The clock tower on campus with white blossoms in the foreground.

1400 Townsend Drive

Spring on campus has a vibe all its own. After final projects come to fruition and graduation caps get tossed to the skies, campus blooms with the promise of summer plans. Buds break into flower and the breath of spring breezes through the trees, while faculty and staff prepare to welcome future Huskies in the new academic year to come.

Building a new residence hall. Welcoming a nursing program. Conducting award-winning research in plastics recycling, astroparticle physics, aquatics robots and more. Get a glimpse of campus happenings and student and faculty accomplishments in this edition of 1400 Townsend.

New Digs for Huskies

In April 2023, Michigan Tech's Board of Trustees approved plans to build a new residence hall on campus. East Hall, as it's currently known, will house more than 500 second-year and upper-division Huskies alongside US Highway 41, just east of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Student occupancy is tentatively expected to begin in fall 2025.

Artist rendering of East Hall.
With a focus on modern and sustainable design features, East Hall will be a vibrant and eco-friendly living space for Tech’s growing student body, serving as the eastern gateway to campus—and the Copper Country.

Increased demand for a Michigan Tech education drove the need for the new hall, with the University's last two incoming classes marking our largest since 1984. "With enrollment expanding at the University, access to contemporary, affordable housing is a high priority for Michigan Tech," said University President Rick Koubek.

East Hall is one of a handful of construction priorities outlined in Tech's campus master plan, which was approved in 2022 following 19 months of input from campus stakeholders and community members.

The University's growing enrollment reflects the rising value of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-centric education. "College enrollment in STEM and STEM-related degrees is on the rise, fueled by the realization that these fields offer the hottest job prospects," said Vice President for University Relations and Enrollment John Lehman. "As the demand for cutting-edge technology, innovation, and scientific breakthroughs continues to shape the world, students who have a very real desire to make meaningful contributions to society are increasingly drawn to the fields that hold the key to the future."

Preparations at the future site of East Hall began in October, and work on the building's foundations began before the new year. Construction work is planned to resume on campus in the spring.

Diversity Award

When she began teaching at Tech, Brigitte Morin made completing Safe Place training a priority for the same reason she puts rainbow stickers on her water bottle.

Brigitte Morin teaching a class.

"I wanted to be a visible ally and a visible person in power," said Morin, an associate teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. "Of course, my amount of power depends on the situation I'm in, but as the person at the front of the room, I can be both in power and a safe place for students who might be a little nervous to be themselves or who might just not even know who they are. They feel like they can ask me questions or at least that they don't have to worry about the identity that they hold in the space that I control."

Morin's come-as-you-are classroom design and efforts to expand teaching inclusivity at Michigan Tech have been recognized with the University's 2023 Diversity Award.

"If the endgame is having students learn content and skills to aid them in their future careers and personal growth, then cultivating a space where students feel safe, valued, and heard while they learn is a no-brainer. It offers students opportunities to be successful," she said.

Morin, a 2006 alumna and 2018 recipient of the University's Distinguished Teaching Award, never turns down an opportunity to bolster inclusivity, according to Michael Meyer, former director of the University's Center for Teaching and Learning. "It's something she makes room for because it's her passion, and her efforts are working," he said. "She is slowly but surely changing the teaching culture on campus."

Nursing Program Welcomed

After neighboring Finlandia University announced that it would close permanently in May 2023, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Andrew Storer led an effort to make a home at Tech for Finlandia's bachelor's degree in nursing.

Nursing student practices taking a person's blood pressure.

"As a STEM-based research institution with outstanding clinical partners in the region, we are uniquely positioned to ensure that students who want to pursue a career in nursing will be able to do so in the Copper Country, and that local healthcare providers will have student nurses and graduates available," said Storer.

"Support for adding the nursing program at Michigan Tech has been universal," Storer continued. "Everyone involved understood the importance of a four-year nursing program remaining in the local area, and also that Michigan Tech is the perfect university to offer such a program. We are proud to have this opportunity to support our community."

Michigan Tech's BS in Nursing was approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2023 and MTU welcomed six faculty members and one staff member from Finlandia to lead the program. Lori Sullivan, a teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences with over 25 years of broad experience in the nursing field, directs the program.

