Official ASME Group

Milwaukee Section

A century old, the Milwaukee Section has grown to encompass the southern and eastern reaches of Wisconsin. On offer are open discussions, lively activities, and support for industry and academia...
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News & Updates

  • ASME Milwaukee “Duck Feet” Presentation

              Wednesday evening, January 18th, 2017, brought 32 members, guests and family to Alioto’s Restaurant for our monthly program.  Especially welcome were two students from MSOE, Zachary Sopata and Dennis Biesiada, and, a student from UW-Madison, Jordan Black, our ASME regional liaison.  In addition, Liam Coen, GE, brought 5 students wearing their “Animal Allies” T shirts of the Lego Robotic Team (see photo 2nd row left).  They attend Saint Peter’s School in East Troy.


             Students, members and guests with Brandon and Alyssa (front row).

              Speakers were Alyssa and Brandon Herbst, owners of Autumn Farm Sanctuary, an animal rescue facility located east of Cedarburg.  These charismatic caretakers of almost 100 animals are most noted for their appeal on behalf of Phillip the Duck.  Phillip, who has appeared on Good Morning America and in newspaper articles, lost both feet to frostbite.  His first feet were unfortunately outgrown—thus the appeal to engineers in ASME for a workable and comfortable alternative.

              After hearing about Phillip’s needs and viewing a video, member enthusiasm ran high.  Ideas and questions were flying as fast Phillip’s beating wings and a sign-up list of people willing to help filled quickly.


              For those interested in Autumn Farm Sanctuary, it will soon have 501 (c) 3 non-profit status making any donation tax deductible.  The farm will be open to visitors by appointment the first Saturday of each month.  Anyone interested may call 262-376-3833 or email: to verify time and availability of spots.


              Begun in 2008, Alyssa and Brandon originally rescued companion animals such as dogs and cats.  They now specialize in farm animals in need.  Due to their program of re-adopting animals out when possible and trading with other sanctuaries for their population may include horses, goats, sheep and many species of fowl, currently hens, turkeys, geese and of course Phillip and friends.  Most of the animal residents were rescued from hoarders, farm owners who became ill, or were found sick, injured or in abusive situations. 

              Since Brandon and Alyssa both work full time, they are especially grateful to their 40 dedicated volunteers, or, as one ASME member quipped, “The things we do for ducks”.

              Design and manufacture of new prosthetic feet is ongoing with version 2.0 currently under testing.  Our group will be updated at our next monthly meeting.  Hope to see you all there.

    Al/Carol Perkins

  • ASME/Milwaukee Section January Dinner/Presentation - January 18, 2017

    This month, the ASME Milwaukee Section presents the story of Phillip the
    duck, who lost his feet and was given a second chance to walk.

    Brandon and Alyssa Herbst, co-owners of Autumn Farm Sanctuary in
    Cedarburg, took Phillip in. Phillip, a Muscovy duck, was given prosthetic
    feet after losing his own to frostbite. The feet were made by an Oshkosh
    Middle School teacher.

    What does Phillip the duck have to do with Mechanical Engineering? More
    than you can imagine!!!  Come and hear the story first hand and find out
    what happens next for Phillip!

    TOPIC: Duck Feet Discussion
    WHEN: January 18, 2017
    WHERE: Alioto’s in Wauwatosa
    TIME:  Gather starting at 5pm with Dinner at 6pm.  Presentation to follow.

    For more information and to register:

  • ASME Milwaukee Piano Concert - December 8, 2016

         Changes were afoot on Thursday evening, December 8th.  A banquet room at Alioto’s Restaurant was transformed into a “Carnegie Hall”.  With fifty-eight members/families and guests attending, we were treated to a special event.  With our younger students, we turned “Spouse’s Night” into “Family Night”.

         After an excellent dinner, Stephen Swedish, an international concert pianist and Yamaha Artist, was introduced.  Playing on a brand new Yamaha grand piano brought in special for the occasion, Mr. Swedish started with a classical piece by Claude Debussy – “Pour le Piano”.  The music moved quite rapidly with glissandos and quickly moving passages.  Next, he slowed things down with the much beloved “Clair de Lune” (Moonlight)--a familiar piece that captured the audience.

