2024 Bhakta Rath Award Recipients Help Keep Sensitive Data Safe

Two Michigan Tech Researchers work on making personal computing devices safer in the lab focused on security and privacy at Michigan Tech.

Researcher Bo Chen (CS/ICC) and his former graduate student Niusen Chen ’23 have been working together for six years on a breakthrough capability designed to make mainstream mobile devices more secure. For their work to ensure that information can be stored safely and deleted permanently, they have been honored with the University’s 2024 Bhakta Rath Research Award.

“I have been working on data security research since I was a doctoral student. When I became a faculty member at Michigan Tech, I started to explore the unique technical challenges of data security faced in emerging mobile computing devices,” said Bo Chen. “This research is becoming more critical, as mobile computing devices are now extensively used to process personal and mission-critical data, while cyber attacks on these devices have significantly increased in recent years.”

Hear more about the duo’s accomplishments, their research and their plans for the future in a Q&A at Michigan Tech News.

Fall 2024 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for Fall 2024 Finishing Fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4 p.m. on June 26 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a Ph.D. student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a Finishing Fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a Finishing Fellowship.
  4. Must be eligible for candidacy (tuition charged at Research Mode rate) at the time of application.
  5. Must not hold a final oral examination ("defense") prior to the start of the award semester.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to Ph.D. candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding Ph.D. candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in the Michigan Tech Strategic Plan.

The Graduate School anticipates funding up to 10 fellowships with support ranging from $2,000 to full support (stipend plus tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

Fall 2024 ICC/GLRC Rapid Seedling Application Deadline

Applications for GLRC/ICC Rapid Seedling Awards for projects to be conducted in fall 2024 must be submitted by June 1.

The Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) and Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) are accepting applications for startup (seedling) projects undertaken by members of the joint institutes that aim to use the results of the research to scale into proposals to larger external funding opportunities.

The application and submission instructions can all be found on the GLRC/ICC Rapid Seedling Research Funding webpage. Questions will be addressed by emailing GLRC-ICC-ADMIN-L@mtu.edu.

Rapid Seedling Awards are available to members of the ICC and/or the GLRC. Those interested in joining can find resources on the ICC's Members page and/or the GLRC's Contact Information and Form page.

Parade of Nations Announces Student Logo Winner

The Parade of Nations Committee is thrilled to announce the winner of the student logo competition for this year's event. Isabella Tampas from Lake Linden-Hubbell High School has been selected as the winner for her playful design encapsulating the theme of "Holidays Around the World."

The Parade of Nations, an annual tradition organized by Michigan Tech, celebrates cultural diversity and unity within the campus community and the greater Houghton area. This year's theme, "Holidays Around the World," inspired students from across the region to submit their creative interpretations.

Tampas' winning design, which can be seen in a Parade of Nations Facebook post, stood out for its representation of various cultural festivities and cultures. Her hand-drawn artwork captures the youthful joy found in the spirits of the young (and young at heart) during times of celebration and holiday festivities.

"We were impressed by the outpouring of submissions this year. Nearly 60 students from across the entire Keweenaw, from all grade levels, sent the committee their themed art pieces. Many different styles and mediums, but all really joyful and thoughtful about world cultures. It’s clear these students are well supported by their teachers and parents," said Amanda Makela, Parade of Nations committee volunteer. "Isabella's design truly embodies the spirit of the Parade of Nations and will serve as a fitting symbol for this year's event."

The 2024 Parade of Nations, scheduled for Sept. 21, will feature themed floats and a walking parade, a colorful display of national flags representing countries from around the world, and international foods and entertainment. The event draws spectators to the downtown Houghton area each year and is a highlight of the local community calendar.

Tampas will be honored during the Parade of Nations ceremony and her art will be displayed on stickers and other marketing materials.

Submission and Formatting 101: Master the Dissertation, Thesis and Report Process

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents and submitting their documents. In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion! Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend. Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: Wednesday, May 22, from 2-4 p.m. (see a detailed schedule on our blog)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission.
  • Where: Virtually via Zoom (please register to attend online and receive participation instructions) and in person in Admin 404 (room capacity is 30).
  • Registration: Please register to receive handouts via email or attend online. The seminar will be available online as well as on campus.

