Milwaukee Engineer Valentines who tied the knot

man proposing to woman
Silas Petrie proposed to Lianna Hawi, both alums, in 2018.

Students come to college for their degree but leave with more than that. With so many people to meet in college, it’s not surprising that many lifelong relationships are formed. And, for some, that included finding “the one.” In honor of Valentine’s Day, we present four stories of couples who found true love at the College of Engineering & Applied Science and started their lives together.

Lianna Hawi and Silas Petrie

Lianna Hawi met Silas Petrie in the fall of 2014 and the couple went on their first date to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Four years later, the museum was the site where Silas proposed.

Both majored in mechanical engineering, with Lianna finishing her degree in December of 2017 and Silas in May of 2018. The wedding was in August 2019. Today, they live in South Milwaukee and navigate busy careers: Silas is a patent engineer at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP and Lianna is a project manager at Rockwell Automation.

Ryan and Dora Stelse

Dora (Richardson) and Ryan Stelse

The Stelses found true love in a familiar spot in the EMS building.

“Our love story began in April 2019 when we met in the computer lab,” said Dora (’20 BS, Industrial Engineering). From that moment, she and future hubby Ryan (’20 BS, Mechanical Engineering) spent countless hours working on homework side by side in the third-floor computer lab.

In January of 2021, the pair wore their UWM gear for their engagement photo shoot. Fast forward to now, the couple is expecting a baby boy in May.

David and Megan Leckman

David and Megan (Dittman) Leckman

The Leckmans met in the fall of 2003 when David was in the mechanical engineering graduate program and Megan was finishing her undergraduate degree in art. David’s research office was just down the hall from the college’s advising office, where Megan was a student worker, and she caught his eye.

They got married in November 2005 and today have three amazing kids and live in Naperville, Illinois. “We’ve built a wonderful life together and it all started in the College of Engineering & Applied Science,” said Megan.

Kristy and Andy Graettinger in the ’90s

Andy and Kristy (Maas) Graettinger

They met in an engineering study group in the Spring of 1991. Kristy was impressed with how Andy could explain the engineering topics. Andy was impressed at how Kristy consistently scored better than him on exams. 

Following graduation in 1994, they were married in 1995 and both went on to receive graduate degrees at Northwestern University. After seven years as a practicing engineer, Kristy changed careers and is now a physician at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Andy returned to his alma mater and is the Associate Dean for Research in the college.

Did you meet your partner at the College of Engineering & Applied Science? Share your story with us at!