NSF Gives Michigan Tech High Marks for Research Expenditures

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Three Michigan Tech programs ranked in the top 50 of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2016 Higher Education Research and Development Survey rankings. 

The survey results, just released, are based on research expenditures by NSF-designated disciplines, some of which include academic departments, centers and institutes at Michigan Tech.  NSF also uses different names for some of its disciplines.

Mechanical Engineering rose to 18th in the nation in research expenditures. Metallurgical and Materials Engineering rose to 41st and Atmospheric Sciences came in at 46th.   Electrical Engineering was ranked 56th in research expenditures nationally.

Michigan Tech’s research expenditures in Atmospheric Sciences and in Ocean Science, ranked 55th in the nation, the highest of any university in Michigan.

VPA, Computer Science, Chemistry Rise

Other rankings rose as well.  Visual and Performing Arts went up 15 places to 70th nationally.  Engineering overall rose seven places to 74th.  Computer and Information Science rose 12 places to 136th and Chemistry gained 27 places to 162nd.  Biological and Biomedical Sciences went up 15 places to 242nd, and Life Sciences rose 12 places to 295th.

"These rankings are the national standard for comparing research activity at universities, both overall and within a discipline,” said David Reed, vice president for research. “They are based on spending, not results like numbers of graduating students or publications, but within a discipline, they do provide pretty good comparisons of levels of activity at an institution. 

“NSF does rank by discipline, not organizational structure,” Reed added. “so we do some combinations to fit their categories. For example, we combine the ME-EM academic department with the Keweenaw Research Center expenditures to get our reported number for Mechanical Engineering.  And not only is Mechanical Engineering our highest ranked discipline for 2016, it is the highest ranked I believe we have ever had—18th in the country.  A number of other disciplines moved up by more than 10 ranks. We are clearly moving in the right direction. "

Overall, Michigan Tech remained 119th among public universities and 164th among all institutions in the country, unchanged from 2015.   

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 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.

Last Modified 3:19 p.m. December, 27 2017


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