What Tiny Surfing Robots Teach Us About Surface Tension

Spend an afternoon by a creek in the woods, and you’re likely to notice water striders — long-legged insects that dimple the surface of the water as they skate across. Or dip one side of a toothpick in dish detergent before placing it in a bowl of water, and impress your grade-schooler as the toothpick gently starts to move itself across the surface.

Both situations illustrate the concepts of surface tension and propulsion velocity. At Michigan Tech, mechanical engineer Hassan Masoud and PhD student Saeed Jafari Kang have applied the lessons of the water strider and the soapy toothpick to develop tiny surfing robots that propel themselves forward by chemically manipulating surface tension.

Read about the insights these microrobots offer into chemical propulsion at fluid interfaces on mtu.edu/news.

Michigan Tech Offers Space for Community COVID-19 Testing on Saturday

Due in large part to the collective work of Michigan Technological University’s employees and students, detected cases of COVID-19 in the student population continue to decline. But the work is far from over. University President Rick Koubek said in a letter to the Tech community earlier this week, “As we work to satisfy our mission as an educational institution, we remain mindful of our commitment to the community.”

That commitment will continue Saturday, Oct. 3, as Michigan Tech provides space on campus at the Gates Tennis Center for the Michigan National Guard to assist with community COVID-19 testing for Copper Country residents. In collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD), Michigan Tech and the National Guard will increase community testing capacity for the day, at no cost to anyone who wishes to be tested.

Testing will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Gates Tennis Center, located at 600 MacInnes Drive in Houghton. Preregistration is not required and community members do not need insurance, a prescription, or a doctor’s order to participate. Participants are encouraged to bring a driver’s license or photo ID.

Joel Isaacson, Tech’s senior associate athletic director and project manager of the MTU Flex Task Force, said although COVID-19 numbers among the campus community are on the decline, the University sees an opportunity to use its resources to address the spread of the virus in the community as a whole. “We feel fortunate that we are in a position to assist our community in limiting the spread of COVID-19. These are great partnerships that help keep the Copper Country strong.”

Since the pandemic began, the Michigan National Guard has been active in testing efforts across the state. In August, the Guard participated in testing in southwestern Michigan with a focus on migrant farm workers. This week the Guard assisted in testing in Holland, Tawas City, Rogers City and Three Rivers.

Feedback Requested - College of Computing Dean Interviews

Interviews for the semifinalists for the dean of the College of Computing have concluded, and the committee is seeking your feedback for each candidate.

Links to the feedback form, presentations, and each candidate’s CV and materials are available online.

An ISO login is required to access any of these materials. The committee will accept feedback through Monday (Oct. 5).

ETOM Fall 2020 Virtual Conference - Call for Proposals

Greetings to the members of the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM). The Fall 2020 Virtual Conference will be held on Friday, November 6. Please consider submitting a proposal.

We estimate that Zoom sessions will be about 45-50 minutes long, but that may change depending on the number of submissions. Our keynote speaker will be Norm Vaughn — An educator and researcher with interests in blended learning and Faculty development. Vaughn is a Professor in the Dept. of Education, Faculty of Health, Community, Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.

Vaughan will talk about:

  • Student expectations and demands on faculty to deliver a quality distance learning experience
  • What faculty can do in Zoom beyond lecturing the entire time
  • Synchronous/asynchronous learning
  • Maintaining/ensuring quality in blended learning environments

While our theme is blended learning, please feel free to propose a session on a related topic. Keep in mind that your audience can include faculty, administration and support staff.

We hope to make a decision on proposals by Tuesday (Oct. 6). So please submit ASAP. Updates to our conference page (including a registration link and agenda) will be announced soon.

Charles Olson Passes Away

Charles E. Olson, Jr. (MTRI) passed away on June 28 in Ann Arbor, where he and his wife Connie resided. He was 89. Olson will be remembered as an outstanding forester, remote sensing pioneer and inspiring educator.

He was a valued employee at the Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor, teaching countless student interns about image interpretation. He also served as Adjunct Professor in Michigan Tech’s School of Technology.

A memorial service may be held at a later date. Read his full obituary.

