International Projects

Panama – Global Brigades

Dr. Carlson-Oehlers and Dr. Jung led 30 students on a medical service trip with Global Brigades to Panama during the break between winter and spring terms. While in Panama, the students assisted Panamanian doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professions with a variety of administrative and logistical tasks that allowed them to serve 202 patients over the course of three days. The students raised over $6000 over the past year in order to purchase medical supplies for the trip.

Jamaica – Blue Mountain Project 1

Professor Nelson lead electrical engineering student, Paul Hausch, to the Blue Mountain Region of Jamaica for the first of two trips that will ultimately create three computer labs in local schools and provide a more sustainable method to distribute clean water to this remote area of Jamaica.

Engineers Without Borders – Planning for Elementary School in Chitom, Joyabaj

Three current MSOE students along with Professor Davis traveled to Guatemala to survey for a potential school. The schoolhouse construction plans have recently been approved by EWB. A team of MSOE students and faculty will kick off the construction process in late February of 2015.

Bafut Cameroon, Africa – St. Joseph’s Comprehensive High School

A group of MSOE and Alverno students traveled to Cameroon this past summer as a follow-up trip to a previously installed computer lab at St. Joseph’s Comprehensive High School (SJCHS). While there they installed additional computers, and worked with the St. Theresa Health Center. The team also worked on a farming project that raises food and livestock to feed the students at the school and patients at the rehabilitation center.

Engineers Without Borders – Survey Right of Way for New Water Pipeline

Two MSOE students, under direction of Professor Gonwa traveled to Guatemala this past summer to design a pipeline and distribution system. The pipeline and distribution system will be constructed with funds from Wisconsin Water for the World.

Engineers Without Borders – Planning for Footbridge at Salitre, Joyabaj

Three students traveled to Guatemala over Thanksgiving break along with Professor Stahl and some professional engineer mentors. The students performed soil testing and surveying for a cable-supported pedestrian bridge that will bring farmers from Salitre to the regional market at Joyabaj. The students and community will construct the bridge in June of 2015.

Domestic Projects

Empty Bowls

This year Empty Bowls of Milwaukee held their community event at MSOE’s Kern Center for the second year. This event took a tremendous about of coordination to make successful. Over 70 MSOE students volunteered their time planning, organizing, promoting, and supervising other volunteers at the event. This year over 2,000 bowls were sold and over $50,000 was raised to fight hunger in Milwaukee.

Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat

The Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management (CAECM) Department established a relationship with Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat in 2006. Since then, students participate in an annual clean-up and build events to improve the infrastructure of the camp to better serve those in need. This past year, the student group organized both a Spring and Fall Clean-up event that gave dozens of students the opportunity to spend a day in Newburg, WI maintaining the grounds and conducting repairs to the deck built by MSOE in previous years.

United Way Season of Caring

MSOE participated in this year’s Season of Caring for the United Way of Milwaukee. Student volunteers helped sort and organize thousands of books for the Literacy Services of Wisconsin fundraiser book sale at Grand Avenue Mall. Another group of student volunteers helped at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee Fall Celebration event where they helped Big Brothers Big Sisters’ kids and families “celebrate fall” with a fun evening of games, activities, and a healthy meal.

Kayla’s Krew

This year we established a relationship with Kayla’s Krew in Franklin. Kayla’s Krew is trying to build an all-accesssible playground for the community in memory of Kayla Runte, a young girl who lost her battle with cerebral palsy in 2012. We have a team of core students at MSOE who meet weekly to help with many areas of the planning – fundraising, promotion, project management, and design.

Kente Ceremony

A total of six students were honored at this year’s Kente Ceremony in fall. This is an annual event that is co-sponsored by the Office of Servant-Leadership to honor the accomplishments of African American graduates at MSOE. Friends and family are invited to this important event.

SHARP Literacy Event

The Office of Servant-Leadership at MSOE sponsored a table to give students and faculty who collaborated with SHARP Literacy throughout the year an opportunity to share experiences and celebrate their successes. The event included a social hour, lunch and presentation by LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow.

Ronald McDonald House

Once a month a group of students bring and prepare a meal for the families staying at the Milwaukee Ronald McDonald House. This ongoing Servant Leadership activity is a great example of how the Milwaukee community benefits from the service of our students.

Our Next Generation Tutoring

Throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, the American Society of Engineering Education helped organize tutoring for school age children on campus once a week. Approximately a dozen MSOE students tutor these students from Our Next Generation. These young children will likely be first-generation college bound and this is just one step along the way.

