Montana Tech

By Mark Spero
Montana Tech campus in Butte, Montana | Montana Tech

For the past century, Montana Technological University has been internationally recognized for its excellence in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. The university connects focused students to a network of people, opportunities, and experiences and empowers them to change the world. Our determined students learn in state-of-the-art facilities and perform hands-on work relevant to today’s rapidly evolving industries.

In 1900, the Montana State School of Mines opened its doors to 39 students pursuing mining or electrical engineering degrees. Since then, we have grown to over 2,300 students and changed our name to reflect the breadth of programs.

Montana Tech offers four-year degrees, graduate degrees, and several doctoral degrees. Many of the schools engineering programs are unique to the region and are among only a few in the country: they are one of ten universities offering a BS degree in metallurgical engineering, one of fourteen offering a BS degree in mining engineering, and one of twenty offering a BS in petroleum engineering. More traditional engineering programs include mechanical, civil, electrical, and environmental engineering.

A specialized university department called Highlands College is home to all Montana Tech career-ready and transfer programs that help build the workforce needed to shape Montana’s future. From certificates and associate degrees to community education and customized training, Highlands offers relevant hands-on professional programs for the important jobs of tomorrow.

Montana Tech is home to the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG). Its state agency mandate is to collect and publish information on Montana’s geology to promote the orderly and responsible development of Montana’s energy, groundwater, and mineral resources. The MBMG provides these services to the public and a variety of constituents within the private sector, as well as federal, state, and local governments. Their research faculty closely collaborates with Montana Tech’s academic faculty on research and mentoring graduate students.

A commitment to research has resulted in significant growth. Over the past few years, approximately $13 million annually has come from local, state, and national agencies, and the private sector. Research specialties emphasize natural resources engineering, materials science and engineering, energy, geosciences and water, restoration ecology and environmental engineering, and health and bioscience. Tech’s distinctive research infrastructure includes an on-campus underground mine, the Center for Advanced Mineral Processing (CAMP) materials

research center, a High-Performance Computer with 3-D visualization, a nanotechnology clean room, the new Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory Power-Systems Lab, and the MBMG. Projects. All these programs allow both undergraduate and graduate students to work closely with faculty.

Tech’s campus has undergone many recent developments. With over $36 million in recently completed building and renovation projects and another $11 million in the design or planning stage, the campus seeks to blend historic architecture with new state-of-the-art living and instructional facilities. In the fall of 2019, the Student Success/Living Learning Center opened, providing an ideal environment for students to live, learn, gather, and develop lifelong friendships. A new Natural Resource Research Center was recently constructed, giving students access to the latest nanotechnology. The school is currently designing a Nursing Simulation Lab which will allow the Nursing department to increase the intake of students and integrate real-life simulation opportunities throughout the entire nursing curriculum. Investments have continued for the underground mine education center, which remains the only on-campus underground mine in the country.

These numerous improvements to facilities and curriculum are made possible by Montana Tech and the Montana Tech Foundation, which recently completed a $40 million campaign. In addition to all the upgrades already mentioned, this campaign added $12 million in new scholarships, including $7.6 million in newly endowed scholarships, $2 million in investments in our faculty, and $5 million in investments in programs. Our alumni and friends continue to demonstrate their strong support of Tech’s mission and newest students, leading to increased opportunities to access the life-changing opportunities a Montana Tech education provides.

To learn more about Montana Tech, visit www.mtech.edu or call (800) 445-8324. To explore athletics news and events, visit godiggers.com.

​Mark Spero is a University of Montana graduate student and editor of UM’s This is Montana program.