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April 10, 2020

A message from CEE department chair William Likos

Written By: Ascedia -

 William J. Likos
William J. Likos

Greetings from beautiful Madison!

It goes without saying that the start of 2020 has been an unusual and exceptional time, both here at UW-Madison and around the world. My sincere hope is that you and your families are healthy and continue to stay well as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The wellness of our students, faculty, and staff remains our top priority. As I write this, we have all settled in to a new normal of online instruction, remote meetings, and increasingly creative ways to carry out our missions in education and research.

I would like to point out a few ways that we are making a difference during this challenging time. Professor Jamie Schauer serves as director of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH), which is the public health and environmental testing laboratory for the State of Wisconsin and responsible for developing the capacity for the first COVID-19 testing in Wisconsin using the CDC FDA-approved method. Assistant Professor Andrea Hicks has quickly launched a new NSF-funded project to understand the implications of reusable versus disposable personal protective equipment in medical settings. Our student-led concrete canoe team contributed immediately and substantively to the pandemic by donating over 500 N95 masks to help with the health preparedness effort. These are only a few examples and more keep coming to light every day.

Despite the exceptional turn that 2020 has taken, this year is a special one, as it marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of our department in 1870, only 22 years after UW-Madison was established in 1848. It’s remarkable to think about the extent of our long history, about all of the classes taught, concrete canoes raced, transformative research advances made, and students who have passed through these halls. It’s amazing to think about all of our alumni who remain proud Badgers today. This history is yours. These halls are yours. I hope you will enjoy learning about our department’s past, as well as some of the more recent happenings in this newsletter and on our website as we celebrate our 150th year.

I am continually amazed by the resilience, patience, and dedication of our Badger family. We are only getting stronger.

Stay well and On, Wisconsin!

William J. Likos, Gary Wendt Professor and Chair


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