Remembering Professor, Dean, and Provost Max Seel

Max Seel, a professor emeritus of the physics department at Michigan Technological University, died on September 14, 2022, surrounded by his loving family after a brief illness.

He was born on October 12, 1949, in Koesching, Germany, son of Andreas and Walburga Seel.

Max Seel

After receiving a Master’s Degree in Physics from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and a PhD from the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg in Germany, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow with IBM Research in San Jose, California, and then as privatdozent at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg. Seel joined the Michigan Tech faculty as an associate professor of physics in 1986. He served as interim head of the Department of Computer Science in 1988 and was promoted to full professor of physics in 1989. In January 1990, he was named interim dean, and from 1991 to 2008 he was the dean of the College of Sciences and Arts. Seel was appointed interim provost in 2009 and provost and vice president of academic affairs in 2010. He returned to Physics in 2015 and retired in 2016.

Seel was a member of the American Physical Society, Sigma Pi Sigma, and Sigma Xi. He is the author of ninety publications and has been an invited speaker at universities, conferences, and industry laboratories in the US and Europe. His research areas were computational solid-state Physics and Quantum Chemistry.

For thirty years, he went with his boat Bavaria to Isle Royale. He played cello with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, read many books, worked with digital photography, and from time to time did oil and acrylic paintings. In his retirement, he also rediscovered building and flying remote-controlled airplanes.

Preceding him in death are his parents and brother Gerhard Seel. He is survived by his wife Mary Ann Seel, his daughter Natalie (Jeremy) Lankford of Houston, TX, and Son Max (Elena) Seel of Guilford, CT, who are his children with his first wife Ingrid, grandchildren Kai, Max, and Astrid, stepson Cole Berryman of Appleton, WI, brother Andreas Seel, and four nephews Sebastian, Florentin, Benedikt, and Jonathan Seel in Germany, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Dave and Kathy Manderfield and nephews Adam, Jared, and David Manderfield and niece Megan Manderfield.

4 responses to “Remembering Professor, Dean, and Provost Max Seel

  1. He was a great instructor and a great leader within the academic function at Tech. I had him for Physics in the late 1980’s. He was passionate about his courses and had a great sense of teaching content for the learner to understand.

  2. Had the pleasure of working with Max for many years on the Michigan Tech Fund. He was always looking to make progress through taking a proactive approach. His positive attitude and willingness to discuss options were a good influence on us all. My condolences to his family at this difficult time.

  3. As an alum, I worked with Max Seel while he was a Dean and a Provost. He always put Michigan Tech first. His positive attitude and enthusiasm were contagious. He was fun and serious at the same time. We all will miss this wonderful person.

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