James Swanke

Credentials: PhD 2022

In 2017, when James Swanke of Edina, Minnesota, enrolled in an electrical engineering master’s program at UW-Madison he thought he’d earn his degree and return to industry. But he enjoyed the program so much, he continued on and now expects to graduate with a PhD in August 2022. 

Like many engineering students, Swanke always enjoyed building and creating things. As an undergraduate at UW-Madison, he took an internship at a Siemens induction motor manufacturing plant where he became fascinated with the design, analysis and manufacture of electric machines.  

He worked for Siemens for two years before beginning graduate work in power engineering. At UW-Madison, his research has focused on the design and evaluation of modular fault-tolerant electrical machines for aerospace. These machines are designed to continue working even after an internal failure, which is critical for safety in aerospace applications.  

Outside of school, he enjoys playing soccer, reading about history and he’s involved in his undergraduate fraternity alumni association. After graduation, he hopes to continue work with electric machines for electrified aircraft.