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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

Associate Controller, Financial Services and Operations. Apply online.
Contact: MTU Internal Recruiting at 906-487-1976

Administrative Aide (12 months/ 40 hours/ first shift) #24048RP, Chemical Engineering (UAW posting dates May 15 to May 21, 2024 — external applicants are encouraged to apply; however, internal UAW applicants are given first consideration if they apply during the internal UAW posting dates). Apply online.
Contact: Kristi Pieti

Senior Office Assistant (12 months/ 40 hours/ first shift) #24141, Equal Opportunity Compliance and Title IX (UAW posting dates May 15 to May 21, 2024 — external applicants are encouraged to apply; however, internal UAW applicants are given first consideration if they apply during the internal UAW posting dates). Apply online.

Help Desk Consultant, Information Technology. Apply online.

College Digital Content Manager, University Marketing and Communications. Apply online.

Manager – College Access Programs, Center for Educational Outreach. Apply online.

Grounds Manager, Facilities Management. 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 humanresources@mtu.edu.

New Funding

Tan Chen (ECE) is the principal investigator (PI) on a project that has received a $174,939 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is titled "CRII: RI: Towards Robust and Efficient Bipedal Robot Locomotion on the Moon through Reinforcement Learning."

This is a potential two-year project.


Tan Chen (ECE) is the PI on a project that has received a $148,414 research and development grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The project is titled "Investigating Lunar Bipedal Locomotion Mechanics and Predicting Human Musculoskeletal Health on the Moon."

Steven Elmer (KIP) is a co-PI on this potential two-year award.

In the News

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development mentioned Michigan Tech in a press release about eight projects awarded Farm Innovation Grants, which support sustainable and climate smart agriculture practices. MTU received $423,300 for the project “Improving Climate Resiliency and Economic Return of Michigan's Labor-Intensive Produce Using Low-Cost, Modular Robotic Fleets.” The release was picked up by Morning Ag Clips.


The Mining Journal mentioned Michigan Tech’s partnerships with the Copper Shores Community Health Foundation in a story about the foundation’s 10th anniversary celebration, held Saturday (May 11) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The story was picked up from the Daily Mining Gazette.


Facilitators Sought for Orientation to Graduate Studies and Research

The Graduate School is seeking facilitators for our Orientation to Graduate Studies and Research online training. This training fulfills the basic Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training required for all graduate students by the America Competes Acts.

Facilitators will interact online with a group of graduate students beginning Aug. 21 and ending approximately Aug. 30. These students have been accepted into research-based graduate programs, so this is an excellent opportunity for faculty to meet their new students or for senior Ph.D. students to welcome them into the program.

We will hold a Zoom orientation to highlight your responsibilities on Aug. 14 from 2-3 p.m. Please register online to participate.

Please contact Debra Charlesworth at ddc@mtu.edu with any questions.


MTU-Bound Seniors Could Win $1,000 for Thoughts on Keweenaw Diversity

The Michigan Tech Parade of Nations is sponsoring an essay contest for area high school seniors who are planning to attend Michigan Tech in the coming fall. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Since 1989, the Houghton and Hancock communities have celebrated the rich cultural diversity of the Keweenaw through the Parade of Nations, and this scholarship promotes and celebrates the impact of this diversity on tomorrow’s local scholars.

This year's essay prompt is:

“Our community becomes stronger when people from various backgrounds, experiences and perspectives come together. How have you built connections with individuals different from you? How can you contribute to creating a sense of identity and belonging for all students at Michigan Tech?”

The entry deadline is June 30. Essays can be submitted through the Parade of Nations Scholarship Contest Application.


Sustainability Film: 'The Engine Inside'

"The Engine Inside" (2023) is the final film of the 2024 Sustainability Film & Discussion Series, coordinated by the Michigan Tech Office of Sustainability and Resilience. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. tomorrow (May 16) in Fisher 138 on Michigan Tech's campus. Film length is 81 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 Office of Sustainability and Resilience.

"The Engine Inside" follows 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!

If possible, participants are encouraged to ride their bikes to the film, since it's now light outside till 9 p.m. or later.

Bryant Weathers (ADV) will facilitate the discussion after the film. He’s a born and raised Yooper, silent sports enthusiast (biker, hiker, runner, Nordic skier) and Michigan Tech’s director for charitable gift planning.

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: The final film will be shown Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Fisher 138 (refreshments in lobby)
  • Cost: Free! $5 donations are greatly appreciated — make a donation.

Today's Campus Events

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PhD Defense: Venkata Satya Sai Revanth Mattey

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Advisor: Susanta Ghosh Phase field modeling for fracture and phase separation using numerical methods and machine learning