Former NASA engineer appointed VP of academics at MSOE

Published on: February 7, 2017


Dr. Eric T. Baumgartner

Feb. 7, 2017 — Eric T. Baumgartner, Ph.D. has been appointed vice president of academics at Milwaukee School of Engineering effective July 15, 2017. Baumgartner comes to MSOE from Ohio Northern University where he has served as dean of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering and a mechanical engineering professor since 2006. While at ONU, he executed strategic plans and fundraising campaigns on behalf of the college, and also developed new partnerships and degree programs. He previously was a senior member of the engineering staff at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“Dr. Baumgartner brings a wealth of experience to MSOE,” said Dr. John Walz, president of MSOE. “His academic leadership and credentials along with years of experience in industry made him the ideal candidate for vice president of academics. I am excited to welcome Dr. Baumgartner to MSOE’s leadership team.”

Baumgartner also taught at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Michigan Technological University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame; a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati, a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

While at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Baumgartner held leadership roles on the Mars Science Laboratory Sample Acquisition/Sample Processing and Handling team and Mars Exploration Rover project that successfully launched, landed and operated the Curiosity, Spirit and Opportunity rovers on the surface of Mars.

“I am incredibly humbled and excited by the opportunity to serve as the next vice president of academics at Milwaukee School of Engineering. MSOE has a long-standing commitment to excellence in engineering, business and nursing education,” said Baumgartner. “I look forward to collaborating with the faculty and staff to continue the growth and development of the academic programs at MSOE so that both the institution and its graduates have a positive impact on the region and the nation.”

Baumgartner and his work have been recognized with several honors, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) Outstanding Dean Award and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Robotics and Automation Award.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,900 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 97% placement rate; and the highest ROI and average starting salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.

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