Michigan Technological University Opens the New H-STEM Complex

Michigan Tech cuts the ribbon and welcomes students to the new H-STEM complex. Two years ago Michigan Tech broke ground on the new health sciences building to align with the university’s mission to expand its course offering to future students. One driver for the university to create a health sciences space for research and learning was to expand the college’s influence in health-related fields of study.

Sure, as you can imagine this is a campus-wide initiative so most of the faculty were involved. We’re very appreciative to the state legislature and our governor for supporting this initiative. And of course, the students were involved in the design as well to be sure that it met their needs and also represented the values they have. I mean this is a LEEDS gold certified building so we’re very proud of where it turned out – Rick Koubek, President, Michigan Technological University

Dr. Caryn Heldt, says that students have already begun to take advantage of the space. The complex also connects to the nearby chemical science building, where students are also tackling health-related challenges. 

So while the HRI is the home of BME and KIPP. Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, which are housed in the Chemical Sciences Building, also have a lot of health research that they are doing. And so by having all of these groups centralized on campus, they can do much more collaboration. They can talk to each other, they can run into each other in the hallway, and they can learn about what everyone is doing. And by learning, then maybe we can work together and we can solve even bigger problems when we start saying, oh, this is what you’re working on, but maybe I can help you with it. – Dr. Caryn Heldt, Director, Health Research Institute

In attendance for the grand opening included local state representatives Senator Ed McBroom and Representative Greg Markkanen. Both expressed pride in the university’s achievements, with Markkanen adding he believes the connection between the college and community has led to a history of success in the Copper Country. 

I have one of the best positions in the world. A lot of the time, people come up to me in Lansing and go, what’s the secret of Michigan Tech? And I can say, well, this dedicated staff, the faculty, the outstanding research, just every aspect. But the real secret is the community, the community of Michigan Tech, and the copper country together that makes it such a strong bond. Unlike any other university in Michigan, in my feeling. – Representative Greg Markkanen, 110th District, Michigan House of Representatives

The University’s project to build the h-STEM complex cost close to 52 million dollars. The project came in on time and within budget for creating 63,000 square feet of education space. The facility offers a unique look into labs and research with glass walls in many hallways, and collaborative space for students and faculty to meet organically.