From Tech Trails to Beijing: Deedra Irwin Makes Olympic History

Deedra Irwin and two teammates hold up a US flag at the Olympics.

Michigan Tech alumna Deedra Irwin ’15 (B.S. Exercise Science) carved her own tracks to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, where her seventh-place finish in biathlon was the best ever by an American. 

Irwin was a three-sport student-athlete at Michigan Tech, competing in cross-country running, track and field, and Nordic skiing.

Read her Olympic story, starting with how she got into skiing (it wasn't her original dream), in our 2023 Michigan Tech Magazine.

Spring Commencement Volunteers Still Needed

The Commencement Team is still seeking volunteers for Michigan Tech's Spring Commencement ceremonies. For both the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies, we need volunteers to:

  • Help with pre-ceremony setup,
  • Serve as greeters and ushers,
  • Coordinate graduate check-in,
  • Collect tickets at the door, and
  • Assist guests with special seating accommodations.

The graduate student ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. April 28 and the undergraduate student ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. April 29. There are multiple shifts available for both ceremonies. More information regarding the ceremonies can be found on the Commencement website.

Please sign up by April 19 if you would like to volunteer. Contact Anna McClatchy at if you have any questions.

This special weekend cannot happen without the help of our amazing Michigan Tech community!

Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Athletics Presentation

Join a presentation on the importance of diversity and inclusion in athletics with MTU alumnus Jaylyn Boone ’18 (B.S. Business Administration), who played football for our very own Tech team.

We will discuss why sports in schools need to address and value diversity in sports and have equal opportunities for all who are interested in playing.

This presentation is open to all students and community members who enjoy sports. We hope to see you in Fisher 135 on April 12 at 7:30 p.m.!

'Art in Silico' Juried Art Show Reception

"Art in Silico" welcomes you to enjoy refreshments, art and live music at our Juried Art Show Reception at the Historic Orpheum Theater in Hancock next Thursday (April 13) from 5-7 p.m. A $15 donation is requested, and funds will be split between Copper Country Community Arts Center and MTU student scholarships.

Awards will be presented to artists and we will have interactive displays.

Friends, family and the greater community are all welcome and encouraged to attend!

The inaugural "Art in Silico" is a computational art exhibition and event series that examines the expressive world of creative computation and the confluence of technology and art, connecting circuit board to canvas. As technology pervades our existence, forming new universes — metaverses — in which we can live, act and perceive, the spaces between the conventional science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and the creative arts have shrunk to the infinitesimal. "Art in Silico" celebrates the continuum of arts and STEM, seeking to hack your mind and STEAM your brain to experience a world in which data are compelling, evocative, provocative, ugly, beautiful and appealing.

GSG Cultural Night

Get ready to experience a night of cultural celebration with Graduate Student Government (GSG) and a collaboration of student organizations representing African, Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Iranian cultures!

Our Cultural Night event is bringing together diverse communities to share their unique traditions, music and delicious snacks from around the world. Join us for an evening of dance, socialization and fun as we play music from different cultures and indulge in cultural snacks that represent the diversity of our student body.

This is an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the richness of different cultures while making new friends and having a great time. We hope to see you there on Saturday (April 8) from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the MUB Ballroom to experience this vibrant and colorful celebration!

Free Sustainability Film: 'The Plastic Problem'

"The Plastic Problem" will be shown at 7 p.m. April 20 at the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building in G002 Hesterberg Hall.

David Shonnard (ChE) and Bre Tucker (PHC), co-owner of Refill U.P. in Hancock, will be the discussion facilitators. The Copper Country Recycling Initiative will provide refreshments.

A $5 suggested donation at the door to support the Sustainability Film & Facilitated Discussion Series is appreciated.

Film Description
"The Plastic Problem" explores the issue of plastic pollution, now considered one of the largest environmental threats facing humans and animals globally. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans — an environmental crisis that’s been in the making for nearly 70 years. Amna Nawaz and her PBS NewsHour colleagues interview two of the world’s biggest plastic producers, the Coca-Cola Company and Unilever, to find out what they’re doing to address the problem. The film examines the effectiveness of plastic bans, bacteria that eat plastic, a young inventor who has made an alternative to plastic wrap out of beer brewing by-products, and a start-up making plastic roads. Find out how you can be a part of the solution.

Facilitator Bios
David Shonnard teaches courses in sustainable engineering, environmentally conscious design, life cycle assessments and chemical reaction engineering. His research interests are in systems analysis for sustainability, environmental life cycle assessments of renewable energy technologies, and chemical recycling of waste plastics for a circular economy.

