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Badger Engineers are in demand.

Just ask some of the more than 320 employers who descended upon the College of Engineering Sept. 11-14 for the fall 2023 Engineering & STEM Career Fair to connect with students. Those companies and organizations span the gamut of the science and engineering world and come from all over Wisconsin and beyond: The Boldt Company, Boston Scientific, GE Healthcare, Rockwell Automation, Cargill, Honeywell, Procter & Gamble, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sandia National Laboratories … the list goes on.

More than 20 companies, including Milwaukee Tool, Polaris, global electronics technology company KLA, and chemical manufacturer Hydrite, also visited campus the week prior for the college’s employer partners fair.

Photos by Tom Ziemer

“You can see how many companies are out here,” says Kevin Feldscher (BSCE ’18), a project engineer at Blattner Energy, a renewable energy contractor. “They’re all looking for people.”

That intense employer demand—particularly from Wisconsin companies—is a major motivation behind current efforts to build a new state-of-the-art facility that would allow the college to significantly expand its undergraduate enrollment.

“The world continues to change and be driven by automation and technology, and there’s a need for people who creatively problem-solve, whether that’s deep-dive engineering with software programming or on the ideation side,” says Lauren Vorac, a team lead in commercial engineering at Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation who also manages one of the company’s leadership development programs for early career engineers.

Adam Griep (BSCE ’12), a Janesville, Wisconsin, native, worked for a general contractor in California for seven years before joining Madison-based Vogel Bros. Building Company as a project manager. During his time in California, he saw how heavily companies in the industry recruited talent from top engineering programs in the Midwest like UW-Madison.

“I think it’s a mixture of hard work but also someone who has a personality that you want to work with,” he says.

Alumni like Feldscher, Griep and Tim Hankens (BSMS&E ’19) point to the hands-on learning opportunities that UW-Madison engineering students collect during their time on campus, from capstone courses built around client projects to metal casting in the foundry of the Materials Science and Engineering Building.

“It’s a great engineering program, and a lot of us know it—we have a lot of alumni at our company,” says Hankens, a metallurgical engineer at MetalTek International, a Waukesha, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of metal components. “We know the program, we know what you learn, you come out with a good amount of experience, smart kids, personable.”