Michigan Tech Magazine: 1400 Townsend Drive

Dennis Livesay adjusting some Legos on his giant city.

Our first on-campus barbershop. Support for Ukraine. A new campus master plan. Research in solar energy, electric-vehicle battery recycling and high-frequency radar.

Meet the Select Six, award-winning faculty and Michigan Tech’s new head football coach in our 2023 Michigan Tech Magazine.

2023 University and Distinguished Professors Announced

The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs is pleased to congratulate Raymond Shaw as this year's University Professor. In addition, we congratulate Jaroslaw Drelich, Nancy Langston and David Watkins on their reappointments as Distinguished Professors.

The University Professor title recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding scholarly contributions to the University and their discipline over a substantial period of time. The Distinguished Professor title recognizes outstanding faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the University as well as their discipline and are not presently recognized through an endowed position.

This is the first time a Distinguished Professor has been promoted to University Professor, and the first five-year reappointments of Distinguished Professors since the inception of these titles in 2018.

2023 University Professor: Raymond Shaw
Shaw, a professor in the Department of Physics, has been named this year’s University Professor. Since being appointed as a Distinguished Professor in 2018, Shaw has continued an outstanding forward trajectory in teaching, research and service, and some of his achievements are noted here.

From teaching introductory physics courses to 400-plus students to designing upper-level and graduate courses tying into research, his teaching style is appreciated, and this is evident by comments from a student: "Your enthusiasm and dialogue in class are great; it's always great to listen to an intelligent person explain something they care about,” and an external reviewer: “He has a unique ability to deftly articulate essential aspects of frontline research to very diverse audiences, from undergraduate students to field’s leading scientists and program managers from federal and industrial agencies.”

Since 2018, Shaw has received several research grants from federal and industrial agencies. Most notably is assembling the MTU Cloud Chamber to be a community laboratory facility for faculty and students at universities both nationally and internationally — a $3 million grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In his career he has published over 125 papers in scientific journals, including the Journal of Atmospheric Science, Physical Review Letters, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As graduate director, MTU’s atmospheric science program has grown, and since 2018, Shaw has graduated six M.S. and Ph.D. students. He has also mentored undergraduate students who have co-authored peer-reviewed publications with him.

In 2020, Shaw was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Shaw’s contributions are summed up well by an external reviewer who said, “He is a world-renowned scientist in the field of atmospheric physics.” Shaw and his colleagues have “put Michigan Technological University (MTU) on the world map as one of the shining beacons of atmospheric physics,” the reviewer added.

2023 Distinguished Professor: Jaroslaw ‘Jarek’ Drelich
Drelich, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is an international scientific leader in several different areas of science and engineering, including medical materials, surface engineering, liquid-solid interactions, materials characterization and mineral processing. An international citation metrics lists Drelich among the World’s Top 2% of scientists and he is a leader at Michigan Tech under the category of materials science.

As a strong collaborative researcher, he has worked with several faculty from multiple engineering and science disciplines on campus and at other institutions. His research has attracted new funding from the NSF, American Heart Association, state commercialization agencies and industry, as well as continued funding from the National Institutes of Health, which has supported graduate and undergraduate students in various departments.

Active in service, Drelich has served on a number of editorial boards for scientific journals and as editor-in-chief of the Surface Innovations Journal since 2012.

2023 Distinguished Professor: Nancy Langston
Langston, a professor in the Department of Social Sciences, continues to make substantial international contributions to her field of environmental history.

Since her initial appointment as a Distinguished Professor in 2018, Langston has received a large grant from the NSF in the area of climate history and wildlife migrations. She continues to provide the general public with an understanding of the impacts of climate change and the ecological health of the Earth. This research has led to a number of peer-reviewed books, chapters and journal articles.

Between 2019 and 2022, Langston was awarded six different awards and fellowships from national and international universities and foundations.

2023 Distinguished Professor: David Watkins
Watkins, a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering, excels in all areas of teaching, research and service, making substantial contributions to the University and his discipline.

