Michigan Tech Unveils H-STEM Complex to Foster Innovation and Collaboration

Exterior view of H-STEM Complex
Exterior view of H-STEM Complex
Charting new territory in health innovation: Michigan Tech's H-STEM Complex leads the way in interdisciplinary excellence.

Michigan Tech's H-STEM Complex, a new state-of-the-art facility built to advance interdisciplinary research and education in health-related STEM fields, opened its doors in March.

After more than five years of planning and two years of construction, Michigan Technological University announces the completion of the H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex (H-STEM Complex). The state-of-the-art facility officially opened its doors to the public March 11, becoming the most significant reflection yet of the University's commitment to advancing interdisciplinary health-related research and education.

Laboratory space inside the H-STEM Complex
Innovation thrives at Michigan Tech. The H-STEM Complex houses cutting-edge lab and classroom spaces, driving the University's commitment to advancing health-centered technological research and education.

"The opening of the new H-STEM Complex ushers in a new era of health care innovation at Michigan Tech," said Rick Koubek, Michigan Tech's president. "Coupling state-of-the-art lab space with faculty expertise and innovative partnerships, the H-STEM Complex isn't just a building, it's a hub for developing advanced technologies to improve health outcomes for the citizens of Michigan and beyond."

Designed to encourage collaborative research and integrated educational programs focusing on health-related and human-centered technological innovation, the H-STEM Complex will house transdisciplinary, hands-on and student-led research. With its STEM-focused approach, the complex supports industry-relevant educational and research programs in health and human-centered engineering, furthering Michigan Tech's position as a leader in technology and innovation.

Exterior of H-STEM Complex
Positioned in the heart of campus, the H-STEM Complex reflects Michigan Tech's dedication to leading health-centered technological advancements. Its strategic placement highlights the University's commitment to shaping the future of innovation and research.

Spanning approximately 63,000 square feet, the H-STEM Complex combines new shared and flexible laboratory spaces with renovated classrooms and learning environments within the existing Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building. Located in the heart of campus, the complex includes multiple conference rooms, offices for 34 faculty, work space for 84 graduate students, and three teaching labs. The building is on track to be certified as LEED Gold for sustainability, with advanced features such as occupancy sensors integrated into the lighting, air system and fume hood exhaust to increase energy efficiency. In addition, a top-line HVAC energy recovery unit uses the hot and cold air being vented from the building to help heat and cool incoming air.  

"Having H-STEM at the center of campus is now a physical reminder that Michigan Tech has a large presence in health engineering and science," said Caryn Heldt, director of the Health Research Institute, professor of chemical engineering, and James and Lorna Mack Endowed Chair of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. "Funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has tripled in the last decade at Michigan Tech. We are excited to see what increased collaborations and research will occur now that we have a centralized location for health-related research on campus."

Heldt also highlighted the significance of the complex in regards to the University's future.

"Our goal is to develop cutting-edge health technologies that will save lives. In the process, we are educating the next generation of entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers who will lead Michigan and our nation to a brighter, healthier future."Caryn Heldt, director, Health Research Institute

As a research institution, Michigan Tech is on track to achieve R1 status by 2025, and continues to enhance its research efforts, educational programs and community engagement. The H-STEM Complex is part of the University's comprehensive Campus Master Plan, which outlines goals for growing enrollment at a steady, measured pace, attracting top-caliber faculty and achieving a $300 million endowment. Notably, MTU's last three incoming classes have been the largest since the early 1980s, reflecting a clear trend of increasing enrollment

Steven Elmer, interim chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, emphasized the potential of the H-STEM Complex to enhance innovation and foster collaboration at Michigan Tech. "The H-STEM Complex offers the robust infrastructure needed to position the department to become a nationally ranked kinesiology program," he said. "Specifically, it will help the department to increase research expenditures and number of doctorate degrees awarded, both of which are critical as Michigan Tech transitions to an R1 university for 2025."

Study space within the H-STEM Complex.
Within the H-STEM Complex, abundant study spaces provide students with ideal environments for focused learning and collaboration.

Among the new program additions at Michigan Tech is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which illustrates Michigan Tech's dedication to meeting evolving educational needs in the region. "Michigan Tech values the role our work plays in supporting the local community," said Andrew Storer, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "The opening of the H-STEM Complex and the nursing program increase the opportunities for the University to have positive impacts on our community partners through enhanced research capacity and education in the area of human health."

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.