Crowdfunding Projects To Engage Young People in STEM Careers

If you want to help young people—and particularly female young people—get hooked on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), now is your chance. Two new projects have been posted on Superior Ideas, Michigan Technological University’s crowdfunding website.

The projects, posted by the Center for Pre-College Outreach, enable anyone to help support two of Michigan Tech’s most successful K–12 STEM outreach programs: Get WISE and Tivitz.

“Get WISE brings 250 local seventh and eighth grade girls to campus for a day,” explained Liz Fujita, assistant coordinator for the Center for Pre-College Outreach. “The girls do activities in groups, have friendly competition and complete engineering challenges—like building a bridge with household materials and testing it.” The girls also meet role models, including women Tech students and successful alumnae, and they leave with lessons and kits to bring home and back to school.

The second program, Tivitz, is “a mash-up of checkers and arithmetic,” Fujita said. “The students learn to play the game in school, then come to Tech to compete round-robin style. For a lot of the younger students, this is their first experience at a university.”

In addition to the game, the fourth through seventh grade students do three math-related activities to round out their daylong field trip to campus. 

For the full story, see Michigan Tech News.

Michigan Tech Research Aims to Identify Potential Highway, Railroad Problems Before They Cause Trouble

While we’re able to enjoy timeless scenery as we travel in the United States, it’s important to realize that the soils and rocks forming the base of these transportation systems may not forever be stable.

In a new project led by Michigan Tech, Thomas Oommen, assistant professor of geological and mining engineering and sciences, heads a team that is using advanced technology to develop a comprehensive management system to monitor our nation’s geotechnical assets—the ground that forms the base for the concrete, asphalt or steel that makes up our transportation system. Co-investigators include Colin Brooks, senior research scientist at the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI); Pasi Lautala, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Stan Vitton, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Keith Cunningham, a research professor from the University of Alaska–Fairbanks.

The one common theme for US transportation infrastructure is that it is supported by the ground, constructed over it, through it or next to it. Scientists call these natural bases geotechnical assets. The problem, however, is that we do not have a comprehensive program in the US to monitor the geotechnical assets of our transportation corridors. That is, until now.

“There are so many geotechnical assets in road, rail and pipeline transportation systems,” Oommen says. “And the first question people ask is why there is no comprehensive monitoring of these assets. It is because the scale of the task is huge!”

The team has worked in a variety of locations, from Detroit’s highways to western railways to Alaskan pipelines. To date, studies have taken place in Michigan, Nevada and Alaska.

For the full story, see Michigan Tech News.

Film Festival Brings Award-Winning Films and Filmmakers to the Rozsa

The 41 North Film Festival (formerly Northern Lights Film Festival) celebrates its 10th anniversary with a name change and an outstanding slate of recent award-winning films and special guests. It will be held Oct. 23-26 in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Kicking off the festival this year will be director Mark Levinson and his documentary "Particle Fever," which follows six scientists involved in the launch of the Large Hadron Collider—the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet. The film, screened Thursday evening, provides an unprecedented window into this major scientific breakthrough as it happened. Edited by Academy Award–winner Walter Murch, the film celebrates human discovery and raises important questions about the limits of human knowledge.

An interesting contrast to "Particle Fever" is "The Circle," a perspective on the Large Hadron Collider from above ground. Director Bram Conjaerts delves into the experiences of the people who live above the LHC along its 27-kilometer path and how they perceive living above this massive project and its lofty goals.

Also on tap is "Meet the Patels," a project that started as a family vacation video and turned into the story of actor/director Ravi Patel and his relationship with the woman of his dreams and his parents. His father, in fact, is a Tech alumnus, and father and son will participate in a question-and-answer session following the screening.

Additional screenings include "The Overnighters" and "Boyhood" on Saturday and "Alive Inside" and "Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity" on Sunday. Friday features "Coherence" and a collection of student Academy Award winners in addition to "Meet the Patels." Read the complete listing online.

The 41 North Film Festival showcases award-winning independent films and filmmakers from around the region, country and world. Its mission is to provide Michigan Tech students and the surrounding community with an opportunity to critically engage films that are currently in distribution and under discussion, as well as the chance to interact with filmmakers, producers and other industry professionals about the art and business of cinematic storytelling.

This year’s festival is sponsored by the Department of Humanities, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, the College of Sciences and Arts, the Office of Institutional Equity and the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series (VWMLS), which is funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit the festival website or contact Erin Smith at

Late-Drop Policy

submitted by the Registrar's Office

The last day to drop full-term fall semester classes is Friday, Nov. 7, by 5 p.m. All drops must be done in person in the Student Service Center. Drops cannot be done via the web.

