“If you think of the challenges that we face — energy, transportation, clean air and water, building the next generation of computing and communications technologies as we use up our raw materials — those are problems engineers must address. I’d like our students and faculty to take the leadership role in solving those problems in their classrooms and research.”

—Dean Ian Robertson

College leaders


Ian M. Robertson
Dean, College of Engineering

2610 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1691


Tel: 608/262-3482
Fax: 608/262-6400


In March 2013, Ian Robertson began as the ninth dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering.

Robertson, formerly Donald B. Willett professor of engineering at the University of Illinois and director of the National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research, leads a growing college with more than 5,000 undergraduates, 1,500 graduate students, and an annual budget totaling more than $200 million.

Robertson’s research focuses on how microstructure evolves in materials exposed to extreme conditions— stress, strain rate, gaseous and chemical environments and radiation—to enhance understanding of macro-scale property changes. He is author of more than 240 research publications on materials science topics and was named fellow of ASM International in 2009.

From 2011-13, Robertson was director of the Division of Materials Research for the National Science Foundation. From 2003-2009, he served as Department Head for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois. He has been a member of the materials science faculty since 1983.

Robertson has received numerous teaching and research awards, including DOE awards for outstanding scientific accomplishment in metallurgy and ceramics (DOE Basic Energy Sciences, 1982) for contributions to our understanding of mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement (DOE EE Fuel Cell Program, 2011), and is the 2014 recipient of the ASM Edward DeMille Campbell Memorial Lectureship.

He received his bachelor’s in applied physics, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland in 1978; and Doctor of Metallurgy, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, in 1982.




James P. Blanchard
Executive Associate Dean

2620 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1691



Engineering Physics

Engineering Professional Development

Program Affiliations

Engineering Mechanics, Fusion Technology Institute, Nuclear Engineering, UW Eye Research Institute, Wisconsin Institute of Nuclear Systems (WINS)


  • BS 1982, Mechanical Engineering, University of California-Los Angeles
  • MS 1983, Engineering, University of California-Los Angeles
  • PhD 1988, Nuclear Engineering, University of California-Los Angeles


As executive associate dean for the College of Engineering, Blanchard is part of the college senior leadership, which includes the college dean, other associate deans, and department chairs. He serves as the lead associate dean and works collaboratively with the associate deans for undergraduate affairs, research, and graduate affairs, research administration, advancement, and administrative and finance.

His duties include leading long-range strategic planning related to administrative, financial, infrastructure and educational directions of the college. Blanchard also oversees the college undergraduate program, Wendt Commons, Computer-Aided Engineering, the engineering student shops, and the college outreach efforts. Additionally, he plays a leadership role in faculty recruitments, promotions, pre- and post- tenure activities, compensation and retention.

Blanchard, who is the Thomas and Suzanne Werner Professor and a professor of engineering physics, earned his PhD in 1988 in nuclear engineering from the University of California-Los Angeles. He joined the college as an assistant professor of nuclear engineering in 1988.

Information about his research activities can be found here: https://directory.engr.wisc.edu/ep/faculty/blanchard_james


Barbara M. McPherson
Associate Dean/ Chief Financial Officer

2620 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Tel: 608/263-1605
Fax: 608/262-6400
E-mail: bmcpherson@engr.wisc.edu

As Associate Dean for Administration and CFO for the College of Engineering, McPherson oversees the College’s financial, accounting, human resources, and payroll functions. McPherson directly supervises a staff of ten professionals and interfaces closely with more than thirty other finance and administrative staff located within the College. She is the College’s primary liaison with UW-Madison campus on financial and administrative issues.

McPherson joined the College of Engineering as Associate Dean in 2009. Prior to 2009, McPherson was CFO for venture capital backed technology companies over a twenty year period in Madison, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois and Silicon Valley. McPherson holds a B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Manuela Romero
Associate Dean
Undergraduate Affairs

2620 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1691

Fax: 608/265-5290

Program Affiliations

Diversity Affairs Office
Engineering Student Services


  • BA, 1989, Social Science, San Diego State University
  • AM, 1990, Sociology, Stanford University
  • PhD, 2000, Sociology, Stanford University

As associate dean for undergraduate affairs for the College of Engineering, Manuela Romero oversees undergraduate student services, including student services centers (advising), engineering student development (career services, cooperative education, and study abroad), undergraduate learning center (academic enhancement and tutoring) and diversity affairs (K-12 outreach, recruitment, retention of underrepresented populations in engineering).  She also serves as the Principal Investigator for the Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative, which is a partnership with the College of Menominee Nation; and Co-Principal Investigator of Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation.  Romero serves on numerous boards and chairs or co-chairs various campus-wide committees.

