Category Archives: Alumni

Michigan Tech at AIChE Annual Meeting Atlanta

aicheCome and see how Michigan Tech is creating the future in Chemical Engineering at the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) Annual Meetiing in Atlanta Georgia on Monday November 17 at the Hilton Atlanta Room 306, from 7-9 p.m..
Come visit with our faculty over food & drinks, learn about our innnovative research,
our outstanding lab facilities, our undergraduate and graduate education, and how we are
creating the future.
Tne featured speaker will be Prof. David Shonnard, Director of the Sustainable Futures Institute.
Michigan Tech AIChE Atlanta

Ed Fisher led Chemical Engineering in 80s and 90s

fisherEdward Fisher, whose visionary leadership helped lay the foundation for the modern Department of Chemical Engineering, passed away Saturday, Aug. 2, at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital. He was 76.

Fisher came to the University in 1985 as head of what was then the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. When a separate Department of Chemistry was formed in the College of Sciences and Arts, he continued as chair of chemical engineering. In 1995, Fisher served as interim dean of engineering and then, after a final year as chair, returned to the faculty in 1997. He retired in 2003.

“Ed hired me, and he hired about half our department,” said Associate Professor Tony Rogers. “He left a big imprint. He had a very clear vision of where he wanted the department to go. We wouldn’t have our Unit Operations Lab in its current form without him, and he initiated the PhD program.”

“Although he did not conceive of the Process Simulation and Control Center—department’s showpiece Unit Operations Laboratory—he spearheaded the drive to get it funded,” drawing on alumni affiliated with Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, 3M and other corporations, said Professor Faith Morrison. “He also brought into the department the key staff members who built and operated the PSCC.”

The facility has stood the test of time. “Twenty years later and its still state of the art,” said Professor Emeritus Bruce Barna. “People are still amazed when they see it. I don’t know that there’s anything like it elsewhere, and without Ed, it wouldn’t have happened.”

“He also hired and recruited many of us and helped draw up our master plan,” Barna added. “We were lucky to have him come up here. He made his mark.”

Rogers remembers Fisher as the penultimate department chair. “Ed was always confident and had a serenity about him that was contagious,” he said. “I never heard him raise his voice, and that’s quite an accomplishment for a chair. He was very sharp and highly respected.”

Fisher also enjoyed socializing and was a good friend as well as a respected colleague.

“Ed was a great guy,” said Morrison. “He recruited both me and my husband, [chemical engineering professor Tom Co] in 1989. He was so enthusiastic about Michigan Tech that it was impossible not to catch the fever.

“He took us to lunch on the deck of the Downtowner and pointed across the Canal to the marina and said he had his boat there. It was a beautiful summer day—Keweenaw gold. And so we came, and we were immediately happy and have remained so for 25 years.

“Ed and Nancy entertained the department and made us all family,” she said. “Their home in Lake Linden was open to us all for so many events and gatherings.”

Barna has similar memories. “He and Nancy used to have gatherings several times a year, and they were masters of fine cooking. It was always fun to be over there, and of course, the swimming pool was often involved,” he said. Barna also joined Fisher on fishing excursions, including several big-game trips to Costa Rica and Guatemala, where they angled for sailfish.

They also sailed to and from Isle Royale, but probably the most memorable trip was from Kenosha, Wis., through the Soo Locks to Houghon. “We got to where the Fitzgerald went down and got into some legitimate 12- and 14-foot waves,” Barna said. “Ed might have had some white knuckles, but he never complained.”

Fisher earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in Chemical Engineering Science from Johns Hopkins University. He worked in industry and then joined the faculty of Wayne State University in 1968.

He was named 1982 Chemical Engineer of the Year by the Detroit Section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and in 2006 he was inducted into the chemical engineering department’s Distinguished Academy, in part for his exceptional efforts on behalf of the department. David Caspary, manager of lab facilities, was among those Fisher hired to staff the groundbreaking Process Simulation Control Center.

