The College of Engineering -- University of Wisconsin-MadisonAnnual Report 1998

Big Letterhen we look forward to the coming century, it is clear that change will be the watchword for this new period in our history. Technology is going to propel us into exciting new areas, where more opportunities--and problems--await us.

UW-Madison's College of Engineering is producing the leadership that will engineer the solutions to those problems. When we challenge our students by providing innovative learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom, we help ensure a pool of engineering talent for 2000 and beyond which is second to none. I'd like to show you a few ways our college is working to continuously improve our education, research and service programs toward that end, and tell you about some of our achievements in those areas.
Model of future campus Model of the engineering campus with the proposed design for the Engineering Centers Building (lower right). Groundbreaking for ECB will take place within two years. (48K JPG)

Mission Statement:

To create, integrate, transfer and apply engineering knowledge.

Vision Statement:

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

Educational and technological innovation

We are excited about our new Master of Engineering in Professional Practice, a two-year program designed for engineers with growing responsibilities and leadership roles. It targets technical proficiency in project management, business operations, communications, quality management and more. With its convenient distance-delivery format, we expect this program--which begins in summer, 1999--to be very popular. (For more information, phone 1-800-462-0876 or 608/262-2061 or see

The new interdisciplinary Master of Engineering (Polymer Engineering and Science) will be offered beginning this fall. The degree is organized under the Rheology Research Center and departments including chemistry, chemical engineering, engineering physics and mechanical engineering. It will be ideal for students wishing to complete a BS and MS degree in five years, and for practicing engineers and scientists on a short sabbatical leave from their positions in industry.

We received approval to expand our Biomedical Engineering Program to offer both BS and PhD degrees, as well as MS. We've also added new degree options for undergraduates, including environmental engineering and radiation sciences.
Bollinger in front of new skywalk

Dean John G. Bollinger in front of the new enclosed walkway connecting the Engineering Research Building to the Materials Science and Engineering Building. (73K JPG)

We are continuing with the technological upgrade of college classrooms. The new renovation of the Materials Science and Engineering Building includes two state-of-the-art classrooms, one of which is attached to a microscopy lab for maximum hands-on student participation. A classroom in the Engineering Building will also be remodeled this year to include computer display equipment.

Our Kurt F. Wendt Library continues to keep us in the forefront of technological innovation in information sciences. It has for several years made copies of print journal articles requested by faculty and graduate students. This year Wendt began scanning requested articles and delivering them via the Internet. The user receives an e-mail with the URL where his or her article is posted. Wendt is also subscribing to more and more full-text electronic versions of journals. These can be accessed on the Web by UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students, wherever they are.

Creating new opportunities in engineering

Our efforts to increase diversity in our student body have taken great strides in the past year. We inaugurated a Corporate Alumni Scholarship Program which offers tuition and fees and is renewable each year. We think this will be a marvelous tool to help us recruit the best and brightest.
Henderson assists students at ESP

Associate Professor Douglass L. Henderson (second from left) and students in the college's Engineering Summer Program experiment with equipment in a biomedical engineering lab. ESP brings high school students from traditionally underrepresented groups to campus for engineering, science and math classes. (49K JPG)

We also have special efforts with several companies which I'd like to recognize. Our first Coca-Cola scholar from the Atlanta area, Gregory Smith, will attend our college this fall. Coke also sponsored two students to attend the Engineering Summer Program (ESP) for High School Students. Ford Motor Company has also sponsored two students from the Detroit area to attend ESP. General Electric's continuing support through a $500,000 grant to our diversity programs is proving extremely valuable to our recruitment and retention efforts. Partnerships with these and other companies help ensure that we identify and encourage promising students at a young age and then give them the financial support they need to attend engineering school at UW-Madison.
Participants pour concrete

Camp Badger participants pour over one of their assignments: making a batch of concrete and pouring it into a mold. 1998 was the first year for this program aimed at introducing 8th, 9th and 10th graders to the engineering field. (58K JPG)

This year our Department of Engineering Professional Development sponsored our first Camp Badger, a week-long program designed to give students entering eighth, ninth and tenth grade an opportunity to learn about various engineering disciplines. One of the goals of this program is to get students thinking early about engineering as a potential career. They saw first-hand how knowledge is applied in engineering laboratories and research settings.

