Archive for 'Alumni'

Peter Tong: Building ideas

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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Since 2000, undergraduate competitors in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity (and later, Innovation Days) also vie for the Tong Prototype Prize. Funded by electrical and computer engineering alumnus Peter Tong (pictured with mechanical engineering undergrad Eric Ronning) and the Tong Family Foundation, the prize recognizes the best physical representation of the students’ ideas. Tong established [...]

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Making a very meaningful difference

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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During the past 12 months, we have seen many exciting changes at UW-Madison. Among them: Rebecca Blank began as the university’s new chancellor, Ian Robertson hit the ground running as the ninth College of Engineering dean, and, as part of Dean Robertson’s new integrated advancement model, the engineering development directors moved into offices on the [...]

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Alumnus built a legacy of generosity

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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In recent years, one of Andrew Johnson’s pleasures in life was to read letters of gratitude from College of Engineering under-graduates who received Great People Scholarships. “Every time he got a letter, he was exuberant about it, and he was happy to do so much good for those students,” says Johnson’s son, Robert. Andrew passed [...]

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Astronaut scholarship honors undergrad’s bold adventures in research

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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Even in the UW-Madison College of Engineering, where undergraduates are encouraged to seek hands-on experience, it’s rare that a faculty member finds himself taken aback by a freshman’s eagerness to get involved in research. That’s how Karu Sankaralingam, an associate professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering, remembers his first conversation with electrical [...]

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Investment aimed at growing GLE

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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When Ryan Bennett reconnected with faculty and fellow graduates of the Geological Engineering Program a couple of years ago, the growth and resilience of GLE surprised him. After all, Bennett experienced the program when it was just beginning as a small, interdisciplinary venture between geology and engineering faculty. In 1990, he earned his BS in [...]

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Lessons from an unlikely career

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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Bob Forbess began his UW-Madison education in mechanical engineering during World War II, then embarked on a career that spanned from rockets to education. Perhaps that’s why Forbess, now retired, takes such a broad view of the value of a mechanical engineering degree. He is leaving a portion of his estate to the mechanical engineering [...]

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Reinforcing design, honoring dedication

Posted on 23. Jan, 2014 by .

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A Stirling engine built by a team of mechanical engineering undergraduates helped to inspire a mechanical engineering alumnus and his wife to make a $100,000 anonymous gift that will support hands-on design experience in the College of Engineering undergraduate curriculum. When the students presented their work to a group of ME alumni, the alum noted [...]

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A big future for structural engineering

Posted on 23. Jan, 2014 by .

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For Jun Lee, structural engineering is more than a professional field. It’s a multigenerational force. It runs in the family for Lee, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in civil and environmental engineering at UW-Madison. His mother, Florence Lee, who graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, ran her own building-design [...]

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Reflections on innovation

Posted on 23. Jan, 2014 by .

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Past Schoofs Prize for Creativity and Innovation Days participants talk about their experiences in the competition and highlight lessons they’ve learned that have served them well in their professional lives. Cedric Kovacs-Johnson CBE, current student 2013—The American Press I was prompted to enter the competition through contact with past participants as well as a design [...]

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5 questions with Dick Schoofs

Posted on 23. Jan, 2014 by .

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In February 2014, the college will celebrate 20 years of the Schoofs Prize for Creativity, the oldest running innovation prize on the UW-Madison campus. Since its inception, the contest has yielded several spin-off companies and hundreds of creative ideas, and participants often cite their Schoofs Prize experiences as a major factor in their professional success. [...]

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Take action to advance the reputation and potential of the College of Engineering

Posted on 23. Jan, 2014 by .

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Chances are that you are advancing and realizing your potential in no small part because of your UW-Madison education and the brand equity of that “University of Wisconsin” credential behind your name. I graduated 30 years ago and left campus with a Wisconsin Alumni Association card and a job. I didn’t expect to lead product [...]

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Under construction: Revamped process speeds DOT project closeouts

Posted on 01. Oct, 2013 by .

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For a state department of transportation, concluding a construction project isn’t simply a matter of dropping a final check in the mail to the contractor. Rather, the highly administrative closeout process includes such tasks as ensuring the project objectives have been met, auditing labor and payroll records, and reviewing and reconciling material tests and material [...]

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A new opportunity for P.E.’s to talk about ethics

Posted on 01. Oct, 2013 by .

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It’s an unprecedented change, but one that will elevate the quality of engineers who practice in Wisconsin: For the first time ever, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services is requiring professional engineers seeking to renew their licenses to complete 30 professional development hours every two years. And while engineers can meet these requirements [...]

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In Wisconsin, cold-spray knowledge is a hot commodity

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Back in the mid-1980s, Fisher Barton founder Richard Wilkey (BSMetE ’59) was looking for coatings to extend the life of the lawnmower blades his Wisconsin-based company manufactured. For help, he looked to Frank Worzala, then a professor of metallurgical and mineral engineering, and Worzala’s master’s student Bill Lenling (BSMetE ‘84, MSMetE ‘86), who was seeking [...]

