|Home : Volume 25 : Fall 1998 :|
|Distinguished Service Award for Michael J. Lalich|
Michael J. Lalich
In 1984, Michael J. Lalich accepted the challenge of establishing the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. A severe downturn in Minnesota's iron ore industry, coupled with critical environmental and resource management issues, was the impetus for this center.
Under Lalich's guidance as director, NRRI has gained recognition as an effective technology transfer and business development model. The research institute, with 200 employees and a $12 million budget, takes pride in helping entrepreneurs and companies start or expand their enterprises through product and process development, business planning and procurement of finances.
Acquisition of USX Corporation's Coleraine Laboratory has allowed NRRI to provide world leading minerals research and pilot development support that has helped the iron ore industry regain competitiveness through cost and quality improvements. Emphasis on value- added wood products, including composites and chemical derivatives, has led to a series of commercial developments and plant start-ups. NRRI's ecological studies span a variety of important issues. These include research on wetlands, forests, streams, inland lakes and Lake Superior.
Lalich, a native of Michigan Upper Peninsula, received his BS and MS degrees from Michigan Tech and his PhD from UW-Madison in 1972. His work experience began in 1966 at the Union Carbide research laboratories in Niagara Falls, New York. He worked for the Foote Mineral Company in Exton, Pennsylvania, where he was director of research and development from 1976 to 1984. His research contributions focused on metals casting, particularly on developing ferroalloys to improve the properties of cast iron and steel.
In Minnesota, Lalich is active on the Governor's Commission on Mining
and Minerals, as well as the Forest Resources Research Advisory
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