Month: April 2018

Why Did You Choose to Attend Michigan Tech?

I grew up in northern Wisconsin and knew I wanted to be an engineer so it came down to either Michigan Tech or the University of Wisconsin. The first time I saw the UW campus was a week after the Armstrong brothers blew up the Army Math Center on the campus in 1970. Seeing all the destruction convinced me Tech was my choice.

Bob Bomier ’75

Scholarship and location. I applied to a few colleges but my top two choices were Michigan Tech and University of Miami. Worlds apart. But Tech offered me a great scholarship and I already was a Yooper so the snow was just a normal part of life. It didn’t hurt that the girl/guy ratio was 4 to 1 in 1977, but when most of the year is cold and snowy, it is hard to tell under a parka, boots, scarves, and mittens who was who. I have wonderful memories of my time at Tech. Very happy with my choice.

Yvette Klooster, Class of 1981

I financed most of my college expenses and chose MTU because it was a respectable Engineering University and I was blessed with a significant 4 year scholarship. Being an outdoorsman, I also liked the challenges of snow and cold. My number one choice was Notre Dame University School of Civil Engineering, but decided it was not affordable. Don’t regret my decision and still root for both schools. Earned a MBA at CMU, but not as memorable as my undergraduate experiences at Tech.

Jim Kubiak, BSCE ’68

I was raised in that Tech snow. I was one of the “Local Macki’s” that frequented the back of the cafeteria in the basement of the Union Building. I wanted to go into computers since in grade school. Unfortunately, Tech did not offer such a degree in the early 1960s nor did a lot of major universities, including the University of Michigan. I settled for a Math degree at Tech and went on to learn almost all computer stuff on the job or a course now and then.

If you disregarded the 1-credit course using the Bendix G-15 digital computer that used paper tape input and a rotating drum main memory and the souped-up analog computer course, there were no computers at Tech. In fact, in my long career at technical labs and businesses, I NEVER EVER saw another analog computer.

I have accepted this lack of computing resources because Tech and a BS in Math was all that I could afford while living at home and paying my own way via a student job at Tech paying $1.25/hour. In fact, a less than $1,500 investment in tuition, fees and books turned out to be the very best investment that I ever made! Thank you Michigan Tech!

Jerry Davison BS Math ’66

Funny story… I was interested in MTU because of its good reputation, and I wanted to pursue engineering. I incorrectly thought it was near Houghton Lake. By the time I found out just how far away it was it was too late! Super happy that I went there anyway

Andrea Cole, BSEE ’90

As the 1967-68 school year rolled forward, I was faced with selecting the college I would attend after high school. I was interested in engineering—I was good at math and science, and my father, who worked in a factory, kept telling me engineers make all the money.

I really didn’t have much of an idea of what engineers actually did, though. It just seemed like the thing I was supposed to do.

I considered four schools: Rose (now Rose-Hulman in Indiana), Northwestern, Michigan, and Michigan Tech. Rose and Northwestern were just too expensive, even if I got financial aid. When I went to college night at my high school, the recruiter from Michigan made it really clear he didn’t care one way or another if any of us wanted to go to Ann Arbor. They had plenty to choose from. But the Tech recruiter was engaged, enthusiastic, and tried hard to convince me that Tech was a great place.

I was also a hockey fan, and, as best you could from suburban Detroit, I looked for their scores in the newspaper. Plus, it was so far away and seemed like an adventure, and almost no one else from my high school was interested in Tech. All of those factors weighed positively for a kid who wanted to escape from where he grew up. The cincher was a generous academic scholarship offer from General Motors.

So, I enrolled at MTU in September of ’68. I didn’t finish in engineering—but instead graduated with what eventually became the STC degree. I later got an engineering degree at Wayne State in Detroit, and still later ended up in Ann Arbor after all, where I picked up my MBA.

Michael A. Anleitner ’72

I had a very good friend in Detroit whose father went to Tech and he planned on attending. I spent the summer before college with him in the Copper Country and knew I wanted to got to Tech, too. My father taught at Wayne University and both my older brothers went to Wayne so I was expected to go there to. It took some persuasion but my parents accepted my choice. I have been forever grateful. I had a great career at Bendix Automotive Brake Systems with 48 patents in the field and felt that Michigan Tech contributed to my success.

