IN MEMORIAM: Donald S. Ermer
rofessor Emeritus Donald S. Ermer died on Dec. 13, 2007, at Hospice Care in Madison. Ermer graduated from UW-Madison in 1954, worked in industry, served in the U.S. Army and then completed his PhD in mechanical engineering at UW-Madison in 1966. Ermer joined the College of Engineering faculty in 1971. He established lasting ties with the Far East, especially Singapore, where he and his family spent a year while he taught and worked for UNIDO.
Ermer was well-known for his passion for quality at UW-Madison and beyond. He worked with companies large and small to improve their manufacturing processes. One of his major achievements was helping to establish and promote the State of Wisconsin Forward Award. Ermer was a member of many professional societies including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineering and the American Society of Quality (ASQ).
In 2001, he received the national Eugene L. Grant Medal from ASQ for outstanding leadership in the development and presentation of a meritorious educational program in quality improvement and control, and for his exemplary teaching and mentoring of thousands of students in the field of quality.
Ermer retired from the College of Engineering in 2002. He was quick to admit that he “flunked retirement,” as his interest in mentoring students and their projects always drew him back to his office on campus or a meeting on the Memorial Union terrace. Ermer is survived by Phyllis, his wife of 48 years, two children and five grandchildren.
Memorials may be directed to the UW Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Building Fund.