Guest Blog: Faculty Witness COVID-19 Chain Reactions

Large waves on a lake during a windy day

Editor's note: This series of Unscripted guest blogs highlights the pandemic's impact on campus community members.

The pandemic’s impacts on our campus research ecosystem are many and varied. In this guest blog, Rebecca Ong (ChemEng) describes how cascading impacts pile up.

"Have you ever seen a video, or maybe a real-life demonstration, where there are a bunch of mousetraps set up on the floor, each holding its own pingpong ball?" writes Ong. "Then a mysterious hand throws a single pingpong ball into the middle. You hold your breath because you instinctively know what happens next — absolute chaos. One ball bounces and the mousetrap rockets through the air. Then that ball hits two more, then four more, until there are hundreds of pingpong balls shooting around the room.

"This is generally used to represent an uncontrolled chain reaction in chemistry. But for me and for many of you, that first pingpong ball was COVID-19."

Read Ong's guest blog on Unscripted, the University's research blog.

Ticket Info: Weekend of New Music

Tonight (Oct. 7), the Weekend of New Music begins! What is the Weekend of New Music? Four days. Six concerts. 360 minutes of awesome.

The Weekend of New Music is being presented by the Rozsa Center from Friday to Sunday (Oct. 7-10). See dates, times and details for each concert!

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for youth. Michigan Tech students can attend for free and bring a friend with the Experience Tech Fee.

Tickets are available by phone at 906-487-2073, online and in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex.

Face coverings (and in one case, hard hats!) are required at these events. Please visit the Rozsa COVID-19 Policies for the most up-to-date information. 

Session 2 Adult Huskies Aquatics Programs

Registration for the second session of Adult Huskies Aquatics Programs closes tomorrow (Oct. 8). Sign up now! The programs will start Oct. 12 and end Nov. 4.

  • Adult Huskies Swim Training
    Provides additional attention and competitive guidance to swimmers ages 18 and older who are looking to improve their swimming skills and fitness levels in a group setting. Each session is programmed with a warm-up and variations of a workout for the beginner, intermediate and advanced swimmer. Participants will be provided coaching and guidance to meet their individual swimming goals! 
    For more information, visit Adult Huskies Swim Training.
  • Adult Huskies Swim Lessons 
    Provides aquatic education for the beginner to intermediate swimmer who is looking to become more comfortable in the water and learn the fundamental four strokes.
    For more information, visit Adult Huskies Swim Lessons.


  • Session 2 — Oct. 12 to Nov. 4 (registration closes Oct. 8)
  • Session 3 — Nov. 9 to Dec. 9 (registration closes Nov. 5; no class Nov. 23 and 25)

Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-6:20 p.m. at the SDC Pool. Cost is $100 per session (a discount is available for SDC members!).

41 North Film Festival Returns

The 41 North Film Festival will be held Nov. 4-7, featuring four days of award-winning independent film at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The festival is sponsored by the departments of Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts; the Rozsa Center; and the College of Sciences and Arts. It is free and open to the public. MTU staff, faculty and students from other schools can reserve a ticket (only one needed for entire festival) by visiting our online ticket office or calling the SDC Ticketing Office at 906-487-2073.

Learn more about the festival program and highlights on the Humanities blog. 

And be a part of the action — volunteer with 41 North Film Festival.

Recipients of Fall 2021 Finishing Fellowships Announced

The Graduate School proudly announces the recipients of its Fall 2021 Finishing Fellowships. Congratulations to all nominees and recipients.

Finishing fellowship recipients for the fall 2021 semester are:

  • Gurijala Venkat Prithvi Reddy — Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Behnam Azmoon — Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
  • Yunxiang Ma — Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
  • Ankith Ullal — Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Ruiting Zhan — Chemical Engineering
  • Geeta Sachdeva — Physics
  • Shabnam Konica — Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Chethan Reddy — Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Morteza Shaker Ardakani — Materials Science and Engineering
  • Andrew J. Puyleart — Physics
  • Erin K. Eberhard — Biological Sciences

Read more about the awardees on the Graduate School Newsblog.

Mushing Club Receives SISP Funding

Michigan Tech’s Student Initiative Support Program (SISP) recently awarded $1,500 to the Mushing Club.

This funding from Michigan Tech alumni and friends will be used to update handling and safety equipment for dogs at the Otter River Sled Dog Kennel. Part of the project is collaboration with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, where several Mushing Club members are gaining valuable skills in the foundry by creating pieces of the equipment.

SISP is funded by the philanthropy of alumni and friends, and overseen by the Michigan Tech Alumni Board of Directors, whose mission is "Celebrating Traditions. Creating Connections.”

For more information about the program, please visit the Student Initiative Support Program web page.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 11) in the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC), Room 202.

