Alumni Resources

As alumnus of Michigan Technological University's Graduate School, take pride in being a member of our alumni family! Reconnect with old classmates, stay current on Michigan Tech related news, give back to the Graduate School, and share your story—where has life's journey taken you since leaving campus? 

Graduate Reflections See More

Alicia Thorsen

Alicia Thorsen

PhD, Computer Science

Alicia Thorsen, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is a PhD student in the computer science department. One of only twenty winners of the prestigious 2007 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, Thorsen is researching parallel algorithm and application development using the Unified Parallel C (UPC) programming model. Her research will be used to link multiple computers and increase computational speed, allowing the computers to solve larger, more complex problems. Thorsen is committed to introducing young women to computer science and has taught computer science courses for the computer science department and Youth Programs.

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Jacob Fugal

Jacob Fugal

PhD, Atmospheric Sciences (2007)
Atmospheric Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

“Michigan Tech was an outstanding choice for a graduate degree—the funding was always there, my PhD advisor was the best, the teachers in the atmospheric sciences classes were always helpful and easy to learn from, and office staff kept my administrative headaches to a minimum. They really care about their students. Also, going to Michigan Tech put me on the map in my research field. I’m doing the research I want to do, at internationally known institutions.”

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Maria Janowiak

Maria Janowiak

MS, Forest Ecology and Management (2007)
Scientist, Climate Change Adaptation and Carbon Management, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

“The research that I did as part of my master’s was fun and exciting, and I was fortunate to spend a lot of time in the forests of Upper Michigan. I learned a lot from the faculty whom I worked with, and I continue to collaborate with several of them in my current job. While studying for my master’s, I also developed skills that I use every day as part of my job, including writing, presenting, and working with a variety of collaborators.”

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Kaari Nevanen

Kaari Nevanen

Master of Business Administration (2010)

“After completing the Tech MBA, I felt comfortable speaking in front of large groups. This skill, among others, helped in my job search and, ultimately, with securing my job at Mindovo. Strong communication skills are a necessity, whether you’re an engineer or otherwise.”

Photo by Adam Chartier, Courtesy of Mindovo, Inc.

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Randall Isaacson

Randall E Isaacson

'88, '86

Randall E. Isaacson graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1986 with a BS in Biological Sciences and an MS in Rhetoric and Technical Communication in 1988. His master's thesis studied language patterns in small group communication during simulated scientific problem solving.

He began his career as a medical copywriter at Roche Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey, and later joined VICOM/FCB, a medical advertising agency in New York. After moving to Chicago in 1990, Randy worked as a copy . . .

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Brenda Helminen

'83, '88

After graduating in 1983 with a BS in Computer Science, Brenda Helminen began her career as a programmer with IBM Corporation in Rochester, MN.  She returned to the Copper Country later that year to work for the Department of Computer Science at Michigan Tech.  While working, she completed her Master’s degree in Computer Science in 1988.  She continued her career  with the University as a Senior Systems Programmer in the Center for Experimental Computation followed by a . . .

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Allan M. Johnson

Allan M. Johnson

'67, '65

Al Johnson received an Associate Engineering Degree from Muskegon Community College before being drafted into the U.S. Army. While in the army, he became a Master rifleman and won two legs towards a Distinguished Riflemans Badge, the highest honor for a rifleman.

After his honorable discharge, he attended Michigan Tech and graduated with a B.S. in Geological Engineering in 1965, an M.S. in Geological Engineering in 1967, and a Ph.D. in Geology in 1971. Beginning part time as a . . .

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Tom Irwin

Tom R. Irwin

'63, '66

Throughout his career, Tom Irwin has used his Michigan Tech degrees to the utmost. He believes luck is preparation and opportunity and “Mich Tech excelled at the preparation, academically and in a very congenial environment”.

As president of Hodgkiss and Douma (H&D) Construction Company of Petoskey, H&D’s emphasis was highway construction, major recreation projects, developments and aggregate production. His 27 year career at H&D began after working with Sivier Construction in Detroit, D&L Contracting in Traverse Cityand Dow Chemical in Midland.

His dedication to Michigan Tech runs long and deep, . . .

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Donald Daavettila

Donald Daavettila

'56, '58

Don Daavettila earned both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in engineering physics from Michigan Tech in 1956 and 1958 respectively. He was named professor emeritus of physics in 2000.

Daavettila began his career as a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory for more than five years. He then became a nuclear test engineer at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Plant in Monroe, Michigan, before joining Michigan Tech's nuclear engineering program in 1964. He became an assistant professor in the . . .

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Octave Du Temple

Dr. Octave Du Temple

'48, '49, '96

Octave Du Temple, a native of the Copper Country, received bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from Michigan Tech in 1948 and 1949. His studies were interrupted by military service during World War II, when he taught flying and navigation. He also studied at Northwestern University, where he earned a master's degree in business administration in 1955.

Du Temple worked at the Argonne National Laboratory for several years, and in 1958 he was appointed executive director of . . .