Make a Difference Day 2020

Michigan Tech Student Leadership and Involvement, in collaboration with Husky Helpers our community service initiative, is currently planning Make a Difference Day for Oct. 24. Make a Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others and is a valued tradition on Michigan Tech's campus.

During Make a Difference Day 2019, there were 561 student participants and 51 different service sites. We are committed to having an impactful Make a Difference Day 2020.

We are reaching out to see if you are aware of any members of the community who may benefit from student help? If you know someone who may be interested in partnering with Michigan Tech Student Leadership & Involvement please complete this form:

If you have any questions, contact Beka Horsch at 7-1963 or email huskyhelpers@mtu.edu

National Science Foundation Proposal Submission Updates

Researchers who are submitting proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF) this fall should be aware of several recent and upcoming changes and clarifications that may impact proposal submission.

First, a reminder that NSF will begin enforcing the new required formats for biographical sketches and current and pending support forms for all proposals submitted or due on or after Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. This change has previously been communicated to the campus community in Tech Today and through a series of sessions that have been held to provide an overview of the new options. The new options include the use of the SciENcv online system, which we recommend for most researchers or fillable PDF documents. If researchers have not yet had a chance to learn about the SciENcv system, a copy of the presentation slides from these sessions is available here. The research development and sponsored programs teams are are available to answer questions and provide assistance as researchers make the transition to SciENcv for these proposal elements . Email rd-l@mtu.edu or spo-l@mtu.edu with questions or for assistance.

Further, the National Science Foundation has issued a series of FAQs to clarify and answer questions about the current version of its Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). Of particular note for investigators are clarifications on what types of appointments must be included in biosketches and how investigators should deal with publications that involve large numbers of co-authors that might otherwise be difficult to include in the two-page biosketch. Also included is clarification regarding the number of person-months to report in current and pending support, which may differ from that requested in the proposal budget.

Finally, researchers should be aware that NSF is slowly transitioning from submissions in the electronic Fastlane system to submission through research.gov. Some programs will soon only allow submission via research.gov. For example, the BIO directorates core programs will soon only allow submission via research.gov with no Fastlane option available. Researchers who have not yet familiarized themselves with research.gov should begin to learn the system in anticipation of future proposal submissions on that platform. Again, the research development and sponsored programs offices are available to assist as questions arise.

Support Our Huskies with the Homecoming Shirt Swap

This year is our fourth annual Homecoming Shirt Swap and we are supporting the Husky FAN Pantry.

Donate an item from this list or make a minimum $5 donation and get a 2020 Homecoming Shirt. The theme this year is "A Happy Little Homecoming" (Bob Ross theme).

You will want one of these amazing shirts in your collection. This event is open to everyone so stop by the MUB Circle at 2 p.m. Monday (Oct. 5) and spread some kindness.

Please wear a mask and adhere to social distancing. All donations go to the Husky FAN Pantry.

Protect Your Innovation Workshop and Talk Wednesday

 Join us from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 7) for an online workshop in which we discuss the fundamentals of intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, licensing, and trade secrets, including how to initiate a prior art discovery with freely available resources.

We will start with an introduction to the practical considerations and trade-offs involved in protecting your idea and how intellectual property protections can be used as a tool to develop your innovation. Michigan Tech’s own IP expert, Licensed Patent Agent and Associate Vice President for Research Administration Jim Baker, and local MTEC’s SmartZone CEO Dan Jamison will open up the conversation with compelling IP scenarios and be available for questions throughout the event.

Librarian and PTRC Representative Annelise Doll will provide us with an overview of patents and trademarks, hands-on searching activities and information about Michigan Tech’s Patent and Trademark Research Center, part of the US Patent and Trademark Office's nationwide program of PTRC’s.

Please register here. Please join us via Zoom.

Chemistry Seminar Today

 There will be a Chemistry Seminar at 3 p.m. today. via Zoom (password if needed: 859189). Christopher N. Bowman will present his piece on "Smart, Responsive Polymers Based on Covalent Adaptable Networks: Photoactivatable Dynamic Covalent Chemistry and Its Applications in Polymer Networks."

