Groundbreaking Climate Change Expert to Speak at Midyear Commencement

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Michigan Technological University will honor the achievements of approximately 300 graduates Saturday, Dec. 13, at Midyear Commencement. A total of 260 undergraduate degrees, 27 master's degrees and 16 PhD degrees will be awarded.

Susann Blake Nordrum, who earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1986, will deliver the commencement address and receive an Honorary PhD in Sustainable Science and Engineering. Her work on climate change with Chevron resulted in her appointment to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As a member of the panel, she became one of the lead authors of the UN's 2006 guidelines for developing national greenhouse gas inventories.

For this work, the group shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore. The prize recognized the leading contributors, including Nordrum, for compiling key information on climate change that can be used as the basis for informed policymaking.

Nordrum began her career at Chevron as a process engineer and is now the facilities team manager at the Chevron Energy Technology Company in Richmond, Calif. She manages greenhouse gas mitigation for the company's refining, production and power-generation facilities in California. The state is embarking on an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and she expects Chevron's efforts will eventually serve as a model for industries worldwide.

Also at commencement, Jason Cousineau will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Cousineau earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1998 and is now a senior product development engineer with Engineered Machined Products, of Escanaba. The company develops technologies to improve engine cooling, increase fuel economy, reduce emissions and improve overall engine efficiency. Since joining the company, Cousineau has received several patents and was honored by Design News Magazine, which presented him with its Excellence in Design award in 2004 for his work in advanced filtration technology.

Cousineau has also served as an advisor and sponsor for several student initiatives at Michigan Tech.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.