A Winning Combination: Computer Science and Psychology Help Husky Chart Her Own Course

A computer science and psychology student smiles from her table in the Library with Michigan Tech's College of Computing in the background.

Graduating senior Hunter Malinowski followed in the footsteps of family members who attended Michigan Tech, but also found ways to blaze her own trail.

Malinowski made her Tech experience unique by pursuing dual degrees in computer science and psychology, and diving into research experiences. A meticulous planner, she also learned that embracing the unexpected can lead to exciting opportunities.

“The more I’ve done with psychology and computer science, the more I realize how many connections there are, from designing a website to the user interface and user experience,” Malinowski said. “I want to go into the data science/machine learning field. I think there’s a lot to be said about the psychology perspective for that.”

See Malinowski’s Tech Family Tree and find out why she’s headed back to campus this fall at Stories from Husky Nation.

Greek Week Returns

Last week, you may have noticed new chalk art, students chasing one another vying for clothespins, new energy in the library, rakes and brooms cleaning the campus and downtown Houghton, or large crowds at the Michigan Tech recreational fields. What you saw was the first Greek Week in five years. Chapters competed for bragging rights and to add their name to the Greek Week and Volleyball Tournament trophies.

This year's Greek Week offered games such as pool, darts and bowling, but also other more meaningful events, such as the campus and community cleanup where 170 fraternity and sorority members signed up to beautify campus grounds and downtown. Overall, students gave nearly 300 hours of service last Saturday (April 13) during their campus and community cleanup, and they raised several hundred dollars for a local nonprofit organization, 31 Backpacks, at their charity volleyball tournament.

The 2024 Greek Week winner is Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, who earned the most points over the week. The charity volleyball tournament champions are Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.

To learn more about Greek Life, visit the Student Leadership and Involvement website. Additionally, visit Michigan Tech's Interfraternity Council on Instagram @mtu_ifc and Tech's Panhellenic Council on Instagram @mtu_panhellenic.

SWE Hosts Girl Scout Engineering Days at MTU and Grand Rapids

Girl Scouts Engineering Day at MTU
On March 9, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) section at Michigan Tech hosted their annual Girl Scouts Engineering Day for over 35 scouts in the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.

The Brownies and Daisies "Molded the Future," using Play-Doh to create robotic gripper designs to pick up unique shapes. The scouts then used a digital scanner to see what their models looked like on a computer and learned about the 3D printing process. This session was led by Shane Oberloier, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

The Juniors and Cadettes participated in sessions sponsored by MTU's Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors (ACSHF) program and ECE. In one session, the scouts learned about human factors under the guidance of Kelly Steelman, chair and associate professor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS), while the second session, "FANtastic Controllers," focused on computer programming, microcontrollers and circuit building. The scouts assembled a circuit that included an Arduino board, a power supply module, a logic chip and a DC motor to create a working fan. Next, they engaged in programming the circuit, gaining insights into the fundamentals of computer science and serial communication.

To make this event successful, Tech students from Blue Marble Security Enterprise and the Open Source Hardware Enterprise volunteered. SWE appreciates the support we received from ACSHF and ECE. Planning has already begun for the 2025 Girl Scout event!

Engineering Days in Niles and Grand Rapids
SWE members Tory Cantrell (mechanical engineering) and Carsyn Boggio (environmental engineering), ECE students Skyler Brawley (computer engineering) and Emily Roth (electrical engineering), and SWENexter Jenna Beaudoin, a Lake Linden-Hubbell High School senior, worked with Girl Scouts and Ring Lardner Middle School students in Niles, Michigan, on April 6. Sophie Owen ’22 (B.S. Electrical Engineering) helped the students construct their circuits.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Amy (Palmgren) Rokos ’08 (B.S. Computer Engineering) joined us and helped with the event. Lilly, a fourth grader and Junior Girl Scout, commented, “I liked the programing. I had to do math, but it was fun! I’m excited to do more things with my kit at home.” (Every participant not only used components, but was given an Arduino kit to take home.)

