The local metalcasting industry needs UWM.
That was the main message when Pradeep Rohatgi, State of Wisconsin and UWM Distinguished Professor, and Dean Brett Peters welcomed industry leaders and students to an AFS-FEF pizza party on Nov. 30. The event drew about 40 faculty and staff members, students, and IAB representatives including those representing Industrial Reuse Brokers, Maynard Steel, SinterCast, Finite Solutions and Schuster Metals. Also on hand was Danielle Jones, director, sector strategy development, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
Addressing the group, the executive director of the Foundry Educational Foundation, Brian Lewis stressed the growing need throughout the metalcasting industry for college graduates. “The demand for talent is becoming an issue,” he said. “FEF supports programs like the one at UWM because they are essential to industry.” Industry representatives echoed Lewis’s statement regarding the short supply of new and talented graduates to the field.
A highlight of the meeting was recognition of Kevin Slezak, senior, materials science & engineering, who received the $2,500 FEF’s Bill Sorenson Scholarship in November at FEF’s College Industry Conference, held in Chicago. (Slezak is pictured, right, with Swaroop Behera, doctoral student, materials science & engineering, who received a FEF scholarship last year.)
The College of Engineering & Applied Science is a major resource of talented graduates for the foundry industry, in large part because of FEF accreditation.
In addition to providing student scholarships, FEF supports foundry education in the college by providing course feedback and helping to create labs.
Graduates have consistently and readily found jobs with companies including Boeing, General Motors, Grede, Kohler, MetalTek International, Neenah Foundry, Nemak, Signicast, Waukesha Foundry, and Waupaca Foundry.
Since 1996, Rohatgi has served as FEF’s key professor at UWM, where he has built world leadership in foundry produced advanced materials for transportation, energy conservation, water and biomedical applications.