From Here to the Sphere: Michigan Tech Grads Apply Husky Ingenuity to Las Vegas Attraction

The Sphere in Las Vegas. Five Michigan Tech alumni worked on the project.

Sphere is the hottest new attraction on the global entertainment scene — and five Huskies had a hand in its creation.

“We’re the center of the brain,” said Paul Bristol ’16 (B.S. Audio Production/Computer Engineering), who’s now a design engineer for technical consulting firm Smart Monkeys Inc. and served as principal design consultant to the Sphere Entertainment team for the Las Vegas attraction’s control system. “Whenever someone presses on a button, we make sure that what needs to happen does.”

Find out how Michigan Tech alumni got involved in the project at Stories from Husky Nation.

Vice President for Research Candidates Sought

The Vice President for Research Search Committee is developing the pool of qualified candidates. If you know someone able to lead Michigan Tech’s institutional growth and investment in research and scholarship, please share the advertisement or job posting with the potential candidate. Please let the University’s new recruiter Alex Collias know who you have reached out to at You are also welcome to share names of potential candidates with Collias or one of the search committee members so that we can follow up with them. Thank you for your assistance with this important process!

Search committee members:

  • Kristin Brzeski, assistant professor, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
  • Yu Cai, professor and associate chair, Department of Applied Computing
  • Kelsey Kocher, sponsored programs analyst, Vice President for Research Office
  • Susan Janiszewski, director, Michigan Tech Research Institute
  • Kelly Kallio, assistant vice president for government sponsored programs, Sponsored Programs Office
  • Fengjing Liu, associate professor, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
  • Greg Odegard, professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Ravi Pandey, dean, College of Sciences and Arts
  • David Rowe, MTEC SmartZone
  • Andrew Storer, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs
  • Zhiying (Jenny) Shan, professor, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
  • Matt Sisson, Graduate Student Government
  • Erin Syth, research coordinator, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Ezra Bar-Ziv, professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Ex officio members:

  • Megan Goke, Human Resources
  • Beth Lunde-Stockero, Equal Opportunity Compliance and Title IX

2023 Electronic W-2s Now Available on Banweb

Electronic W-2s for 2023 are now available on Banweb for all employees who have consented to an electronic copy. Paper W-2 forms will be mailed on or before next Wednesday (Jan. 31).

If you would like to receive an electronic copy of your W-2, it's not too late. Log in to Banweb and click the Employees box, then Tax Forms, and then Select Electronic Consent (W-2 and 1095-C). Click the box under "My Choice" and next to "Consent to receive W-2 electronically," then click Submit.

Tech Talk Proposals Wanted for Alumni Reunion 2024!

Attention Michigan Technological University community members!

Are you passionate about a particular Tech-related topic? Working on cutting-edge research? Considered a thought leader in your area of expertise and eager to share your knowledge with alumni? Exciting news — the Office of Alumni Engagement is now accepting proposals for a “Tech Talk” event to kick off Alumni Reunion 2024, happening Aug. 1-3 in Houghton.

Make your submission by sending an email to Jordan Shawhan at, including a presentation title and a brief description (three to four sentences) of what you would deliver as your “Tech Talk,” by Feb. 16.

To inspire your submissions, here are examples of Tech Talks from previous years:

  • Wolves, Isle Royale, and the Endangered Species Act (Reunion 2023)
  • Michigan Tech is Propelling the Small Satellite Revolution featuring Professor Brad King (Reunion 2023)
  • 100 Years of Michigan Tech Hockey (Reunion 2022)

These Tech Talks tend to be a favorite among Reunion attendees and are often delivered to more than 100 alumni and friends. Tech Talks in the past have covered a diverse range of topics, highlighting the expertise and achievements of our faculty.

We look forward to receiving your exciting Tech Talk proposals and creating an engaging and informative event for everyone. Save the date for Aug. 1-3.

Just Around the Corner: Spring Career Fair

Michigan Tech's 2024 Spring Career Fair Forged by Nucor is just around the corner — it will be held Feb. 13 from noon until 5 p.m. at the Student Development Complex.

