Materials Science and Engineering

Department Administrator
Cynthia Rothwell / (608)265-4970
MSE 246

Administrative Manager
Cheryl Harris / (608) 262-1608
MSE 264

Communications Specialist
Courtney Summars (608) 890-2505
MSE 264A

Accountant II
Julie Breitbach / (608) 265-5960
MSE 272

Research Administrator
Noelle Lawton / (608) 890-3624
MSE 276A

Research Administrator
Carrie Jorgensen / (608) 262-4750
MSE 276

Instrumentation Technologist II
Chris Kailhofer / (608) 262-8175
MSE 201C


All purchases should be made in compliance with university guidelines. If you have questions, please contact Julie Breitbach BEFORE you purchase.

All purchases must be shipped to a UW address.

The UW is tax exempt. All purchases should not include tax.

Purchases under $5,000 can be made by faculty and staff within the department, using their best judgement.

Purchases over $5,000 are made and authorized only by UW purchasing agents and require a purchase requisition. Contact Julie Breitbach to get started.


SHOP@UW is the university’s e-commerce site that allows faculty and employees to easily compare prices, purchase tax-free, and return items available from contracted vendors, including Grainger, Staples, VWR, and many more. Purchases on the site require an account. Contact Julie Breitbach for details.

Each vendor has a contact person for discounted quotes and to find items not available from the vendor through Shop@UW.


DoIT is the university’s technology vendor. There are several shops on campus and online webstore. Purchases on the site require an account. Contact Julie Breitbach to set up an account.

Chris Kailhofer is the department IT Specialist. Consult with him on your purchases and have him help you configure your computer. He can place orders for you or you can ask the department to place individual orders. He can also assist with data backup.

Business cards may be ordered through DoIt. Log in using your NetID and password. Down on the left are COE business card templates, you can use. You can order there yourself with an account number, or sit down with Chris Kailhofer to order.

Engineering software may be available to download through Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE).


SWAP is the university’s surplus property re-seller. This is a good place to find used but good office furniture, computer equipment and items for your lab. Purchases on the site require an account. Contact Julie Breitbach for details.


Physical Plant is a division of Facilities, Planning and Management and you can request services and building or lab maintenance from them.  Requesting services requires an account. Contact Julie Breitbach for details.


Contact Cheryl Harris before hiring anyone to ensure University policies and Federal and State law are followed.

Cheryl will assist with all appointments, including student hourlies, graduate assistants (RA, PA, and TA), research assistants (post-doctoral fellows), honorary appointments (zero dollar), academic staff, university staff, and faculty appointments.


Every year in early February, the department hosts the Prospective Graduate Student Visits to recruit graduate students. Faculty should work with the MS&E Graduate Committee to invite potential graduate students and participate in the weekend. The Prospective Graduate Student Visit is coordinated by Courtney Summars. Contact Courtney if there are questions.

Applicant Review is a tool from the Graduate School that allows electronic communication between departments and the Graduate School Office of Admissions. Applicant Review is a copy of Graduate School applicant data found in the Student Information System (SIS). This is the system you will use to track and update an applicant’s progress in the admission process.  Access to Applicant Review is granted by the Graduate Student Service Coordinator.


There are limited openings for TAs each semester.  Students interested in positions may contact Cheryl Harris.


Faculty leave reporting is completed online through MyUW.


Parking Permits: You need to be registered in order to apply for a parking permit. Contact the COE unit transportation coordinator. Once you are registered in the system, then go to the parking permit website and apply for the permit.

Bus Passes are available on the Transportation Services website.


Building Access: All faculty, staff and students associated with Engineering will automatically be granted building access via WisCard; NIAC users from outside the College of Engineering will need to request building access when requesting keys (see below).


Conference Room: MS&E has one conference room, Room 221.  There are other rooms in other Engineering buildings that can also be reserved. Reservations are made through the EMS system. Please login with your NetID and password.  Select “Reservations”.  Select “Request Engr Meeting Space”. Complete all necessary information (date, time, room, etc).  A confirmation email will be sent to you upon request approval.  Please allow 48 hours for your request to be approved.  If you have questions regarding booking a conference room, or for special circumstances, with less than 48 hours notice, please contact Courtney Summars in MSE 264A.

General Classroom Assignments: are controlled by Campus Event Services and can be scheduled after classroom assignments are made each semester. Exceptions are MSE 235 & 265, which are controlled by the MSE department. Reservations for MSE 235 are made through the EMS system. Please login with your NetID and password.  Select “Reservations”.  Select “Request Engr Meeting Space”. Complete all necessary information (date, time, room, etc).  A confirmation email will be sent to you upon request approval.  Reservations for MSE 265 may be made through Courtney Summars in MSE 264A. Please allow 48 hours for your request to be approved.  If you have questions regarding booking a conference room, or for special circumstances, with less than 48 hours notice, please contact Courtney Summars in MSE 264A.


