March 2017




Ahoya March 2017 Newsletter

Ropella honored by Kern Entrepreurial Engineering Network and STEm Forward

Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean of Engineering, has earned a pair of honors. She has been awarded the 2016 Outstanding Dean Award from The Kern Family Foundation, and has been named 2016 Engineer of the Year by STEM Forward.

The foundation award was presented at the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network national conference in Jacksonville, Florida. STEM Forward presented the award to Ropella during its annual Engineers Week banquet in February in Milwaukee.

“I am both honored and humbled,” Ropella said. “I have many deserving colleagues who are transforming engineering education around the country. I am blessed to be part of such a community.”

Student leadership awards

For the past 48 years, the Division of Student Affairs has recognized the outstanding leadership contributions of Marquette students through its Student Leadership Awards program. This year, three Opus College of Engineering students were honored.

Abraham Ortiz-Tapia, senior, received the Magis Award, given to the student who has demonstrated the ability to connect communities across campus to improve the student experience. Through collaborative leadership, this individual challenges the Marquette community to live up to its ideals embedded in the mission.

Samuel Newberry, senior, received the Wellness Award, given to the student who leads the campus community in promotion of health and well-being through leadership in an organization or significant educational initiative.

Jimmy Drenovsky, junior, received the Student Affairs Employment Award, given to a Division of Student Affairs student employee who went far beyond his or her paid responsibilities by demonstrating the university’s mission.

Alumnus engineers skyscrapers across the globe

John Peronto, Eng ’03, Grad ’04, a structural engineer and an associate principal at global engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, recently spoke as part of the Opus College of Engineering’s Connecting with the World lecture series. He and his work were featured in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Peronto is the engineer overseeing the construction of the Jeddah Tower, which when completed will be the world’s tallest building. The Jeddah Tower, also known as the “Kingdom Tower” in Saudi Arabia, will be the
first man-made structure to reach 1 kilometer in height.

While that project is certainly a signature feat for Thornton Tomasetti, Peronto’s heart will be in downtown Milwaukee, where the company also is the engineer for the construction of The Couture, which the firm describes as “a catalytic part” of Milwaukee’s lakefront gateway. “It’s a beautiful project,” Peronto said of the 44-story Couture. “It’s a real honor to be able to work on that back in my hometown. I take a lot of pride in that. It’s such a renaissance for the city. We’re hoping to get construction started soon.”

Read the full article here.

Borg to serve as next mechanical engineering chair

Dr. John Borg, P.E., professor of mechanical engineering, will serve as the next chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Kyle Kim, chair and professor of mechanical engineering, is stepping down after 17 years of service to the department and college.

“We are grateful for the many years of service, dedication and leadership that Dr. Kim provided the department and the college,” Opus Dean of Engineering Kris Ropella said.

During Kim’s tenure, the department grew considerably in undergraduate enrollment, and significant additions were made to laboratory experiences and hands-on learning. Kim also created a very dedicated and engaged industrial advisory board.

Borg, who joined Marquette in 2002, researches shock physics, fluid dynamics and aerodynamics. He has been published in more than 25 refereed journal publications and numerous government reports, received significant funding from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and he has mentored countless students. Borg has received a number of awards, including the Lawrence G. Haggerty Award for Excellence in Research, Fulbright Scholar award, Way Klingler Sabbatical, Outstanding Researcher Award for the Opus College of Engineering, MU Sigma Xi Rising Star Award and Teacher of the Year in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

A New Program for Engineers: Bridge to Business for Engineers – Sponsored by Rexnord

In a unique collaboration between Marquette University’s Opus College of Engineering and College of Business Administration and Milwaukee-based manufacturer Rexnord, the Bridge to Business Program provides early career engineers with business fundamentals to give a better understanding and appreciation of the business enterprise. This immersive, 14-day experience exposes participants to an integrated curriculum that models the synergy between technical and business roles and responsibilities. A custom-designed project allows students to apply what they have learned about business disciplines in an engineering-related setting.

Faculty from both colleges, along with the local business community, have developed a curriculum that focuses on the key touch points between engineers and other functions with organizations, helping participants examine and learn how to become more effective in their functional role and across the organization. Bridge to Business is made possible through the generous corporate gift from Rexnord Corporation.

Key program subjects include: capital budgets, supply chain management, Lean/Six Sigma, team building, pricing, project management, cost accounting, financial statements, information technology, strategy, marketing channels, sales, and voice of the customer.

If you are interested or have any questions, please email or call 414-288-EXEC (3932).

More information is available online.

International fellowship awarded

Valay Shah, a biomedical engineering graduate student, has received a prestigious Institute of International Education Whitaker Foundation International Fellowship to conduct some of his doctoral dissertation research in the lab of Dr. Maura Casadio at the University of Genoa, Italy.

Shah is the second Marquette engineering student to receive such a fellowship, and he joins a group of students who are studying at the most prestigious universities in the country. Dr. Robert Scheidt, professor of biomedical engineering, is Shah’s dissertation director at Marquette.

Faculty awards

Several faculty are receiving awards this spring in recognition of their professional achievement and contributions to our university mission:

Lawrence G. Haggerty Award for Excellence in Research
Dr. John Borg, professor of mechanical engineering

Way Klingler Young Scholar Award
Dr. Brooke Mayer, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering

Opus College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award
Dr. Phil Voglewede, associate professor of mechanical engineering

Opus College of Engineering Outstanding Researcher Award
Dr. Brian Schmit, professor of biomedical engineering

Alpha Sigma Nu Danihy Alumni Club of Southeast Wisconsin Alumnus of the Year
Dr. Dan Zitomer, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering


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