We are very excited about the many opportunities Career Fair provides our students. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Career Services is hosting multiple prep workshops to prepare students for this event. More details can be found on our website, on Handshake and in emails from Handshake. Registration is open on Handshake as well. Go Huskies!

Requesting Interview Rooms for Spring Career Fair

We are excited to be hosting the 2024 Spring Career Fair Forged by Nucor at Michigan Tech on Feb. 13! As we have done in the past, Interview Day will be Feb. 14, and we need your help.

In order to provide the best interview experience for both students and employers, we are requesting office and room spaces for interviews on campus. Please submit any available rooms to be included for our Interview Day schedule using our Rooms for Interviews form.

On average, there are over a thousand individual interviews conducted on campus following Career Fair.​​

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to

We are looking forward to another great Career Fair this spring!

Graduate School Announces Spring 2024 Finishing Fellowship Recipients

The Graduate School proudly announces the recipients of the doctoral Finishing Fellowships for spring 2024. Congratulations to all nominees and recipients!

  • Utkarsh Shailesh Chaudhari — Chemical Engineering
  • Siyuan Fang — Environmental Engineering
  • Michelle C. Kelly — Biological Sciences
  • Elizabeth Lehman — Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
  • Anne Inger Mortvedt — Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
  • Sadia Nowrin — Computer Science
  • Shashank Pathrudkar — Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Abhishek Patil — Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Catherine Rono — Biological Sciences
  • Kyle J. Schwiebert — Mathematical Sciences
  • Basanti Timalsina — Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture
  • Yipeng Yin — Chemistry

For more details about recipients, see their student profiles on the Graduate School Newsblog.

Jacek Borysow Wins 2024 Bayard Rustin Award

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) named Jacek Borysow, physics department chair and professor, the winner of the 2024 Bayard Rustin Award during the 35th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet on Jan. 15. This award, now in its fifth year, recognizes a faculty or staff member at Michigan Tech for their behind-the-scenes impact.

"Dr. Borysow has been a major contributor to help support Women in Physics (WiP) and is dedicated to encouraging gender minorities to pursue STEM,” shared one nominator. “He has continuously helped WiP, such as helping us find a new advisor and promoting our events to other faculty. His door is also always open to students with questions and concerns. His legacy is filled with leading by example to help lift up everyone in the community.”

Read more on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Newsblog.

BioSci Chair Candidate Seminars with Matthew Lovern

Department of Biological Sciences (BioSci) chair candidate Matthew Lovern, professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Oklahoma State University, will present a Department Leadership Seminar on Monday (Jan. 29) from 3-4 p.m. in Rekhi G009.

Lovern will also present a research seminar on Tuesday (Jan. 30) from 3-4 p.m. in Chem Sci B002.

The research seminar is titled “Hormones, Physiology, and Behavior of Reptiles: How I Came to Love Biology and You Can, Too!”

From the abstract:
In this general research presentation, I will share my background, how it shaped my love for biology, and how it opened my eyes to a career in research, teaching, and mentoring. I will then share examples of some of the scholarly work that my students and I, along with numerous collaborators, have undertaken during my academic career; these examples primarily involve work on how hormones, and physiology more generally, influence behavior and growth in Anolis lizards. Finally, I will share my view for how my research background and expertise would contribute to Michigan Tech’s Vision and Mission and would support and complement the dynamic research being conducted by students and faculty in Biological Sciences.

Women's Basketball Traveling to Northern Michigan

The Michigan Tech women's basketball team is wrapping up their first meetings against GLIAC foes with a matchup against Northern Michigan at the Berry Events Center on Saturday (Jan. 27) at 1 p.m.

FoxUP will televise the game with Dave Ellis calling the play-by-play.

Fans can also listen live on the radio at Mix 93.5 WKMJ-FM or online at or A livestream of the contest will be available on FloHoops (a subscription is required — discounts are available for students).

