Devin Berg
Devin Berg helped with a humanitarian bridge project
in La Conga, Panama, to improve residents' health care and education.

What's new in your field? 

As famous engineer and Jet Propulsion Laboratory co-founder Theodore von Kármán said, "Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been." The broad field of engineering is constantly evolving. Engineers take lessons learned in the sciences and apply them to solve problems or make existing solutions more efficient and safer. Every time is an exciting time to be an engineer. There are many advances happening today. I am particularly excited about the application of robotics to the medical practice and finding new ways to help economically disadvantaged populations through engineering.

Why do you love teaching, especially at UW-Stout? 

Teaching engineering at UW-Stout gives me the opportunity to educate and also learn from some of the best students in the country. The diversity of backgrounds that my students bring to the university make every day a unique endeavor. So many of my students have experience in areas that I do not, and this allows me to grow both as an educator and as an engineer. I greatly appreciate their partnership in the learning process.

What's your favorite teaching memory, moment or student? 

In the engineering and technology department, our programs' capstone experience involves the culmination of an engineering education through the use of all those skills to solve a real world design problem. I had the privilege of advising a project involving the design of a traction device for wheelchairs. The students I worked with took the rough idea that I presented to them and really made it their own. In the end, they produced a design that was much more elegant than anything I had come up with. Their successes with that project were completely due to their own creativity. That was really rewarding to watch.

What's interesting about you that your students might not know? 

I'm really good at making up song lyrics on the spot for almost any topic. Unfortunately, these songs are not what most people would consider "good."

If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why? 

This is a difficult question. There are so many early engineers, such as Archimedes or al-Jazari, who did amazing things without the tools we have available to us today. I'd love to talk to them about how they came up with their ideas. Though I'd probably choose Leonardo da Vinci. His ability to blend art and engineering is very inspiring. Though not all of his inventions work or are even practical, they are amazing in their breadth and innovation.

Five Questions

About Devin

» Faculty Profile

Title: Assistant professor of engineering and technology, program director for manufacturing engineering and for mechanical engineering

Teaching focus, expertise: Engineering mechanics and engineering design

Research interests: The use of robotics for advanced surgical procedures

Background: Grew up in Altoona, Wis., and earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison. Moved to Minneapolis and earned a master's and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Began teaching at UW-Stout in 2012.

Family, hobbies: Resident of Menomonie since 2012, with his wife and daughter. They enjoy doing things outside with their two dogs and traveling as much as possible.

May 2015