A message from Marquette Engineering Opus Dean Kristina Ropella

Dear friends and partners of Marquette Engineering,

I am excited to share the third digital issue of Marquette Engineer and these inspirational stories of our Marquette engineering students, faculty, staff, alumni and collaborators. This special digest showcases how our Marquette engineers ignite curiosity and creativity to lead bold change.

As we celebrate the successes of our engineering community in 2024, it is also important to recognize the tragic loss of a great Marquette engineer, educator, innovator and leader: President Michael Lovell. As many of you know, President Lovell passed away on June 9 while in Rome for a Jesuit formation pilgrimage. While we continue to grieve in our own ways, we also celebrate and honor his tremendous spirit and legacy at Marquette and beyond. President Lovell inspired thousands of Marquette engineers to rise as servant leaders and innovators. Together, we honor him with the work we lead for others.

In May, President Lovell and our entire campus community congratulated our latest Marquette engineering graduates, wishing them well as they enter new arenas to use their engineering skill sets and Ignatian mindsets to Be The Difference for others. Commencement weekend is a major milestone and moment of celebration, but for our faculty and staff, we wake up the next day ready to continue our work and live out our mission. Even for graduates, the fanfare is eventually replaced by the anticipation and execution of their next challenge, project or opportunity. Without undermining the importance of graduation, I remind you that there is no end point to engineering education in the Jesuit tradition.

Every member of our Marquette engineering community has the duty to be a learner and a teacher every day of our journey.

In the Opus College, we are exploring how to best support professionals in need of continued professional development, skill building and meaningful lifelong learning. I am pleased that this has generated new programs and experiences across disciplines, including a custom corporate partnership that you will read more about in this digest of stories. We are also discovering that many people are seeking community in learning, wanting to grow alongside others and blend the roles of student, teacher and peer. I challenge you, our reader, to reflect on your commitment to lifelong learning and where it stands today.

Learning and teaching are not isolated to traditional classrooms and programs but are a part of all the work we lead at Marquette and beyond. In our engineering research, for example, we are learning every day through experimentation, collaboration within and between labs, and engagement with and attention to our wider fields. Our faculty experts also design research cultures that intentionally promote mentorship and learning, welcoming students and younger researchers into the team environment. Among this digest’s stories, you will also see an example of how our research explores new knowledge alongside community members.

As I reflect on the continuous flow of teaching and learning, I am reminded that engineering and non-engineering topics should be similarly interconnected and undivided. We may be proud to be engineers, but we are all so much more. We encourage our students to explore their diverse interests and to embrace their unique strengths and experiences. This improves our work as engineers, but more importantly, it allows us to be our best selves in our communities. At Marquette, we share this as the Ignatian principle of cura personalis, or “care for the whole person.” I see stories of this every day and am proud to share just one example in this digest of one of our student athletes who has had a remarkable journey of leadership at Marquette.

Please join me in celebrating these stories and supporting our Ignatian-inspired engineers! I hope that they may inspire you to renew your commitment to teaching, learning and serving every day. It is our duty to do this, and our opportunity to show gratitude to the engineers who came before us and who are no longer with us.

With gratitude,

Dr. Kristina Ropella
Opus Dean
Opus College of Engineering

Engineer Digital - Opus College of Engineering