Michelle Scherer, distinguished chair and professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, will present "A Tale of Two Metals: Fe in Groundwater and Pb in Drinking Water" at this seminar.

All are welcome.

Mathematical Sciences Colloquium

Please join us for a second presentation in our Mathematical Sciences Colloquium series this week. The second presentation will be held tomorrow (Oct. 8) from 1-2 p.m. in Fisher Hall, Room 327B.

We will be hosting Xuexia Wang, associate professor in statistics at the University of North Texas (UNT) and associate professor in biostatistics (adjunct) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine.

Wang's presentation is titled "A powerful gene based association test using GWAS summary data."

Let's Talk About It: Facilitating Difficult Conversations

Are you interested in developing skills that will assist you in facilitating difficult conversations? Please join us Oct. 26 from 10-11:30 a.m. for Level 1 of a Facilitating Difficult Conversations workshop.

This in-person workshop is open to all faculty and staff members. The workshop will provide foundational information and practice for handling uncomfortable work and/or peer situations in a respectful and professional manner. ​Level 2 of Facilitating Difficult Conversations will be held on a future date.

​The number of participants is limited, so please complete this RSVP form to save your spot. Once you are signed up, you will receive a calendar invitation, which will include the location.

For more information, contact Institutional Equity at 906-487-3310 or

Zotero Workshop

Use the open-source software Zotero to manage your citations and save time! No prior knowledge of Zotero is required for this workshop.

Join us tomorrow (Oct. 8) from 2-3 p.m. at the Van Pelt and Opie Library, Room 244. 

In this workshop session, you will:

  • Add references to a Zotero library directly from your browser.
  • Import references from databases and PDFs.
  • Organize your citations.
  • Use the Zotero connector tool to incorporate references into Google Docs or Word.

Zoom attendance is available. Please indicate at registration whether you plan to attend in person or via Zoom. (It's OK if you change your mind at a later date! We just want to gauge interest in this option.)

Register to attend!

Time Change: Miner's Cup Football Game

Michigan Tech Athletics has announced the Miner's Cup football game scheduled for Oct. 16 against Northern Michigan will kick off at noon.

Northern Michigan University is the home team and the game will commence at the Superior Dome in Marquette. Fans can also watch the game on WLUC TV6.

See the updated football schedule at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Soccer Traveling to Ferris, Hosting Parkside

The Huskies soccer team will travel downstate to take on No. 9-ranked Ferris State tomorrow (Oct. 8) at 4 p.m. 

Michigan Tech will then return home to host Parkside on Sunday (Oct. 10) at noon. 

Read more and find ways to tune in at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Football Traveling to Wayne State

Michigan Tech football (2-2, 1-0) travels to Detroit to face Wayne State (0-5, 0-1) Saturday (Oct. 9) at 6 p.m. at Tom Adams Stadium for the Warriors’ homecoming.

It will be the first road game of the fall for the Huskies and the only evening affair of the regular season. Wayne State won the last matchup between the two teams in Detroit on Nov. 9, 2019, by a score of 35-14.

Read more and find ways to tune in at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Thursday, Oct. 7, 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

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

Administrative Aide 7, Materials Science and Engineering (UAW posting Oct. 7 to Oct. 13, 2021 — internal UAW applicants are given first consideration if they apply during the internal UAW posting dates). Apply online.

Coordinator, Great Lakes Research Center. Apply online.

Research Development Associate, Associate Vice President for Research Development. 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 for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

On the Road

Alex Sergeyev (AC) gave a keynote talk at the International Mechatronics Virtual Conference and Workshops, hosted by Oklahoma State University from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1.

Sergeyev's presentation was titled "Mechatronics Degree: Past, Present, and Future." 

New Funding

Tim Colling (CEE/CTT) is the principal investigator (PI) on a project that has received a $157,901 other sponsored activities grant from the University of New Mexico.

The project is titled "Training and Technical Assistance for Small Public Water Systems."

This is a potential 18-month project.


Paul Sanders (MSE/IMP) is the PI on a project that has received a $400,000 research and development grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The project is titled "Hybrid Structured Nickle Superalloys to Address Price Volatility and Weld/Weld Repair Based Supply Chain Issues."

Joseph Licavoli (MSE/IMP) and Zequn Wang (ME-EM/IMP) are co-PIs on this potential three-year project.


Paul van Susante (ME-EM/MARC) is the PI on a project that has received a $27,264 research and development grant from NASA.

The project is titled "NASA GCD: Molten Regolith Electrolysis Technology Maturation."


Face Coverings Required in Classrooms, Labs, Library

Michigan Tech remains at Health and Safety Level TwoFace coverings are required in certain locations — classrooms and laboratories during classes and lab courses, and in the library — and may also be required during instructors' office hours. In all other settings, face coverings are encouraged but not required. This applies to all students, employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

Michigan Tech strongly recommends that all employees and students receive the COVID-19 vaccine and continue with handwashing and hand-sanitizing practices, especially in light of the virulence of the COVID-19 delta variant. Please be aware that if you are exposed to COVID-19, quarantine guidelines vary depending on vaccination status. 