SWE sends a huge shoutout to Brawley and Beaudoin, who worked hard to design this integrated outreach activity, and to academic advisor Lauren Huested (ECE), who obtained the funding for this trip through a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The funds needed to be used on K-12 outreach that would teach students about EE concepts (specifically motors), making the Arduino/motorized fan kit a perfect fit!

Thanks to our vice president for Global Campus and continuing education, David Lawrence, who permitted us to use the grant funding, we were able to pay for the cost of supplies and travel for the events.

SWE also thanks the College of Engineering and the ECE department for their support, along with the CLS department. Outreach events are exciting opportunities for us to interact with future Michigan Tech Huskies!

ChE Holding Convocation 2024 Tomorrow

Students, faculty and staff will be presented awards tomorrow (April 19) at the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE) Convocation, held in the MUB Alumni Lounge starting at 2 p.m.

Student award recipients will be announced for the following:

  • Chair’s Award for Outstanding Chemical Engineering Senior
    This award recognizes a graduating ChE senior for their academic achievement, experiential learning activities and community engagement. This award consists of a certificate and monetary award in the amount of $1,000.

  • Outstanding Sophomore and Outstanding New Student Awards
    These awards recognize an outstanding second-year student and an outstanding new student in chemical engineering who have demonstrated exemplary academic performance in coursework and exhibited excellence in related academic enrichment activities such as research, internship/co-op work experience and the Enterprise Program.

  • Excellence in Communication Award
    This award acknowledges the critical role that effective communication plays in successful leadership and recognizes a graduating ChE senior for their effective use of communication of the highest standard.

  • Professional Ethics Award
    This award recognizes a student who has exhibited exemplary ethics and admirable professional conduct during Plant Design and Unit Operations experiences and throughout their academic career at Michigan Tech.

  • Prevent Accidents With Safety (PAWS) Award
    The PAWS Undergraduate Lab Safety Program is a comprehensive safety program requiring training, constant vigilance and incident reporting and documentation systems — all with an eye toward critical review and continuous improvement. The PAWS program provides a framework to develop the necessary safety culture within the student community.

  • Dow Chemical Marriott W. Bredekamp Award
    This award recognizes outstanding technical skills in the laboratory, outstanding teamwork and professionalism, effective oral and written communication and strong adherence to process safety practices as recognized by your peers and supported by the faculty of the department. This award is in memory of Marriott W. Bredekamp.

  • Senior Design Team Awards
    John Patton, as chair and faculty member, initiated much of today's design course content in ChE. He brought his experiences at Exxon to the classroom to provide students with a systematic way to design and analyze a new, large-scale capital project. This award recognizes the student team in CM4861 that created the best plant design and recommendation for Fictitious Chemical Company.

  • Davis W. Hubbard Outstanding Rising Senior Award
    The eligible candidate for this award has completed all their junior-level core chemical engineering courses. Selection is based on GPA for coursework done at Michigan Tech, research engagement and internship/co-op work experience. The award consists of a certificate and monetary award in the amount of $1,000.

  • Department Awards
    Additionally, ChE students will vote on these categories to honor our outstanding department employees and awards will be presented for:

    Teacher of the Year
    Research Mentor of the Year
    Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year
    Undergraduate Grader of the Year
    Staff Making a Difference
    Peer Mentor and Coach of the Year

Educational Session: Export Controls and Foreign National Restrictions

The Vice President for Research Office will host an educational session, "Review of Export Controls and Foreign National Restrictions," from noon to 1:30 p.m. on May 2 in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom (B side).

This session is designed to help faculty and staff understand and address export controls/foreign national restrictions considerations when conducting research. Topics covered will include:

  • Managing technical data, intellectual property and proprietary materials
  • Defining and working with foreign nationals, publishing and teaching
  • Exporting and licensing considerations

Please reach out to rd-l@mtu.edu with any questions.

BioMed Seminar Series Speaker: Wen Li

The next and final guest speaker in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BioMed) Seminar Series will present tomorrow (April 19) at 3 p.m. in person in Dillman 204 and virtually via Zoom.

Wen Li from Michigan State University will present "Miniaturized, Hybrid Opto-Electro-Chemo Neuroprosthetic Devices."

