Mechanical Engineering newsletter masthead

FALL/WINTER 2002-2003

Featured articles

Engine Research Center
receives major boost from General Motors

Mechanical Engineering Building project progresses

Polymer conference kicks off new NSF center

ME faculty, alums honored at Oct. 26, 2002 Engineers' Day

Student automotive projects to get new home

Student wins scholarship

Vadim Shapiro's CAD advances give shape to engineering solutions

In memoriam

Department awards 91 scholarships

Faculty profiles: Darryl Thelen and Scott Sanders

Sanders paper wins prestigious award

Industrial Advisory Board tours ME research laboratories

Regular features

Message from the chair

Message from the chair

Neil A. Duffie

Neil A. Duffie
(14K JPG)

We have had a busy summer and a fruitful fall in the Department of Mechanical Engineering — a period that highlights the strengths and promise of our department.

In early November we received the news that the General Motors Corp. will be entering into a strategic partnership with our Engine Research Center (ERC). The ties between GM, our department, and the ERC go back decades — from the time the center first began its groundbreaking research on engines back in the 1940s.

Emeritus Professor Phil Myers was one of our faculty members who helped establish strong ties between the ERC and GM. Phil was on hand Nov. 4 when General Motors officials visited the Center to make their announcement and see first-hand the fruits of our research.

The partnership means that our Engine Research Center will house one of only seven Collaborative Research Laboratories operated by GM worldwide. GM's designation of our ERC is further evidence that our faculty are among the very best in the country in this area of critical economic and environmental importance. General Motors officials have made several site visits to our campus, and the faculty and staff of the ERC deserve much credit for their hard work in making this collaboration possible.

This fall also saw the kick-off for the college's newest Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). Based at our Polymer Engineering Center, this National Science Foundation I/UCRC will result in greater interactions between our researchers and those in the polymer and plastics industries. Our polymer group has long had ties with industry, and this latest recognition by the NSF shows we've accomplished a great deal in strengthening those ties and transferring our technology to the marketplace.

We're also looking forward to the opportunity to move many of our student-led automotive projects into the college's new Engineering Centers Building. The building, the first new one built on the engineering campus in 30 years, will house our national championship FutureTruck, as well as student-led teams in Formula racing, off-road Baja vehicles, the FutureCar Challenge, and our snowmobile team. Students will have at their disposal the latest in engine analysis equipment, and work in a much-improved workspace. We think that will make our student automotive projects, already among the best in the nation, even better.

Work also progresses on raising donations and reviewing design plans for the new Mechanical Engineering Building project. We anticipate having final design plans in place by the end of this year.

We also received some good news this fall when U.S. News & World Report published its latest university departmental rankings. Our Department of Mechanical Engineering was rated as the 10th best in the country for undergraduates among institutions that grant doctoral degrees. Although these rankings are fickle, we're glad to see our program ranked among the nation's best.

Finally, let me extend my congratulations to recipients of departmental scholarships awarded at our annual Scholarship Awards Night on Sept. 26. We take great pride in recognizing these outstanding students, and the donors who contribute to our scholarship fund. Thanks again to all of those who made the night a success.

Neil A. Duffie
240 Mechanical Engineering Building
1513 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706-1572

Tel: 608/262-9457
Fax: 608/265-2316



ME News is published twice a year for alumni, students and friends of the ME department.

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Date last modified: Friday, 03-Jan-2003 11:43:00 CST
Date created: 03-Jan-2003

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