Dr. Romero is an applied organizational sociologist with expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods. Her academic expertise focuses on guiding organizational policies and practices to help all students succeed. She has extensive experience in research design, design and implementation of support activities and programs, program evaluation, and with manipulating large data sets. Romero earned her bachelor’s degree in social science from San Diego State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in Sociology from Stanford University.


Photo of Darryl Thelen









Darryl Thelen
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs

2620 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1691

E-mail: dgthelen@wisc.edu


Thelen is the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs in the College of Engineering, and the Harvey Spangler Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. He also has affiliate appointments in materials science and engineering, orthopedics and rehabilitation and the Institute on Aging.

As associate dean, he provides overall leadership for the College of Engineering Office of Research—the mission of which is to support and grow the college research enterprise. He oversees college research centers, shared facilities, research safety, and administration of sponsored research.

Thelen’s research interests are in the field of neuromuscular biomechanics. His lab (http://uwnmbl.engr.wisc.edu/) develops computational models, novel sensor technologies and dynamic imaging protocols to investigate the structure, mechanics and behavior of musculoskeletal tissues within the human body. Current projects are aimed at improving orthopedic treatments of gait disorders in children, enhancing the precision of total knee joint replacement and investigating factors that may contribute to osteoarthritis following ACL reconstructive surgery. The projects are highly inter-disciplinary involving active collaborations that span medical physics, radiology, orthopedics, rehabilitation, physical therapy and sports medicine.

He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB). He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the NSF CAREER Award (1997-2001), UW-Madison Biomedical Engineering Professor of the Year (2010), the Clinical Biomechanics Award (2015) and the Spangler Award for Technology Enhanced Instruction (2016). His research activities have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and a number of private companies and foundations.

Thelen received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University in 1987 and his MSE and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1988 and 1992, respectively. He has been on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2002.

Cathleen Walters
Associate Dean/ Advancement

2620 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706


As associate dean for advancement for the College of Engineering, Cathleen Walters oversees the college development, alumni relations, corporate relations and communications teams and is carrying out a new model for advancement developed in collaboration with UW Foundation.

With an array of experience that includes major-gift fund-raising in healthcare, academia and nonprofit settings, Walters joined the college as associate dean in fall 2013. Prior to this position, she was director of philanthropy for the Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation in Milwaukee, where she worked on a $45 million capital campaign to build a new hospital. Walters also has held development director positions with Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Pennsylvania, Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services in Watertown, Wisconsin, and Family Sharing of Ozaukee County in Grafton, Wisconsin.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from UW-Madison in 1990 and currently is pursuing a master’s degree in nonprofit administration and philanthropy from Bay Path College.

Laura A. AlbertPortrait of Laura Albert
Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs

2620B Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706


Laura A. Albert is an associate professor of industrial and systems engineering and serves as the assistant dean for graduate affairs in the College of Engineering.

In her position, Albert provides overall leadership for graduate education in the college. This leadership role includes the responsibility of establishing evidence-based programs that foster graduate student professional development and enhance the graduate student experience. Additional responsibilities include oversight of graduate program reviews and assessments, graduate student services, and College of Engineering policy formulation and implementation related to graduate affairs and graduate research.

Albert received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006. Her research interests are in the field of operations research, with a particular focus on discrete optimization with application to homeland security and emergency response problems. Albert’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of the Army, Sandia National Laboratory. She was awarded a Young Investigator Award by the Department of the Army in 2010 and she was awarded an NSF CAREER award in 2011. She was selected as a fellow in the National Science Foundation sponsored program Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disasters Researchers in 2009. She has authored or co-authored 49 publications in archival journals and refereed proceedings.

Albert has been awarded several honors, including an Outstanding Institute for Industrial Engineers (IIE) Publication Award (2009), a best paper award for the 2009 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, a best paper award for a paper in Risk Analysis from the Society of Risk Analysis (2012), a best paper award from IIE Transactions Focused Issue on Scheduling and Logistics (2014), the Excellence in Scholarship Award from the College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University (2012), an Achievement Award Winner for Next-Generation Emergency Medical Response Through Data Analysis & Planning (Best in Category winner, as part of the Hanover County Fire & EMS team) by the National Association of Counties, (2010), the Institution for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Moving Spirit Award for service (2014), and the Harvey Spangler Award for Technology Enhanced Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering (2017).

