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Graduate School 2011–12 ANNUAL R EPO RT

Message from the Dean Fall 2011 graduate enrollment reached another record high: 1,303 master’s and PhD students. We also broke our previous record of the number of students who graduated: 289 master’s and 63 PhDs. The Graduate School is clearly on track to meet the University’s Strategic Plan goal of having 3,000 graduate students enrolled by 2035. We are making progress toward another Strategic Plan goal as well—we are now at 29 percent female enrollment and the 2020 goal is 35 percent. We are placing graduates with industry, in academia, and in government. Some of our most successful graduates have started their own companies. Those graduates that remain in Michigan are helping the state reinvigorate its industries. Graduates who have left the state continue to make us proud as they work to improve their new communities. I am continually impressed by the quality of the alumni that I have the good fortune to meet.

Despite these wonderful successes, the Graduate School is facing some challenges. The global recession continues to impact many students’ ability to afford graduate school. Recent changes to federal rules regarding student loans are also hindering students who wish to pursue a graduate degree. More students than ever before are paying for the entirety of their graduate education. This wasn’t the case a few years ago, and since

Graduate School 2011- 12 ANNUAL R E PO RT

Adrienne Minerick (right) advising PhD student Jeana Dillon (left) and MS student Hongyu Xie (center) in the Medical Micro-Device Engineering Research Lab, housed in Michigan Tech’s chemical engineering department.

most prospective graduate students received substantial amounts of financial aid while they were pursuing a bachelor’s degree, the “sticker shock” associated with the cost of a graduate education can be extreme.


I want to thank all the alumni and friends who have helped to support graduate education at Michigan Tech by making a contribution to the Graduate School.

Shellie Crisman

You are making a difference in many students’ lives. By supporting them and their research, you are also improving the quality of life for everyone on the planet. Your support is helping our students change the world.

Nancy Byers-Sprague Debra D. Charlesworth

Bonnie A. Gagnon Kristi L. Isaacson Jacque C. Smith Heather L. Suokas Carol T. Wingerson Learn more about our staff online: administration/staff/

Jacqueline E. Huntoon Associate Provost for Graduate Education Dean of the Graduate School Administration Building 411A 906-487-2327

About the School New Graduate Programs BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (PHD) The fourth interdisciplinary PhD housed in the Graduate School, biochemistry and molecular biology students’ research focuses on addressing problems in human health, disease treatment, and a sustainable environment at the molecular level. This program was developed in response to the ever-increasing need for interdisciplinary solutions to global problems.

MEDICAL INFORMATICS (MS) The second graduate-level program offered by the School of Technology, medical informatics students work at the intersection of information science, computer science, and health care. The program focuses on complex medical decisions, evidence-based medicine, disease management, and comprehensive laboratory informatics.

FIVE ACCELERATED MASTER’S PROGRAMS To allow our undergraduate students to jump-start their graduate education, the Graduate School is proud to announce the development of five new accelerated master’s programs. These programs will allow students to complete their master’s degrees in one year beyond their bachelor’s degrees: biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, engineering mechanics, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering.


Graduate students enrolled at Michigan Tech in fall 2011


Percent increase in first-time master’s students in fall 2011


Number of online graduate certificate and degree programs


Percent placement of graduate students immediately after graduation, 2011-12


Largest Peace Corps Master’s International Program in the country

White/Non-Hispanic Not Supplied Multiracial International

Graduate Student Enrollment PERCENT BY ETHNICITY FALL 2011

African American/ Non-Hispanic American Indian/ Alaskan Native Asian/ Asian American Hispanic/ Hispanic American

The number of graduate students not supplying race/ethnicity information decreased since fall 2010, while the number identifying themselves as multiracial increased. Michigan Tech

attracts a large proportion of international students due in part to the University’s extensive offerings in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.

PhD Research Building Business in Michigan PhD graduates from Michigan Tech create significant economic opportunity for the state of Michigan. From technology development sponsored by industry to leading the businesses that they have started, our doctoral graduates are contributing to the state’s knowledge-driven resurgence. Michigan Tech continues to draw many of the state’s most capable and motivated students for advanced degrees. Even before they launch careers in academia or industry, these residents contribute through industry-sponsored research to promote prosperity in Michigan. For example, Stephanie Groves’ research (see story below) on biofuels was sponsored by a company from Alpena.

invention disclosures were filed by Michigan Tech graduate students over the past six years.




Andrew Drees received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in historical studies in 2009 and an MS degree in Electrical Engineering in 2011 from Michigan Tech. He is currently working toward a PhD at Michigan Tech advised by Chee-Wooi Ten and Bruce Mork.

