Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor Peter J. Bosscher
Professor Peter J. Bosscher passed away on November 18 after a struggle with cancer. A geotechnical engineer, Bosscher studied many aspects related to soil-structure inter-actions, developed data-collection systems for a variety of applications, and investigated how to incorporate waste materials into materials used in construction.
To help emphasize to students that learning and service go hand in hand, he founded and advised the UW-Madison chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a student group that has traveled to Africa, South America and Asia to help residents build sustainable basic infrastructure systems.
To carry on Peter's work, the Peter J. Bosscher Engineers Without Borders Fund (fund #12344037) has been established. Mail contributions (specify fund number on check) to:
US Bank Lockbox, PO Box 78807
Milwaukee, WI 53278
Mechanical Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering
Professor Emeritus Donald S. Ermer
Professor Emeritus Donald S. Ermer died on December 13, 2007, at Hospice Care in Madison. Ermer graduated from UW-Madison in 1954, worked in industry, served in the U.S. Army and then completed his PhD in mechanical engineering at UW-Madison in 1966.
Ermer joined the College of Engineering faculty in 1971. He established lasting ties with the Far East, especially Singapore, where he and his family spent a year while he taught and worked for UNIDO.
Ermer was well-known for his passion for quality at UW-Madison and beyond. He worked with companies—large and small—to improve their manufacturing processes. One of Ermer's major achievements was helping to establish and promote the state of Wisconsin Forward Award.
Ermer was a member of many professional societies, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineering and the American Society for Quality (ASQ). In 2001, he received the national Eugene L. Grant Medal from ASQ for outstanding leadership in the development and presentation of a meritorious educational program in quality improvement and control, and for his exemplary teaching and mentoring of thousands of students in the field of quality.
Ermer retired from the college in 2002. He was quick to admit that he "flunked retirement," as his interest in mentoring students and their projects always drew him back to his office on campus or to a meeting on the Memorial Union terrace.
Ermer is survived by Phyllis, his wife of 48 years, and two children and five grandchildren.
Memorials may be directed to the UW Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Building Fund.