Hamann named executive director of the Connected Systems Institute at UWM

Joe Hamann, an engineering and technology leader with diverse experience across the value chain, has been named executive director of the Connected Systems Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

In this role, Hamann will partner with Wisconsin industries with the goal of creating the workforce of the future in advanced manufacturing.

“I’m fascinated with everything that is industry 4.0,” Hamann said. “And I’m anxious to have the opportunity to transfer innovation in advanced manufacturing to industry. When I think about my career, the one common theme – and my biggest passion – is making people stronger.”

Launched in 2017, the Connected Systems Institute brings together UWM faculty and student researchers and industry members to develop advanced manufacturing processes using the testbed production line at an 11,000-square-feet facility on the UWM campus.

The term connected systems refers to the use of artificial intelligence, automated robotics and streaming data on the Industrial Internet of Things to improve factory efficiencies and inform strategic decision making.

Support for the executive director position was provided by the institute’s founding partner, Rockwell Automation.

“We are thrilled to partner with UWM to bring Dr. Hamann to the institute,” said Kyle Crum, Rockwell Automation’s director of advanced technology. “His skills, experience and passion will be an asset for the entire industry. We’re looking forward to continued collaboration.”

Hamann, with educational background in materials engineering, comes to the position with 17 years of experience. He has held roles of increasing responsibility across R&D and engineering, most recently serving as senior director of engineering for the Industrial Components Division at Regal Rexnord.

While at Regal Rexnord, Hamann initiated the introduction of additive manufacturing and developed the company’s early-career engineering leadership development program.

More recently his experience evolved into global engineering team leadership, with responsibilities spanning innovation, continuous process improvement and sustaining engineering, which ensures maintenance and continued operation of a system.

A Milwaukee native, Hamann earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in materials engineering at UW-Madison and a master’s in business administration at UWM.

Under his leadership, Hamann said, the Connected Systems Institute will work with industry to help identify problems that advanced manufacturing can solve and provide training to prepare their workforce for the rapid acceleration of advanced manufacturing technology.

“Many of these companies are poised to recognize the existing improvement opportunities that could be addressed with the tools from CSI,” he said, “These are tools that will have the greatest effect on improvement and efficiency across the operation.”

In addition to Rockwell Automation, CSI has received significant support from Microsoft Corp., and there are five other industry members of CSI – Fortinet, UScellular, Brady Corp., Heartland Business Systems and Revere Electric. Another 10 companies are collaborators on various projects at the institute.

For more information, contact Casey O’Brien at caseyo@uwm.edu, or 414-251-8767.