Nucor Industrial Control and Automation Lab Opens

A ceremony was held Monday to celebrate completion of the new Nucor Industrial Control and Automation Laboratory in the Electrical Energy Resources Center. The state-of-the-art facility was made possible by a $255,000 gift from Nucor Corporation, the largest manufacturer of steel products in North America.

The laboratory is a collaborative effort of Electrical Engineering Technology in the School of Technology and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering. It is an example of cooperation within Michigan Tech’s new Alliance for Computing, Information and Automation (ACIA), which combines common interests among established academic units to better equip future graduates and to align research activities with contemporary technological challenges.

The laboratory consists of eight portable Amatrol Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Learning Systems, equipped with Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5300 PLCs and Human Machine Interface (HMI). These trainers enhance the teaching of PLC concepts and HMI programming using the latest generation of PLCs. The new technology also includes a fluid flow Process Control Learning System equipped with a Honeywell PID controller and four mechatronic stations fully integrated with a Fanuc Robotics System, enabling teaching of advanced concepts of PLC programming and overall system troubleshooting skills.

PLCs are an integral part of nearly all industrial processes today. A PLC is a digital computer used for the automation of a variety of electromechanical processes, including temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise and resistance to vibration and impact. PLCs are often integrated with robotic technology.

"Graduates who will be employed in industries utilizing these systems must not only have basic knowledge of PLCs and robotics, but also the skills to integrate these systems," said Jim Frendewey, dean of the School of Technology. "The knowledge and experience students receive will produce well-educated graduates with practical, hands-on experience designing, configuring and troubleshooting industrial control systems."

Dan Fuhrmann, chair of electrical and computer engineering, said, "Knowledge and experience in control systems has been the single most sought-after skill set from our corporate recruiters looking to hire electrical engineering graduates, for the past several years. With the Nucor Laboratory we will take a major step forward in meeting the demands of industry and open up opportunities for our students.”

President Glenn Mroz emphasized the importance of the new lab as he spoke to those in attendance at the ceremony. "Michigan's economy has gone from one of the worst to 16th for growth among the states in a very short time,” he said. ”We're now in a renaissance in manufacturing, and the people graduating today have the knowledge and skills because of companies like Nucor who have made substantial investments in the education of Michigan Tech students. We realize that this represents a commitment both by Nucor and our faculty and staff that only comes about when people have a clear bead on priorities. We're thankful to Nucor for helping our students have the best.”

Kurt Kalenauskas, an electrical engineering technology senior, said he is “jealous of the new students who get to learn and work with the equipment and technology the Nucor laboratory has to offer.”

Nucor has an established relationship with Michigan Tech that began in 2008, when the company sent two representatives to a Career Fair. They were so impressed that they asked Career Services how Nucor could help Michigan Tech help its students.  Since then, the company has become a Career Services Gold Partner, providing financial support and sending several representatives to campus before each Career Fair to work directly with students on interview and resume preparation.

“Nucor recruits technical talent and future leaders at Michigan Tech because Tech graduates have proven to be successful Nucor teammates,” said Dave Davolt, electrical supervisor at the company. “Nucor’s relationship and involvement with Michigan Tech has grown stronger over the years. This is evident with Nucor’s investment in technology relevant to today’s manufacturing industry. With these investments and partnerships, Nucor hopes to better equip students for postgraduation opportunities, which we hope they seek with Nucor. “

Aleksandr Sergeyev, an associate professor in the School of Technology with a special interest in robotics, will head the new laboratory, with faculty from both Electrical Engineering Technology and Electrical and Computer Engineering teaching there. Hundreds of students each year will participate in laboratory activities, and those numbers are expected to grow with future development of new advanced courses made possible by the capabilities of the lab.  

Registration for D80 Center Conference Now Open

The eighth annual conference sponsored by Michigan Tech's international D80 Center will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, in the Dow.

This year's theme is "Engage in Community." The conference gives a platform to the voices of students serving communities in need both domestically and abroad. Sessions highlight service, community engagement and research work done by students from Michigan Tech and other universities.