Read the preview at Michigan Tech Athletics.

Men's Basketball Taking on Wildcats

The Michigan Tech men's basketball team completes their first meeting against all GLIAC foes with a trip to Northern Michigan. The Huskies will tip off against the Wildcats at 3 p.m. tipoff Saturday (Jan. 27) inside the Berry Events Center.

FoxUP will televise the game with Dave Ellis calling the play-by-play.

Fans can listen live on the radio at Mix 93.5 WKMJ-FM or online at or The game will also livestream on FloHoops (a subscription is required — discounts are available for students).

Read the preview at Michigan Tech Athletics.

Hockey Traveling to LSSU for Only Meeting of Season

Michigan Tech hockey hits the road this weekend, heading to Lake Superior State for the Huskies' only meeting of the season with the Lakers.

The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 26) and 6:07 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 27) at Taffy Abel Arena.

Tech is 10-10-5 overall and 7-6-1 in the CCHA. The Lakers are 11-13-1 overall and 8-8-1 in the CCHA.

Listen live on the radio at Mix 93.5 WKMJ-FM or online at or Both games will be livestreamed on FloHockey (a subscription is required — discounts are available for students).

Read the preview at Michigan Tech Athletics.

Football Announces 2024 Golf Outing Details

Michigan Tech football has announced its 2023 Golf Outing will be held June 22 at Portage Lake Golf Course. Registration is now open for the event.

The format is a four-person scramble with proximity prizes and a skins game. Golfers will check in at 8 a.m. with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Lunch is included in the ticket price. The day ends with a social with members of the Michigan Tech football team and staff at Bonfire, located at The Continental Fire Co. in Houghton.

Registration costs are $100 per golfer or $400 per foursome. Holes can be sponsored for $100 apiece. Register now.

If you have questions regarding this event, please contact Dan Mettlach at 906-487-2985 or Phil Milbrath at 906-487-2984.

New Funding

Gregory Waite (GMES/EPSSI) is the principal investigator (PI) on a project that has received a $97,213 research and development contract from the University of Miami.

The project is titled "Earthquake triggering of magmatic unrest."

Simon Carn (GMES/EPSSI) is a co-PI on this potential three-year project.


Gordon Parker (ME-EM/MARC) is the PI on a project that has received a $69,532 research and development contract from the Sandia National Laboratories.

The project is titled "Nonlinear Hydrodynamic Modeling."

This is a two-year project.

In Print

Sangyoon Han (BioMed/HRI) and his Ph.D. student Nikhil Mittal (biomedical engineering) are co-authors of a paper published in Communications Materials, a Nature Portfolio journal.

The paper is titled "Myosin-independent stiffness sensing by fibroblasts is regulated by the viscoelasticity of flowing actin."

This paper uncovers cells' inherent behavior where the traction transmitted via cell-matrix adhesions increases with the substrate stiffness even when myosin, the main power source within actin cytoskeleton, is inactive. They find that actin polymerization takes charge of the stiffness-dependent force transmission using actin flow measurement, pharmacological inhibitions and mathematical modeling.

In the News

Holly Hassel (HU) was mentioned by North Dakota’s Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in a story about her third “Jeopardy!” appearance on Monday (Jan. 22).


Asian News International mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about three awards given by the United Arab Emirates Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP). Researchers from MTU received one of the awards for their work on laboratory and modeling studies of cloud susceptibility to hygroscopic seeding. The story was picked up by 24 news outlets around the world.


ABC 10 mentioned Michigan Tech in a story announcing dates and times for St. Albert the Great University Parish’s annual Ice Masses, held outdoors in an ice chapel constructed as part of Winter Carnival.


BioSci Seminar Series Speaker: Guiliang Tang

Guiliang Tang will present as part of the Department of Biological Sciences (BioSci) Seminar Series today (Jan. 25) from 3-4 p.m. in GLRC 202.

Tang's presentation is titled "STTM to 'two-hit' amiRNAs: Targeting RNAs From Short to Long for Effective Gene Silencing in Plant Genomics."