Mark Hopkins completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Michigan Tech in summer 2010. In fall 2010, Mark began work on his PhD in the Ion Space Propulsion Lab under Lyon B. King. Mark’s research interest is the development of Hall-effect thrusters operating on magnesium propellant.

Stephanie Groves received a BS degree in Biological Sciences–Microbiology with a minor in bioprocess engineering from Michigan Tech in 2006 and an MS in Biological Sciences–Microbiology in 2009. She is currently working on a PhD in Biological Sciences, advised by Susan Bagley.

His main research area is distribution system applications of the smart grid. The smart grid is a next-generation power system that installs intelligent real-time monitoring and control capabilities throughout the power system infrastructure. Andrew’s research focuses on creating solutions to challenges such as how to secure the vast increase in power system information that is now available. Andrew Drees PhD Candidate Electrical Engineering (Spring 2014)

Hall thrusters are used for orbit transfer and deep space missions. State-of-theart Hall thrusters commonly operate using xenon gas, which is very expensive and requires large vacuum facilities for testing. Magnesium is inexpensive and requires only moderate pumping speed at vacuum facilities. Magnesium also exists in Martian and Lunar regolith, which may allow for in-situ refueling.

Her research goal is the optimization of ethanol production by yeast from lignocellulosic biomass. Her project focuses on increasing ethanol yields through adaptation of yeast to lignocellulosic feedstocks and identifying targets for metabolic engineering. The economic impact of her research revolves around increasing the viability of lignocellulose as a commercial feedstock for biofuels.

Mark Hopkins PhD Candidate Mechanical Engineering (Spring 2014)

Stephanie Groves PhD Candidate Biological Sciences (Fall 2012)

Your Impact Funding provided by alumni and friends of Michigan Tech’s Graduate School helps to provide much-needed financial support to outstanding students. These three students all benefited from the Graduate School Finishing Fellowship.

“Obtaining a Graduate School Finishing Fellowship was crucial in helping me complete my degree. The fellowship allowed me to focus entirely on my research. I am modifying asphalt pavement materials with electronic waste plastics in order to reduce waste and costs. I was able to successfully write my dissertation while I was supported by the Finishing Fellowship; without it I would not have had the resources to successfully complete my degree.” —Baron Colbert, PhD, Fall 2012

“I was very grateful to be awarded a PhD Finishing Fellowship for my final semester at Michigan Tech. This financial support allowed me to focus my attention on finishing my dissertation and publishing my research. Publication is essential for disseminating new research results and promoting the research taking place at Michigan Tech, and for helping people like me launch their careers. My achievements, thanks to the Finishing Fellowship, led to the start of a successful career as a forest habitat biologist.” —Lindsey Shartell, PhD, Spring 2012

“The Graduate School Finishing Fellowship enabled me to shift my focus from my teaching to scholarship, which I would have been unable to do otherwise. Having a semester to focus solely on my own writing is what really made obtaining my PhD in a timely manner possible. I am sincerely grateful to having been given a Finishing Fellowship, as it allowed me to complete my PhD and reach my own goal of teaching writing full time at a university.” —Heather L. H. Jordan, PhD, Summer 2011

Alumni Do you ever think of old college friends and wonder what they’re up to and where they’ve been? Here, we’ve done our best to document where our alumni reside around the globe. We also checked in with a couple of alums who were featured in the past.

Mark Griep, PhD ’08



The world map at right shows the countries of residence for Michigan Tech Graduate School alumni.

“Michigan Tech’s international diversity was highly influential in my career. Tech offered vibrant international and cultural opportunities to genuinely experience diversity. It was these experiences that drove me to pursue a Fulbright Fellowship in Taiwan following graduation, and I am now moving toward an international focus in my career.”

Kristen Roth, MS ’09 CIVIL ENGINEERING “Through my experience in the civil engineering graduate program, I greatly expanded my engineering knowledge and enhanced my skills as a writer and researcher. I learned the importance of self motivation, planning, and goals. Having my master’s degree helped me secure a job, and I was given more responsibility upon entering the workforce than I would have been given if I only had a bachelor’s degree.”

30–80 alums (USA: 5,890) 10–29 alums 4–9 alums 2–3 alums 1 alum


The average lifetime giving to Michigan Tech by a Graduate School alumnus. The average individual gift is $292.

41% 3,036 Graduate School alumni have contributed $26,490,063 to Michigan Tech since 1948; a 41 percent participation rate.


Michigan Tech develops many leaders with strong entrepreneurial abilities, reflected in the large number of selfemployed individuals.


Michigan Tech


Self Employed


Ford Motor Company


General Motors Corporation


Caterpillar Cummins



IBM Corporation


US Department of Agriculture


Boeing Company


Chrysler Group


A prominent example is John Hallquist PhD, who graduated from Michigan Tech in 1974. He founded Livermore Software Technology Corporation in 1987 and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2007.

