MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
pring of 2009 was an exciting semester for the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In April, the department hosted the first-ever Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Research Symposium, which showcased research and projects by undergraduate students working in labs across the department. Along with students and faculty, UW-Madison Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin, College of Engineering Dean Paul Peercy and UW-Madison Interim Provost Julie Underwood were in attendance. Please see the photo essay (article06_me_symposium.html) to learn more about the symposium.
We were particularly glad to introduce Chancellor Martin to the award-winning student snowmobile team, which claimed victory at the 2009 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge in both the zero-emissions and internal-combustion divisions.
As demonstrated by the symposium, our students have extraordinary opportunities to learn from and work closely with our top-notch faculty, who continue to garner awards and funding for cutting-edge research. For instance, be sure to read about Assistant Professor Dan Negrut’s CAREER award (article02_career_award.html). The expertise of our faculty frequently benefits industry, and a recent example of this is Professor Tim Osswald’s collaboration with a local entrepreneur to produce innovative fishing lures, which is highlighted here: article04_wi_inventor.html.
Of course, a crucial component of the ME department family is our alumni, and this newsletter is especially dedicated to former students who continue to stay connected to the ME department. We always enjoy hearing from our alumni, and we are pleased to include in this issue an alumni news section and the story about CarolAnn Garrett in the article titled "Alumna sets record for flight around the world." I personally encourage all of our alumni to stay in touch—never hesitate to let us know what you are up to by sending your news to firstname.lastname@example.org or to ME Alumni News, 3065 Mechanical Engineering Bldg., 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706.
I am very pleased to introduce you to a particular group of alumni who engage actively and regularly with our department as members of the ME Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB provides the department with professional guidance and support for the strategic goals and objectives that impact the department and its mission of excellence in education. The IAB is actively helping the department evaluate our curriculum, priorities and opportunities for growth. IAB members are distinguished industry leaders and experts in their fields, and their input directly benefits our students and faculty. For the first time, the newsletter is highlighting the IAB members with profiles and photos (article03_2009_iab.html).
As always, we welcome you to visit the department the next time you are in Madison. We would be glad to arrange a tour of our facilities or programs—just let us know when you would like to stop by. Thank you for your continued support.
L. Engelstad, ME Professor and Chair
3065 Mechanical Engineering Building
1513 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706