Joe Cooper To Serve As Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Joe Cooper has agreed to serve as Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students effective Dec. 21. Bonnie Gorman, the current Vice President for Student Affairs will retire at the end year after a remarkable 24 year career at Michigan Tech.

Cooper currently serves as the Director of Student Financial Services.  Prior to his current appointment, he worked in Residence Education and Housing Services and Student Leadership and Involvement at Michigan Tech.  

A search committee is being formed for the next Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students, with a national search to officially begin early in the new year.

Q&A with MTU Research Award Winner David Shonnard

Simple. Scalable. Sustainable. Our 2020 Michigan Tech Research Award winner makes strides in recycling plastic waste.

No surprise, plastic melts when you heat it up. Done just right, melting down plastic could create a circular economy that ensures plastic gets recycled and reused instead of thrown out. The details of melting plastic to improve a wasteful big picture is the current focus of David Shonnard’s research.

Shonnard is a professor of chemical engineering, the Richard and Bonnie Robbins Chair in Sustainable Use of Materials and the director of the Sustainable Futures Institute at Michigan Technological University. He leads interdisciplinary teams studying biofuels and green chemistry using life cycle assessments for both products and industrial processes. Shonnard also heads the Tech Forward Sustainability and Resilience initiative. 

Given the global scale of plastic waste — and the fact that takeout containers, clothes, pills and everything else we use plastics for are not going away overnight — it’s easy to feel guilt or dismay at the mere sight of a cafeteria spork. But Shonnard sees an opportunity instead. Read the full story on Michigan Tech News.

Senate to Hold Special Meeting Today

The University Senate will call a special meeting (Meeting #648) at 5:30 p.m. today (Nov. 4) via Zoom.

Senators are responsible for making their constituents aware of the agenda for this meeting. Senators who are unable to attend should arrange for their alternates to attend in their place.

The lone item on the agenda is the consideration of Emergency Proposal 33-21: "Proposal to Change the Date for Withdrawal with a 'W' for Fall Semester 2020." 

MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award Nominee

The Graduate School announces the nomination of Mitch Timm’s thesis to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools 2021 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award. His thesis represents the best in his discipline at Michigan Tech, and will represent the University in regional competition.

Timm's arrived at Michigan Tech in 2017, after completing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota. He decided to pursue his graduate degree at Michigan Tech for its nationally ranked engineering program (and weather). Timm's completed his master’s degree here in 2018 and is now working on his PhD with his advisor Hassan Masoud (ME-EM). His research consists of the study of complex fluids and transport phenomena; simply speaking he studies the interactions of fluids with solid objects and how certain materials are transported within fluids by utilizing the combined tools of theoretical (mathematical), computational (computer simulation), and experimental analysis.

This research has numerous real-world applications. For example, his thesis was based on researching the rate of evaporation of a liquid droplet when it rests on an inclined surface (sessile drop). Most people are familiar with sessile droplets from rain on your windshield or when you wash the dishes, however most people don’t understand that it is these droplets that can lead to the stubborn stains on these surfaces. This is also known as the coffee ring effect.

By understanding the way in which these droplets evaporate and deposit the suspended particles therein on these surfaces, we can develop ways to avoid this, or even utilize it to our advantage. This research and subsequent thesis are why he has been nominated to represent MTU for the MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award competition.

Timms says “I am extremely grateful and humbled to be nominated for this competition, and I especially want to thank my advisor Prof. Masoud, Dr. Predebon, and the graduate committee for this nomination and for recognizing my hard work. It is times like these that I am reminded of the fantastic community at Michigan Tech and am glad I decided to come here for my graduate education.”

In 2021, the Graduate School will accept nominations in the fields of humanities, and biological science/life sciences. Please consider nominating your outstanding students for this competition.

GSG Hosts 3MT Competition

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, hosted by the Graduate Student Government, will take place virtually tomorrow (Nov. 5). Come join us on an eventful day where research meets fun.

Participants are judged on their communication and presentation skills, while delivering content in just three minutes with one static PowerPoint slide.

You can watch the participants’ videos online on GSG’s 3MT website starting at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

With 28 participants and 4 different heats, 8 finalists will be chosen for the final rounds. The judging panel consists of 3 different faculty/staff from different majors. The names of the finalists will be declared by Noon.

The contestants qualifying for the next round will compete against each other from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday (Nov. 6) in the Rozsa Center for Performing Arts.

There will be a limit of 200 patrons who can be seated in the Rozsa center to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The seating will be on a first-come-first-served basis. The event will also be streamed live on GSG’s Facebook page.

Join us in-person or virtually to enjoy the event and choose a ‘People’s Choice’ award winner. The first and second place winners will receive cash prizes of $300 and $150 respectively. Additionally, a People’s Choice (PC) award will be given to a speaker selected by the event’s audience, with a cash prize of $100. A Facebook poll and in-person voting will happen to choose this speaker.

Biological Sciences Seminar Series

The next Biological Sciences Seminar Series will take place at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 5) via Zoom. There will be two presentations.

Kylee Hackman will present "Sequestration of Cadmium and Metal Sulfides by Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)." Hackman is a biological sciences MS student, advised by Rupali Datta (BioSci).

