A newsletter for alumni, students, and friends of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Faculty Highlight

John M. Pfotenhauer

John M. Pfotenhauer
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Assistant Professor John M. Pfotenhauer was recently awarded an applied research grant from UW System for his project, "Improving the Competitiveness of Super Conducting Magnetic Energy Storage in the Power Quality Market." The grant will support his work in integrating a set of high temperature super conducting current leads into the micro-SMES system produced by his industry partner, Superconductivity, Inc. of Middleton, WI. His product is a small version of the super conducting magnetic energy storage systems (SMES) pioneered at UW-Madison to store electric power as a means of leveling the load statewide.

Pfotenhauer has been with the Department of Mechanical Engineering since 1993. Prior to that he was a scientist with the College of Engineering's Applied Superconductivity Center. A native of British Columbia, Canada, Pfotenhauer moved to Minneapolis as a child. He received his BA in physics from St. Olaf College and his MA and PhD in physics from the University of Oregon.

Professor Pfotenhauer said that his favorite class is ME 370, the Energy Systems Lab, "because of the personal interaction with students, and because they have a chance for hands-on experience with what they've read in text books." He also teaches thermodynamics and heat transfer classes in addition to graduate level classes in cryogenics and applied superconductivity.

His current research provides refrigeration and cooling for the new high temperature superconductors, involving a lot of interaction with industry. Along with several other professors, including ME Profs Klein and Corradini, Pfotenhauer has submitted a National Science Foundation proposal for an engineering research center on super conducting systems.

When he's not doing research or teaching, Pfotenhauer spends time with his wife Nadine and his four children aged 5 to 15. Although he was a gymnast in high school, he now is more likely to strap on roller blades for recreation and to keep in shape for the cross-country skiing and mountain hiking that he and his family enjoy together. In quieter moments, he does fly-fishing in Wisconsin's streams.

ME Newsletter is a periodic publication of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Correspondence should be sent to the address below.

ME Newsletter
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1513 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706-1572

      Editor: Gail Gawenda

Designer: Lynda Litzkow

Last Modified: Thursday, 16-Apr-1998 15:38:17 CDT

NOVEMBER 1997 Contents