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TechCentury Magazine visits CMU School of Engineering & Technology

"My next visit was with Terry Lerch, interim director of the CMU School of Engineering and Technology. Lerch told me that like most Michigan engineering programs, enrollment at CMU is going up — to about..."


CMU engineering professor leads program to support STEM learning in underrepresented groups.

$561,793 National Science Foundation grant supports science and engineering education

Kumar Yelamarthi, associate professor of engineering in Central Michigan University's College of Science and Technology, has been awarded a $561,793 grant from the National Science Foundation along with Janis Voege, director of the Central Michigan​ Science/Mathematics/Technology Center.  Led by Yelamarthi, the NSF grant will help establish a strong science and engineering learning partnership between Central Michigan University and other educational entities in rural Michigan, and support them as they raise the STEM knowledge base of their students, increasing their opportunities for employment and for becoming entrepreneurs.

Over the three-year grant period, CMU engineering faculty will mentor in-service secondary school teachers, community college faculty, and pre-service teachers from CMU's science education program, with a focus on those serving groups that are underrepresented in science and engineering. 

"Engaging pre-service teachers in cutting-edge research ensures that they begin their careers well-equipped with research experience and confidence to take into their classrooms," Yelamarthi said.  "Similarly, pre-service teachers with nurtured next generation science standards (NGSS) based curriculum design and implementation expertise will take on leadership roles in their employing schools, thereby multiplying the effect of this project."

Program participants will begin by engaging in cutting-edge research on Smart Vehicles, under the guidance of a CMU engineering faculty mentor who leads an active research program.

Researching Smart Vehicles will allow the participants to be "exposed to leading research spanning mobile robotics, kinematics and kinetics, vehicle manufacturing robots, vehicular sensor networks, ergonomics, material science, and circuit design," Yelamarthi said.  "The multidisciplinary nature of Smart Vehicles will provide a coherent ground for developing creative course modules in physics, chemistry, engineering, and technology that aligns with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Criteria for STEM curriculum."

Ongoing activities throughout the academic year will include on-site instructional coaching, team meetings, engineering faculty involvement in secondary school and community college classrooms, and cross classroom collaborations to ensure the proper translation of research experience into practice.

Participants will work cooperatively with CMU engineering faculty mentors, curriculum development specialists, instructional coaches from CMU's Science/Mathematics/Technology Center, and staff from CMU's Center for Teaching and Learning to create new instructional material on engineering principles for middle and high school students, create improved instructional resources for community college faculty, develop a national model for replication at other institutions, and generate technological advancements in the broader area of Smart Vehicles

The goal, upon completion of the program, is to provide participants with the necessary technical and pedagogical resources to be able to influence the learning and career paths of young students in rural Michigan who have traditionally been underrepresented in STEM education and employment, with the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes that are in high demand.


​​CMU Electrical Engineering Sophomore to Spend this Summer in Japan

April 20, 2015 - Katherine Kolar, an Electrical Engineering sophomore researching Photonics and Optical Communications in Dr. Adam Mock's lab, is the first ever CMU student and 1 of only 14 students nation-wide, to be accepted to this year's NanoJapan IREU: International R​esearch Experience for Undergraduates Program.

The NanoJapan Program is a 12-week, summer research internship focusing on Terahertz (THz) Dynamics in Nanostructures.  The program is open to freshman and sophomore engineering and physics students from universities nationwide and is supported by an NSF Partnerships for International Research & Education (NSF-PIRE) grant.

This summer the program will focus on nanotechnology and encourage U.S. undergraduate students to pursue graduate study and academic research in the physical sciences.

The program has been nationally recognized as an innovative and effective model for international STEM programs. In 2012, NanoJapan was profiled in a National Academy of Engineering Report and in 2008 NanoJapan received the IIE Heiskell Award as a 'Best Practice in Study Abroad' for expanding opportunities for STEM students.

"I can't wait to be in Japan this summer," said Katherine, "learning more about the Japanese culture and doing research in such a cutting-edge field."