Angela Walczyk will present "Impacts of Nutrient and Water Limitations on the Photosynthetic and Growth Performance of Diploid and Polypoid Solidago gigantea (Giant Goldenrod)." Walczyk is a biological sciences PhD student advised by Erika Hersch-Green (BioSci).

Chemical Engineering Seminar

There will be a Chemical Engineering Seminar at 1 p.m. Friday (Nov. 6) via Zoom (Passcode: 786106). Gregg Beckham will present "Towards Sustainable Performance- Advantaged Bioproducts and Plastics Upcycling."

Beckham is a senior research fellow and group leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering at MIT in 2007. He currently leads and works with an interdisciplinary team of biologists, chemists and engineers at NREL on green processes and products using chemistry and biology, including the areas of biomass conversion and plastics upcycling.

His presentation will highlight several recent efforts from his research group to develop performance-advantaged bioproducts from lignocellulosic biomass and efforts from the newly-founded BOTTLE consortium to develop selective, scalable plastics upcycling solutions.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker

The next virtual ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 5) via Zoom. Anita Sengupta will present “The Human Exploration of Mars.”

Sengupta is an aerospace engineer, rocket scientist and pilot who has developed technologies that have enabled the exploration of Mars, asteroids, and deep space for 20 years.

GSG Hosts Grant Writing Webinar

As a student or a researcher, a necessary component of your work is applying for a multitude of grants to obtain funding for future projects. Peter Larson, director of research development at Michigan Tech, will conduct a seminar on Grant Writing from 4 to 5  p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12 via Zoom.

Larson specializes in creating effective grant and research proposals, particularly in the non-technical proposal sections that researchers often struggle with. Please send any topics or questions you wish to see discussed to so we can structure the seminar to better suit your needs.

Those who participate in the seminar will get a chance to enter a raffle draw. Space is not really limited but just so we know how many students to expect, be sure to register.

EPSSI Seminar Monday

The next Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) seminar will take place at 4 p.m. Monday (Nov. 9) via Zoom. Hendrik Bluhm will present "Heterogeneous Chemistry at Aqueous Interfaces Investigated with Ambient Pressure X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy."

Bluhm is a researcher at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany.

See an abstract. Register for the Zoom seminar. Please register early.

New Funding

Larry Sutter (MSE/APSRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $351,788 other sponsored activities contract from the Sandia National Laboratories.

The project is entitled, "Creation of a Northern-Climate Photovoltaic Test Site."

In the News

Adrienne Minerick (CC) was quoted in the article "A Way To Observe Viral Infection In Real Time," in RT.


Michigan Tech was mentioned in the article "Way up north: Preserving the majesty of Michigan’s Tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula," in Rapid Growth Media.


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. 


Chemical Engineering PhD Defense Today

Raisa Carmen Andeme Ela will defend at 10 a.m. today (Nov. 4) via Zoom.

Her presentation is titled, "Innovative sustainable wood preservatives from pulp and paper industry byproduct."


The Lode, Going Strong After Nearly 100 Years

The Lode is Michigan Tech’s student newspaper, and we’ve been serving the MTU community since 1921, when we were founded as the Michigan College of Mines Lode. We currently serve the campus digitally on the MTU Lode website and in print, though COVID-19 safety precautions have momentarily postponed our in-print issues.

The Lode publishes weekly on Thursday mornings. We feature local, state and national news, arts, cultural events and other happenings around campus, relevant opinion pieces, features on STEM and campus research, sports and more. Check us out.


EZproxy Service Upgrade Tomorrow

Between the hours of 7 and 8 a.m. tomorrow (Nov. 5), Michigan Tech IT will upgrade the library EZproxy service, which is used to access online library resources from off-campus. The new service will use the Michigan Tech Single Sign-On (SSO) instead of having its own login page. If you are using the service while the change is taking place, you may get redirected mid-session to the SSO page. The new URLs will have a different structure and will vary by the resource being accessed.

Any links associated with the old Ezproxy service will redirect to the new URL. If you have any questions, we can help. Contact IT at or call 7-1111.

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...


PhD Defense: Raisa Carmen Andeme Ela

Chemical Engineering Advisor: Rebecca Ong Innovative Sustainable Wood Preservatives from Pulp and Paper Industry Byproduct Attend Virtually:...


Virtual drop-ins at the Library

Drop-in in at any point during the hour with your questions or to walk through a short overview of this week's topic. Sign up not required. For more info and a list of topics,...


UPTLC Virtual Workshops: Healthy Professor: Incorporating Practices of Well-Being and Dealing With Distressed Students

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 3:30PM


Design Your Career Lab

Design Your Career Lab is a 3-week program that will help you wayfind as you contemplate your career. Students will be enrolled in a Canvas class so they can do work on their...


USG Weekly Meeting

It's the best time of the week! Our weekly meetings are open to all guests so everyone is more than welcome to stop on by. Whether you're there to bring us a...


Watch the Video Recording of KSO's "Trolls and Cowboys" Halloween Concert

Original air date: Sat, Oct 31, 2020 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra presents "Trolls and Cowboys" in a special streamed concert on Halloween (October 31)...