Marquette engineering professor named Engineer of the Year by STEM Forward

Jan. 19, 2022

Dr. Ayman EL-RafaieMILWAUKEE — Dr. Ayman EL-Refaie, Werner Endowed Chair in Secure/Sustainable Energy and professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University, was named the 2021 Engineer of the Year by STEM Forward, metro Milwaukee's leading STEM education and outreach provider.

The Engineer of the Year has been awarded since 1953 to a remarkable person in the Milwaukee 7 County Community who has made an extraordinary contribution to the engineering profession. He will be honored at the 69th Annual Celebration of STEM on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

“I am thrilled for Dr. EL-Refaie and proud of his being honored as Engineer of the Year,” said Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering. “Through his innovative research and leadership in the engineering community, both at Marquette and in the state of Wisconsin, he is a great example of Opus College of Engineering faculty being the difference in their industry and advancing the college’s missions and values in the community.”

EL-Refaie was recognized as a lead educator and researcher in the Opus College of Engineering. Over the course of 21 years of research, he has conducted groundbreaking research in advanced traction motors, traction motors that reduce or eliminate rare-earth materials, fault-tolerant electrical machines for safety-critical applications, and high specific-power electrical machines, among others. His outstanding research in electric vehicles, hybrid/electric planes and renewable energy stands to influence the future of engineering innovation at Marquette and in Wisconsin and create immense economic and environmental value globally.

STEM Forward is southeastern Wisconsin’s leading nonprofit, technical organization providing and promoting educational outreach programs emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Through programs and activities, STEM Forward inspires youth to pursue STEM careers while preparing them for a 21st century workforce. In turn, we provide local businesses with a pipeline of STEM talent. Additionally, STEM Forward serves as a resource for schools and businesses to establish partnerships through its Day of STEM program, and cross-promotes what’s happening in STEM to raise awareness and educate others.

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