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Alumni

Notable alumni

Our engineering graduates make their mark on the world in many ways. Here is a short list of people whose contributions are exceptionally notable.

Technology

John Bardeen—BSEE ’28, MSEE ’29
Inventor of the transistor; major advances in superconductivity. Nobel Prize in physics, 1956 and 1972.

Jack St. Clair Kilby—MSEE ’50
Co-inventor of the integrated circuit; Nobel Prize in physics, 2000.

Rob Engelke—BSEE ’68
CEO, Ultratec Inc.; advances in deaf-communication technology.

Patrick Hanrahan—BSNE ’77
Developed Pixar’s RenderMan animation software.

Michael Dhuey—BSEE ’80
Co-inventor of the Macintosh II and the iPod.

Infrastructure

Edward Schildhauer—BSEE 1897
Chief electrical and mechanical engineer on the Panama Canal project (opened on Aug. 15, 1914).

John L. Savage—BSCE 1903
Dam engineer: Engineer of many dams, including Hoover Dam; member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Oscar Boldt—BSCEE ’48
Chairman, The Boldt Company.

David H. Geiger—BSCEE ’60
Designer of domed stadiums.

Autos and Aviation

William S. Harley—BSME 1907
Founder, Harley-Davidson.

Charles Lindbergh—BSME 1920-21x
Aviation pioneer and innovator; made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Richard V. Rhode—BSME ’25
Awarded Wright Brothers Medal for aerodynamic loading research, NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement.

James Lovell—BS 1946-48x
Apollo 8 and Apollo 13 astronaut.

Brewster Shaw—BSEMA ’68, MSEMA ’69
Space Shuttle astronaut.

Adam Steltzner—PhDEP ’99
Chief engineer and development manager for the Mars rover Curiosity.

Academia and Literature

Thelma Estrin—PhDEE ’52
Professor of computer science, UCLA; first female president of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society; tireless advocate for women in STEM, well before modern efforts

Mathukumalli Vidyasagar—BS, MS, PhDEE ’69 (Earned PhD at age 21)
Founded Department of Bioengineering in 2010 at the University of Texas, Dallas.

Randy L. Jirtle—BSNE ’70
Epigenetics and genomic imprinting pioneer; senior scientist, McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, UW-Madison; professor of epigenetics, Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Bedfordshire, UK; Time magazine Person of the Year, 2007.

Michael Amiridis—PhDChE ’91
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago (2015-).

Emily Hahn—BSMiningEngr ’26
First female UW-Madison engineering graduate; journalist; author of 52 books.

William Marr—PhDNE ’69
Nuclear engineer, (Argonne); poet; artist.

Executives

Arthur Nielsen Sr.—BSECE ’18
Founded the ACNielsen Co. (market research, Nielsen ratings) in 1923; elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971 and appointed a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog in 1961 by Denmark.

Philip D. Reed—BSEE ’21
President, General Electric (1937-1942, 1945-1958).

William Beverly Murphy—BSChE ’28
CEO, Campbell Soup Co. (1953-1972).

David Grainger—BSEE ’50
President, The Grainger Foundation.

Claude Rockwood Whitney Jr.—BSEE ’50
Chairman and CEO, Allen Bradley Co.

Ken Wright—BSCEE ’51, MSCEE ’57
CEO, Wright Water Engineers; co-founder, Wright Paleohydrological Institute.

Ernest Micek—BSChE ’59
CEO, Cargill Corp. (1995-1999).

Richard Wilkey—BSMetE ’59
Founder, president and CEO, Fisher Barton Inc.

Lee Raymond—BSChE ’60
CEO, ExxonMobil (1999-2005).

Duane Collins—BSME ’61
Chairman, Parker Hannifin Corp.

Mary Baker—BSEMA ’66
President, ATA Engineering Inc.

Kenneth Schroeder—BSEE ’67
CEO, KLA-Tencor (1999-2005).

Dong-Soo Hur—BSChE ’68, PhDChE ’69
Chairman, GS Caltex Corp., Seoul, Korea.

