Redefining Tenacity

Black and white of Ashley Kearns

Ashley Kern came to Michigan Tech as one of the University's first Leading Scholars. She graduated with the first master's degree in data science awarded by Tech. But in between, a series of unexpected health problems nearly derailed her education.

Now, she’s using what she learned from her ordeal to help set others up for college success.

Read about Ashley's journey in our 2023 Michigan Tech Magazine.

ESC Student Research Forum Today in Rozsa Lobby

The Ecosystem Science Center's (ESC's) Student Research Forum is being held today in the Rozsa Lobby from 1-3 p.m. and is open to the public.

Participants present posters on research related to ecology and the environment and include both graduate and undergraduate students.

This is the 18th year of the event and it provides students an opportunity to showcase their research, learn what others are doing and practice for poster sessions at regional or national meetings.

GSG Increasing Travel Grant Amount

Graduate Student Government (GSG) is thrilled to announce that effective May 1, the GSG Travel Grant amount for conference presentations will be increasing from $250 to $500 for domestic travel and $750 for international travel. Since its establishment in 1989, the GSG Travel Grant has assisted hundreds of graduate students in showcasing their research, and we hope this increase will provide greater financial support to students presenting at conferences.

We extend our deepest gratitude to our generous donors, Yongbin Yuan and Hejia Pan, whose contributions made this increase possible.

Additionally, we would like to express our appreciation to Vice President for Advancement Roberts and the Office of Alumni Engagement, as well as President Koubek, for their active advocacy and dedication to supporting our academic pursuits.

We encourage all eligible graduate students to apply for the travel grant and take advantage of the opportunities that presenting at conferences can provide. Further details on the application process and deadline will be provided soon.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.

This Week's C3 Luncheon

Menu for Thursday (April 13):

  • Chicken Tikka Masala (Gluten Friendly)
  • Tofu Tikka Masala (Gluten Friendly, Vegetarian)
  • Warm Flat Bread (Vegetarian)
  • Basmati Rice (Gluten Friendly)
  • Masala Roasted Cauliflower (Vegan)
  • Cucumber Tomato Salad (Vegan)

Dining Services presents this week's C3 Luncheon, being held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge (MUB 107). All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The C3 lunch buffet menus are created and prepared by executive chef Michael Landini 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 (MUB 101). You can submit C3 feedback using our Google form. To join the C3 Google group and receive weekly menus, email

Lunch and Learn: When and Where to Seek Medical Treatment

Join Stephanie McKenzie, physician assistant, certified (PA-C), from Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center on April 21 at noon in the MUB Superior Room (B001) for a Lunch and Learn about seeking medical treatment when you are ill.

We've all experienced illness before. Most people have what they consider a standard illness that plagues them once or twice yearly. Sometimes, symptoms sneak up on us that are more concerning than usual. Have you ever been concerned about an intense throat pain, a deeper cough, nasal congestion that won't go away or a very severe headache that feels like the worst of your life? Join McKenzie for a conversation on:

  • Common cold symptoms
  • When to seek care
  • When to see your primary care provider versus seeking care in the Emergency Department

Please email to reserve your seat.

Follow Michigan Tech Wellness on Facebook to stay up to date on all health and wellness opportunities!

Patricia Stein, Four Students Inducted Into MTU's Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society

The Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) and the College of Computing (CC) inducted four Michigan Tech students and MMET's academic advisor into Michigan Tech’s Delta Zeta Chapter of the Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society on April 6.

Epsilon Pi Tau is the international honor society for professions in technology, recognizing students and technology professionals for academic excellence.

Congratulations to the Delta Zeta Chapter Spring 2023 Epsilon Pi Tau initiates: Donovan Choa and Robert Coene (mechanical engineering technology), Noah Harvey and Ryan Kern (computer network and system administration), and Academic Advisor Patricia Stein (MMET).

For more information, contact Delta Zeta Chapter Trustee John Irwin (MMET) at, co-trustee Todd Arney (CC) at, or visit Epsilon Pi Tau’s website.

MS Defense: Evan Ricchio-Hitchcock, GMES

M.S. in Geological Engineering candidate Evan Ricchio-Hitchcock will present a final master's defense tomorrow (April 11) at 10 a.m. in Dow 633. Virtual attendance is also invited via Zoom.

Ricchio-Hitchcock's defense is titled "Evaluating Geomechanical Uncertainty In Open Pit Mine Planning."

