Kenneth W. Ragland
Having completed my four-year term as Chair and 31 years of service to the university, it is time for me to join the ranks of emeritus professors. Although at one time I envisioned a few more years of full-timeservice, now that I have acquired a mechanical mitral valve and pacemaker to keep my heart pumping smoothly, it seems best to ease off a bit.
Earlier this spring, the ME faculty elected Professor Neil A. Duffie as the next department Chair starting July 1. Neil has the full support of the faculty, and I am confident that he will do an excellent job. Since Dean Bollinger is also stepping down, there will indeed be a new beginning in the fall.
In our department office, we have a new financial specialist, Linda M. Marks, and a new program assistant, Ruth E. Bruckert, and are also looking to fill our vacancy in the departmental administrator position. Linda S. Aaberg continues to very ably run our Student Records office, and Lynda L. Litzkow is our loyal graphic designer. We could not function without our "computer guy," Louis E. Sather, and our editor Gail Gawenda. So there you have our office team to assist our 32 ME faculty, six lecturers, 10 (full-time equivalent) teaching assistants, 525 undergraduates, and 200 graduate students as we move into the twenty-first century.
During this past year, our faculty competitively won $9,038,000 in research grants, which with our fellowships, supported our graduate students and provided first rate laboratory equipment and computers for the students. State of Wisconsin support for our ME program was $3,591,000 for 1998-1999. U.S. News and World Report ranked our ME graduate program the 13th best in the U.S. in 1998, while the UW College of Engineering ranked 12th nationally.
We must continue striving to improve the ranking of our graduate program without sacrificing the excellent quality of our undergraduate program.
On a personal note, let me say that during my 31 years here at the
University of Wisconsin, I have grown to love the campus and all it
represents. Every aspect of life is investigated, improved (usually),
and transmitted to the next generation of students. The opportunities
for studious young people are unlimited. The future is being created
here bit by bit. I hope to remain a part of the process, although in a
less formal manner.
ME Newsletter is a periodic publication of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Correspondence should be sent to the address below.
Editor: Gail Gawenda
Designer: Lynda Litzkow
SPRING 1999 Contents