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

In the News

Jared Anderson (VPA) was quoted by the Keweenaw Report in a story previewing Michigan Tech Music’s upcoming “Mosaic for Earth” concert, featuring the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Tech Choirs. The concert will be held Saturday (April 20) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.


Lei Pan (ChE) was quoted by Michigan Advance 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. The story was picked up from Interlochen Public Radio.


The Milwaukee School of Engineering listed Michigan Tech among the competitors in the Cast in Steel 2024 competition, being hosted at MSOE from April 21-25.


The Air Force Research Laboratory mentioned Michigan Tech in a story previewing the Aerospace Propulsion Outreach Program’s 15th annual symposium and poster session at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday (April 19). MTU students are participating in the event. The story was picked up from DVIDS.


MS Defense: Dylan Kangas, ECE

M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering candidate Dylan Kangas will present his master's defense today (April 18) at 3 p.m. in person in EERC 122 and virtually via Zoom.

The title of Kangas' defense is "Developing Robust Autonomous Vehicles with ROS."

Kangas is advised by Jin Choi and Timothy Havens.


AC Faculty Candidate Presentation with Syed Ahmed

Department of Applied Computing (AC) mechatronics/MERET tenure-track faculty candidate Syed Ahmed will give a research presentation today (April 18) at 9:30 a.m. in Fisher 325.

The title of Ahmed’s presentation is “Development and Optimal Control of Autonomous Robotic System for Smart Agriculture.”

Also today, faculty and students are invited to visit with Ahmed in Fisher 325 — students prior to the research presentation from 8:30-9:30 a.m. and faculty afterward from 11 a.m. to noon.

Read Ahmed's bio and presentation abstract on the Computing News Blog.


Today's C3 Luncheon

Menu for Thursday (April 18):

  • Teriyaki Pork Loin (AD) (Contains: Soy, Sesame)
  • Vegetable Stir Fry (Vegan, AD) (Contains: Soy, Sesame)
  • Basmati Rice (Vegan, AD, AG)
  • Chef Vegetables (Vegan, AD, AG)
  • Vegetable Spring Rolls (Vegetarian) (Contains: Sesame, Dairy, Gluten, Egg)
  • Garden Salad (Vegan)
  • Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

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).

This week is the last C-Cubed Luncheon for the semester. We look forward to seeing you again in the fall!

AG = Avoiding Gluten
AD = Avoiding Dairy


CFRES Seminar with Ruth Yanai

The College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES) will host a seminar at 12:30 p.m. today (April 18) in Noblet G002 with speaker Ruth Yanai, distinguished professor, Sustainable Resources Management, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

The title of Yanai''s talk is "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Co-limitation in Northern Hardwood Forest Ecosystems."

From the abstract:
Co-limitation is defined as the coincident limitation of biological activity by multiple resources. According to theories of resource optimization, co-limitation should be common as organisms adjust to changes in the availability of resources in the environment. We evaluated co-limitation of tree growth in a factorial field experiment in northern hardwood forests where N and P commonly limit productivity and environmental stressors such as acid rain, N deposition, elevated CO2, and land-use and climate change have disrupted natural processes. The cycling of one nutrient changed in response to addition of the other through synergistic interactions and feedbacks between N and P, including microbial recycling, soil enzymes and foliar nutrient resorption; these responses were suggestive of some degree of N-P co-limitation. In mid-successional and mature forest stands, average tree diameter growth was greater in N+P plots than in single nutrient addition plots, indicating N-P co-limitation. Surprisingly, fine root growth increased, rather than decreased, in response to nutrient addition, with significantly greater root growth in N+P plots in five successional stands and in N-addition plots in three mature stands. Collectively, these results illustrate the complexity of the interactions between macronutrients in regulation of production processes in forest ecosystems.


MSE Seminar with Distinguished Lecturer Chao-Jun Li

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is hosting John and Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecturer Chao-Jun Li, professor, McGill University, today (April 18) from 1-2 p.m. in M&M 610.

