Student researcher performing a test in the wave tank.
With digitally controlled paddles, an array of gauges, and an optical tracking system, Michigan Tech’s wave tank creates reproducible wave fields that aid understanding of motion in submerged and partially submerged materials, including ships, underwater vehicles, and devices with moving elements that act as wave energy converters (WECs).

Be it centered on health and quality of life, sustainability and resilience, or another of the Tech Forward initiatives, research at Michigan Tech excels at being interdisciplinary—so much so that the University is now widely known for it. But why and how has Tech developed this sterling reputation in an area other universities view as niche?

There's a single answer: The University makes interdisciplinary research a leading priority.

Michigan Tech boasts 16 thriving research centers and institutes, from the Advanced Power Systems Research Center near Houghton County Memorial Airport to the Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor. The University has also invested in physical infrastructure to support interdisciplinary research. Following the success of the Keweenaw Research Center and the Great Lakes Research Center, Tech began construction in 2022 on the new H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex. Located in the heart of campus, the H-STEM Complex will be formally celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 26.

"Michigan Tech's commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship is not just articulated," says Chelsea Schelly, sociology professor. "It's institutionalized here in a way that's different than in a lot of other places."

The investment is paying off: Michigan's flagship technological university is now home to some of the most innovative interdisciplinary research in the world. Our researchers break through the boundaries between scientific disciplines, leveraging the full depth and breadth of knowledge across campus.

Smoke coming out of a snowy chimney.

Team Science: Putting People First

by Rick White

Chelsea Schelly is taking the mentorship she received in interdisciplinary research and putting it to use at Tech, leading collaborative projects that have real impact on sustainability in the region.

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Processing a sample in the COVID-19 testing lab.

H-STEM Rising

by Cyndi Perkins

Tech's new H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex is move-in ready, but researchers haven't been waiting. Their work to improve human health and help communities thrive remains relentless.

Read H-STEM Rising

Snow around the edge of a solar panel.

Shedding Snow, Powering UP

by Cyndi Perkins

Energy challenges are worldwide, but every solution is local. That's why researchers at Tech are pioneering strategies tailored for cold-climate communities in the Great Lakes region.

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An empty petri dish next to one with colonies growing.

Needles, Haystacks, and Sugar Chains

by Rick White

A glycobiologist and a computer scientist join forces to find protein-bound glycans faster—a major advance in the understanding of human health and disease.

Read Needles, Haystacks, and Sugar Chains

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.