Annual Report 2000: Engineering InterAction
College of Engineering / University of Wisconsin-Madison

Engineering Professional Development

The Dean's Message

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2000-2001 Industrial Advisory Board

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1999-2000 Financial Summary

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New courses start continuing engine education

ERC supercomputer

partnership between the department and the Engine Research Center (ERC) has generated a series of new courses that capitalize on the college's world-renowned engine research and extend its expertise to engineers in the industry.

Engineering graduates leave college with a solid knowledge of principles and theories, but many lack the experience to apply them in real-life situations, says course program director Kevin Hoag (front). He and his colleagues fill that gap by gearing the courses so that students relate what they've learned to specific engines or parts of engines. Although Hoag targets most of the courses to new design and development engineers, they attract everyone from executives who are considering offering them in-house to more experienced engineers who need refresher courses.

Prior to October 1999, there was no formal short-course programming in the engines field at UW-Madison, he says. He developed a course on engine performance and another on engine design to begin the series last fall. Since then, he has coordinated additional courses about engine performance and design, as well as courses about in-cylinder modeling and combustion. He also has provided custom courses for Mercury Marine, Caterpillar, Briggs & Stratton, and DaimlerChrysler.

Pictured here with the ERC's Silicon Graphics and Cray supercomputers, Hoag, Wisconsin Distinguished Professor Rolf Reitz (back, left) and Professor Chris Rutland (back, right), both mechanical engineering, demonstrate a pie-shaped section of a cylinder, modeled with the KIVA3V-ERC code. Reitz and Rutland led efforts to develop an internal-combustion engine multi-dimensional modeling class and hands-on workshop.

"Total building commissioning process" produces buildings that work

When constructing or refurbishing a building, owners want the highest-quality facility that will meet their specifications, yet stay within their time frame and budget. When that doesn't happen, it can be the result of poor communication between the various project groups: architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors and others.

Professor Charles Dorgan's goal is to help these groups use the total building commissioning process to fit their individual pieces of information together. The quality-assurance process can save building owners money and ensure they receive high-quality building systems, effective operations and maintenance manuals, and well-trained operations staff. To guarantee owner satisfaction, it also includes sampling inspections at every construction stage, rather than 100-percent independent inspection when the building is almost finished. The result is buildings that work, says Dorgan.

Since 1985, Dorgan has offered a seminar about the commissioning process, and in the last two years, a seminar on the total building commissioning process. His participants have included building owners, facilities managers, architects, engineers, contractors, planners, developers, construction managers and even potential owners. They learn more effective planning and communication techniques, and how to implement a successful quality design and construction approach that incorporates the commissioning process.

Improving the industrial-environmental interaction

A new approach called industrial ecology is enabling companies to examine the environmental impact of what they produce, and thus view environmental protection and problems in a new way, says Assistant Professor Patrick Eagan. The approach looks at industrial environmental protection in a holistic way that uses biology as a model. This new area uses tools such as life-cycle assessments and materials-flow analyses to find better environmental protection solutions.

These new approaches are consistent with design-for-quality and lean manufacturing programs. Although traditionally seen as costs, these new industrial-ecology approaches can have positive bottom-line effects for businesses as well as the environment, Eagan says.

Through his courses and consulting, Eagan focuses on applying industrial ecology tools to businesses' environmental product-design problems. He has worked with such companies as Motorola, Kodak, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, GE Medical Systems, and AMP Incorporated to develop environmental design capabilities, and he has developed and taught these industrial ecology tools to engineers and designers at these companies.

Philip R. O'Leary, Chair
705 Extension Building
432 North Lake Street
Madison, WI 53706-1498

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