Centers and Institutes

Centers and Institutes

The Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University is affiliated with a number of innovative, world-class research centers & institutes. These research centers and institutes are signs of entrepreneurial activities that promote interdisciplinary work involving faculty from several academic and administrative departments on campus.

A list of all Research Centers and Institutes is here.

Biotechnology Research Center (BRC)

Director, Keat Ghee Ong, Biomedical Engineering
kgong@mtu.edu, 906-487-2749

"The Biotech Research Center fosters interdisciplinary research at Michigan Tech."

Biotechnology encompasses the applications of various science and engineering disciplines for industrial utilization of living organisms or their products. The mission of the Biotechnology Research Center (BRC) at Michigan Tech is to promote education and research in the areas of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, and biotechnology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels for the benefit of society and the environment.

The multidisciplinary nature of the BRC is reflected in the diverse expertise of the BRC faculty. Participation includes faculty from the Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and Forest Resources and Environmental Science departments. Faculty, staff and students are open to collaborating on research projects and joining together for research symposiums, seminars and conferences. Working together helps to achieve their common goal: the advancement of biotechnology.

Most recent Annual Report.

Learn more about BRC

Center for Water and Society (CWS)

Director, Noel Urban, Civil and Environmental Engineering
nurban@mtu.edu, 906-487-3640

Mission: The mission of the CWS is to support research, education, and outreach in all disciplines at Michigan Technological University related to water issues. The goal is to establish Michigan Tech as a state, regional, national and international leader in these disciplines and, in particular, in interdisciplinary approaches to solving water-related problems. The objectives of the CWS are:

  • To serve as a focal point for instructional and research activities in water-related fields and water-related outreach activities across the Michigan Tech campus;
  • To provide an organizational structure that supports continuing growth in water-related fields and outreach activities and encourage interdisciplinary projects;
  • To support interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate education and research in water related fields; and
  • To pursue external funding opportunities to support these objectives and to facilitate CWS participating faculty to obtain external support.

Most recent Annual Report.

Learn more about CWS

Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI)

Director, Will Cantrell, Physics
cantrell@mtu.edu, 906-487-2356

The Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) is an institute aimed at facilitating and promoting research and education in remote sensing and related areas by bringing together individuals and groups separated by departmental and/or college boundaries. Remote sensing comprises not just instrumentation or measurement tools, but represents a perspective that employs a broad morphology of disciplines and demands interdisciplinary breadth. For example, current members collaborate on projects spanning imaging science, atmospheric science, data/signal processing, data visualization and remote sensing instrumentation. These are typically applied to a specific problem in earth system science, ecosystem studies, limnology/oceanography, global change, and a host of other areas. At least nine different departments currently have faculty members participating in EPSSI.

EPSSI's goals are to work by consensus to promote remote sensing and related topics on the Michigan Tech campus through (1) interdisciplinary coursework and programs, (2) group funding efforts for equipment and research, (3) interdisciplinary seminars and short courses, and (4) development of a campus culture that actively supports transdisciplinary activities.

Most recent Annual Report.

Learn more about EPSSI

Ecosystem Science Center (ESC)

Director, Andrew Burton, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
ajburton@mtu.edu, 906-487-2566

Mission: To promote understanding of ecosystem function through education and research at Michigan Technological University.

The Ecosystem Science Center (ESC) is designed to advance our understanding of how ecosystems function and how human activities influence ecosystem processes. The Center's two main objectives are to: (1) foster ecosystem research; and (2) improve Michigan Tech's ability to educate graduate and undergraduate students in the area of ecosystem science. These two objectives will be met through collaboration among faculty, staff, and students interested in ecosystem science.

Most recent Annual Report.

Learn more about ESC

Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC)

Dr. Guy Meadows, Director, Great Lakes Research Initiatives
gmeadows@mtu.edu, 906-487-1106

Mike Abbott, Director, Great Lakes Research Operations
mdabbott@mtu.edu, 906-487-3165

The Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) will house laboratories and classrooms supporting researchers and students working with Great Lakes biological, chemical and physical studies. The facility will be designed and equipped in support of instruction, experimental laboratories and outreach efforts.

Students educated in this facility will learn in an environment providing current technologies and state of the art laboratories. These students once employed in Michigan will be essential to the long-term development of sustainable industries.

Learn more about GLRC

Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI)

Director, David Shonnard, Chemical Engineering
drshonna@mtu.edu, 906-487-3468

Mission: to create and disseminate new methods and processes for generating scientific knowledge and engineering products in support of sustainability decisions and education.

SFI will assimilate the multiple skills and capabilities required to support a new metadiscipline of sustainability science, including: (1) the fundamental physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics needed for environmental assessment; (2) basic economics incuding economic input-output analysis; (3) industrial ecology and design at the process, plant, firm, regional, national, and global scale; (4) information technology for real-time monitoring of processes, remote sensing of the environment, and geographical information systems; (5) human and environmental impact modeling and risk assessment; (6) social and behavioral research tools, and (7) professional and K through Gray educational programs, including assessment of their impacts on choices made by design engineers, policy makers, and consumers. By advancing this metadisciplinary endeavor, the Institute will combine information and insights across multiple disciplines and perspectives.

Most recent Annual Report.

Learn more about SFI