Hermann Viets, the longtime president of the Milwaukee School of Engineering, died in his sleep Sunday at the age of 74, according to an announcement from the school.
[caption id="attachment_330784" align="alignright" width="369"] Former MSOE president Hermann Viets died Sept. 30 at the age of 74. Image courtesy of MSOE.[/caption]
Viets led MSOE for more than two decades after being named president in 1991. He retired in 2015 after helping to grow the school’s programing, footprint and enrollment. He also continued to serve as a member of the MSOE board of regents.
The school’s downtown campus grew to 22 acres during his tenure with the addition of Krueger Hall; Rosenberg Hall; Humphrey House; Kern Center; Grohmann Museum; Pamela and Hermann Viets Field; and the Grohmann Tower.
The university also established its Rader School of Business and MSOE School of Nursing during Viets’ tenure. Along with becoming the state’s national affiliate university for Project Lead The Way, MSOE also added undergraduate programs in actuarial science, biomolecular engineering, civil engineering, construction management, nursing, and software engineering.
“Hermann was an imaginative leader who could identify opportunities and enlist support to advance MSOE by making bold, yet thoughtful improvements,” said Scott Moon, MSOE board of regents chairman. “He strongly believed in MSOE’s application-based focus which is at the heart of what makes MSOE graduates highly sought after leaders in their respective fields,”
Moon said Viets combined “a relentless work ethic, pragmatism and deep strategic thinking with a highly engaging personality.”
“These traits allowed him to easily connect with others and enlist their assistance in fulfilling a creative vision for MSOE,” Moon said.
Viets received a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering and a master of science and Ph.D. in astronautics from Poltechnic University in New York City and Farmingdale, Long Island. His academic career included stops at the University of Rhode Island, West Virginia University and Wright State University.
He died at his home in Rhode Island. He is survived by his wife Pam, their children Deane (Isabella), Hans (Lauren), Danielle (Michael) Leighton, Hillary (Andy) Bowser, and several grandchildren