She is the INFORMS vice president for marketing, communication, and outreach. She has also served as the president of women in OR/MS (WORMS, a forum of INFORMS) and the president of the INFORMS Section on Public Sector Operations Research. Albert is a department editor for the IISE Transactions and has been on the editorial boards for Risk Analysis, International Transactions on Operational Research, and OMEGA. She is a member of INFORMS, IIE, the Society for Risk Analysis, Tau Beta Pi, and Alpha Pi Mu. In 2014-2015 she served on a National Research Council Committee. She is the author of the blogs “Punk Rock Operations Research” and “Badger Bracketology.”


Photo of John Archambault







John Archambault
Assistant Dean for Student Development

M1002 Engineering Centers Building
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Fax: 608 262-7262

As assistant dean for engineering student development, John Archambault oversees Engineering Career Services and the cooperative education program, and International Engineering Studies and Programs.  Archambault joined the College of Engineering in 1997 after seven years at St. Norbert College. He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.


Jennifer M. Binzley
Assistant Dean
Undergraduate Affairs

2620 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1691



Jason P. Jankoski
Assistant Dean for Human Resources

2620 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706


As assistant dean for human resources, payroll and benefits, Jason Jankoski provides leadership in human resource, payroll and benefits systems administration throughout the College of Engineering. He oversees, directs and collaborates with the college’s decentralized departmental human resource, payroll and administrative staff members, and provides leadership and guidance to achieve excellence in these areas. Additionally, he is the college liaison to human resources at the UW-Madison and UW System levels.

Jankoski joined the College of Engineering as assistant dean in 2014. Previously, he spent five years as assistant dean for human resources in the Wisconsin School of Business, and has held human resources positions elsewhere at UW-Madison and at the State of Wisconsin. He earned his bachelor of arts in human resources management from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Photo of Rachel JonesRachel Jones
Assistant Dean for Student Services

2620 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Appointments: (608) 262-5511
Office: (608) 890-3692


In her position, Rachel supports engineering students as they navigate myriad academic and life challenges and connects them with additional campus and community resources. She also supports holistic engineering undergraduate wellness by creating new programs and helping to make existing campus services more accessible to engineering students.

She joined the College of Engineering in spring 2019 after serving as assistant dean of the College of Social Sciences and Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Previously, she was founding director for the Gateway to College program at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rachel holds a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from the University of Connecticut, and received her bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University in criminal justice. Following her undergraduate work, she also spent three years as a third- and fourth-grade teacher in a rural Louisiana school though the Teach for America program.

Tamara Kuhn MartinPhoto of Tamara Kuhn Martin
Assistant Dean for Research Administration

2640 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

(608) 265-0504

Tammy Kuhn Martin brings to this position a wealth of experience and expertise across all aspects of research administration spanning full-life-cycle grants and contract management and research compliance. Her previous positions have included grants and contract specialist in UW-Madison Research and Sponsored Programs and, most recently, senior research administrator in the College of Engineering Dean’s Office.

Over her 15-year career at UW-Madison, she has developed strong working relationships within the college as well as with colleagues across campus in RSP, OIP, WARF, Legal Affairs, and other colleges and schools.

As assistant dean, Kuhn Martin provides leadership in the operation of the College of Engineering Research Services Team and works closely with the associate dean for research and graduate affairs and other college leadership to meet our strategic research objectives.

She serves on a number of campus committees related to research administration and is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) and has presented at their regional meetings. She has a bachelor’s degree in human ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Photo of Peter Nemmetz

Peter Nemmetz

Assistant Dean for Facilities

2630 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Dr.
Madison, WI 53706

(608) 890-3004

A civil engineer (BS ’00, UW-Platteville) with an emphasis in construction, Peter Nemmetz brings two decades of experience to his role as assistant dean for facilities. Notably, he spent more than 10 years as a project manager for a design-build general contractor and nearly 10 years as an assistant director of facilities at UW-Platteville.

In the College of Engineering, Nemmetz leads the facilities team and works closely with stakeholders in the college, as well as UW-Madison Facilities Planning and Management staff, to help maintain and improve college spaces.