Labs and Equipment

Dow 109 & 618 - Earth Magnetism Laboratory

Lab activities in the environmental magnetism lab include basic and applied research in paleomagnetism, rock and mineral magnetism, and environmental magnetism. The facility offers several state-of-the-art instruments, including a superconducting rock magnetometer, an alternating gradient field magnetometer, and a magnetic susceptibility meter.

Contact:  Aleksey Smirnov

Dow 109A - Earthquake Seismology Laboratory

The earthquake seismology lab houses a seismograph which records seismic activity and earthquakes from around the world. Portable seismographs have also been used in public schools to aid in teaching students the science behind these phenomena. The lab is also used to test and calibrate instrumentation being prepared for use in the field.

Contact: Wayne Pennington and Greg Waite

Dow 211 - Graduate Student Computing Lab

In addition to Windows, Linux, and/or Apple computers in faculty and graduate student offices, the GMES dept. houses a graduate research/instructional computer lab equipped with standard office productivity software and image analysis/processing software such as ENVI, ERDAS Imagine, ESRI ArcGIS, and Matlab. Dedicated storage and web hosting are available for this project.

Dow 218 - Environmental Geochemistry Lab

The environmental geochemistry lab is used for experimental studies of hydrogeological processes in surface and groundwater. The lab houses instrumentation for the preparation and analysis of water samples and for conducting bench top experiments. Field research and sampling efforts by lab members are supported by field deployable environmental sensing equipment, which is used to collect high temporal resolution environmental data from wells, streams, lakes and caves.

Contact:  Jason Gulley

Dow 220 - Geophysics Lab

The Geophysics Lab is used to store, maintain, and test equipment needed for field geophysics courses and research. It also includes a battery charging station for field equipment.

Contact: Jeremy Shannon

Dow 313 - Optical Petrology Lab

Newly renovated and ready for classes spring 2012, this lab holds four petrographic microscopes which have imaging capabilities and are linked to a computer and high definition LCD TV for projection. In addition, there are seven more student petrographic microscopes.

Contact:  Chad Deering

Dow 317 - Fluid Inclusion Lab

The Fluid Inclusion Laboratory contains state of the art equipment used for studying fluid inclusions either formed in natural environments or from synthetic materials.

Fluid inclusions trapped in rocks record the composition, temperature, and pressure of formation and provide crucial information on the role that fluids play in a variety of geologic processes in environments throughout the Earth’s crust. Here primarily study fluid inclusions from rocks derived associated with both active and fossil volcano-hosted geothermal systems to understand better the relationship between fluid evolution in the shallow crust and permeability. These studies form the basis for understanding the heat and mass transfer at depths relevant for exploiting geothermal resources for energy production.

Contact:  Chad Deering

Dow 420 - Earth Processes and System Lab

The Earth Processes and System Lab is 1,878 square feet of shared space that is used for a variety of short-term (less than one year) experiments and equipment testing. The laboratory includes a 150 square foot climate controlled room, 2 bench-top fume hoods, a floor-length fume hood, ample bench and cabinet space, drying ovens, equipment for producing high-purity water, and electrical and compressed-gas supplies. 

Contact:  John GierkeAlex Mayer, and Aleskey Smirnov

Dow 420A - Mining Automation Test Laboratory

Mining Automation Test Laboratory is developed and used for experimental research in the fields of mine automation and autonomous equipment. The primary purpose of this lab is to conduct interdisciplinary research projects in the areas of control systems and automated vehicles to advance mining technologies.

Contact: Ebrahim Tarshizi

Dow 619 - Seismology and Petrophysics Laboratory:  Observation and Theory (SPOT)

The Seismology and Petrophysics:  Observation and Theory (SPOT) Lab offers three windows/linux computer workstations and two windows workstations. Multiple geophysics companies as well as the University of Oklahoma have donated advanced petroleum and geophysics software and data sets which include:  ArcGIS; ENVI; Geotomo; Interactive Petrophysics; Jason; LabView; MatLab; OpendTect (a free, open source seismic interpretation platform); PETRA; PowerLog; RokDoc; Seismic Unix; and Attribute Assisted Seismic Processing & Interpretation (AASPI). This lab also serves as a geophysics reference library.

Contact:  Wayne Pennington

Dow 623 - High Frequency Acoustics and Seismic Lab

The High Frequency Acoustics and Seismic Lab currently specializes in tomographic imaging of elastic solids.

Contact:  Roger Turpening

Dow 709 - Mine Design and System Simulation Laboratory (MDSS)

The Mine Design and System Simulation (MDSS) Laboratory is designed and developed for both teaching and research purposes in Michigan Tech’s Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences. The MDSS Lab is a modern computer mine design and simulation laboratory, fully equipped with the Sharp AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display System, audio-video equipment, and state-of-the-art, powerful computers with advanced mine design, planning, and simulation software packages. This lab also includes a smart interactive center room for video conferences and online communications.  The MDSS Lab is created to enhance and facilitate the potential of teaching and conducting modern mining projects at Michigan Tech.

Contact: Snehamoy Chatterjee and Ebrahim Tarshizi

GLRC 207 - Aquatic Chemistry Lab

Aquatic optics support a variety of applications, including remote sensing and environmental change research, in the Aquatic Chemistry Lab located in the Great Lakes Research Center. Through optical characterization techniques employing a full suite of analytical tools, our lab allows us to study in-water constituents—and make discoveries that benefit not only the Great Lakes, but aquatic systems worldwide.

Contact: Colleen Mouw


Enterprises are student-led companies embracing rich experiences in engineering design, team building, project management, and end-to-end original product development. The program gives teams of students from varied disciplines the opportunity to work for several semesters in a business-like setting to solve real-world problems supplied by industry partners.

Enterprise teams perform testing and analysis, make recommendations, manufacture parts, develop products and processes, provide services, meet budgets and schedules, and manage multiple projects—and the department supplies the facilities to help teams maximize their productivity and save time.