Archive for 'Features'

Computing with grand demands

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Wisconsin engineers find meaning in big data For all the scale and promise the term “big data” evokes, the exploding field of big data research really comes down to constraints. Even as high-throughput computers become increasingly powerful, it’s not feasible for them to simply brute-force their way through every massive set of information that might [...]

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Energy research for a stronger society

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon It’s hard to find an energy researcher in the College of Engineering who thinks only about one piece of the energy puzzle. Talk to an engine researcher about fuel efficiency, and pretty soon you’ll be discussing the engine as a bigger system. Ask an electrical engineer about power storage, and the conversation [...]

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Morgridges give $100 million to invest in faculty

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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In November 2014, UW-Madison received a landmark gift of $100 million from John and Tashia Morgridge. The kind of philanthropic support that sets UW-Madison apart among global institutions of higher education, the gift is the largest single contribution from individual donors in the history of the institution. The Morgridge gift will inspire and match donations [...]

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The chemical and biological engineering graduate program: Ongoing advancements in education and research

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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Graduate students have played a crucial role in making the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering one of the strongest and most enduring programs in the field. CBE grad students are integral to research, of course, but also to mentoring the department’s undergraduates. The department is ensuring that grad students will get an even stronger [...]

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F.M. Young Award still recognizing top students 64 years later

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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The F.M. Young Award was established so long ago that even those closest to it are unsure of details about how it began. “It started in 1950, but I really don’t know exactly how it started,” says Fred Young Jr. (top, center), who funds the award begun by his father, the late Fred M. Young. [...]

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Fellowship allows BME grad students to find their passion

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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Danielle Bourgeois’ love of science is contagious. “If you can show people how much you love it and how excited you are,” she says. “It will inspire them to stay in science and engineering, and continue doing what they love as well.” Bourgeois’ inspiration comes from studying the signaling pathways of two proteins that have [...]

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Computer innovator supports tenacious Badger engineers

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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During the 33 years Jim Stinger spent working at Hewlett-Packard, he saw to it that he stayed on the technical side of the company’s research and development lab. He had opportunities to try his hand at management, but never lost his relish for mixing electrical engineering with computer science. On an even more basic level, [...]

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Honoring a Wisconsin materials science visionary

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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Richard (Arthur) Dodd understood the future of materials science before just about anyone else at UW-Madison. The English-born Dodd arrived on campus in 1959 as an associate professor of mining and metallurgy, having previously served in engineering roles in industry and academic roles in South Africa and the University of Pennsylvania. Beginning in the late [...]

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A life-saver: Fellowship helps PhD student move MRSA models forward

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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Born in the Ukraine to two engineer parents, Nataliya Batina admits with a smile that she didn’t expect to become an engineer herself. With a master’s degree in mathematics, Batina credits many industrial and systems engineering faculty members for her career shift to health systems engineering when she came to UW-Madison for a master’s degree [...]

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Competition offers financial reward for seniors’ hard work

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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Throughout its history, the EMA/ME Design Competition has featured such entries as an assistive golf chair, a rotating bowling ball rack, a novel trash compactor, a pedal-powered riding lawnmower, an inflatable temporary shelter, an all-in-one commuter bicycle accessory, and many more unique and creative ideas that reflect the interests of their creators. Each December, students [...]

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Professorships keep CBE on global stage

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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UW-Madison’s reputation as a center for chemical and biological engineering has a lot to do with someone who graduated from the department nearly a century ago. Milton J. Shoemaker earned his UW-Madison chemical engineering degree in 1921, and went on to found Research Products Corporation, which operates in Madison. In the late 1980s, Shoemaker and [...]

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New design lab is critical part of BME undergraduate education

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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Since the Department of Biomedical Engineering was founded in 1999, design has been at the core of its curriculum. Now, thanks to a lead gift from alumnus Peter Tong, the Webster Tompkins Design Laboratory is set to enhance the design experience for a new generation of engineers. Tong, who earned his degree in electrical and [...]

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$25 million gift creates unique institute

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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A new trans-disciplinary research institute in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering will drive technological breakthroughs that will enhance the success of U.S. industries and fuel economic growth in the nation. Funded with a $25 million commitment from The Grainger Foundation, the Grainger Institute for Engineering will foster new discoveries and build the university’s [...]

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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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Fellowships help undergrads turn pro

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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To earn an undergraduate research fellowship, mechanical engineering students need more than passion and a great technical problem to tackle. They also have to function like professionals in a research context. “We’re looking for clarity of thought in students’ fellowship proposals,” says Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Krishnan Suresh. “That reflects a clarity of process in [...]

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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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Natural resources: Support helps faculty become self-sustaining

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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When a department hires a new faculty member, funding from the College of Engineering and the UW-Madison Graduate School helps to pay that person’s salary. However, new faculty also need a way to start research programs. Private gifts provide the initial support for faculty startup packages, which cover stipends, scholarships, and fellowships for students to [...]

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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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In celebration of decades of dedication

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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In 1941, before Bob Bird enrolled at the University of Maryland, he told his dad he was planning to study foreign languages. Bob’s dad, however, had other ideas. “If you want to be able to earn a living, you should take engineering,” said his dad. “Furthermore, since chemical engineering is the newest field and reputed [...]

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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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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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Materials innovator Padma Gopalan: Bringing nature’s complexity to polymer synthesis

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Associate professor, materials science and engineering Director, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center Padma Gopalan’s research focuses on designing, synthesizing and characterizing new types of polymers with the ability to self-assemble into a wide range of useful nanostructures. Yet one of her favorite nanostructures comes not from the lab but from nature, on the wings of [...]

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Q&A with materials innovator Luke Mawst

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Professor, electrical and computer engineering Co-founder, Alfalight / Co-founder, Intraband Talk about your research. What, simply, do you study? The main thrust of my research is really looking at new semiconductor compounds and the application of these compounds into optoelectronic devices. Most people are familiar with the most common semiconductor material, silicon. But there’s a [...]

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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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Looking up

Posted on 10. Dec, 2012 by .

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Prestigious professorship is the impetus for a structural engineering renaissance at UW-Madison In our built environment, it seems even the sky’s not the limit. Over the past eight years, countries in the Middle East and Asia have completed the world’s five tallest skyscrapers. At 163 floors and 2,171 feet tall, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai [...]

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