For an idea of the sheer variety of ways UW-Madison civil engineers can serve the world with their skills—and values—just look at the career of Norm Doll.
After earning his UW-Madison BS degree in civil engineering in 1977, Doll worked for six years in different roles at Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Inc., then embarked on a 26-year career with the Milwaukee-based electric and mechanical services contractor Pieper Electric, rising through the leadership roles to become president in 1993 and chairman in 2005, a position he held until retiring in 2009. Things haven’t slowed down for Doll over the past six years—he remains active in the construction industry as a consultant, and has taken on projects ranging from the Dane County manure digester to serving on the board of Heifer International, a nonprofit that uses farming to help impoverished communities take control of their own economic and food fortunes.
Throughout this career, Doll has been a deeply involved UW-Madison alum. Doll serves on the CEE visiting committee, and in 2012 earned the lifetime achievement award from the department’s Construction Engineering and Management program. Since 1997, Doll has served as an adjunct professor in the CEE department, teaching a leadership course and working with the UW-Madison chapter of Engineers Without Borders. “I learn as much or more than the students I work with,” Doll says. “I also think it keeps me thinking creatively being around these young bright minds.”
Doll’s professional successes and his commitment to serving people—whether it’s back here in Madison or across the globe—reflect the value of his experiences as a student. He specifically cites the influence of Chuck Salmon, an influential UW-Madison structural engineer who passed away in 2014, and Jeff Russell, a longtime CEE professor who currently is leading the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies.
Doll is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and also serves on the boards of the World Presidents Organization and the Bradley Technical High School Foundation. He has been honored with the Milwaukee County Council Boy Scouts Whitney Young Service Award and the 2010 Mequon/Thiensville Citizen of the Year Award.
A native of West Bend, Wisconsin, Doll currently resides in Mequon, Wisconsin, with his wife, Mary Ellen. They have two children, Erich, 27, and Sarah, 23. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, skiing, and designing and building furniture.