Ricchio-Hitchcock is advised by Snehamoy Chatterjee with committee members Luke Bowman and Mohammad Sadeghi.

From the abstract:
Open pit mine planning encompasses a variety of uncertainties. Uncertainty due to geomechanics is most critical for a safe operation in an open pit mine. Without sufficient knowledge of the geomechanical properties of the subsurface, a reliability analysis of the slope stability could be challenging. Slope stability is a crucial step in pit optimization since the cash flow analysis of a mine is constrained by a stable slope angle. However, obtaining a stable slope angle with certainty is difficult to achieve as geomechanical parameters are modeled using a very limited number of samples. This thesis proposes a method to integrate geomechanical uncertainty, specifically uncertainty regarding slope stability, in pit optimization through reliability-based analysis. This research explores gold deposit data received from exploration drilling in Alaska, with potential to build an open pit mine. The gold grade was estimated by ordinary kriging (OK) using exploration drilling data. Rock Quality Designation (RQD) is the only geomechanical data available from this deposit, and it was used to calculate cohesion, angle of internal friction, and unit weights of the rock. The uncertainty of the RQD was quantified for each rock type of the deposit. The probability density function (PDF) of RQD for each rock type was fitted using log-normal distribution. The uncertainty-based slope stability analysis was carried out using the limit equilibrium method. The reliability and failure probability of the different slope angles were calculated, and it was determined that the maximum slope angle with 100% reliability is 50°. The cash flow for each slope angle was identified and assessed along with the probability of failure for three different factor of safety values. The results showed that the steeper the slope angle used, the more profit would be generated, but the probability of failure increased. In contrast, using shallower slopes did not generate as much profit, but the probability of failure was lower. A threshold slope angle of 51.5° was determined to be the highest angle that can be utilized without the probability of failure outweighing the profit generated.

Blake Pietila Named First Team All-American

Michigan Tech hockey goaltender Blake Pietila has been named a CCM/AHCA All-American. Pietila was honored on the West First Team.

Pietila, the CCHA Player of the Year, was a unanimous choice as an All-CCHA First Team selection, and was also honored as the CCHA Goaltender of the Year. He was a top three finalist for the Mike Richter Award and a Hobey Baker top 10 finalist.

Pietila appeared in 37 games for the Huskies, going 23-11-3 overall. He broke Michigan Tech records for shutouts in a season (10) and career (20) while becoming the all-time wins leader with 58 — a record he shares with Bruce Horsch. Pietila led the nation in shutouts while ranking fifth nationally with 23 wins, seventh in save percentage (.924), and ninth in goals-against average (2.15).

Pietila was named the CCHA Goaltender of the Month for October, January, and February, the CCHA Goaltender of the Week seven times, and the Most Valuable Player of the Desert Hockey Classic.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Track & Field Completes Golden Grizzlies Invite

The Michigan Tech track and field team set multiple personal bests and season's bests, and saw event debuts at the Golden Grizzlies Invite in Rochester, Michigan, on Saturday (April 8).

"This was a great meet that was well organized with blue skies and fantastic competition," head coach Kristina Owen said. "There were 23 teams and almost a thousand athletes competing — we all felt super excited to go out and have a fantastic day, and then it was pretty average with a few really good performances."

"We had a mixed day overall," assistant head coach Robert Young added. "We came away just shy in more cases than we'd like on hitting some strong marks. Many of our student-athletes deeper down our depth chart did produce strong results, showing big improvements, and it especially showed in the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter events."

In particular, the men's 3,000m steeplechase was highlighted by a big personal best by Kyle Samluk, who won the event in a time of 9:15.52, just a few seconds short of the NCAA provisional qualifying time.

"Kyle's steeple was impressive to watch the whole way — and it felt like he was in control of the race for the duration and he closed really well to pull away for the win," said Young.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

In the News

Andrew Storer (Provost) was quoted and Robert Hutchinson (COB), Paige Short (OVPDI) and Radwin Askari (GMES/RISE) were mentioned by the Daily Mining Gazette in coverage of last week’s Michigan Tech University Senate meeting, including election of new officers and approval of the Essential Education update to MTU’s general education requirements.


The Daily Mining Gazette published an article written by Tara Bal (CFRES/ESC) and Andrea Myers (CFRES) advising domestic rabbit owners not to release their rabbits into the wild and providing resources for those who no longer want a rabbit as a pet.


