WEMPEC students in a group photo making the UW 'W' with their hands.

Become a Student


Our advanced degree programs will prepare you for leading-edge positions in industry or academia. Graduate students will learn both theoretical and hands-on applied knowledge in power electronic converters, machine design, power converter controls, and alternative energy. As a WEMPEC student, you will have plenty of opportunities to develop your technical presentation skills. During weekly research group meetings,  on a rotation basis, you will be asked to present the progress of your research project to your faculty advisor and student colleagues. In addition, during our annual review meeting  with sponsors, you will have an opportunity to discuss your research during poster sessions.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.


I am interested in research and potentially working with a professor in WEMPEC. How do I express my interests?

In order to inform all of WEMPEC that you are interested in working with one of our professors, you’re encouraged to apply to the University of Wisconsin Graduate School. If accepted, WEMPEC faculty and staff will be notified of your interest. Due to their high workloads, WEMPEC faculty and staff will be notified of your interest. Due to their high workloads, WEMPEC faculty and staff will be notified of your interest. Due to their high workloads, WEMPEC professors and staff cannot respond to individual inquiry emails regarding WEMPEC admissions. If you are interested in learning more about WEMPEC and our programs, explore our website and/or attend one of our Friday seminars (contact assistant@wempec.wisc.edu for information regarding the Friday seminars).

What are the different routes that a student can take through WEMPEC?

There are two routes a WEMPEC student can take. MS-research and PhD-research. You may explore the other available tracks by navigating our website.

Research, Funding, and Community

What type of funding is there for WEMPEC graduate students?

  • All WEMPEC students are MS-Research or PhD-research students and are funded at 50% Research Assistant (RA)
    • ~$25,000 annual stipend
    • Work on research for 20hrs per week
    • Covers all UW-Madison tuition
    • Eligible for UW health insurance (<$50/mo)
    • Rock solid funding source to maintain consistent funding between gaps in federal grants.

Where will I work?

  • WEMPEC lab
    • Assigned lab bench to perform research.
    • Access to lab equipment and materials for prototyping
    • Staff available for training and design assistance

As a WEMPEC student, what ways am I able to meet other WEMPEC students, staff, or faculty?

Though students are separated by their research groups, WEMPEC staff and faculty work hard to ensure that the WEMPEC community has many opportunities to meet each other and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. During the school year typically have a once-a-week coffee and tea hour where students, staff, and faculty are all invited to socialize with one another in an informal gathering where students can come and go as they please. In addition to this every year we have four social events: a picnic that is a potluck style, annual review, and two end of semester celebrations where we cater food for our students.

You will also have plenty of opportunity to meet other students in the shared graduate student offices. We have newly renovated office spaces as of December 2020 and a total of five office spaces for our students. The WEMPEC staff works diligently to ensure that all students are taken cared of whether that be help with assigning graduate student spaces, booking travel for conferences, or assisting with student visas.

What makes WEMPEC unique to other graduate student programs?

Though we are housed within a university, WEMPEC is humbled to be sponsored by over 80+ industrial companies who give a generous donation to support WEMPEC research. Through our relationship with industrial sponsors, we are able to learn more about their most up-to-date research as well, in some cases, assist in it. In addition to our robust network of alumni, WEMPEC students also have the opportunity to network with all of our WEMPEC members who offer competitive salaries and benefits to graduating students and internships for those who are interested.

Application and Graduate Student Info

Where can I find more information about graduate school?

We encourage you to check out the College of Electrical and Computer Graduate Student Handbook here or the College of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Handbook here.

What types of courses are available to WEMPEC students.

Graduate students take a various amount of credits in order to fulfill their graduate degree. While we can’t give you a concrete pipeline as each student has their own paths and requirements, please reach out to your advisor when accepted in order to create a plan.

What do I do as a WEMPEC Student?

WEMPEC Students receive the opportunity to work with world-renowned advisors and other researchers in their field. They are expected to attend weekly meetings, publish research, and present their research at our WEMPEC Annual Review which occurs in the Spring to our dedicated Sponsors. Each week students are expected to attend a seminar hosted by one of WEMPEC’s Sponsors where they will learn the research and work being done. Through this opportunity students are able to apply their theoretical knowledge to the field and are able to network with competitive industries.

Do I need to be an Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering major in order to be a WEMPEC student?

While helpful, many of our students are successful in WEMPEC and did not do an Electrical Engineering major or Mechanical Engineering major for their undergraduate degree.

I took some time off from school in order to gain industry experience, does this harm my application to WEMPEC?

This will not harm your application. Our students come from a diverse population of students who came from various routes. Some students went with a direct route to graduate school (undergraduate to graduate school) and some took time to work in industry before applying to graduate school. Our students who have industry experience before joining WEMPEC often note that that knowledge gained during their work in industry served them positively in their research endeavors.

Additional Questions

Why can’t I find WEMPEC’s graduate school application?

There is not a separate application process for WEMPEC. Apply for our program through the general Graduate School application for UW-Madison. WEMPEC is housed within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and partners with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison . In order to apply, you must go through the MS-Research or PhD with Research Involvement degree process through the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department or Mechanical Engineering Department. Highlight your interest to join WEMPEC or your interest in meeting with one or multiple WEMPEC professors in your application so that we can be notified of your application.

What do the labs and research stations look like?

WEMPEC offers in-person lab tours to those who plan to visit campus. Please fill out the form below and highlight your interest to do so. A virtual lab tour will be offered to students who are interested in the near future.

I’m interested in undergraduate research. How can I get involved with WEMPEC?

We have several opportunities working within the WEMPEC lab, working with WEMPEC professors, or working in the WEMPEC office. Please check for openings in the UW Student Jobs and apply. You can also identify a professor whose research interests are similar to your own and email them directly about your interest. An email to a WEMPEC professor or the WEMPEC staff does not guarantee a position. We look forward to reviewing your application!


Our advanced degree programs will prepare you for leading-edge positions in industry or academia. Various options are available through the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, Mechanical Engineering Department, and Interdisciplinary Professional Programs (IPP) for students or professionals seeking post-secondary degrees or to enhance their Bachelor’s degrees. The application to apply to WEMPEC is through the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department or the Mechanical Engineering Department and does not have a separate application process. 

On-Campus Graduate Student Programs

Master’s Program with Research Involvement


This 2-year sponsor-funded program trains engineers in research and advanced concept development while also completing an in-depth project with a faculty member. Thesis required.

PhD Program with Research Involvement


This 4-year sponsor-funded program  involves a thorough study phase comprised of advanced coursework in the student’s major area of study, development and presentation of dissertation research topic, and culminates in the presentation and oral defense of an original research thesis.

Master’s Program – Coursework Only


This 12-16 month program is customized based on the student’s technical interests and is taught by faculty conducting cutting-edge research in their respective fields. Thesis not required.

Off-Campus Graduate Student Programs

Master’s Program – Online

Power Engineering Online

This program allows you to work toward your Master’s degree completely online while going at your own pace.

Additional Coursework

Capstone Program

These programs typically have three courses and are designed to enhance your Bachelor’s degree but do not result in a Master’s degree.

Watch this short webinar on the Master’s Online and the Capstone for a quick overview of the two programs and the application process.

Short Courses

3-5 Day Workshops

Short Courses for Individuals

Area Specific Courses tailored to keep interested professionals up-to-date in the latest technologies and techniques.

Company Involved Courses

Short Courses for Companies

Courses that can be customized for companies to enhance their employees’ skills and knowledge about area specific information.

WEMPEC Interest Form

Become a WEMPEC Student

Interested in becoming a WEMPEC student? Contact us for questions and inquiries. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.