From Plastic to Protein Powder

Steve Techtmann (BioSci) has been selected to receive a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) cooperative agreement award for $7.2 million over four years to refine a method of chemical and high heat (pyrolysis) deconstruction of plastic waste into protein powder and lubricants.

The project, BioPROTEIN (Biological Plastic Reuse by Olefin and Ester Transforming Engineered Isolates and Natural Consortia), is a collaboration between Michigan Tech researchers and Ting Lu, professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Michigan Tech, joining Techtmann are Rebecca Ong (ChE), David Shonnard (ChE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE).

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Michigan Tech Advancement Earns National Recognition

Michigan Tech's fundraising efforts have been recognized by a national educational support organization. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has announced the names of more than 100 U.S. educational institutions that have received 2020 Educational Fundraising Awards

Each year, CASE recognizes exemplary development programs based on a blind review of data submitted to the CASE Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey. The review is completed by advancement professionals from educational institutions across the country.

Michigan Tech was recognized in the category of "Overall Improvement," awarded to colleges and universities that demonstrate significant program growth across three years of data collected. 

Winners were not selected solely on the basis of total funds raised but on a variety of factors, including:

  • Patterns of growth in total support
  • Evaluation of what contributed to the total support figure
  • Overall breadth of fundraising
  • Patterns of growth in gifts from sources including alumni, other individuals, corporations and foundations
  • Impact of the 12 largest gifts on total support
  • Giving to areas such as current operations, endowment and property/buildings
  • Amount raised per student
  • Alumni Participation

Bill Roberts, vice president of Advancement and Alumni Engagement and the Michigan Tech Fund said "Fundraising is a team sport. So many of our colleagues across campus are invested in fundraising at Michigan Tech. This award is a recognition of everyone's tremendous efforts as we work to grow our endowment to support the University and its students."

Michigan Tech was the only Michigan institution to receive recognition among "Public Research/Doctoral Institutions with Endowments under $215 million."

Simplicity On the Other Side of Complexity: Todd Stone at Michigan Tech Today

Todd Stone, co-founder and managing director of geology at Arena Energy, will visit Michigan Tech today (Sept. 17), to deliver the First-Year Engineering Lecture to Michigan Tech’s incoming engineering majors.

Stone is an engineer, explorer, conservationist and entrepreneur. He is a Michigan Tech alumnus, '85  (geological engineering) and a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board. Stone's lecture, "Simplicity On the Other Side of Complexity," is at 6 p.m. today.

Registered attendees will be provided a zoom link to attend the lecture remotely. “We have a tradition at Tech of having a first-year lecture that helps students see how their technological education can help make a difference in the world,” said Janet Callahan, dean of the College of Engineering. “Usually the event is held at the Rozsa Center to a packed house, with every seat taken. We can't do that this year, of course, due to the pandemic. Instead, Todd will present his lecture on Zoom, to an audience of 1,200-plus students. With Zoom, though, we have room for more, so please join us. Everyone is welcome.” You can register for the Zoom session at

When Stone arrived at Michigan Tech nearly 40 years ago, “It was the best and most mature decision of my young life,” he said. “It was not difficult for me to work hard, my folks raised me that way. It was difficult for me to work smart.”

Stone’s lecture will outline how he learned to work smart in school and his career. He will highlight something he feels is top priority: Learning how to learn.

U.P. COVID-19 Town Hall Series Continues Tonight

An in-depth look at the many facets of the COVID-19 will be presented tonight (Sept. 17) and every Thursday on the U.P. COVID-19 Town Hall Series.

Organized by the Health Research Institute at Michigan Tech, the 60-minute town hall broadcasts can be heard at 7 p.m. each Thursday through Dec. 3 on 97.7 The Wolf (WOLV-FM) and viewed through a Zoom Webinar.

Over the course of the series, moderated by Steven Elmer and Kelly Kamm (HRI/KIP), researchers, clinicians, public health officials, and community experts will discuss a range of pandemic-related issues.

