The Grainger Institute for Engineering (GIE) was established as a multidisciplinary research institute in 2015 with a gift from The Grainger Foundation and a bold vision for the future of the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

We’re honored to have received this investment, enabling us to cultivate a future in which engineering researchers, industry, government labs, policy experts, and communities are creating transformative societal change together. Guided by the college’s Office of Research Innovation, we deliver resources, support creativity, and foster tenacity to advance the College of Engineering’s tradition of excellence. We will continue to strategically invest in our faculty, the passion they have for seeking knowledge, and their capacity to pioneer new technologies that resonate far into the future.


Oliver Schmitz


In his research, Dr. Schmitz focuses on plasma edge physics for fusion energy applications and developing state of the art numerical methods for 3D plasma edge transport and plasma-wall interaction. As GIE director, he is eager to expand the research enterprise in the College of Engineering by bolstering innovation, industry engagement, and entrepreneurial spirit.


Peggy Sullivan

Project Manager

Peggy joined the Grainger Institute for Engineering in 2021 with experience working in higher education, customer service, supervision, and management. She earned her MBA in Project Management in 2018 and enjoys supporting researchers, faculty, and staff to move their ideas forward throughout all stages of innovation.



Within the College of Engineering’s Office of Research Innovation, the Office of Corporate Relations, the Grainger Institute for Engineering, and UW’s Technology Entrepreneurship Office are working together to cultivate a comprehensive support network for engineering researchers. Uniting across disciplines and competencies, we are pooling our resources to provide guidance, support relationship-building, and champion research along the paths to discovery, entrepreneurship, industrial engagement, and societal impact. By leveraging the unique strengths of each office, we provide both depth and breadth of expertise, helping faculty reach their individual goals.