Debra D. Charlesworth

Debra D. Charlesworth


  • Associate Dean, Graduate School
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University
  • MS, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Technological University


Debra Charlesworth began her career at Michigan Tech as an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering. At Northwestern University, she studied biomedical engineering and her research focused on the development and characterization of a novel composite biomaterial to improve the longevity of total hip replacements.  Returning to Michigan Tech, her research program developed new biomaterials and characterization methods for them. She is also interested in engineering education, co-authoring several papers on the topic and presenting at meetings. Currently, Debra is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School.  She is primarily responsible for working with students to help them succeed in graduate school, supervising the student services staff, leading orientation for new graduate students, reviewing theses and dissertations, and improving degree processes for current students.


  • Review of theses and dissertations
  • Presents and organizes professional development seminars
  • Processes withdrawals
  • Manages new student orientation
  • Manages the postdoctoral affairs office