Research in Focus: Team Science — Putting People First

Smoke coming out of a snowy chimney.

Research in Focus” highlights how Michigan Tech researchers are breaking through boundaries between scientific disciplines, leveraging the full depth and breadth of knowledge across campus.

While finishing her Ph.D., Chelsea Schelly (SS/CFRES/CISR) got explicit training in interdisciplinary scholarship, then turned her attention to finding a research-heavy university where she could put those skills to use.

Her interview at Michigan Tech turned into a cross-country ski outing with Kathy Halvorsen, now Tech’s associate vice president for research development, who ended up teaching Schelly many essential skills for successful team science. "Kathy sees people as whole people, and as people first, not just as scholars," says Schelly. This approach to life and work is, for Schelly, the defining feature of what makes research at Michigan Tech unique.

"It's just the culture that has been created on campus. There's a human connection here,” she says. “We are scholars, and we are proud of the work we do, but we are people first."

Read how Schelly is carrying that people-first culture forward in our 2024 Michigan Tech Magazine.

Give Back to the Pack Ends at Noon Today!

The Michigan Tech community has come together in an extraordinary show of generosity, and we are truly grateful for each and every contribution made during our 24-hour giving challenge. As the clock ticks closer to noon (12 p.m. EDT) today, we want to remind you that this is your last chance to participate in Give Back to the Pack!

If you haven't had a chance to make your gift yet, there's still time to join us in making a difference, but not much!

Visit before noon today.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in Give Back to the Pack. We appreciate your support.

2024 MTU Archaeology Summer Field School Enrollment Deadline Extended

Are you looking for some summer credits but don’t want to sit in a classroom? There are still a few enrollment slots available in the 2024 MTU Archaeology Field School!

We are offering a 9-credit, seven-week summer Track B program of field archaeology training right here in the Keweenaw Peninsula from June 24 to Aug. 9.

Field school students will be exploring both ancient and 19th century copper mining archaeology at the Delaware Mine site in the Keweenaw. You will learn all the field skills of the modern archaeologist, including survey, testing, excavation and digital recording techniques. In addition, we will tour a number of sites in the Keweenaw that showcase the archaeology and history of the Copper Country.

Interested? Visit the field school website and submit our short application form today to enroll!

Field school credits may count toward your HASS and STEM requirements, and may also be applied toward Department of Social Sciences majors and minors, as well as the accelerated master’s program in industrial heritage and archaeology. For more information, contact Dan Trepal at

Nominations Sought for Michigan Tech's Diversity Award

The Diversity Council is seeking nominations for faculty and staff deserving of the 2024 Michigan Tech Diversity Award. Nominations are due May 3.

Nominees contribute to diversity, equity, inclusion and sense of belonging (DEIS) on campus through exemplary leadership and actions, demonstrating a commitment to DEIS in areas such as:

  • Recruitment and retention efforts
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Culturally responsive mentorship
  • Inclusive programming
  • Diversity literacy
  • Community outreach activities

The Diversity Award recipient will receive a $2,500 award and will be honored during a University awards dinner held in September. More information, criteria and nomination instructions are listed on the Diversity Award webpage.

Café Français: Remembering Maryse Condé

Michigan Tech's French club, Café Français, will be meeting today (April 11) for the last time this semester. As usual, we will gather in Walker 120C from 5-6 p.m., and coffee and tea will be served.

La Femme et L'oeuvre
The conversation will be devoted to celebrating the life and work of one of the most important figures in contemporary French literature, Maryse Condé, who passed away last week at the age of 90.

In addition to her many achievements as an author, Condé had a brilliant career in academia, most of which was spent in the U.S., where, as Condé wryly put it, she discovered more "fraternity" than in France. (You may remember France's national motto: "Liberté, égalité, fraternité.") During our discussion, we will read one or two obituaries and watch part of an interview with Condé.

À ce soir donc!

Sustainability Film: 'Climate Sisu'

The 2024 Sustainability Film & Discussion Series, coordinated by the Michigan Tech Office of Sustainability and Resilience, will present April’s film “Climate Sisu” at 7 p.m. next Thursday (April 18) in Fisher 135. Film length is 55 minutes.

The film is free and everyone is welcome to attend. A suggested $5 donation is appreciated. The film will be followed by discussion and refreshments provided by the Keweenaw Land Trust.

“Climate Sisu” offers an urgent yet optimistic call for climate action. The solutions the documentary features range from planting new grape varietals in vineyards to promoting passenger train service to northwest Michigan to adapting city planning in the Upper Peninsula to prepare for environmental shifts.