In Level Two, students and employees are not required to monitor their symptoms daily prior to coming to campus. But, individuals should be mindful of their own symptoms. A useful monitoring tool is available from the CDC. 


On-Demand COVID-19 Testing Available on Campus

Walk-in, on-demand COVID-19 testing is available to Michigan Tech students and employees during the fall 2021 semester.

Testing is located in the Datolite Room at the MUB on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. There is no cost to be tested, and no appointment is needed. 

Read more COVID-19 Testing Information on the MTU Flex website.


Proposals Requested: Century II Campaign Endowed Equipment Fund

The Office of the Vice President for Research requests Century II Campaign Endowed Equipment Fund (C2E2) proposals. The program provides funds to purchase equipment that will have a broad, campuswide impact and improve the lives of faculty, staff and students.

The submission deadline is 4 p.m. Oct. 15. Late submissions will not be accepted.

For more information and proposal submission requirements, visit C2E2.


MS Defense: Junyao Yang, CS

M.S. candidate Junyao Yang (CS) will present his master's thesis defense tomorrow (Oct. 8) at 2 p.m. in Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Hall (Rekhi), Room 101. Light refreshments will be served. Attendance is also invited virtually via Zoom.

Yang's defense thesis is titled "Efficient Modeling of Random Sampling-Based LRU Cache."

His faculty advisor is Zhenlin Wang (CS).

Read the abstract on the Computing News Blog.


Women Also Know Stuff Presentation

In collaboration with Michigan Technological University, along with Iowa State University and North Dakota State University, Western Michigan University is hosting a virtual presentation and Q&A to enhance awareness of gender bias and continued lack of diversity in STEM fields.

This event will take place today (Oct. 7) at 7 p.m. Please RSVP in advance.

Women Also Know Stuff (WAKS) works to highlight the expertise of women and push back against implicit gender bias. The organization aims to connect expert women in political science with professional networking opportunities, while also making it easy for those seeking experts, including journalists, to find women experts in any given subfield of political science.

Join Nadia Brown for a virtual presentation and Q&A detailing what WAKS did and is doing to increase gender diversity in political science.


Physics Colloquium

Hong Fang, research assistant professor of the physics department at Virginia Commonwealth University, will give a talk at the next Physics Colloquium. Please join the presentation today (Oct. 7) at 4 p.m. in Fisher Hall, Room 139.

Fang's topic is "Design and Understanding Novel Solid Electrolytes." 

Read more about his background at the University Events Calendar.

From the abstract:
Solid electrolytes or superionic conductors are solids containing ions (e.g., Li+/Na+/K+) that exhibit extraordinary mobility, allowing them to transport between crystallographic sites and even act like fluid phase in a crystalline matrix. Despite a wide range of solids with superionic phases, most of them only exist at high temperatures. The challenge is to discover or tailor the chemical compositions that give high ionic conductivities and low activation energies at ambient temperature, which is crucial for developing the next-generation all-solid-state batteries that are both powerful and safe. The talk will cover our recent efforts to meet the challenge in the development of novel solid electrolytes with superior properties, especially, by using cluster-ions instead of atomic ions as the building block and by utilizing multiple mechanistic principles.


Biological Sciences Seminar Series

David D. Kline is the next presenter in the Biological Sciences Seminar Series.

The seminar will be held from 3-4 p.m. today (Oct. 7) via Zoom.

Kline's presentation is titled "Astrocyte transporters in the nTS control excitatory and inhibitory circuit activity and cardiorespiratory function."

From the abstract:
... In this study, we will discuss the role of astrocytic Glu and GABA transporters in controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the nTS and their influence on normal physiological function. Furthermore, we will show astrocytes are important in the manifestation of altered nTS circuit activity in an obstructive sleep apnea model. Taken together, our data demonstrate astrocytes critically limit activation of excitatory and inhibitory receptors, their synaptic interaction, and thus neuronal activity to influence cardiorespiratory homeostasis and reflex responses. 


ME-EM Graduate Seminar

The next Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) Graduate Seminar will be held at 4 p.m. today (Oct. 7) in Fisher Hall, Room 135. Our speaker will be Constantine Megaridis.

Megaridis will present “Surface-Wettability Engineering: From Microfluidics to Energy Applications and Beyond.”

Megaridis received his Ph.D. in Fluid/Thermal Sciences from Brown University, and holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics, also from Brown.