"We're thrilled to be launching the program with such an experienced group of faculty and staff," Storer said. "Having them on board from the outset will ensure that our nursing program delivers the high-quality, hands-on instruction that our students expect in a Michigan Tech education."

While the bachelor's in nursing is new to MTU, nursing education is not. Michigan Tech previously offered an associate's degree in nursing from 1973 to 1982.

  • No. 16
    among the nation's best public colleges, as ranked in The Wall Street Journal's "2024 Best Colleges in the U.S."
  • No. 2
    for salary impact among US public colleges, per The Wall Street Journal
  • No. 6
    best career placement among public schools for 2023, as ranked by The Princeton Review
  • >30%
    2,200 women enrolled in 2023—the largest portion of MTU's student body ever
  • 86.6%
    of first-year students return for their second year—the highest retention rate in Tech's history
  • No. 8
    Houghton's rank among "The 55 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America," according to Architectural Digest

Gold Standard

Michigan Tech's outstanding sustainability achievements received a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in 2023

Showcase [AI] Spotlights AI at Tech

Student demonstrating 4-legged robot during a poster session.
“Often, the things that go on at the University happen in the lab and on the computers,” said Tim Havens, director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems. “We really want people to come in and see the types of research and education our students are getting, and just be wowed by the great things that are happening here.”

The College of Computing and the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) collaborated to present Showcase [AI] at Michigan Tech in October. The showcase explored the excitement and controversy surrounding the intuitive automated systems affecting more and more aspects of daily life, including health, communications, and computing.

One of the goals of Showcase [AI] was to spread the word about the increasingly automated and rapidly advancing technologies that are a research focus at Michigan Tech. The event featured panel discussions, workshops, keynote speakers, and interactive events—and ICC student researchers put their work on display during the showcase's poster competition.

Included in the conference was the University's inaugural Manufacturing Day, which drew local manufacturers and researchers together to discuss artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, and the unique manufacturing occurring in the Keweenaw Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. The day's events highlighted the importance of technological progress in manufacturing and how smart technologies and Industry 4.0 are paving ways to efficiency, sustainability, precision, and more.

"With rapid developments in AI and automation, new advancements in technologies are changing the way that we see manufacturing. Manufacturing Day celebrates this recent progress and its future potential," said Vinh Nguyen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics and Manufacturing Day coordinator.

Mechatronics Program Ranked No. 2 in US

The field of mechatronics is driving a technological revolution of the manufacturing industry, reinventing the way products are designed, produced, and delivered with digital technologies, automation, and data analytics. This past June, MTU's interdisciplinary mechatronics program was ranked No. 2 in the United States by Knowinsiders.

Professor Sergeyev showing two students a piece of equipment in the mechatronics lab.

Mechatronics education began at Tech in 2019 with a master's degree. A bachelor's degree followed in 2020. Aleksandr Sergeyev, professor of applied computing, directed both programs until this past July, when Paniz Hazaveh, an associate teaching professor of applied computing, took over the bachelor's program.

"This dream is one that started over 20 years ago," said Mark Gauthier, president of Donald Engineering and a longtime champion of and generous donor to the program. "To see the efforts Alex Sergeyev and Michigan Tech have put into this is beyond my expectations and certainly wouldn't have happened if Michigan Tech and Alex Sergeyev didn't have the same passion as I do for mechatronics."

Tech is one of only a few educational institutions that provide the advanced training the workforce needs to meet current and future demand. To meet this need, in November MTU announced a mechatronics education collaboration with West Shore Community College in Scottville, Michigan. The partnership will train a new generation of professionals to lead the surge in advanced manufacturing.

Remembering Beloved Faculty

Bill Predebon

Emeritus Professor William W. Predebon, who retired in 2022 after nearly 47 years at Michigan Tech and 25 years as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, passed away unexpectedly in July.

Predebon joined the ME-EM department in 1976 and became chair in 1997. Under his watch, the department expanded interdisciplinary research and research funding, grew the doctoral program, and updated the curriculum and laboratories. He led the ME-EM department to rapidly evolve its educational methods, incorporating big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence as practical methods of solving engineering design problems.