Student activities

Our student FutureCar team had an extraordinary year, finishing in a tie for first place overall at their national competition. They also won numerous honors in separate categories, including the best use of advanced materials, the first-ever "Innovations in Aluminum Award" and the best teamwork. This team has shown extraordinary tenacity, focus, continuous improvement and teamwork during their effort to create the vehicle of tomorrow. Faculty and staff members deserve thanks for their dedication to this effort, as well as our corporate and private sponsors. This competition is an excellent example of what we are trying to accomplish by giving students the opportunity to participate in national competitions--the chance to learn valuable engineering and other concepts in a project-oriented team setting.
1998 Brainstorm winner

Turbo Mule, which won Brainstorm's $10,000 first prize, is a human-powered vehicle capable of easing the workload for people in Third World countries, such as the African nation of Ghana. Pictured, contest sponsor Richard Schoofs (left) with student inventors Eric Wobig, Dave Waters and Brie Howley. (41K JPG)

1998 was the fourth year of our The Schoofs Prize for Creativity competition, which challenges undergraduates to create a patentable product or process. This contest is a key component in encouraging students to consider entrepreneurial activities and test their creativity before graduation. This year's winner was Turbo Mule, a bicycle-like vehicle for carrying large loads, especially in Third World countries.
Eric Iverson shows invention

Student inventor Eric Iverson displays his Recycling Plastic Welder, which enables its operator to feed strips, chunks, pellets, beads or shavings of plastic filler into a caulk-gun-like applicator in order to repair or join plastic together. The project placed first in the Technology Enterprise Competition. (39K JPG)

This year, we held our first-ever G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan Competition in which students competed to have the best business plan for a technology related enterprise. Students worked in cross-functional teams with participants from engineering, business and other UW schools and colleges. More than 30 students participated, learning valuable lessons about turning great ideas into viable commercial entities. This program was a great success and one we hope to continue in partnership with the School of Business.

Faculty honors

In 1998, we welcomed two more winners of the National Science Foundation's prestigious CAREER awards: Assistant Professor Riccardo Bonazza, engineering physics, and Assistant Professor Luke Mawst, electrical and computer engineering. Our college now has 37 recipients of Presidential Young Investigator or CAREER awards. Two more of our faculty--Wisconsin Distinguished Professor Michael Corradini, engineering physics, and Steenbock Professor James Dumesic, chemical engineering--were named members of the National Academy of Engineering. They bring to 15 the number of our faculty given this honor.

Welcome, new partners

Our partnerships with industry are vital to our research and education enterprises. They enable students and faculty to work on real-world problems. This year, we welcomed the formation of two new centers related to college research: The Computational Mechanics Center, led by Professor Roxann Engelstad, and the Pegasus Plasma Experiment, led by Professor Raymond Fonck. Three new industry consortia were also formed. These entities enable industry to help set research directions and benefit from the results. The three new consortia are the Wisconsin Consortium for Applied Water Quality Research, the Complex Artifactual Design through Integration of Information Technologies Consortium (CAD-IT) Consortium, and the Global E-Business Consortium.

Engineering and campus milestones

Straw tower building

High school seniors compete in a tower building competition as part of "Day on Campus," an annual program conducted by the Society of Women Engineers. Through a series of speakers, tours and hands-on activities, this event helps young women learn more about engineering studies before they begin college. (50K JPG)

This year, UW-Madison marks its sesquicentennial with many special events, including an International Alumni Convocation to be held Sunday--Friday, May 2-7, 1999. For more information on the sesquicentennial schedule of activities, see For information specific to the College of Engineering's role in the sesquicentennial celebration, please see our recently launched web page at

We will mark our own milestone with the start of our new engineering campus parking ramp later this year. We are also finalizing plans for the Engineering Centers Building, which will be located on the site of the temporary buildings on the corner of University Avenue and Breese Terrace. Groundbreaking for ECB will occur within the next two years.

Thanks to our alumni and friends

We could not maintain the margin of excellence in our college without the partnership of our alumni and friends. Participation in our VISION 2000 fund drive continues to grow, giving us important opportunities for educational innovation and recruiting and retaining the best students and faculty.

To cite just a few examples:

We thank them and all individuals, corporations and foundations who contributed in the past year toward our future success.

John G. Bollinger, Dean

1105 Engineering Research Building
1500 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Tel: 608/265-6461
Fax: 608/262-8454
COE Website:

Copyright 1998 University System Board of Regents

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Date last modified: 01-Oct-1998
Date created: 1-Oct-1998

1998 Annual Report Contents