Marquette University, Kohler Co. establish formal research partnership

Nov. 16, 2021

Kohler Co. logoMILWAUKEE — Marquette University has signed a first-of-its-kind partnership agreement with Kohler Co. that paves the way to greatly enable collaborative research, talent development and more partnership opportunities.

The formal agreement builds upon a working relationship that spans more than 102 years, creating additional research and internship opportunities for the Marquette community by establishing a mutual agreement around intellectual property, licensing and other partnership terms.

“We are incredibly excited and honored to finalize this partnership with Kohler,” said Dr. Carmel Ruffolo, associate vice president for corporate engagement at Marquette. “This is a unique opportunity that not many universities have with companies, especially those with Kohler’s size and reputation. With a lot of the legal and business interests squared away, this allows our faculty who want to work with Kohler to agree on scope of work and their budget, and away they go.”

The partnership also expands opportunities outside of research, opening a wide range of other activities, including internships in areas such as engineering, supply chain management, law, and sustainability, as well as continuing and executive education.

“This agreement is significant for both Marquette and Kohler, and removes a hurdle for our business teams with the amount of negotiating that goes into each and every project,” said Tanya Lulloff, director of human resources – power systems at Kohler Co. “This opens the door for our teams to identify partners at Marquette and for the engagement to be streamlined and mutually beneficial.”

In 2019, Marquette and Kohler celebrated 100 years of working together with a design competition open to interdisciplinary teams of students to redesign a bathroom at the 707 Hub in the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship. The teams selected for the competition worked with professional mentors from Kohler, toured its facilities and utilized the company’s line of products in their design entries.

About Kohler Co.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies composed of more than 38,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the design, innovation and manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines, power systems and clean energy solutions; luxury cabinetry, tile, and lighting; and owner/operator of two, five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland. The company also develops sustainable solutions to address pressing issues, such as clean water and sanitation, for underserved communities around the world to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations. For more details, please visit

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or