Professor Emeritus William Bulleit (CEGE) was a guest speaker on Cranfield University’s Philosophy for Practical Professions interview series. The episode’s topic was “Philosophy of Engineering and The Engineering Way of Thinking.”


Yun Hang Hu (MSE) was mentioned by Green Car Congress in a story about the new carbonate superstructured solid fuel cell developed at Michigan Tech. The research was announced last week by Michigan Tech News.


Thomas Oliver (CSEO) was interviewed by the Daily Mining Gazette for a print feature titled "Capturing the Lights" on his night sky and wildlife photography. The story appeared last Thursday (April 6) in the Gazette and was also published by the Copper Beacon.


Dan Mettlach (ATH) was quoted by the Daily Mining Gazette in a story discussing the status and goals of Michigan Tech’s football program going into spring. Mettlach was named the Huskies’ head coach in November 2022.


Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity members Aidan DeVos and Ryan Dych were quoted by the Daily Mining Gazette in a story about Easter dinner hosted in Hancock by Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. TKE members volunteered at the meal.


The Flint Courier News and Michigan Business Network mentioned Michigan Tech in stories on the state’s new Venture Fellows Program. The stories listed Michigan Tech as one of the inaugural participants in the state’s EV Scholars program, a new $10,000 scholarship promoting EV and mobility careers announced in February.


Rubber World mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about $2 million in grant funding awarded by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy for projects across the state using scrap tire materials. Two MTU road paving projects were funded by EGLE, totaling $901,363.


Yahoo! News, the Detroit Free PressBVM Sports and many other outlets across the country covered Michigan Tech hockey’s Blake Pietila being named a First-Team All-American.


The Outdoor Wire mentioned Michigan Tech in a story announcing Brock VanOss (B.S. Forestry) as the Michigan Association of Consulting Foresters’ 2023 Stewardship Forester of the Year.


Planning a Sabbatical Leave Workshop

The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will host a workshop focused on planning a sabbatical leave tomorrow (April 12) from 1-2 p.m. The event will take place in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounges A&B.

This will be a discussion-based session with faculty members who have recently completed a sabbatical, as well as the chair of the Sabbatical Leave Committee. There will be plenty of time for Q&A. All faculty are welcome; those who plan to apply for a sabbatical in the next couple of years are especially encouraged to attend.

Questions can be directed to Shari Stockero, assistant provost for faculty development, at


'Art in Silico' Panel: 'The Work of Art in the Age of AI Generation'

Please join us for a panel discussion, "The Work of Art in the Age of AI Generation," as part of the "Art in Silico" series. The panel will discuss artificial intelligence (AI) art, ethics and philosophy. Snacks and beverages will be served.

The event will be held from 4-5 p.m. tomorrow (April 12) in the Great Lakes Research Center, GLRC 201/202. Participation is also invited virtually via Zoom.

Panelists include:

  • Stefka Hristova, director of IPEC (Institute for Policy, Ethics and Culture) and associate professor of digital media, Department of Humanities, MTU
  • Donald Landes, artist and associate professor of philosophy, Université Laval Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • Scott Marratto, chair of the Department of Humanities and associate professor of philosophy, MTU
  • Alexandra Morrison executive member of IPEC, associate professor of philosophy, and ethics and philosophy minor advisor, MTU


CC Hosting Research Seminar with Terrance Campbell

Terrance Campbell, Tennessee State University, will visit campus and present a research seminar tomorrow (April 12) at 1 p.m. in Fisher 125. The talk is hosted by the College of Computing (CC).

A published health informatics and information systems security practitioner-scholar, Campbell has 35-plus years of senior-level IT management experience across several business sectors and five countries. He is pursuing an Ed.D. at Tennessee State University focusing on digital cyber-hygiene simulations as co-curriculars.

At Tennessee State, as a graduate teaching assistant, Campbell is assisting in building the capacity of students and leaders at more than 46 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and creating and implementing digital resources for dismantling structures that perpetuate community-level health and digital literacy inequities in three African countries. Additionally, Campbell oversees three initiatives that bring cybersecurity educational and career programming to K-12 youth.

Read Campbell's full bio on the Computing News Blog.