Support Types PHD
































Internal financial support includes teaching and research assistantships provided by Michigan Tech. External support includes fellowships, grants, and contracts. Self-supported students pay their own way or have assistance from an employer or another organization, and their support is not administered through Michigan Tech.

Self–supported master’s students continue to grow in number at Michigan Tech. These students pursue degrees that make them more competitive in today’s workplace. In 2011, there was a slight increase in the number of master’s students receiving external support and a small decrease in the number receiving internal support.

Gender by College Female


Total number of students

Male 29% Female




60 School of Business and Economics

Students in the Graduate School

82 71% Male

College of Engineering

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

College of Sciences and Arts

No College Designated

The Graduate School is making steady progress towards the 2020 goal of 35 percent female enrollment. The College of Engineering has the largest number of female graduate students (156), while the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science has the highest percentage (53) of female students.


Demand for Michigan Tech


graduate programs has risen

83 529


steadily over the past five years,


with applications more than 31 423

doubling and total enrollment exceeding 1,300.

691 462

Ap plic a t io ns Acc e pt s






Graduate enrollment levels are at an all-time high, with 41 percent of graduate students enrolled in PhD programs, 53 percent in master’s programs, and 7 percent as nondegree-seeking students. Michigan Tech is steadily moving towards its goal of having 3,000 graduate students enrolled by 2035.




En ro lle d



Masters 65


2010 2011





Graduate School applications continue to increase each year. From fall 2006 to fall 2011, the Graduate School has experienced a 122 percent increase in the number of applications. Each year has seen technological advancements in our processes for compiling, completing, and reviewing prospective students’ applications.


In 2011–12, Michigan Tech granted 289 master’s and 63 PhD degrees. The Graduate School is nearing the University’s 2012 goal of granting 65 PhD degrees per year and has exceeded the master’s goal of 225 by 28 percent. The 2011–12 academic year produced the most graduate degrees in Michigan Tech’s history.



Career Paths

STEM Focused


Michigan Tech




of Michigan Tech’s PhDs work in industry/business

16.0% of High Research University PhDs work in industry/business

High Research Universities

More than 85 percent of Michigan Tech’s PhDs have engineering or life/physical sciences as their primary field of study, compared to 46.2 percent of PhD recipients from High Research Universities in general.

Nearly 41 percent of Michigan Tech PhDs’ postgraduate employment is with industry/ business, compared to 16 percent at all High Research Universities.

Less Time to Degree

More Students with No Debt

1.5 years The difference between Michigan Tech and other High Research Universities in time to degree

7.2 years since starting graduate school is the median time to degree for Michigan Tech’s PhDs. This compares to all High Research Universities’ time to degree of 8.7 years.


Michigan Tech

High Research Universities


Nearly 60 percent of Michigan Tech’s PhDs completed their degrees with no debt at graduation. By contrast, only 47.5 percent from all High Research Universities graduated with no debt.


Graduate Tuition

Residents + Engineers Nonresidents + Engineers

FULL-TIME TUITION FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2012–13 $10,000 Texas Tech University






University of Michigan-Dearborn Michigan Technological University University of Colorado Boulder Oakland University University of Illinois at Chicago Clemson University Missouri University of Science and Technology Michigan State University New Jersey Institute of Technology University of Cincinnati University of Wisconsin-Madison Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Colorado School of Mines University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Purdue University-Main Campus $21,914

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor



$5,000 Purdue University-Main Campus




Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Michigan Technological University University of Cincinnati Michigan State University Clemson University Oakland University University of Wisconsin-Madison Colorado School of Mines University of Illinois at Chicago University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Colorado Boulder Texas Tech University Missouri University of Science and Technology New Jersey Institute of Technology University of Michigan-Ann Arbor University of Michigan-Dearborn


Michigan Technological University Graduate School 1400 Townsend Drive Houghton, MI 49931-1295

Our Newest Research Facility The Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) is the newest addition to Michigan Tech’s campus. The GLRC is a 50,000 square foot interdisciplinary research center featuring state-of-the-art laboratories, computing centers, high-tech public meeting spaces, and docking facilities to accommodate a variety of research vessels. Research at the GLRC is focused on understanding and preserving the Great Lakes. The GLRC is designed to be a “green” building with construction materials specifically selected to reduce long-term maintenance and energy costs.

Contact Us Telephone 906-487-2327 Fax 906-487-2284 Email

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer. Michigan Tech is a leading public research university, developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than sixty graduate degree programs in engineering, forestry and environmental sciences, computing, business and economics, natural and physical sciences, humanities, technology, and social sciences.

Graduate School Annual Report 2011 - 2012  
Graduate School Annual Report 2011 - 2012  

Michigan Tech Graduate School Annual Report 2011 - 2012