Four Michigan Tech Graduate Engineering Programs Ranked in Top 50

by Jennifer Donovan, public relations director

Graduate school rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report rate four of Michigan Tech's graduate engineering programs in the top 50 nationwide. Nearly 200 programs were ranked.

Michigan Tech's national rankings were
• Environmental engineering—26
• Materials science and engineering—41
• Civil engineering—43
• Mechanical engineering—48

Michigan Tech's College of Engineering ranked 77th overall out of 198 schools evaluated, up from 84th of 191 schools last year. Michigan Tech's geological and mining engineering graduate program ranked 77th in the nation among earth sciences programs. That ranking was based on 2006 data and remained the same as last year's.

"We are very proud of this important external confirmation of the growing strength of our engineering graduate programs," said President Glenn D. Mroz. "It shows that we are moving in the right direction toward making Michigan Tech a world-class technological research university."

Tim Schulz, dean of engineering, called the rankings "recognition of the quality and impact of our graduate and research programs and of the accomplishments of our outstanding faculty, staff and students." Schulz said he thinks the biggest factor contributing to Michigan Tech's improvement in rankings this year is the University's increase in reported research expenditures.

Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks graduate schools of business, education, engineering, law and medicine. According to the magazine, the rankings are based on two types of data: the opinions of graduate school deans, program directors, senior faculty and employers of new graduates; and statistical measures of the quality of students and faculty, such as student-faculty ratio, research activity of the faculty and doctoral degrees awarded.

This year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked first in mechanical and materials engineering and number one among engineering schools overall. Stanford University, which ranked second overall, took top place in environmental engineering, and the University of California, Berkeley, ranked first in civil engineering.

Highlights of the new graduate school rankings will be published in the April 7 issue of U.S. News & World Report, which goes on sale at newsstands on March 31. The complete guidebook, titled "America’s Best Graduate Schools," goes on sale April 1.

The weekly newsmagazine also ranks undergraduate colleges, universities and programs. Those rankings are released in August.

Engineering specialties were ranked solely on the basis of assessments by department heads in each specialty. The department heads surveyed were recommended by the American Society for Engineering Education.

All 425 master's degree programs in business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business were surveyed. Of those, 127 were ranked. Specialty rankings were based on nominations made by business school deans and MBA program heads.

Rankings of doctoral programs in the sciences were based on surveys sent to academics in computer science, mathematics and physics during fall 2007; biological sciences and chemistry in fall 2006; and all other fields in fall 2005. Specialty rankings were based on nominations by department heads and directors of graduate studies at peer schools.

Neil Hutzler, acting chair of civil and environmental engineering, credited his faculty and graduates for the rankings Michigan Tech's graduate civil and environmental programs received. "We've got some great people doing some exciting things," he said. "Our faculty get out there and publish and hold offices in national professional societies. It's good to see that other people think we're as good as we think we are."

Of his department's ranking, Mark Plichta, chair of materials science and engineering, said, "I'm pleased that we're heading in the right direction, and I'm proud of the efforts being made by our faculty, staff and graduate students."

William Predebon, chair of mechanical engineering—engineering mechanics, called his department's ranking "an important recognition by our peers of the quality and accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students."

And Wayne Pennington, chair of geological and mining engineering and sciences, expressed pride that Michigan Tech's graduate programs in earth sciences continue to rank so high. "Michigan Tech is one of the few schools in the country where geological engineering and the sciences of geology and applied geophysics are fully integrated," he noted. "This enables us to promote the development and application of basic science concepts to the understanding of our planet and humanity's place in it."

Earlier this week,—a respected automotive website—ranked Michigan Tech's automotive engineering program as one of the top three in the nation. See .

Seely Named Dean of Sciences and Arts

Bruce Seely, chair of the Department of Social Sciences, has agreed to serve as dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, effective Aug. 1.

“Bruce is an outstanding scholar and educator, but perhaps the greatest strength he brings to the dean’s position is his understanding of the University and its people,” said President Glenn D. Mroz. “The college has grown significantly in size and stature under Dean Seel, and we're confident that the college will continue to flourish. The people of the college play a key role as Michigan Tech focuses on being a national technological university. Bruce is eminently qualified to lead the sciences and arts faculty and staff as we implement the goals of the strategic plan.”