"He was a beloved member of the Michigan Tech community, and we are all deeply moved and saddened by his loss," wrote the ME-EM department in a tribute. "Bill was passionate about whatever he did, whether it be his strong work ethic, his family, or his devotion to faith. Throughout his life, his curiosity fueled the continued pursuit of knowledge. He is and will continue to be greatly missed."

Joel Tuoriniemi

The University also lost a much-beloved professor from the College of Business. Joel Tuoriniemi, a professor of practice in accounting, passed away September 19.

Tuoriniemi joined the College of Business in 2001. His teaching ability spanned from classes in introductory accounting to courses for the Tech MBA® and MSA, and also to Tech's Applied Portfolio Management Program.

"Joel would often tell his students that he didn't see teaching as a job; he simply showed up on campus each morning to do what he loved most—which was being with his students, all day, every day," said Dean Johnson, dean of the College of Business. "'And,' he would say, 'for some reason the University continues to put money in my bank account for it.' He will be remembered by his colleagues and students for his passion for teaching and his dedication to providing whatever was needed to benefit students."

Michigan Tech Research Award

For internationally recognized work in high-energy gamma-ray astronomy and galactic cosmic rays, experimental astrophysicist and Distinguished Professor of Physics Petra Huentemeyer earned the 2023 Michigan Tech Research Award.

Petra Huentemeyer

Huentemeyer is the director of Michigan Tech's Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI). She helped found and is the former US spokesperson for the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) gamma-ray observatory near Puebla, Mexico, and is also the vice-spokesperson for the multinational Southern Wide-field Gamma-ray Observatory (SWGO).

Huentemeyer's work and that of her students—who have also become important members of the research community, earning positions at top-ranked institutions—have led to major advances in astroparticle physics.

The Michigan Tech Research Award recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement by a faculty member and is awarded based on the impact of the person's research—particularly sustained research or a noteworthy breakthrough. The Michigan Tech Research Award is symbolic of the University's high standard for research endeavors.

Bhakta Rath Research Award

Kathryn Perrine and Chathura de Alwis in front of a research poster.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Kathryn Perrine and graduate student Chathura de Alwis received Michigan Tech's 2023 Bhakta Rath Research Award for their discovery of a new technique for measuring complex reactive processes at the interface of liquids, solids, and gases.

Perrine and de Alwis's research resulted in new insights into the chemical mechanisms of oxidation-reduction reactions on iron and other earth-abundant metals and materials. They were nominated by leading scientists who emphasized the widespread applications of their work, the precision and potential of their measurement method, and their detailed documentation and excellence in research.

The Bhakta Rath Research Award recognizes a doctoral student and their Michigan Tech faculty advisor. The award was established by Bhakta B. Rath and his wife, Sushama Rath, to recognize those who conduct exceptional scientific and technological research in anticipation of the future needs of the nation while supporting potential advances in emerging technology.

Three MTU Faculty Members Receive NSF CAREER Awards

The National Science Foundation (NSF) selected three Michigan Tech faculty members to receive CAREER Awards in 2023. Michigan Tech announced Radwin Askari and Hassan Masoud as CAREER Award winners in a March news story, and added another announcement in June for Paul Goetsch's award. These awards, the NSF's most prestigious for early-career faculty, recognize their recipients' potential to serve as academic role models in research and education, and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. The five-year grants will support research work and education outreach.

Radwin Askari
Radwin Askari
Hassan Masoud
Hassan Masoud
Paul Goetsch
Paul Goetsch

Askari, a geophysicist, is an associate professor in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences. His $668,000 award will allow him to continue research in the Physical Modeling Laboratory, which he founded. For his CAREER project, he'll develop tools to investigate the cavitation mechanism in fluid-filled magmatic cracks and the developments of subcracks and seismic signals that result.

"The results from this research can improve the forecast of volcanic eruptions, which in turn can help to mitigate their consequent hazards," said Askari.

Masoud is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. His award totals more than $520,000, and allows him to continue research into aquatic robots that surf at the air-water interface or swim underwater.

"The fundamental knowledge gained during this project will directly contribute to the design and implementation of future aquatic robots capable of functioning alongside each other with a high degree of coordination, similar to the behaviors exhibited by fish in schools and birds in flocks," Masoud said.