Keith Nosbusch—BSEE ’74
CEO, Rockwell Automation (2004-).

Michael Splinter—BSEE ’72, MSEE ’74
CEO, Applied Materials (2003-2015).

Jeff Sprecher—ChE ’78
Founder, NEA Ventures; founder, chair and CEO, IntercontinentalExchange, which purchased the New York Stock Exchange.

Valarie King-Bailey—BSCEE ’82
CEO, Onshore Technology Group.

Thomas Werner—BSIE ’82
CEO, SunPower Corp.

Winslow Sargeant—PhDECE ’95
Chief Counsel for Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration; co-founder, AANetcom.

Early-Career and Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

From early-career entrepreneurs to established government officials and executives, the recipients of the annual College of Engineering Distinguished Achievement Awards and Early-Career Achievement Award illustrate the vast impact Badger engineers have across multiple fields and international boundaries. If you know of someone you would like to recommend, please drop us a note.

2021 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Kara Byrne (BSME ’04)
North America Commercial leader, turbomachinery and process solutions-valves, Baker Hughes.

Kara is a technical and strategic leader in energy, valves and turbomachinery whose passion for inspiring women to enter engineering has enabled her to mentor, develop and retain future women leaders in energy industry.

 

Paul Dauenhauer (BSChE ’04)
Lanny and Charlotte Schmidt Professor, chemical engineering and materials science, University of Minnesota

Paul is a chemical engineer whose ingenious catalytic processes have revolutionized biomass use and led to three startup companies that put his inventions into practice.

 

Daniel R. Grice (BSMS&E ’09)
Senior materials engineer, Materials Evaluation and Engineering, Inc.

Dan is a materials engineer who has significantly advanced the diagnosis and remediation of material failures, provided exemplary professional society leadership, and promoted careers in STEM.

 

Benjamin W. Longmier (BSEP/physics ’04, MSEP ’05, PhDEP ’07)
CTO and co-founder, Swarm Technologies

Ben is a nuclear engineer whose expertise in aerospace engineering has enabled him to found three companies focused on high-altitude/low-earth-orbit communications to accelerate the Internet of Things.

 

Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Bjorn Krogh Borgen (BSME ’62)
Chairman, Borgen Investment Group

Bjorn is a leading financial manager and entrepreneur whose success has enabled him to support educational, athletic and cultural causes that have benefited people across the United States and in his home country of Norway.

 

David Ira Epstein (BSECE ’76, MSECE ’78)
Executive Director, Susilo Institute for Ethics in a Global Economy, Boston University; venture advisor, investor and management consultant, Epstein Advisors

David is an exemplary entrepreneur and executive in cleantech, semiconductors and healthcare who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social responsibility and ethics in engineering and business.

 

Moo Hwan Kim (PhDNE ’86)
President, Pohang University of Science and Technology

Moo Hwan is a nuclear engineer and academic leader who has made innovations that significantly improve fundamental understanding of two-phase flow and heat transfer as applied to nuclear energy systems.

 

Brian E. Luedtke (BSChE ’85)
Vice president, Asia Pacific region, global corporate communications and clinical education, Hollister Inc.

Brian is a chemical engineer and executive who has improved life for patients with chronic conditions by supporting innovative technology development, effective partnerships with healthcare providers, and sustained community engagement.

 

Stephanie M. Whitehorse (BSMS&E ’96)
Director of intellectual property, physical sciences, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Stephanie is an engineer and patent agent who has applied her expertise to evaluating, patenting and commercializing more than 1,500 UW-Madison inventions, which have generated more than $100 million of royalty income and formed the basis of 45 startup companies.

2020 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Subbu Rama (MSECE ’05)
Founder, Accio Ventures

Subbu is a visionary and entrepreneurial leader in technology innovation, including pioneering virtualization of hardware accelerated devices.

 

Karien J. Rodríguez (PhDBME ’10)
Research technical strategist-life sciences, global research & engineering, Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Karien is a biomedical engineer who is shaping the personal care industry through her creative and innovative research.