Don Johannesen ’56

Houghton was my hometown.

Myron H. Berry, PE ’82

I grew up in a small town in New York State and our school was pretty small, with grades 7-12 totaling about 450 people. We had 80 people in our graduating class. So I was looking for a school that was medium sized, thinking it would be less overwhelming. I also wanted a science related career and Michigan Tech had, with the exception of business, all science-based curricula. In addition, being from a pretty chilly hometown, I was fond of winter sports and loved the idea of cross country ski trails right up the hill or right outside my apartment. In short, MTU was a good fit for me in terms of size, curriculum, and amenities.

Amiee Modic (Larchar ’84)

As I was a U.P. resident with a four-year full ride engineering scholarship from M.J. Bacco Construction at IMHS commencement and having an interest in Civil Engineering at Iron Mountain Senior High, I really only considered Tech (MCM&T then) primarily due to its solid and respected civil engineering reputation. I was pleased when notified of my admission and headed to Houghton for the Fall Term, 1959. The Business School’s three term B.S. Eng. Admin. Degree Program for engineers brought me back to MTU in Fall, 1967. GO TECH HUSKIES!

Bruce L. Gall

B.S. Civil-1963

B.S. Engineering Administration-1968

A Proud Alum

It started with my father attending from 1950-1954. My father, Robert (“John”) is a Civil grad who worked for many years in Michigan road building. You can see how the roads deteriorated since he retired if you come to Detroit now!

He was attracted by the Forestry program and taught me how to hunt as he was an avid outdoorsman.

I grew up near Detroit and was into cars. I was always taking things apart or making projects.  So of course my inclination was mechanical engineering. However, what really sold me was attending SYP. I think I attended 3 summers and lived in DHH or in tents while hiking Isle Royale, canoeing the nearby lakes, or orienteering around Ford Forestry Center in Alberta.

I was the only HS grad from my large HS class that year that attended MTU, but the two roommates from P-town were the best!

Of course you have to like SNOW to attend da Tech. That’s why 1978-79 was my favorite year! It snowed for a straight month and 27” over one night!

What’s not to like at MTU!  “And when we’re gone from here, all our friends will be drinkin’ all the beer!”

Brian R Johnson, BSME 1982

I spent my freshman year of college at the Calumet Campus of Purdue University in Hammond, Indiana. It was an altogether pleasant experience.

What was most satisfying about that year (1953-54) was the fact that, at long last, I was finally embarked on my journey to become a forester. I had made the decision to become a forester at about age 12. Now, I had an official letter from the Dean welcoming me to the Purdue School of Forestry. I didn’t give it much thought, I just assumed I would finish college down on Purdue’s main campus at West Lafayette, Indiana.

Spring arrived, and as usually happened, I began to think about and make plans for my summer trips with family to Upper Michigan and Cloverleaf Lake. I decided I’d do some serious exploring on my own that year, and in preparation I sent away to the Michigan Tourism Council for any maps they could provide of the area just west of the town of Watersmeet.

What I received was not the few folded maps I had expected, but a rather large, glossy magazine bearing the title “The Lure Book – The Lure of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.” It was standard tourist fare, full of pictures of grinning city folk holding up stringers of fish and ads for resorts with names like “Svenson’s Wilderness Retreat.” I was disappointed the State of Michigan would think I was just another one of “them” (i.e., tourist), so I tossed the magazine aside.

I picked it up a few days later and casually flipped through the pages. An ad caught my eye. It was a simple, quarter-page, single color ad that bore a replica of the Great Seal of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in Houghton, Michigan.

“Wow,” I thought. “There’s actually a college in the UP!” Somewhat intrigued by the novelty of it, I scanned the listing of degree programs offered. Down the list I went – Mining Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Forestry, Medical Technology………. Wait a minute, what was that? Forestry?

At that instant, a blinding flash of inspiration descended from the heavens, accompanied by a full-throated clap of thunder. The gods had spoken. If there was a college in my beloved UP, and that college offered a degree in forestry, there was no doubt where I would be spending the next three years. Michigan Tech, here I come!

That decision turned out to be one of the best of my entire life.

