College of Engineering -- University of Wisconsin-Madison
1999-2000 INDUSTRIAL LIAISON COUNCIL
Annual message from the Industrial Liaison Council chair
he end of the current millennium and the beginning of the new brings with it a sense of opportunity, challenge and change. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the College of Engineering campus. Anyone who has visited campus recently has witnessed the enormous physical change underway. Beneath the surface there is much more in the works. The college has added a new department that will explore opportunities in biomedical engineering. New faculty are bringing fresh ideas to the campus, and the college is welcoming a new dean.
The college should also take this opportunity to review its relationships with industry, always a general topic of our Industrial Liaison Council meetings. Through the eyes of industry, the College of Engineering can be seen as a supplier on many levels. We look to the college to provide engineers who can fulfill a myriad of roles from designing and developing products, to providing critical quality control systems, to running the company. Industry relies on the college for continuing education to train the existing workforce further. Faculty and staff provide specialized resources and new knowledge that can lead to new and better products and services, and even new industries.
From a business standpoint, it makes sense for a company to simplify its dealings with suppliers by limiting their numbers to those that can consistently supply quality products and services. Companies need to work with suppliers whose products have the greatest potential for growing their business. Industry is increasingly taking this view of engineering schools. The College of Engineering has recently benefited from this trend having been named a "Focus School" by Intel and a "Core School" by Kimberly-Clark, among others. But as this trend continues, developing partnerships with industry will only become more competitive.
While the college is in a good position to benefit from this trend based on its high ranking and reputation, it must not rest on its laurels. To compete, the college must also view itself as a supplier to industry and develop the appropriate policies, processes and integrated structures that will allow it to form effective industrial partnerships and improve its assets for education and research in the long term.
Copyright 1999 University System Board of Regents
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