Shedding Snow and Powering UP: Researchers Track Ways to Boost Solar Power in Snowy Climates

A woman with her back to the camera walks along an array of solar panels, holding a laptop computer she is using to observe data.

While some tend to think of solar energy on the scale of homes or individual entities, about 65% of solar capacity in the U.S. is utility-scale. Solar photovoltaics (PV) make up the largest technology category in new utility-scale installations in the U.S., and this sector’s growth is only expected to accelerate in coming decades.

Large-scale PV installations and other macro trends like decarbonization and electrification are global trends. Ana Dyreson (ME-EM) believes their success depends on whether designers consider the specific characteristics of regional climates and community-scale social barriers.

Dyreson highlights efforts taking place at the nation’s northernmost solar Regional Test Center, aimed at improving photovoltaic performance in cold climates, on Michigan Tech’s Unscripted Research Blog.

Majorly Impressive: Army ROTC Names New Chair

Maj. Tide Gile has been named the new chair of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) 1st Arctic Battalion at Michigan Technological University in the College of Sciences and Arts.

In his role, Gile leads a multifaceted team of instructors and staff to train and educate over 50 student cadets at the University. He also provides direct personal, professional and academic coaching, teaching and mentorship for all cadre and cadets to build future leaders for the U.S. Army, National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve.

Gile has served in a number of roles, most recently as the chief of plans and exercises, 181st Multi-Functional Training Brigade, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. There, he served as the primary brigade planner, supporting Operation Allies Welcome and six U.S. Army Reserve training exercises that trained over 25,000 U.S. Army Reserve soldiers, and starting the planning effort for how the brigade would support the large-scale mobilization of U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

Gile is excited to work with the Arctic Warriors, last year’s MacArthur Award winners. “I’m pleased to be able to work with the terrific cadets and staff here at Michigan Tech,” he said. “Tech has such an accomplished ROTC program. I look forward to carrying on the traditions that made us successful while introducing new ideas to keep us moving forward and graduating the best classes of officers we can.”

Gile is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he earned his commission through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps in 2007. His degree of study was in sports medicine, with a minor in military science.

On-Campus Jobs Expo Registration

Editor's note: The date of the jobs expo has been updated. It was originally published as Sept. 29.

Career Services is coordinating an On-Campus Jobs Expo that will be held Aug. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Alumni Lounge in the MUB.

If you wish to participate in the On-Campus Jobs Expo as an employer, please contact Jill Patterson, career and corporate events manager, at


West Gateway Pavers Are Available

Leave your mark at Michigan Tech with a personalized engraved paver located at the new alumni gateway at the west end of campus.

The construction of the West Gateway began in July and is scheduled to conclude this fall. The project will include closing off the portion of College Avenue which flows through the west end of campus, making it a pedestrian walkway. The remaining portion of the "campus" College Avenue will be redirected through the existing parking lot between the Alumni House and the Academic Office Building.

The project includes the installation of a gateway arch near the Alumni House and engraved pavers surrounding the base of the arch. The project has been established with a lead gift from Mike Trewhella ’78.

All proceeds will be applied to the Alumni Way fund to support and maintain the gateway entrance and other features on Alumni Way, such as the William J. Bernard Jr. Family Clock Tower and the Husky Statue Plaza.

For more information, please visit Michigan Tech's crowdfunding webpage,

Fall Aquatics Programs

Registration for our fall aquatics programs opens next Wednesday (Aug. 9) at 8 a.m.!

Questions? Contact Aquatics Manager Annie Bengry at or 906-487-2995.

PhD Defense: Nazar Gora, Chem

Ph.D. in Chemistry candidate Nazar Gora will present their defense at 11:30 a.m. on Friday (Aug. 4). This will be a virtual defense with attendance invited via Zoom.

The title of Gora's defense is "Small Molecules Targeting Fructose Transport."

Gora is advised by Marina Tanasova.

PhD Defense: Evan Lucas, ECE

Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering candidate Evan Lucas will defend his doctoral dissertation tomorrow (Aug. 3) at 1 p.m. in person in GLRC 201 and virtually via Zoom.

The title of Lucas' dissertation is "Finer Details of Language Modeling: Text Segmentation, Working Within Resource Limits, and Watermarking."

Lucas is advised by Timothy Havens (CS/ICC/GLRC).

MS Defense: Eli Harma, MSE

M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering candidate Eli Harma will present a final master's defense today (Aug. 2) at 10 a.m. in person in M&M 610 and virtually via Zoom.

The title of Harma's thesis is "Optimizing the Extrudability of 6082 Aluminum by Varying the Magnesium and Silicon Concentration."

Harma is advised by Paul Sanders.

