Student Stories

Alex Ledoux

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: May 2017

View Alex’s full page for a video interview (click on his name to access full page; once on full page, press play arrow).

Alanna Thiede

Online Degree: Foundations of Professional Development

Graduating Year: Future

Alanna Thiede saw an immediate impact after taking courses to complete the online Foundations of Professional Development capstone certificate from UW-Madison. “My experiences in the leadership foundations courses have had an immediate and meaningful impact in my daily work as a manager,” Thiede said. “The tools and techniques I’ve learned have given me more direction and … Continued

Balaji Raman

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2017

Balaji Raman, a principal software engineer at General Electric, recently applied some technical presentation skills he learned while enrolled in the Master of Engineering: Engineering Management program to present a competitive analysis of GE products to his president. Raman has been with GE for 11 years and was promoted in January. He is responsible for … Continued

John Dolan

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2017

John Dolan earned a degree in Engineering Management because he wanted to continue his professional skills after having leadership experience in the U.S. Air Force. “I wanted to continually develop myself as a professional in the engineering industry,” he said. “I wanted to keep learning and growing because it had been a while since I … Continued

Lindsay Feldt

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2017

Lindsay Feldt learned leadership skills from the Engineering Management program that relaunched her career. “[This degree] started as kind of a way to prove myself,” Feldt said. “At my previous job, I wasn’t really going anywhere and it was frustrating. The program turned into personal growth and learning and how to be a leader. I … Continued

Thomas Simmons

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2017

Thomas Simmons got a degree in Engineering Management to compliment his leadership experience in the U.S. Army. “A big part of it for me was getting a piece of paper that proves that I know what I’m talking about,” Simmons said. “Now I have something that they’ll believe. I have these skills and I can … Continued

Matt Metzger

Online Degree: Sustainable Systems Engineering

Graduating Year: 2016

Matt Metzger is a civil engineer looking to apply creative methods to solve design problems. As an undergraduate, he took art courses to keep his creative thinking skills sharp. Metzger works at Barr Engineering Company, which provides engineering and environmental consulting services to clients worldwide. Metzger focuses on water resources engineering, including waterpark recirculation systems, … Continued

Derek Ferguson

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2016

The Engineering Management program taught Ferguson important management skills that he could directly apply on the job as a team leader. “Specifically, I’ve been applying the skills I learned in scheduling so that we can plan all of our departmental projects for next year. While attending these planning sessions, I have been able to make … Continued

Mitriya Puguh

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2016

While studying in the Engineering Management program, Puguh learned her strengths and weaknesses as an engineering leader and individual contributor. “The program also expanded my knowledge about other areas outside of research and development such as finance, global custom/ culture, how to communicate technical information effectively, statistical data analysis, and others…Now, I can see a problem … Continued

Sandra Villavicencio

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2016

Sandra Villavicencio learned how to deal with different people while studying in the Engineering Management program. “In my opinion, if this skill is not properly utilized, it would be very hard to be in a management position with employees who share the vision and want to be part of a team.” To balance the demands … Continued

Aaron Foege

Online Degree: Engine Systems

Graduating Year: 2016

In his Master’s of Engineering Engine Systems program (MEES), Aaron Foege was recruited by his peers to join groups creating engines for vast ocean liners, massive power plants and vintage aircraft. But Foege wanted to create something different from his day-job, his team had an idea for their master’s project that would help the engineering … Continued

Alan Thomason

Online Degree: Engine Systems

Graduating Year: 2015

Alan Thomason has worked at Ilmor Engineering, Inc., as chief engineer and then technical director. Thomason works with open wheeled auto racing and high performance offshore boats. He applied for the MEES degree after his co-worker recommended it for being a program that applied directly to his work. After completing the program, Thomason appreciated the … Continued

Steven Cechvala

Online Degree: Sustainable Systems Engineering

Graduating Year: 2014

Steven Cechvala is the president of Taiga International, LLC, a firm specializing in advanced sustainability analytics, architecture, and project management for zoos and aquariums. Cechvala said he decided to enroll in UW’s Sustainable Systems Engineering program in the fall of 2014 in order to “stay in the forefront of the design community” that is becoming … Continued

Geoffrey Goll

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2013

Goeffrey Goll, a founding partner of Princeton Hydro, credits his leadership and decision-making skills to UW-Madison’s Master of Engineering: Engineering Management program. “The program provided me with insight into management and leadership theory that I simply did not learn as an undergraduate,” Goll said.  “The program left me with an understanding of current trends in management and … Continued

