Engineering professor named KEEN community catalyst

Written by Alison Parkins on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 10:19 |
Dr. Ranen McLanahan

Dr. A.L. Ranen McLanahan, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was selected by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) as a community catalyst. McLanahan is one of only 20 faculty across the nation to serve in the current group of community catalysts.

KEEN is a nationwide network of more than 45 engineering institutions, all of which have committed to instilling an entrepreneurial mindset in 100% of their undergraduate engineering students. UW-Platteville was accepted as a partner of KEEN in 2020.

Community catalysts assist in KEEN’s mission by connecting faculty across institutions nationwide who have similar interests.

"I greatly enjoy being part of KEEN's mission," said McLanahan. "Their website connects instructors to new classroom resources and innovations. These ideas are developed by a community of fellow educators. Each time an idea is used, it enhances a new student experience somewhere in the country. Its potential for national-level impact is exciting." 

McLanahan joined UW-Platteville in 2014 as a member of the Platteville Engineering Partnerships (PEP) located at the UW-Fox Cities campus, which allows students to pursue UW-Platteville mechanical and electrical engineering degrees at a distance. McLanahan holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Washington State University. He helped found and is co-director of the Center for Device Design and Development, a center that helps Fox Valley area inventors develop their ideas into marketable products while involving students in entrepreneurship and design.

“This is wonderful recognition for Dr. McLanahan, who is a true innovator when it comes to engineering education,” said Dr. Molly Gribb, dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. “He is constantly seeking ways to better engage his students and sharing his findings with campus and other partners. This role as a KEEN community catalyst is a perfect fit.”

UW-Platteville has been educating engineers for more than 100 years, and offers seven engineering programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. UW-Platteville awarded the most mechanical and civil engineering bachelor’s degrees, and the second-highest total number of engineering bachelor’s degrees in Wisconsin in 2019, and is home to a nationally-recognized Women in STEM program. For more information, visit