         George Gershwin, the 20th century American composer was next – several shorter pieces (“Embraceable You” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”) were followed by the entire piano solo version of “Rhapsody in Blue”.  This is an extremely difficult and virtuoso piece--Steve Swedish performed the piece brilliantly.  The lyrical section we all know so well brought tears to the eyes of some and led to one of two standing ovations.

         With the Christmas season upon us, Mr. Swedish showed us that yes, he can also play Christmas music.  At the conclusion of the concert, Abagail
    Derra, daughter of Ken, presented flowers to the performer and received a kiss in return.  All in all, everyone enjoyed themselves with one lucky person at each table receiving the floral arrangement.  To remind Mr. Swedish that we’re engineers, we presented a “T” shirt with the patent for the grand piano on the front.  Thanks to all on our board who contributed to the planning of this event – and Happy Holidays to all.   

  • Technical Educational Program November 5, 2016

    On    Saturday, November 5th, the ASME Milwaukee Section hosted a technical seminar at the Grohmann Tower on the MSOE campus.  From 8:30 am thru 1:00 pm, sixteen of our engineers earned four PDHs and a glimpse into four new subject areas.  Dr. Subha Kumpaty from MSOE organized this seminar and arranged the venue.  With ample open lighting, the fourth floor conference room proved to be an excellent choice.  In addition, an honorable mention goes to our food preparers--not a box lunch this time--but home cooked chicken, rice and vegetables.  Also, the endless supply of chocolate chip cookies provided us with additional energy.

       First up--the design and development of medical packaging by Mr. Sung Kwon.  In this session, Mr. Kwon explained three critical functions of properly designed packaging: (1) maintaining the sterile barrier: (2) preventing product damage, and (3) providing for traceability.  To do this, he reviewed all of the steps involved in the design phase including the quality reports and feedback review.  With the examples he provided, it was apparent by the end of the lecture just how important the packaging is to insure safe product delivery.  Comments from our participants included, "This is subject matter not often covered, well done!"  Thank you Mr. Kwon for taking the time to prepare and deliver this presentation.

       In the next session, principal engineer Aaron Lynn of Oshkosh Truck, provided information on the design, production and testing of military as well as other commercial vehicles that they manufacture.  Of particular interest was the M-ATV program (Armored All-Terrain Vehicle).  Within a year from the initial request for proposal, Oshkosh Truck was producing over 1000 vehicles a month!

       From heavy equipment military transport vehicles costing $500 per hour to drive, to specially designed snow throwers handling 5000 tons per hour (up to 150 feet), Mr. Lynn provided detailed information and dramatic videos.  We appreciate his willingness to provide us with an outstanding presentation.  In recognition of these engineering accomplishments by Oshkosh Truck to saving lives, Aaron Lynn received a standing ovation at the completion of his talk.  This was an emotional moment for all that attended.  Comments from participants included, "Extremely interesting--an incredible story." 

       We shifted gears with our third presentation and learned about pattern and core box design.  Of particular interest was the use of CFD simulation software used to predict problems arising during the fill process.  By showing the computer simulations, we observed how the molten metal would fill the mold cavities and what design changes would be required to minimize porosity, voids and shrinkage problems.  Comments included, "Nice overview on casting techniques and simulation software."

       We wish to thank Mr. Olivier Moreau for an interesting presentation.  Mr. Moreau is the Foundry Casting Engineer and Pattern Shop Supervisor at Milwaukee Valve in Prairie du Sac, WI.  Milwaukee Valve has over 720 employees in four locations--two in China and two in Wisconsin.

       The final session was presented by Denise Gergetz, librarian and archivist at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.  With her presentation, we learned the importance of an efficient search.  Ms. Gergetz guided us through the many search tools and different websites available--from open source to subscription services.  We then learned about the different types of technical resources--from books and journals, papers and conference proceedings--through institutional research, codes and patents/intellectual property.  Comments from some of our participants included: "I was unaware of many of the resources--this should help me with further research." and, "good news to know that some research resources are available without a fee, even to non-MSOE grads."

       Thank you Ms. Gergetz for sharing your knowledge and practical experience with us.

       In closing, all of us at the ASME Milwaukee Section wish to express our sincerest gratitude for the efforts of Dr. Subha Kumpaty.  Not only has he organized this seminar, but his work in developing our entire seminar program has been invaluable.  With our fifth half-day seminar to be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017, our section has provided PDH programs covering many interesting engineering topics.