Cafe Francais

Please join us today (April 11) for our last meeting this spring of an hour of laid-back Francophone setting with French natives and other Francophiles. All levels welcome. Walker 120A, from 5-6 p.m. Please be advised: We changed rooms.

Friends and family are welcome!


Annual Steam Shutdown

The annual steam shutdown will take place during the week following Spring Commencement, from April 30 through May 5 (weather permitting).

This outage is required to provide maintenance and service of the boilers and steam distribution system on campus. This planned maintenance improves the reliability of our system and reduces the likelihood of an unplanned failure during the winter heating season.

Note: There will not be heat or hot water in the affected buildings during the steam shutdown. There will be no distilled water available from the steam-driven stills. Steam-driven autoclaves/sterilizers will not be operational.

Annual steam shutdown dates/times:

  • Begins: Sunday, April 30, at noon
  • Ends: Friday, May 5, at noon

Buildings affected:

Administration Building
ROTC Building
Academic Office Building
Annex Building
Electrical Energy Resources Center
Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts
Walker Arts and Humanities Center
Minerals and Materials Engineering Building
Grover C. Dillman Hall
Fisher Hall
J. R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library
U. J. Noblet Forestry Building
Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building
R. L. Smith Building (MEEM)
Student Development Complex
Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Hall
Douglass Houghton Hall
Memorial Union Building
Wadsworth Hall
McNair Hall
Central Heating Plant
Facilities Management
Hillside Place
Great Lakes Research Center


Annual Power Outage

Facilities Management has developed a five-year rotating plan to service the 12,470-volt switchgear and associated breakers on campus. Our campus electrical distribution system depends on this gear being in good working condition.

This work requires a two-night power outage that affects the least number of buildings possible. Please note that in most cases elevators, fume hoods, exhaust fans, ventilation equipment, normal lighting, plug-in appliances, and plug-in equipment will not operate during the outage. Only items connected to the building emergency generator will have power during the outage; the building emergency generators and battery systems that supply power to emergency/egress lighting and special equipment should function as normal. If you are unsure if your equipment connects to the building emergency generator, please contact the Facilities Management Building Mechanic for your building.

Information Technology will be turning off all network equipment in the affected buildings for these outages starting at 5 p.m. You should plan to save any work and shut down your computer systems and exit buildings before the outages. Additionally, some buildings with power will be without phone or internet service.

Only the buildings listed will have their power shut off during the scheduled outages.

There will be two power outages:

Power Outage One

  • Begins: Wednesday, May 3, at 6 p.m.
  • Ends: Thursday, May 4, at 6 a.m.

Power Outage Two

  • Begins: Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m.
  • Ends: Friday, May 5, at 6 a.m.

Buildings without power:

Administration Building
Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building
J. R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library
Memorial Union Building
Student Development Complex
John MacInnes Student Ice Arena
Advanced Technology Development Complex
Kearly Stadium
Gates Tennis Center

Buildings with power but no phone or internet:

Harold Meese Center
Central Heating Plant
Facilities Management
Alumni House
O’Connor House (Grad Commons)
Tech Trails

If there are questions or concerns with this plan, contact Energy Management or Facilities Management at 7-2303.

Today's Campus Events

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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



Green Bandana Project Promotion

Have you heard of the Green Bandana Project? If not, we're setting up a passive booth for people to stop by and learn more about the project that originated at UW Madison!...


Master's Defense: Evan Ricchio-Hitchcock

Geological Engineering Advisor: Snehamoy Chatterjee Evaluating Geomechanical Uncertainty In Open Pit Mine Planning Attend Virtually:...


Ecosystem Science Center Student Research Forum

The Ecosystem Science Center's (ESC) Student Research Forum is open to both graduate and undergraduate students conducting research related to ecology and the environment....


Little Huskies Girls Basketball Spring Camp

Open to grades 2-5. Learning skills, working in a team, and having fun: that’s Michigan Tech’s Little Huskies Girls’ Basketball Camp. It’s a great introduction to the sport...


Master's Defense: Arunima

Biological Sciences Co-advisors: Chandrashekhar Joshi and Rebecca Ong Changes in Poplar Digestibility Due to Overexpression of Laccase Genes Attend Virtually:...


Café Français

Please join us for an hour of laid-back Francophone setting with French natives and other Francophiles. All levels are welcome. Walker 120A, from 5PM to 6PM. Note that the...


Engineers Without Borders General Meeting

Engineers Without Borders General Meeting