Gerstacker, Strosacker Foundations Provide Support for Forest-based Biofuels Lab at Michigan Tech
With the help of a couple of old friends from Dow Chemical, Michigan Tech is on its way to building a forest-based biofuels laboratory and pilot plant. The lab and plant will enable Tech to continue and expand its work at the forefront of interdisciplinary research and education in the burgeoning field of forest-based biofuels.
The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation and the C.J. Strosacker Foundation, both of Midland, Mich., have donated $75,000 and $50,000 respectively to help build the forest-based biofuels facilities. The lab and an accompanying scale-up plant will equip Michigan Tech to lead in research and education of skilled workers for the forest-based biofuels industry, which is a key future economic focus in Michigan and the nation.
Charles Strosacker, a Dow Chemical pioneer, established the Strosacker Foundation in 1957. For more than 50 years, the foundation has been making educational grants to colleges and universities.
"Dr. Strosacker’s legacy is in science, so we like to support education in the sciences," explained Bobbie N. Arnold, president and CEO of the Strosacker Foundation. "This is an opportunity to be part of something cutting-edge, building for the future."
The Gerstacker Foundation was founded by Eda U. Gerstacker in memory of her husband, Rollin M. Gerstacker, who was a manager of Bartlett & Snow, a prominent Cleveland, Ohio, engineering firm. The Gerstackers’ son, Carl, was chairman of the board of Dow Chemical.
"We try to support organizations that work closely with Dow Chemical and prepare the highly skilled employees that Dow Chemical and other companies need," said E.N. "Ned" Brandt, vice president and trustee of the Gerstacker Foundation. "That's why we appreciate Michigan Tech and the work you do."
The Gerstacker Foundation has given to Michigan Tech in the past to support the Process Simulation Control Center in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.
Michigan Tech has had a long and productive partnership with Dow Chemical. The company employs nearly 450 Tech alumni, with another 133 retirees.