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ME: The Mechanical Engineering Department Newsletter

FALL / WINTER 2010-11

Featured articles

Computers and people work in parallel at new center

Friction stir welding fuses engineering research and Wisconsin industry

Engineers team up with Trek for cycling research

ME alums honored

Regular Features



Vehicle teams reach out to Madison community and other student news

ME scholarship recipients


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At Engineers’ Day, held October 8, 2010, eight UW-Madison engineering alumni were recognized for their significant career achievements. Two ME alumni were among them. Chad M. Sorenson received the Early-Career Achievement Award and Show-Chung Ho received a Distinguished Achievement Award. ME hosted a special reception for the pair on October 7, 2010.

Chad Sorenson
Chad M. Sorenson
BSME '99, MSME '01

Decorative initial cap Chad Sorenson, a passionate innovator and entrepreneur who converts smart ideas into real products, has received numerous innovation and business planning awards, holds two U.S. patents, and has an active passion for teaching college students about new product development and entrepreneurship.

Born in Blaine, Minnesota, Sorenson now resides in Oregon, Wisconsin. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from UW-Madison. By 2002, he had begun his first of three businesses.

Sorenson founded Fluent Systems, an agricultural technology company based on his invention, a wireless fluid level monitoring system for fertilizer application. He managed all stages of company development from formation through product development, manufacturing scale-up, and market introduction.

Fluent Systems’ founding invention, the TankMate, placed first in both the UW-Madison Schoofs Prize for Creativity and the Tong Prototype Prize and second in the G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan competitions. Sorenson sold Fluent after 18 months for $1.5 million to Raven Industries, a public corporation involved in agricultural flow control technologies.

In 2004, Sorenson started Mendota Research, a new-product consulting firm. With Bose Corporation as an anchor client, the company focused its market research and technology assessments on active suspension systems for the trucking and agriculture industries and developed business plans and strategies for other new ventures.

In 2005, Sorenson and his business partners created Sologear LLC, after inventing the FlameDisk, an eco-friendly, non-charcoal grilling fuel that emits 92 to 99 percent fewer known air pollutants than charcoal. He is growing his latest business with a new product, which has been released recently.

Sorenson also is active in the education community at UW-Madison. He has served as a judge for the UW-Madison Innovation Days competitions and now teaches a seminar series on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Show-Chung Ho
Show-Chung Ho
MSME '69

Decorative initial cap In 1969, Show-Chung Ho enrolled as a PhD candidate at the Appleton Institute of Paper Chemistry; however, shortly thereafter, he instead decided to enter the paper industry as an entry-level engineer to help his family business, Yuen Foong Yu Paper Manufacturing (YFY), in Taiwan.

He became chairman and chief executive officer of YFY in 1972. Under Ho’s administration, YFY has become the leading paper company in Taiwan and has gained a high-quality reputation in the greater China region. In 1992, YFY established Prime View International, the first thin-film transistor company in Taiwan. Ho’s interest in e-paper technology developments led YFY to be one of the few pulp and paper factories that can manufacture no-carbon-required paper and capsule ink. In 2009, with its joint venture with the Amazon Kindle, YFY embarked on its transition from paper-maker to e-paper-maker.

Ho also inherited Taiwan’s first private bank from his father, Chuan Ho, in 1986. After 63 years of development, the business, SinoPac Financial Holdings Co., has become the third largest financial holdings organization in Taiwan. As chairman, Ho has expanded its scale to 34 subsidiaries, including banking, securities, venture capital, and leasing, to name a few.

Ho received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, in 1968, and a master’s in mechanical engineering at UW-Madison in 1969. He has been affiliated with many organizations: From 1985 to 1991, he was director of the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Taiwan. In 1987, Ho became the first president of National Cheng-Kung University Alumni Association of Taipei. He received the Eisenhower Fellowship in 1990 and that year was also one of the founding members of the Epoch Foundation, an organization established to introduce the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to Asia. From 2006-2009, Ho was director of the Taiwan Biotech Association, which unites members in industry and academia to build connections worldwide.

In 1974, Ho married Sing-Ju Chang, and the couple founded Hsin-Yi Organization three years later to research and promote preschool education. Today the organization benefits more than 80,000 families by distributing gifts and reading materials. Hsin-Yi Organization is also a major donor to the UW-Madison mechanical engineering building project.

Ho has two children, Felix and Stephanie, and four grandchildren.


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Date last modified: Monday, 25-July-2011
Date created: 25-July-2011