Michael Mullins Recognized for University Senate Service and Leadership

Michael Mullins smiling in front of library

Michael Mullins (ChE) is the recipient of Michigan Tech’s 2023 Faculty Distinguished Service Award.

“Michael always goes above and beyond the call of service for Michigan Tech,” said Michigan Tech President Rick Koubek. “We are thankful for his leadership on campus, and I am truly delighted to congratulate him on receiving this well-deserved award.”

Read more about Mullins’ service to the MTU community at Michigan Tech News.

Updated Tables for Estimating GRA Stipends and Tuition

The Vice President for Research Office (VPR) has updated the graduate student tables for budgeting stipends and tuition for graduate research assistantships (GRAs). These rates are to be used immediately in proposal budgets to external sponsors.

The tuition rates per credit differ between Non Engineering/Computer Science and the Engineering/Computer Science disciplines. Remember to take this into account when budgeting for 1 credit.

The updated stipend and tuition tables can be found on the VPR forms page at:

Six Alumni and Friends Recognized with 2023 Alumni Awards

The greatest measure of any school is the quality of graduates it sends into the world, and Michigan Tech has the best of the best. The Alumni Board of Directors is excited to announce the 2023 Alumni Award recipients and looks forward to honoring them at the 2023 Alumni Awards Ceremony during Reunion Weekend.

View the full slate of award winners and learn more about the six recipients:

Retirement Party for Nancy Byers Sprague

There will be a second retirement party on June 30 for Nancy Byers Sprague after 45 years of service to MTU. The second party is for those who missed her first party on May 12 and for anyone who wants to party again.

All are invited to come to the Canterbury House at 1405 E. Houghton Ave. on June 30 from 4-8 p.m. Refreshments and snacks will be available. Limited parking is available at the house. Additional parking will be available at Portage Lake United Church, or on campus. We will also recognize Nancy's 70th birthday (June 1) and Nancy and Dianne's 49th anniversary (June 30).

Please RSVP by June 23 to dsprague@mtu.edu if you plan to attend.

Adam Meckler, Robin Vanden Heuvel Collaborate on Music Single

Associate Professor of Music Adam Meckler (VPA) has collaborated with Tech student Robin Vanden Heuvel on a new single featuring a beat by Vanden Heuvel, who makes music under the name NURTLE on all streaming platforms, and Meckler’s harmon-muted trumpet. The soft but grooving layers create a palpable vibe, and show off NURTLE’s production prowess and Meckler’s virtuosity on the horn.

Find links to stream “Signal To Me You’re Alright” on Linktree.

Vanden Heuvel plays vibes and piano in MTU’s top jazz ensemble, the Jazz Lab Band, and in the MTU jazz combos. Find them on Instagram @thegreymusician.

Meckler leads the Adam Meckler Orchestra, an 18-piece orchestra that performs his original music. He tours and records with Youngblood Brass Band, The Hornheads (Cory Wong), and Steve Cole, among others. Meckler is an Edwards Instrument Co. performing artist and clinician. Find him on Instagram @adammeckler.

GLRC Invited Campus Talk with Mohammed Rashid

Please join the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) next Wednesday (June 21) from 3-4 p.m. in GLRC 202 for an invited campus talk by Mohammed Rashid titled "Electrical States Synchronization Using Consensus Averaging and EM-EP Based Channel Estimation for Distributed Phased Array."

From the abstract:
A distributed phased array is a promising antenna technology for distributed radars and wireless communication systems which is made up of several small and low-cost antenna nodes spatially distributed and coordinated at the wavelength level to achieve the coherent characteristics of the single-platform phased array. Each node in a distributed array has its local oscillator that drifts randomly in frequency and phase in the free-running state which introduces a decoherence between the nodes across the array. Hence, electrical states (i.e., frequency and phase) synchronization between the nodes in a distributed array is essential to support the coherent beamforming operation. In this talk, first I will present a message passing based average consensus algorithm in which the nodes iteratively exchange their electrical state information with their neighbors through a local broadcast of signals, and update them using consensus averaging to synchronize the array to a smaller residual phase error compared to other algorithms in the literature. Next, the downlink channel estimation at the beamforming destination is another significant challenge, particularly in wireless communication applications, wherein the imperfect channel estimates at the target user directly impact the achievable data rates. To that end, I will present a Bayesian compressive sensing approach in which the clustered sparse structure of the channel in the angular domain is exploited to estimate the channel with a small pilot overhead. To capture the clustered structure, I employ a conditionally independent identically distributed Bernoulli-Gaussian prior on the sparse vector representing the channel, and a Markov prior on its support vector. A novel expectation propagation (EP) algorithm is developed to approximate the intractable joint distribution of the sparse vector and its support with a distribution from an exponential family. The approximate distribution is then used for direct estimation of the channel. The model parameters for the EP algorithm are estimated using the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm. The combination of EM and EP is referred to as the EM-EP algorithm which outperforms the existing algorithms in the literature based on the approximate message passing and variational Bayesian approaches.

On the Road

In early May, 39 Michigan Tech faculty and research staff visited the Washington, D.C., area for a visit to the National Science Foundation and the University of the District of Columbia to engage with representatives from other federal sponsors of research, including:

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
  • The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) / U.S. Department of Energy,
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA),
  • The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS),
  • The Fulbright Association,
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and
  • The Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology.

The faculty and staff represented 13 campus departments. Not only did they make connections with D.C.-based organizations, but they also made new connections with each other. Group activities were held May 10 and May 11. Faculty built additional engagement with agency program officers and collaborators earlier in the week.

In the News

The U.S. Department of Energy mentioned Michigan Tech in a press release announcing $1.2 million in funding for marine energy projects at U.S. national laboratories. MTU was announced as a partner on two projects: “Nonlinear Wave Energy Converter Modeling for Design Optimization Using Machine Learning” with Sandia National Laboratories, and “Harnessing Perforated Heave Plates to Improve the Efficiency of Two-Body Wave Energy Converters” with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


WLUC TV6 and ABC 10 covered former Michigan Tech Air Force ROTC Cadet Dante Cyrus’ graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. Cyrus graduated seventh in his class, earning a BS in Aeronautical Engineering and commissioning as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. He will continue his studies at Georgia Tech to advance his goal of becoming a fighter pilot.


ABC 10 mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the fate of three TRIO programs at Finlandia University. Finlandia has requested that the U.S. Department of Education transfer the UPWARD Bound and Talent Search programs to Michigan Tech, while the Student Support Services program has ended.


Michigan Tech was mentioned by the Copper Country Today podcast in its June 11 episode titled “Ford Alberta Sawmill.”

Today's Campus Events

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Middle School Development - Boys Basketball

This camp is for players entering grades 6 - 8 as of Fall 2023. What could be better than three days spent learning basketball moves from head coaches at Michigan Tech? Our...


Taylormade Demo Day

Come out to PLGC and try out all of the newest clubs and equipment from Taylormade.


Pine Mountain Music Festival Presents: The Bergonzi Trio