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Michael Dziecichowicz ’04 is one of five recipients of the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) award, a National Science Foundation-sponsored doctoral fellowship program.

IGERT Fellows receive either a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Lehigh University or a Ph.D. in operations and information management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The fellowship includes full tuition coverage, a monthly stipend, and an allowance for educational expenses that will be used to cover an industrial internship at an affiliated institution in Europe, Asia, Australia. and the Middle East.

Dziecichowicz, who received his A.B. in mathematics-economics, has chosen to pursue his degree in industrial engineering through Lehigh’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Global Manufacturing Logistics program.

“[The program] coincides with my career objectives perfectly, and I feel as though it will serve as the building block for the success that I am searching for,” he says.

Dziecichowicz is especially interested in the IGERT-funded international internship, as he has a passion for travel.

“As American industries have experienced vast changes resulting from globalization within the past decade, traveling across the globe is critical and has never been so beneficial to manufacturing logistics,” he says. “Also, there are limitless possibilities for new innovations and research areas in such a rapidly changing world.”

Dziecichowicz’s decision to pursue his Ph.D. immediately after undergraduate studies was easy, he says.

“My undergraduate studies at Lafayette ignited my interest in [industrial and systems engineering], and the IGERT fellowship has presented me the opportunity to become a national and international leader in global manufacturing logistics,” he adds.

Dziecichowicz’s main areas of interest are optimization techniques of financial engineering and replacement analysis, but he is also interested in the biomedical field.

“I realize that there is a huge window of opportunity for industrial engineers to work in conjunction with medical professionals,” he explains. “Nonetheless, I intend to research a variety of topics before I submit a primary area of study.”

Knowing that the IGERT program trains leaders in both industrial and academic settings, Dziecichowicz intends to pursue a career in research and development or academia.

“I believe that a major responsibility of the academic world is to give back, either by sharing knowledge or by financially supporting academic programs in the future,” he says.

The inspiration to give back has been installed in Dziecichowicz through his family and the Lafayette faculty, he says.

“The knowledge and accessibility of my teachers made learning easy,” he adds. “I especially would like to thank Gary Gordon [professor of mathematics] for his support during my application process to Lehigh.”

Although his doctoral program is just beginning, Dziecichowicz is already fielding questions of loyalty regarding his alma mater and its rival.

“You would be amazed at how many times since August I have been asked which side of the field I will sit on come the Lafayette-Lehigh game,” he says. “But given all my positive experiences at school, no matter where I sit, my heart will always stay with Lafayette.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles