Good Luck Professor Severson & Welcome new Faculty – August 2023

Good Luck Professor Eric Severson and Welcome to a new WEMPEC Faculty!


Good luck Eric!
After more than 6 years as Faculty in the College of Engineering and WEMPEC, Professor Severson has decided to go back to his roots in Minnesota to be closer to family. He has been pioneering work at UW-Madison in the area of bearingless motors and magnetic levitation besides design of high-speed machines and integrated electric-hydraulic machines. His work at UW-Madison is still archived in WEMPEC publications, and several of his students will be continuing their work with Eric until their graduation in the coming year.
Eric will join the University of Minnesota as an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering this Fall. His last day with ECE and WEMPEC was August 18th. He can now be reached at We wish Eric and his family the very best in starting their life in Minnesota!
WEMPEC Annual Review May 18, 2023. (Photo © Andy Manis)
We are excited to welcome our newest Faculty member, Dr. Lei Zhou, who joined WEMPEC this month as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, with a dual appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Lei’s research centers on the developing novel and high-performance mechatronic solutions through exploiting the synergy between precision machine design, electric machines and control engineering, thereby impacting applications such as manufacturing equipment and robotic systems. Her current research projects include the hardware and control co-design for over-actuated lightweight precision positioning systems for high-throughput chip manufacturing, high-torque direct-drive actuators for robots, and precision soft-robotic stamp for wafer-scale 2D electronics manufacturing.Lei received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2019. She also holds an MS (2014) in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a BE (2012) in Control and Instrumentation Engineering from Tsinghua University in China. Prior to joining UW, she was an Assistant Professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.Please join us in wishing Lei an excellent start at UW-Madison and WEMPEC!
We are proud to announce that ECCE 2023 has decided to honor WEMPEC’s own Emeritus Professor Thomas M. Jahns, along with Professor Fred C. Lee (Virginia Tech, founder of CPES), with a Luminaries Special Session. The Special Session will be held Tuesday evening, October 31st. If you need more information about or would like to participate in the event, please contact Prof. Bulent Sarlioglu at
ECCE is one of the biggest conference events of the year for WEMPEC students, and many of them will present papers detailing the research outlined during their student presentations and posters sessions at the WEMPEC Annual Review in May. Members have early access to the paper pre-prints on our website:

As an engineer with a WEMPEC Member company, you have access to the above publications and all other member-only content on the WEMPEC website, Use the following link to register for access:
Once you have completed the short registration form, we’ll get a notification and approve the access. This process can take up to two business days.