Author: Dr. Morrison

How can I report funny smells in the building?

If you have concerns about dangerous smells in the building, please immediately contact Public Safety at (989) 487-2216.

If you would like to record your observations in an informal way, you can also fill out my survey about building smells.  To participate, please click below:

www.surveymonkey.com/s/ChemSciSafety

These survey data are looked at infrequently; for immediate concerns, contact Public Safety.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.  Please forward this link to any groups that you think may be able to help us “crowd source” minor odor issues in the Chemical Sciences Building.


best wishes,
Dr. Morrison, Chemical Engineering


What do my college’s courses transfer as at Michigan Tech?

The best bet to address this question is to go to the Transfer Services website and use their Transfer Equivalency link to check which classes transfer as what from your school to Michigan Tech.

The trifold that lays out the most common plan for transfer students is discussed in another link in this blog on the course plans for transfer students.

If your school or the courses  you are interested in are not covered in the transfer equivalency system, then you will need to have each proposed course evaluated by the department at Michigan Tech that covers that subject.  Please collect two things: 1) course description from the school catalog, and 2) course syllabus from the professor.  These two items should be sent to Transfer Services with a request to have them evaluated by the appropriate department.  This process takes several weeks usually, so please plan ahead.

Have a successful semester!


I’ve been enrolled in “EH 3000 Master Student Athlete.” What’s that?

The EH 3000 course is a course related to your status as a varsity athlete.  This course does not count towards co-curricular requirements, but it can count as a free elective (1 credit).  The semester you are competing in your sport, you will be enrolled (by the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department) into the appropriate varsity sport class.  The varsity sports classes count as 1 credit of co-curricular  towards your degree.  If you have more questions, contact the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department.


Should I take CM2110 if I’m a first-year student?

Students who have advanced placement in math and chemistry may consider taking the first two chemical engineering courses, CM2110 Fundamentals of ChE I and CM2120 Fundamentals of ChE II, during their first year at Michigan Tech.  The advantage of taking CM2110 and CM2120 early is that you then may have an easier time fitting a co-op, research, advanced topics, or junior chemical-engineering classes into your second year.  Also, by completing CM2110/CM2120, you get an early experience with chemical-engineering topics and can better decide if this major is for you.  A disadvantage, however, is that you will be taking these courses based on your high school preparation, which may or may not be sufficient to succeed in CM2110.  In addition, taking CM2110/CM2120 in your first year may leave a time gap between when you take these courses and when you take the junior classes, which build on this material.  The junior chemical engineering sequence is challenging; you must have all your math, physics, and most of your chemistry courses completed before you begin the chemical engineering junior course sequence.

The prerequisites for CM2110 are CH1150 University Chemistry I and CH1151 University Chemistry I Laboratory; at a minimum you must have credit for these courses to take CM2110, which is offered in the fall and in the summer.  In addition, the expectation for CM2110 is that you will have problem-solving skills.  In the standard course sequence in our department, students develop problem-solving skills in the first physics class, PH2100 University Physics I, which covers elementary mechanics (force equals mass times displacement).  If you are considering taking CM2110 but you have not yet completed PH2100, you may find that the problem solving tasks in CM2110 are challenging, especially later in the course.  If you had a strong physics program in high school, however, you are likely ready for the problem-solving in CM2110.

If you have credit for the following and received an A or a B in these classes, you are a candidate for taking CM2110 during your first year (* indicates that I  recommend you to complete this course before taking CM2110, but the course is not a prerequisite):

  • MA1160 Calculus with Technology I*
  • MA2160 Calculus with Technology II*
  • CH1150 University Chemistry I (prerequisite)
  • PH2100 University Physics I*

You do not need an advisor’s or instructor’s permission to enroll in CM2110; if you have the prereqs, you may sign up during orientation.  The course is offered with an online section to allow students who have a time conflict to watch videos in lieu of attending the on-campus lectures.

If you have questions about your particular case and whether you should take CM2110, please talk to an advisor during orientation or contact the CM2110 instructor, Dr. King (jaking@mtu.edu).  Dr. King is a strong advocate of advanced students taking CM2110 in the first year.


What should I do if I’m interested in graduate school?

If you are interested in graduate school, you should talk to professors in the research area that interests you.  Ask them to discuss graduate school with you and see if this is in fact the right path for you.  You could also come see an advisor.

You can get information about Michigan Tech’s graduate school on their website.

One final note: please fill out a FERPA permission form for anybody who writes you a letter of recommendation based on your academic record.


Where can I find info on industrial safety?

From C&EN, May 20, 2013:

Dow Chemical has launched a laboratory safety website that includes a comprehensive set of training videos and additional resources, the company announced on May 19.

Publicly accessible at http://safety.dow.com, the website incorporates 30 professionally produced videos. Several more are still in production. Pankaj Gupta, a research and development leader in Dow’s oil, gas, and mining business, unveiled the site at the Council for Chemical Research annual meeting being held this week in Arlington, Va.

“It appears to have a lot of very good resources, and we will look at them very carefully,” says Peter Ashbrook, director of the division of research safety at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “I think Dow should be commended for putting this material out for public consumption.”


How can I succeed in ChE at Michigan Tech?

Thanks for asking!  We have a whole handout on that.  The main idea is this:

Build a good foundation in math, physics, and chemistry (C or better).

It takes a long time to get to junior classes in chemical engineering, and yet it is only really in those junior classes that you will use much of the preparation that you are building.  In the fall junior classes we use:  calc 1, calc 2, calc 3****, differential equations, physics 1, and freshman chemistry.  Thus, it is important to build a good foundation.

Another good tool to look at as you plan your college experience is the prerequisite map.  The interdependence of the chemical engineering courses with the foundation courses is clear from the course prerequisites for the chemical engineering classes.


What are the rules for repeating classes?

  • You may only retake a class in which you receive a CD, D, or F.
  • The second grade always replaces the first grade, even if the second grade is lower. If you retake a class and receive a better grade, the new grade replaces the old grade.  This will improve both your semester and overall GPAs. However you can retake a class and get a worse grade. For example if you have a D (a passing grade) and retake a course and receive an F (a failing grade), you now have a failing grade in the course and would have to retake the class a third time.
  • You may only take a class three times. You must receive permission from the Office of Student Affairs and your academic advisor to register for a class the third time. If the class that you are retaking is a required class for your program, and you do not pass the class during the third attempt, then you may no longer continue in the program.
  • You may retake a class at another institution and transfer in the credit.  If you earn a C or better (note that CD and C- do not transfer) in a course that transfers in as one you wish to replace, the credit will transfer and the original grade will be removed from the calculation of your GPA.  The grade you earn at the other institution does not transfer; only the credit transfers, and only if you earn a C or higher.

The University’s policy on retaking classes is posted on the Registrar’s website.


What are the implications of being on probation?

Students who are not making satisfactory progress toward a degree are placed on academic probation. Academic probation is a strong warning to students that their scholastic performance is less than that expected by the University.  A student seeking an undergraduate degree is placed on academic probation when any of the following is true:

  1. The University cumulative GPA is below 2.00.
  2. The GPA for the most recent semester is below 2.00.
  3. The cumulative departmental GPA is below 2.00, based on at least 16 credits.

Students on probation are limited in the number of credits they may take.  For more on probation, go to the Registrar’s website (search for probation Michigan Tech).