Q&A with MTU Research Award Winner Gregory Odegard

The 2021 Michigan Tech Research Award winner, Greg Odegard (MEEM), develops ultrastrong composite materials for crewed deep space missions.

Composites are much like they sound: materials composed of different substances. Their components can enhance their overall strength, toughness, weight and other properties such as electrical conductivity. For example, deep space exploration demands composites that are both lightweight but incredibly strong.

That’s why Odegard got into carbon.

Read the full story about his research on mtu.edu/news.

Q&A with Bhakta Rath Award Winners Pratik Umesh Joshi and Caryn Heldt

For the second year running, the doctoral student and faculty mentor winners of the Bhakta Rath Research Award hail from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Pratik Umesh Joshi recently earned his PhD. As a doctoral candidate, he was advised by Caryn Heldt, who is the director of the Health Research Institute at Michigan Tech and runs the COVID-19 testing lab as well as being the James and Lorna Mack Chair in Bioengineering and a professor of chemical engineering. Their research focuses on scaling up viral vaccine methods by creating better ways to isolate the virus needed to make the vaccine effective.

Read more about their research and collaboration on mtu.edu/news, including their reflections on what makes a successful mentoring relationship. Joshi describes it as building bridges: "There are two ways of crossing a lake by a bridge. Someone can build a bridge for me or show me how to build a bridge. For me, mentoring is about making the mentee aware of how to build a bridge, because a bridge built for one lake may not work for another. If I know how to design and construct a bridge, I can cross any lake I want to."

US-41 Road Project Web Page to Provide Updates

Facilities Management recognizes that this summer's Highway US-41 Road Project, which starts in May, will impact the campus community.

In order to provide students, faculty, staff and visitors with timely updates and help keep everyone informed about traffic routes and other impacts to campus, we have created a US-41 Road Project web page.

Facilities Management will update this page regularly throughout the project with pertinent announcements and traffic re-routing information as it becomes available.

If you have questions, please email facilities@mtu.edu or call 906-487-2303.

WUPHD Resumes Use of J&J Vaccine

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) will resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week. 

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available during the vaccination clinic on Thursday, April 29, at the Michigan Tech SDC. The clinic is open to individuals 18 and older. There is no charge for the vaccine or administration of the vaccine.

To schedule an appointment for this clinic, please use the WUPHD's online scheduling system. For additional clinic dates, please visit the WUPHD website at westernuphealth.org.

Parking Restrictions In Effect Friday

On Friday, April 30, Michigan Tech is holding a graduation celebration for the class of 2020 and 2021. With this celebration, some parking restrictions are being put into place to help with the increased number of visitors to our campus.

Parking lots unavailable for the duration of the day Friday include:
Lot 11 (Black Permit Lot), Lot 27 (Visitor Lot), Lot 12 (MUB Faculty/Staff), Lot 14 (DHH Parking Lot), and Commuter/Grad Lots 5 and 9.

We ask all faculty and staff to seek an alternative lot to park in on Friday. Lot 1 (Admin), Lot 2 (AOB), Lot 33 (Meese), Lot 13 (Fisher), Lot 7W (DHH), Lot 8 (Walker), Lot 15W (Wads), Lot 15E (Wads), and Lot 16 (McNair) will still be available. Please do not utilize metered locations, as we are including these areas in our total number of spaces needed for family and friends.

If you have any questions regarding this one-day change, please email us at parking@mtu.edu or call us at 906-487-1441.

Graduation Celebration: Information for Academic Units

The graduation celebration will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. this Friday (April 30). More than 650 graduates from 2020 and 2021 will join us with their family and friends to celebrate their accomplishments.

Graduates and guests will walk a one-mile, one-way loop around campus with three to four photo opportunity stops, information booths, water stations and a mock graduation stage in the Rozsa lobby. This is a lazy-river concept where folks can enter or exit at various places along the route. There will be two windows of activity: 12:30-2:30 p.m. and 3-5:30 p.m. Graduates may participate in whichever time slot they choose, though they were informed that faculty from each college would be present at the following times:

12:30-2:30 p.m.
• College of Computing
• College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
• College of Sciences and Arts
• Pavlis Honors College

3-5:30 p.m.
• College of Business
• College of Engineering

At this time, we expect about 1,000 people (graduates and their guests) on campus between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. and about 2,400 people on campus between 3 and 5:30 p.m. These folks will be spread out along the one-mile route, which was designed to minimize gatherings. There will also be several volunteers to help answer questions and direct groups along the route as needed.


