College of Engineering 1996 Annual Report: Progress By Design The Dean's Message

Progress by design--it's a continuous process of planning and implementing improvement. We began 1996 with a new five-year strategic plan and mission statement in place, and expect to modify and add to it regularly as we approach the year 2000.

We've divided our strategic plan goals into three main objectives: Educational Excellence, Research Leadership and Technology Transfer Leadership. Throughout this report, you will see examples of our progress toward all of these objectives. As we plot our future directions, we realize more than ever that we design and create our own opportunities--many of them touching on more than one objective. Our goals are clearly interrelated, and the success of one contributes to the success of the others.
Dean and student with HEV car
Dean John G. Bollinger looks over the college's student project FutureCar with Kent Krajewski, the project's engine group leader. (47K JPG)

An example of this process in action is our collaboration with the UW-Madison School of Business. Our industry partners, including our Industrial Liaison Council, have told us that integrating business and engineering concepts is key to educating the next generation of engineers. Engineers with an appreciation of business concepts are in great demand, and we want to be at the forefront of this trend to accomplish our Educational Excellence goal. As we provide industry with students educated in the latest engineering and business concepts, we're also contributing to our Technology Transfer Leadership goal. Another example is a long-standing collaborative program with the business school: the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program, which has had 249 graduates since its inception in 1983.

We are seeking new ways to work together, including developing courses for each other that support our educational programs and goals; bringing faculty together to talk about areas of mutual interest; and fostering the spirit of inventiveness, entrepreneurship and competitive spirit in our graduates.

We will also design ways to bring business people into our classrooms as instructors and guest lecturers; and work to educate business graduates about the opportunities and limitations of technical breakthroughs.

Continuing on the theme of Educational Excellence, we are also designing opportunities to improve teaching and secure a robust future for engineering education. This summer, we organized an NSF-supported Science and Engineering Education Scholars Program designed to provide academic-track PhD students from around the country an opportunity to strengthen their teaching skills and give them a complete picture of a career at a major research university. The program included appreciating the diversity and learning styles of students, examining the learning process and improving teaching methods.

College Mission Statement:

To create, integrate, transfer and apply engineering knowledge.

College Vision Statement:

Our vision is to be the college of engineering which provides the best learning experience, most productive learning community, and most creative learning environment in higher education.

Diversity of our student body, faculty and staff is an important goal throughout our strategic plan. Reaching out to young people continues to be a priority for ensuring a talented and diverse student body. Toward this end, our Diversity Affairs Office has started a new program with the Madison Metropolitan School District which will bring our senior and graduate students into K-12 classrooms to help make science "friendly" and relevant. Representatives from our Center for Plasma-Aided Manufacturing and Society of Women Engineers student chapter also make regular visits to classrooms around the state to talk about engineering and our college.

Here in our classrooms, we are seeing tremendous interest by our faculty in improving teaching and learning for our students. The links concept we created allows students to select a group of courses (chemistry, calculus and psychology) that places them in common discussion sections for a feeling of camaraderie. Early indications show significant improvement in student performance. We also have a group of faculty working on teaching and curriculum improvement funded by an IBM Quality Grant, and an ad hoc committee on curriculum reform which is currently investigating the outcomes an effective curriculum should achieve.

Our students continue to be in demand by industry and government in the U.S. and around the world. In 1996, we saw a 23-percent increase in the number of employers interviewing our students on campus, with a grand total of nearly 10,000 interviews for graduating students. This follows a 37-percent increase in 1994-95.

These numbers give testimony to the quality of both our students and our undergraduate program. Our overall undergraduate program is highly ranked nationally. The 750 freshmen who enter our college each year continue to be the highest-qualified students in the UW System--50 percent of them graduated in the top 10 percent of their class.

As a college, we can point to many achievements and exciting new directions during the past year. Materials Science and Engineering Professor Y. Austin Chang became our 13th faculty member to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Our engineering student-produced magazine, The Wisconsin Engineer, was voted Best College Engineering Magazine in the nation by Engineering College Magazines Associated. We broke ground this year on a major renovation project for the Materials Science and Engineering Building. We made substantial improvements this year to our college World Wide Web site, which is becoming a major vehicle to communicate with prospective students and industry contacts, and to enhance communication between instructors and students. Finally, this year we reactivated our Biomedical Engineering. The MS program will accept applications beginning this fall and the BS and PhD programs have planning approval.

Finally, we continue to progress on our $100 million Vision 2000 capital campaign. Many significant gifts were received this year, and we are especially grateful to our donors: our partners in the college's Vision 2000.

John G. Bollinger

John G. Bollinger
1105 Engineering Research Building
1500 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Tel: 608/265-6461
Fax: 608/262-8454

Copyright 1996 University System Board of Regents

Content by
Date last modified: 25-Sep-1996
Date created: 25-Sep-1996

1996 Annual Report Contents