Meet Opus Dean Dr. Kristina Ropella


Dr. Kristina (Kris) Ropella is Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering. She received her bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Marquette in 1985 and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University. She returned to Marquette and joined the biomedical engineering faculty in 1990 and served as the chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering from 2004 to 2013, when she was named the executive associate dean. Ropella assumed the permanent role of Opus Dean in 2015. 

She is recognized internationally for her research and teaching expertise in biosignal processing and medical imaging for diagnostic medical devices. She has long-standing research collaborations with neuroscientists and physicians at the Medical College of Wisconsin to develop clinical applications of functional magnetic resonance imaging. She also partners extensively with industry to support innovative educational programs. 

Ropella has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate classes, including Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Methods, the Art and Business of Science, Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing, Computer Applications in Biomedical Engineering, and Statistics for Biomedical Engineers. She is co-director of the Functional Imaging Ph.D. program, jointly offered with MCW. Ropella is also the founder and faculty director of the Engineers in the Lead program. 

She has twice received the college’s Outstanding Teacher Award (1994 and 2002); received the university Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence (2002); and was named the Wisconsin U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support for Education (2007). Among other honors, she was the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 (2000) and Women of Influence (2008) awards. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and is currently serving on its board of directors. She has served on other national boards, including the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Council of Chairs in Biomedical Engineering, and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.