Endowed Department Chair and Professor
in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics said the wins were impressive. 

"Teams from 14 universities from as far east as SUNY- Buffalo and as far west as the University of Idaho, and as well Ecole De Technologie Superieure in Canada participated in the competition. It is unusual to win so many categories in the SI competition. This is an impressive accomplishment by our team of students from several College of Engineering Departments."

Predebon said with past wins in the Diesel and Electric Snowmobile categories Michigan Tech has accomplished wins in all three categories. The Electric Snowmobile category is no longer part of the Clean Snowmobile Challenge.  

The CSC advisor is Jason Blough (ME-EM) and engine co-advisor is Scott Miers (ME-EM).

New Teaching Award Recipients

In order to provide special recognition to instructors who have been nominated as finalists for the Distinguished Teaching Award four or more times, the Provost’s office has initiated a new teaching award this spring.

Four instructors have been identified to receive the inaugural Provost’s Awards for Sustained Teaching Excellence. They include:

  • Todd Arney (Senior Lecturer - CoC)
  • Lisa Gordillo (Assistant Professor - VPA)
  • Christopher Webster (Professor - CFRES)
  • Gordon Parker (Professor - MEEM)

Provost Huntoon, in collaboration with the Deans, initiated this award because “It became clear that we had a group of instructors consistently delivering exceptional instruction to their students over many years, who are worthy of special recognition.”

The award consists of a plaque and $1,000 in additional compensation. Each of the recipients of the new award will continue to be honored on an annual basis as members of Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Academy, an elite group with an established reputation for excellent teaching.

Please join the Provost and the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in congratulating these recipients!

Western U.P. Science and Engineering Fair Changed

The 22nd Annual Western Upper Peninsula Science & Engineering Fair and STEM Festival scheduled to take place today (March 18) at the Memorial Union Building will not take place as originally scheduled. 

More than 125 students from Houghton, Baraga, Keweenaw, Ontonagon and Gogebic Counties in grades 4-8 were registered to participate in the Science & Engineering Fair. The Science & Engineering Fair has transitioned to an online submission process. Registered students who are still interested in participating will have up until 2 weeks after local K-12 schools resume to submit their projects virtually. For more information please visit the Western U.P. MiSTEM Network’s website:  or contact Emily Gochis at 482-0331 ext. 188.

The STEM Festival had nearly two dozen Michigan Tech STEM student organizations and local STEM organizations planning to conduct one or more STEM activities. Hopefully, most will be able to participate in the 2021 Science Fair & STEM Festival next Spring.

Many thanks to the nearly 100 MTU student volunteers. Contact Joan Chadde or call 7-3341 with any questions regarding the STEM Festival.

The 2020 and 2021 Western UP Science & Engineering Fair and STEM Festival is a collaborative effort of the Western U.P. MiSTEM Network, Michigan Tech Center for Science and Educational Outreach, Michigan Tech Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honor Society and the Carnegie Museum.

This year’s Science Fair & STEM Festival received contributions from the following at Michigan Tech: College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, College of Sciences and Arts, Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, and Electrical & Computer Engineering, along with the Ecosystem Science Center, Great Lakes Research Center, Sustainable Futures Institute, and Transportation Institute, in addition to the Copper Country Intermediate School District, and the Western U.P. MiSTEM Network.

Colleges of Computing and Engineering Faculty Candidate Seminar

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to view a lecture by faculty candidate Leo C. Ureel II (CS).

Per a new Michigan Tech policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Computing has announced all currently scheduled faculty candidate interviews and lectures will take place online through Zoom Meetings.

Ureel's Zoom lecture will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday (March 24). The title of his lecture is, “Critiquing Student Code by Identifying Novice Antipatterns.”

For more information, view the blog.


Authentication Security Updates

Tomorrow, Michigan Tech IT will update the domain controllers used to authenticate PC logins. The update provides increased security to several Michigan Tech systems as recommended by Microsoft.

Although there should be no noticeable changes to day-to-day operations, faculty and staff are asked to be aware of the change and report any issues.

If you have any questions about the domain updates, we can help. Contact IT at or call 7-1111.


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) recognition of anonymous reviewers

A hearty thank you from Sigrid Resh (CFRES) and Pavlis Honors College to all the reviewers (over 75 of you), who despite full calendars, found time to review 60 proposals.

Without you, the reviewers, SURF would not happen. We appreciate your support of SURF and undergraduate research at Michigan Tech.

Today's Campus Events

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African Week 2020

The African Students Organization will celebrate AFRICAN WEEK 2020 from March 16-21. Some featured events: Monday, March 16: Diverse Dialogues (In collaboration with the...


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Environmental Graphiti Online Exhibit

The Art of Climate Change Alisa Singer The work of Chicago-based artist Alisa Singer, Environmental Graphiti is a series of digital paintings created to enhance public...