Key requests for labs and offices in the MS&E Building are made online at  Please select the appropriate staff member for approval; NIAC users should select the staff member who did their training.  Once your request is approved, you will receive a confirmation email and can then see Chris Kailhofer to get your key.  Note that other buildings will have different key request procedures; check with the appropriate building manager for more information.


If you need assistance with building systems (HVAC, lighting, plumbing, mechanical, or other issues), instructional laboratory equipment, or other building-related items, please contact Chris Kailhofer who will assist with having the problem corrected.  Additional assistance for building systems (if Chris is not available) is provided by the CoE Facilities Group.  In an emergency, you may also contact Physical Plant Customer Service directly through their website or by calling them at 608/263-3333.


Safety protocols, services and training are available through UW Environment, Health & Safety and COE Safety. All PIs are responsible for updating lab safety signs outside their labs each year – contact COE Safety for updating and printing Laboratory Door Emergency Cards  for your lab.  Any student, faculty, or staff wishing to have access to the chemical room must first complete the chemical safety training that is offered by the UW Safety Department.

Course Evaluations

Course Evaluations are done online using a web-based tool called AEFIS. Survey announcements are sent to faculty and staff via email for mid-term (for select courses) and final course and instructor evaluations. All courses use a common survey for end-of-semester evaluations. If you have questions, please contact Cheryl Harris. For instructions on how to access AFEIS, see Learn@UW KB.

Undergraduate Student Services: The Undergraduate Student Services Center provides advising and other services for MS&E undergraduate students. It is located at 1410 Engineering Drive, Room 170. Academic advisors can help students, faculty and staff with questions about accessing courses, navigating degree requirements, resolving academic issues, and more.

Graduate Student Services: The Graduate Student Services Center supplements faculty advisors and Engineering Career Services. It is located in the Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 3182.


MS&E’s IT support is provided by Chris Kailhofer, who can be consulted before making software or hardware purchases if assistance is needed. Chris also maintains the instructional lab computers and provides support for faculty, staff, and research group computers in labs and offices.  CAE offers resources for downloading engineering software, website hosting, remote desktop services. See the Getting Started website for details.


Please go to the CoE Directory maintenance page. You’ll need to login using your NetID and password. Once logged in, you will be provided with options for editing your profile; if you need to create a new profile, click on the “Create new profile” at the bottom of the page. You can include your lab website on this profile as well. If you have additional questions please contact Courtney Summars.


Phone lines are paid for and managed through DoIT. If you need a line changed or set up please contact Chris Kailhofer. PIs are responsible for purchasing their own phones.  For telephone line addition, removal, or relocation, please see Chris Kailhofer.


The department uses a CloudFax service for all incomcing and outgoing faxes. Please see Chris Kailhofer if you need to send or receive a fax as he manages this service. The department has a multifunction copier which is located in 266 MS&E Building for small print jobs.  For login information or to inquire about options for larger jobs, please see Chris Kailhofer.


The university has important regulations that must be followed in order to purchase or be reimbursed for travel. It is the traveler’s responsibility to understand and comply with UW travel and reimbursement policies and procedures. If you have specific questions policies or procedures contact Julie Breitbach. Important highlights are:

  • Travelers must be an authorized driver to claim mileage, rent a car, or drive a university fleet car. Contact Julie Breitbach to get authorized. See the Risk Management website for information.
  • Vehicle rental must be booked through the Big Ten Contract, accessed through the UW TravelWIse portal.
  • All UW employee and visitor airfare must be booked though Fox/Concur.
  • All UW employee and visitor lodging must be booked through Fox/Concur or through the hotel or conference site directly. Third party sites like Expedia, Airbnb, and Travelocity are NOT ALLOWED.
  • The University follows federal meal and lodging per diems. A lodging and meal allowance calculator is available for travelers to determine per diems by location. This may be used before travel to plan or after travel for reimbursement.


Hosting meals (now known as business meals) for others requires an itemized receipt and business purpose. There are additional forms required for paying for or reimbursing hosted meal expenses. See the UW policy BEFORE you host a meal.


Expense reports MUST be submitted within 90 days from the last day of business travel or from the purchase date of supplies.

Travel and expense reimbursements are submitted by employees through the UW E-reimbursement system.  It is highly recommended that you select the Guided Expense Tool (GET) to enter your reimbursement requests.

Documentation is required for most reimbursements.  It is strongly recommended that all required receipts are uploaded and attached to the reimbursement report.


All proposals, contracts and agreements need to be routed through appropriate university channels to ensure compliance with Federal, State and UW regulations. The internal system to route proposals, contracts and agreements within the UW is called WISPER. UW Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) has final signature authority on all extramural support. Contact the COE Research Administrator or MS&E Research Administrators, Noelle Lawton or Carrie Jorgensen, for details.