Katherine will travel to Japan in May, and after some cultural, nano-science, and Japanese training, will travel to her host lab at Chiba University in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, to begin her research on the study and fabrication of Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2) Transistors which show promise in creating new electronic devices in renewable energy or even optoelectronics.


More Awards for CMU's Baja Team​

March 24, 2015 - The Mid-Michigan section of SAE International held their annual Engineers Week Banquet last month showcasing SAE Collegiate Chapter entries in the Collegiate Design Series.

Eight teams from four universities including CMU, U of M-Flint, Kettering, and Michigan Tech presented their 2014 accomplishments and their goals for the 2015 competition seasons. 

Judges evaluated the presentations and awarded this year’s SAE Collegiate Cup to CMU’s Baja Team to honor the best Collegiate Design Series presentation.​


Che Ting Ho nominated to compete for Goldwater Scholarship

February 19, 2014 - Che Ting Ho, a sophomore che-ting-hofrom Alma, Mich. majoring in biomedical engineering, has been nominated to compete for a Goldwater Scholarship.

Ho is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the Science and Technology Residential College.

She is currently working on a research project with assistant professor of electrical engineering Tolga Kaya, involving electrotation. Their goal is to develop a technique for detecting disease through the entrapment and rotation of diseased cells.

"This could potentially help medical professionals detect diseases, such as cancer, more quickly," Ho said.

Ho is currently working to direct the movement of polymer particles, a technique that she hopes to eventually use to separate diseased cells from healthy ones.

"Our goal is to induce the diseased cells to gather at the center of an electromagnetic field where we can trap them," she said.

Ho was first introduced to Kaya as a student in one of his courses. Impressed by her problem-solving skills and strong work ethic, he offered Ho the chance to help design and fabricate printed circuit boards for a summer program called Research Experience for Teachers. RET provides pre- and in-service teachers with research skills and projects to incorporate into their own classrooms.

This past summer, Kaya offered Ho the opportunity to join his research team. She was grateful for the opportunity to become involved in faculty-led research. "I love research because it challenges not only my knowledge and technical skills, but also my creativity," Ho said.

Ho plans to earn an M.D. or Ph.D. and pursue prosthetics-related research, an area that she became interested in after learning that many people living with disabilities cannot afford current models. Ho hopes to design more affordable prothestics using lower cost materials to improve the quality of life for individuals who have suffered amputations.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Barry Goldwater, who served for 56 years as a soldier and U.S. Senator. Scholarships are awarded each year to 300 college sophomores and juniors committed to pursuing research careers in mathematics, engineering or the natural sciences.

New MSA helps engineers, students gain career-advancing management skills

February 18, 2014 - CMU's College of Science and Technology and Global Campus are introducing a master of science in administration degree and graduate certificate in engineering management. The program will give professional engineers and engineering studetns the leadership and team-building skills they need to advance in management positions.

Developed by Trisha Chase in the MSA department and School of Engineering and Technology director Mohamad Qatu, the new MSA is available in a face-to-face instructional setting in metro Detroit and will be offered online this fall.

"This program targets working engineers, technologists, business students and other recent graduates - particularly those who see themselves working in environments such as Michigan's auto industry," said Qatu.

"Graduates will acquire leadership skills that will not only advance their careers, but also help strengthen the state's economy by being management-competent employees."

The course work will help students learn to make administrative decisions and manage a variety of industrial, engineering, high-tech and green energy organizations. Areas of concentration include production concepts, project management, lean manufacturing and Six Sigma, sustainability, and technology and the environment.

Click here to learn more about this program.

Engineering students using pedestrian traffic to produce electricity

September 24, 2013 - Step by step, CMU engineering students are generating electricity. 

Last year, in the entrance of the Engineering and Technology Building, students constructed an electrical panel that serves as a vibration energy harvester to create renewable energy for powering a temperature display. 