Goetsch is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and a member of the Health Research Institute (HRI). His research on cell identity is noteworthy not only for its impact in the field of cancer biology, but for inspiring students to pursue research. His CAREER project is slated to receive more than $1 million in support.

"I'm excited that part of this research will include the work of students who enroll in BL2210 Genetics Lab," said Goetsch. "Not only are we going to get into the weeds about genetics and cellular identity, but the students will gain hands-on experience with technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing and RNA interference, and even learn the tools researchers use to 'browse' genomes and understand the structure of eukaryotic genes."

DoD SMART Scholarships

Michigan Tech graduate students Noah Baliat and Marcello Guadagno have received US Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (DoD SMART) Scholarships.

The DoD SMART Scholarship provides students with full tuition for up to five years, mentorship, summer internships, a stipend, and full-time employment with the DoD after graduation. The awards were announced in April 2023.

Baliat is a master's student in mechanical engineering, and will be affiliated with the Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Guadagno is a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, and will be affiliated with Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Five other Huskies were recognized as scholarship semifinalists: Erican Santiago, PhD candidate in biomedical engineering; Kaitlyn Morgenstern, undergraduate student in mathematics; Jonathan Oleson, PhD candidate in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics; Rachel Passeno, undergraduate student in cybersecurity; and Trent Betters, undergraduate student in computer science.


Dogs pulling a sled through the snow.

The Mushing Club at Michigan Tech—the country’s first collegiate-level mushing organization—will turn five in 2024. The club was founded in 2019 with the mission of introducing students and the public to the sport of dog sledding. Club membership promotes responsibility, dedication, and organization—and students say the time spent caring for and interacting with sled dogs helps support their mental health and well-being, too. In 2023, Mushing Club members competed in multiple races, including the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in January and the CopperDog 80 in March. Club member Sky Harris was the Beargrease Rookie of the Year in 2023, finishing fourth in the Beargrease 120.

@michigantech: Timeless Traditions

From Winter Carnival themes to commencement regalia, these social media posts and comments offer a glimpse of iconic moments in the Michigan Tech experience. Each snapshot represents an experience that encapsulates the essence of being a Husky.

Mackinac Bridge from the water.

We've all heard the saying, "Call me when you get to the bridge!" but have you heard of an OBP?

The Obligatory Bridge Pic, otherwise known as an OBP, is a cultural phenomenon popularized by Michigan Tech students. An OBP consists of posting a picture of the Mackinac Bridge on social media after traveling over the Straits of Mackinac.  An OBP may occur as a Husky travels north to Tech's campus or as they retreat to the lower peninsula.

We'd love to know, do you have any OBPs?

June 6, 2023 Facebook Post

Students studying in the Library.

The "it's almost finals feeling" is prevalent on campus.

Wish our Huskies good luck during exams in the comment section below!

December 5, 2023 Facebook Post

Two graduates wearing caps and gowns.

No matter where life takes you, you'll always be a Husky.  Congratulations, Class of 2023!

Graduates Pictured:

  • Cait Warner + Kali Kater '23, BS ecology and evolutionary biology

Time to say hello Michigan Tech Alumni & Friends status!

December 16, 2023 Facebook Post

Winter Carnival 2024 logo with a Northern Lights background.

"From Forests To Shores, We Love The Outdoors"

Huskies celebrate winter like no other! We're excited to reveal the logo design and theme for the 2024 Winter Carnival: "From Forest to Shores, We Love The Outdoors." The 2024 Winter Carnival logo concept was designed by Connor Anderson.

Instagram Post

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

The Graduate School announced last April that Jenna Brewer, a Michigan Tech graduate student, and Megan Guyer, a Tech undergraduate student, were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships.

The oldest STEM-related fellowship program in the United States, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes exceptional graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines early in their career. The five-year fellowship will support Brewer and Guyer through the duration of their graduate education.

Brewer is studying applied ecology as a master's student in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Working with Assistant Professor Jared Wolfe, Brewer's research focuses on how acoustic signals affect the flight paths of migratory songbirds.

Guyer, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, is working under Assistant Professor Paul Goetsch. Guyer is working to explain the mechanisms behind germ cell development by investigating the transcriptional activation of germline (reproductive) genes in somatic cells.

