MSOE’s newest leader knows how to drive robots – on Mars.
His career has gone from Mars to Milwaukee.
THE MILWAUKEE School of Engineering’s new vice president of academics, Eric Baumgartner, includes on his resume a decade at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the storied spaceship-design center (small city, really) in the hills near Pasadena, Calif. – and the colorful camp of tech wizards portrayed in The Martian. As a senior engineer, Baumgartner was involved in developing a series of increasingly complex Martian rovers, peaking with the Curiosity Rover, which could (still can) scoop up chunks of Martian ground and examine them with sophisticated instruments. Baumgartner leaves a longtime job at Ohio Northern University to become chief academic officer at MSOE, bringing along an impressive background that will help in both guiding technology-related programs and wooing potential donors.