North Carolina Habitat for Humanity Trip

The 25th anniversary collegiate challenge brought 100 college students from across the country to Winston Salem, NC. Ten of these students are from MSOE. We worked on four new homes under construction with the local affiliate as well as learning about the history of collegiate challenge and getting to know other students with similar passions.

Tennessee Habitat for Humanity Trip

Nine students headed to Oak Ridge, Tennessee to work on A Brush With Kindness. This program is a helping hand for families in homes that need some work to be considered safe. The projects include, but are not limited to: porch building, house painting, stair rehab, and flooring.

Alabama Habitat for Humanity Trip

Thirteen students went to Brewton, AL for the break between winter and spring quarter. The students worked on new construction and rehabilitation projects with the local affiliate in Alabama.

Michigan Habitat for Humanity Trip

Fourteen students traveled to Grand Rapids, MI. While this is one of the two cities out of the red in Michigan there is still poverty. They will be working with local affiliates to better the Grand Rapid’s community.

Open Source Ecology

CAECM student, Samantha Wallace, organized the presentation of TED Follow, Marcin Jakubowski to over 75 students, faculty and staff. Open Source Ecology is a non-profit whose goal is to create a Global Village Construction Set. Similar to Habitat for Humanity they are providing housing and tools to developing countries. Although instead of building houses and tools for the underprivileged they are building blueprints and engineering design files for anyone in the world to build low-cost machinery, houses, farming equipment and more.

Smoothie Sampling

Nursing student, Alexander Folz, organized an event to educate our students about the importance of good nutrition (especially during final’s week). Student volunteers made and distributed over 100 smoothie samples in the CC during Monday of final’s week winter term.

Animal Stress Relief Clinic

Mechanical engineering student, Jonathan Kuderer, organized a stress relief clinic during final’s week of winter term to allow students an opportunity to interact with dogs and cats at Grace Lutheran Church.

SMT Demo Site

The Service Management Tool (SMT) is a project management web application that guides users through a four step approach to servant leadership projects. The process involves observing a problem, thinking about solutions, doing something, and reflecting on if the action to solve the problem was successful.

Sam’s Hope

Our Student Athletic Association led and organized a Scholastic Book Fair to donate books to Sam’s Hope Literacy Foundation. This year, over 30 student athletes volunteered with the leadership of two students to raise nearly $350 to purchase books for school age children in Milwaukee.

Respite Event

This event enables MSOE students to spend the day with kids who spend a great deal of time at the Children’s Hospital. The parents of the children get the opportunity to take an afternoon off and rest. Meanwhile, MSOE students receive the educational and interpersonal opportunity to interact with kids with extreme mental and physical challenges. Both the student leaders and volunteers get so much out of participating in the service activity that is organized by servant leaders.

NASA Lunabotics Senior Design Outreach

A senior design team currently working with robotics reached out to the Notre Dame Middle School robotics program and invited them to participate in a learning experience. The girls learned about the robotics the team has been building and participated in a few activities with the team acting as mentors.

Christmas on Campus

Christmas on Campus has become an annual MSOE event. Children from Our Next Generation, an inner-city after school program, come to MSOE and participate in crafts and fun Christmas activities with student volunteers.

Hat and Mitten Tree

The MSOE Residence Halls had a hat and mitten tree where students donated their unwanted winter gear. The collection was very successful. Over 340 items were collected for donation and all of the items were donated to Our Next Generation which is an inner-city after school program.

Bike to MSOE Day

A group of two students and two faculty members who love to bike to MSOE throughout the year thought that it would be fun to organize an event to promote this healthy mode of travel throughout campus. It included a rally ride to the lakefront and BBQ dinner on campus afterwards. Wheel and Sprocket attended and offered discounted tune-ups to students and discounted helmet sales to promote safety. Hopefully this will become an annual event at MSOE to build community and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Project Management Projects

Trash Mob

A group of Civil Engineering students in Leading Project Teams planned a campus “spring cleaning” event. After the winter season is over the area is always really dirty and could use some cleaning. Students formed teams to see who could collect the most trash around campus in 30 minutes. This was a fun event that really helped make our campus more beautiful.

YMCA Sponsor A Scholar Program

The Sponsor-A-Scholar program currently needs laptops and computer software for the tutoring program. Tutoring is held Monday-Wednesday’s in the MSOE Kern Center. Currently only two laptops are available for students. The students write papers, research topics, look up definitions and use a math program called ALEKS. However, due to only having two laptops the students have to take turns and are unable to work on all of their homework that requires a computer. The goal of this project is to acquire enough laptops for many more students to have access as well as the necessary software and a printer.