Bowman is currently the Patten Endowed Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering as well as a Clinical Professor of Restorative Dentistry at the University of Colorado at Denver.


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. 


Biomedical Engineering Graduate Seminar Today

Please join the Department of Biomedical Engineering for a Graduate Seminar at 3 p.m. today (Oct. 2) via Zoom. (Password: 016223)

Hyeun Joong Yoon (BioMed) will present "Integrated Micro/Nanotechnology to Investigate Circulating Tumor Cells."


Chemical Engineering Seminar Today

There will be a Chemical Engineering Seminar at 1 p.m., today (Oct. 2) via Zoom (passcode: 369354). Silviya Petrova Zustiak will present "Hydorgels for Drug Screening and Protein Delivery Applications".

Zustiak is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Saint Louis University. Zustiak's primary research interests are in hydrogel biomaterials with an emphasis on developing novel biomaterials as cell scaffolds, drug delivery devices and drug screening platforms. The presentation will focus on two main applications of hydrogels pursued by her laboratory - developing tumor spheroid models for drug screening applications and designing injectable hydrogels for the delivery of a multicomponent protein mixture.


Career Groups for Associate Professors Forming now

Associate professors are invited to participate in the Advanced Career Management (ACM) program designed to provide structured career guidance and support for mid-level faculty.

Interested faculty are invited to attend an orientation workshop, from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday (Oct. 5) via Zoom. The workshop will introduce the program and kick-off ACM career groups. Similar to the Early Career Management (ECM) program, the ACM consists of Associate-level faculty in similar career paths paired with a senior faculty facilitator.

The ACM program is part of ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, an NSF funded initiative dedicated to increasing faculty retention, improving campus climate, and enhancing the career success of our faculty. To learn more about ADVANCE, please visit our websiteemail us or stop by our office in Library 102B.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

A recent Presidential Executive Order and Office of Management and Budgets memorandum are critical of diversity training. In this week’s ADVANCE Weekly Roundup we are sharing an article that highlights research done on the effectiveness of diversity training. The article notes numerous studies that find that diversity training coupled with institutional action can result in positive systemic change. ADVANCE at Michigan Tech is constantly learning from other programs and the literature with regards to diversity programming. We will continue to work alongside the University administration to offer programming that enhances the culture of the Michigan Tech community.

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog.

To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us or visit our website.

Today's Campus Events

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Walking Gallery Tour: Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood

Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood features a collection of silver gelatin and inkjet photographs made as part of a documentary project about modern...


Search Smarter not Harder

Discover tried and true mechanisms to find, apply, and receive jobs. Why spin your wheels when you get traction? Get your job hunt into overdrive by searching smarter, not...


Husky Innovate Speaker: Ranit Karmakar

Ranit Karmakar pitched his idea at the Bob Mark Business Model Competition, the New Venture Competition, and TC NewTech, winning top prizes at all venues. Highly engaged in...


The Pursuit of Social Equity and Representation: Impactful Classroom and Student Engagement with Keynote Speaker Meghan Kirkwood

During a time of national and global uncertainty, it’s important to explore how our interactions with students impact their Michigan Tech experiences. Dr. Kirkwood will...


Hydrogels for Drug Screening and Protein Delivery Applications

Chemical Engineering Seminar Silviya Petrova Zustiak Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Saint Louis University Abstract: Dr. Zustiak’s primary research interests...


Mathematical Sciences Colloquium

Dr. Pang Du, Virginia Tech


Integrated Micro/Nanotechnology to Investigate Circulating Tumor Cells

Biomedical Engineering Graduate Seminar Hyeun Joong Yoon Lecturer, Biomedical Engineering Michigan Technological University Abstract: To invent new and more effective ways...


Dynamic Student Dialogues

Bixa Travesty Documentary Virtual Viewing This is not an ordinary documentary – it’s confrontational, subversive and raw. Come immerse yourself in Linn da Quebrada’s colorful...


Reparations 1

7 pieces in 15 minutes! From a 1700's funeral dirge to Ray Charles' unique arrangement of America the Beautiful, tune in for 15 minutes with the Superior Wind Symphony in a...