Dr. John Y. Walz, MSOE president, will deliver the keynote address at STEM Forward’s 64th Annual Engineers Week Banquet at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee on Feb. 16, 2017. He will share his thoughts and vision for MSOE, STEM and community partnerships.

At the banquet, STEM Forward will honor Dr. Kristina Ropella of Marquette University as 2016 Engineer of the Year, Jared Wendt of CH2M as 2016 Young Engineer of the Year and Caterpillar Inc. as the 2017 Spirit of STEM recipient.

“These awards honor the very best local engineers, who serve as experts, educators and mentors to others,” said Rich Merkel, Executive Director of STEM Forward. “They represent professionals — from both the corporate and academic worlds — who are making significant contributions in [science, technology, engineering and math] STEM and building a pipeline of talent.

STEM Forward’s Engineer of the Year has been a tradition since the 1950s. The award is given to a remarkable person in the Milwaukee 7 community who has made an extraordinary contribution to the engineering profession. The Young Engineer of the Year recognizes an exemplary engineer under 40. The Spirit of STEM award honors businesses committed to advancing STEM education and building talent in southeastern Wisconsin.

STEM Forward is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and metro Milwaukee’s leading STEM education and outreach provider. STEM Forward’s programs, events and activities inspire local youth to pursue STEM careers and provide a pipeline of talent to businesses in southeastern Wisconsin.