Rescheduled: Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Semifinalist Open Forum

Michigan Tech has invited four semifinalists to interview for Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Each semifinalist will give two public presentations sharing their vision for MTU within the context of the strategic plan and how their experience has prepared them for this task.

Rescheduled Semifinalist Presentations:
Please mark your calendar to attend Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Semifinalist Sean Lane’s presentation on one of the following dates: Tuesday (March 14) at 3 p.m. or Wednesday (March 15) at 10:30 a.m. 

All presentations will occur in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library.  

An opportunity to provide candidate feedback will be available on the search webpage at the conclusion of each semifinalist’s visit. Evaluation forms for candidates who have already presented are available now.

Updated Operating Procedures for Payroll Services

Effective Monday (March 13), due to a transition period in Payroll Services, the primary focus of off-cycle weeks will be reallocations, corrections to pays and leave adjustments. Missed pays will be processed during the next available pay cycle week.

Additionally, during this transition period, the Payroll Services email will only be used to collect paper timesheets, reallocations or deduction forms, and the Payroll Services main telephone number will be redirected to the Human Resources main line (906-487-2280). Questions regarding payroll will be responded to within one to two business days.

Tax forms must be sent to Payroll Services via campus mail or hand delivered to the Lakeshore Center, as email is not secure.

To ensure accurate and timely payments, departments are urged to review the Deadlines Affecting the Payroll Processes PDF.

Payroll Services and Human Resources appreciate your patience and understanding.

Write-D and SS Welcome Write-D Facilitator Aritra Chakrabarty

Writing in the Discipline (Write-D) and the Department of Social Sciences (SS) are pleased to welcome Aritra Chakrabarty as the department’s Write-D facilitator beginning after spring break.

Write-D provides a dedicated time and space for graduate students to get work done and receive support on writing projects within their discipline, such as manuscripts, research proposals, etc. Guest speakers from the department and industry visit to present briefly on research, writing and publishing tips. This free program is open to all graduate students.

For more information, including times and locations, visit the Graduate School's Write-D page

Questions? Contact Write-D Coordinator Sarah Isaacson at

A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Partial Day Closure

On Tuesday (March 14), the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum will be closed for a staff training from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum will reopen at 1 p.m. and then close at its normal time, 5 p.m.

Normal business hours will resume on Wednesday (March 15): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Michigan Space Grant Consortium Award Recipients Announced

A diverse, multitalented group of Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff members has been awarded fellowships and grants totaling an impressive $78,000 from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) for its 2023-24 cycle.

The MSGC, which consists of 52 consortia, is sponsored by NASA. The MSGC promotes awareness, research and education in “space-related science and technology in Michigan.” To achieve this goal, the organization not only funds fellowships and scholarships for students pursuing STEM careers but also financially supports curriculum enhancement and faculty development. 

Michigan Tech undergraduate students who received $4,000 for Faculty Led Fellowships are:

  • Elijah Sierra (mechanical engineering): “Investigation of static electricity effects on conveyance of MTU-LHT-1A through polycarbonate hoppers”
  • Abraham Stone (biological sciences): “Advancing Mycobiocontrol Techniques for Buckthorn Management”

Michigan Tech graduate students who received $5,000 Graduate Fellowships are:

  • Ian Norwood (Physics): “Constraining Frictional Charging on Coarse-Mode Atmospheric Dust Particles”
  • Jacob Novitch (CEGE): “Modeling of Lagoon Wastewater Treatment Systems in Small Communities”
  • Caitlyn Sutherlin (SS) “Understanding Community Connections with Nature in California, El Salvador”
  • Eli Paulen (CFRES): “Elucidating factors controlling stream temperatures in a seasonally snow-covered forested catchment in the Great Lakes Region”
  • Ben Jewell (ME-EM): “Experimental Characterization of Polymers and Polymer Composites Under High Temperature Oxidative Aging”
  • Enid Partika (CEGE): “Uncovering Causes Spatial Variability in Lake Superior Lake Trout PCB Concentrations”
  • Emilie Pray (GMES): “The role of crustal recycling in the evolution of the Bell Creek igneous complex, Marquette County, Michigan”
  • Kyle Wehmanen (KIP): “Human Powered Locomotion on Variable Terrain: Implications for how to Move on Mars”

Michigan Tech faculty and staff members who received $5,000 or more for Hands-On NASA-Oriented Experiences for Student Groups (HONES) and Research Seed Programs:

  • Paul van Susante (ME-EM): HONES — “NASA Lunabotics Competition”
  • Xin Xi (GMES): “The compound extreme climate and dust storms over the Northern Hemisphere midlatitude drylands”
  • Yinan Yuan (CFRES): “Genetic Engineering Novel Regulatory Antisense RNAs for Plant Adaption to Space Environment”

The Graduate School is proud of these students for their outstanding scholarship. These awards highlight the quality of students at Michigan Tech, their innovative work, their leadership potential and the incredible role faculty plays in students’ academic success.

ChE Seminar with Chair Candidate Vivek Utgikar

Vivek Utgikar will present as part of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE) Research Series on Monday (March 13) at 10 a.m. in person in Chem Sci 201 or virtually via Zoom.

Utgikar will present "Integrated Energy Systems and Fuel Cycle Research: Recent Advances and Future Directions."

Utgikar is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Idaho.