Bre Tucker is Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program coordinator and the co-owner of Refill U.P. in Hancock, a business that is tackling the plastics problem one day, one person, one shower and one load of laundry at a time. Tucker will share the motivation behind starting the business and what it offers residents.

Film & Discussion Series
The Sustainability Film & Facilitated Discussion Series is coordinated by the Tech Forward Initiative for Sustainability and Resilience and co-sponsored by:

Keweenaw Land Trust | Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship | Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative | Friends of the Land of Keweenaw | | Refill U.P. | MTU College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science | MTU Department of Social Sciences Sustainability Science Program | MTU Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering | MTU Center for Science and Environmental Outreach | MTU Sustainability Demonstration House | MTU Great Lakes Research Center | MTU Students for Sustainability

GLRC-ICC Rapid Research Seedling Grant Recipients Announced

The Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) and Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) are excited to announce the recipients of the second round of Rapid Research Seedling Grants.

The following principal investigators (PIs) and co-principal investigators (co-PIs) received seedling grants for projects to be conducted during summer semester 2023:

  • PI: Hoda Hatoum (BioMed)
    Award: $10,000

  • PI: Ashraf Saleem (AC)
    Co-PIs: Thomas Oommen (GMES) and Erik Kocher (GLRC)
    Award: $10,000

  • PI: Amy Marcarelli (BioSci)
    Co-PIs: Jamey Anderson (GLRC), Colin Brooks (MTRI), Casey Huckins (BioSci) and Pengfei Xue (CEGE/GLRC)
    Award: $10,000

  • PI: Jay Meldrum (VPR/KRC)
    Award: $10,000

  • PI: Lanrong Bi (Chem)
    Co-PIs: Adrienne Minerick (ChE), Thomas Werner (BioSci), Zhiying Shan (KIP) and Chunxiu Yu (BioMed)
    Award: $10,000

  • PI: Briana Bettin (CS)
    Co-PIs: Leo Ureel and Laura Brown (CS)
    Award: $9,992

Together, the GLRC and ICC are committing $100,000 in Rapid Research Seedling Grants for projects conducted during spring semester 2023, summer semester 2023 and fall semester 2023.

The intent of this opportunity is to provide faculty and research staff funds for idea development and data collection that will quickly enable large externally sponsored funding requests.

Proposals will be accepted from Michigan Tech tenured, tenure-track and research faculty; and research scientists and engineers. Any individual researcher is eligible to receive up to one award per calendar year as a PI.

Applications are due July 1 for the fall award. Awards will be announced within one month of the funding cycle deadline. Projects should have a duration of one semester with request amounts not to exceed $10,000.

Awardees must be an affiliated member of the GLRC and/or ICC and are expected to assign a center/institute of the GLRC or ICC to any subsequent proposals and awards generated using the data developed/enabled with the rapid seedling funding.

The application form, additional information and instructions can be found in the Member Resources section of the GLRC Institute webpage and on the ICC website. Please send questions to

MS Defense: Paola Rivera-González, GMES

M.S. in Geology candidate Paola Rivera-González will defend her master's research today (April 5) at 11 a.m. in in Dow 875. Attendance is also invited virtually via Zoom.

Rivera-González's defense is titled "Climate changes in El Salvador: Impacts of ‘La Canícula’ (“Dog Days of Summer”) on Agricultural Practices and Decision-Making in Rural Communities."

Rivera-González is advised by Luke Bowman, with committee members Kari Henquinet and John Gierke.

From the abstract:
The Central American Dry Corridor (CADC), a tropical dry forest region, is characterized by distinct rainy and dry seasons that influence the local agricultural calendar and decision-making in rural communities. ‘La canícula’ is a period of decreased precipitation during the rainy season, which typically occurs in July during the corn growing season in El Salvador. The ‘canícula’ is expected to change in intensity and duration in the next decades, which would impact small-scale farmers and their livelihoods. Climate variability and uncertainty has led to crop loss, water scarcity, and food insecurity in rural communities dependent on subsistence farming. Farmers’ experiences with a changing climate led to reformed decision-making and agricultural processes (eg. agricultural calendar, seed type usage, crop rotation) to optimize their harvest and adapt to a variable climate. Studying the local perceptions and adaptation practices of farmers showed how natural hazards related to global climate change impact society, community dynamics in how farmers identify their main challenges, and revealed the ways farmers improve resilience to a changing climate.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker: Ibrahim Guven

The next Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) Graduate Seminar speaker will present at 4 p.m. tomorrow (April 6 in MEEM 112.

