Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson
  • BS Civil Engineering 1985

Michael D. Peterson '85 became a member of the Alumni Board of Directors in 2014. Michael chose Michigan Tech because “It was conveniently located just south of where I grew up and offered the education that I wanted.”

Peterson’s first job was working as a technician/inspector for a soils and materials geotechnical testing lab in Green Bay, WI. From there he moved to another geotechnical testing firm in the Detroit area. Eventually, he migrated to consulting engineering. Today, Peterson is a Principal at Nowak & Fraus PLLC, a mid-sized consulting engineering firm, where he works as a municipal engineer and with private development. “Everything that I did at MTU prepared me for what I do today. Not so much the book work, but the culture of working in teams, problem solving, and taking leadership roles on those teams.”

“I grew up in a civil engineering and surveying family. It was the last thing that I wanted to do, but knew that I wanted to be an engineer. 35 years later here I am a civil engineer/surveyor.”

Among his many favorite professors, Peterson says that Doc Berry stands out. “As a freshman, I had to take chemistry with Doc Berry. The first time, I failed the class, not having a very strong chemistry background in high school. I took it again. At the end of the first lecture, Doc Berry asked to see several students. He handed out pieces of paper, with an address, day and time. I showed up, knocked on the door and was greeted by Doc Berry. We walked through the house to a long table. He said, "Help yourself to water, beer, coffee, tea. Sit down. Here is where we are starting in chemistry." With that help, I passed the class and the several that came after.”

Peterson’s advice to students is: “Embrace the now. Be in the moment. You have the opportunity for a unique education and that time is precious and your own. Give back and pay it forward. Volunteer when you have the time and most of all have FUN.”

May 24, 2018