From the abstract:
Nuclear energy is an emissions-free alternative to fossil fuels for power generation and industrial process heat. Integrated energy systems (IESs), featuring a coupling of nuclear energy with renewable and fossil energy as well energy storage, have significant potential to contribute to nation’s energy security and mitigate climate change. The mismatch between the temperature available from nuclear sources and the desired temperatures for many chemical processes can be addressed through temperature amplification using chemical heat pumps (ChHPs) that are based on reversible chemical reactions. Results of experimental and theoretical work conducted on calcium oxide/hydroxide ChHP are described in this presentation.

Sustained growth of nuclear energy will require recycling the used nuclear fuel (UNF) for increased efficiency of the utilization of uranium resources. Responsible management of off-gas emissions from UNF recycling operations requires capture and immobilization of radioactive contaminants including those of krypton and iodine. A pretreatment step for effecting the decomposition of organoidine species was proposed and experiments conducted to demonstrate its feasibility. Dynamic sorption experiments were also conducted using novel sorbent configurations and process models developed.

Ideas are discussed for further research, particularly focusing on the developments in the IESs and advanced fuel cycles.

SS Brown Bag with James Suzman

The Department of Social Sciences (SS) is hosting a brown bag presentation Monday (March 13) from noon to 1 p.m. We will meet in AOB 201 or virtually via Zoom.

Please join us for an informative seminar led by James Suzman on the nature of work: “A discussion on the evolution and meaning of work.”(Suzman will be joining us remotely.)

Suzman will introduce the fundamentals of his research and why he became interested in studying the history of work, how it has changed through time and how we might think of influencing its future. The hope is to spend the majority of our time together in dialogue concerning the nature and meaning of work from the perspective of our various disciplinary backgrounds and research interests.

Suzman is an anthropologist specializing in the Khoisan peoples of southern Africa. A recipient of the Smuts Commonwealth Fellowship in African Studies at Cambridge University, he is now the director of Anthropos Ltd., a think tank that applies anthropological methods to solving contemporary social and economic problems. He has written two books, “Affluence Without Abundance, on the Bushmen of Southern Africa,” and “Work, a history of humankind through the prism of work.” He lives in Cambridge, England.

Blake Pietila Among Top Three Mike Richter Award Finalists

Michigan Tech hockey's goaltender Blake Pietila is one of the top three finalists for the Mike Richter Award, given annually to the top goaltender in men's NCAA Division I hockey since 2014.

The Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) named Pietila, Northeastern's Devon Levi and Quinnipiac's Yaniv Perets as the finalists. Levi and Perets are repeat finalists, and Levi was the Richter Award winner last year.

All three are ranked in the top five in NCAA save percentage and all three will be active tomorrow (March 11) in postseason play. The winner of this year's Mike Richter Award will be announced April 7 during the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida.

Pietila has started 34 games for the Huskies this season and is 23-9-3 overall with a 1.96 goals-against average, and a .931 save percentage. He leads the nation with 10 shutouts, is second with 23 wins, third in save percentage, and fourth in goals-against average. He holds the Michigan Tech single-season shutout record with 10 and the career shutout record with 20. Pietila is tied for the Tech's all-time goaltender win record with 58.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Hockey Hosting NMU in CCHA Semifinal

No. 10 Michigan Tech hockey will host Northern Michigan in a CCHA Mason Cup semifinal matchup tomorrow (March 11). The puck drops at 6:07 p.m. at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

The Huskies are the No. 2 seed and the Wildcats are No. 4. The Huskies advanced with a sweep of St. Thomas, and NMU swept Bemidji State in the quarterfinal round. The winner will advance to the CCHA Mason Cup Championship Game on March 18.

Tech is 24-9-4 overall and went 4-1 against the Wildcats in the regular season.

Fans can listen live on the radio at Mix 93.5 WKMJ-FM or online at or The game will be televised across the Upper Peninsula on WLUC TV6. It will also be livestreamed on

Read the preview at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

On the Road

Jessica Brassard (VPR/GLRC) presented “Visualizing Complex Concepts” at the third Rice Visual Communication Symposium held at Rice University in Houston, Texas, on March 2-3.

Brassard's session was a showcase of the process of developing compelling figures for external funding proposals.

New Funding

Aneet Narendranath (ME-EM) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $2,113 research and development contract from Elon University.

The project is titled "Genre Analysis of Student Reflective Essays to Establish a Baseline for Rhetorical Moves and Meta-Discourse Makers Aligned with EM."

In the News

Ph.D. candidate Sarvada Chipkar (chemical engineering) was featured by the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in a Q&A spotlighting her research in the lab of Rebecca Ong (ChE).


The Voice of Sterling Heights, Michigan, mentioned Michigan Tech’s Mind Trekkers in a story about a visit by retired NASA astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger to the STEM Fest at St. Clair Community College tomorrow (March 11).


Cars 108 WCRZ-FM mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about Houghton being named the most charming town in Michigan by the HGTV network.


Banner Production System Maintenance

A production system maintenance window is scheduled for Sunday (March 12) from 6-11 a.m.

The following production services will be unavailable during that time:

Course Tools 
OAP Rental System 
Oracle Reports 
Sunapsis (iOffice) 
Virtual Cashiering 

If you have any questions or concerns, we can help. Contact us at or call 7-1111.

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