St. Joan of Arc Chapel fall 2012

New faculty join college

Marquette made a giant step in transforming engineering education with the opening of Engineering Hall in 2011, which is organized to reflect the global multidisciplinary nature of the modern world. Building on that momentum, Marquette is proud to welcome four new outstanding researcher scholars. With their diverse professional experience and backgrounds, they bring talent, depth and passion to the college’s quest for solutions.

Andrew Williams, Ph. D., John P. Raynor, S.J., Distinguished Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering; An artificial intelligence and bioinformatics expert, Williams is the director of the Humanoid Engineering and Intelligent Robotics Lab, where projects include researching innovative uses of humanoid robots and artificial intelligence to address childhood obesity. Prior to Marquette, he secured nearly $8 million of research and educational funding and served as the principal investigator for ARTSI (Advancing Robotics Technology for Societal Impact), a National Science Foundation-funded project that encourage minority and underrepresented populations to study engineering and robotics. He also authored Out of the Box: Building robots, Transforming Lives, which tracks his spiritual and educational journey through various obstacles and success in academics and robotics, including an invitation from Steve Jobs to head Apple’s diversity efforts for one year. Williams received his master’s from Marquette and was the first African-American to earn a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas. 

Casey Allen, Ph. D. Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering; An expert in internal combustion, Allen strives to develop answers to dwindling supplies of fossil fuel. His research focus is alternative fuels, particularly biodiesel fuels: how they burn and how to harness those properties in advanced engines to achieve incremental increases in efficiency. Allen received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Iowa and his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University.

Brooke Mayer, Ph. D., P.E., Assistant Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering; Ensuring access to clean and reliable drinking water is the goal of Mayer’s work. With a background in environmental microbiology, Mayer focuses on improving the treatment and disinfection of drinking water. Her expertise expands the scope of Marquette’s Water Quality Center, which has strengths in anaerobic wastewater digestion and storm water runoff. Mayer received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in environmental engineering from Arizona State University.

Margaret Mathison, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Through her research, Mathison aims to make the heating and cooling of buildings more efficient. An expert in thermal system, she is working to create more efficient compressors that can function in normal and extreme weather conditions. She is also actively using Engineering Hall as a teaching platform for her introductory thermodynamics class. Mathison received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University and her doctorate in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.

Dr. Andrew Williams Dr. Casey Allen
Dr. Andrew Williams Dr. Casey Allen
Dr. Brooke Mayer Dr. Margaret Mathison
Dr. Brooke Mayer Dr. Margaret Mathison

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Is creativity overlooked in engineering?

Robert Bishop, OPUS Dean of Engineering, recently discussed the importance of creativity and design for engineers on Wisconsin Public Radio’s "At Issue with Ben Merens." Too often Bishop says, he hears people tell students who excel in math and science to become engineers, which results in students who excel in art and design to avoid engineering and other analytical fields. He believes engineers need to have a balance of passion (or creativity) and precision and that all students should be encouraged to explore the field of engineering.

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Promotions and retirement

Dr. Kristina Ropella has been promoted to the position of Executive Associate Dean for the College of Engineering effective Jan. 1, 2013, replacing Dr. Mike Switzenbaum who will retire at the end of the year.  Kris brings a great deal of experience with her.  She has served as the Department Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department for the past 9 years and has served on numerous committees and task forces for the university. The college is most fortunate that Kris will assume this position at a critical time in our history. The Biomedical Engineering Department will immediately begin a search for a new department chair for 2013-14.  An interim chair will be named for next January.

Ms. Laura Lindemann will move into a new position - Director of Industry Relations effective Sept. 30, 2012. She will be responsible for the college's cooperative engineering program. Lindemann previously served as assistant chair of biomedical engineering.

Ms. Sue Michaelson, former assistant dean and director of the cooperative engineering program retired after 30 years of service to Marquette. We wish Sue well in her retirement and thank her for her contributions to the college and to Marquette.

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Williams named as one the 50 most important African-Americans in technology

Dr. Andrew Williams has been named as one of the 2012 50 most important African-Americans in technology by the online business journal Black Money.

Williams is known internationally for his work in humanoid robotics and inspiring women and underutilized populations to achieve excellence in computing and robotics education and research.  At Marquette University, he is director of the Humanoid Engineering and Intelligent Robotics Lab, which is actively involved in researching innovative methods for utilizing humanoid robotics and artificial intelligence to address the childhood obesity epidemic.

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Marquette Engineer magazine features senior design students

Senior design projects are prominently featured in the 2012 issue of Marquette Engineer magazine.

Read how senior students live the mission of being engineers for others as they design a solution to help a boy with orthopedic limitation live more independently and a solution that offers hope to sufferers of serious asthma and COPD with a pedal-powered medication misting device.

All senior engineering students take a senior design course where a small team of senior students - often from a variety of majors - work together to solve a real-world problem.

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Save the date

On March 2, 2012 the Marquette University Engineering Alumni Association plans the annual Silent Auction and Basketball Game, to be held at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The Marquette Golden Eagles will meet the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Details will be coming soon. Contact Carol Winkel for more information.

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