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Quicker, quake-proof skyscrapers

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Peel back the outer layers of a skyscraper built in an area vulnerable to earthquakes and you’ll find a tangle of steel-reinforced concrete beams that span doors, windows and other openings in the structure’s many supporting walls. Those coupling beams play a critical role in helping a skyscraper withstand the effects of an earthquake. Yet, [...]

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Geological engineers rock

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Interdisciplinary alums solid in industry It’s a unique, interdisciplinary degree that prepares students to work in industries ranging from energy and environmental remediation to mining, excavation and construction. At UW-Madison, geological engineering undergraduates receive not only rigorous training in mechanics and in fundamental engineering, but also a strong geoscience education. “What industry people tell me [...]

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Students hungry for business success savor campus resources

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Like any engineer worth his or her salt, Eric Martell can identify and analyze a problem when he sees it. Particularly when it’s sandwich-related. One fateful lunch hour, a driver for Silver Mine Subs told Martell he’d save time and money by calling in orders instead of ordering through a clunky (and expensive) third-party ordering [...]

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Beyond the Bucky Wagon

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Pierce seeks to strengthen ties with engineering students Pierce Manufacturing wants College of Engineering students to know it as more than just the name on the front of the iconic UW-Madison Bucky Wagon. Mechanical Engineering Faculty Associate Glenn Bower began a partnership with the Appleton, Wisconsin-based fire-truck company in 2009 when he brought the company [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger: Jim Sorden

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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“I’ve spent my whole life measuring time” The Global Positioning System (GPS), today one of the most versatile technologies on the planet, was still a highly experimental, underfunded military project when it first piqued Jim Sorden’s interest in the mid-1980s. But its potential compelled Sorden to make a bold move, leaving his 24-year career with [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger: Craig Palmer

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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And now for something completely different Some career trajectories follow a straight and narrow path; others take unexpected twists and turns. Craig Palmer’s career might be likened to a cross-country road trip—the kind where you leave the map at home and see where the road takes you. Palmer, a 1983 graduate of electrical and computer [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger: Tom Werner

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Helping solar energy’s future shine bright Thomas Werner’s solar energy company, SunPower Inc., in San Jose, has been keeping some pretty high-profile company these days. Take the San Francisco 49ers: The franchise is partnering with SunPower this year to make the new $1.2 billion Santa Clara stadium the greenest in the National Football League. It [...]

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Sustainability master’s helps professional engineers grow in new directions

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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As energy & CO2 leader for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Steve Skarda spends most of his time working on renewable energy issues. But even on his own time, he thinks about sustainability. “It’s a personal passion for me,” he says. “I love it a lot. I took a car and converted it to an [...]

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With 400th PhD grad, UW-Madison celebrates half a century of fusion energy

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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In the 1930s and ‘40s, many researchers studied ways to use fusion, the reaction in which atomic nuclei collide, fuse and release energy, to develop atomic weapons. Later, researchers would begin to focus on beneficial applications of fusion, including developing plants that would produce electrical energy for society. Noted physicist Don Kerst was among those [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger Engineers: How the West was won

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Here’s a story that could aptly be titled, “Only in Silicon Valley.” Three young entrepreneurs come to Inspovation—a Los Altos, California, venture firm—with a cool idea to create a cheaper alternative to renting cars at airports. The team has an impressive lineage from Harvard, MIT and Princeton. As the conversation continues, the investors find the [...]

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Our global footprint

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Bob Lorenz walks eagerly to a favorite spot—a wall of photos of faculty, staff and students associated with Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC)—in the Mechanical Engineering Building. Among those photos are the faces of international students and visiting scholars, and Lorenz traces invisible lines between himself, former students who have returned as [...]

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Advanced manufacturing research conference in Madison, June 10-14, 2013

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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The largest manufacturing research gathering in the Americas will take place June 10-14, 2013, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. The event will draw nearly 500 international academic and industrial leaders to two conferences: the 41st North American Manufacturing Research Conference, sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the 2013 [...]

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Five questions with Frank Pfefferkorn about manufacturing systems education

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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  Frank Pfefferkorn is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program at UW-Madison. Q: What is the Manufacturing Systems Engineering program? A: The Manufacturing Systems Engineering (MSE) program is an interdisciplinary master’s degree-granting program that was founded in 1983. The MSE program is part of the College of [...]

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Gustafson named to National Academy of Engineering

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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In February, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) named David Gustafson to its 2013 class of new members. Gustafson is director of the UW-Madison Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies and a professor emeritus of industrial and systems engineering. The academy cited Gustafson for industrial and systems engineering methods to improve care for aging patients [...]

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Moving a great college forward

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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As my first opportunity as dean to reach the 45,000-plus College of Engineering alumni, let me express my great enthusiasm for the future of this college, for our profession as a whole, and for the chance to work with you. Engineering today is at the very heart of many national and global priorities. My goal [...]

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Alumnus gives back by advancing Wisconsin innovation

Posted on 10. Dec, 2012 by .

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When Frederick Mancheski spent 35 years building Echlin Inc. into one of the world’s largest automobile parts companies, he would frequently employ a secret weapon in his quest for new technology: The engine experts at the UW-Madison. As Echlin CEO, the 1948 mechanical engineering alumnus oversaw the Connecticut-based company’s growth from $10 million in annual [...]

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