MSOE appoints former NASA engineer vice president of academics

Dr. Eric Baumgartner helped lead three Mars rover missions while at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Eric Baumgartner.

The Milwaukee School of Engineering has appointed a former NASA engineer who oversaw three Mars rover missions as its new vice president of academics.

Dr. Eric Baumgartner.
Dr. Eric Baumgartner.

Dr. Eric Baumgartner, will oversee the college’s educational programs beginning July 15.

Baumgartner was a senior engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California from 1996 to 2006. He helped lead the team of engineers that successfully launched, landed and operated the Curiosity, Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars’ surface.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He earned a master’s in aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

“Dr. Baumgartner brings a wealth of experience to MSOE,” said Dr. John Walz, president of MSOE. “His academic leadership and credentials along with years of experience in industry made him the ideal candidate for vice president of academics. I am excited to welcome Dr. Baumgartner to MSOE’s leadership team.”

Baumgartner has also taught at University of California-Los Angeles and Michigan Technological University. Since 2006, he has been Dean of the College of Engineering at Ohio Northern University.

“I am incredibly humbled and excited by the opportunity to serve as the next vice president of academics at Milwaukee School of Engineering,” Baumgartner said of his appointment. “I look forward to collaborating with the faculty and staff to continue the growth and development of the academic programs at MSOE so that both the institution and its graduates have a positive impact on the region and the nation.”

Baumgartner has won several awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network Outstanding Dean Award and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Robotics and Automation Award.

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Ben Stanley
Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.