College of Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison
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ECE NEWS :The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department Newsletter


Year in Review 2009-2010

Featured Articles

BRIGHT IDEAS: Undergrad competition showcases ECE student ideas and inventions

BRIGHT IDEAS: Recycled electrification system will light up developing nations

New semiconductor laser structure

Nam Sung Kim

Katherine Compton

Focus on New Faculty:
Nader Behdad

Focus on Alumni:
Meet the ECE Visiting Advisory Board

Dean Foate receives Distinguised Acheivement Award

Andrew Hanson:
Transferring entrepreneurship from classroom to company

Michael Splinter: Blending engineering, business and social responsibility

In Memoriam

Regular Features

Message from the chair

Department News

Student News




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FOCUS ON ALUMNI: By Professor John Booske, ECE department chair

Decorative initial cap The ECE Visiting Advisory Board (VAB) provides a fresh view of the department from interested individuals working and living outside the faculty and campus. We remain appreciative and indebted to each former and current board member for this important and unselfish work.

During this past academic year, the board members visited campus and met with ECE leaders, faculty, students, as well as with college deans and development officers. They have identified several key recommendations to help the department in the next decade. Consistent with the VAB’s recommendations, the department is pursuing a number of exciting new initiatives.

We have helped ECE graduate students form the ECE Graduate Student Association and undergraduate students form the ECE Student Leadership Council. These groups will participate in organizing and hosting events and panels for new and current students.

The VAB has strongly endorsed the department’s plan to revise our undergraduate curriculum and specifically recommend greater student flexibility in selecting elective courses while maintaining technical depth in the major. More “experiential” learning will be emphasized in the early stages of the new curriculum, and students will receive more direct advising from faculty and their career and education options.

Supported by the College of Engineering, we are planning to launch a new website that will provide greater information support for students and Internet visitors. The website will present what it means to have a career in ECE, the value of an education in the UW-Madison ECE department, news of events and opportunities, and much more with the use of video, text and graphics and an improved ease of navigation. The rollout of the new website is expected before the end of 2010.

The VAB’s recommendations have been instrumental in guiding aspects of each of these and other exciting initiatives, and we are looking forward to their future help as we navigate news ways of educating, institutionally supporting research and acquiring and using financial resources to continue delivering some of the best learning and knowledge outcomes in the country and the world.


Adrian Amelse

Adrian Amelse is the general manager for the Cisco Emerging Technology Group, which focuses on creating solutions in new and adjacent technology markets. In his 13 years at Cisco, Amelse has held various marketing, manufacturing and engineering roles. A Madison native, Amelse holds a bachelor’s degree from UW-Stout and an MBA from Santa Clara University. He has served on the VAB for two years. “I believe strongly in helping develop the next generation of technical leaders,” he says. He also remains connected to Wisconsin via his family’s maple syrup business, Amelse Farms.

Steven Bartingale

Steven Bartingale (BS ’89) is a lab manager for track and trace solutions at 3M, where he is also a volunteer for the Technical Teams Encouraging Career Horizons for middle and high school students. He obtained his electrical engineering master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1996 and joined the VAB in 2006. “I want to help the department grow and remain competitive, attract and retain top faculty and students, and develop excellent graduates,” he says.

Adrian Amelse

Neena Buck (BS ’79) works in the Office of Corporate Relations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to connect companies in India, Japan and the United States to relevant research at MIT. She has spent many years as an industry analyst, tracking and anticipating under-the-radar technologies and their impact on business, consumers and society. Most recently, she was vice president at Strategy Analytics, a market research and analysis firm, where she launched the company’s Emerging Frontiers program. Before this, she was vice president of emerging trends at a startup that was acquired by Gartner. She has worked as director of marketing at Global Insight, as an artificial intelligence researcher and software developer at IBM, and as a hardware design engineer at the Delco Electronics Division of General Motors. Buck holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and was a PhD candidate in computer science, specializing in artificial intelligence, at Yale. She has served on the VAB for two years.

Travis Durand

Travis Durand (BSME ’80) is the F-15 chief program engineer at Boeing. He holds a mechanical engineering master’s degree from the University of Missouri and an executive MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. He has experience in engineering, program management, supply chain management, manufacturing and information technology. He has served on the VAB for two years.

Joe Eto

Joe Eto is a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, where he manages the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS). Eto holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (1979) and a master’s degree in energy and resources (1981) from the University of California, Berkeley. Eto, who has served on the VAB for two years, is connected to UW-Madison through the students and faculty who work on CERTS initiatives.

Ann Finley

Ann Finley (BS ’85) is a program manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where she manages and negotiates power contracts, performs and reviews transmission planning and interconnection studies, and markets green energy. Finley, who was on the UW-Madison swim team as a student and remains an active lifeguard and triathlon participant, is a member of several technical committees and received her master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California in 1989. She has been a licensed professional engineer in California since that year. “Being one of very few female ECE graduates in 1985, I feel honored to be a part of the VAB,” she says. “This opportunity motivates me to expand upon my outreach efforts and reflect on my experiences as an engineer to encourage others, especially student-athletes, females and minorities, to pursue engineering careers.” Finley has been on the VAB for three years.

Steve Frisch

Steve Frisch is senior vice president of global engineering services at Plexus Corporation, where he is responsible for five design centers located around the world. Frisch joined Plexus in 1990 and has held various director and vice president positions. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and technology from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, where he has been a part-time lecturer, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Marquette University. “I hope my industry experience will be able to contribute to the future success of the college, as I believe the success of my company and the electronics industry hinges on the ability to develop well educated graduates,” he says.

Jeffrey Lorbeck

Jeffrey Lorbeck (BS ’87, MS ’88, PhD ’92) is the senior vice president of program management in the QCT division at Qualcomm Inc. He has held various positions in engineering, business development, program management and general management at Qualcomm, and he has experience in organizing, managing and leading large, interdisciplinary, multi-site development and operations organizations. He served on the VAB in 2009 and remains committed to help ECE maintain its quality student experience.

Miten Marfatia

Miten Marfatia (MS ’82, MBA ’82) has more than 20 years of experience in co-founding and managing hardware and software solution companies. Currently, he is the CEO and CFO of EvolveWare Inc., a software company that has developed a unique technology to automate the transformation of source systems to any target system. Prior to founding EvolveWare, Marfatia co-founded Silicon Electronics and has previously worked at ROLM Corporation and Pyramid Technology. Active in various community organizations, Marfatia has served on the VAB for two years and says he remains committed to UW-Madison to help the institution receive the recognition it deserves.

Tom Nondahl

Tom Nondahl (BS ’73, MS ’74, PhD ’77) is research manager of the Advanced Technology Milwaukee Labs at Rockwell Automation/Allen Bradley, where he conducts projects in real-time Ethernet, multilevel inverters, motor starters, regenerative converters and permanent magnet motor controls. Nondahl has more than 30 years of experience in electrical drives, motor controls and communication networks for industrial appli-cations. He has produced multiple technical papers and U.S. patents. He has been active in the IEEE Industry Applications Society for many years and is currently serving as the president of the society. He has served on the VAB for two years.




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Date last modified: Monday,20-December-2010
Date created: 20-December-2010



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