Constructed in 1955 (adjacent to what would be the site of the Duderstadt Center), the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project (MMPP) was the first laboratory building constructed on the U-M North Campus. It was dedicated in 1958 as a living memorial to the 585 university alumni, students, faculty, and staff members, who gave their lives in World War II, to be devoted to the peaceful applications of nuclear science for the welfare of the human race.
The MMPP will be rededicated on April 8th, 2022, for ongoing research in nuclear engineering, radiation sciences, and emerging energy solutions.
Dr. James J. Duderstadt, U-M President Emeritus, says the MMPP, housed for more than 60 years in the facility adjacent to the Duderstadt Center itself, “was the first university attempt in the world to explore the peaceful uses of atomic energy”.
An aerial view of U-M’s North Campus in 1962 showing the completed MMPP and the future location of the James and Anne Duderstadt Center.
The laboratories and reactor of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project (MMPP) under construction in 1955 – the first laboratory building constructed on the U-M North Campus.
(left) Nuclear engineering students attending class at the Ford Nuclear Reactor. Charles Ricker, instructor in Nuclear Engineering, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, and Reactor Operator, describes the operation of the control panel. (right) The Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Sciences, and the Michigan Materials Research Institute continue to conduct research on energy solutions in the MMPP
Today, the MMPP and its facilities are managed by College of Engineering Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (NERS), and also includes research space for the Michigan Materials Research Institute (MMRI).
Continuing the facility’s use for transformational energy research are the NERS Fastest Path to Zero Initiative, with the mission of identifying, innovating, and pursuing the fastest path to zero emissions by optimizing clean energy deployment through energy innovation, interdisciplinary analysis, and evidence-driven approaches to community engagement. The MMRI Battery Lab is also located in MMPP space.
During the Rededication Ceremony on April 8, 2022, Several panels will present discussions on advanced reactors, modern energy issues, global nuclear commerce, safeguarding nuclear’s future, social engagement and equity, and young nuclear leaders. Following the event, the MMPP will be open to the public for lab tours.
See the NERS department site for the full schedule of Rededication Events
Read the complete story of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project