“We’re looking for solutions. We want to learn from the community about what is already being done. We don’t want to fall into despair, which is becoming the prevailing theme when we speak about climate change,” said Elena Lioubimtseva, Grand Valley State University professor, who helped write and produce the film last spring.

The discussion facilitator will be Patricia Leopold, a climate adaptation specialist with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS). She has led the creation of ecosystem vulnerability assessments, co-authored the Adaptation Workbook and trained numerous agencies, organizations and natural resources professionals on incorporating climate change into management and planning.

See a list of past films available for checkout from the Office of Sustainability and Resilience.

Film sponsors include the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Keweenaw Land Trust, Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Keweenaw Co-Op, Friends of the Land of Keweenaw and WUP MiSTEM, as well as Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, Department of Social Sciences, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering, Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Sustainability Demonstration House, Students for Sustainability and Keweenaw Youth for Climate Action.

Sustainability Film & Discussion Series Details:

  • When: Third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m., through May
  • Where: Fisher 135 or 138 (refreshments in lobby)
  • Cost: Free! $5 donations are greatly appreciated — make a donation.

Upcoming Film:

  • "The Engine Inside" — May 16, Fisher 138
    Follow the lives of six individuals from around the globe who have devoted themselves to a simple, age-old machine — the bicycle. Witness how bicycles have the potential to transform lives and contribute to a better world.

Huskies Place First, Second in THEProject Competition

Students in OSM4350 Advanced Project Management, led by Roger Woods (COB), participated in the 12th annual Western Michigan Project Management Institute (WMPMI) collegiate project management competition — known as THEProject — where they took home first and second place.

The teams gave their final presentations Monday (April 8) in Hudsonville, Michigan.

Students on the winning teams include:

  • First-Place Team — Anchor Management:
    Jacob Maurer (team lead), Blake Lewis, Easton Armstrong, Alex Bos, Will Zinser and Meredith Raasio

  • Second-Place Team — Lake Superior Salute:
    Gregory Lapetina (team lead), Connor Zavislak, Ethan Kennedy, Maggie Gallup, Ashley Haen and Simon Karnoe

Lean Systems Graduates Recognized

On April 2, the graduates of Michigan Tech’s Lean Systems training were recognized at the Lean Systems training graduation ceremony.

The ceremony is the culmination of six months of effort for the graduates, who all received a Certificate of Completion. Additionally, some graduates also received their Lean Green Belt Certification, and several others are nearing completion of requirements and may receive their Lean Green Belt at a later date.

During the six months of Lean Systems training, participants engaged in seven full days of training, plus homework and improvement activity requirements. They received in-depth training on topics like Lean culture and tools, team building, group dynamics, organizational change and facilitating techniques.

Certified Lean Green Belt practitioners pioneer Lean in their units and support improvement work in other units. They can initiate, co-facilitate and manage Lean kaizen. They’ve developed some expertise in Lean, are trained in soft skills like team dynamics and conflict management, and are able to mentor and teach others.

Michigan Tech's Lean Systems graduates will join with our current campus Lean practitioners to spread continuous improvement using Lean thinking across our University.

Take a look at their creative visual course posters and find more information about how to get involved with the Lean Systems training in our Graduation Ceremony folder.

Michigan Tech graduates:

  • David Palek, Office of the President
  • Jamie Smith, Academic Affairs
  • Nicole Foguth, Finance and Administration
  • Elka Frahm*, Finance and Administration
  • Jessica Harden, Finance and Administration
  • Andrea Kolehmainen, Finance and Administration
  • Katie Lucca*, Finance and Administration
  • Carrie Nielsen*, Finance and Administration
  • Dan Carney, Human Resources
  • Jessica Palek*, Human Resources
  • Emily T’Niemi, Human Resources
  • Jari Sague*, Vice President for Research Office
  • Polly Schaefer*, Student Affairs

Community partner graduates:

  • Vicki Locatelli*, Superior National Bank
  • Melissa Pirkola*, Aspirus Clinics

Canadian partner graduates:

  • Angela McKinnon, Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Raechelle Masuda*, Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia, Canada

* Denotes a Lean Green Belt Certification awarded in addition to a Certificate of Completion.

BioMed Seminar Series Speaker: Jungkyu Kim

The next guest speaker in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BioMed) Seminar Series will present tomorrow (April 12) at 3 p.m. in person in M&M 610 and virtually via Zoom.

Jungkyu (Jay) Kim from the University of Utah will present "A microengineered cornea chip for ocular drug evaluation and mechanobiological investigation."

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

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar with Stephen Hecht

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place at 3 p.m. Monday (April 15) in GLRC 202.

Stephen Hecht, Wallin Professor of Cancer Prevention and American Cancer Society research professor, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, will present "Carcinogens and DNA Damage from Cigarette Smoking and Vaping."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

Special Physics Colloquium: MTU Observes the Total Solar Eclipse

The Department of Physics will hold a special colloquium today (April 11) at 4 p.m. in Fisher 139 presented by Robert Nemiroff, Tiffany Lewis and the MTU Eclipse Group.

A group of MTU students, professors and guests drove to southern Illinois to see the total solar eclipse of 2024. The eclipse occurred during the afternoon on Monday (April 8). A brief review of the eclipse will be given, followed by the story of how this group came to witness it firsthand. Members from the group will then relate their experiences and reactions.

A coffee social will be held before the colloquium at 3:30 p.m. in the Fisher Hall lobby.

Tech Football Hosting Spring Game on Saturday

After four weeks back on the gridiron, the Michigan Tech football team will wrap up their spring training on Saturday (April 13) with an intrasquad scrimmage at Kearly Stadium at 1 p.m.

Practice is free and open to the public and fans are encouraged to attend.

Read more at Michigan Tech Athletics.

New Funding

Kaichen Yang (ECE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $199,870 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is titled "ERI: Towards Robust and Secure Intelligent 3D Sensing Systems."

This is a potential two-year project.

In Print

Iosif Pinelis (Math) is the co-author of a paper accepted for publication in Europhysics Letters (EPL).

The paper is titled "An information-theoretic analog of the twin paradox."

Pinelis co-authored the paper jointly with Mladen Kovačević of EURECOM, France, and the University of Novi Sad, Serbia; and Marios Kountouris of EURECOM.

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

In the News

Charles Wallace (CS) was mentioned by the Michigan Business Network as one of the Michigan Association of State Universities’ 2024 Distinguished Professor of the Year Award recipients. The story was picked up by ABC 10 and the Keweenaw Report.


Lei Pan (ChE) was quoted by Interlochen Public Radio in a story about the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Critical Minerals Recycling Grant Program. The program will offer $4.75 million in matching grants for research projects focused on recycling critical minerals found in electric vehicle batteries and other technologies.


Professor Emeritus Ted Bornhorst (GMES) was interviewed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for a story about environmental concerns regarding the Copperwood Mine project in Gogebic County, which is located next door to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.


Nich Radcliffe (VPA) was quoted by ABC 10 in a story previewing Michigan Tech Theater’s upcoming play: “Purple Hearts” by C.S. Wallace. The production opened yesterday (April 10) and closes Saturday (April 13), with nightly performances at 7:30 p.m. at the Rozsa. The story was picked up by the Keweenaw Report.


The Daily Mining Gazette covered Michigan Tech student-athletes Vitor Jordao and Gracie VanLangevelde being named Pat Riepma Postgraduate Scholarship Award recipients for 2023-24.


PhD Defense: Fredrica Markson Eduaful, HU

Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture candidate Fredrica Markson Eduaful will present a final doctoral defense today (April 11) from 12-1 p.m. This will be a virtual-only defense. Attendance is invited via Zoom.

Markson Eduaful's dissertation is titled "Constructing childhood justice within postcolonial/decolonialized digital orthotopias: philanthropic websites as sites of possibility."

From the abstract:
International non-governmental agencies have played an intervening role in mitigating the socio-economic and political hardships faced by many people in postcolonial/decolonial regions in the Global South. Most of the interventions have targeted children in rural areas. Coupled with the dynamic communicative global landscape, philanthropic endeavors necessarily utilize the digital communication space via websites as a primary means of communicating with, advertising to, and soliciting from the public. This complex relation results in similarly complex representations of post/decolonial child identities in spaces where children as agents are limited.

To understand and actively mitigate avenues of possible violence against children as agents and children as subjects, this dissertation explores the digital spatial communication practices of five philanthropic organizations. Specifically, it investigates multifaceted communication strategies such organizations employ in constructing their websites. Knowing this leads us to understand how childhood identities emerge through technical communicative acts controlled by powerful entities that have neoliberal backing.

Using Foucault’s spatial theory of heterotopia, the dissertation finds that despite complying with international philanthropic digital laws on the depiction of children, children within the post/decolonial regions continue to be depicted as subjects of crisis and objects of deviation within the global rhetoric of childhood and child discourses. This depiction contributes to the continuous perpetuation of the narrative that children in the de/post-colonizing Global South are devoid of agency.