Ibrahim Guven will present “Peridynamic Analysis of Hypersonic Weather Encounters.”

Guven is an associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University.

BioSci Seminar with Ronald Zalesny Jr.

Ronald S. Zalesny Jr. will present as part of the Department of Biological Sciences (BioSci) Seminar Series from 3-4 p.m. tomorrow (April 6). The virtual presentation will be held via Zoom (use passcode 046347).

Zalesny is a supervisory research plant geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

The presentation is titled "Phytotechnologies for ecological and community benefits."

From the abstract:
There is a need for nature-based solutions to reduce ecological degradation and community health impacts from increased human activities in rural and urban communities. Phytotechnologies, the strategic use of plants to solve environmental problems by remediating soil, water, and air resources, are sustainable solutions used worldwide to restore ecosystem services in managed landscapes. The presentation will focus on phytoremediation used to stabilize, trap, and break down pollutants at landfills to prevent their movement into groundwater and nearby waters, as well as other real-world phytotechnology applications that provide ecological and community benefits.

Physics Colloquium with Steven Rehse

Steven Rehse from the University of Windsor will be presenting at this week's Physics Colloquium. The seminar will be presented in person at 4 p.m. tomorrow (April 6) in Fisher 139.

Rehse's presentation is titled "Healing humanity one spark at a time: diagnosing bacterial pathogens with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

CAMS/Math Research Seminar with Gaurav Dhar

The Department of Mathematical Sciences (Math) will host a Center for Applied Mathematics and Statistics (CAMS)/Math Research Seminar today (April 5) from 1-2 p.m. in Fisher 323.

We are proud to be hosting Gaurav Dhar from the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI).

Dhar's presentation is titled "Optimal Control for sampled-data and networked systems."

MTU Student-Athletes Honored for Academics

The GLIAC has announced its All-Academic and All-Academic Excellence Teams for all 2022-23 Winter Sports, and 36 Michigan Tech student-athletes earned recognition. 

Criteria states that the student-athlete must be an active member on the roster at the end of the season, not a first-year or a first-year transfer student.

GLIAC All-Academic teams are comprised of those student-athletes who meet the criteria and carry a cumulative GPA of 3.0-3.49. GLIAC All-Academic Excellence teams are comprised of student-athletes who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50-4.0. Grades are based on marks from the 2022 fall semester.

See all the Huskies honored for their academics in 2022-23 at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

In the News

Your Hometown Stations of Lima, Ohio, mentioned Michigan Tech in a story previewing the inauguration of Ohio Northern University’s new president, Melissa Baumann ’83 (B.S. Metallurgical and Materials Engineering). Baumann is ONU’s first woman president.


Changes to Remote Access for Campus Systems

Information Technology continually looks at ways to reduce risks that cyber threats pose to campus resources. To improve security, we will be making a change to the way on-campus systems are remotely accessed from off campus.

Remote access protocols like Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol have required the use of the F5 Virtual Private Network (VPN) since 2011. On May 3, we will be adding Unix-based Secure Shell (SSH) to the list of remote access protocols that require the use of the VPN. After this change, you will first need to connect to the campus VPN server before being able to use these tools to remotely connect to an on-campus resource from off campus.

Other remote access services such as VNC, Teamviewer, etc., will be completely blocked from off campus.

If you have concerns on how changes to remote access will affect your academic or research-related work, we can help. Contact IT at or call 7-1111.


PhD Defense: Sarvada Chipkar, ChE

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering candidate Sarvada Chipkar will present their Ph.D. defense tomorrow (April 6) at noon in person in Chem Sci 201 or virtually via Zoom.

Chipkar is advised by Rebecca Ong.

The title of Sarvada's defense is “Studying drought effect on switchgrass and identifying associated microbial inhibitors.”

From the abstract:
Developing economically viable and greener pathways to synthesize renewable energy has become an important research theme in recent years. Lignocellulosic biomass is a promising group of feedstocks that can be used for second-generation biofuel production. Recent research has shown that environmental growth conditions alter biomass characteristics and directly influence the extent of biomass conversion to fuels. Previously, drought experienced by switchgrass during the growth phase led to complete inhibition of yeast in the hydrolysate during fermentation. My goal in this dissertation was to characterize specific compounds that led to this inhibition. Switchgrass harvested in drought (2012) and non-drought (2010) years were pretreated using ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) followed by high solids loading enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. Additionally, untreated and AFEX processed samples were extracted using solvents (i.e., water, ethanol, and ethyl acetate) to selectively remove potential inhibitory compounds and determine whether pretreatment affects the inhibition. Using non-targeted LC-MS techniques, we found that water extraction of drought-year switchgrass before AFEX pretreatment was most effective in overcoming yeast inhibition. We also identified plant-generated natural laundry detergents in these water extracts that foam on agitation with water. To confirm their biocidal action, add-back fermentation experiments were performed in non-inhibitory hydrolysate using available commercial standards. In addition, the effect of simulated drought-like water-stress on switchgrass harvested on 5 marginal lands in Michigan and Wisconsin was also studied.


