Marquette University’s Opus College of Engineering College of Business Administration have joined Milwaukee-based manufacturer to develop an immersive, four-week experience to give early career engineers business fundamentals.
The new program, Bridge to Business for Engineers, is being launched through a $1 million gift from Rexnord.
“Rexnord is making an excellent investment in our region’s future,” said Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell. “From my work with Milwaukee corporate leaders and young professionals, I know this program will have great value for all involved — including our university’s engineering and business faculty and staff.”
“We are excited to partner with Marquette University on an initiative that provides engineering students with valuable cross-disciplinary skills,” said Todd Adams, president and CEO of Rexnord. “We see great value in an engineering program that provides a solid technical background supplemented with broader business knowledge. This skill set will set graduates apart in the workplace.”
Bridge to Business is a concept that has been “bubbling up for years,” according to Dr. Brian Till, Keyes Dean of Business Administration.
“What we’ve heard from businesses that employ engineering majors,” Till said, “Is that these graduates are very competent engineers, but they don’t have enough appreciation for the business side.”
“As engineers advance in their careers, their leadership of major projects and new ventures is greatly influenced by their business acumen and their ability to see how innovation and technology development fit into the bigger picture,” added Dr. Kris Ropella, Opus Dean of Engineering.
Dr. Kristina Ropella, interim Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering, has been named the next Opus Dean, President Michael R. Lovell announced today. She will assume the permanent role on July 1.
“Dr. Ropella is a renowned scholar, researcher and administrator who will bring to her new role a fine understanding of our business community,” President Lovell said. “Her great passion for Marquette – developed over 25 years on our faculty and even earlier while earning a Marquette bachelor’s degree – will further strengthen our university in the years to come.”
Ropella joined the biomedical engineering faculty at Marquette in 1990 and served as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering from 2004 to 2013, when she was named the executive associate dean for the college. She is recognized internationally for her research and teaching expertise in biosignal processing and medical imaging for diagnostic medical devices. She has long-standing research collaborations with neuroscientists and physicians at the Medical College of Wisconsin to develop clinical applications of functional magnetic resonance imaging. She also partners extensively with industry to support innovative educational programs.
Ropella has twice received the college’s Outstanding Teacher Award, the university Robert and Mary Gettel Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, and she was named the Wisconsin U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support for Education. Among other honors, she was the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 and Women of Influence awards.
A fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Ropella recently served on its board of directors. She received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Marquette University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University.