This Week's C-Cubed Luncheon Menu

Dining Services presents this week's C-Cubed Luncheon, being held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (Oct. 7) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge, Room 107. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The C-Cubed lunch buffet menus are created by executive chef Eric Karvonen and prepared by Karvonen and his culinary team. As the name suggests, the meals are meant to foster conversation, community and collegiality. Attendees may bring their lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Fruit-infused water, coffee, tea, cookies, and fruit are available free to all attendees.

The buffet lunch is $12 per person. Cash, credit cards and gift cards are accepted. Gift cards can be purchased in the Memorial Union office, Room 101. You can submit C-Cubed feedback using this Google form. To join the C-Cubed Google group and receive weekly menus, email

Menu for Thursday (Oct. 7):

Chicken Tikka Masala (Gluten Free)
Tofu Tikka Masala (Gluten Free, Vegetarian)
Basmati Rice (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Warm Flat Bread (Vegetarian)
Raita (Vegetarian)
Vegetable Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)


Third Annual Water Walk to Honor Water Resources

The People of the Heart Water Walkers will host its third annual Water Walk to honor water resources Saturday to Monday (Oct. 9-11).

Water Walkers will walk nearly 90 miles through the Keweenaw Peninsula along Gichigami. The route this year will be reversed from the previous year, beginning at the Copper Harbor Lighthouse at Astor Shipwreck Park in Copper Harbor and concluding at Sand Point Lighthouse in Baraga.

Again this year, because of COVID-19 concerns, distance participation is encouraged. A core group of walkers will undertake the main route. Others interested in doing this work for water may share their personal Water Walk experiences virtually through the group’s Facebook page or Google site.

The Water Walk is conducted through Anishinaabe ceremonial protocol with traditional understandings of the natural environment. Anishinaabekweg from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community will assist in the walk. In this work, women lead the ceremony carrying a copper vessel filled with nibi, the Anishinaabe word for water. The water continually moves through the 1842 ceded territory throughout the day, beginning at sunrise and into the late afternoon. An eagle staff is carried beside them as protector.

The conclusion of the three-day event coincides with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This annual day of celebration, which falls on Monday (Oct. 11), honors the peoples, histories and cultures of Indigenous populations across the Americas.

Sponsors of the walk include the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Campaign of Upper Michigan, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region and the Michigan Tech Writing Center.

People of the Heart Water Walkers joins those of all colors, faiths and philosophies to work together for life’s most precious resource: nibi.

Today's Campus Events

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

Hyperconnection: A New Series by Tiffany Lange

Tiffany Lange’s newest series “Hyperconnection”, examines overstimulation and anxiousness through abstraction. After a year of increased screen time during quarantine and...


The Spirit of the Hunt: Ecological Art Exhibit & Public Wolf Discussion

Art Exhibit: August 30-October 15 Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm Noblet Atrium, Michigan Tech College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science Opening...


UP & Moving Aerobic Exercise, Agility, and Balance Workout

We are a group of Michigan Tech graduate students who are focused on improving the health of our community. We are contributing to the COVID-19 response by providing health...


Co-Op 101

Attend this presentation to learn about the cooperative education program.


AGC Michigan - U. P. Student Construction Awareness Night (SCAN)

Join us to go explore new construction sites and network in Marquette, MI! This will count as an excused school absence.



Attend this presentation to learn how to establish a LinkedIn profile.


Biological Science Seminar Series - Dr. David Kline

Dr. David Kline University of Missouri Professor Dept. of Biomedical Sciences Resident Investigator Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center Member Interdisciplinary...


PhD Defense: Xiaoxu Guo

Materials Science and Engineering Advisor: Yu Wang Atomistic Monte Carlo Simulation Study of Phase Transitions in Metal Alloys Attend Virtually:...


Physics Colloquium - Dr. Hong Fang

Dr. Hong Fang, research assistant professor, of the Physics Department at Virginia Commonwealth University will give a talk on "Design and Understanding Novel Solid...


Surface-Wettability Engineering: From Microfluidics to Energy Applications and Beyond

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series proudly presents Constantine Megaridis, PhD University of Illinois at Chicago Abstract The small-scale interaction of liquids with...


The Lode - General Meeting

Join the Lode (Michigan Tech's student newspaper) for our weekly general meeting! This is a great way to see if the Lode is a good fit for you. We are always looking for...


New Music in the Mine I

Hard hats required (and provided) to hear this exciting new music by contemporary composers in the Quincy Mine hoist building. There will be two performances of the same...


Open Rock Climbing

All ages (we can allow all ages to climb as long as we have the proper fitting equipment). No need to sign up, just stop by the Climbing Wall between 6 and 8 pm Monday through...


Range Day

Students are allowed to come down to the range to either use their own firearms or the firearms provided by the club.


Women Also Know Stuff presentation with Dr. Nadia Brown

WMU, in collaboration with Michigan Technological University, Iowa State University, and NorthDakota State University, is hosting a virtual presentation and Q&A to enhance...