 

James Tamplin (BSIE ’06, MSIE ’07)
Founder partner, Founder Collective

James is a systems engineer and entrepreneur who has fundamentally transformed and greatly simplified mobile and web applications development.

 

Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Michael F. Conway (BSChE ’78)
Retired president, Shell Trading, Royal Dutch Shell

Michael is a chemical engineer who rose to the top of the international oil trading business while serving as an exemplar for management practices that reflect his values of integrity and civic responsibility.

 

Steven R. Erbstoesser (BSMineE ’74, MSMineE ’75)
Owner, Global Operations and Management Advisors LLC; retired, ExxonMobil

Steven is an engineer, scientist and executive who, through caring and vision, has transformed organizations and led global teams to achieve world-class safety, operational and business performance in oil and gas operations.

 

Peter Holsten (BSME ’72)
President and managing broker, Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation

Peter is a mechanical engineer and humanitarian who is devoted to the principle that everyone deserves affordable, quality housing and who strives to build and maintain healthy communities.

 

Todd Kelsey (BSEE ’87, MSEE ’89)
President and CEO, Plexus Corp.

Todd is an exemplary leader of a Wisconsin‐based global company who demonstrates commitment to creating new technologies and products that build a better world.

 

Laurie Lindborg Parsons (MSCEE ’87)
Water Resources Division Director, Ramboll US

Laurie is a respected civil and environmental engineer, leader and advocate for clean water who has been a role model for women in STEM.

 

Jeffrey J. Rotsch (BSIE ’72)
Retired president, worldwide sales, General Mills

Jeffrey is an industrial engineer and visionary leader who drove global business success in the consumer foods industry.

 

Oscar Marcelo Suárez (MSMetE ’93, PhDMetE ’00)
Professor and coordinator of the materials science and engineering program, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez

Oscar is a metallurgical engineer who has led innovations in university education, promoted STEM, and advanced research on composite materials and nanotechnology.

 

Amy Warner (BSEM ’91)
Vice president and general manager of IT digital business solutions and corporate director of accessibility, Intel Corp.

Amy is an IT leader whose professional adaptability and commitment to empowering those of all abilities make her an example for future engineers.

2019 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Amanda Engler
Experimental scientist, 3M
BSChE and Chem ’05, UW-Madison (MSChE ’07, PhDChE ’11, MIT)

We are honoring Amanda for the outstanding technical and creative contributions she has made in synthesizing novel polymeric materials for antimicrobial applications and delivering bioactive compounds.

 

Chris Klündt
Co-Founder and CEO StudyBlue/Flash Tools Chegg Inc.
BSBME ’05, BSCS ’05, UW-Madison

We are honoring Chris as a visionary entrepreneur who capitalized on the intersection of trends and technology to found a company now used by millions of students to learn collaboratively.

 

Navrina Singh
Product and technology leader
MSECE ’03, UW-Madison (BSEngr. ’01, College of Engineering at Pune, India; MBA ’13, University of Southern California)

We are honoring Navrina as an exemplary technological innovator who has built innovative software and silicon products, promoted a strong startup ecosystem, and is an inspiring and passionate leader in STEM education, particularly for women and underrepresented minorities.

 

Nancy Spelsberg
President, BCP Transportation
BSIE ’99, MBA ’06, UW-Madison

We are honoring Nancy as an inspiring industrial engineer and entrepreneur who is driving success in the trucking industry through continuous improvement and systems thinking.

 

Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Dan Adamany
Founder and CEO, AHEAD LLC
BSME ’97, UW-Madison

We are honoring Dan as an entrepreneur whose focus on strategy, solutions and technical expertise in enterprise information technology has enabled his company’s success.

 

Cynthia Bachmann
Vice president of engineering and product development, Kitchen and Bath Americas, Kohler Co.
BSEE ’83, UW-Madison

We are honoring Cynthia as a respected industry leader whose optimism and positivity are infectious and inspiring.

