Physics Professor Max Seel Named Interim Provost at Michigan Tech

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Max Seel, professor of physics and longtime dean of the College of Sciences and Arts at Michigan Technological University, has been named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. His appointment is effective Monday, January 26, 2009. He will be assuming the duties of Lesley Lovett-Doust, who has accepted the presidency of Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.

"The entire University community is fortunate that Max is willing to serve as interim provost," said Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz. "His extensive experience as a faculty member, department chair and college dean will serve us all well. I thank Lesley again for her service to Michigan Tech and for her willingness to lend advice when called upon as we move forward."

A native of Germany, Seel received a Ph.D. in computational solid state physics/theoretical chemistry from the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg and spent a postdoctoral year at the IBM research laboratory in San Jose, Cal. He taught at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg until joining the Michigan Tech physics faculty in 1986.

He was named interim dean of the College of Sciences and Arts in 1989 and served as its dean from 1991 to 2008, when he chose to return to research and teaching as a professor of physics at Michigan Tech.

Said Seel: "First, my congratulations to Lesley for ascending to the presidency of Nipissing University. When President Mroz asked me to serve as interim provost, I was humbled and honored. After the deanship, I am enjoying life as a physics professor immensely, my interactions with the students and my research. This interim appointment was not something I was seeking.

"In my long time as dean, I worked with three presidents, six provosts and many deans. I think President Mroz and the Executive Team believe that my experience and familiarity with Michigan Tech will serve the University well. So, in the end, I agreed, and I will give it my best."

Seel is a member of the American Physical Society, the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma and Sigma Xi, a scientific research society. He is author of more than 80 publications and is listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering.

His research focuses on large calculations in various areas of physics, chemistry and biology, such as materials surfaces, polymers, nanotubes and biological molecules like proteins and DNA.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.