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Distance-delivered graduate education proposals advance

As a result of a request for proposals for new distance-delivered graduate education offerings, the Department of Engineering Professional Development has selected five proposals to move forward in development. The winning proposals showcased broad participation from the College of Engineering: 

• Bernard A. and Frances M. Weideman Professor of Mechanical Engineering Vadim Shapiro will study the feasibility of offering an online course in Computational Geometry techniques that are at the core of computer graphics, video games, 3D printing, simulation, computer-aided design, GIS, biomedical imaging and computational science. 

• Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geological Engineering Craig Benson will investigate a new online Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering degree that would provide the foundational training necessary for practicing Environmental Engineers to meet the increasingly complex and difficult environmental challenges faced by society.

• Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Dan Negrut will research the possibility of distance graduate education that emphasizes the increased need for computer modeling, simulation and visualization in science, engineering and business. Students would increase their ability to leverage advances in computer hardware, software technology, and new simulation and visualization methods in the applied computing landscape.

• Materials Science and Engineering Director of User Facilities Jon McCarthy will evaluate a possible modular online program to train researchers in materials characterization tools. Students would increase their ability to optimize and develop materials for industrial applications by better understanding key characterization methods, available techniques and virtual guidance on state-of-the-art methods.

• Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Akbar Sayeed and Duane H. and Dorothy M. Bluemke Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering John Booske will research the feasibility of distance graduate education in the broad area of wireless communications and sensing, including fundamental theoretical concepts, techniques, circuits, hardware, networking techniques and mobile computing applications.

Each proposal is jointly funded by the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies, College of Engineering, and EPD. Over a six-month timeline, the funding will support concept development to determine a program’s learning objectives, target student populations, draft curriculum, faculty commitment, and business plan. The concept then will undergo feasibility testing to determine if key design requirements can be achieved, while producing unique strengths that match student and industry needs.

Brian Mattmiller