Day: May 1, 2018

Scott Diehl Gives Back to Michigan Tech Through Gifts of Stock

“I want to see Michigan Tech continue to grow and to be successful,” Diehl says. “Tech is also a major contributor to economic and cultural vitality in the Copper Country. As a proud Yooper, I want to see that continue.”

Diehl is a software engineer at Google at the company’s Madison office, where he leads and manages a team that develops tools and infrastructure. Tech helped him with his career path because he took college courses during high school. He also worked in a lab for two summers focusing on remote sensing research in the Great Lakes.

“It was a privilege to have access to those experiences before heading off to college.”

With his gift of stock, Diehl supports the computer science department, which gave him some of these experiences.

Jimmy Diehl, professor emeritus, and Suzanne Beske-Diehl, professor emerita, are Scott’s parents and were both faculty in the geological and mining engineering and sciences department. Scott also supports this department with his gift.

His gift also provides funding for Little Huskies child care center. “My mom worked hard to get Little Huskies built. It’s important for Tech to support their employees and students with children, or those who would like to have them. Let’s do our best to foster the development of the next generation.”

Diehl attended the University of Michigan and received a bachelor’s and master’s in computer science. He earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in theoretical computer science.

Marty and Jerry Richardson: Supporting the Great Lakes Research Center

Marty and Jerry Richardson

Marty and Jerry Richardson give back to Michigan Tech in many ways, including supporting scholarships and through an estate planned gift.

“We think everyone who wants a higher education should be able to pursue their dream,” says Marty, who earned a master’s degree in business administration from Tech in 1979. She also served on the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2012. “We support scholarships to help students who have made progress toward their degree, but run short of money to achieve their goal.”

The Richardson’s recent planned gift to Michigan Tech supports the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC). As Michigan natives, the Great Lakes are important to them.

“We realize first-hand how crucial it is to provide careful stewardship of this incredible resource,” she says. “Using Michigan Tech’s strengths in science, engineering, technology, and policy, we know the GLRC will play a lead role in supporting this precious resource. Through our gift—and those of others—the GLRC will help ensure the sustainable use of this irreplaceable freshwater resource.”

Supporting the Great Lakes Research Center: Alan ’73 ’79 and Linda ’79 McInally

Alan and Linda McInally help Michigan Tech by supporting the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC).

Alan and Linda McInally

“We loved our time at Tech,” Linda says. “We both felt our education at Tech was a huge contributing factor to our professional success. Giving back is our way to help ensure Tech is going to be there for future generations of students with interests like ours.”

Linda received a bachelor’s in chemical engineering in 1979. Alan earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 1973 and his master’s in mathematics in 1979.

When the couple learned of Tech’s plans to build the GLRC, they supported the building fund. During a visit to the new center, Alan and Linda shared they were having a problem with an invasive weed, Eurasian Watermilfoil, near their summer home on the Les Cheneaux Islands in Lake Huron.

That discussion led to a collaboration with GLRC researchers and a Lake Huron watershed council to study the weed and work on solutions.

“This was a great project and opportunity to utilize the extensive resources available at Tech to help solve a ‘real world’ problem near our home,” Linda says. Researchers continue to study this area and are working to eliminate the weed.

Since moving to the West (where it is very dry), Linda says they now understand and appreciate protecting and preserving the Great Lakes.

“Giving to the GLRC makes me feel like I am helping to protect these great waters for future generations,” she says. “The GLRC is the perfect place to study, using unbiased scientific methods, the potential impact of these manmade and natural forces and offer guidance to the public, lawmakers, and the private sector as to what needs to be done to protect these beautiful waters and the land that surrounds them.”

Protect. Preserve. Advance. Great Lakes Research Center

Deploy under-ice robots. Study lake ecology and fish biology. Capture sonar images with underwater autonomous vehicles. Investigate aerosol chemistry and how warm winters impact coastal food supplies.

Inside the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC), biologists, geologists, engineers, chemists, geospatial information science specialists, and social scientists work together with students and staff along Michigan Tech’s Innovation Shore.

Great Lakes Research Center
Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University

The four-story, 50,000-square-foot center has a boathouse for the University’s nine surface and sub-surface research vessels and environmental monitoring buoy network, a complex of research laboratories, faculty, staff and student offices, and a public area that includes conference facilities and space for K-12 education. Eight laboratories are tailored for different research topics that relate to the Great Lakes, including invasive species, fish ecology, sediments, remote sensing, and atmospheric science.

“What we learn here can be both scaled and transferred to the world, creating opportunities far beyond the Great Lakes,” says the Center’s Director Guy Meadows. “We bring scientists together for freshwater research on the shores of the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin to be a leader in aquatic science, engineering, technology, and policy.”

Meadows says one of the Center’s most important functions is to educate the scientists, engineers, technologists, policymakers, and stakeholders of tomorrow about the Great Lakes basin. The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach provides K–12 student, teacher, and community education/outreach programs.

With the Center’s outreach programs to elementary students, Meadows says they are working to create the next generation of scientists.

“We need to engage them with the concept that science can be fun before the eighth grade and hold their interest through college.” Last year the Center’s outreach programs reached more than 13,000 students, teachers, community, and family members.

To maintain the Center and the research taking place, support is needed. Meadows says fellowships support graduate and undergraduate students who are conducting research about the Great Lakes. “They are the next generation of leaders and scientists who are working across all science frontiers to solve multidisciplinary problems. We need to help recruit the best and brightest and retain them at Michigan Tech to provide educational opportunities for the next generation of Great Lakes and freshwater scientists, engineers, and policy makers.”

Beyond fellowships for students, creating an endowment for the Center’s operations would allow new research to address the challenges facing the Great Lakes. “An endowment would support leadership development, advanced capabilities, and collective efforts to make a positive and purposeful impact on the Great Lakes and the region.”

The Center’s custom fleet of research vessels launch right from campus on the Keweenaw Waterway—the open waters of Lake Superior are just a few miles away. Due to its heavy use, the Center’s main vessel, the R/V Agassiz soon will need two new engines. The vessel is used for research, education, and outreach, making two to three class trips per day, several days per week and has been doing so for the past 15 years.

Meadows says they would like to build the research vessel fleet by being the first university to operate a fully autonomous research vessel adding an 18-foot-long driverless science ship. This autonomous surface vessel (ASV) would not need a crew onboard and can operate continuously for up to five days, 24 hours a day. This would allow Tech to pioneer and perform aquatic research.“We take Great Lakes science and bring computers, autonomous vehicles, engineering, and cybersecurity together for practical use.”

Superior, the University’s high performance computing cluster, provides researchers with new computational tools to predict wind, wave, and current patterns in all five Great Lakes. Scientists also can better predict complex processes by building models of nutrients, harmful algae blooms, and transport paths of invasive species and pollutants. Computing clusters like Superior are needed to look to the future. “What will the Great Lakes be like in 50 years? What decisions do we make today to preserve this resource? The GLRC is built upon the latest technology, the most advanced research, and the best scientists and engineers. Our vision is to sustain this excellence.”

Learn how you can support the Great Lakes Research Center. Contact Director Guy Meadows,, 906-487-1106.