Author Archives: UW-Madison Engineering

NCD Technologies Nabs an ‘Innovation Oscar’ from R&D Magazine


NCD Technologies, a UW-Madison College of Engineering start-up company launched by 2009 materials science PhD graduate Patrick Heaney, has been selected to R&D Magazine’s 100 List for technological excellence. NCD Technologies’ coatings are the result of a state-of-the-art pretreatment process for applying diamond coatings to extremely small tooling. This advanced process adds precision, longevity and efficiency to the tools and the machining operations they support. NCD is currently partnering with Janesville company Performance Microtools to further product development.

The R&D 100 Awards recognize excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, high-energy physics, materials science, chemistry and biotechnology. Some winners are established Fortune 500 companies and others are federally funded research institutions.

See the full list of winners.

Patrick Heaney developed NCD Technologies in 2009 directly from his PhD work in the UW-Madison Department of Materials Science.

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Entrepreneur Summit Taps Coastal Connections

Pitch your business idea, get inspired by Wisconsin success stories and hear from Badger entrepreneurs far and wide at the 2013 Badger Startup Summit, held on Friday, August 16 at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. The summit will launch a new online network for budding entrepreneurs, and feature talks by innovators from high-tech hotspots like the Bay Area, Chicago and New York. Register by July 31 for a discounted rate.

Participants can get the inside story on recent Wisconsin ventures big and small, including EatStreet, StudyBlue, ShopBop, Tomotherapy and Sonic Foundry, as well as outside-looking-in perspectives from successful Badgers such as Pavan Nigam, founding partner of Inspovation and co-founder of WebMD.

The summit is one part of the 11-day Forward Technology Festival and sponsored by the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, the Silicon Valley Badgers and host of local organizations.

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Nuclear Arms Expert and Negotiator George Bunn Dies

George Bunn

Former UW-Madison Law School Dean and nuclear arms expert and negotiator George Bunn (BSEE, ’46) died of spinal cancer in Palo Alto, Calif., April 21.
He served at the UW Law School from 1969 to 1986 and was dean from 1972 to 1975.
Read more…

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Detecting Explosives: Schuff Seeks Funds to Finish Invention

Apollo 17 Astronaut, U.S. Senator, and Geologist Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt presents a poster commemorating the Apollo 17 mission to Craig Schuff.

It’s been nearly two years since that fateful evening in May 2011 when Craig Schuff (then 25), a former competitive swimmer, dove into Lake Monona in Wisconsin and severely damaged his spinal cord.

Craig, now a quadriplegic, spent an entire year hospitalized at the University of Wisconsin hospital, but that did not impede his educational pursuits. Last November, Craig passed the oral exam for his master’s degree in nuclear engineering. He now is trying to finish experimental work for his Ph.D. and raise funds to complete an invention that can detect explosives.
To contribute to the fund, visit:
Read more…

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Johanek Pursues Entrepreneurial Dreams

Scott Johanek with his prize-winning invention, NoVo

Mechanical engineering alumnus Scott Johanek (BSME, ’12) won the Tong Prototype Prize in 2012 for his luggage system designed with pivoting wheels. The wheels kept the bag from falling over while in travel. The idea place second in the Schoofs’ Prize for Creativity.
Now, he is pursing a new venture; messenger bags with removable flaps that hold customized messages. He hopes to build his business and create jobs in Shawano County. Read more… 

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Zinkle Named Fellow of Materials Research Society

Steven Zinkle

Senior materials researcher and Corporate Fellow Steven Zinkle of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been named a 2013 Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS).

Zinkle was awarded the UW-Madison College of Engineering Distinguished Achievement Award in 2010. He earned his BS, MS and PhD in nuclear engineering from UW-Madison in 1980, ’82 and ’85.

Acknowledged for his “pioneering contributions to the understanding of radiation effects in materials and for advancing the scientific basis of performance limits for structural materials in advanced nuclear energy systems,” Zinkle will be formally recognized during the spring MRS meeting in April. Read more…

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Rohrig Asks Badgers to Click Him into Space

Jake Rohrig

Jake Rohrig (BSEMA, ’12) has long dreamed of being an astronaut. He knew it was a tough job to get so he studied hard, earned a degree and took a job as a mechanical engineer with UTC Aerospace Systems in Rockford, Illinois. His work designing generators for aircraft keeps him close to all things aerospace and connected to his dream.

Ironically, UTC won’t be sending Rohrig to space anytime soon, but AXE Apollo deodorant body spray just might.

Linx Mark llIn mid February, AXE launched a contest whereby the two people who collect the most votes by midnight, April 27 will win a trip to AXE Space Camp in Orlando, Florida. The winner will be trained and sent to an altitude of 103 km on a premier flight by Space Expedition Corporation. It’s a chance of a lifetime and a trip easily worth $100,000.

Currently, an Internet celebrity who pulls pranks on his girlfriend is in the lead with more than 50,000 votes. Frankly, this breaks Rohrig’s heart.

“Everyone in this contest, in the top five, are all pretty much Internet celebrities. So for me to be competitive with them at all is kind of amazing to begin with,” Rohrig says. “But I hope to show, that through hard work, dedication and the network of a great alma mater, pretty much anything is possible.”

This, hopefully, is where readers of this blog and friends of Badgers everywhere come in. Supporters of Rohrig can vote here

Currently, he moves in and out of the top ten with about 1,400 votes. Rohrig hopes fellow badgers will use their twitter feeds and social media accounts to vote and spread the word.

Already, through a friend of a friend, Rohrig connected with fellow Badger Logan Cascia, a videographer who created the viral video titled “Teach Me How to Bucky.” The two produced the following promotional video, titled “Badasstronaut.”

So now, it is up to you. Will this hard working Badger engineer get his few minutes in space, or will the prize go to someone who famously tricked his girlfriend into eating a spoonful of cinnamon?

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Nondorf Finds Success at Oshkosh Corp.

Jill Nondorf

Jill Nondorf (BSMSE, ’06, ME, ’11) finds success in failure.

The Dodgeville native has worked as a principal engineer at Oshkosh Corp. for the past six years, going “CSI” on broken and failed truck parts to assess what went wrong and to help suppliers ensure it doesn’t happen again.

The job might not be new or unusual for major manufacturers like Oshkosh Corp., but Nondorf has nonetheless blazed a trail as the first woman to join the department. And she’s working hard to encourage other women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These fields are often referred to collectively as STEM fields. Read more…

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Loest, Younkle and Brzowski Listed in 40 Under 40

For 13 years, In Business Magazine has celebrated the successes of rising business stars in its annual 40 Under 40 issue. In Business is a business-to-business publication in the Greater Madison region and looks for examples of business success and those who demonstrate a firm commitment to the local community through board involvement, volunteerism, or other activities.

This year, two College of Engineering alumni are listed. Kyle Loest (BSCEE, ’01) is a Senior Project Manager, J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc. and Matt Younkle (BSECE, ’97) is an entrepreneur and Co-Founder/CEO, Murfie, Inc. Angela Brzowski (BSCEE, ’99) is a design phase manager at Mortenson Construction. Read more…

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Engineering and Business Show Baldovin the World

Donald Baldovin

There are 196 countries in the world. Donald Baldovin has been to nearly 120 of them.

Baldovin joined the Standard Oil Company (later named Amoco Corporation) as an assistant chemical engineer in 1957 and retired from its worldwide exploration business group as vice president of finance and business support in 1998.  (more…)

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