From the abstract:
Alloy 6082 aluminum is used for high-volume manufacturing in the automotive industry due to its high strength, impact performance, and corrosion resistance. However, given these improved properties, the alloy has decreased formability, especially in the extrusion process. Controlling the dynamic recovery and recrystallization properties by changing the additions of Mg and Si can improve the hot deformation properties. Five alloys of varying Mg and Si concentrations between 0.6-1.2wt% Mg and 0.7-1.3wt% Si were made with constant concentrations of Cr, Fe, and Mn and the same homogenization heat treatment. The proposed alloys are tested using hot compression to identify the activation energy for hot deformation at temperatures of 400°C, 450°C, and 500°C with crosshead rates of 2.54 mm/s, 0.254 mm/s, and 0.0254 mm/s. The resulting compression samples are analyzed using EBSD to identify the fraction recrystallized. The results show that increasing Mg from 0.6-1.2wt% decreases the activation energy from 262 - 220 kJ/mol. In contrast, increases in Si from 0.7-1.3wt% decreased the recrystallization fraction and increased activation energy from 262 - 292 kJ/mol. An optimal composition was identified as the center point composition of 0.9 wt% Mg and 1.0 wt% Si, which has an activation energy of 248 kJ/mol and low recrystallized fractions compared to the other alloys for select temperature and strain rate conditions.

MS Defense: Ian Gannon, GMES

M.S. in Geological Engineering candidate Ian Gannon will present his master's defense at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Aug. 3) in person in Dow 610 and virtually via Zoom.

The title of Gannon's thesis is "Integrating LiDAR, Aeromagnetic, and Geological Field Data to Identify Structural-Lithologic Elements Within the Archean Carney Lake Gneiss Complex."

Gannon is advised by James DeGraff, with Chad Deering and Aleksey Smirnov as committee members.

From the abstract:
The Archean Carney Lake Gneiss Complex (CLGC) is a suite of rocks on the southern margin of the Superior Province and within the Minnesota River Valley subprovince. It is one of many gneissic domes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota whose complex geology is poorly understood due to a previous lack of economic interest in gneissic terranes and significant challenges to their investigation. As a consequence, the CLGC and other gneissic domes in the region are represented on geologic maps as undifferentiated masses surrounded by better-defined and understood Paleoproterozoic supracrustal rocks and igneous intrusions. Within the last ten years, however, the United States has identified an urgent need to find new sources of critical minerals to sustain and grow the nation’s technology and defense industries, which has renewed interest in these very old and complex rocks. Under the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) of the U.S. Geological Survey, the CLGC and surrounding Paleoproterozoic rocks have been remapped to update geologic interpretations and to assist in identifying potential mineral systems in the region. Mapping of the CLGC was accomplished using traditional techniques combined with satellite-based phone applications and differential GPS devices to navigate in dense vegetative cover, to obtain accurate coordinates of field sites, and to collect geologic data at outcrops. As a further aid to ground mapping, high-resolution LiDAR and aeromagnetic data were analyzed to determine topographic and magnetic patterns and textures that potentially reflect structural-lithologic domains within the CLGC.

Integration of the new geologic field data with features and patterns identified on LiDAR and aeromagnetic maps allows definition of three domains within the CLGC: (1) a poly-deformed, mostly felsic gneiss with folded and sheared banding; (2) a meta-igneous, plagioclase-dominated gneiss with poorly expressed banding; and (3) a meta-sedimentary gneiss with thin well-developed banding and local relict sedimentary textures. Outcrop mapping also reveals the widespread occurrence and great variety of younger felsic and mafic intrusions that were not fully appreciated by earlier mappers. Data integration has allowed better definition of geologic unit contacts around the margins of the CLGC and within some Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary units, which updates knowledge about the Sturgeon Quartzite to the northeast and the Vulcan Iron Formation to the south. Although some analytical work is ongoing, such as radiometric age dating, the integrated mapping effort has identified between five to eight tectonomagmatic events that have affected the region, plus a number of sedimentary cycles. The abundance of processes that have affected the area provides multiple opportunities for concentration of mineral deposits that could be attractive for future exploration efforts. The data integration approach developed for this thesis project should be useful in identifying structural-lithologic domains within enigmatic Precambrian gneiss domes elsewhere in the region and globally.

Women’s Basketball Earns Special Mention on WBCA Honor Roll

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has announced that the Michigan Tech women's basketball team earned a Special Mention for the WBCA's Division II 2022-23 Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll.

The Huskies concluded the 2022-23 school year with a 3.616 team GPA. Nine Huskies earned GLIAC Academic Excellence along with one GLIAC All-Academic honoree.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

New Funding

Petra Huentemeyer (Physics/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $1,150,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is titled "WoU-MMA: Research & Development for the Southern Wide-Field Gamma-Ray Observatory (SWGO)."

This is a potential three-year project.

In the News

John Vucetich (CFRES) was quoted and Sarah Hoy and Rolf Peterson (CFRES) were mentioned by My Modern Met in a story summarizing the findings of the Isle Royale Winter Study 2022-23 annual report. Vucetich, Hoy and Peterson co-authored the report, which was released by MTU on June 14 in conjunction with a Michigan Tech News story.


University President Rick Koubek was a guest on WLUC TV6’s The Ryan Report on Sunday (July 30). 