The project was a success and now this year, assistant professor of engineering Tolga Kaya and four students - Indian River senior Brianna Ohlert, Livonia senior Steven Shapardanis, China senior Fei Pang and Elk Rapids senior Jared Jorgensen - are looking to make further enhancements, adding solar and wind power capabilities.

The team is hoping to increase the device's current output of 5 watts per hour to 50 watts per hour - enough energy to power a digital display in front of the building.

Click here to read more about this exciting research project.

Engineering senior receives competitive NSF Bioelectronics Student Travel Award

September 23, 2013 - CMU senior and Steven Shapardaniselectrical engineering major Steven Shapardanis recently received an NSF Bioelectronics Student Travel Award for the 2013 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Sensors Conference, one of the biggest and most prestigious international conferences in the field of sensors. 

Written under the research guidance of assistant professor of electrical engineering, Tolga Kaya, Steve is the primary author of a conference paper, "Design and Implementation of Collagen-Based Capacitive Relative Humidity Sensors," and has also been selected to present in a lecture session at the conference, scheduled for November 3-6 in Baltimore, Md.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Bioelectronics Student Travel Award is  given to only twenty students internationally and covers some additional tutorial session registrations and lodging expenses.

The IEEE Sensors Conference is a forum for presentation, discussion and exchange of state-of-the-art information including the latest research and development in sensors and their related fields. It brings together researchers, developers and practitioners from diverse fields including international scientists and engineers from academia, research institutes and companies to present and discuss the latest results in the general field of sensors.

Team of undergraduate engineering students secures 1st place at international conference

June 4, 2013 - A team of undergraduate Electrical engineering students present winning research at IEEE conferenceengineering students secured a first place win in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 4 Student Paper Contest held at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Electro/Information Technology (EIT) from May 9-11 in Rapid City, S. Dak.

Electrical engineering majors Steve Fenton, Jiao Liang, Brian Olszewski and Brian Tworek presented their research, "RFID Positioning Robot: An Indoor Navigation System." Assistant professor of electrical engineering Kumar Yelamarthi served as their mentor.

The students all graduated last month and have since moved on in their careers: Steve Fenton is a college graduate-in-training at 6M Power Train in Pontiac, Mich.; Jiao Liang is off to the west coast and to graduate school, pursuing an M.S. in electrical engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles; Brian Olszewski has taken a position as a staff engineer at Design Systems, Inc. in Farmington Hills, Mich.; and Brian Tworek is working as a systems engineer at Schrader Electronics in Auburn Hills, Mich.

IEEE, an association dedicated to advancing innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity, is the world's largest technical professional society with more than 425,000 members in over 160 countries. It is designed to serve professionals involved in all aspects of the electrical, electronic and computing fields and related areas of science and technology that underlie modern civilization.

Team Chippewa Performance places 2nd best in state and 29th in world at Baja SAE 2013 Collegiate Design Series competition

May 13, 2013 - CMU's Baja Society of CMU Baja Team Chippewa PerformanceAutomotive Engineers (SAE) team recently placed second best in the state at the Baja SAE 2013 Collegiate Design Series competition held at Tennessee Tech University from April 18-21 in Cookeville, Tenn.

One hundred teams from across the globe gathered at TTU's 300-acre Shipley Farm - where courses and events were set up over woods, creeks, hillsides and other obstacles - to challenge each team's best design.

Team Chippewa Performance - consisting of recent CMU graduate Tony Bolek, seniors Ryan Brew, Travis Bussell, Michael Grundner, Derek Hoffman, Megan Leonard, Garrett Mancillas and Daniel Matash, and sophomores Derek Donovan, Michael Gollin, Nicholas Nelson and Jesse Smith - placed second best in the state (just over 200 points behind the University of Michigan) and 29th in the world.

Baja SAE consists of three regional competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and related challenges. Engineering technology students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of races that cover rough terrain and sometimes water.

The object of the competitions is to provide SAE student members with a challenging project that involves the planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. Students must function as a team to design, build, test, promote and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules. They also must generate financial support for their project.​