honors alumni, under the age of 40, who have enhanced the prestige of the university by virtue of their character, integrity, and personal accomplishments.
Name: Scott Sanders
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Home: Madison, Wis.
Employer: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Job Title: Associate Professor
Scott Sanders ’97 is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in the department of mechanical engineering, where he has created a state-of-the-art laboratory for the development of optical diagnostics for gas sensing. His primary research focus is in applying these developments to evaluate and improve the performance of combustion engines. His work has earned him four patents, with five more pending, and a cover article in the May 2005 issue of “Optics and Photonics News.” Additionally, Sanders received the Silver Combustion Medal at the 29th International Symposium on Combustion in 2002, competing against nearly 1,000 papers for the award. He also is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his work with laser sensors. Sanders received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Valparaiso University, followed by a master of science degree and Ph.D. in the same field from Stanford University. He now serves on a mechanical engineering advisory board at Valparaiso University.
While sharing thoughts on his experience at Valparaiso University, Sanders says, “I have only fond memories of Valpo. I met my wife, Beth, there the day I arrived on campus as a freshman. Many other lasting friendships were formed during my stay. I have experienced no other place where spiritual and academic studies were so intermingled. …”
Sanders offers his personal philosophy on life. “It is my prayer for all of us that we keep the right perspective in our lives and our achievements. Nichole Nordeman’s “Legacy” resonates with me: ‘I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me … but in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides temporary trappings of this world … just want to hear instead, well done, good and faithful one.’”