Michigan Technological University, 2005 Annual Report

At Michigan Tech, much of our research and scholarship addresses specific government and industry needs, and we provide practical solutions. Here are some of the facts:

  • Michigan Tech averages almost seventeen inventions and four licenses per $10 million in research. This ratio is the highest in the state and places Michigan Tech amoung the best tecnological universities in the country.
  • Invention diclusre rates have increased an average of 30 percent over the last five years.
  • Student are listed on one-third of our invention disclosures—an extremely high level.
  • Michigan Tech's research expenditures reached $41 million this year—a 16 percent increase over last year.

"Our faculty are excellent teachers, because they teach from a base of experience in scholarship, research, and innovation."

President Glenn Mroz

Hallmarks of this University are the creativity and leadership of our graduates, the relevance and benefits of our research, and the value we place on ethics, sustainability, diversity, and quality of life.

Preventing Accidents—Cargill, Inc. has licensed an anti-icing pavement overlay invented by Russ Alger, a Tech alumnus and research scientist at Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center. It keeps bridges and roadways continuously free of ice while reducing the need for spreading chemicals.

Creating Nanoscale Defense Equipment—The Center for Nanomaterials Research attracted another $3.8 million from the Department of Defense and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, bringing the two-year total to more than $5 million. The center focuses on creating nanoelectronics and communication nano-devices, and integrating protein sensors with nanoelectronics.

Collaborating for a Sustainable Future—Michigan Tech and Southern University in Baton Rouge received $3.6 million from the National Science Foundation for graduate education in sustainability. The Sustainable Futures Institute provides a cross-country, cross-cultural experience that crosses traditional academic boundaries, with a goal of increasing the number of US PhDs in engineering, science, and mathematics. The program takes advantage of Michigan Tech's leading role in sustainable or "green" engineering and Southern's expertise in both engineering and public policy.

Understanding and Improving Ecosystems—One of the most prolific research centers on campus, the Center for Ecosystem Science brings together faculty from Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and researchers from the US Forest Service. With more than $2.5 million in expenditures its first year of existence, the center incorporates a wide range of ecosystem projects, including

  • The Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale-The research involves the island's wolf and moose populations and is one of the longest-running ecological studies in the nation.
  • The Aspen FACE (Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment) Experiment-The US Department of Energy has provided $5 million in renewed funding for the Aspen FACE project in northern Wisconsin. Aspen FACE is the world's largest open-air, climate-change research facility, where scientists can study the impact of carbon dioxide and ground-level ozone on forest ecosystems.

Michigan Tech integrates students at all levels into its research, introducing them almost immediately to the process of innovation.


Strategic Plan: Expand our scholarship and research activities by sustaining existing programs while pursuing new endeavors in carefully targeted areas.

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Nanotechnology
  • Engineered Materials
  • Information Technology

Research Experiences for Undergraduates—In this program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, students work on an ongoing research project with faculty mentors during the summer. This year, the program attracted ten students to analyze ecosystem responses and another seventeen students to address sustainability issues.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)—Through SURF, twenty-two students from thirteen departments cultivated individual research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

College of Engineering Research Scholars Program—This program offers long-term opportunities for undergraduates. This year, forty-eight students participated in the development of a protein nanosensor, examination of satellite data, and other high-tech research.

Through collaborative efforts, the Michigan Tech community serves the people of Michigan, the nation, and the world. These initiatives are often recognized with awards.

NSF CAREER Award—Assistant Professor Yoke Khin Yap of the physics department received a $506,000 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development grant to continue his work building nanotubes. He is the twentieth Michigan Tech faculty member to win a CAREER award.

Fulbright Senior Specialist—Professor Alan Brokaw of the School of Business and Economics received a Fulbright Senior Specialists grant in business administration to teach at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

International Union of Forest Research Organizations Scientific Achievement Award—Professor David Karnosky received one of a maximum of ten awards given every five years at the organization's World Congress held in Australia. Karnosky, a professor in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, was instrumental in founding the Aspen FACE site and is its director.

International Union of Forest Research Organizations Outstanding Doctoral Research Award—PhD graduate Eugenie Euskirchen received one of seven awards given every five years. Euskirchen was honored for her work on the role of forests in carbon cycling.

International Mondialogo Award—Students in the Sustainable Futures Institute have received the prestigious International Mondialogo Award, sponsored by DaimlerChrysler and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). They were honored for their research supporting the use of sustainable construction materials in the developing world.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities Postdoctoral Fellowships—Laura Barrientos, Udaya Kalluri, Amit Shyam, Raghuraman Venkatapathy, and Hong Wang received a combined total of $240,000 to conduct research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

NSF Graduate Fellowships—Meghan McGee (biomedical engineering), Jacob Fugal (physics) and Matthew Drewek (civil and environmental engineering) received NSF Graduate Fellowships.

Morris K. Udall Scholarship—Gregory LeFevre, undergraduate in environmental engineering, received this U.S. Congressional Fellowship in Environmental Excellence for 2005.

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