Matt Hilgendorf

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2013

Matt Hilgendorf is currently leading an operations transformation as a value stream manager at Atkore International, which manufactures and distributes electrical raceway products. Recently, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) presented him with the 2018 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award. “Since graduating in 2013, I’ve been very fortunate to be sought out for several leadership … Continued

Aaron Bartel

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2010

Aaron Bartel was honored with Boeing’s Special Invention Award in 2013, just three years after he earned a Master of Engineering in Professional Practice from UW-Madison (now known as the Master of Engineering: Engineering Management program).  Bartel’s award is presented to individuals and teams whose inventions prove to be most valuable to Boeing and the future of aerospace. Bartel was … Continued

Alex Kobryn

Online Degree: Mechanical Engineering: Polymer Science

Graduating Year: 2009

Alex Kobryn thought he wouldn’t be able to earn a master’s degree and work at the same time. Kobryn graduated from UW-Madison’s Master of Engineering: Mechanical Engineering (Polymer Science) in 2009. “As a practicing engineer wanting to pursue a master’s degree but unable to take the time away from work do so, I found that … Continued

Steve Fredette

Online Degree: Electrical Engineering: Power Engineering

Graduating Year: 2009

Steve Fredette appreciated the direct application of his work in UW-Madison’s online graduate degree program to his day job. A senior project manager at Vestas Technology R&D Americas, Inc, Fredette has over 20 years of R&D and Product Development experience working with companies like United Technologies (UTRC, Hamilton Sundstrand, UTC Power) and AMSC. “The ability to … Continued

Hélène Lefort-Cornils

Online Degree: Engine Systems

Graduating Year: 2008

Without a formal background in the theory of engine components and performance, Hélène sought the MEES degree to fill in the gaps in her experience. Even though she already held a master’s degree, the MEES program provided the skills necessary to take her career to its full potential. Accelerating Her Career In 2001, Hélène Lefort-Cornils joined … Continued

Braman Wing

Online Degree: Engine Systems

Graduating Year: 2007

Braman Wing knows how important the Master of Engineering: Engine Systems degree is to his day job. “As I approach the halfway point in the MEES curriculum, the value of the program is very apparent to me,” Wing said. “The general knowledge of base engine design, emissions, and combustion has been useful in my work. … Continued

Mike Horak

Online Degree: Engine Systems

Graduating Year: 2007

Mike Horak is a powertrain director for Mercury Marine, and he earned a huge promotion shortly before graduating from UW-Madison with a Master of Engineering: Engine Systems degree in 2007. “Two weeks before I graduated I was promoted to director of an engine remanufacturing operation. I now lead a team in all aspects of development, … Continued

Tanya M. Higgins

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2006

Taking Her Career to the Next Level Tanya Higgins graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Engineering in Materials Engineering and was a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor organization. Even with this accomplished background, the MEPP program–now called Engineering Management–provided her with skills and knowledge she wouldn’t have gained otherwise. “In today’s business environment, … Continued

Neal Clements

Online Degree: Electrical Engineering: Power Engineering

Graduating Year: 2005

Neal Clements, PE, believes that education is more effective when it’s applied to real-world technologies. He earned a Master of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2005 from UW-Madison and a Ph.D in 2010. “The things I learn in the classroom often apply directly to the projects that I am designing at work. When … Continued

Tim Przybylowski, P.E., LEED A.P.

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2004

A Timely Decision As vice president of Century Engineering, Inc. and having earned several certifications, Tim Przybylowski had made the most of his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and his eight years of experience serving with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “I was approaching the 20-year mark of my professional … Continued

Brian Pearlman

Online Degree: Engineering Management

Graduating Year: 2004

Taking the Next Step With an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont, Brian Pearlman had 10 years of engineering experience, first at Westinghouse and then at MEDRAD. He knew to continue his steady climb he needed to build on his experience with an advanced degree. He had already done coursework towards … Continued

Daniel M. Saban

Online Degree: Electrical Engineering: Power Engineering

Graduating Year: 2002

Daniel Saban, PE, thought that earning a quality graduate degree online was impossible, until he started studying at UW-Madison. He earned a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2002, a Master of Science: Mechanical Engineering in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2006. “I used to think that obtaining a high quality … Continued

Chad Licht

Online Degree: Mechanical Engineering: Controls

Graduating Year: 1998

Chad Licht encountered several milestones while studying at UW-Madison, including having children, buying a new home, and changing job locations. Licht is an engine program manager for Pratt & Whitney who graduated from the MSME program in 1998. He is from North Haven, Conn. “I initially entered the program because the quality of the education … Continued

Olivia Dietzel

Olivia Dietzel is an engine and cooling design engineer at John Deere in Iowa, and recently completed the Master of Engineering: Engineering Management program. Read her story here.