Renewal Proposal


The mission of the Multi-Scale Technologies Institute is to create knowledge and technologies leading to functional systems that incorporate nanotechnologies and microtechnologies and to disseminate knowledge through research, scholarship, and education.

MuSTI directly supports Michigan Tech’s vision of a leading global technological university that inspires students, advances knowledge, and innovates to create a sustainable, just, and prosperous world.

Fulfillment of MuSTI Mission via Alignment with Michigan Tech’s Strategic Plan

MuSTI is in direct support of appropriate goals and sub-goals of Michigan Tech’s Strategic Plan. It has been the philosophy of the MuSTI leadership to focus on enabling research through the development and support of major infrastructure, along with focus on individual projects and investigators. The following three sections are the MuSTI Charter and align with sections of the Michigan Tech Strategic Plan.

1. Research, Scholarship, and Infrastructure

1.1 Research and Scholarship

As the IRAD balance permits, a call for proposals will be published to provide seed funding for the purpose of developing results for externally funded proposals or completing PhD research. Supported items are expected to include supplies, services, and some student support (including undergraduate). Funds will not be used for faculty salaries or release unless strongly justified in the proposal.

MuSTI IRAD return will be used to support affiliates, or potential affiliates to travel to funding agencies or other venues for the purpose of meeting and presenting to secure multidisciplinary, and multi-investigator funding. It is expected that external funding proposals resulting from this support will be submitted with MuSTI as the affiliated Center or Institute.

MuSTI IRAD return will be used to support travel for faculty and students to major and highly visible conferences and workshops where those who are supported are leading symposia and/or presenting. The intent is to further promote MuSTI and Michigan Tech to colleagues, proposal and paper reviewers who may be present, and funding program managers. In all instances, the presenters will note their MuSTI affiliation.

Our goal is to continue the growth of external funding and funded projects, and the number of faculty serving as PIs.

1.2 Infrastructure

Over its lifetime, MuSTI has helped acquire and support research infrastructure with funds when needed, supplies and services to generate initial research results, and matching funds for both. MuSTI has also contributed funding to maintain equipment now in the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratories (ACMAL) and the Microfabrication Facility (MFF). With MuSTI’s support, ACMAL and MFF have matured to the status of Michigan Tech core facilities. As MuSTI follows the philosophy of contributing to enabling research infrastructure and opportunities, MuSTI will provide support to help facilitate the new FEI Titan Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope.

MuSTI IRAD return will be used for infrastructure support, new or existing, that support MuSTI affiliates (and the campus community) as the needs arise. This support may be in the form of helping with maintenance contracts for critical infrastructure, matching for hardware or software upgrades, increasing performance of instrumentation to remain competitive for external funding, or expanding computing capabilities, for example. When there are competing requests, the MuSTI leadership will decide the priority after receiving input from those requesting. MuSTI will also continue to support infrastructure that is open to researchers and students campus-wide. All infrastructure supported by MuSTI must be made available to users campus-wide.

2. Education

MuSTI is home to the interdisciplinary Nanoscale Science and Engineering Minor resulting from prior NSF NUE (Nanotechnology in Undergraduate Education) funding. This minor incorporates currently offered courses for the majority of its requirements but two new courses were developed. The first was UN2600 Fundamentals of Nanoscale Science and Technology – 2 credits. The second course was SS3820 Societal Implications of Nanotechnology. Both courses are interdisciplinary and cross all traditional curricular and program boundaries. This minor is subject to university requirements and is periodically updated to remain compliant.

The Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology has had minimal success, perhaps due to lack of its promotion or knowledge by graduate advisers across campus.

2.1 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Minor

MuSTI will continue to provide funding in support of the required course offerings to provide faculty release for teaching and invited speakers. This has been $5,000 per year and is subject to continued course offerings, number of enrolled students, and availability of funds. Our goal is to have an average of at least three new students enter the minor each academic year. MuSTI will also provide informational materials to department advisers to promote the minor.

2.2 Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology

Electronic promotional materials will be developed for the Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology and regular updates to the MuSTI webpages will be maintained for greater visibility across campus, and externally. Our goal is to have at least one new certificate student and one completed certificate each year.

3. Service

MuSTI will help support economic development to the extent practical. While MuSTI does not have resources for sole support of patent filings, etc, it can occasionally help with matching for affiliates where appropriate.

MuSTI will help support education outreach through Summer Youth Programs, REU, etc where appropriate. MuSTI will also provide support for outreach materials that help grow the research and education missions of the university, including brochures for prospective students, current web site, and social media.

MuSTI will support (by modest sponsorship) major symposia, workshops, etc that promote the university to leaders in the technical or education fields. Supported affiliates will help with the various media outlets and are expected to have a leadership role in the respective events.

Governance Structure

The Director of MuSTI is currently Dr. Craig Friedrich, Professor of MEEM and Robbins Professor. The Director reports to the Vice President for Research. The Director’s term will be five years and can be renewed subject to the approval of the Vice President for Research. The Director is responsible for the overall management of MuSTI, will coordinate proposal, infrastructure development, and education programs and will make final decisions related to MuSTI IRAD expenditures.

The Director will be assisted by two Associate Directors; an Associate Director for Education and Outreach, and an Associate Director for Fabrication and Facilities.

The Associate Director for Education and Outreach will coordinate and make recommendations on the development, implementation, and dissemination of on-campus programs including the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Minor and the Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology. The Associate Director will oversee the updating of these education programs to remain compliant with university policies.

The Associate Director for Fabrication and Facilities will coordinate and make recommendations on supporting the acquisition, operation, and maintenance of equipment and instrumentation, and safety and student training for MuSTI-affiliated students and faculty.

The Associate Directors will represent the Director and MuSTI to internal and external constituencies as the need arises.