MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
s you receive this newsletter, the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering will be moving into the newly expanded and renovated Mechanical Engineering Building from scattered locations all around the College of Engineering. I encourage all of our friends and alumni to visit us in the near future and look around our new quarters. We have modern undergraduate laboratories, multimedia lecture halls, versatile laboratories for supporting every “flavor” of mechanical engineering research (bio, electro, info, micro/nano, etc.), and lots of space for students to gather and study. I am sure that you will agree that the architecture of the new building is “classy,” reflecting the warmth and style of the old building. We will dedicate the new building October 26 during the 60th annual Engineers’ Day festivities, and all are welcome to come.
Thinking about the four years of jack- hammering, excavating and drilling that we have endured during the (re)construction of our building leads me to look back even further and consider how much has changed in the department during the last decade. Besides being housed in a new building, we have gained some 17 new professors during that time and a similar number have retired (about half of our professors). The four new faculty members who are joining us this year vividly demonstrate how mechanical engineering has evolved as a discipline. In addition to being experts in the traditional areas of energy, mechanics, materials, design and manufacturing, their areas of research expertise range from biofuels to medical robotics to nanostructured surfaces to manufacturing on an atomic scale. This is an exciting time for mechanical engineering, and our department is well positioned to grow and contribute.
For eight years I have had the privilege of corresponding with you on these pages as the chair of our department. This summer I will turn that job over to Professor Roxann Engelstad, with whom I am sure you will enjoy interacting. You may have met her already if you have had the opportunity to get together with fellow classmates and other friends and alumni at one of our alumni receptions. If not, please consider attending when one is held in your city or in a city near you; we really enjoy connecting with you. They are a great way for you to network and meet alumni from other engineering departments as well. I personally look forward to seeing you at such events in the future, to seeing you again in Madison, and to also hearing about your activities, challenges and successes.
Neil A. Duffie, ME Professor and Chair
3065 Mechanical Engineering Building
1513 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706