Seely was offered the position after an extensive search led by Mark Gockenbach, chair of mathematical sciences. “Bruce is a distinguished scholar and respected academic leader, and we are fortunate that he has agreed to focus his considerable talents and energy on moving the college forward in the coming years,” said Gockenbach. “I would also like to extend my congratulations and gratitude to Max Seel for the terrific job he has done during his years as dean.”

Seely came to Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences in 1986 from Texas A&M University, where he was an assistant professor of history from 1981 to 1986. He became department chair in 2002.

From 2000 to 2002, he also served as program director for science and technology studies in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Studies.

He is the founding co-editor in chief of Comparative Technology Transfer and Society, a journal published by Johns Hopkins University, and was secretary and newsletter editor for the Society for the History of Technology.

He has an MA and a PhD in the History of Technology from the University of Delaware, and a BA from St. Lawrence University, in Canton, N.Y.

A leading expert on the history of technology and education, Seely has published extensively in a variety of fields, including the American highway system, nanotechnology and engineering education, technology transfer, and rail transportation. As the US interstate highway system marked its 50th anniversary in 2006, Seely gave many presentations and interviews on the system’s history, including lessons to be learned from its successes and failures. He addressed the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission of the U.S. Department of Transportation as it considered transportation planning for the next 50 years.

“The hardest adjustment in becoming dean will be giving up most of my work as a scholar and researcher,” said Seely. “But this transition is also full of opportunities, and I feel prepared for them. I study how the sciences work, and by that accident of preparation I understand the world of most of the people in the college.”

Seely expects to continue the work of Dean Seel, who encouraged the growth of research and new degree programs within the college.

“While it would be difficult to overstate the historical importance of engineering at the University, Michigan Tech is becoming more than an engineering school,” he said. “Every unit in the College of Sciences and Arts is positioning itself under the technological university umbrella.”

While the College of Sciences and Arts once primarily supplied required courses to engineering students, its faculty now focus more on research and graduate education, as well as on undergraduate education within their departments.

“We all need to be concerned about teaching, to be professionally active, and to support grad students through funded research,” Seely said. “We all need to be teacher-scholars.“

A key element will be outside funding. “It won’t be easy,” he said. “There are significant resource needs, and not much money is available from the state. We are counting on external funding to found new programs, and we must approach these investments carefully. We have to be targeted. The sciences and arts are critical to broaden the base of the University.”

Seely brings a valuable skill set to the deanship, said Provost Lesley Lovett-Doust. “Bruce’s energy and understanding of the many disciplines across the University will be a great asset,” she said. “I know he will work well in the dean team and will be a strong, persuasive representative of his departments as he works to advance the college.”

“Constructive collaboration across the disciplines, colleges, schools and the research and support areas will secure, for the whole University, a permanent place in the US News Top 50 public universities,” she added.

Lovett-Doust also expressed appreciation for Seel’s long tenure leading the college. “Max is a dean of great intellect, charm, wit and balance,” she said. “He has shepherded the College of Sciences and Arts thought many changes, with attention and commitment to each and every department, and yet has always been a citizen first and foremost of the University. We are sure to draw on his talents in support of the Michigan Tech’s strategic development, but we also know he is very excited to be returning to his research lab and home discipline of physics.”

“I’ve been fortunate,” Seely said, “first by following Terry Reynolds as chair of social sciences, and now Max, who has done so much to promote the college.

“There are really good people in all the departments, and the College of Sciences and Arts is amazingly diverse compared to the other units,” he said. “I’m looking forward to helping the college reach its true potential.”

New Position Bridges Wellness at Michigan Tech

by Kara Sokol, integrated marketing specialist/editor

Student health and wellness is receiving serious attention by colleges and universities throughout the country, and Michigan Tech is no exception.

After a recent examination of the issue, the University concluded that a new position was needed, one that would bridge the efforts of many into a single, cohesive unit.

Enter Michelle Bangen, newly appointed coordinator of University health and wellness.

The position is unique in that Bangen will split her time equally between Counseling Services and the Department of Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education, serving different roles within each of the departments.

"We've had the vision of creating additional wellness opportunities and education for some time," said Vice President for Student Affairs Les Cook. "We are really looking forward to the partnership and synergies evolving out of Counseling Services and Exercise Science."

With an emphasis on overall health rather than any one particular component, the new position will encompass a broad array of responsibilities. In an attempt to coordinate services, Bangen will be reviewing all current wellness-related efforts on campus. In addition, she will teach courses for the exercise science department, create educational programming and training opportunities, work one-on-one with students groups and organizations and more.