 

Annie Caputo
Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
BSNE ’96, UW-Madison

We are honoring Annie as a leader whose policy work and dedication make a difference nationally and inspire young engineers.

 

Rodney Hassett
Vice president, treasurer and director (retired) Strand Associates Inc.
BSCE ’62, UW-Madison

We are honoring Rod as a respected civil engineer, visionary leader and mentor who is a passionate advocate for diversity in engineering.

 

Mark Hoffmeyer
Senior technical staff member, IBM Systems
BSMetE ’83, MSMetE ’85, PhDMetE ’90, UW-Madison

We are honoring Mark for his expertise and leadership in physical metallurgy, which have led to significant innovations in microelectronic devices in areas that include materials design, assembly, packaging and manufacturing.

 

Sunny H.K. Lo
Chairman, Café de Coral Holdings Ltd.
BSChE ’77, UW-Madison (MSChE ’78, Stanford University)

We are honoring Sunny as an entrepreneur who has helped change business models and China and proudly serves as an ambassador for UW-Madison in Asia.

 

Duane Radtke
President and CEO, Valiant Exploration LLC
BSMineE ’71, UW-Madison

We are honoring Duane as a respected mining engineer and corporate leader who has been an innovator in the oil and gas industry throughout his career.

 

Thomas Werner
Chairman and CEO, SunPower Corp.
BSIE ’82, UW-Madison (BSEE ’86, Marquette University; MBA ’95, George Washington University)

We are honoring Tom for innovations in solar technology that have transformed the global energy industry.

2018 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Justin Beck
CEO, PerBlue
BSCMPE ’09, BSCS ’09, UW-Madison

 

Gilbert Haddad
Director, Point72 Asset Management
Staff Advisor, SparkCognition
BSME ’07, American University of Beirut
MSME ’09, UW-Madison
PhDME ’11, University of Maryland

 

Andrew Hanson
Chief Technology Officer, PerBlue
BSCMPE ’09, BSCS ’09, UW-Madison

 

Gregory Hudalla
Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor and Pruitt Family Term Fellow, University of Florida
BSChE ’04, Illinois Institute of Technology
MSBME ’06, PhDBME ’10, UW-Madison

 

Rahul Shinde
Executive Director, DIL
BEME ’99, College of Engineering-Pune, India
MSMSE ’01, PhDIE ’05, UW-Madison

 

Forrest Woolworth
Chief Operating Officer, PerBlue
BSCMPE ’09, BSCS ’09, UW-Madison

 

Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Wendy Harris
COO and GM, Commercial Operations, GE Healthcare
BSECE ’90, MBA ’99, UW-Madison

 

Robert J. Heideman
Senior vice president and chief technology officer
A.O. Smith Corp.
BSMetE ’88, PhDMatE ’15, UW-Madison
MSMetE ’92, Purdue University

 

Arthur Janes
CEO, PDS Technology
BSME ’67, BBA ’67, UW-Madison

 

W. Kent Lorenz
Chairman and CEO (retired), Acieta LLC
BSEM ’84, UW-Madison

 

William S. Monfre
BSChE ’85, UW-Madison
Engineering and Manufacturing Management, Procter & Gamble (1985-2008)
President/Owner, Quality Insulators Inc. and Asbestos Removal Inc. (2008-current)

 

Brian Mullins
BSCEE ’77, JD ’80, UW-Madison
Partner, Axley Brynelson LLP

2017 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Nidhi Aggarwal
Founder, Qwiklabs
MSEE ’06  (PhDCompSci ’08)

 

Ross Radel
President, Phoenix Nuclear Labs
BSNE ’03, MSNEEP ’04, PhDNEEP ’07

 

Christopher Meyer
Director, Sector 67 Inc.
BSME ’08, MSME ’10

 

Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Stephen Spiegelberg
President and Co-Founder,
Cambridge Polymer Group
BSChE ’88  (PhDChE ’93, MIT)

 

