Partnership in nationwide engineering network to bring new opportunities

Written by Alison Parkins on |
KEEN conference
Dr. Jodi Prosise, chair of mechanical engineering; Dr. Molly Gribb, dean of the College of EMS; Dr. Gretchen Bohnhoff, civil and environmental engineering professor; and Dr. Jessica Fick, mechanical engineering professor (pictured left to right) attended the KEEN annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, last January.
KEEN visit with faculty
Jennifer Young, program director in the Kern Family Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Engineering team (far left, first row) interacted with EMS faculty and staff in December 2019 as part of the required site visit to become a partner in KEEN.

Building on its tradition of offering active, hands-on and problem-based learning, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science recently affirmed its place as a leader in engineering education with its acceptance as a partner in the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN).

KEEN is a nationwide network of more than 45 engineering institutions, all of which have committed to instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in 100% of their undergraduate engineering students. By championing the entrepreneurial mindset, UW-Platteville engineering students will be better equipped to solve today’s grand challenges and build a better world for tomorrow. UW-Platteville’s participation in KEEN also supports professional development of faculty and staff by providing additional opportunities for collaboration and sharing with the other partner institutions.

Dr. Jodi Prosise, mechanical and industrial engineering chair, and Dr. Jessica Fick, mechanical engineering professor and Senior Design coordinator, led efforts to make this a reality for campus, in conjunction with the campus KEEN leadership team including Dr. Philip Parker, Dr. Gretchen Bohnhoff, Dr. Ranen McLanahan, Dr. Kyle Horne, and Dr. Anne-Marie Lerner.

“We are truly thrilled to be a part of KEEN,” said Dr. Molly Gribb, dean of the College of EMS. “As a major supplier of engineering talent for Wisconsin and the tri-state area, our partnership, and the changes in curriculum that will follow, will enhance the career readiness of our graduates and their ability to contribute from the first day on the job. None of this would have happened without the leadership of Dr. Prosise and Dr. Fick, along with the engagement of a large cadre of faculty and staff from all of the engineering disciplines. I know we will be better for this association, and our contributions to the Network will bring value to the other partners.”

“We are very excited to have UW-Platteville join KEEN as a partner,” said Jennifer Young, program director at KEEN. “Their enthusiasm and drive in bringing entrepreneurially-minded learning to campus highlights the level of importance faculty place on creating opportunities for students to excel and flourish. Through numerous faculty development initiatives, including their monthly Teaching with Impact symposia, UW-Platteville engineering faculty share tools, tips and techniques with each other, designed to achieve their common goal of empowering students to excel and get prepared for the working world. We look forward to seeing this strong engineering program get even stronger – as courses are updated, students will further develop a desire for life-long learning, the ability to derive unique insights from that learning, and the mindset to identify opportunities to apply those insights to create value for themselves, the economy and society as a whole.”

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 degrees in Wisconsin in 2019, and is home to a nationally-recognized Women in Engineering, Mathematics and Science program. For more information, visit

The Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) is a partnership of undergraduate engineering programs around the United States. KEEN focuses on one mission: to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset so they can create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work. There are currently 48 universities and colleges working together to instill this mindset in engineering students. For more information, go to