Bangen, formerly a wellness coordinator with BHK Child Development, is enthusiastic about her new role at Tech.

"I'm thrilled about this opportunity," said Bangen. "There seems to be a lot of excitement on campus for this, and I can't wait to get started."

Equally as enthusiastic are Counseling Services Director Don Williams and Exercise Science Department Chair Jason Carter.

"It's a great new position, one that will cover a variety of health and wellness aspects," said Carter. "It's going to bridge physical health and mental health while putting equal focus on the components of each—being active, getting enough sleep, keeping stress levels in check. We're very excited about the possibilities."

According to those involved in the creation of the new position, Banger is just the right person to coordinate such an effort.

"Michelle has outstanding credentials and will be a great addition to the University," said Cook. "She will make a difference in stimulating health and wellness programming and awareness for our students."

Amos Farewell Reception April 9

The School of Technology invites you to a farewell reception for Dean Scott Amos on Wednesday, April 9, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.

Amos is leaving Michigan Tech to begin his new position as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie. Please join us in wishing him well in his new endeavors. Light refreshments will be served.

Reminder: Call for 2008 Research Award Nominations

The Michigan Tech Research Award Committee is soliciting nominations for the 2008 Research Award.

Please nominate the outstanding researchers among your department's faculty and research staff. Information and requirements can be found on the Vice President for Research website, .

Please submit your nomination to Cathy Banfield or Cheryl Gherna, Vice President for Research office, no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 24.

Museum Exhibition Displays Recent Michigan Tech Industrial Archaeology Finds

Recent archaeological finds by Michigan Tech are the centerpiece of displays at the Putnam County Historical Society and Foundry School Museum about Scenic Hudson's West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, N.Y. The full arc of American industrial history, from thriving manufacturing to benign neglect to rediscovery, is on display in a new exhibition that opened Sunday, March 30, and will remain open through Dec. 14.

The archeology performed at three original foundry buildings is used to highlight major aspects of the foundry's operations and its workers' lives. The exhibition includes archaeological artifacts, photographs, maps and an interactive display, which uses a GIS interface to spatially link photographs, paperwork and web blogs to locations in the foundry. Photographs and other materials illustrate the neglect and contamination of the site during the 20th century and its renovation and renewal since 1996. Scenic Hudson's plans for a $3.5 million "outdoor museum" are also on view, explaining the foundry's groundbreaking contribution to American industry as well as the environment's recovery.

This exhibition has been organized and funded by Scenic Hudson, Michigan Tech and the Putnam County Historical Society and Foundry School Museum. Additional funding has been provided by Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architects, Kearney Realty Group, and Sterns & Wheeler LLC.

This exhibition displays only a fraction of what students and staff under the direction of Professor Patrick Martin, Assistant Professor Timothy Scarlett, and Assistant Professor Samuel Sweitz (Social Sciences) have uncovered since 2001. Field research will continue this summer in the form of field school (available for credit).

For more information about the site, visit .

Call for Student Proposals: DeVlieg Research Awards in Wildlife, Environmental Studies

The DeVlieg Foundation encourages both undergraduate and graduate students to submit proposals for the DeVlieg Research Awards in Wildlife and Environmental Studies. These proposals should be related to wildlife or environmental research that will be conducted either in summer 2008 or will begin in fall 2008 and be conducted in the 2008-09 school year. These grants will be administered by Michigan Tech and could be as much as $5,000.

Proposals should be roughly two pages, describe the scope of work and have a general budget. A student needs to be an American citizen to qualify.

Proposals should be submitted no later than April 18 to Lynn Artman, administrator of foundation relations.

If there are students in your area with proposals or potential projects, please refer them to Artman at 487-3484 or . She will be happy to work with these students on their proposals. As always, proposals to private foundations should be submitted through the Office of Foundation Relations with a transmittal form and the proper signatures. Artman will also help with the transmittal process.

Reminder: Visiting Scholar to Speak on Face Recognition, Automatic Cooperative Tracking

Besma Abidi, from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, will give two lectures this week hosted by the electrical engineering technology program of the School of Technology.

She will present "Long-range Face Recognition" on Monday, March 31, 3:30-4:30 p.m., in Dillman 214, and "Automatic Cooperative Tracking" on Tuesday, April 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m., in EERC 100.

For more information, contact Alaa Aly at 487-1909 or .

Abidi's visit is sponsored by the Presidential Commission for Women, the Presidential Commission on Diversity, the King-Chavez-Parks Visiting Scholar Program and the School of Technology.