The findings and conclusions of the dissertation have implications for theory, technical communication practice, and activist work aimed at socially just practices that engage children. Theoretically, it is proposed that the heterotopia framework should be expanded into an orthotopic one. The orthotopic framework allows us to focus on the lived experiences of subjects rather than their assumed identities which may be violently transferred to the new digital spaces. In technical communication, there is the need for research to inform practice where the technical communicator shows an awareness of the complex results of digital space creation and habitation. While digital spaces can be liberating, the results show that for children who are in the margin, they can be confining. Overall, the proliferation and incessant opening of new digital spaces requires formulating just policies that protect the emergent childhood identities.


PhD Defense: Aamir Rahmani, ECE

Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering candidate Aamir Rahmani will defend his doctoral dissertation today (April 11) at 9 a.m. in person in EERC 501 and virtually via Zoom.

The title of the dissertation is "Modeling of Inverter-Based Resources for Hardware in the Loop Testing of Protection and Control Schemes."

Rahmani is advised by Bruce Mork.


AC Faculty Candidate Presentation with Haluk Kucuk

Department of Applied Computing (AC) tenure-track faculty candidate Haluk Kucuk will give a research presentation today (April 11) from 4-5 p.m. in Rekhi 217.

The title of Kucuk’s research presentation is “Applied Artificial Intelligence for Diagnostics.”

Also today, faculty and students are invited to visit with Kucuk in Rekhi 101 prior to the research presentation — faculty from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and students from 3-4 p.m.

Read the talk abstract and candidate bio on the Computing News Blog.


Today's C3 Luncheon

Menu for Thursday (April 11):

  • Herb Crusted Chicken Breast (AD, AG)
  • Tortellini Primavera (Vegetarian, Contains: Dairy, Gluten)
  • Caesar Salad (Vegetarian, Contains: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, Fish, Soy)
  • Parmesan Polenta (Vegetarian, AG, Contains: Dairy)
  • Chef Vegetables (Vegan, AD, AG)
  • Breadsticks (Vegetarian, Contains: Dairy, Egg, Gluten)

Join Carved and Crafted Catering for this week's C3 Luncheon. The luncheon is held each week on Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge (MUB 107). All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The C3, or C-Cubed, lunch buffet menus are created and prepared by Chef Luis Delgado and his culinary team. As the name suggests, the meals are meant to foster conversation, community and collegiality. Attendees may bring their lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Fruit-infused water, coffee, tea and cookies are available free to all attendees.

The buffet lunch is $15 per person. Cash, credit cards and gift cards are accepted. Gift cards can be purchased in the Memorial Union office (MUB 101).

We look forward to seeing you at our next luncheon!

AG = Avoiding Gluten
AD = Avoiding Dairy


BioSci Seminar Series Speaker: Leslie Satin

Leslie Satin will present as part of the Department of Biological Sciences (BioSci) Seminar Series from 3-4 p.m. today (April 11) in GLRC 202.

The presentation is titled "Oscillations in Pancreatic Islets: Lessons from Experimental and Modeling Studies."

From the abstract:
Pancreatic beta cells synthesize and secrete insulin when blood sugar rises during a meal to bring sugar levels back down to its pre-meal level. Interestingly, insulin release is oscillatory and the period of these oscillations is rather slow, around 3-5 minutes. Importantly, the size of the oscillatory pulses and their pattern is disrupted in patients who have type 2 diabetes. Our lab goal is to understand the basis of these oscillations and how they become disrupted so we can develop treatments to restore the normal pattern in type 2 patients. Our lab has shown that islet oscillations result from complex interactions between glucose metabolism, mitochondrial activity and Ca and K ion channel interactions, described quantitatively using mathematical modeling. My talk will review the development of our thinking about islet oscillations and how they occur, and the experimental data and modeling that support their feasibility will be presented.

Satin, the inaugural Joanne I. Moore Endowed Research Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan and the Brehm Diabetes Center/Caswell Diabetes Institute, earned his Ph.D. at UCLA and has been at the University of Michigan since 2008. His expertise includes cellular electrophysiology, optical measurements using real-time imaging probes in cells and research on diabetes and traumatic brain injury. He has served on editorial boards for journals such as Diabetes and the American Journal of Physiology, and has reviewed grants for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other organizations.


MMET Faculty Candidate Presentation with Foxian Fan

Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) tenure-track faculty candidate Foxian Fan will give a research presentation today (April 11) from 1-2 p.m. in EERC 103.

The title of Fan's research presentation is "A Simple Alternative: Mass Finishing based AM Postprocessing."


ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker: Aditya Kumar

The next Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) Graduate Seminar speaker will present at 4 p.m. today (April 11) in MEEM 112.

Aditya Kumar will pesent “Frontal Polymerization Enabled Patterning and Additive Manufacturing of Thermoset Polymers.”