“Ed Fisher was a visionary and a blessing to Michigan Tech,” Caspary said. “His efforts, his charisma, his leadership and his relationships with our friends in the chemical industry have had a lasting impact on the department and on the quality of our undergraduate chemical engineering program. He will be missed.”

Fisher is survived by his wife, Nancy; five children, Anna (Steve) Brown, Erik (Kiera) Fisher, Ted Fisher, Andrew Fisher and Greg Fisher; and seven grandchildren, Taylor, Samantha, Lucinda, Trey, Cole, Olivea and Daven Fisher.

A celebration of Edward’s life will be held Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 6 p.m. at the Pearce Funeral Home in Lake Linden.

Alums at the Society of Rheology meeting in Montreal

At the Society of Rheology meeting in Montreal Canada in October 2013, Dr Faith Morrison met with James Eickhoff, Michigan Tech class of 2004, and Mark Cieslinski, Michigan Tech class of 2011. James works for Anton Paar, a rheometer manufacturer. He travels all over the world. Mark is a graduate student in Don Baird’s group at Virginia Tech, set to get his Ph.D. in chemical engineering/rheology in two years. Both students took CM4650 Polymer Rheology from Dr. Morrison when they were at Tech.

Michigan Tech at AIChE Annual Meeting

Come visit with our faculty over food & drinks, learn about our innnovative research, our outstanding lab facilities, our undergraduate and graduate education, and how we are creating the future.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2013 • 7-10 PM
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2011-2012 Awards Convocation

The Annual Chemical Engineering Department Awards Convocation was held in the Rozsa Center on April 11, 2012. This is an opportunity to thank the faculty, staff and students for their hard work and dedication.  The department recognized the support of Mrs. Karen Hubbard, Kimberly-Clark, Dow Chemical, and UOP for their donations and services, which made this year’s Awards Convocation possible.

The guest speaker was Linda McInally, who joined Dow Corning in 1981 after having worked 2 years with IBM following her graduation from MTU as a chemical engineer. Her career at Dow Corning was centered on operations, with positions in process engineering, product development, finance and most recently, several roles in manufacturing leadership. Linda was named Vice President of Manufacturing for the Specialty Chemicals Business in 2008, where she was responsible for manufacturing plants across Asia, Europe and North and South America. Linda was recognized for her deep knowledge of the people and processes around the world, enabling strong leadership for contributing significant financial contribution and quality improvements for the business. Linda was also leading the Global Manufacturing Automation Group, responsible for implementing a vision for improving productivity through automation.Linda was awarded membership to the MTU Presidential Council of Alumnae in 2008 and inducted into the Chemical Engineering Distinguished Academy in 2010. She retired from Dow Corning in early 2012.

The  Interim Chair, Dr. Tony Roger opened the event.  The Convocation Master of Ceremonies was Dr. Faith Morrison, Associate Professor. Awards were presented by Mr. David Caspary, Lab Facilities Manager for Prevent Accidents With Safety (PAWS) Awards. The Dow Chemical Marriott W. Bredekamp Award was presented by Dr. John Sandell, Associate Professor. The Kimberly-Clark Communication Award and Kimberly-Clark Professional Ethics Award was presented by Mr. Robert VanDen Heuvel, Senior Process Engineer, Kimberly-Clark Corporation. The UOP Davis W. Hubbard Plant Design Team Award was presented by Dr. Caryn Heldt, Assistant Professor.  Student Reports were given for the   AIChE Chapter President by Ms. Kelly-Anne Zayan, Omega Chi Epsilon (OCE) President by Ms. Ellesse Bess, the Consumer Products Manufacturing (CPM) President by Mr. Robert Parker and the Alternative Fuels Group (AFG) President by Mr. Jacob Boes Student Research Recognition was presented by Dr. Caryn Heldt, Assistant Professor, the Faculty Awards, Teacher of the Year was presented to Dr. Faith Morrison  by AIChE Chapter President  Ms. Kelly-Anne, and  the Special Recognition of Graduating Seniors, by Dr. Faith Morrison, Associate Professor.

Photos for 2011-2012 Awards Convocation April 11, 2011