All Peoples Church

This project focuses on the renovation of some of their classrooms. The purposes of these rooms are spaces for tutoring, dance, meeting spaces, and the hub for their indoor gardening program. The goal of the project is to repair damages and utilize the rooms for multipurpose initiatives.

Repairers of the Breach / Medical Services Clinic

This is the area’s only daytime shelter and resource for the homeless. The medical clinic offers health services for the homeless given by volunteer medical professions as well as medical and nursing student interns. The new clinic designed in part by an MSOE IE grad has seen significant grown since opening. The clinic now desperately needs additional storage for donated medical supplies.

Safe Babies Healthy Families

The goal of this organization is breaking the cycle of child abuse, neglect and poverty. The organization is requesting IT/ technical support o increase their financial base of support with easy to use mobile and social media tools.

Unity in Motion

Unity in Motion partners with Milwaukee schools and provides services to the students. The program is offered at no cost to participants who perform community service. This organization wants help with a computer lab that they have currently set up at All People’s Church. They want to set up more computers, make the configuration wireless, and update the whole system. They serve 150 youth each school year and 80 youth each summer that will all benefit from these improvements.

Dominican Center for Women

This organization’s purpose is to maintain and enhance a beautiful, stable, healthy and safe neighborhood consisting of community-minded residents striving to be meaningfully educated and employed. They have asked project management students to review and recommend improvements to the telecommunications within the building. These improvements will benefit employees of the center and those in the community that they serve.

Starting Point of Ozaukee

The Starting Point of Ozaukee is a comprehensive drug and alcohol resource center by providing prevention, education, intervention and assessments. They would like to develop a video that illustrates training tips for volunteers serving alcohol at local festivals and fundraisers. These volunteers have little to no training and should be reminded tips about checking IDs and not serving intoxicated customers.

Center for Communication, Hearing, and Deafness

This non-profit’s purpose is to help infants, children, and adults reach their full potential by eliminating communication and language barriers. They are looking for a comprehensive plan to remodel the primary public spaces at the West Allis facility. They would like to remodel the lobby, waiting area and boardroom, update internet infrastructure, and enhance accessibility for visitors and clients with disabilities.

Our Next Generation

ONG focuses on helping inner city children develop essential academic, interpersonal and life skills. They have a food pantry that is used to serve a nightly meal to about 100 youth. They would like to have the pantry redesigned to allow enough food and equipment storage space. They also would like an inventory resulting in a more efficient use of in-stock food. The lack of organization has accounted for food loss due to visibility issues or poor storage. The children will also benefit from a wider variety of menu options.

Next Door Foundation

Next Door provides comprehensive early childhood education to children in Milwaukee’s central city. Next Door believes that storytelling and fantasy play can significantly impact a child’s academic and social growth. The goal of this project is to help close the gap that separates poor children from their middle class peers. They want the children they serve to start elementary school ready to learn. They want a high quality, usable space that will provide wonderful, creative experiences for the children they serve to play, imagine and learn.

Sharp Literacy

SHARP hopes to engage project management students during the spring semester to build and program the 3D model that was previously designed by MSOE students. The weather cube is based on SHARP’s 11th We Love to Learn book. The model will serve 1500 second grade students attending Milwaukee schools. They will all benefit greatly from the innovative project to learn about fresh water resources and how weather patterns affect life.


The goal of this project is to construct a community garden in a partnership with Growing Power to offer hands on training, on-site installation, outreach and assistance building a community system to help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner.

Family Enrichment Center of Ozaukee

This project includes designing an outdoor recreation area that can be built in phases by volunteer groups. The final design will include picnic shelters with storage area and a playground area with surrounding privacy hedges. Many people would benefit from the use of this area.

Sound Garden

This project combines technology, art and ecology to create a deepened sense of time and place in the urban environment. Participants will use low-cost physical computing platforms to monitor and stream in real-time sensory data from an urban garden. Data outputs will include ambient temperature, soil moisture levels, barometric readings and other variables. The goal is to give students and other participants the means of exploring the urban environment while recognizing the ecology of particular systems.

Brady Grant Celebration

The goal of this project is to coordinate a gathering to celebrate with all of the community partners that benefited from the partnership between MSOE and the Brady Foundation during the past three years. Participants from Brady Corporation, MSOE and the community partners will be invited. All current students and past student participants will celebrate and share stories and project posters.