2005 Distinguished Achievement Award: William Mielke

// Civil & Environmental Engineering

Tags: alumni, CEE E-Day, Engineers' Day, William Mielke

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William J. Mielke
President & Chief Executive Officer
Ruekert/Mielke, Inc.
Waukesha, WI

If there is a southeastern Wisconsin community that is in need of municipal engineering services, including infrastructure man-agement, street or highway design, water supply and system design, and geographical information systems mapping, there is a good chance it will turn to William J. Mielke.

After graduating from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering in 1971, Mielke joined Ruekert/Mielke, Inc., the engineering and surveying company his father, John (BSCEE ‘40), co-founded in 1946. Now its president and CEO, he has grown the firm to a staff of 150 people who serve more than 75 Wisconsin communities. Because of his ability to reap best practices from past successes and combine them with his instinct for future trends, Mielke has given the company a reputation not only for first-class engineering, but also for helping local officials formulate long-range plans and resolve complex issues.

Several years ago, Mielke represented suburban communities’ interests in the “sewer wars” with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; recently he designed a revenue-sharing agreement for eastern Racine County that is one of the most comprehensive intermunicipal agreements ever negotiated in Wisconsin. Mielke has testified before Wisconsin’s legislature about issues ranging from septic-system use to the Public Service Commission’s regulation of utilities, and has been an expert witness on a variety of water-related topics. He has served on a multitude of state committees and recently was the vice chairman of the Wisconsin Land Council. In addition, he has helped author legislation, from the clean water loan program and impact fee legislation to tort reform. Throughout his career, he has championed regional cooperation in dealing with southeastern Wisconsin’s groundwater supply.

Mielke is a registered professional engineer, land surveyor, and diplomat in environmental engineering. He maintains a variety of professional affiliations and involvements, including the Wisconsin and National Society of Professional Engineers, American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin, American Public Works Association, American Water Works Association, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. The National Society of Professional Engineers in Private Practice recognized him as an outstanding engineer in private practice.

A licensed private pilot, Mielke enjoys flying, boating, hunting, golfing and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He and his wife, Barbara, have a daughter, Anne, and live on Lake LaBelle in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.