Tech Celebrates 2023 Graduates at Midyear Commencement

Michigan Tech's 2023 Midyear Commencement graduate and undergraduate student speakers post in the Rekhi-Library walkway on the MTU Campus.

Two shining examples of leadership, mentorship and scholarship have been chosen to inspire their fellow Huskies as student speakers at Michigan Technological University’s 2023 Midyear Commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 16).

Undergraduate speaker Aerith Cruz and graduate speaker Sushree Dash will share memorable Michigan Tech moments and advice for the future at the ceremony, being held in the SDC Varsity Gym. The occasion honors the achievements of approximately 350 graduates — including Cruz, who majored in management information systems with a minor in statistics, and Dash, earning her Ph.D. in Applied Physics.

Learn more about these exceptional Huskies and get ceremony details at Michigan Tech News.

Call for Submissions: 2024 Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium

Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College invites undergraduate researchers and scholars from all colleges to submit for presentation at the 2024 Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium (URSS).

The symposium allows undergraduate students to present posters describing completed or ongoing research and receive feedback from faculty judges. This event is an excellent learning experience and showcases the great undergraduate research and scholarship occurring at Michigan Tech.

The URSS will be held March 22 in the Rozsa Lobby. Coinciding with Michigan Tech’s Preview Day, the symposium is a great way to share the exciting research projects from across campus with high school students considering attending Michigan Tech.

Research submissions are due Feb. 6 at 11:59 p.m; please encourage your students to register and submit their work. To submit, they should visit the URSS website and follow the instructions provided. It is recommended that applicants save their text in a document and copy the required information into the submission form.

Submissions will be reviewed by Pavlis Honors College staff and confirmation of acceptance will be sent by March 1. Please note: If more submissions are received than space in the Rozsa Lobby allows, it is possible some will not be accepted.

Questions can be directed to Chris Hohnholt at We look forward to seeing your submissions and presentations!

MS Defense: Sophie Mehl, MSE

M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering candidate Sophie Mehl will present a master's defense tomorrow (Dec. 14) at 12:30 p.m. in person in M&M 610 and virtually via Zoom.

Mehl is advised by Paul Sanders.

The defense is titled "Nickel Superalloy Composition and Process Optimization for Weldability, Cost, and Strength."

From the abstract:
To advance sustainability efforts, electric power plants have reduced specific carbon dioxide emissions by increasing operating temperatures and pressures to improve power generation efficiency. The latest improvements are utilized in advanced ultra-supercritical power generation. To meet these operating conditions, nickel superalloys are used in the highest temperature components; however, they are expensive and present weldability challenges. This project aims to experimentally optimize a nickel superalloy to improve material weldability and decrease cost without compromising strength. Three optimized compositions were developed, and their microstructures and mechanical properties were compared to Nimonic 263, a common nickel superalloy in electric power plants. The Optimized Composition 1 alloy was scaled up to assess weld solidification cracking resistance compared to baseline nickel superalloys. It was found that the Optimized Composition 1 alloy has decreased cost, increased weldability, and comparable strength to Nimonic 263. With further testing, this alloy may be a viable replacement for some commercial nickel superalloys in advanced ultra-supercritical power generation.

MS Defense: Andrew Bunge, MSE

M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering candidate Andrew Bunge will present a master's defense tomorrow (Dec. 14) at 2:30 p.m. in M&M 610.

Bunge is advised by Paul Sanders.

The defense is titled "Local Application of WAAM in Cast Steel Parts as a Means to Combat Corrosion and Fatigue."

From the abstract:
Every year, thousands of cast-steel railcar couplers suffer from corrosion-initiated fatigue cracking in similar areas of the coupler’s knuckle; between 2015 and 2018 about 90,000 knuckles were replaced, otherwise these couplers would have been at risk for unexpected failures. These types of couplers have been common in industrial use as early as 1916, hence it is desirable for a counter measure to the fatigue cracking that does not involve significantly altering the geometry or casting process. Wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) is a developing technology which boasts the ability to produce complex near-net-shape components; however, less attention has been paid to WAAM’s potential for local enhancements to typical failure zones. By replacing the cast steel in the region of the knuckle that contain these high-stress failure points with fatigue and corrosion resistant WAAM deposits, the whole knuckle receives a longer service life while maintaining its mechanical properties and overall geometry. The efficacy of this procedure comes down to the ability to print WAAM deposits with less defects than the base steel while introducing alloying elements (nickel, chromium, molybdenum) to prevent corrosion; this is accomplished by utilizing gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) in the WAAM process with commercially available low-alloy filler wire prior to optimization using the knuckle’s heat treat schedule then validated by fatigue testing the resulting components. Selective use of WAAM technology to aid in the high-volume production of parts through local enhancements could be a step to efficiently utilize its capabilities in industry.