"The Graduate School is proud of these students for their outstanding scholarship," said the announcement. "These awards highlight the quality of students at Michigan Tech, the innovative work they have accomplished, the potential for leadership and impact in science and engineering that the country recognizes in these students, and the incredible role that faculty play in students' academic success."

Two more Tech graduate students received honorable mentions: Hunter Roose, a master's student in biological sciences, and Reed Arneson, a PhD student in forest molecular genetics and biotechnology.

Keweenaw Research Center Turns 70

Large armored vehicle in a room with fans blowing cold air.

Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) hosted a Platinum Jubilee open house in August to celebrate their 70th anniversary. Originally a deep snow mobility testing location for the US Army, the KRC is home to multidisciplinary research in vehicle development. The facility maintains more than 900 acres of proving grounds across the Keweenaw Peninsula's rugged and varied terrain to evaluate ground vehicle systems and components, and has been involved in military, industrial, and commercial vehicle testing.

For its Platinum Jubilee during Alumni Reunion weekend, the KRC invited campus community members, area residents, alumni, and others to come learn more about the research center's history, capabilities, and future plans. The visitors were invited to experience some KRC activities firsthand, taking part in tours and ride-alongs on the test course and visiting the new arctic cold testing chamber, which can reach temperatures of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit—and lower.

Jeffrey Naber Receives ICE Award from ASME

Jeffrey Naber

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) honored Jeffrey Naber as the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Award. Naber is the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Endowed Professor in Energy Systems in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and the director of MTU's Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APSRC).

The ICE Award recognizes eminent achievement in or distinguished contributions to the field of internal combustion engine engineering over a substantial period of time. Naber—who was highlighted in last year's Michigan Tech Magazine as the 2022 Michigan Tech Research Award recipient—accepted the ICE Award at the ASME's 2023 ICE Forward Conference in October.

Dave Reed Announces Retirement

Dave Reed

Last October, Vice President for Research Dave Reed announced his plans to retire from Michigan Tech in June 2024. Reed has led MTU's Vice President for Research Office since 2001, and also serves as a professor of forest biometrics in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

"Dave has served Michigan Tech with a breadth of knowledge, experience, and wisdom for the past 41 years, including stints as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, dean of the Graduate School and interim CFO," said Rick Koubek, Michigan Tech's president. "He has touched nearly every facet of this University and his imprint will be felt for many years."

Under Reed's leadership, Michigan Tech has experienced nearly three decades of research growth; created multiple research centers, institutes, and initiatives; and expanded the University's research presence into the Lower Peninsula. Over the same span of time, research expenditures at Michigan Tech have more than tripled, reaching $103.8 million in fiscal year 2023—the University's highest total ever.

Reed said he's looking forward to traveling and spending time with his six grandchildren, but leaving Tech won't be easy. "It's been an honor and privilege working with the people I've been able to work with to accomplish the things we were able to accomplish," he said. "That's what's made it worthwhile: forming teams, taking advantage of everyone's special skills and knowledge, and accomplishing goals. That and forming lasting relationships with people while doing so."

"I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with Dave," said Koubek. "He is an unequivocal statesman in the world of higher education and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his service to Michigan Tech."

The University launched a national search for our next vice president for research in December.

Recycling Contaminated Plastics with STRAP

In the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, Professor Ezra Bar-Ziv and his students are working to prove the commercial viability of a promising new recycling method. Solvent targeted recovery and precipitation, or STRAP, targets plastics that cannot be recycled because they're contaminated—with other plastics, dyes or inks, fillers, and other materials. It can restore contaminated plastics, including food-grade materials, to their original state for reuse.

Ezra Bar-Ziv sprinkling a handful of shredded plastic into a machine.

Bar-Ziv joined forces with STRAP's developer, George Huber, Richard L. Antoine Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, after recognizing common interests in their published research. Now, they network globally with others focused on plastic recycling—and this past year, they raised $8 million for STRAP research.

STRAP's test process development unit (PDU) was designed and built at Michigan Tech. It produces 55 pounds per hour of recycled resins from flexible and rigid plastics found in municipal waste. A much larger PDU, about two stories tall, is under construction. "We're going from a lab scale all the way to a ton per hour," said Bar-Ziv.

When the PDU is functional and approved, it will anchor the first commercial plastic recycling system in Wisconsin's Green Bay area, operated by Convergen Energy, with plastics coming from local municipal solid waste.