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Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy PhD

'90, '92, '96

Starting Companies Comes Naturally to Alum

“I used to fish at Cole’s Creek,” says Brian Murphy ’90 ’92 ‘96. “I’d eat half my sandwich on the way out there, fish for thirty minutes, and finish my sandwich on the way back to my lab to continue my research.”

That mix of nature and technology forms the core of Murphy’s environmentally focused career. The Tech grad first worked for large companies before starting a number of his own ventures. With his former boss and mentor . . .

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John Uhrie

Dr. John Uhrie

'91, '96

John Uhrie holds a BS in geological engineering and a PhD in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Tech. He also earned an MS in geology from the University of Wyoming.

After earning his PhD, he joined Phelps Dodge Mining Company (now Freeport McMoRan) in the newly formed Process Technology Center. In that industrial R&D role, he developed new bio heap and tank leaching technologies. Many of these flow sheets are now standard practice throughout the corporation. He has since operated . . .

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Richard J. Robbins

Richard J. Robbins

'56, '96

Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Atlas-Copco Robbins, Inc.

Richard J. Robbins graduated from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (MCM&T) in 1956 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Since 1958, Dick has been a major contributor and a prominent influence in the mining and tunneling industry.

In 1958, Dick joined The Robbins Company—established by his father, James S. Robbins, a 1933 MCM&T mining engineering graduate. The Robbins Company has prospered and employs over 330 workers worldwide. The Robbins Co. became part of the . . .

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Dianne M Marsh

'86, '92

Dianne Marsh earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Michigan Tech in 1986 and a master’s degree in 1992.

Dianne started her career in 1987 as a Software Engineer for LECO Corporation in Michigan and then worked for AEG-Mictron and Candid Logic before returning to Michigan Tech to earn her master’s degree.  

From 1992 to 2000 she worked for several different companies as a Software Engineer, Independent Consultant and Technical Lead/Software Architect before realizing her dream of starting her own . . .

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Hayrynen, Kathy

Kathy L. Hayrynen

'93, '89, '86

Technical Director
Applied Process, Inc.
AP Technologies Division
BS EMY 1986, MS EMY 1989, PhD EMY 1993

Graduated with BS, MS, & PhD in Metallurgical Engineering in 1986, 1989, and 1993, respectively. Presently Technical Director at Applied Process, Inc., in Livonia, Michigan. Applied Process has been a technology leader in the heat treating industry since 1978. AP and its affiliated companies use properly applied Austempering technologies to solve tough engineering problems.

Current member of department’s External Advisory Board and contributes to MY4130 Principles of Metal . . .

Student Stories See More

Andrew Drees

Andrew Drees

PhD Candidate, Electrical Engineering (Spring 2014)

Andrew Drees received a BS degree in electrical engineering with a minor in historical studies in 2009 and a MS degree in electrical engineering in 2011 from Michigan Tech. He is currently working toward a PhD at Michigan Tech advised by Dr. Chee-Wooi Ten and Dr. Bruce Mork.

His main research area is distribution system applications of the smart grid. The smart grid is a next generation power system that installs intelligent real-time monitoring and control capabilities throughout the power system infrastructure. Andrew’s research focuses on creating solutions to challenges such as how to secure the vast increase in power system information that is now available.

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Andrew Drees

Andrew Drees

PhD Candidate, Electrical Engineering (Spring 2014)

Andrew Drees received a BS degree in electrical engineering with a minor in historical studies in 2009 and a MS degree in electrical engineering in 2011 from Michigan Tech. He is currently working toward a PhD at Michigan Tech advised by Dr. Chee-Wooi Ten and Dr. Bruce Mork.

His main research area is distribution system applications of the smart grid. The smart grid is a next generation power system that installs intelligent real-time monitoring and control capabilities throughout the power system infrastructure. Andrew’s research focuses on creating solutions to challenges such as how to secure the vast increase in power system information that is now available.

Student Stories See More

Andrew Drees

Andrew Drees

PhD Candidate, Electrical Engineering (Spring 2014)

Andrew Drees received a BS degree in electrical engineering with a minor in historical studies in 2009 and a MS degree in electrical engineering in 2011 from Michigan Tech. He is currently working toward a PhD at Michigan Tech advised by Dr. Chee-Wooi Ten and Dr. Bruce Mork.

His main research area is distribution system applications of the smart grid. The smart grid is a next generation power system that installs intelligent real-time monitoring and control capabilities throughout the power system infrastructure. Andrew’s research focuses on creating solutions to challenges such as how to secure the vast increase in power system information that is now available.

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James Alexander

James Alexander

PhD Candidate, Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
Hometown: Marquette, MI

Mr. Alexander graduated from NMU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and earned his Master of Arts degree in Administrative Service with an emphasis in Public Administration from the Political Science Department at NMU. He is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate in the Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Program at Michigan Technological University.

Mr. Alexander is a two-time recipient of the King Chavez-Parks Future . . .