  • Regalia is encouraged but not required.
  • Faculty and staff should meet in front of Fisher. There will be a balloon arch and faculty will be lined up on both sides of the sidewalk to cheer for the graduates as they pass through.
  • Congratulatory signs and pompoms will be provided for faculty to use during the event.
  • Hand sanitizer will be handed out to students and available at various points along the route.
  • Masks are required, as is physical distancing to the extent possible.
  • Some students may want to show their family their senior projects. This is allowed, as the buildings will be open.

Please refer to the online map to see how the celebration will be set up. Feel free to reach out to Theresa Jacques at tjacques@mtu.edu or call 906-487-2936 if you have additional questions.

Spend 1010 with Brian Yuan on Thursday

You are invited to spend one-zero-one-zero — that is, 10 — minutes with Brian Yuan on Thursday, April 29, at 4:30 p.m.

Yuan is an assistant professor in both the Applied Computing and Computer Science departments. His areas of expertise include machine learning, security and privacy, and cloud computing.

Yuan will discuss his research and the Applied Computing and Computer Science departments, and answer questions.  

Join the virtual event.
View the blog post.

Summer Reading Facilitators Sought

Faculty and staff are invited to facilitate a student group discussion for Michigan Tech’s Reading as Inquiry project. This year, first-year students will be reading "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline.

A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days. When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune — and control of the OASIS itself. Then Wade cracks the first clue. Suddenly he’s beset by rivals who’ll kill to take this prize. The race is on — and the only way to survive is to win.

The Reading as Inquiry program is also heading in a new direction. This fall, in lieu of the author speaking, we will be hosting a faculty panel addressing themes from the book that align with furthering the conversation about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Tech Forward initiatives. Additionally, the small group discussions will serve not only as book discussions, but also as a means of preparing first-year students to participate in the panel discussion.

Facilitators will lead a small group discussion of approximately 25 first-year students with assistance from upper-level students during Orientation Week. A facilitator information session will be held in August and the student group discussions are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The faculty panel will be held following the group discussions Aug. 25, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

If you are interested in serving as a facilitator, register online no later than May 14. Facilitators will receive a free copy of the book.

Email success@mtu.edu with any questions.

PhD Student Daniel Byrne Awarded Finishing Fellowship

Computer Science PhD student Daniel Byrne has been awarded a Summer 2021 Finishing Fellowship.

Byrne will receive full support for the semester, which includes three research credit hours and a stipend. Byrne’s research centers around the modeling and optimization of memory systems found in today’s data centers. He explains that data caching helps improve the speed and efficiency of front-end cloud applications, such as websites and video streaming.

Byrne has developed a new data caching system in collaboration with researchers at the University of Rochester. “Our system uses intelligent data replication and allocation across multiple memory devices to maximize performance while reducing overall operating costs,” he says.

Read more in the blog post.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Students Present at ACS Conference

Three environmental engineering graduate students in Daisuke Minakata's group — Benjamin Barrios, PhD; Rose Turner, MS; and Benjamin Morhardt, MS — presented at the virtual American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting.

Barrios gave a talk about singlet oxygen reactivities in natural aquatic environments under the ongoing National Science Foundation (NSF) aquatic photochemistry project led by Minakata. From the same project, Morhardt presented the initial fate of free amino acids under sunlit irradiation. Turner presented her ongoing per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) work.

Turner is an NSF graduate research fellow and her work is supported by Central Chemicals Inc., a collaborator of Minakata.

DoD SMART Scholarship Awardees

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the Department of Defense (DoD) Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship awardees.

• Lauren Mancewicz, doctoral graduate student in environmental engineering, is a scholarship awardee. Mancewicz’s current research focuses on using a numerical variable-density groundwater flow and transport model to investigate the impacts of sea-level rise on island hydrology and freshwater resources.

• Casey Majhor, doctoral graduate student in electrical engineering, is a scholarship awardee. Majhor’s research focuses on improving and implementing autonomous ground vehicles and robotics. As a DoD SMART Scholar, Majhor plans to contribute to DoD project focus areas such as combat vehicle robotics and manned-unmanned teaming vehicle systems.

• Maria Anghelache, master’s graduate student in applied statistics, is a scholarship semifinalist.

