EPod – An Engineering Podcast

A podcast focused on big ideas in engineering and the people behind them.

Welcome to Epod, where we interview some of the brightest minds in engineering and talk about exciting ideas at the forefront of the field. Each episode features subject matter experts affiliated with UW-Madison Interdisciplinary Professional Programs—an office of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering.

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Episode 8: Ian McIntosh on Professional Development and Employee Retention
August 16th, 2022
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On this episode, Justin Kyle Bush talks with Ian McIntosh, who is a program director for UW-Madison, Office of Interdisciplinary Professional Programs (InterPro). He joined the InterPro Facilities and Building Systems team in December 2020 after being a frequent lecturer and course developer for the previous 20 years. Ian completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Solar Energy lab right here at UW-Madison. In this interview, he talks about the difference between open enrollment and custom courses, why professional development is important for retention and onboarding employees today, and his passion for project management.

Episode 7: Ernest Nicolas on Supply Chain Resilience, Lifelong Learning, and DEI
February 7th, 2022
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On this episode, Rebecca Jamieson talks with Ernest Nicolas, the senior vice president and chief supply chain officer for Rockwell Automation. Ernest speaks about how his many connections across UW-Madison contributed to his professional success, the value of lifelong learning, and the urgent need for the fields of engineering and the supply chain to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Episode 6: Jeff Linderoth on Design Optimization
January 3rd, 2022
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On this episode, Susan Ottmann talks with Dr. Jeff Linderoth from the Department of Industrial Systems and Engineering about engineering data analytics and design optimization. Jeff discusses the fundamentals of optimization and how it fits into a variety of applications with global implications.

Episode 5: Craig Lee on Technical Project Management
December 13th, 2021
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On this episode, Susan Ottmann talks with Craig Lee—a Principal Group Engineering Manager with Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. Craig completed his Master of Engineering in Engineering Management right here at UW-Madison. In this interview, he provides insights into his learnings from the MEM program, the Technical Project Management course where he serves as a thought-leader, and his experience as a leader at Microsoft.

Episode 4: Theresa Pelkey—An Alumna’s Perspective on Manufacturing Systems Engineering
December 6th, 2021
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On this episode, Justin Kyle Bush talks to Theresa Pelkey, the Manufacturing and Project Engineering Director at Kite Hill. Theresa received a bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering and a master’s in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from UW-Madison. She discusses her personal and professional development and the challenges of working, studying and being a parent. She also talks about her experience in the MSE program and gives advice for those who are thinking about continuing their education—whether through a degree or professional development.

Episode 3: Dan Negrut on Simulation and Modeling
November 15th, 2021
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On this episode, Susan Ottmann talks to Dr. Dan Negrut from the UW-Madison Mechanical Engineering department about his course Computing Concepts for Applications in Engineering, the field of big data and how simulation and modeling fits into the field of data analytics. 

Episode 2: Tony Orzechowski on Data and Analytics
October 25th, 2021
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On this episode, Susan Ottmann talks to Tony Orzechowski from Abbott Diagnostics R&D Data Analytics organization about how he got started in Data Analytics and why it’s important for engineers today. 

Episode 1: Barry Van Veen on Machine Learning
October 4th, 2021
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On this episode, Susan Ottmann talks to Dr. Barry Van Veen from UW-Madison’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department about machine learning and why it’s important for engineers focused on data. Barry also discusses the engineering perspective on data science and data analytics versus a computer science view, as well as why signal processing is such a hot area of study today.

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Your Hosts

Justin Kyle BushJustin Kyle Bush is the graduate academic advisor for Manufacturing Systems Engineering (MSE), Engineering Data Analytics (MEDA), and Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE). In his role he supports all aspects of the student life cycle which may include: recruitment, admissions, new student orientation, academic advising, monitoring of progress towards the degree, course and enrollment management, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, funding, course and/or program assessment, and academic program review. As a first-generation college student (Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Education with a Higher Education Administration concentration), he loves helping students accomplish the big step of applying for a master’s degree.

Susan OttmannSusan Ottmann is a graduate program director for Engineering Professional Development, in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined UW-Madison in October 2015. She teaches courses in technical leadership and technical project management for both credit and professional development programs. Susan has more than 25 years of industrial engineering experience in multiple engineering, marketing, manufacturing and leadership roles for a number of multinational companies. In the 10 years prior to joining UW-Madison, she led global business for Danaher and Thermo Fisher Scientific. In these roles she was responsible for teams in North America, Europe, and Asia.