The UP felt like home from day one. I even got to spend the entire summer between my junior and senior years living in Seney working on a timber cruising project. The Forestry program led by Gene Hesterberg et al prepared me well for a successful 33-year career in the Douglas-fir forests of Oregon.

Ron Sadler, Forestry – Class of ’57

First of all, thank you for continuing to send me the Michigan Tech Newsletter. I really enjoy reading it.

I graduated from Michigan Tech with BSc in Chemistry in 1993. I came to Michigan Tech in 1991. I completed my BSc for only two years because I obtained transfer credits from my 4 year Diploma study (Industrial Chemistry) at one of Malaysia’s Universities.

Staying in Houghton and downtown Hancock for two years, I gained a wonderful experience especially facing the weather. It was so cold, snowing throughout the year which is different from my country (Malaysia) which is hot and humid all the year. I also had a chance to travel to other places such as Detroit, Wisconsin, Duluth, etc during the quarter break.

During my study, American students were very friendly. I still remember when I was doing the Lab work/assignment/projects in a team of American classmates. They helped me a lot and I really enjoyed studying and working with them. I was the only international student during that time.

Since I entered directly into the third year of the BSc program, most of the subjects were very tough. However, I successfully managed to go through it with the help of the lecturers (Drs , Assoc Profs and Profs) and through discussion with my classmates as well as self study.

After I graduated, I returned to Malaysia with BSc in Chemistry and my working career had moved forward. I joined a multinational Oil & Gas Company, and several other giant companies as Chemist, Lab Manager and am now working with Oleochemical company as Section Head.

Thank you very much Michigan Tech, which has made my life very successful.

Mohd Kamal Mansor ’93

Thank you for keeping us informed of all things Michigan “Tech-ian.”

Sometimes we fail to remember those who keep us in touch with our training roots.

I do appreciate your work in this manner.

Mike Clauson

’80, ’81, ’82 and ’19 …  still a student and still learning.

More Slide Rule Stories!

In the mid-to-late 50s, the slide rule was the calculator of choice at Tech. Although a small computer found its way into the Math Department at the end of the decade, slide rules were the computer used by “Toots” and carried in a leather case clipped to your belt all day. Except when in one of Dr. McMillan’s math courses, at which time your slide rule was safely hidden in the bottom of your book bag. Math, you see, is a precise science and no estimating contraption was permitted in the good Doctor’s classes within his vision range. But, even when using 5 or 7 place log/trig tables for high accuracy calculations, the slide rule was a quick way to get an “approximate” answer to check your result. Unfortunately for the Doctor’s math classes, slide rule answer checking could only be used for homework.

My slide rule is made of bamboo – a exceptionally stable wood, very smooth sliding and a lot more elegant than the metal versions. I still have mine and after 60 years, I think I can operate most of the functions.

Pete Rankin ’59EE

I used a slide rule my freshman year at Tech. Sometime early in the fall quarter (1974) of my sophomore year I bought an HP 45. The price had recently dropped about $100 and it was only $325 or so. We were married that summer and my wife commented the day I purchased the calculator was the first night we didn’t go to bed together. I stayed up late with the calculator!

John R. Wiltse BSEE ’77

Yes indeed. Last time I laid eyes on it – sitting comfortably in the storage garage at my Portage Entry summer residence south of Chassell, alongside A Dana’s Handbook of Mineralogy and my old hand lens from Kiril Spiroff’s mineralogy class.

Dan Koss ’59

When I started at Michigan Tech in the fall of 1964 I had a Pickett metal slide rule with 33 scales and was a yellow-green color, taunted to be better to view than the white bamboo type. This slide rule was a gift from an aunt. No, I do not have it nor do I have my old book bag. Like all other engineering students at the time I had to take chemistry from Doc. Barry. His favorite way of arranging his multiple choice (guess) answers would be something like this:

  1. A) 0.167
  2. B) 1.67
  3. C) 16.7
  4. D) 17.3

Accordingly, you had to be efficient at scientific notation and moving the decimal point around, which I wasn’t. He should have been taken behind the woodshed and flogged. But he was a full professor and I was just a poor slob “student.”

Larry Joy

BSEE May ’77 (should have been ’68)