University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

Milwaukee Engineering Research Conference begins Thursday at UWM

More than 20 of the nation's most influential leaders in engineering will speak

By - May 10th, 2017 12:34 pm
UWM Union. Photo by Dave Reid.

UWM Union. Photo by Dave Reid.

MILWAUKEE _ Finding and delivering cheaper, greener energy and cleaner water. Advancing medical breakthroughs. Building and designing stronger, safer roads, bridges and infrastructure. The Internet of Things and “big data.”

These are among the topics to be addressed at the Milwaukee Engineering Research Conference (MERC) on Thursday and Friday at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd. Media are welcome to attend.

More than 20 of the nation’s most influential leaders in engineering will speak. The roster of thought leaders from federal agencies, local and national industry and academia includes executives from Johnson Controls, Rockwell Automation, Eaton, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advancement Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and U.S. Navy. In addition, faculty members from UW-Milwaukee’s College of Engineering and Applied Science will discuss their work in creating concrete that could last 100 years, a spit test to identify the Ebola virus, water sensors to detect contaminants and protect consumers, and engineering applications in biomedicine. Find a complete list of speakers here and the conference agenda here.

On Friday afternoon, guests will be able to tour UWM’s on-campus and remote state-of-the-art engineering labs. Tours will offer a glimpse at the creation of the next generation of lithium-ion batteries, making small-scale parts in a foundry to demonstrate the viability of advanced manufacturing materials and more. Visitors can also check out the Advanced Analysis Facility, where high-tech research instrumentation provides full capability for materials and chemical analysis to the public.

During Thursday’s 12:45 p.m. lunch, UWM will announce two important initiatives:

  • Its role in a new NSF-funded industry-university consortium known as GRAPES (Grid-Connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems).
  • The establishment of the Institute for Public Infrastructure and Transportation led by civil engineering Professor Al Ghorbanpoor. A sharp increase in traffic accidents and deaths on Wisconsin roads is one of many problems researchers at the institute will address as they focus on improving infrastructure and transportation.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin will speak at Friday’s 12:30 p.m. lunch, addressing the importance of university-government-industry collaborations in solving some of our nation’s most pressing problems.

The conference is sponsored by Johnson Controls, We Energies Foundation, American Transmission Company and ANSYS.

Visit the MERC website for more information.

About UWM
Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 26,000 students from 89 countries on a budget of $667 million. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2017 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, as well as a top “Green College.”

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