Bruce Seely

Bruce Seely


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  • Professor Emeritus of History and Science, Technology and Society
  • Ph.D., University of Delaware
  • M.A., University of Delaware
  • B.A., St. Lawrence University


Bruce E. Seely is a historian of technology who joined Michigan Tech as an assistant professor in the fall 1986 after teaching at Texas A&M University for five years. He taught courses in history of technology, as well in American history, Western Civilization, history of science, and science and technology studies. He helped shape Michigan Tech’s undergraduate minor and graduate certificate in nanoscale science and engineering, developing a course in the societal implications of nanotechnology. His research topics are eclectic, and include the history of engineering and engineering education; transportation history and policy, including highways and railroads with a focus on engineers and policy decisions; the history of the iron and steel industry during the 19th and 20th centuries; and technology transfer and diffusion. He has authored two books, more than a dozen books chapters, more than 40 articles; and numerous contributions to historical encyclopedias; edited an encyclopedia volume, and presented more than 100 conference and colloquia papers.

Bruce served as Michigan Tech’s University Senate President (1997-2000), as Social Sciences Department Chair (2002-2008), and as Dean of the College of Sciences and Arts (2008-2018). He has held a number of positions in professional organizations, including Secretary of the Society for the History of Technology (1990-1995), vice-president and President of the Society (2011-2015);  Program Director for Science and Technology Studies at the National Science Foundation, (2000-2002); and member and co-chair of the History Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council (1999-2008). He was founding co-editor of the Journal Comparative Technology Transfer and Society, published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2003-2009).