Engineering Ideas for Tomorrow -- College of Engineering 1997 Annual Report
The Dean's Message
College of Engineering 1997 Annual Report -- Engineering Ideas for Tomorrow

Achievement and ideas go hand in hand here in our college. Our strategic planning process enables us to constantly review and refine our ideas and plans to meet our objectives: Educational Excellence, Research Leadership and Technology Transfer Leadership. This must be a continuous improvement process if we are to meet the challenges we will face during the coming century.

We can measure some of the results of our ideas in action by the positive outcomes we're already achieving. We continue to search for new and innovative ways to improve instruction and attract the best students to our college. Our Freshman Design Course, which introduces students to a team design process to solve real problems, is showing promising results in helping us to encourage talented students to stay in engineering. The real-world flavor of the team setting and of the problems themselves are key elements to the course's success. Projects that the class worked on this year included creating a device to help people with limited mobility give their service dogs some exercise, and redesigning a dog harness to give physically disabled clients enhanced balance when they are walking with the animal.

To create, integrate, transfer and apply engineering knowledge.

The World Wide Web is proving to be a powerful device in sharing ideas. The faculty is using course homepages to simplify delivery of course materials, making them available to students at all times. From viewing circuit designs to images from a scanning electron microscope, students are using the homepages to see material important to their classes, including readings and links to related Websites. Our Kurt F. Wendt Library developed the first electronic course reserves system on campus; since last fall this has been Web-based. During spring semester, Wendt scanned-in more than 4,000 pages for 122 courses; students accessed these documents about 7,000 times. In addition, Wendt has been accepting e-mail reference questions and requests for article copies for several years. Beginning this fall, faculty, staff and student users can make requests via Webforms, including requests for literature searches that Wendt staff will perform. The library will also begin sending images of requested journal articles via the Web.

John G. Bollinger Dean John G. Bollinger in the UW-Madison College of Engineering's television studio.

We're also using the Web to communicate with our off-campus constituencies. Prospective students can learn about the majors and extracurricular activities we offer. People in industry can learn about our research consortia and find out how to join. Descriptions of continuing engineering education courses and registration information are offered on both our Department of Engineering Professional Development and Office of Engineering Outreach sites. Alumni can change their address, get a question answered or obtain help with locating a professor or classmate. We also share our achievements and research innovations in a weekly Web news story, which changes every Monday. All of this is available through our College of Engineering homepage at

The Web is also assisting us with an exciting new competition for our students to create the best business plan for a technology based business venture. The G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan Competition will award up to $22,000 in prizes. Teams must consist of at least one business and one engineering student--and we're using the Web to help students from across campus connect and form teams. Winners will be chosen for the best market assessment, technological assessment and business plan in support of a viable start-up venture. The competition will be funded in its first year by the IBM-TQM Quality Partnership grant to the College of Engineering and School of Business. The competition is sponsored by UW-TEC and the School of Business's Manufacturing and Technology Management Program, The Enterprise Center and the College of Engineering.

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.

Our students also did phenomenally well in the various competitions this year. Our FutureCar team finished third nationally in a competition to develop the next generation of energy efficient automobiles. Our concrete canoe team made its third trip to nationals and placed ninth. The Wisconsin Engineer Magazine, our student-run publication, was named best college engineering magazine in the country for 1997 by Engineering College Magazines Associated.

Our faculty are also a source of great pride and achievement. As just one example, the National Science Foundation honored Chemical Engineering Assistant Professor Paul F. Nealey and Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Nicola J. Ferrier with Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards, and Chemical Engineering Professor Juan J. de Pablo received NSF's prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

A new century rapidly approaches, and we are mindful of the importance engineers will play in solving the world's problems. We hope to educate a generation of engineers who will not wait for others to tell them which problems should be solved--but who step forward to help identify both the challenges and their solutions. More than ever before, the coming generation of engineers will need to work with people throughout society--across disciplines and cultures--if we are to make a better world in the 21st century. We feel confident that Wisconsin's engineers will be the leaders. We thank our alumni and friends who have been helping us make this "Vision 2000" a reality.

John G. Bollinger, Dean
(33K JPG)

1105 Engineering Research Building
1500 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Tel: 608/265-6461
Fax: 608/262-8454
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Copyright 1997 University System Board of Regents

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Date last modified: 02-Oct-1997
Date created: 2-Oct-1997

1997 Annual Report Contents