College of Engineering 1996 Annual Report: Progress By Design Educational Excellence

Beverage tap wins student creativity contest

Learning about entrepreneurship by developing an original idea into a process or object is the goal of The Schoofs Prize for Creativity competition. This program for undergraduates encourages them to invent new products or processes, and educates them about the business world, the patent system and marketing their new products. This year's $10,000 first-prize winners, Matthew Younkle and Robert Meyers, invented a carbonated beverage dispenser that fills containers quickly but produces little foam. Called "Fast Tap," the product uses a low-turbulence valve, larger tubing and a bigger receptacle to significantly reduce the amount of time required to fill a pitcher of soda or beer. The invention has received national attention from the news media and companies interested in manufacturing or marketing the product.

Diversity programs receive financial boost

The college's Diversity Affairs Office has received a $500,000 grant from General Electric Co. to increase the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of traditionally underrepresented students. Payable over five years, the funds will specifically target female and minority high school students living in and around Milwaukee. Key areas covered by the grant include: Engineering Summer Program (ESP), a seven-week program for college-bound high school students considering an engineering major; GE Full-Cycle Scholarships for qualified students to cover the cost of in-state tuition, books and supplies; and Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), an eight-week program which uses hands-on research projects to test participants' interest in science and engineering careers.

Car project teams steer to success in '96

Student extracurricular competitions are a unique opportunity to learn about new technology and communication and business skills. The college's automotive-related competitive projects experienced great success in 1996. For example, the hybrid electric vehicle won its division of the New York City-to-Washington, D.C. American Tour de Sol road rally, an annual event for electric, hybrid and solar-powered vehicles. Team members were also recognized for having the vehicle with the best overall energy economy. Halfway into the national FutureCar Challenge to design the car of the future, COE's Team Paradigm placed third among 12 of the country's top engineering schools. The team also received awards for best over-the-road range and best sportsmanship. The team's goal is to redesign a Dodge Intrepid into a super fuel-efficient, marketable vehicle that can achieve 80 mpg and be ready for mass production by the year 2007. FutureCar is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the United States Council for Automotive Research, a joint research effort of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

Floating in Madison is concrete experience

Concrete canoe on Lake Mendota

Question: How does the combination of concrete and water equal a first-rate learning experience? The answer is the 9th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition. Student members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) use expertise in engineering, materials science and physics to produce the fastest and best-engineered paddlecraft made of at least 75 percent Portland cement. The competition consists of an oral presentation, display, design paper, evaluations of construction and design quality, and of course, the race. This year, the college's ASCE chapter hosted the national competition with 26 teams competing on Lake Mendota. (The college's entry, "King Kong Crete," placed 12th overall.) ASCE and Master Builders, Inc. are the contest's co-sponsors. (39K JPG)

Co-op/Intern Program continues to grow

MPLC analysis The College of Engineering's Co-op Education/Internship Program welcomed 120 new employers this year. The number of COE students working co-op terms has increased by 100 percent in the last five years. More than 600 work terms were completed in 1995-96, with 231 employers. Co-ops and internships are an integral part of undergraduate education, giving students real-life engineering experience and a definite edge in the job market. Joycelynn Watkins is a chemical engineering major who has taken full advantage of the program with internships at Procter & Gamble and 3M. "I want some business background too," Watkins says. "While working internships I noticed that experience in cost savings, finance and things like that are very helpful in managing different types of projects." (37K JPG)


Copyright © 1996 University System Board of Regents

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Date last modified: Wednesday, 25-Sep-1996 12:00:00 CDT
Date created: 25-Sep-1996

1996 Annual Report Contents