The title of the presentation is "Inventing Reactions for Green and Sustainable Chemical Syntheses."

From the abstract:
The efficient making of new molecules is central to any chemical products in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical, fine chemical, material science and electronic industries. On the other hand, the state-of-art chemical productions are generally based on non-renewable fossil-resources, often require lengthy transformations, and have low overall efficiency. Towards future sustainability in chemical productions, innovations in chemical science and technologies are imperative, to transform readily available naturally abundant resources and functionality into high valued products directly, guided by the principles of Green Chemistry. C-C bond formation is the essence of chemical syntheses, among which organometallic reactions (nucleophilic addition, conjugate additions, and cross-couplings) play the central role. For over 30 years, we have been exploring various novel C-C bond formation reactions that can simplify synthesis, decrease overall waste generation and maximize resource utilization, directly using naturally abundant feedstocks and functionalities. In this talk, we will discuss our effort in this endeavor with a focus on more recent developments of this subject. 

Li received his Ph.D. at McGill University in 1992 and was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. He was an assistant (1994), associate (1998) and full professor (2000) at Tulane University. Since 2003, he has been a Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Green Chemistry and E. B. Eddy Chair Professor at McGill University. He has also served as the co-director for Quebec’s FQRNT Center for Green Chemistry and Catalysis since 2009.

Li was a pioneer in using water as a green solvent and a leader in developing green chemistry for chemical synthesis. He was listed as a highly cited researcher by Thomson Reuters (2014-17).  He received the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award (1997) and the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2001), as well as the 2010 Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Award; the 2015 R. U. Lemieux Award and 2018 Alfred Bader Award of the Canadian Chemical Society; the 2020 Catalysis Award and the 2022 CIC Medal of CIC; the 2021 Alexander von Humboldt Research Award; and the 2018 Killam Research Fellow of the Canadian Council of Arts, among others.

Li was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2012), a Fellow of the U.K.'s Royal Society of Chemistry (2007), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012), a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada (2013), a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2015), a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (2016), and a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences (2020).


ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker: Robert Wheeler

The next Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) Graduate Seminar speaker will present at 4 p.m. today (April 18) in MEEM 112.

Robert Wheeler will present “Engineering Finite Element Tires for Predicting Vibration Performance.”

Wheeler is a vice president in Hankook Tire and Technology currently managing a virtual technology engineering group at their America Technical Center. He has 40 years of engineering and management experience specializing in prediction and measurement methods to quantify and improve product vibration performance; the last 31 years in new tire development.

Today's Campus Events

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Research Presentation: AC Faculty Candidate Syed Ahmed

Department of Applied Computing Mechatronics/MERET tenure-track faculty candidate Syed Ahmed will give a research presentation on Thursday, April 18, 2024, at 9:30 am in...


Tescan FIB-SEM and STEM Lunch and Learn

You're invited to join us for a special Lunch and Learn event sponsored by Tescan. Advancements in FIB-SEM and STEM Technologies with Tescan Explore the latest developments...


Inventing Reactions for Green and Sustainable Chemical Syntheses

John and Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecturer Professor Chao-Jun Li McGill University Abstract The efficient making of new molecules is central to any chemical products...


Master's Defense: Dylan Kangas

Electrical and Computer Engineering Co-advisors: Jin Choi and Timothy Havens Developing Robust Autonomous Vehicles with ROS Attend Virtually:...


Engineering Finite Element Tires for Predicting Vibration Performance

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series proudly presents Robert Wheeler Hankook Tire and Technology Abstract This presentation addresses techniques used to predict and...


Spring 2024 Little Huskies Boys' Basketball Camp

Learning skills, working as a team, and having fun: that’s Michigan Tech’s Little Huskies Boys’ Basketball Camp! It’s about the best introduction to basketball you can...


American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Blended Learning Course

Earn your American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification in this 4-day intensive training course located at the Michigan Tech SDC Pool April 18-21. The certification includes...


Sustainability Film: Climate Sisu

Sustainability Film and Discussion Series Climate Sisu (2022, 55 min.) Description Take a journey through Michigan in search of community knowledge about climate action,...