MSOE’s new­est leader knows how to drive ro­bots – on Mars.

Milwaukee Magazine - - Content - - MATT HRODEY

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.

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