Karen A. Swager (Mikkola)

Karen A. Swager
  • BS Metallurgical and Materials Engineering 1992

Karen Swager graduated in 1992 from Michigan Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.  She went on to earn a master’s degree in 1994. 

She started her career in 1994 as a Plant Metallurgist and Shift Supervisor in the fertilizer division of Cargill Corporation.  Over the next ten years she held several supervisory and managerial positions at Cargill.  In 2004, Cargill Crop Nutrition and IMC Phosphates merged to form Mosaic Company.  At the time of the merger, Karen was an Engineering Manager, responsible for four phosphate mining operations, including management of a $38 million budget.

Now a veteran with over 14 years in the fertilizer industry, Karen is the Manager of Mine Strategy and Execution for Mosaic Company, Mosaic Phosphates MP Inc.  In this capacity, she is responsible for developing and executing strategies for medium and long-term mining strategy and for developing mine alternatives for existing and future mines.  In 2007, Karen was named a “Hero of the Phosphate Industry” by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME).  She is the first woman to receive this award from the society, chosen for her years of service to the phosphate industry, the community and the local chapter of SME, which she headed for two years.  Karen is also active on advisory committees at the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research and has been an organizer and co-chair of the Benefication of Phosphates Conference and the Florida Regional Phosphate Conference.  Karen is also a licensed Engineer in the State of Florida.

While a student, Karen was a member of the Society of Women Engineers, chairing several committees and serving as president.  Starting as a staff writer for the Lode, Karen worked through the ranks to news editor, business manager and finally, editor-in-chief.  She also served on the Presidential Student Advisory Board and the President’s Cabinet.  Karen was a member of the American Society of Materials and in 1993 was chosen to attend the Michigan Governor’s College Student Leadership Forum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She continues her relationship with Michigan Tech by serving on the Chemical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board.

Active in her community, Karen is on the school board for the St. Paul Lutheran School in Lakeland, Florida and also teaches kindergarten Sunday School.

Karen was inducted into Michigan Tech’s Presidential Council of Alumnae in 2008. She and her husband, David, live in Lakeland, Florida.  They have six children.

From the PCA Induction Ceremony Program, Spring 2008