Collaborations will raise the region’s engineering profile

Milwaukee’s universities and businesses are embarking on a series of collaborations that could raise the region’s profile in the engineering field and create new companies and jobs.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering are launching various programs to collaborate with and help local businesses.

“The idea when you’re doing research at college labs and also at company labs is that you’re trying to create synergy,” said Michael Lovell, dean of the UWM College of Engineering. “UWM, Marquette and MSOE (Milwaukee School of Engineering) are not big enough to have a national impact. But if we partner and bring in industry, suddenly we can bring national funding at a high level to this part of the country.”

The centers being developed include:

The Southeastern Wisconsin Energy and Technology Research Center – A partnership between UWM, Marquette University and MSOE, the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Lab and regional energy companies, the center hopes to develop energy technology research in southeastern Wisconsin and create an infrastructure that can compete for large-scale national energy research funds. The center will study advanced materials, technology for energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions, alternative energy and sensors and energy conversion processes.

The Center for Water Equipment and Policy – A planned collaboration between UWM, Marquette, the Milwaukee 7 Water Council and the National Science Foundation’s University Collaboration Center, the center aims to develop new technologies and processes that can be used by regional water-related companies. This center is still in the formative stages.

The Center for Advanced Materials Manufacturing – A partnership between UWM and Milwaukee Area Technical College that will be funded with a $3.5 million Department of Defense grant to develop light, durable composite materials that can be used for military armor as well as general industrial uses. This center has secured funding and will likely be launched later this year.

The Center for Urban Transportation – A planned partnership between UWM, Marquette and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the center will examine regional transportation issues. This center is still in the formative stages.

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