Marisa Tisler


Marisa Tisler, Biomedical Engineering Student, with a Formula SAE vehicle

How did you decide to come to UW-Madison for engineering?

UW-Madison has a very reputable college of engineering program not only in Wisconsin but also in the country. I am also a Wisconsin resident so it made staying in Wisconsin an easy choice. Mostly, I started to get into engineering from my physics and math courses where most of my classmates were interested in engineering as well. I fell in love with engineering design during EGR 170 fall of my freshman year and haven’t looked back since.

What was your transition like during your first year on

My transition on campus was very smooth. I had taken a very full load of AP, IB, and college-level courses in high school so I felt like a lot of my freshman year was a review. I also had quite a bit more time than I was used to which allowed me to become more involved in extra-curricular activities. As a freshman I had so much more freedom and I loved taking advantage of the activities on and off of campus (such as the farmer’s market and musicals at the overture).

How did you choose your major?

I chose BME initially because I wanted to go onto medical school and the major seemed like the perfect fit for taking necessary pre-med courses and preparation in general. I had previously talked to a few med school recruiters that were partial to engineering students for the strong work ethic and problem solving skills. However, I soon realized that medical school isn’t for me and I have decided to pursue engineering as a profession. Joining the Formula SAE team introduced me to the field of power electronics and now I am planning on pursuing a masters in electrical engineering at UW-Madison starting Fall 2018.

How have you personalized your education?

I am involved with research in the department of biomedical engineering under Professor Campagnola. Currently I am working through my first paper and will be completing a senior thesis this coming year. I am also part of the Formula SAE team on campus and have learned a tremendous amount about electrical engineering design and manufacturing so far.

What has been your favorite or most rewarding part of being a student on

My favorite part of UW-Madison has been the immense amount of pride and camaraderie each student has for the campus and its history. Additionally, I have been incredibly fortunate to find some of the most dedicated students in Formula SAE that will work day and night to tackle the problems that automotive engineering can offer. I have found my place here with people that are like me and that also challenge me every day to be a better engineer academically and ethically.

Have you had an internship/co-op/job that helped solidify
what you want to do?

Currently I am working at Kohler Co. as an electrical engineering design intern. I am creating schematics, laying out printed circuit boards, and testing components and everything that I hope to do one day as an electrical engineer.

What resources would you recommend to engineering students?

Join an engineering design organization on campus like concrete canoe, HPV, Formula SAE, BadgerLoop, Steel Bridge. You can start doing engineering design your freshman year to figure out if you like it, and you can do so much more engineering at a faster pace than would be possible at a company. You will also meet some of the most dedicated students on campus that share a common, central goal.

What has been your course outside of engineering? Why? How did you choose it?

Sociology 170 (population problems) was quite interesting. This was a required course, but I loved it because it taught me about racism and world health problems that occur because of differentials in populations. It was a wonderful change of pace from technical classes and I actually learned a lot more than I expected.

What final piece of advice would you give to incoming engineering students?

Allow yourself to be in situations where you may feel awkward or uncomfortable because you are new to a student organization or subject area. Never EVER be afraid to ask anyone (and I mean anyone) a question, even if it seems trivial, because knowledge transfer is one of the most valuable skills you will learn.