Not only does Watkins teach undergraduate and graduate courses in water resources engineering, but he also advises and leads International Senior Design, in which students work with a developing community to address their infrastructure needs. This includes traveling each August with the students to international project sites to collect data for a design project, which is then shared with the community. Additionally, Watkins leads the humanitarian engineering minor, developed to augment technical content in engineering courses and teach students about engineering in different cultures and human-centric design — a key skill many employers are looking for in employees.

Watkins continues an active research program supported by federal and state agencies, while providing service to Michigan Tech and within his discipline. His service was most recently recognized in 2020 by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental & Water Resources Institute Planning and Management Council’s Service to the Profession Award.

Ashutosh Tiwari Announced as 2023 Faculty Fellow

The Vice President for Research Office (VPR) is pleased to announce the 2023 Faculty Fellow.

The Faculty Fellow, Research Integrity: Ashutosh Tiwari
Tiwari, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, will work with the Research Integrity Office developing a responsible conduct of research (RCR) training program that is adaptive and meets expectations of federal guidelines. Tiwari will also develop resources to enhance engagement and communication between faculty, postdoctoral researchers, students and research staff to promote RCR culture.

For information about this program, please visit the Faculty Fellow Program website.

Startup Program for International Founders Launched at MTU

Michigan Tech has become the fourth Michigan university to join Global Detroit’s Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) program, which helps immigrant and international entrepreneurs launch high-growth startups in Michigan.

International entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the United States face major challenges obtaining a visa. Global Detroit’s GEIR program places foreign-born startup founders at universities to teach, mentor and support technology transfer initiatives. The founders, in turn, become eligible for an H-1B visa — three years with a possible three-year extension — enabling them to launch and grow their company in metro Detroit and throughout Michigan.

Read more at Michigan Tech News.

Library Services Closing Monday for Department Retreat

The Van Pelt and Opie Library will be closed Monday (May 1) so employees may attend a department retreat. Tap access to the library’s 24-hour areas is still available via the west side entrance and Rehki bridge.

The Technical Assistance Center (TAC), the Library Cafe and the Office of Sustainability and Resilience will also be closed.

The Library Testing Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for any last-minute testing questions or scantrons. Contact 487-1001 or techtesting-l@mtu.edu.

The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will be open. Anyone needing to visit the CTL offices can use the tap access from the 24-hour library entrance and then use the stairs or elevator. The second floor bridge connector from Rekhi Hall can also be used to gain access to the CTL. Call or email with questions: 487-3000 or elearning@mtu.edu.

The library building and all services will reopen Tuesday (May 2) at 8 a.m.

ADVANCE Advocates and Allies Program: Advocates and A3B Past and Current Participants

In celebration of the ADVANCE Adaptation grant progress, today we feature the Advocates and Allies (A&A) program adapted from North Dakota State University and implemented at Michigan Tech. The program aims to engage as many individuals from majority identities to broadly engage in changing University culture.

A&A operates through an Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) and an Advocates Team, both consisting of faculty/staff volunteers from Michigan Tech. The A&A program affirms the value of active intervention and change-champions in promoting a campus culture of inclusion and equity. The program advances change through two strategies: challenging practices and policies that reproduce systemic inequities and biases, and actively promoting equitable and inclusive practices and policies.

Numerous individuals have served two-year terms on the A3B and the Advocates Team. On behalf of the ADVANCE team, we are extremely appreciative of this service. Of particular note, the service of David Flaspohler (CFRES), Michael Blanco (OVPDI), Audra Morse (CEGE), Yoke-Khin Yap (Physics), Rob Handler (ChE/CEGE), Becky Ong (ChE) and Richelle Winkler (SS) have been above and beyond in moving A&A forward.

Current A3B and Advocates Team members are listed on the ADVANCE website. In addition, ADVANCE would like to acknowledge the participation and engagement of the nearly 200 faculty and staff who have attended A&A workshops since 2019.

Please join the A&A teams for a deep dive workshop on Friday (April 28). Lunch will be provided. RSVP at the Spring 2023 Be an Ally Workshop RSVP form.

Larissa Juip Receives 2023 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship

Ph.D. in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology candidate Larissa Juip has received the 2023 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Innovation Fellowship.