Please note the following:

  • The last day to drop Track B classes (those classes that began on Oct. 20) with a refund is Thursday, Oct. 23.
  • The last day to drop Track B classes with no grade is Wednesday, Oct. 29.
  • The last day to drop Track B classes with a "W" grade is Friday, Nov. 21.

According to the University policy on late drops, "After the tenth week of the semester, a student may request a late drop from the Dean of Students Office, which will consider those requests that involve circumstances beyond the student’s control."

Extenuating circumstances may include (but are not limited to) prolonged illness, serious accidents and death in the immediate family or of a close friend. No late drops will be granted to avoid poor grades.

All requests must be made in writing. Instructions for late drops are available in the Dean of Students Office, Administration 130.

The process for graduate students to drop courses can be found online.

Purchasing Consumables for Your IT Equipment

Need toner or ink refills for your copier or printer? To guarantee equipment compatibility, please place these orders through Michigan Tech IT; incompatible toner refills can damage your equipment and void the warranty. To order, send an email to with the make and model of your equipment, the type of toner/refill you need and an account number for billing.

Michigan Tech IT purchases toner from a distributor that guarantees the product to be genuine and covered under warranty. When purchased campus-wide, we are able to determine the quantity of toner the campus needs as a whole and order in bulk. This allows us to keep supplies available on demand and results in a lower purchase cost for all affected departments.

Contact IT at 7-1111 or with any questions.

Combo International Lunch on Friday

Khana Khazana will serve food from three countries at its weekly international lunch this Friday. Thai Gluay and Mon Thod (fried plantain and potato flavored with coconut and sesame), Syrian Fattoush salad and Indonesian Chicken Satay will be cooked by Ochin Nuchitprasitchai, Zainab Alshoug and Igus Anwar.

Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union Food Court. A full meal costs $6.95 and includes a fountain soda. Individual items are available for $2.50 each.

Khana Khazana is a collaboration between international students and Dining Services.

Reminder: Halloween Ice Skating Party Saturday

Dress up in your favorite costume and join us for the third annual Halloween Skating Party on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

This event, hosted by the Michigan Tech Learn to Skate Program and the Michigan Tech Figure Skating Club, features family fun, games, treat street and a costume parade and contest.

Admission is $7. Purchase tickets at the SDC Ticket Office.

For more information, contact Michigan Tech Recreation at 7-2975 or visit the website.

Reminder: Lunch and Learn Tomorrow

Benefit Services and the Little Huskies Child Development Center will host a Lunch and Learn tomorrow, from noon to 1 p.m. in Memorial Union Alumni Lounge A. Child psychologist Susan Donnelly will present "The Brain on Play," which focuses on children, birth through age five. All employees are welcome; bring your lunch, and beverages will be provided.

EPSSI Seminar Monday

Hunter J. Carrick, professor of aquatic ecosystems ecology, from the Department of Biology and Institute for Great Lakes Research at Central Michigan University, will present "Occurrence of Key Members in Lake Michigan’s Food Web: Contribution to a Changing Ecosystem" on Monday, Oct. 27, at 4 p.m. in M&M U113. Carrick’s lecture is part of the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Institute seminar series.


In Print

Postdoctoral associate Shilei Zhu, graduate student Jingtuo Zhang, postdoctoral associate Jagadeesh Janjanam, graduate student Giri Vegesna, assistant professor Ashutosh Tiwari, professor Haiying Liu (Chem), et al. published a paper titled "Highly Water-Soluble BODIPY-Based Fluorescent Probes for Sensitive Fluorescent Sensing of Zinc (II)" in Journal of Materials Chemistry B. This paper has been named one of the Most Accessed Manuscripts for Journal of Materials Chemistry B for 2013.

Graduate students Giri K. Vegesna, Jianheng Bi, Jingtuo Zhang, postdoctoral associate Jagadeesh Janjanam, undergraduate student Connor Olds, Assistant Professor Ashutosh Tiwari, Professor Haiying Liu (Chem), et al published a paper titled ".pH-Activatable Near-Infrared Fluorescent Probes for Detection of Lysosomal pH Inside Living Cells" in Journal of Materials Chemistry B.

Professor Haiying Liu (Chem), et al. published a paper titled "Interfacial Charge Transfer Events of BODIPY Molecules: Single Molecule Spectroelectrochemistry and Substrate Effects" in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

Job Postings

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.

Assistant/Associate Professor
Computer Science
Apply online.

Assistant/Associate Professor—Big Data or Visualization
Computer Science
Apply online

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