Reminder: Bio Sci Seminar Today

Michael Prigge of the Department of Biology at Indiana University will give a talk, "Auxin’s Regulation of Development in Diverse Land Plants and Its Implications in Plant Evolution," today, Monday, March 31, at 4 p.m. in Chem Sci 101 as part of the Biological Sciences Faculty Search Seminar Series.

Memorial Union Menus

Monday, March 31
The Grill--Breakfast, Breakfast Bagel Combo $3.99 (delicious breakfast bagel sandwich, hash-brown nuggets and coffee); Lunch, BBQ-rib Sandwich $2.50 (Make it a value meal with a small fry and a 20-ounce soda for $2.)
Home Style Entrees--Cheeseburger Meatloaf $3.95, Full Meal $5.95 (includes two sides), Mashed Potatoes $1.50, Green Bean Casserole $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Chinese Chicken, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup $2.99--Vienna Cheese, Beef Burgundy
Mubsterz Pizza--Greek Chicken, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Try this week's featured sandwich, Corned Beef and Slaw Sandwiches $3.50.

Tuesday, April 1
The Grill--Breakfast, Country-fried Steak and biscuits $4.95 (Country-fried Steak, two eggs any style and two biscuits); Lunch, Two-Fer-Tuesday $3.95 (two cheeseburgers, small fries and a 20-ounce fountain soda)
Home Style Entrees--Chicken Parmesan $3.95, Eggplant Parmesan $3.95, Full Meal Deal, $5.95 (includes two sides), Pesto Pasta $1.50, Chef's Vegetable $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Beef Fajita Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup--$2.99; Chicken Noodle, Cream of Broccoli
Mubsterz Pizza--Tomato, Cheeze and Hot Pepper Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Hot Campbell's Soup Served Monday through Friday, $2.99 per cup

Wednesday, April 2
The Grill--Breakfast, Breakfast Pizza $2.99; Lunch, Grilled Tomato, Bacon and Cheese Sandwiches $3.25
Home Style Entrees--Carved Beef Eye of Round Au jus, Ranch Potatoes and Chef's Vegetable $5.95, Ranch Potatoes $1.50, Chef's Vegetable $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Buffalo Chicken Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup--$2.99; Split Pea with Ham and Bacon, Cheddar and Blue Cheese Potato Chowder
Mubsterz Pizza--Spinach and Garlic Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Try one of our low-carb-friendly wrap sandwiches $3.85

Thursday, April 3
The Grill----Breakfast, Strawberry Cinnamon French Toast $2.95 (Cinnamon-swirl French toast served with strawberry topping and whipped cream); Lunch, Swiss Melt on Vienna Rye $3.75 (one-quarter pound burger, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, mustard and relish. Served on grilled Vienna rye)
Home Style Entrees--Carved Baked Ham $3.95, Full Meal add $2 (full meal includes two sides), Scalloped Potatoes $1.50, Fresh Grilled Vegetables $1.50, Mac-N-Cheese Side $1.50, Mac-N-Cheese Full Order $3
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup--$2.99; Beef Noodle, Minnesota Wild Rice
Mubsterz Pizza--Reuben Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Make any sandwich a value meal and get a 20-ounce fountain soda, chips or a jumbo cookie for just $2.

Friday, April 4
The Grill--Breakfast, Meat Lovers Big Breakfast $4.95 (get three bacon, three sausage, two eggs, hash browns and toast); Lunch, Fish Fillet Sandwich $2.75 (Golden-breaded fish Fillet served on a sesame bun with lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce)
Home Style Entrees--Lemon-roasted Pollack $3.95, Full Meal add $2 (full meal includes two sides), Parslied Red Potatoes $1.50, Steamed Broccoli $1.50
The Wok About International Display Cooking--all entrees $4.75; Shanghai Beef Wraps, Chicken Caesar Salad
Soup by the Cup--$2.99; Minestrone, Seafood Bisque Soup
Mubsterz Pizza--Ranch Chicken Bacon Pizza, by the slice $2.99
Peppers & Pickles Deli--Try this week's featured sandwich, Corned Beef and Slaw Sandwiches $3.50.

On the Road

Professor Jennifer Daryl Slack (Humanities) presented an invited lecture, "Beyond the Cyborg," on March 25 at Villanova University. She also gave a seminar at Villanova for faculty and graduate students, "New Media and New Communication Theory."