Tonight's Town Hall will focus on "How COVID-19 Impacts the Human Body.” Elmer and Kamm will be joined by Dr. Tara Robinette, an emergency medicine physician from UP Health System-Portage. More information along with the Zoom link for the Town Hall Series can be found here.

Virtual Career Fair Next Week

The Fall 2020 Virtual Career Fair- Forged by Nucor, will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. next Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 23/24).

We currently have more than 250 recruiting organizations registered. Students can register for time slots to meet with recruiters via the Career Fair Plus app.

Time slots are filling up quickly! More information can be found here

Parade of Nations Drive-through Ceremony Saturday

Winning teams in the 2020 Parade of Nations Scavenger Hunt will be announced and honored in a drive-through awards ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 19) at the clock tower on campus.

The first-place team will receive a $300 Amazon gift certificate. The second-place team will get a $200 gift certificate and a $100 gift certificate will go to the third-place team.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the scavenger hunt is taking the place of the festive parade and multicultural festival usually held in mid-September in Hancock and Houghton.

The hunt challenged teams of students, organizations and individuals to follow a trail of clues throughout the community, seeking answers to the question: “What country does this represent?” The scavenger hunt enabled participants to observe social distancing while celebrating the multicultural character and heritage of the Keweenaw.

Flags of the many nations represented at Michigan Tech, Finlandia University and in the community are on display this week as part of the Parade of Nations celebration. This year's theme is "One World, Our World." Everyone is welcome to attend the drive-through awards ceremony.

Memorial Union Reservations

The Memorial Union Building (MUB) has modified its reservation process and room availability to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors and serve the needs of the campus community.

The overnight guest rooms, GLRC 201/202 meeting rooms, and the Alumni Lounge are currently not available for reservation. The MUB Ballroom is not available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday when classes are in session. Memorial Union meeting rooms will be sanitized between scheduled events and in-room self-sanitizing stations will be available to users.

Existing Room Reservations 30 days out will be reviewed weekly to confirm they meet COVID-19 capacity limits and social distancing requirements based on event/activity type. Making New Reservation Requests for the Fall Semester will be done using a Google Form for meeting room requests.

Please submit your request at least three working days before your event. Late requests should be made by calling 906-487-2543 or emailing during regular business hours. Reservations will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations up to 30 days out will be reviewed weekly to confirm that they meet COVID-19 capacity limits and social distancing requirements.

New Reservation Requests for the Spring Semester will open on Nov. 1. Room capacities and set-up options have changed. Be sure to review the available setups for each room. For more information, please visit or email

K-Day Excitement Continues

You have now crossed over into ... the Involvement Zone. The K-Day fun and excitement continue for the rest of the month. K-Day, or Keweenaw Day, is our student organization fair. This is a great opportunity for students to meet organizations and find out how they can get involved.

There are three in-person K-Days left for students to attend. Now more than ever our students are seeking to make new connections on campus. K-Day is a great opportunity for that.

The final three in-person K-Days are:

  • Today (Sept. 17) from 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Monday (Sept. 21) from 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday (Sept. 29) from 1 to 3 p.m. {Wednesday (Sept. 30) is reserved as a backup day in case of rain}

For more information about which organizations will be there, check out our website.

Parenting All Rainbow Kids Meets Friday

Parenting All Rainbow Kids (PARK) is a faculty/staff-led group for Michigan Tech employees who are the parents/guardians of LGBTQIA* youth. PARK aims to offer group members a confidential, supportive community where we can learn and grow as parents/guardians together. Meetings will be held on the Third Friday of each month at 10 on Zoom.

Our next meeting at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Sept. 18).

Everyone is welcome. For questions or concerns, contact Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, Amber Kemppainen, or Amy Howard.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar takes place at 3 p.m. Monday (Sept. 21) via Zoom.

