Originally published February 23, 2012

More than 50 undergraduate and graduate students in engineering majors, the Rader School of Business and the School of Nursing will receive their bachelor’s or master’s degrees at Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) Winter Commencement, Saturday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m. at the Kern Center.

The ceremony will feature a keynote address from Charles F. James, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., MSOE Corporation member and former MSOE vice president of academics. Dr. James also will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree.

Joseph R. Blanchard is the class respondent. Blanchard is graduating with high honors and will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems. Brent Wiedenfeld, who is graduating with honors and will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, will receive the Alumni Association Award. The award which is given to a student who has made time in his or her hectic schedule to serve as a leader in university and community activities in addition to achieving academic excellence. Recipients are first nominated by faculty members in their respective academic departments and then the entire graduating class selects from among its peers the student who is most deserving of this prestigious award.

About Dr. James:
Dr. James joined MSOE in 1995 as the vice president of academics and served in that position until his retirement in 2000. Since 2001, he has been an MSOE Corporation member. James holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, master’s degree in industrial engineering and Ph.D. in engineering, all from Purdue University.

When James joined MSOE he had in excess of 35 years of professional experience. This included national and international activity in industrial and academic engineering (research, consulting, and academic administration plus arbitration of labor-management disputes). He held several positions in Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers including president of the Milwaukee Chapter. He received the Outstanding Educators of America Award, Eminent Engineer Award from Tau Beta Pi, Silver Medal from Technical University of Budapest and State of Wisconsin Outstanding Professional Engineer in Education Award. He is past-president of Engineers and Scientists of Milwaukee (now known as STEM Forward). He holds life membership in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and has held numerous positions in American Society of Engineering Education.

As dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UW-Milwaukee, James negotiated and signed collaborative agreements between UWM and universities in China, Hungary, Czech Republic, Egypt, Mexico, England and Scotland.

James was the C. Paul Stocker Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Ohio University in 1982-83. He also served in faculty positions at University of Rhode Island (chairman of industrial engineering), University of Massachusetts, Purdue University and Massey University (New Zealand).

He was a senior engineer at McDonnell Aircraft and has served as a consultant to numerous educational institutions, companies and organizations both in the United States and abroad. James was well-known for his business, education and community involvement in the Milwaukee area. He served 16 years on the Board of Directors of Badger Meter Inc. in Milwaukee.

James is a Registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin and retains his membership in Institute of Industrial Engineers. He is also still active as an FMCS arbitrator. He is listed in current editions of “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the World” and was listed in approximately 15 other listing services.

James, with co-investigators, is responsible for significant research accomplishments in metal cutting tools and in robotics research, both at University of Rhode Island where he was co-founder of the Robotics Research Center. He spent several months in India as consultant for Asian Productivity Organization (Japan), providing extensive manufacturing assistance to five major Indian industries and also gave several lectures on operations research and other areas.

James and his wife Mollie now reside in Excelsior Springs, Mo. They have an adult daughter and two adult sons plus seven grandchildren. They enjoy a wide variety of animals on their small Missouri farm.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with 2,500 students. MSOE offers 18 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in the engineering, engineering technology, building and infrastructure engineering, health-related engineering, computer, business and nursing fields. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; extremely high placement rates; and the highest starting salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.