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

Message From the Chair

Neil A. Duffie

The 1999-2000 academic year has recently ended. Since it was my first as department chair, I must admit that I did not know fully what to expect; but looking back, it has been an exciting year and our department has been successful in a number of areas that we can all be very proud of. Our student groups have had an amazing year. Pi Tau Sigma won the privilege of hosting their 2001 national convention at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed convention center here in Madison. Our Baja car team finished first overall in their midwest competition and second overall in their west competition, our Formula car team finished second overall in their national competition, and our FutureCar team finished first overall in their national competition. Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student inventors won the first-, second- and third-place prizes in the College of Engineering's Schoof's Brainstorm competition.
MIEB addition

Artist's conception of the remodeled Mechanical Engineering Building. (32K JPG)

Four new tenure-track assistant professors joined us this year: Joel Hetrick (mechanisms), Yuri Shkel (smart materials), Elizabeth Smith (laser processing), and Lih-Sheng Turng (polymer processing). Our faculty invested considerable time in strategic planning at our fall and spring retreats, and this has greatly aided our hiring efforts as has the support of Paul Peercy, our new dean. Approximately one-third of our faculty are over the age of 60, and we are anticipating sustained hiring activity over the next several years in response to upcoming retirements. In this regard, we welcome your advice on future directions and potential new faculty.
"...we are key participants in an effort to raise $10 million in gift funds to accompany State of Wisconsin funding of the $33 million project."

We are very excited about the progress made toward renovation of the ME Building and the impact it would have on our students. A major renovation has been needed for some time, and we are key participants in an effort to raise $10 million in gift funds to accompany State of Wisconsin funding of the $33 million project. Our needs range from replacing "one of the worst lecture rooms on campus" to keeping computer rooms from overheating to providing space for graduate student research and mechanical dissection laboratories. Our department currently has faculty in three different buildings. The project will allow them to be housed in our building, enhancing collaboration in education and research. The new faculty we are hiring need facilities to do research never dreamed of in the 1930s when our building was constructed. Our students need places to meet for team projects and gain hands-on experience in all kinds of technologies. Dean Paul Peercy and Ed Manuel of the University of Wisconsin Foundation are coordinating this project; we welcome your gifts and advice.

Many of the above are described in more detail in this newsletter, along with other items of interest and accomplishments of our department. As I near the end of my first year as department chair, I am still awed by our wonderful students and faculty and look forward very much to the coming year.

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: Tuesday, 19-Sep-2000 16:00:00 CDT

SPRING 2000 Contents