Michigan Tech alumna Lauren Beckingham will present "Improving Understanding of Mineral Reaction Rates and Permeability Evolution in Porous Media."

Beckingham is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Auburn University. Prior to joining Auburn, she was a geochemical postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her expertise and interests are in understanding water−rock interactions in environmental systems, particularly in subsurface energy systems including geologic CO2 sequestration and compressed energy storage. Her laboratory is currently supported by NSF, including a 2019 CAREER award, ACS PRF, and DOE. All are welcome.


Fill Out the COVID-19 Symptom Tracking Form Before Coming to Campus

A reminder that no one is permitted to come to campus with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. All employees are required to monitor their symptoms daily before coming to campus. The Daily Symptom Tracking Form is a short form that will help you determine if you have COVID-19 symptoms. 

In addition, all visitors must fill out the Visitor Symptom Tracking Form each day before coming on campus. 


Constitution Day  and Citizenship Day Today

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on Sept. 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and to recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens of the United States.

This year you can learn about the Constitution virtually and in person. Visit our online Constitution and Citizenship Day guide to learn about Constitution and Citizenship Day and explore our 2020 focus on Voters Rights in the Constitution.

Stop by the information display in the library’s main hallway on Thursday (Sept. 17) to explore books from our collections, learn about voting, and more.

Physics Colloquium Today

The next Physics Colloquium takes place at 4  p.m. today (Sept. 17) via Zoom. Michigan Tech Alumna Haiying He will present "Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 on Graphene-supported Atoms and Clusters."

She is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Valparaiso University.


Chemistry Seminar Tomorrow

There will be a Chemistry Seminar at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 18) via Zoom.

Steven M Firestine will present "Adventures in Antimicrobial Drug Discovery: Purine Biosynthesis and Spore Germination." Firestine is a professor in pharmaceutical sciences at Wayne State University.

Zoom password: 859189


Today's Campus Events

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

Evolution of the Term Latinx

Join the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) as we discuss the evolution of the term Latinx with Cristobal Salinas....


Study abroad with ISA

Ready to explore the world? Learn about your study abroad options with International Studies Abroad (ISA), how to take the next step and find the program that's right for...


Which Africa Program is Right For You?

Join University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) virtually to learn the differences between USAC's Ghana and South Africa programs. Registration link


Peace Corps Prep Information Session

What can you do now to make yourself comptetive for your Peace Corps application and service? Two Peace Corps recruiters, one a Peace Corps Prep certificate recipient, will...


Brain Break - College of Computing

Join faculty and advisors for informal community building in the round room on the second floor of Rekhi Hall. Come for a chat, stay for the pop-up advising.


Intelligent Autonomous Navigation for Multiple Heterogeneous Autonomous Vehicles

ME-EM Virtual Graduate Seminar Speaker Series proudly presents: Jungyun Bae, PhD Michigan Technological University Abstract: Today’s automated systems frequently utilize...


Physics Colloquium - Dr. Haiying He

of Valparaiso Univeristy will give a talk on "Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 on Graphene-supported Atoms and Clusters" on Thursday, September 17 at 4:00pm via...


Semester Courses in Cork

Join University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) virtually to learn about course options in the Cork, Ireland semeser program. Registration link


Cornhole Cookout

Come out and play cornhole and eat burgers and hotdogs with the brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma. Rides can be provided from wads 15 minutes before the rush from in front of wads....


Marathon Petroleum Corporation- General Meeting

A one-hour virtual meeting to learn about MPC culture and their products!


Simplicity on the Other Side of Complexity

First-Year Engineering Lecture Todd Stone Managing Director Geology Arena Energy Todd Stone, geological engineer, explorer, entrepreneur, and co-founder Arena Energy,...


Recruitment Kick Off

t's finally here! Join us to kick off our formal recruitment period and learn all of the details you need to be aware of to participate in recruitment this year. After meeting...