Tag Archives: Wisconsin Idea

Collaboration aims at longer-lasting roads for northern states

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon More than 80 percent of major roads in the United States are still surfaced with asphaltic mixtures—and the liquid asphalt, a byproduct of oil refining, remains a bit of a chemical mess, an inconsistent, complex mix of hydrocarbons. So to understand how different kinds of asphalt will hold up under the weight [...]

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System alerts Great Lakes swimmers of dangerous currents

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon The history of the Great Lakes is one of people who underestimate their destructive power, often with tragic results. From two massive waves that smashed into Chicago’s harbors in 1954 to a rip current that drowned a young swimmer in Port Washington, Wisconsin, in 2012, Lake Michigan and its neighbors have a [...]

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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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Unique expertise and education for the world

Posted on 01. Oct, 2013 by .

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Known as the nature isle of the Caribbean, Dominica features waterfalls, mountainous rainforests and an abundance of rare plant, animal and bird species, many of which are protected in an extensive natural park system. Because of its location in the eastern Caribbean, this island nation is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes. This combination of weather, nature [...]

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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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Centers work for state business and industry

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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The Wisconsin Idea was created as a way to keep the benefits of UW-Madison education from being an isolated island of knowledge and technological advances. In 2013, the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) and the UW E-Business Consortium (UWEBC)—two of the biggest bridges connecting university research and Wisconsin industries—are celebrating anniversaries. For the past [...]

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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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For building owners, IPD is A-OK

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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In America,” says Tom Boldt, “we revel in low price.” It’s true, particularly in tough economic times. We’re a nation of cost- and value-conscious consumers seeking to get the biggest bang for our buck. However, in many situations, the lowest price doesn’t automatically guarantee a high-quality product or a high level of customer satisfaction. Take, [...]

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Innovation lifts limits of landfill liners

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Generally made from bentonite clay sandwiched between textile or membrane layers, geosynthetic clay liners are the “gold standard” for preventing industrial, hazardous and municipal solid wastes from seeping into the environment. Such liners are particularly effective barriers, because as the clay absorbs water, it swells and the pore spaces between its particles shrink. Yet, even [...]

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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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For Platypus Technologies, liquid crystals fit the bill

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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In 1999, researchers in New York City identified the first case of West Nile virus, which over the next five years spread across the country. Infected mosquitoes transmit the virus into reptiles, amphibians, and some mammals—including humans—and into more than 100 species of birds, which “host” the virus. At the time, identifying the disease in [...]

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Technology helps humans and horses

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Biomedical Engineering Professor Ray Vanderby always thought there was more information in an ultrasound signal than people were using. Vanderby and his students specialize in tissue healing and regeneration in musculo-skeletal tissues—and they can use all the information about damaged tissue they can get. That’s where ultrasound can be an added benefit. “If we’re only [...]

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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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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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Video tool could help active workers avoid injury

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Video of workers performing tasks such as assembling a manufactured part or packing boxes could help assess the likelihood that those people will develop common repetitive-motion injuries. Repeatedly performing the same motions and exertions can lead to injuries in which the body suffers strain from even tiny actions—for example, handling small parts, operating a machine [...]

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New standards take strategic view of asset management

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 standard for quality management, which has now been adopted by more than 1.25 million companies, has had many positive effects on investment, market share, sales growth, sales margins, competitive advantage, and avoidance of litigation. ISO is now preparing ISO 55000, a new standard for asset management. “ISO 55000 [...]

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Talent assessment and training give company competitive edge

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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Through an ongoing partnership with the Johnson Controls North America building efficiency business, Engineering Professional Development Faculty Associate Carl Vieth (left) and Faculty Associate Thomas Smith have created a benchmarking tool called a competency model that will enable the business to make more informed, strategic talent-management decisions. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the business focuses on [...]

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Digging into energy from the earth

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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Drawing on data gathered from a heavily instrumented Adams County, Wisconsin, home, Engineering Professional Development and Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor James Tinjum is seeking to provide scientific support for a deep insulated single-hole (DISH) geothermal heat pump system, a novel heating and cooling method that capitalizes on heat stored in geological structures deep [...]

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Innovation: Forward thinking

Posted on 27. Aug, 2012 by .

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison will formally recognize 2012-13 as the Year of Innovation. As the engineering dean at a major research university, I recognize the importance of innovation in moving research discoveries into society to improve our quality of life and the economy. Innovation is where great ideas and discoveries are put to work for [...]

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Insights on innovation

Posted on 27. Aug, 2012 by .

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UW-Madison is recognizing 2012-13 as the Year of Innovation, offering a chance to reflect on what this concept means to the university and to society. With $136 million in research and more than 100 patent disclosures annually, the College of Engineering has worked to cultivate innovation as standard operating procedure in our classrooms and labs. [...]

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Creative energy: In new building, microgrid lab will spark practical solutions

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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When the Wisconsin Energy Institute building opens on the UW-Madison campus in early 2013, it will include a high-power microgrid that will combine real and simulated power sources capable of reproducing the inherent technical challenges associated with intermittent energy sources. “We want to be able to create all of the different operating conditions that are [...]

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New engineering podcast series launches with e-business, sustainability experts

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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In the inaugural edition of the Badger Engineering Perspective podcast, Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Raj Veeramani talks about how new information technology can allow businesses to implement innovative new processes for getting work done. He also discusses the role of the University of Wisconsin E-Business Consortium in allowing companies to share their innovations and [...]

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A global connection: Online engineering master’s programs ranked No. 1

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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U.S. News and World Report has ranked the University of Wisconsin-Madison No. 1 for its online graduate engineering programs in the categories of teaching practices and student engagement and student services and technology. UW-Madison is one of only three universities that made the U.S. News and World Report honor roll for top-quality online engineering degree [...]

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Better health by design

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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Biomedical engineering undergrads expect to spend a large chunk of their education working on products that solve real-world medical problems. From admission to the department all the way through to graduation, they take a series of design courses that help them apply a suite of skills and knowledge necessary for devising solutions to challenges that [...]

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Who knew? Five questions with Bill Murphy about biotech innovation

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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Bill Murphy is an associate professor of biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering, and orthopedics and rehabilitation. Murphy and his students develop new biomaterials and uses for biomaterials, as well as new approaches for drug delivery and gene therapy. He and various collaborators have founded two spin-off companies, collaborated with several other established companies, and [...]

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Freight consortium picks up speed

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $3.5 million grant to the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE). Led by researchers at UW-Madison, CFIRE is a partnership among 10 U.S. universities and encompasses a geographical area that serves the majority of freight traffic in the United States. The new grant will [...]

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From lab bench to lab results: Diagnostics for developing countries

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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Biomedical Engineering Professor David Beebe and his collaborator, Oncology Professor Emeritus Richard Burgess, have received a Point-of-Care Diagnostics grant through Grand Challenges in Global Health, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative seeks to engage creative minds across scientific disciplines—including those who have not traditionally taken part in health research—to [...]

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An honor fit for a dream come true

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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In January 2012, Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Jae (Jim) Parkreceived the Order of Service Merit (red stripes medal) from the president of South Korea for his contributions to the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project, a multibillion-dollar river restoration project in that country. The Order of Service Merit is among the highest and most coveted [...]

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