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship awardees embark on innovative dissertation research projects. Juip’s “Re-Storying an Industrial Landscape: Moving Beyond Traditional Approaches to Heritage Interpretation” project seeks to show that Indigenous methodologies of storywork and photovoice can be used for traditional knowledge sharing to advance inclusive, equitable heritage interpretation practices with Indigenous and descendant communities to produce an integrated model and framework for industrial heritage sites to co-create heritage interpretation.

“This award, sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, is designed to foster scholars who can build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable academy, and I am particularly pleased that Larissa has been recognized for this. It is a testament to her, to the guidance from her advisor, Dr. Melissa Baird, and to the support from her department, Social Sciences,” said Will Cantrell, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School.

Each fellow receives a $50,000 award, consisting of a $40,000 stipend for the fellowship year; $8,000 for project-related research, training, professional development and travel expenses; and a $2,000 stipend to support external mentorship and advising that offers critical perspectives and expertise on the fellow’s project.

Read more about Juip and her work.

AKA Honors KIP Students with Scholar Awards

Gracie VanLangevelde, Isaac Wedig and Isaac Lennox have received scholar awards from the American Kinesiology Association (AKA).

These students were nominated by the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) and selected by the AKA based on their academic performance, scholarly interests/accomplishments, leadership and service to the profession.

  • VanLangevelde received the 2023 AKA Undergraduate Scholar Award.

  • Wedig received the 2023 AKA Doctoral Scholar Award.

  • Lennox has the distinction of receiving the 2023 AKA National Master's Scholar Award, the highest award for his category.

To learn more about the AKA and see a full list of the scholar award recipients, please visit the AKA's website.

Women's Tennis Selected to NCAA Midwest Region Tournament

Michigan Tech women's tennis has earned an at-large bid to the Division II Midwest Region Tournament.

The Huskies (9-7, 5-2 GLIAC) will make their fourth tournament appearance since 1975-76 and first since 2007-08 (16 seasons) on Monday (May 1) against Wayne State (20-3) at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Fourth-year head coach Kristin D'Agostini-Yep guided the No. 44 ranked Huskies to a GLIAC tournament quarterfinal win over Davenport 4-1 before the Huskies fell to eventual champion Wayne State in the semifinals 4-0.

Tech made the NCAA tournament in 2007-08, 2003-04 and 2001-02 under former head coach Mike Axford. The team advanced to the second round in 2003-04 and is 1-3 all-time in NCAA matches.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

New Funding

Caryn Heldt (ChE/HRI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $36,656 research and development grant from the University of Michigan - MTRAC.

The project is titled "Continuous Manufacturing of Viral Vectors."

This is a potential one-year project.

In the News

Kiersten Birondo (Rozsa), Jared Anderson (VPA) and JoAnn Brinser ’85 (B.S. Economics) were quoted by the Daily Mining Gazette in a story honoring the late Milton “Milt” Olsson, a Michigan Tech professor emeritus and inaugural chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. A special tribute to Olsson was held Sunday (April 23) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.


Alicia Sendrowski (MTRI) was quoted by Climatewire in a story about new research calculating that logs trapped in a colossal logjam in Nunavut, Canada, store more than 3 million tons of carbon. Sendrowski led the study while at Colorado State University.


An article written by Tara Bal (CFRES/ESC) and Andrea Myers (CFRES) was published April 7 by the Daily Mining Gazette. The piece advised domestic rabbit owners not to release their rabbits into the wild and provided resources for those who no longer want a rabbit as a pet.


Kellie Raffaelli (SA/IPS) and undergraduate speaker Anderson Piercey (business management) were quoted by WLUC TV6 in a story previewing Michigan Tech’s 2023 Spring Commencement exercises. The ceremonies were also the subject of stories by Michigan Tech News and the Keweenaw Report.


Bridge Michigan referenced Michigan Tech’s What are the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)? page in a story about the widespread visibility of the northern lights late Sunday (April 23) and into the early hours Monday (April 24). The page was also mentioned in a previous story, published April 11, that reviewed where and when Michiganders have the best chance of viewing the aurora this spring.


Edge Magazine mentioned Michigan Tech in an anecdotal story sharing how breathing meditation helped calm the author during a trip to Thailand. The author referenced a 2018 study on mindfulness meditation and its ability to reduce anxiety conducted at MTU.