ChE Seminar Series Speaker: Alex Johnson-Buck

Alex Johnson-Buck will present as part of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE) Research Series tomorrow (Dec. 14) at 10 a.m. in person in Chem Sci 211 or virtually via Zoom.

Johnson-Buck will present "Exploiting Kinetics for Unparalleled Fidelity in Molecular Systems."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

Johnson-Buck is the chief scientific officer at aLight Sciences Inc.

Global Composites Experts Webinar with Gregory Odegard

Tomorrow (Dec. 14) at 11 a.m. EST, Professor Gregory Odegard (ME-EM) will speak at the Global Composites Expert Zoom Webinar Series, hosted by the Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center at the Purdue University College of Engineering.

The presentation topic is "US-COMP: Next Generation of Composites Materials for Crewed Deep Space Missions."

Please register in advance if you plan to attend.

From the abstract:
Current state-of-the-art composite materials are not light/strong enough for crewed missions to Mars and beyond. Structural components of deep space vehicles require lighter/stronger materials for fuel efficiency. The NASA Space Technologies Research Institute (STRI) for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP) is focused on developing a new generation of composites for this purpose. US-COMP is using computational simulation to drive the material design in an efficient manner. By developing new simulation tools, experimental methods, and databases of material information, US-COMP is playing a central role in the national Materials Genome Initiative (MGI). The ultimate goals of US-COMP are to design, fabricate, and test composite panels that meet NASA’s requirements; and to train students to enter the advanced composite materials workforce.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available on the Human Resources website. For more information regarding staff positions, call 906-487-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Vice President for Research, Vice President for Research Office. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Accommodations are available. If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

In Print

Iosif Pinelis (Math) is the author of a paper accepted for publication in The American Mathematical Monthly.

The paper is titled "An exact bound for the inner product of vectors in C^n."

A preprint version of the paper can be viewed and/or downloaded online.

On the (Virtual) Road

Andrew Fiss (HU) presented a research paper titled “Singing Songs of HSS: Joking about the Standards of our Discipline” on Dec. 9 as part of the History of Science Society Virtual Festival, held online.

Fiss’ paper analyzed a History of Science Society meeting and a related alumni reunion that occurred in Bloomington, Indiana, on Oct. 31, 1985, and it argued that singing together in educational communities has led to heightened experiences of belonging.

He also chaired the virtual session “Sites of Science,” with contributed papers about tribal medicine of Santhal, India; Berzelius’ home laboratory in Sweden; agricultural stations of Hainan and Guangdong provinces, China; and environmental farming practices of Bihar, India.

In the News

Audra Morse (CoE) was quoted by Silicon Semiconductor in coverage of the $838,000 grant awarded to Michigan Tech to expand semiconductor education and training programs across the Upper Peninsula. The story was picked up from a Michigan Tech News press release.


WLUC TV6 and WJMN Local 3 covered Michigan Tech men’s basketball guard Marcus Tomashek being named the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week.


Rail Transportation Program Scholarships

The Rail Transportation Program (RTP) at Michigan Tech is offering scholarships for students with a demonstrated interest in the railroad industry. Details are on the RTP website.

Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $2,500 for the 2023-24 school year. To apply, submit the 2023-2024 Rail Transportation Program Railroad Scholarships Application. The deadline for applications is Jan. 10.

Contact David Nelson at for more information.

Today's Campus Events

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

UO Lab Wednesday Tours

Have you heard or seen about the BEST Unit Operations (UO) Lab in the United States? It's here, right at Michigan Tech. If you've stopped by the window on the first floor of...