Category Archives: Announcements

Commentary on the site, such as welcome messages or brief updates.

Michael Splinter wins Distinguished Alumni Award

Michael Splinter (BSECE ’72, MSECE ’74) has been named among this year’s winners of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Currently in its 77th year, the award is the most prestigious the WAA presents. This year, Splinter joins three other UW-Madison alumni in receiving the honor.

Splinter, chair of the board of Silicon Valley company Applied Materials, has spent 40 years working in the semiconductor industry, spearheading major advances in microchip manufacturing both at Applied and in his previous work at Intel. Read more.

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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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At Exelon, Hanson to oversee nation’s largest nuclear fleet

Bryan Hanson

Exelon Generation has named alumnus Bryan Hanson (BSNEEP ’88) chief operating officer and senior vice president of its nuclear fleet. Exelon is the largest operator of nuclear power facilities in the United States.

In his new role, Hanson will oversee the daily operation for all 10 of Exelon’s nuclear facilities. Exelon operates the largest nuclear fleet in the United States and the third largest in the world.

“Bryan has demonstrated outstanding leadership of Exelon’s Midwest nuclear plants, ensuring all plant personnel maintain a steadfast focus on the safe operation of those facilities,” says Exelon Nuclear President and Chief Nuclear Officer Mike Pacilio. “His technical knowledge of our nuclear plants, coupled with his ambition and relentless pursuit of excellence are what will help drive our organization to be the best operator of nuclear plants in the world.”

Hanson, who has been with the company his entire career, has held various managerial positions within both Exelon’s Midwest and Mid-Atlantic operations, which include Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Prior to his newly named position, he was the senior vice president of operations for Exelon Generation’s six Midwest nuclear facilities and 11 reactors. (Read more about this role in the Badger Engineers profile of Hanson in February 2013.)

During his tenure with Exelon, Hanson also has served as the site vice president for Exelon’s Braidwood Generating Station and the site vice president for Clinton Power Station. In both these roles, he was responsible for all plant operations. He also has been vice president of nuclear oversight, Limerick Generating Station plant manager, and director of operations and work control.

Hanson also holds an MBA from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, is a graduate of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Senior Nuclear Plant Management Program and the Exelon Leadership Institute at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

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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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Advanced manufacturing focus of June 10-14 conference

Featuring a broad swath of leading-edge research from around the world, an advanced manufacturing research conference June 10-14, 2013, will draw nearly 500 academic, industrial and governmental participants to the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison.

Hosted by UW-Madison, the event couples the 41st North American Manufacturing Research Conference, sponsored by the North American Manufacturing Research Institute within the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the 2013 Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, sponsored by ASME International.

“If you want ideas about things you might be able to implement or use in three to five years, this is a great place,” says Frank Pfefferkorn, a UW-Madison associate professor of mechanical engineering who is among the event organizers. “If you want to talk with the engineers developing these new ideas, then you definitely want to be at this conference.”

For more information, continue reading here. To register for the conference or workshops,  go to Early registration for the conference ends May 10.

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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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President Honors Two Badger Engineers

Mike Arnold

Mike Arnold

Congratulations are in order for Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Mike Arnold who has been awarded the country’s highest honor for scientists at the beginning of their research careers. Arnold is among 94 researchers named by President Obama to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Since 1996, the annual PECASE awards have honored the most promising researchers in the Unites States, nominated by nine federal departments and agencies. Though at the start of their careers, these scientists and engineers have already demonstrated exceptional research and promise.
Arnold’s work is motivated by society’s rapidly growing energy consumption due to the expansion of the worldwide industrial economy, as well as the continued demand for smaller, faster, more sensitive and economical electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices. He was nominated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Sam Zelinka

Sam Zelinka

Also receiving the award is U.S. Forest Service Materials Researcher Samuel L. Zelinka who earned his BS, MS and PhD from the UW-Madison Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 2005, 2006 and 2009. Zelinka explores corrosion of metal fasteners in wood, electrical properties of wood, and does fundamental research on wood-moisture relations. He was nominated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Homecoming and Engineers’ Day

This year’s Engineers’ Day will be held on Friday, October 14. The day begins with a continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m. in the lobby of Engineering Hall and seminars starting at 8:45 a.m. in Room 1800 Engineering Hall. The evening reception, banquet and awards ceremony will be held at the Monona Terrace Convention Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. Visit the Engineers’ Day website for more information and to register for the events.

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National Science Olympiad Comes to Madison

More than 6,000 students, educators and parents from around the country will visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison May 18-21, 2011, for the 27th annual Science Olympiad National Tournament, one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious competitions of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The UW-Madison Engineering Campus will be in center stage for the tournament, as well as the two latest campus jewels: the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and the new Union South.

Please consider getting involved in this landmark event, either by attending or volunteering. More than a dozen spectator events will be part of the 2011 competition, including a new “Sumo Bots” robotics exhibition. Science Olympiad is a great opportunity to introduce children to the diversity of science and engineering. Read the full story here.

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Three Engineering Alums Named to WAA’s ‘Forward Under 40′

Three of the 13 UW-Madison alumni recognized in the 2011 “Forward Under 40″ awards, which recognize early-career achievement, are Badger engineers. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Association, “Forward Under 40” shines a light on alumni who are making a difference both professionally and in the lives of others. Included in this year’s winners are 1997 Chemical and Biological Engineering alumnus Dalia Mogahed, a Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies; 1996 Mechanical Engineering alumnus Anthony Eggert, the Deputy Secretary for Energy Policy at the California EPA; and 2009 Master of Engineering Professional Practice alumnus Rudy Quiles, a Civilian Affairs Officer with the United States Marine Corps.

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