Volunteer to Judge at Design Expo 2023

Michigan Tech’s 23rd Design Expo will be held April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s event will be spread across the first floor of the Van Pelt and Opie Library and the MUB Ballroom.

Design Expo is an annual event that highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning with a showcase of Enterprise and Senior Design/Capstone team projects from all across the Michigan Tech campus. That means teams from the College of Business, College of Sciences and Arts, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, and College of Engineering.

Design Expo Showcase
More than a thousand students will showcase their work and compete for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives, alumni, community members and Michigan Tech faculty and staff, will view and critique project videos created by each team, then come to the Design Expo Showcase to meet the teams and ask questions live and in person.

Sign Up To Be a Judge
We welcome individuals from various professions, disciplines and backgrounds to serve as distinguished judges. In-person judging on the day of the event usually takes about an hour, depending on the number of volunteers. Prior to the event on April 18, judges will gain access to a digital gallery of student-created videos in order to preview the videos prior to judging.

Design Expo Social Hour and Awards Ceremony
After judging concludes at 2 p.m. April 18, everyone's invited to a social hour at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts starting at 2:30 p.m., with light refreshments, entertainment and door prizes. Then, at 3:30 p.m., we will begin the Design Expo Awards Ceremony, where student teams will be recognized — and more than $3,000 in cash will be awarded.

All Design Expo events are free and open to the public. We encourage everyone to come help us celebrate our students and their achievements!

Design Expo is hosted by the Enterprise Program and the College of Engineering. Check out team project videos from past years in the Design Expo 2022 video gallery at


Silent Auction

This year’s Xi Sigma Pi members are hosting a silent auction in the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building Atrium today (April 5) from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to support MTU’s Xi Sigma Pi Forestry Honors Society.

Auction Details:

  • All bids will be done in person on paper, with a name and email required alongside the bid amount (higher than the last bid value).
  • All winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m., with emails being sent to anyone unable to stay for the announcement.
  • All proceeds will be directed to Xi Sigma Pi to support their annual symposium on natural resource based topics and costs for the maple leaves for induction each year.

View the silent auction poster.

Today's Campus Events

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

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance by Appointment

The College of Business is pleased to again offer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Accounting majors will provide free income tax preparation assistance for students and...


Michigan Tech Art Presents: Snowsports Faculty and Staff Art Show



Master's Defense: Paola Rivera Gonzalez

Geology Advisor: Luke Bowman Impacts of Climate Change and ‘La Canícula’ (“Dog Days of Summer”) on Agricultural Practices and Decision-Making in Rural Communities in El...


Health Hut

Join us for our last health hut of the semester!! We will be collaborating with Students for Sustainability to provide students with succulent potting. Students can choose...


Optimal Control for Sampled-data and Networked Systems"

Abstract: This talk will look at some recent results in optimal control theory for sampled data control and networked systems. Sampled-data control systems are control systems...


Students For Life General Meeting

Students For Life General Meeting


Board Game Group

Have you been missing the board game group? We're bringing it back! Lots of fun games to choose from in the evenings over in Wads Annex (G11). Come hang out with us for a few...


Law Club Weekly Meeting

Our objective is to provide a pre-professional organization for those who are planning to pursue a legal career or those who are interested in the legal field. Meetings will...


Michigan Tech Recreation Indoor Triathlon

You don't have to win, you just have to TRI! Michigan Tech Recreation is hosting an indoor triathlon for MTU students and SDC Access Pass Holders (minimum one-month)! Unlike a...


Michigan Tech Recreation Indoor Triathlon

Want to try a tri? Michigan Tech Recreation is hosting an indoor triathlon for MTU students and SDC members! Unlike a traditional triathlon, which covers fixed distances of...


USG Weekly Meeting

This meeting includes weekly updates from all representatives, liaison positions, and committees. Official business carried out by USG is conducted throughout old and new...