Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Gary Benjamin '70

President and COO, Champion, Inc.
Iron Mountain, MI

LSSU Business, Economics, and Legal Studies Distinguished Alumni '07

Former LSSU Board Trustee

School of Business

Collaboration Across Disciplines: Superior AquaSystems

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The idea behind Superior AquaSystems came from discussions between a team of biology students and Diane Durance of the Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, who together identified the need in the market for alternative seafood sources. In the fall of 2011 an extracurricular team project was initiated at Lake Superior State University. As the idea evolved, the team reached out to students and professors in the fields of engineering, biology, fish health and business.

Team Picture: From left are Garret Price, a junior in fisheries and wildlife management from Luzerne, Mich.; Daniel Walker a senior in computer science from Rockford, Mich.; Alexander Schroeder a senior in electrical engineering from Kentwood, Mich.; Tyler Jackson, a sophomore in fisheries and wildlife management from Clyde, Mich.; Noel Granger, a senior in international business from Fraser, Mich.; and Zachary Prause, a junior in fisheries and wildlife management from Wyoming, Mich. (Photo by John Shibley)

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The mission is to develop recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS)that provide economically viable, sustainably produced local food sources.

Superior AquaSystems is preparing to enter the growing seafood production market with an indoor, energy efficient, ecologically sound closed loop aquaculture system. The team shares a concern for the future and in particular is concerned about the economy and food security.

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The Project

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Superior AquaSystems is designing and planning to commercialize a sustainable, eco-friendly system to grow fish and organic produce for human consumption to augment existing agriculture. The business is engineering a cost-effective, recirculating aquaculture system by using renewable energy and biologically sound water purification. The venture leverages the research and design capabilities of the engineering, aquaculture, biotech and business resources of Lake Superior State University, one of northern Michigan's leaders in aquatic research and fish health.

Image: Example of proposed design for the SAS System.

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Current Progress of Project

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Superior AquaSystems is still in the prototype phase. The team recently completed building a greenhouse and is currently working on building the green technology aspect of the design by incorporating innovative energy solutions.  To date, the teams has entered a number of business plan competitions such as Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (semi-finalist 2011 and 2012) Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge (Judges Choice Award 2012); Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest (Honorable mention 2011). They have also received grant support from the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Talent, Innovation & Entrepreneurship (MIIE-TIE) fund and the Sault Ste Marie Smart Zone.


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Ted Doyle and Noel Granger will be attending the 2013 "Strike a Chord for Sustainable Aquaculture." The conference is the International Triennial Meeting of World Aquaculture Society, National Shellfisheries Association and American Fisheries Society, Fish Culture Section, and will be held February 21-25 in Nashville TN this year.


Left Border For More Information Right Border

If you would like more information about the project or are interested in becoming a team member, please contact Dr. Barbara Evans, at The team meets every Monday at 6pm.



Chris Schalk

I absolutely love the small size of LSSU. Everything on campus is within a short walking distance. Also, with smaller class sizes, itís much easier to get to know people. There are even professors I had from a couple of years ago that still remember me. It has even become difficult for me to walk across campus without running into someone I know. This has created a very positive experience for me. [ more ]

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