Jonathan Mellor, from Yale University, will give the keynote presentation, "The Complexities of Water, Climate and Health." Mellor is a 2009 Michigan Tech Peace Corps Master's International alumnus.

Anyone interested in design and development for the most vulnerable 80 percent of humanity is invited to attend. Register by Saturday, Oct. 4, for a free lunch; registration closes on Wednesday, Oct. 8.

The programs within the D80 Center provide many education, service and research opportunities for students, staff and faculty interested in gaining valuable professional experience while making a difference in the lives of others.

Reminder: Coffee Chat Oct. 7 on Information Literacy Learning Goal

Join the Information Literacy Goal Committee for a collaborative primer about integrating information literacy instruction effectively and efficiently in your course or degree program.

The Information Literacy University Student Learning Goal (USLG) will be assessed University wide this year. This timely workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 7, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Please register online or call the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning at 7-3000 for assistance with registering for this event.

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act

Submitted by Human Resources

As part of a federal program, the campus community is being alerted to principles, laws and policies regarding drug and alcohol use on campus.

Human Resources is circulating to all employees via email the document “Alcohol and Other Drug Policy at Michigan Tech” as part of a national effort to prevent illicit use of drugs and alcohol by students and employees. 

This information, required by the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, includes in part:

  • Standards of conduct on school property
  • Local, state and federal laws
  • Health risks
  • Programs for counseling, treatment or rehabilitation
  • Sanctions against violators

For more information, contact Human Resources at 7-2280.

10th Annual Railroad Night and Rail Day Expo on Oct. 14

The Rail Transportation Program and Railroad Engineering and Activities Club invites the campus community to the 10th Annual Railroad Night, on Tuesday Oct. 14, in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The event is free to faculty, staff, students and members of the local community. A social hour starts at 6 p.m., followed by hors d'oeuvres and the keynote speech will be given by Tim Hoeffner '80 (CEE), director, Office of Rail, MDOT.

Railroad Night has become a tradition here at Michigan Tech, drawing nearly 150 people each year to an event showcasing the railroad industry. For the first time, the event has been moved to fall from its traditional place after Spring Career Fair. Faculty, staff and students can find more info and register on our website, or by contacting Dave Nelson (7-1734 ,

This year's event coincides with the first ever Rail Day and Expo. More than fourteen rail industry companies will be on campus between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to showcase the equipment and technology used in the rail industry. Railroad Club will also be serving lunch during the expo. 

Just before the Railroad Night, from 5 to 6 p.m., there will be a separate "Meet the Industry" session for students to hear about the opportunities in the rail industry. Prizes from our industry supporters will be raffled off.  All majors are encouraged to participate.

Provost Search Committee Formed

With the announcement by Max Seel that he would like to return to the faculty, a Provost Search Committee has been formed to begin the search for a new provost and vice president for academic affairs. The search committee held its organizational meeting on Sept. 19 and elected Wayne Pennington as chair and Sarah Green as associate chair. 

Other members of the committee are Nancy Barr (communication and senior design program advisor, MEEM), Les Cook (vice president for student affairs and advancement), Sarah Green (professor, Chemistry), Nathan Peterson (undergraduate student), Audrey Mayer (associate professor, Social Sciences), Lorelle Meadows (dean, Pavlis Honors College), Michael Mullins (professor, Chemical Engineering), Wayne Pennington (dean, College of Engineering), Dave Reed (vice president for research) and Sasha Teymorian (graduate student). 

Human Resources designated Ellen Horsch as a representative to serve without vote. Jill Hodges, director of institutional equity, will serve the committee as needed. 

Reminder: Register for Water Safety Instructor Training by Tomorrow

There is still time to register for the Water Safety Instructor Training course, which will take place Oct. 17-19 at the SDC Pool, and earn your American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Certification. 

Get training in water safety and drowning prevention and learn information needed to plan and teach courses in the Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program. Completion of this program will allow you to apply for group and private swim instructor positions within Michigan Tech Community Programs.
Participants must be 16 years of age. The cost to attend is $250 and includes all course materials and certification. The deadline to register is tomorrow. Class size is limited. 

Surplus Property Available Online to the Public

Michigan Tech surplus items are currently being sold online to the general public through Public Surplus, a government auction website. Individuals can register to bid on current auctions and sign up to receive future notifications of Tech surplus items. There is no cost to the University for the listings, as Public Surplus charges a premium to the buyer as their fee.

Reminder: Little Huskies Boys' Basketball League Starts Oct. 6

submitted by Michigan Tech Recreation

Open to boys in grades 3-8, Little Huskies Boys' Basketball League will run Oct. 6-9 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the SDC Multipurpose Room. The cost to participate is $40 per child ($20 per additional sibling) and includes a Little Huskies T-shirt and free access to all home men's basketball games. Little Huskies must wear their league T-shirt to get in free.

Participants will learn the fundamentals, improve their skills and play the game. As part of the Michigan Tech Little Huskies Boys' Basketball League, they get to learn from the pros and be a part of the action.

For more information or to register, see Michigan Tech Recreation.

Khana Khazana Serving Food From Three Countries Tomorrow

Khana Khazana, an international lunch cooked and served by international students, will feature a combination of Indian, Chinese and Cameroonian cuisine. The cooks are Abdul Qadeer, Jaswanth Kalavagadda, Lu Yang and Carine Tokam.  

The main dish is Indian Fish Curry. It will be served with Chinese Chicken Salad and nutritious papaya and mango juice mixed with milk and honey.

Khana Khazana serves from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Memorial Union Food Court. A full meal is $6.95 and includes a fountain soda. Individual items are available for $2.50 each.
Khana Khazana is a collaboration of international students and Dining Services. 

Meet the Hockey Coaches Tonight

The Michigan Tech Blue Line Club, Michigan Tech Athletics and the Keweenaw Chapter of Alumni and Friends is sponsoring a "Meet the Coaches" event tonight, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Begg Players' Lounge in the Grant Hockey Educational Center.

Coach Mel Pearson and his assistants will talk about the current state of the program, including last year's success, recruiting, new players and the upcoming 2014-15 season. Tours of the locker room, weight room, video board production room and ice making plant will be offered.

The event is free and open to the public.

Rail Transportation Program Hosting a Webinar Tomorrow

The Rail Transportation Program (RTP), part of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI), will host a railway webinar from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on "Instrumentation and Performance Monitoring of Railroad Track Transitions Using Multidepth Deflectometers and Strain Gauges." The webinar, which is scheduled for 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. tomorrow in Dillman 315, will be presented by Erol Tutumluer, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. You can also join from your own office. Detailed information is available on the UIUC website

John and Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture Series Seminar Oct. 7

Donald Paul, of the University of Texas at Austin, will present "Properties of Glassy Polymers at the Nanoscale Versus the Bulk State" on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m. Paul is presenting as part of Materials Science and Engineering's John and Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture Series. 

Remembering Professor Richard Honrath: Memorial Lecture on Monday

The Richard E. Honrath Memorial Lecture is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m. in M&M U115.

Richard C. Flagan, Irma and Ross McCollum/William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, California Institute of Technology, will present "Much Ado About Almost Nothing—Atmospheric Nanoparticles."

The lecture is sponsored by the Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) and the Richard E. Honrath Memorial Fund.

Honrath was a professor in the Departments of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, and he was the founding director of the atmospheric sciences program. He tragically died in a kayaking accident in 2009. 

Travel Grant Program Presentation Oct. 14

submitted by the University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections

Visiting scholar Camden Burd, a PhD student from the University of Rochester, will give a presentation, "Environmentalism at the Point of Extraction: Viewpoints, Politics and Memory in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the Environmental Movement," on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m. in the Van Pelt and Opie Library's East Reading Room.

Burd’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Job Posting

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources or online. For more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted. 

Food Service Helper
Dining Services
AFSCME Internal-Only Posting
Apply online.
Internal AFSCME applicants will be considered prior to any external applicant.  

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.