The Mining Journal covered first-year Michigan Tech track and field student-athlete Landon Cosby’s record-setting pole vault at the Phil Esten Challenge meet, hosted April 21-22 by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.


Yahoo! Sports mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive tackle prospects in the 2023 NFL draft. Former Husky basketball player Jake Witt was included as a “late-round sleeper.”


MS Defense: Subhradeep Gupta, ECE

M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering candidate Subhradeep Gupta will present his master's defense today (April 26) at 10:30 a.m. in person in EERC 501 and virtually via Zoom.

The title of Gupta's defense is "Impact of Grid-Connected IBRs on AC Transmission Line Protection."

Gupta is advised by Bruce Mork.


CEGE Spring 2023 Senior Design Colloquium

The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering (CEGE) is pleased to invite the University community to attend the spring 2023 Senior Design team presentations Friday (April 28) from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in GLRC 201/202.

This semester, students have undertaken a wide range of projects to fulfill the department’s Senior Design requirement.

View the Senior Design Colloquium poster at the CEGE Undergraduate Advising Blog.


  • 8 a.m. — Join the presentation via Zoom
    Advisor: Zhen Liu (CEGE/GMES/MTTI)
    • Team: Flood Mitigation via Tunnel for Segment 3 of 1-75 Modernization

  • 9:30 a.m. — Join the presentation via Zoom
    Advisor: Zhanping You (CEGE/MTTI)
    • Team: Superpave Mix Design of Recycled Asphalt Materials
    • Team: Road Design and Improvement in Clare County
    • Team: Design Asphalt Pavement on Old Concrete Pavement in Saginaw County
    • Team: Road Network Design and Improvement in Dickinson County

  • 11 a.m. — Join the presentation via Zoom
    Advisor: Nathan Manser (GMES)
    • Team: Anaerobic Digestion System Design for Mezcal Production Wastes
    • Team: KBIC Hatchery Well #6 Location/Design & Pipe Network
    • Team: Process System Design of Biobeneficiation Plant
    • Team: Structural Design and Construction Plan of Biobeneficiation Plant
    • Team: Rural Mexico Water Distillation & Distribution System Design


Traveling Tech Talks Alumni Event Coming to Wisconsin in May

The Office of Alumni Engagement announced a new Michigan Tech alumni event tradition earlier this fall: Traveling Tech Talks. This series, hosted in different locations, showcases the journeys of alumni thought leaders in a variety of fields and provides professional networking opportunities to attendees.

The second-ever Traveling Tech Talks event will be hosted on May 18 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The event program is “Sourcing Talent and Materials: Stories of Supply Chain,” featuring Heath Nunnemacher '08 '10, vice president, global electronics sourcing, Milwaukee Tool. Our very own Mari W. Buche, associate dean of the College of Business, will moderate the discussion.

Networking and arrivals are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., and the program starts at 7:30 p.m., with networking to follow. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served, in addition to a cash bar. Smart casual attire is encouraged. Cost to attend is $15 per person, and registration before May 8 is required.

We encourage all MTU faculty, staff and friends to spread the word to Huskies in their personal networks living in the Brookfield/Milwaukee area. Registration for the Brookfield event closes May 8. 

Keep an eye out for future Traveling Tech Talks, with locations and topics to be announced. Please reach out to Jennifer Lucas, assistant vice president of alumni engagement, with any questions or concerns.

Today's Campus Events

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Michigan Tech Art Presents: Snowsports Faculty and Staff Art Show



Master's Defense: Subhradeep Gupta

Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisor: Bruce Mork Impact of Grid-Connected IBRs on AC Transmission Line Protection Attend Virtually:...


TechMBA® Virtual Interest Session

Mari Buche, associate dean of the College of Business, and Vice President for Global Campus and Continuing Education David Lawrence will host a 45-minute virtual interest...


Summer WonderHack Competition for K-12 Students

Michigan Tech is pleased to announce the launch of Summer WonderHack 2023, a new capture-the-flag (CTF) cybersecurity competition designed for K-12 participants. The event is...