MLive, WLUC TV6, WJMN Local 3, the Daily Mining Gazette and the Keweenaw Report mentioned Michigan Tech football in stories about the 2023 GLIAC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Huskies received 16 points in the vote and are predicted to finish fifth. The poll was the subject of a Michigan Tech Athletics press release.


Professor Emeritus Carl Anderson (ME-EM) was mentioned and Glen Barna ’76 ’89 and Paul LaVigne ’83 ’85 (both B.S. M.S. Mechanical Engineering) were quoted by Diesel Progress in a story about IR Telemetrics of Hancock.


MS Defense: Shruti Vaidya, ECE

M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering candidate Shruti Vaidya will present her master's defense tomorrow (Aug. 3) at 9:30 a.m. in person in EERC 501 and virtually via Zoom

The title of Vaidya's defense is "Automatic Optical Inspection-based PCB Fault Detection using Image Processing."

Vaidya is advised by Christopher Middlebrook.


Afternoon on the Trails Event

Join us tomorrow (Aug. 3) at the main Michigan Tech trailhead (located off Sharon Avenue) for a trail dedication ceremony in honor and recognition of Jeffrey and Cynthia Littmann and family and their generous endowments supporting the Michigan Tech Trails, Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) and Mushing Club.

Following the dedication, OAP will host an afternoon of exploring the Tech Trails. Choose how you want to enjoy the trails by going on a wagon ride, self-guided hike or zip-lining adventure. In addition to refreshments and yard games, members of the Mushing Club and a few of the sled dogs will be at the trailhead for the afternoon.

The dedication ceremony will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. and the trail activities will follow from 2-4 p.m.


KRC Platinum Jubilee Celebration

The Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) invites you to attend our upcoming open house to celebrate our 70th anniversary with a Platinum Jubilee Celebration. The celebration will be held Friday (Aug. 4) from 12-5 p.m.

Please come learn more about KRC, our capabilities, the test course, the new cold room chamber and more. Plan on an adventurous afternoon of experiencing our new arctic cold testing chamber at minus 20 degrees and taking rides on the test course. Sturdy footwear is advised, and you will be required to sign a waiver if you participate in a test course ride. Food and beverages will also be served.

We hope to see you there!

For more information, please visit the KRC Platinum Jubilee webpage.


Farewell Celebration for Wayne Gersie

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) are delighted to host a special going-away celebration honoring the remarkable contributions of our esteemed vice president for diversity and inclusion, Wayne Gersie. As he embarks on the next chapter of his journey, we come together to bid him farewell and express our heartfelt appreciation for the transformative impact he has had on Michigan Technological University.

Light refreshments will be served. Please join us in celebrating Wayne's inspiring legacy and bid him a fond farewell. Your presence is what will make this event truly special.

Event Details:

  • What: Farewell Celebration for Wayne Gersie
  • When: Thursday, Aug. 3, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Where: CDI Lawn (in case of rain, the celebration will move inside CDI)


The Rozsa Unveils Exquisite Lineup of 2023-24 Presenting Series

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is delighted to begin announcing its 2023-24 season with the extraordinary lineup of the 23/24 Presenting Series. From a Broadway classic to awe-inspiring acrobatics, thought-provoking talks and mesmerizing dance, this series will captivate audiences of all ages.

"We are pulling out all of the stops and bringing the biggest season of the last decade to the Rozsa with events that will inspire, entertain and excite the Keweenaw community," said Mary Jennings, director of the Rozsa. "Each show offers a unique and unforgettable experience celebrating the richness of the performing arts.”

The 23/24 Rozsa Presenting Series includes:

Presenting Series tickets go on sale Aug. 15 and can be purchased online, by phone at 906-487-1906 or at the Rozsa Box Office.

Stay tuned: The rest of the Rozsa season — the Department of Visual and Performing Arts' Michigan Tech Art, Michigan Tech Music and Michigan Tech Theatre series — will be announced in the coming weeks!


Notice of Phishing Email from DocuSign

It was brought to the attention of Payroll Services staff that a number of employees received an email claiming to be from DocuSign regarding a Payroll System Update. This email is a phishing attempt and employees should not click on any links included. We ask that any recipient report the email as a phishing attempt.

For more information on how to recognize spam/phishing emails, employees can refer to IT's Email Security page.

Today's Campus Events

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Figure Skating School

Take your skating to the next level with Michigan Tech’s Summer Figure Skating School at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. All skaters, beginner through advanced, will...


Master's Defense: Noah Zins

Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisor: Hongyu An Neuromorphic Computing Applications in Robotics Attend Virtually:


Master's Defense: Eli Harma

Materials Science and Engineering Advisor: Paul Sanders Optimizing the Extrudability of a 6082 Alloy by Varying the Mg and Si Concentration Attend Virtually:...


High School Elite- Boys Basketball

This camp is for players entering grades 9 - 12 as of Fall 2023. You’ve got the knowledge and the skills—now head to Michigan Tech’s High School Elite mens’ basketball camp to...