The Graduate School is proud of these students for their outstanding scholarship. These awards highlight the quality of students at Michigan Tech, the innovative work they have accomplished, the potential for leadership and impact in science and engineering that the country recognizes in these students, and the incredible role that faculty play in students’ academic success.

The DoD SMART Scholarship is part of the National Defense Education Program and its benefits include full tuition and education-related expenses payment, a stipend of $25,000-$38,000 per year, summer internships ranging from 8 to 12 weeks, health insurance, a miscellaneous allowance of $1,200 per year, mentorship at one of the DoD sponsoring facilities, and employment placement at a DoD facility upon degree completion.

Social Sciences Department Undergraduate Awards

The Social Sciences Department recognized five undergraduate students for their excellence in research, leadership, service and community engagement.

Outstanding Senior: Timothy Stone
The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes outstanding undergraduate achievement in accomplishments in academics, research, leadership and/or service.

Undergraduate Research: Alannah Woodring, Madelina Dilisi
The Undergraduate Thesis or Research Awards recognize one graduating senior and one junior for their exemplary research, as evidenced in an undergraduate thesis, original research or creative project under the guidance of Social Sciences faculty members or other mentors.

Community-Based Research: Kat Dvorak, Savannah Obert-Pfeiffer
The Community-Based Research Prize recognizes students who are actively engaged in community-based research, a pillar of the department's mission. The prize honors student efforts to enhance community capacity, build relationships and/or support community participation in research.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Wednesday, April 28, 2021  

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available on the Human Resources website. For more information regarding staff positions, call 906-487-2280 or email mtujobs@mtu.edu.

For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted. 

Marketing Manager, Visual and Performing Arts. Apply online.

Assistant Cross Country and Track & Field Coach, Athletics. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  Accommodations are available. If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment or an interview at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or mtujobs@mtu.edu.

In Print

Nathir Rawashdeh (AC) led the publication of a paper at the recent online SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing / Autonomous Systems 2021 Conference.

The paper, entitled "Drivable path detection using CNN sensor fusion for autonomous driving in the snow," targets the problem of drivable path detection in poor weather conditions including on snow-covered roads. The authors used artificial intelligence to perform camera, radar and LiDAR sensor fusion to detect a drivable path for a passenger car on snow-covered streets. A companion video is available. 

Co-authors include Jeremy Bos (ECE).


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

If you are working on campus while the University is at Health Safety Level Three, remember that no one is permitted to come to campus with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Employees are required to monitor for symptoms daily before coming to campus using the Daily Symptom Monitoring Form.


Change Coming to the Concur Mobile App

On Saturday, May 1, the Concur mobile app login method will switch from a mobile PIN to Michigan Tech Single Sign On (SSO).

To log in, you will need to enter Michigan Tech’s Concur company code. This will direct you to the Michigan Tech SSO page to complete the login process.

Please refer to the Concur web page for more details and contact information. We can help. Contact it-help@mtu.edu or call 906-487-1111.

In the News

Michigan Tech's Sustainability Demonstration House was featured in special coverage of Earth Day on UPMatters.


Humanities PhD student Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo was named Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar at the 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards on April 16. The story was covered in Agbozo's native Ghana by yen.com.


Michigan Tech's Steel Bridge team was pictured in the story "32 Schools Qualify for AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition National Finals" in Modern Steel Construction.

Today's Campus Events

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

Teal Ribbons

All month there will be Teal Ribbons on Trees. These ribbons symbolize solidarity with victims of sexual violence and are meant to create conversation on campus about how we...


PhD Defense: Saeed Jafari Kang

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Advisor: Hassan Masoud Marangoni Propulsion of Active Particles Attend Virtually: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/8258134564


Dial Help TEAL Survivor Support Group

Free, safe, and non-judgmental phone support group for anyone who experienced sexual violence past or present, including childhood abuse. You are not alone. Contact Paige with...


Adult Huskies Group Tennis Lessons Spring Session 3

Adult Huskies Tennis Lessons are now being offered for ages 17 and up who are looking to learn more about the game of tennis! Each class will include technique and games to...


Denim Day 2021

Michigan Tech Title IX invites you to proudly wear denim with a purpose on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 for International Denim Day to support survivors and educate our community...


Teal Ribbons for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. During the Month of April there will be Teal Ribbons displayed throughout campus. Teal has become the signature color for sexual...