STEM Forward's Engineers Week Banquet is a celebration of excellence in STEM as the Engineer of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, and Spirit of STEM Awards are presented. Held annually in February in conjunction with National Engineers Week, this banquet also features an outstanding STEM keynote speaker and local students.

Save the Date! STEM Forward's 66th Annual Engineers Week Banquet


5:15 p.m.:     Cocktail Hour, Future City Competition Exhibit
5:30 p.m.:     Silent Auction
6:15 p.m.:     Dinner
6:45 p.m.:     Awards Program

DATE: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019
TIME: 5:15 to 8 p.m. 

WHERE: Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago Ave., Milwaukee

2019 Keynote Speaker:
Vince Bertram, President & CEO of Project Lead The Way (PLTW)

STEM Forward is pleased to welcome Vince Bertram, President & CEO of Project Lead The Way as our 2019 keynote speaker!

vince bertram.JPG

Since Dr. Bertram joined PLTW in June 2011, the organization has grown to serve approximately 11,500 schools across the U.S., trained thousands of teachers, and received numerous national recognitions, awards and partner support.

Dr. Bertram has traveled across the United States, as well as globally, to address audiences on the issues of STEM education, workforce, and the economy. In 2014, he was appointed by the U.S. Department of State to serve as the education expert for its United States Speaker and Specialist Program, and he is an appointed member of congress-authorized STEM Education Advisory Panel. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and is also a frequent contributor to national publications. He was appointed by Governor Mike Pence to serve on the Indiana State Board of Education and was reappointed by Governor Eric Holcomb. He is also a New York Times bestselling author with his books Dream Differently: Candid Advice for America’s Students and One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis.

The 2018 Engineer of the Year is John Kissinger

John Kissinger  President & CEO   GRAEF

John Kissinger
President & CEO

John Kissinger has been a practicing Engineer since graduating from UW Milwaukee in late 1979. His career was interrupted briefly to attend graduate school at UW Madison in 1981, but even then he worked part-time as a structural engineer for a large architectural firm.

Over this long career John has been responsible and intimately involved in the design and construction of dozens of “ordinary” structures including office buildings, medical facilities, manufacturing facilities, institutional and university facilities, and many other types. He has also had the good fortune to work on, and often manage, large multi-discipline teams on some of the more recognizable structures in the Midwest, including McCormick Place West Addition in Chicago, Lambeau Field Renovation in Green Bay, the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Art Museum Addition in Milwaukee. For the Art Museum Addition, John collaborated with world renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, who is also a trained structural engineer, on a building that Time Magazine named the “Number 1 design of 2001”. For his work on this project, John was personally honored as one of the “Top 25 Newsmakers” in engineering by Engineering News Record in 2002.

The projects listed above had budgets ranging from $125M to $825M, and all are major icons in their cities and beyond. As you know, all building projects are team efforts between the owner, contractors, architects, engineers and other consultants. John’s work on all of these was as a core and major member of the design and construction team. The innovative designs that John’s GRAEF-led teams delivered on these projects resulted in regional, national and even international design awards for GRAEF and other design team members. John has worked with concrete, structural steel, masonry, wood and other building materials during his career as a consulting engineer, and never specialized.

After a very long and successful career as a design engineer and project manager, John’s focus turned to managing the firm, growing the firm, and interacting with clients and the community at a frequent and deep level. This led to him being named a GRAEF Principal in 1994, a member of GRAEF’s Board of Directors in 2002, and the President and CEO of GRAEF in 2011. In this role, John is ultimately responsible for GRAEF’s 250-plus employees, its 9 offices in the Midwest and Southeast, and the satisfaction of thousands of clients. John can use his engineering training in this role to help break down and solve problems that have sometimes appeared to have no solution.

Since becoming President and CEO John has been active as a promoter of the consulting engineering business, as a board member and future Board Chair of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin, and a director of ACEC National. He has been a class advisor to two cohorts of the ACEC WI Future Leaders Institute. For his Leadership Institute Advisor role, John received the Chairman’s Award from ACEC-WI.

The 2018 Young Engineer of the Year is Kyle Bareither

Kyle Bareither, P.E.  Environmental Engineer  O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc.

Kyle Bareither, P.E.
Environmental Engineer
O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc.

Mr. Bareither grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago with three older brothers. His parents and older brothers were instrumental in helping him to be his best both academically and physically, and led the way to a STEM-related career. Once he completed high school, he decided to pursue an advanced degree at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) in the upper peninsula of Michigan, following one of his older brothers who was currently pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree. Mr. Bareither decided to focus on Environmental Engineering while at Michigan Tech, providing him an avenue to practice his problem-solving skills in addition to pursuing his love of chemistry and nature.

Following his graduation in 2007, Mr. Bareither started his professional career with a local Wisconsin consulting firm, Natural Resource Technology, Inc (NRT) (then in Pewaukee, WI – moved to Milwaukee, WI in 2013). Mr. Bareither began working with NRT in October of 2007 (NRT was purchased by O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc. [OBG] in 2017), and has now been with them for over 11 years. His focus is on the evaluation, investigation, construction feasibility, and remediation construction implementation at former manufactured gas plant sites. Mr. Bareither also focuses on the environmental forensic evaluation and assessment of large sediment sites for allocation work. These concentrations allow Mr. Bareither to utilize his passion for both engineering and chemistry.

Mr. Bareither has also made Milwaukee his home during his professional career. In 2008, he purchased a condo on Milwaukee’s east side, and later moved to a home in Glendale. Milwaukee also keeps him close to his family’s property near Eagle River, which is his favorite place to escape from the City. In Mr. Bareither’s free time, he enjoys playing ice hockey, weight lifting, yoga, and fishing. He also has a passion for volunteering for non-profit organizations.

Following treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2010, he became very involved with the local chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He has participated and organized a team every year following treatment for their Light the Night Walk held annually at Milwaukee’s Veteran’s Park. He also is an active member of the local American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Wisconsin Section, Southeast Branch, currently serving the role of President. Since getting involved in ASCE, Mr. Bareither has helped promote STEM-related careers in the greater Milwaukee Area through classroom visits, the YMG’s STEM Expo held annually at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), and the many STEM Forward events held annually.

Mr. Bareither continues to expand his technical knowledge in the discipline of Environmental Engineering through his position and project work at OBG, while also giving back as much as possible by being an advocate for STEM-related careers through local programs and by providing support for those affected by cancer.

American Transmission Company To Receive 2019 Spirit of STEM Award

ATC Poster Logo .jpg

American Transmission Company will be honored with the 2019 Spirit of STEM award for their significant STEM outreach activities and community involvement.

Each year, the company participates in dozens of volunteering opportunities and supports a variety of STEM education programs. ATC employees frequently visit middle and high schools to promote STEM careers and to help give students real-world experience solving engineering problems. ATC’s extensive partnership with Fairview school in Milwaukee, support of the 2018 Future City Competition and widespread robotics educational programs are just a few examples of how they embody STEM spirit in Milwaukee.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event at the Italian Community Center on Feb. 15, 2018!

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