From the abstract:
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA molecules (21-23nt) crucial for controlling plant development by negatively regulating gene expression. To understand the in vivo functions of individual miRNAs, an effective method to block their production or activity is essential. Traditional approaches face challenges in targeting miRNAs due to their small size and the existence of multiple members with potentially overlapping functions within miRNA families. Our team has pioneered a highly effective technology known as short tandem target mimic (STTM), designed to target and block the functions of multiple miRNAs. STTM marks a significant advancement in fine-tuning gene regulation and serves as a potent tool for functional genomics of miRNAs (STTM: Plant Cell, 2012; PNAS, 2017; Molecular Plant, 2018).

Furthermore, we have developed an artificial miRNA gene silencing technology aimed at blocking coding genes. Termed "two-hit" artificial miRNAs (amiRNAs), the tandem artificial miRNA duplexes mimic the structure of miRNAs and can silence multiple target genes across different plant pathways (“two-hit” amiRNAs: Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2023). These technologies provide versatility and precision in plant genomics, offering powerful tools to enhance agricultural practices and crop yield. We have also created a web-based amiRNA designer for easy design and widespread application in plants and even animals. Over 157 related gene constructs are available at Addgene.


Physics Colloquium with Antonio Levy

Antonio Levy from Howard University will present at this week's Physics Colloquium.

The seminar will be presented in person at 4 p.m. today (Jan. 25) in Fisher 139.

Read the abstract and speaker bio at the University Events Calendar.


Volunteers Needed for Career Fair

Career Fair will be Feb. 13 from 12-5 p.m. Career Services is actively seeking volunteers from the Tech community to contribute during this event.

We have a variety of shifts, tasks and responsibilities to fill. Your participation in this event is pivotal for the future success of many Huskies, and your assistance would be highly valued. We sincerely appreciate your willingness to help!

Visit the Spring Career Fair Volunteer Sign-up form to sign up. Thank you in advance!


ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker: Kevin Howard

The next Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) Graduate Seminar speaker will present at 4 p.m. today (Jan. 25) in MEEM 112.

Kevin Howard will present “Design of Experiments and Key Considerations for Machine Learning in Highly Non-linear Problems.”

Howard currently works as the aerodynamics CFD technical expert and CFD supervisor for aero and aero-acoustics at Ford Motor Company, where he leads the development of computational tools to push the boundaries of aerodynamics and help create the most aerodynamically efficient vehicle designs possible.


Heikinpäivä Midwinter Festival

The Michigan Tech community is invited to join local Finns, friends of Finns and fans of winter to celebrate Hancock's annual Heikinpäivä midwinter festival.

The month-long festival will close with a full day of events in Hancock on Saturday (Jan. 27), including a parade featuring the Huskies Pep Band at 11 a.m. down Quincy Street. Also, the popular Polar Plunge is back after several years' hiatus. Take the plunge at 1 p.m. at Quincy Green using a portable pool, with a $5 cost per diver. There will be a few portable saunas on-site to thaw in after completing the sisu-laden rite of passage. Appropriate footwear is strongly encouraged.

Want to support Heikinpäivä as a volunteer this upcoming weekend? Sign up to help out on GivePulse.

Heikinpäivä Events — Saturday, Jan. 27:

  • Tori Markets — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center and United Methodist Church
  • Parade (featuring the Huskies Pep Band) — 11 a.m. on Quincy Street
  • Spiral Bear Dance and Outdoor Games — After the parade at Quincy Green
  • Polar Plunge — 1 p.m. at Quincy Green
    • Cost: $5 per person
  • "Animal Life: Art from the Kalevala" Opening Reception — 2:30-4 p.m. at Community Arts Center
  • Iltamat (Dance and Buffet) — 7-10 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center
    • Cost: $15 per person
    • With music by the Back Room Boys, hors d’oeuvres and a raffle

Today's Campus Events

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

Interview Prep

Workshop in how to get ready for an interview, in preparation for the Career Fair.


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