December 2017




Ahoya december 2017 Newsletter

Hear from Dean Ropella in the latest We Are Marquette podcast

Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering, talks about changing the face of engineering to include more women and underrepresented minorities, developing an Ignatian mindset, and nurturing creativity in the university’s latest installment of the We Are Marquette podcast. The complete episode, along with other segments from President Michael R. Lovell; Dr. Xavier Cole, vice president of student affairs; and others can be found online.

Kris Ropella Podcast

College hosts first OCOE Undergraduate Research Day

The Opus College of Engineering hosted the first Undergraduate Research Day on Friday, Oct. 27, featuring 33 undergraduate engineering students’ research. Participating students received financial support from faculty research grants and the Opus College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program. As part of the event, the college also welcomed nearly 90 local high school students to learn more about research and engineering at Marquette.

Student research represented topic areas from all four departments, such as:

  • The impact of metals from aging drinking water infrastructure on antibiotic resistance.

  • Tracking passengers and their luggage in airport checkpoint.

  • Analysis of amputee gait during indoor and outdoor mobility tasks.

OCOE undergrad research

OCOE, MIAD partnership connects industrial design with engineering

This semester, the Opus College of Engineering and Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design partnered to deliver DaVinci 1, an application-oriented course that synthesizes fundamental concepts of mechanical engineering and industrial design. Unique to the course is that engineering students and design students work together to learn from each other’s disciplines.

The course opened with an introduction to 2D visual communication of ideas with freehand sketches and drawings, done with only a pencil and blank paper. Students learned how to draw objects with correct relative proportions of height, width and depth by sketching squares and cubes.

“We teach students to draw freehand because they can generate design concepts much faster than by using manual tools, like triangles and compasses, or CAD,” said Dr. Richard Marklin, professor of mechanical engineering. “We spent the first four weeks in the class teaching design and engineering students to sketch ideas and products quickly by freehand; the students learned quickly and now they have a skill that they can use during their entire career. In industry, employers want engineers to sketch because it improves their overall design ability, particularly with brainstorming concepts.”

The course also included an introduction to basic machines and mechanisms. Students made low-resolution functional 2D and 3D prototypes of machines and mechanisms from paper, foam core and specialty foams.

Finally, students integrated their skills of 2D and 3D visualization and knowledge of machines and mechanisms into a functional product, learning basic industrial design principles and practices and formal steps of the product design process.

Freehand pencil drawing of a Milwaukee Tool Torque Lock vice grips by
Opus College of Engineering student Brad Eagan



Congratulations to the following individuals on their recent accomplishments:

    • Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering, was named Ballroom Champion at the first Milwaukee’s Stars Merengue for Cristo Rey on Nov. 18. In addition to her professional ballroom dance, Dr. Ropella raised the most money for the Cristo Rey students; together with her seven other hometown dance stars, the group raised more than $400,000 for Cristo Rey.



      • Drs. Richard Marklin, professor of mechanical engineering and Mark Nagurka, professor of mechanical engineering, received a two-year, $199,700 grant from the Electric Power Research Institute for their research project, “Physical ergonomics study of augmented reality technology for electric utility field workers.” The project will determine how one or two commercial augmented reality technologies affect the occupational health and safety of electric utility field workers.

      • Dr. Casey Allen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received a four-year, $456,000 grant from CFR Engines Inc. for the research project, “Optimal conditions for measuring ignition quality in non-engine tests.” The project will explore novel approaches for measuring the ignition quality of diesel and gasoline fluids, and insights will enable the development of octane / cetane rating tools that will replace current engine tests that have been used for more than 90 years.

      • Dr. John LaDisa, associate professor of biomedical engineering, has been named as the next Lafferty Professor. The Lafferty Professorship is designed to support initiatives in engineering education and pedagogy.

    • Students Karlie Hornberger, Katie Kirkby, James McKenna and Phillip Parisi placed first at the Lawrence Tech University Innovation Encounter on Oct. 20 and 21, where they were challenged to develop a viable solution to a realistic industry problem using skills in critical thinking, teamwork, time management and technical knowledge.

    • Dr. Brooke Mayer, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, was honored as an Academic Game Day Coach for the Marquette women’s basketball team on Nov. 28. Dr. Mayer was invited to attend the team’s pre-game preparations, game, half-time discussions and post-game debriefs; she also gave a short address to the team on her work in the Opus College, with an emphasis on how skills and lessons from sports can positively impact professional careers.

        • Brook mayer

• Dr. John Borg, chair and professor of mechanical engineering, was honored as a Faculty All-Star at the Marquette men’s basketball game on Dec. 2.

M.E. in STEM Teaching seeking applicants

Marquette University’s Opus College of Engineering and College of Education have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship to develop and implement a 14-month Master of Education degree program for new science, technology, engineering and math teachers.

Applicants to this accelerated program, which will begin in summer 2018, must have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline. Applications are due Thursday, Feb. 15.

Bridge to Business for Engineers seeks applications for first cohort

In a unique collaboration between Marquette University’s Opus College of Engineering and College of Business Administration and Milwaukee-based manufacturer Rexnord, the Bridge to Business program provides early career engineers with business fundamentals to give a better understanding and appreciation of the business enterprise. This immersive, six-day non-credit program exposes participants to an integrated curriculum that focuses on teamwork and team leadership; personality and communication styles; conflict and negotiation; accounting and financial statements; marketing channels, sales and pricing; voice of the customer; and supply chain management.

The program is specifically designed for early career engineers who recently graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering, as well as those with a few years of experience. Program dates for 2018 will be delivered over two, three-day sessions on May 22–24 and June 12–14.

The program fee is $3,750 per person; organizations sending two participants are eligible to send a third participant for free. For questions, please contact Kevin Walsh, director of executive education.

Engineering on social media — join the conversation!

For the latest real-time updates on the Opus College of Engineering, follow us on social media and be sure to like, comment and share to help spread the word:

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Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean, on Twitter


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