Alain Peyrot
Retired President, Power Line Systems
MSCEE ’66, PhDCEE ’68

 

Adam Steltzner
Engineering Fellow, CalTech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Chief Engineer, Mars 2020 Project
PhDEM ’99
(BSME ’90, UC-Davis; MS applied mechanics ’91, Caltech)

 

Daniel Piette
Board member, Petroleum GeoServices
BSMineE ’80

 

Denita Willoughby
Vice President, Sempra Energy
BSIE ’88  (MBA Harvard)

 

Sharon Farrens
Director of Process Integration, Quora Technology Inc.
MSNE ’83, MSMatSci ’85, PhDMatSci ’89
(BS physics ’81, Nebraska Wesleyan University)

 

Christine Schyvinck
CEO, Shure
BSME ’89
(MBA  engineering management ’99, Northwestern University)

2016 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Jonathan Baran
Co-founder and CEO
healthfinch
BSBME ’08, MSBME ’10

 

James Hillier
Chief of Staff for Global Manufacturing and Refining
LyondellBassell
BSChE ’00, BS Biochemistry ’00, BS Molecular Biology ’00

 

Jenna Marquard
Associate Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering,
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
MSISyE ’04, PhDISyE ’07 (BSIE ’03, University of Iowa)

 

Nicholas Balster
Vice President of Industrial Applications
Groom Energy Solutions
BSMSE ’00 (MBA ’13, Babson College)

 

Distinguished Achievement Award

Stephen H. Siegele
Chief Executive and Consultant
BSChE ’84

Jun Lee
President
SRI Design
BSCE ’68, MSCE ’69, PhDCE ’73

Xingyi Xu
Founding President
Shanghai Dajun Technologies
MSECE ’83, PhDECE ’90 (BSEE ’82, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)

Gary Krellenstein
Consultant
BSNE ’79 (MBA ’81, Cornell University; post-master’s degree, computer applications ’84, New York University)

Kim Christopher
Director of Product Management,
Optum Solutions and Technology
BSISyE ’81 (MBA ’88, University of Minnesota)

Boyd Mueller
Vice President of Technology
Alcoa Power and Propulsion
MSMetE ’83, PhDMetE ’86 (BSMetE ’82, Michigan Technological University)

Frank Sanders
Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing Group; Director, Global Systems Supply Chain and Technology Enabling
Intel Corp.
MSMSE ’92 (BSME ’89, University of Illinois; MBA ’07, Northwestern University)

2015 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Laura Leonard
Senior Product Line Manager, reforming and isomeriation technologies
UOP LLC
BSChE ’01
Western Springs, Illinois

Gregory Piefer
CEO and founder
SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc.
BSEE ’99, MSNEEP ’04,
PhDNEEP/MedPhys ’06
Middleton, Wisconsin

Daniel Reich
Member of Strategic Operating Committee
Great Oaks Venture Capital
BSECE ’08
New York, New York

 

Distinguished Achievement Award

Norman Doll
Chairman (retired)
Pieper Electric
BSCE  ’77
Mequon, Wisconsin

Jeffrey Graves
CEO
MTS Systems Corporation
MSMetE ’85, PhDMetE ’87
Wayzata, Minnesota

Shen Luo
Deputy General Manager
Mindray Medical International
PhDECE ’94
Madison, Wisconsin

Craig Palmer
CEO
Wikia
BSECE ’82
San Francisco, California

Todd Pulvino
Co-founder and Principal
CNH Partners
BSME ’84
Sarasota, Florida

Patrick Quirk
Founder and General Partner
ORCA Equities
BSIE ’79
Lake Oswego, Oregon

Kirk Schnoebelen
Head of Sales
URENCO
BSNE ’82, MSNE ’84
Fairfax, Virginia

Bahram (Barry) Siadat
Founder, President and Managing Director
SK Capital Partners
BSChE ’75
Miami Beach, Florida

Malcolm Theobald
President of Bits and Advanced Technologies
Schlumberger
BSMineEngr ’83
Houston, Texas

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