Scott Ramlow

The Interview

Learn more about:

Scott Ramlow   

Co-owner and president
Uihlein/Wilson-Ramlow/Stein Architects Inc.
Employees: 17

Credit: Lila Aryan

In October, David Uihlein and Del Wilson handed over the reins of the architectural firm they launched more than 30 years ago to longtime partners Scott Ramlow and Nat Stein. The Milwaukee-based firm specializes in civic and educational work. Some of its most noteworthy projects include the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Memorial Union, and work for Milwaukee College Preparatory School and University School of Milwaukee. Uihlein/Wilson has also maintained an active adaptive reuse practice and is currently working on the restoration project of the Old Main building at the Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home for new veterans housing. BizTimes reporter Corrinne Hess recently spoke to Ramlow (who joined the firm in 1992) about the firm’s most recent project, the $34 million computational science facility planned at MSOE, and Uihlein/Wilson’s future.

What is your understanding of the mission and purpose of MSOE’s computational science hall?

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“The computing power of the supercomputer will probably be bigger than anything in the Midwest region, which puts MSOE at the forefront of AI and applied research applications of technology as it develops. Dwight Diercks (MSOE regent and senior vice president at California technology firm NVIDIA, who donated $34 million to build the facility) put MSOE on the map with his donation.”

What type of experience will the students and faculty have in the building that will be different from other school buildings?

“MSOE is working on new degree programs that will be heavy into data research and will also include corporate partnerships, whether it is with NVIDIA or other companies. MSOE prepares engineers for their careers, rather than teaching theory. Their graduates are in high demand and are instantly contributors to their employers. It will be interesting to see how they pair that applied approach to computing. If they partner with NVIDIA, the sky is the limit to how much of a leader in their fields they can be.”

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What is the timeline for the project?

“Dwight put MSOE ahead of everyone with his donation. A construction project normally starts with a conceptual design and then waits on budget. Dwight donated the entire amount, which accelerated this in a fantastic way for the school. We’ve made a commitment to open the facility for the fall of 2019. It’s a very aggressive schedule, but when you receive a gift like this, there is a responsibility to the school, to the donor and to the board to take action.”

You’ve been with your firm for 25 years. Where do you see it going under the new leadership?

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“I would like us to reinvigorate our K-12 practice. Also, historic restoration and adaptive reuse have been one of the hallmarks of our firm since David started it in 1982. We were one of the architects for the Milwaukee County Historical Society, the Basilica of St. Josaphat and the Gimbels building. But I think with David retiring, there is a risk that could fall away with the transition. I want to make sure we don’t do that. We’re currently involved in the VA project and want to keep the historic preservation projects something that we never stop doing.”

Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, do you and Nat plan on expanding the firm?

“Nat and I are so grateful to Dave and Del for building the firm and transitioning when it is really strong and successful. They have done a great job and service to us being willing to sell at this point. Over the last six months, we have been fortunate. We are hiring right now, which is pretty crazy right after a transition, but we are hitting the ground running.”

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