"We are excited to design, build, and operate a unique STRAP plastic recycling pilot plant that will be used to produce larger quantities of high-quality recycled resins so that we can validate our resins in several downstream applications," said Bar-Ziv, who's aware of only three entities in the world able to recycle plastic at plant scale. "That's what we're trying to do at Michigan Tech, and we are doing it in strong collaboration with the Madison crew."

100 Years of Basketball

In 2020-21, Michigan Tech Athletics celebrated 100 years of Husky hockey, followed in 2022 by the 100-year anniversary of the football program. The Michigan Tech men's basketball program also commemorated its 100th season recently—though the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on the festivities and, like the other programs, its century mark comes with a slight asterisk.

Tech basketball plater in the air for a layup during a game against Lake State.
T.J. Brown’s game-winning layup on February 23, 2013.

Begun in 1919-20, Michigan Tech men's basketball enjoyed two decades under coaches Leon Harvey and Don Sherman. Only one year after Rex Benoit was given the head coaching position in 1941-42, the United States entered World War II, and the basketball team went on a three-season hiatus. Men's hoops returned to Tech in 1945 and has been going strong ever since.

The legacy of the men's basketball program is made up of people, plays, and traditions. The standing-room-only 2003 NCAA regional semifinal game MTU hosted at the SDC Gym. T.J. Brown's game-winning layup on February 23, 2013, that made ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Day. The epic radio call of Brown's layup by broadcaster Mitch Lake, who began as the Huskies' men's basketball radio broadcaster in the mid-1980s and still calls every home game from the SDC Gym's pressbox. Coach Kevin Luke's 27 seasons at the helm, from 1994 to 2021, during which the team amassed 471 wins and a .609 win percentage. All of it accompanied by the spectacle of spirit that is the Huskies Pep Band.

These are what make 100 years of Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons at the Wood Gym so special.

Huskies in the Crowd

Pietila. If you know how to pronounce it, you are probably a supporter of the Huskies hockey team.

College hockey fans from around the country connect the Pietila name with Michigan Tech. Five Pietilas previously donned the black and gold: Jon Paul in the 1993-94 season, then Phil (2002-05), Aaron (2009-13), Chad (2011-13), and Blake (2011-15). In 2023-24, four Pietilas are playing pivotal roles in the Huskies' success: fifth-year twins Blake and Logan, their younger brother Chase, and their second cousin Jed, all of whom grew up skating together in the same neighborhood in Howell, Michigan.

The four Pietila's from the back during lineup before a game.

Blake Pietila

Blake is the reigning CCHA Player of the Year and was a First Team All-American last year—Tech's first goaltender to earn the honor since Jamie Ram in 1994. Blake holds the school record for career wins, shutouts, shutouts in a season, best save percentage, and goals-against average for a season. He leads all active NCAA goalies in games played, wins, and shutouts. He earned his bachelor's in mechanical engineering in spring 2023 and is pursuing an MBA in his fifth year at Tech.

Logan Pietila

Logan, born a minute after Blake, is a center with a knack for scoring in clutch situations. He is the top face-off man for the Huskies. As a first-year player, Logan was the MVP at the 2019 Great Lakes Invitational, scoring a hat trick in the title game. Later that season, he buried a triple-overtime game-winner at archrival Northern Michigan to send the Huskies to the CCHA semifinal game. Logan is a two-time captain. Like Blake, he is pursuing an MBA after earning a bachelor's in mechanical engineering. Both twins were honored on the WCHA and CCHA All-Academic teams.

Chase Pietila

Chase joined the group this year for his first season. After adjusting to the collegiate game early in the season, his teammates have come to rely on him as a smart defensive player who is gaining confidence offensively. NHL scouts have noticed and are keeping their eyes on his progress. Chase is following in his brothers' footsteps and pursuing a mechanical engineering degree.

Jed Pietila

Jed skates on the blue line for the Huskies. He dealt with injuries early in his career, but has solidified his spot in the lineup over the past two seasons. Jed transitioned from a forward to a defenseman during his junior hockey days and is one of the top plus/minus players for Tech. He is a CCHA All-Academic team member working toward a marketing degree

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.