Kumar is an assistant professor of structural mechanics in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. His research broadly focuses on answering fundamental problems in applied mechanics with a combination of new mathematical and computational tools.


MSE Seminar with Paul Jablonski

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is hosting a seminar presented by Paul Jablonski of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Albany, Oregon, from 1-2 p.m. today (April 11) in M&M 610.

Jablonski's presentation is titled "Design, Processing and Evaluation of Advanced Alloys."

From the abstract:
There are 17 unique DOE laboratories. NETL is the lab that concentrates on fossil energy and carbon management (FECM) issues. My team focuses on design, processing, and evaluation of advanced alloys. While NETL targets FECM, my team utilizes traditional metallurgical approaches to develop alloys for whatever the application demands including FE, defense, transportation, and medical applications just to name a few. This talk is aimed at a broad audience with discussions of alloy design and processing in a way that can be relevant to both material discovery and industrial scaleup. The alloy design portion will cover some of the practical considerations. The alloy melting discussion will cover critical considerations that are not generally treated in textbooks or technical papers. Our computational approach to alloy homogenization will also be presented. The purpose and methodology of alloy fabrication will be discussed. Finally, some examples of resulting alloy performance will be presented.

Jablonski, a senior metallurgist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory, has been at the Albany, Oregon, facility for over 20 years. He graduated in 1987 from Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in metallurgical engineering. After a couple years in the superalloy casting industry, he pursued an advanced degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering in 1994. He has over 35 years’ experience in metals, including alloy design of Ni-based, Fe-based, Co-based, Cu-based, Al-based and Ti-based alloys ranging from melting, hot and cold working to post-processing evaluation.

Jablonski is the author/co-author of numerous publications and reports, has 14 patents granted and several more under review, is the recipient of four R&D 100 awards, the Secretary of Energy Achievement Award, the Carnegie Science Award and the Arthur S. Flemming Award, and is a Fellow of ASM.

Today's Campus Events

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

PhD Defense: Jason Noe

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Advisor: Paulus Van Susante Gravity Fed Hopper Flow of Bulk Solids for Lunar ISRU Attend Virtually:...


April NotMiSpecies Webinar

Join land managers across the state for this webinar series about invasive species. April's talk is titled "Untangling the Knot: Identifying Effective Detection and Treatment...


PhD Defense: Md Aamir Rahmani

Electrical Engineering Advisor: Bruce Mork Modeling of Inverter-Based Resources for Hardware in the Loop Testing of Protection and Control Schemes


PhD Defense: Fredrica Markson Eduaful

Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Advisor: Ronald Strickland Constructing Childhood Justice within postcolonial/decolonialized digital orthotopias:philanthropic websites as sites...


Design, Processing and Evaluation of Advanced Alloys

Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Dr. Paul Jablonski National Energy Technology Albany, OR Abstract There are 17 unique DOE laboratories. NETL is the lab that...


Master's Defense: Henry Summers

Materials Science and Engineering Advisor: Jaroslaw Drelich Zinc Corrosion-Fatigue: Effects of Thermal Treatment Attend Virtually:


Frontal Polymerization Enabled Patterning and Additive Manufacturing of Thermoset Polymers

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series proudly presents Aditya Kumar, PhD Georgia Tech Abstract Frontal polymerization (FP) is a rapid, energy-efficient technique for the...


MTU Observes the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024

The Department of Physics will hold a special colloquium Thursday, April 11 at 4:00 PM in Fisher Hall 139. Presented by Robert Nemiroff, Tiffany Lewis, and the MTU Eclipse...


Research Presentation: AC Faculty Candidate Haluk Kucuk

Department of Applied Computing Mechatronics/MERET tenure-track faculty candidate Haluk Kucuk will give a research presentation on Thursday, April 11, 2024, from 4-5 pm in...


Spring 2024 Little Huskies Girls Basketball Camp

Open to grades 2-5. Learning skills, working in a team, and having fun: that’s Michigan Tech’s Little Huskies Girls’ Basketball Camp. It’s a great introduction to the sport...


Huskies Group Swim Lessons - Learn to Swim Levels 1-5 - Spring 2024 Session 2

Come make a splash in Huskies Group Swim Lessons! American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim Levels 1-5 are being offered at the SDC Pool. Huskies Learn-to-Swim Levels 1-5 (ages 6-17...


Purple Hearts Presented by Michigan Tech Theatre

Purple Hearts, by C.S. Wallace, is the heartbreaking, inspiring, and sometimes funny story of three men who, in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, find themselves trapped...


Bryan Clay Invitational

Bryan Clay Invitational, at Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, Calif.